Culture » Film



The Haunting of Molly Hartley (PG-13)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

There seem to be two factions of mainstream, theatrically released horror films today: the super-brutal "torture porn" genre, as exemplified in films like Hostel, and the PG-13 teen flicks that substitute pretty faces for scares and recycled plots for originality. The Haunting of Molly Hartley, directed by Mickey Liddell, is an abysmally dreadful example of the latter. Honestly, I'm surprised that this wasn't the pilot for a CW TV show. Pretty teen Molly (Haley Bennett) finds out that on her 18th birthday, she becomes an emissary of evil due to a trade her parents made when she was a baby. While the pro-evil ending comes out of nowhere, the first 88 minutes are paint-by-numbers teen horror, complete with the requisite good-looking guy played by Chace Crawford. Molly won't Haunt anything; it'll be rightfully forgotten by cinematic history. Louis Fowler


Hell on Wheels (NR)


I think the extremely entertaining documentary Hell on Wheels from director Bob Ray may do more harm than good to modern-day roller derby at least for me. Remember when you were a kid and believed that WWF wrestling was real, only to have your innocence shattered when you learned it was scripted? That's the same thing that happens here: Roller derby isn't highlighted as the violent sport of Amazon queens, but instead as a pre-written "safety first" theater piece ripe with behind-the-scenes gossip and backstabbing. No one really comes off clean, and maybe that's what makes the doc so appealing. It tears away the alternative veneer and Suicide Girl sheen given to roller derby, turning it inside out and showing that it's just as crooked and clueless as any male-dominated pro sport. I'll never believe in anything ever again. Louis Fowler


Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season (NR)

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Cable channel AMC already has me sold on the series Mad Men, which I bought sight unseen, so I figured I would try the highly acclaimed Breaking Bad as well. And, I've gotta say, AMC is two for two. Malcolm in the Middle dad Bryan Cranston stars as a chemistry teacher who not only has a pregnant wife and a kid with cerebral palsy, but has just learned he's got terminal lung cancer. So, what's the first thing he does? Write a bucket list? Nope. Instead, he decides to start manufacturing meth to make some dollars to stash away for his family. As you might guess, things don't go well when other drug dealers want in on the action. Very funny, extremely well-scripted, nicely acted and, of course, eminently edgy, Breaking Bad is one of the best shows you're not watching. Louis Fowler

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