Drag Me to Hell. Scary and funny and gross, all at the same time, which means only one thing: Sam Raimi’s back to doing what he does best. I don’t begrudge him all the money he made on Spider-Man, but the best movies he ever made were Evil Dead II and now Drag Me to Hell. This one doesn’t hit the dismemberment quota of the Evil Deads … it’s actually rated PG-13 (the “director’s cut” only adds half-a-dozen seconds of blood). But there are more than enough bubbling-goo-escaping-my-mouth scenes to make up for it. 8/10. Here’s an homage to a similar scene in Evil Dead II … spoilers, I guess:
Next Stop, Greenwich Village. I hadn’t seen this movie in 30+ years, and it was interesting to compare my reaction to it then and now. In the 70s, I thought it was all quite romantic, the dream of being an actor, of being young and surrounded by like-minded friends, of taking chances. Now, you notice how many people in the movie went on to become stars: Ellen Greene, “Chris” Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray (his part is so tiny, he’s not in the credits). The mid-70s were writer/director Paul Mazursky’s best … he exhibits an essential kindness towards his characters, so that even the over-the-top Jewish mother played by Shelley Winters has her good side. A forgotten gem. 9/10.