Tag Archives: Selma Blair

The Fog (2005, Rupert Wainwright), the unrated version

In Rupert Wainwright’s shockingly inept remake, The Fog doesn’t blow, it sucks.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

But The Fog is awful. It’s almost interestingly awful, as Cooper Layne’s screenplay mimics just about every popular mainstream horror movie made in the previous two decades. Since director Wainwright is terrible and not paying attention to the constant ripping off–The Fog, in an impossibly earnest move, rips off the end of The Shining. It’s a rip-off capstone–the movie runs through not just ghost movies and thrillers, Wainwright really wants to be Steven Spielberg.

The script exists to move characters between set pieces. More than once, when the principal actors need to reunite, they just appear nearby. It’s beyond lazy and none of the cast can pull it off, especially not with Wainwright’s direction. There’s not a single good performance in The Fog. At least some of the supporting cast should’ve been tolerable, but no. No one gives a good performance. The “best” performance is Selma Blair. Not because she’s good, but because she’s the only actor who isn’t terrifyingly bad. Leads Maggie Grace and Tom Welling should be hilariously bad, but they aren’t. No one’s willing to laugh at the joke.

Graeme Revell’s music is occasionally almost all right, if a little on the nose. It disappears in the second half, when the more slasher-like action starts.

The special effects are terrible. Wainwright’s composition is terrible. He’s directing for people watching at home. Nathan Hope’s photography doesn’t help things either.

There’s nothing good about this film; it should be far more compelling in its badness.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Rupert Wainwright; screenplay by Cooper Layne, based on the film written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill; director of photography, Nathan Hope; edited by Dennis Virkler; music by Graeme Revell; production designer, Michael Diner and Graeme Murray; produced by Hill, David Foster and Carpenter; released by Columbia Pictures.

Starring Maggie Grace (Elizabeth Williams), Tom Welling (Nick Castle), Selma Blair (Stevie Wayne), DeRay Davis (Spooner), Kenneth Welsh (Tom Malone), Adrian Hough (Father Malone), Sara Botsford (Kathy Williams), Cole Heppell (Andy Wayne), Mary Black (Aunt Connie), Jonathon Young (Dan The Weatherman) and Rade Serbedzija (Captain William Blake).


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Animal Love (2011, Mollie Jones)

Animal Love is a future story. Selma Blair and Jeremy Davies meet through an anonymous hookup service–writer-director Jones implies most of the ground situation, with ads standing in for an explanation of the service. He’s allergic to animals, she’s a pet owner. Complications ensue.

The short runs about fifteen minutes without credits but feels much faster because, once it gets going, one doesn’t want it to end. As a director, Jones has these wonderfully moving shots. It’s quiet and calm as the camera adjusts itself on its subject, like the viewer is going too fast and needs to calm down.

As a writer, Jones writes this beautiful sparse dialogue. She’s got great actors. The film’s unimaginable without Blair and Davies. His panic and unsureness, her boldness–Jones gives Blair a couple great acting moments.

It’s an excellent little film. Great music, wondrous photography from Byron Shah.

Jones’s awesome.

3/3Highly Recommended

CREDITS

Written and directed by Mollie Jones; director of photography, Byron Shah; edited by David Greenspan; production designer, David Magid; produced by Jones and Matthew I. Goldberg.

Starring Selma Blair (Sorrel) and Jeremy Davies (Paul).


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Debutante (1998, Mollie Jones)

Debutante isn’t perfect. There’s some awesome sound design, but director (and editor) Jones pushes it a little to carry over into other scenes. It works a little bit, but not always.

So it isn’t perfect.

Otherwise, it’s probably perfect.

Selma Blair plays the protagonist, who probably has the least lines in the short. She’s got a bad set of parents and runs off to a party. Maybe. The narrative’s a little fractured. One actually has to go on costume design to determine the chain of events.

The exact chronology doesn’t matter as much as Blair’s performance. She’s amazing, even when silent, and Jones’s direction. Debutante is a beautifully made little film. Jones turns up the volume and still manages to be subtly profound. I think it’s a student film, which is even more impressive.

Great photography from Byron Shah, nice supporting turns from Theresa Tilly and Josh Hartnett.

It’s fantastic.

3/3Highly Recommended

CREDITS

Written, produced, edited and directed by Mollie Jones; director of photography, Byron Shah; edited by Halina Siwolop.

Starring Selma Blair (Nan), Meghann Haldeman (Carla), Josh Hartnett (Bill), Theresa Tilly (Mother) and Steve Tom (Father).


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Purple Violets (2007, Edward Burns)

I’ve been avoiding seeing Purple Violets for almost four years–I thought it was going to be one of Burns’s lesser works. So, obviously, it shouldn’t be a surprise it’s his best film (it’s also his best film as a director).

I’m having some trouble trying to figure out how to start talking about it. It’s different from his usual approach to scripting, maybe because he has a clear protagonist here and it’s Selma Blair. It’s her film–even though the other three principals, Patrick Wilson, Burns and Debra Messing, get significant scenes to themselves.

For a while, there’s this juxtaposing of story lines–Blair and Messing opposite Wilson and Burns. Then the characters start crossing over and everything comes together in a completely organic way. Halfway through the film, the plot is still unpredictable. Even the last scene is, to some degree, unpredictable. It’s all incredibly delicate.

Blair’s great, which wasn’t a surprise. The surprise was Patrick Wilson. His part is a somewhat regular guy and he turns it into this constantly surprising, deep performance (Burns’s script helps). Burns gives maybe his best performance ever here. He’s kind of making fun of himself, but also not. Messing is another surprise. She takes what could be a sitcom harpy and turns it into a lovely performance.

And Donal Logue–as a Brit–is great.

The PT Walkley score and the William Rexer photography are amazing.

From the first shot–thanks to Walkley and Rexer–it’s clear Burns probably has something phenomenal here.

Then he delivers.

4/4★★★★

CREDITS

Written and directed by Edward Burns; director of photography, William Rexer; edited by Thom Zimny; music by PT Walkley; production designer, John Nyomarkay; produced by Margot Bridger, Burns, Aaron Lubin, Nicole Marra and Pamela Schein Murphy; released by iTunes.

Starring Selma Blair (Patti Petalson), Patrick Wilson (Brian Callahan), Edward Burns (Michael Murphy), Debra Messing (Kate Scott), Dennis Farina (Gilmore), Max Baker (Mark), Elizabeth Reaser (Bernie) and Donal Logue (Chazz Coleman).


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THIS FILM IS ALSO DISCUSSED IN SUM UP | EDWARD BURNS.