“Let Me In” — Best scene of 2010?

Richard Jenkins in This sequence about a murder that doesn’t go at all smoothly is certainly what popped into my mind when I saw that Salon’s Matt Zoeller Seitz was doing a series on his ten favorite scenes of the year. It does seem clear that Matt Reeves’ solid and beautifully acted “cover version” of the vampire-themed coming of age Swedish art house hit, “Let the Right One In,” “Let Me In” was the film most cruelly overlooked by audiences.

Matt is a filmmaker as well as critic, which is nice because what follows is his annotated version of the scene in question, which explains everything you need to know (and really doesn’t spoil anything at all about the film as a whole).

For more commentary on the movie and the scene from the ever-thoughtful-and-engaging Mr. Seitz, see the original post at Salon.

  

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Weekend box office preview: All the cool kids to see “The Social Network”; “Let Me In” bullied

So, I guess when vampire movies actually have a strong story and believable characters played by terrific young actors, they suddenly become box office poison, easily beaten by a movie about an unlikable computer geek. That’s encouraging.

Jessie Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield in

I guess I should be jumping for joy that a movie — almost any movie — from the provocatively counterintuitive team of Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher is primed to head things up at the box office. Sony’s “The Social Network” has been getting mightily hyped, generating some of the year’s very best reviews and just a bit of controversy over its accuracy. It all spells awards-season hit with the added bonus of a youth-friendly cast and topic — the creation of Facebook, though it’s a big mistake to think only young people use Facebook. In any case, the $25 million or over weekend suggested by both Jolly Carl DiOrio and Ben Fritz seems reasonable.

Here’s the thing: I’ve seen “Let Me In” and while I agree with our David Medsker that it doesn’t do a huge amount cinematically to justify its own existence apart from the outstanding original Swedish film, it benefits from the same creepily heart-string tugging story as the original, which will be totally new to most viewers. Moreover, the one area where the film is an improvement over the original is in its performances, Kodi Smit-McFee and Chloe Moretz are just breathtakingly good and I can’t imagine most viewers not being drawn into the very moving and very creepy twice-told tale.

Chloe Moretz is Richard Jenkins' boss in One obvious problem is that this is a film a lot of older kids will definitely want to see, but it’s rated R and, I have to say, not entirely inappropriately. It’s no gorefest, but it’s violent and bloody enough and it tricks us into sympathizing with some pretty immoral actions by very young people, which is not a bad thing but really kind of the point. In other words, you need a certain level of moral maturity to get what the film is really about. I nevertheless think parents should consider taking more mature tweens who are interested to see it, even if director Matt Reeves juices up the blood and violence just a hair from the original film. It’s still a highly intelligent and thought-provoking tale that definitely de-romanticizes the vampire myth while also being a wonderful metaphor that explains why parents might worry about the kinds of friends their kids make.

More infuriating than the fact that this relatively excellent film being expected to make significantly less than $10 million this weekend, is the fact that it might be beaten by the lame looking, poorly reviewed more adult skewing horror flick from Paramount/Vantage, “Case 39” with Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper. We need armies of cinema counselors out this weekend, folks, steering filmgoers desirous of chills away from this and towards “Let Me In” — whose with me? Okay, fine.

There is some action on the limited release front. Yet another R-rated horror film from a company I’ve never heard of called New Films Cinema (aren’t “Films” and “Cinema” the same thing?), “Chain Letter,” is going out unreviewed and all but undiscussed into 401 theaters this weekend according to Box Office Mojo.

We also have a major expansion of the highly buzzed documentary “Catfish” and the highly touted documentary spin-off of a very popular non-fiction tome from Magnolia, “Freakonomics.” My own very mildly positive reaction to it is just a hair better than the overall critical reaction, but there’ll no keeping fans of the book away from it, even if the movie is mainly eliciting a bit of a shrug.

  

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Mubarak ho, Mr. “Robot”-o

Though there’s been some bombshell television news today, it’s been a blissfully slow news 48 hours regarding the movie world. True, Mike Fleming had a couple of scoops yesterday. His short list of possible “Superman” directors is fun — I’ll take Duncan Jones please, though Matt Reeves would be okay, too.¬† Also, though I remain impressed by her work, having just seen another terrific performance by Chloe Moretz at a screening last night of “Let Me In,” the fact that she’s got another nice gig as “Emily the Strange” is interesting but not exactly earth shattering. So, I’ll forgo the end-of-week movie news dump.

Instead, we’ll spotlight what have to be the trailers of the day, if not the week. According to Anne Thompson, it apparently started from a tweet by the very busy former “Lost” showrunner Damon Lindelof, who’s heading to India and will be checking out what has to be one of the most lavish Bollywood films ever in terms of effects. It’s a superheroic science fiction tale involving, well, a robot, a giant snake thing, an enormous number of guns, and, of course, big time musical numbers! Here’s the short trailer and some brief TV spots Thompson ran.

Also, just about the time Thompson put up her post, I was alerted by friend-of-the-blog-and-blogger Randy R. to a another, slightly more musical comedy oriented trailer that was running on the site of Ms. Thompson’s comics counterpart, Heidi MacDonald.

Gotta love Bollywood: something for everyone.

Just for the record, “Robot” is directed by Shankar (though it’s such a common name I’m not 100% sure if this is the same Shankar who crafted the hugely popular¬† “3 Idiots,” though it seems like a reasonable bet) and stars Aishwarya Rai and Rajnikanth who I gather is known as simply Rajni and is a superstar. The music is by A.R. Rahman who is easily the best known composer of Bollywood music here in the West for his terrific work on “Lagaan” and also as the double-Oscar winning composer of the music for “Slumdog Millionaire.”

  

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Let the hobo with the shotgun in

A couple of bits of video that have been making the rounds.

First, via Screenrant a moment from “Let Me In,” director Matt Reeves’ much discussed and increasingly anticipated Americanization of the hugely acclaimed anti-“Twilight” tale of vampiric puppy love, “Let the Right One In.” Based on Reeves’ work on “Cloverfield,” I had my doubts, but this just could be worthy of its predecessor. This one is slightly NSFW because of a shouted f-word.

Of course that’s Richard Jenkins above as “the father” in a clip I personally thought was outstanding — far better than I would have expected from Matt Reeves based on his work in “Cloverfield.” A really nicely calibrated piece of suspense with some strong period feeling.

And here’s Rutger Hauer as the Hobo with the shotgun in what has to be one of the most violent and gruesome trailers I’ve seen. Chalk that up to its roots in a prize winning fan-made “Grindhouse” style trailer. Decidely NSFW and kind of funny in a very grim way. Oddly,¬† it’s actually creepier than the scene from “Let Me In.”

CinemaBlend gets the HT for this and they also have the original “Hobo” trailer that played in some theaters with “Grindhouse.” Personally, I actually like this new one a lot better.

  

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“Let Me In” — the red band trailer

Don’t get too excited, it’ s just a touch more violent and scary than the green band trailer which has been circulating the last day or so. In fact, I swear I’ve seen green banders scarier and more violent than this.

In any case, assuming “Let Me In” doesn’t stray too far from the excellent prior film version of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, “Let the Right One In,” and it looks pretty similar, this will not be a mega-gorefest, at least save for a few very crucial moments. Take a look.

The general consensus on this is that it doesn’t look bad. It doesn’t, but will it justify its existence beyond being the movie that people who refuse to read subtitles will watch? Working with a script by the very talented TV veteran Drew Goddard on “Cloverfield,” director Matt Reeves left me partially cold. How much better — or worse — will he do with his script? Only one way to find out.

H/t Filmofilia.

  

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