CINEJABBER: Devil’s Night in Motown

Posted by · 1:00 pm · October 30th, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here.

I’m in Detroit for the game tomorrow, so movies are somewhat out of sight, out of mind.  Somewhat.

As I drive around town, I’m reminded of some singular opportunities here for the film industry.  I don’t really know the particulars of filming in Detroit or if Hollywood really bothers.  There’s a lot of Pittsburgh filming going on these days and I imagine you get the same feel from a town like that, but kind of like Kansas City, there are unique areas here that would be unexpected gold mines for location shoots.

It’s a sad sight, though, to say the least.  Not that that’s news.  I came through four years ago, didn’t spend much time here, and got the heck out as soon as possible because “depressing” doesn’t begin to say it.  But I have a soft spot for the town.  My fiancee is from here (grew up between 7 Mile and 8 Mile — I wonder if she ever ran into Marshall Mathers on these mean streets).

And I’m slowly turning her onto football (key word: slowly).  It’s a good time to start being a hometown Lions fan — they’re going to turn the corner soon, and be something special.  Just watch.  But, well…go Redskins.

I watched “Halloween” for like the hundredth time last night.  Few films understand the language of cinema like that one.  It’s weird to call a classic like that “underrated,” but I do think few understand just how innovative it was.  Siskel & Ebert break it down in 1980 here, in a discussion as relevant today as it was 30 years ago.

If you get a chance, check out the “Inside Story” on the film, which has been airing on the Biography Channel (along with another episode for “The Silence of the Lambs”).

That’s all I’ve got.  “Paranormal Activity 2” tonight.  You know what to do — open thread.  And Happy Halloween.

[Photos: Times Union]

→ 30 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Cinejabber

30 responses so far

  • 1 10-30-2010 at 1:31 pm

    James D. said...

    A lot of analysts are picking Detroit, despite their awful record, because of how well they do against Washington. I hope it doesn’t go sour for you, though. I don’t really have any feelings toward the team, but I want to see McNabb and Shanahan redeem themselves after their unceremonious firings.

  • 2 10-30-2010 at 1:37 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m nervous. Detroit is coming off the bye and we’re banged up, so I would not be surprised. At the very least, I’m hoping for a good game. Started McNabb in fantasy so maybe we’ll get an air show.

  • 3 10-30-2010 at 1:46 pm

    Michael said...

    I freaking love Halloween (the holiday and the movie) and I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if that movie was a standalone film and never had a sequel. That ending would have been LEGENDARY, but instead it was turned into a franchise that is still repeating itself over and over to this day and has never had an installment that lived up the iconic level of the original. My other favorite slasher films from the 70’s are definitely The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Black Christmas. All three of those films definitely aged extremely well and still pack a punch that most modern films could only dream of attaining.

  • 4 10-30-2010 at 2:04 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I just rewatched Shaun of the Dead. I’m too squeamish for straight-up horror, but I can usually take it when there’s enough humour to alleviate the trauma. Gonna rewatch Zombieland this weekend too, I think.

  • 5 10-30-2010 at 2:07 pm

    Cameron said...

    Yeah most of my family is from the Kansas City area, so I’ve spent my share of summers and Christmases exploring the area and I’ve often thought it to be picturesque in ways that even California (my current POR) can’t match.
    Someone needs to make an Altman-esque single day film revolving around a barbeque cookoff

  • 6 10-30-2010 at 2:13 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    I also watched Halloween for the first time last night and thought is was pretty good. Carpenter’s direction is great, but I think the film is diminished somewhat from the amount of slasher films that have been released since then. The genre is so formulaic, that even though the film is much superior to films that have ripped it off, it still takes some of the excitement out of it.

    As for your prediction about the Lions, I have been hearing for about a decade now that the Lions are about to turn it around, and it never seems to happen. At some point, I know they are going to have to get better, but I’m going to have to see it to believe it.

  • 7 10-30-2010 at 2:13 pm

    James D. said...

    What did everyone think of the Rally To Restore Sanity? I have mixed feelings.

  • 8 10-30-2010 at 2:18 pm

    Graysmith said...


    That’s how I felt the first time I saw the Godfather movies (well, the first two). It just felt like they were so full of gangster movie clichés, but that was because I’d already seen so many films and tv shows that copied them. Makes me wish I’d been alive to see them when they first came out..

    They’re still great films, but I can’t deny that their colossal influence on their genre ended up hurting them a bit too.

  • 9 10-30-2010 at 2:53 pm

    Silencio said...

    Heck yes, I’ll rep the D for life. And I’m liking the Lions more, too.

  • 10 10-30-2010 at 2:59 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Loved that Siskel & Ebert clip on ‘Halloween’. How I miss the days of S&E.

  • 11 10-30-2010 at 3:12 pm

    The Dude said...

    Watched “The Crazies” remake last night (the first movie of a horror-filled Halloween weekend). Thought it was OK but not as deserving of the praise it had gotten. I liked that it was a cool twist on the zombie genre (they’re not zombies, they’re cold and calculating killing machines!), and there were some nicely timed “jump” scares, but it also fell into a lot of the traps/cliches of other zombie movies. Liked it, didn’t love it.

  • 12 10-30-2010 at 4:13 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    I spent a year working for a small professional theatre in southeastern Michigan, and there have been quite a few films shooting in Michigan–I believe there was some sort of tax break/incentive program for studios to shoot in the area, so there was a nice boom for a while. Gran Torino, Whip It, and a few others were all shot in Michigan. Of more recent releases, Stone was also shot in Michigan (and one of the actors I worked with at the theatre is actually featured in the film–you actually see her at some point in the trailer). I don’t know if that incentive has since run out, but I agree that there is so much potential in the area for some great location scouting.

  • 13 10-30-2010 at 4:38 pm

    Mitchell said...

    RIP George Hickenlooper(“Casino Jack”). Shocking news.

  • 14 10-30-2010 at 4:39 pm

    Mitchell said...

    P.S. Director of Casino Jack, in case you didn’t know.

  • 15 10-30-2010 at 5:30 pm

    Mr. F said...

    Finally watched Winter’s Bone, and while good, it was not quite what others made it up to be. Jennifer Lawrence is great,though.

  • 16 10-30-2010 at 6:58 pm

    Andrew M said...

    @Mr.F Yeah, I’m with you on Winters Bone. I too just saw it. The tension never really picked up like I thought it should of. I did love Jennifer Lawrence though, and I liked the story.

  • 17 10-30-2010 at 7:27 pm

    Red said...

    McNabb better watch out for Suh, he’s doing quite well this year. It should be a close and interesting game, though.

  • 18 10-30-2010 at 7:47 pm

    Chris138 said...

    Ah, I’ve got relatives that live on 10 Mile and every time I go into Detroit I can’t wait to get out. Probably my least favorite city that I’ve been to.

  • 19 10-30-2010 at 9:31 pm

    Angry Shark said...

    oh, man, someone put up Desplat’s score for Deathly Hallows part 1, and it’s fantastic. Shoo-in for score nod.

  • 20 10-30-2010 at 9:41 pm

    Anna said...

    Isn’t George Clooney going to shoot that movie with Ryan Gosling in Detriot?

  • 21 10-30-2010 at 10:46 pm

    Bing147 said...

    Ya, lots of filming in Michigan in recent years. TONS of tax incentives added. MI really pushing for the industry to come there. Not sure how much is in Detroit though…

    I JUST moved out of MI and the Lions are finally gonna play good… I did get to watch their one win so far this year the day before leaving though which is good. Now I have to find a bar to watch it in every week…

  • 22 10-31-2010 at 12:04 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    By the way, PA 2: Boo.

    Angry Shark: Why and how, when nothing has registered since Williams? Working from established themes is always tough with this branch.

  • 23 10-31-2010 at 12:11 am

    Patriotsfan said...

    Graysmith: I could see that. I saw the first two Godfather films before I was aware of the gangster cliches, so they are my two favorite films, but had I seen a bunch of other gangster films first, it may have affected my opinion of the films.

  • 24 10-31-2010 at 12:12 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    RE: Established “cliches” ruining seminal films, I get it. It hurts me with Mamet’s House of Games. You gotta push through it though and see what’s there.

  • 25 10-31-2010 at 1:07 am

    Glenn said...

    While I haven’t the foggiest idea about American football – truly the most baffling sport I’ve ever seen, don’t understand a thing about it – but I can talk about “Halloween” with a bit of knowledge. There’s a reason why I kept stumping for it in Kris’ “influential movie” poll.

    I know the horror genre cops a lot of flak – mostly from people who don’t like horror movies and think they’re all terrible despite not watching any, even the acclaimed ones – but where would it be without “Halloween”? And, for that matter, where would box office be without horror?

  • 26 10-31-2010 at 7:01 am

    Loyal said...

    I finally saw The Social Network yesterday. I thought the film was very well made but I couldn’t for the life of me get interested in the story. The birth of Facebook and the characters involved just doesn’t interest me.

    The Social Network rounds out Fincher’s Top 5, nothing more.

  • 27 10-31-2010 at 8:28 am

    Lisa said...

    Don’t usually comment, but just curious if anyone else read Sasha Stone’s strange passive-aggressive attack on Guy for basically having a different opinion than her about 127 Hours. I probably shouldn’t bring it up since Guy defended himself well enough on Awards Daily, but I thought that was out of line.

  • 28 10-31-2010 at 11:18 am

    Speaking English said...

    STRANGE passive-aggressive attack? Might want to change that to “disturbingly normal.”

  • 29 10-31-2010 at 11:48 am

    James D. said...

    Yeah, Stone has a fascist streak when people don’t like the same films she does. It is pretty regular.

  • 30 10-31-2010 at 2:12 pm

    Red said...

    1, 2, better watch out for Suh…