I can honestly say that I had no idea John Landis wrote and directed the prologue and first segment of this movie. I swear! Only after watching the prologue and laughing my ass off then jumping out my seat did I start to wonder who was responsible. And as it just so happens....it was good old John and he stole my heart again.
The prologue was as usual- fantastically written. The conversation between Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks was so natural and just naturally funny. I hadn't cracked up that much since... well since posting the naked man stole my balloons picture on the sidebar.
The movie is broken down into 4 segments directed by 4 different directors. Now not to be unfair to my new obsession but the 1st segment wasn't that great. I attribute this to the fact that there wasn't as much talking and even less actual fearsome moments. It featured a man who used racial slurs and was just an overall asshole after losing out on a promotion. After leaving a bar he finds he has been transported to various times of political uprising and is always the person you would least want to be i.e. a Jew in Nazi Germany, a black man in Ku Klux Klan country etc. Hmmm I guess looking back I did enjoy how the segment addressed the dangers of wearing a flammable white sheet while standing next to a burning cross...
The first segment was unnerving I suppose but I just found it lacking in overall creepiness.
Now the 2nd segment was where the real snoozing began. I appreciate the attempt Spielberg but I don't want to feel all warm and happy while I'm in the Twilight Zone! I don't care if you try to win my vote by using Mr. Hollorann from The Shining...The Story centered around a rest home where Mr. Hollorann allows for the old folks to rediscover their youth through a pleasant game of kick the can. I couldn't help but be put off due to it's annoying resemblance to Hook and Big Top Pee Wee (yes the movie where the cranky old folks eat cocktail wieners grown off a tree and revert back to their youth) Touching, heart warming and zzzzzzzzz.
Now onto the good stuff. The 3rd segment was I think the best part of the entire movie. It made me genuinely creeped out without allowing me to feel utterly hopeless by the end. The story follows Anthony, a boy who has the power to make whatever he wants to happen- happen. Pretty remarkable and standard right? Wrong. Because Anthony here wants his entire house to be a creepy cartoon-like world and has the power to remove people's mouths and turn his "Uncle" into a magician that pulls huge and scary rabbits out of hats!
From the moment Helen walks through the door and the scary family huddles around her- and Anthony takes her on a tour of the house....it just brings this horribly creepy feeling. The story and setting just felt more genuine than the rest and I kind of wish the entire movie concentrated on Anthony and his cartoon world.
Which brings me to segment 4... a panicky tale starring John Lithgow- a nervous flyer who believes he sees an alien destroying the plane's engines in a storm. The segment does a great job of making you feel like you too are trapped in a flying metal coffin- and the ending provides just the right amount of satisfaction.
Overall the Twilight Zone movie is a very entertaining bit of film. I guess I could have done without the first 2 segments- but oh well! I still adore John Landis so never you mind. The Twilight Zone has always reminded me of a more sophisticated version of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and this movie definitely holds true for that assessment. If you can't spare the time at least do yourself the favor of just watching the prologue....
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