Laughter and loud groans filled the Stiles dining hall as Josh Brolin growled “I’m gonna eat your brains and gain your knowledge,” to the delight of students gathered around the large movie screen.
The film was “Planet Terror” by director Robert Rodriguez and the venue was Stiles Silver Screen, which offers free movie screenings at 8 p.m. on alternate Thursday nights. Reinvigorated this semester by new student leadership, Stiles Silver Screen promises an interesting mix of films and good company with other movie lovers, whether as a kickoff to the evening or further procrastination from homework.
An homage to the so-bad-they’re-good B-list movies of the 1970s, last week’s feature “Planet Terror” is 105 minutes of unadulterated cheese and gore, including zombies and a one-legged go-go dancer. Originally shown alongside Quentin Tarantino’s film “Deathproof” as part of the double-feature movie anthology “Grindhouse,” “Terror” stands on its own just fine. No one could really miss Tarantino for long anyway, considering he makes his very own cameo right in the middle of the movie.
Students said they appreciated the entertainment value of the movie, which enjoys a fan base that border on a cult following.
“It was amazing,” Naomi Grunditz ’11 said enthusiastically of the film. “It was full of over-the-top violence.”
Cristian Oncescu ’09, who recently took charge of organizing Stiles Silver Screen Thursdays, said that the films shown last year by George Kalogeropoulos ’10 were very different than the ones he wants to screen this time around. While he admits that the film choices are based purely on his own interests, he hopes they’re movies most people would want to come out to watch.
“I thought tonight’s showing was really good,” Oncescu said of last Thursday’s screening. “A lot more people came than the first time.”
While it was clear audience members were all “Grindhouse” film enthusiasts, “Planet Terror” did leave some eager for the next Stiles Silver Screen movie.
“I always wanted to see ‘Grindhouse’ and since it’s a free showing I went, but I think I’m going to go to the next one, too,” Alice Song ’11 said.
Next Thursday’s film, “Paris, Je t’aime,” encompasses 18 shorts, each with a different director. Though the shorts are roughly only five minutes in length, each one portrays a love story in some form and takes place in one of the unique neighborhoods of Paris. The stories of love in the City of Light range from recounting a relationship between a vampire and a human to the first romantic meeting of two men speaking very different languages. The Coen brothers’ short, featuring Steve Buscemi as an American tourist stuck in an uncomfortable situation on the Metro, provides a few laughs and furthers the film’s point that Paris is a city capable of bringing out an immeasurable spectrum of emotion.
Ultimately, “Paris, Je t’aime” is an ode to the wonderful mysteriousness of the city itself and all the delightful — and disheartening — human experiences that occur within it. If you love films about love or even Paris itself, don’t miss this screening.
On November 29, YSAC and Stiles Silver Screen will be screening “Transformers,” by director Michael Bay. The film stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager who gets much more than he expects from the car he lusts for and finally buys. The car turns out to be a robot from another planet in disguise, dragging Sam into an ancient battle between two robot groups, the Autobots and the Evil Decepticons. Both groups desire a cube called the “Allspark,” which contains the Transformer life-source, and their battle for the cube must take place on Earth because, oddly, that’s exactly where the cube ended up.
In between Sam’s involvement with the aliens, he also attempts to woo the most attractive girl in the 11th grade, Mikaela, played by Megan Fox. The human subplots are mostly unnecessary and seem to be nothing more than time fillers until the transformers enter the frame again. This is a film all about action and spectacle, not substance and story line. The childhood fan of transformers (and other Hasbro toys) or the action lover might want to see it for the excellent special effects and nonstop eye candy. It’s a guaranteed fun time if you’re willing to be satisfied with nothing more than what meets the eye.
Whether you like your movies full of gore, love, or action, Stiles Silver Screen promises to play something that will cater to your tastes. It’s only a matter of braving that cold fall air and making your way over to the Stiles dining room on a Thursday night.