Hereafter (2010) -vs- The Sixth Sense (1999)

October 23, 2010 Mark Sanchez

I don’t think about dying as often as, say, Woody Allen, but I think about it often enough. Mostly I think I am not in favor of it. On the other hand, considering the differences of opinion about what happens after this part of life is over, maybe the Big Black Void would be okay.

Our two films both have considerably different takes on the afterlife. To say the least. But, like all films in this genre, it’s not what they’re saying about what comes next that’s the big deal, it’s what they’re saying about the here and now.

Clint Eastwood’s new movie, Hereafter, ventures through that thin membrane separating the living from the dead. Director M. Night Shyamalan staked out a notable career in this territory, most notably with 1999’s well regarded The Sixth Sense. That’s our Smackdown: If dead people can communicate with us, what are they saying about these movies? […]

Life As We Know It (2010) -vs- thirtysomething (1987-1991)

October 5, 2010 Sherry Coben

Death of a loved one, friend or family, is a life-altering event; the grief and loss color everything for a while. Even when it seems that the worst of the grief has subsided, it still comes in waves for a while as we struggle to maintain our equilibrium and return to life as we knew it before loss. We live our day to day in a sort of agreeable coma, at least slightly convinced, temporarily comforted by the cozy lie that we are immortal, that those we love will never leave us. We know we are lying to ourselves, but while we may try to live consciously, to know the end will come, I think we mostly pretend otherwise. This is part of the reason that sudden and accidental deaths rattle us to the very core. […]

The Social Network (2010) -vs- You Again (2010)

October 2, 2010 Sherry Coben

Some films arrive with a fanfare of critical acclaim and a flurry of publicity and positive buzz. Since studio PR machines work overtime, such spin hardly guarantees greatness. Pedigree helps considerably; Aaron Sorkin, in spite of all his personal demons and occasional misfires, remains a critical darling, the smartest and cleverest fellow in just about any room. Director David Fincher hasn’t failed big yet either; critics are disposed to like whatever he delivers them, and so The Social Network opens with a golden stamp of near-universal pre-approval. […]