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Monday, February 25, 2013

A Public Apology To Kevin Costner

     Dammit!  Dammit all to hell!  I can't stand Kevin Costner.  Well . . . I couldn't stand Kevin Costner.  It now pains me deeply that I feel obliged to publicly recant.  After seeing Costner do most of the heavy lifting in two genre movies that I thoroughly enjoyed (2007's Mr. Brooks being the first), I believe I need to grudgingly acknowledge him as a friend of the genre.  I'm sorry, Kevin.  I won't wait so long to watch the next one.

     I dimly recall reading several positive notices for The New Daughter (2009) not long after it hit home video.  Mr. Brooks was still fresh in my mind at the time (which was really a double whammy for me since I absolutely loathe Dane Cook), and I remember making a mental note to myself to check it out.  Then that mental note promptly crawled off to die, alone and lonely, in the same darkened chamber of my mind in which all of my mental notes perish.

     Cut to tonight, and I find myself alone at home for the evening thinking I'd like to watch a movie, but not really anything for which I had high expectations.  As I sometimes do in this circumstance, I turned on Netflix streaming and flipped to the Horror category with a grim determination to watch the first movie I came to that I hadn't seen and about which I had even the mildest curiosity.  I tend to wait for the "ideal circumstance" to watch movies that I've really been jonesing for, and consequently I actually don't watch as many random new(ish) movies as I feel that I should.  I've always got a backlog of movies I'm actually anxious to see stacked up when the "ideal circumstance" crops up, so the movies I'm only mildly curious about get short shrift.  I've got to sift through those every once in awhile, though, because that's where the pleasant surprises reside.

Kevin Costner in The New Daughter (2009)
"Just watch it.  I ain't playin', man."
     Now don't get me wrong - The New Daughter is far from perfect.  It has a lot of those purely expository characters that only exist in horror movies, it's about fifteen minutes too long, and it has at least two or three dangling plot threads that go nowhere.  It's capsulization on Netflix describes it as being about a man who "faces a nightmare when his daughter starts acting strange."  Doesn't sound too promising, does it?  Well, I'm going to give Netflix a pass this time, because to say much more would ruin the movie.  That capsulization is accurate, and sometimes it's nice to just see a movie cold.  What does that mean to you, dear reader?  It means this is another of those patented Dog Farm non-reviews that pretty much boils down to "Just watch it.  You can thank me later."

     What I can tell you is this - Costner's performance, in particular, sells the story.  I think maybe the pending introduction of a baby into my life has activated my vestigial ovaries, but I've been especially weepy lately, especially where plotlines involving parent/child relations are concerned.  The slow burn narrative, the ultimate inevitability of the resolution, and Costner's commendably subdued and nuanced performance as a father suddenly forced to tackle the parenting alone left me experiencing a peculiar pulse pounding crying jag in the movie's final moments.  As my buddy Bob over at Candy-Coated Razor Blades is fond of saying, "Your mileage may vary."  I'm undoubtedly a little sensitive these days, but finding myself so emotionally invested in The New Daughter by its conclusion was definitely one of those pleasant surprises I mentioned earlier.

     Dane Cook can still suck it, though.

                                                                                        *

     On an entirely unrelated note, I'd like to take to take this opportunity to thank JD at Blood Sucking Geek for masterminding the just completed Ultimate Gore-A-Thon.  I appreciated the opportunity to work with JD and all of the rest of great sites that participated.  If people do, indeed, judge you by the company you keep, then you folks made me look hellaciously good.  Links to all of the most recent posts on those great sites will maintain residence in the sideboard, and for now I'll simply refer to them collectively as Friends Of The Farm.  Check 'em out, subscribe, like 'em on Facebook, and Tweet them to all of your friends.  Thanks, all, for allowing me to participate.



Posted by Brandon Early

1 comment:

initforthekills.com said...

I liked Mr. Brooks a lot, and I think that Costner works better when he's working with a real heavy hitter like William Hurt. And The New Daughter was an okay movie too, heck, if it was made in the 70s and had bad dubbing and scratches all over the print, people would be eating it up and calling it "obscure" and excusing the weak story points, but it's a recent movie (and it's not cool to like Kevin Costner). So yeah, I agree with this post!