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Silent Hill (2006)
Where's the chainsaw?
OK... I am a 34 year old and I love the Silent Hill video game series. Each one had its own unique level of creepiness and genuine scares. Yet, each one had the continuous, fun similar storyline. So when the movie came out, I was pretty amped. Oh, the disappointment! First, I feel sorry for anyone who has never played a game in the series- they should be as lost as the souls in this movie. Second, where was the senseless violence on the freak shows? Where were the "inside out dogs" and the "winged harpies?" I spent hours running around in fog killing these things, stomping them into messy spots on the roads, yet the things that made this series so fun were absent.
Now that I vented my frustration- I'll calm down and say it's not that bad of a movie. There were some great spooky, disturbing scenes (esp. the child ghosts/demons). And the story took on a unique twist by actually trying to explain the entire game series. Not a bad idea and they found some way to pull it off. I guess I sound like I have two different takes on this film and I do. If you loved the game, you should like the movie. If you've never played the game, save your money- or better yet, go pick up a used copy of the game and get a real scare.
The Triangle (2005)
"The Triangle" was a six hour joy ride. I do not profess to be a fan of all of the SciFi Channel's programming (I recognize some great shows- Stargate SG-1 and Galactica) but the majority of "movies" shown on SciFi are predictable bounty hunting, government conspiracy, prehistoric super-animal chomp-fest. Very formulaic. Don't get me wrong, every other Saturday or so, SciFi shows a marathon of classic big screen films, and I'm generally in attendance. "The Triangle" uses a blend of clever writing, great acting, and manages to prey upon the mass interest of a phenomenon. The first two hours sets a tone that builds a surprisingly high level of suspense. The next two hours begins to mingle all that science stuff I'll never care to understand- but the acting carries it through (esp. Lou Diamond Phillips and Eric Stoltz). The finale seemed to mix that perfect amount of intellectual head scratching and great writing. I just hope folks give this mini-series a chance- it's well worth the time.
Open Water (2003)
Subtle suspense (SPOILERS)
I think the main reason I liked this film was that nothing about the film jumped out and grabbed you. I loved the fact the tension remained intact from the instant the couple surfaced until the end. No, the sharks were not constantly attacking in vengeful, gigantic chomps (as in Jaws- which by the way is my all time favorite film), the sudden quick nudges and nibbles were ample action. The other main fear addressed- being stranded in the ocean- was overwhelming. I have personally experienced this and I was only about a mile away from a shore. That part of the film alone was nerve racking. Underneath this subtle tour de force was somewhat of a tender love story (which I usually despise). But this one was tasteful. And quiet. And I don't think the couple was married. Notice the names on the Diver's Registration cards, Watkins and Kintner. Notice any similarities to JAWS? The first two victims' last names? A bit of "post" shadowing. I know this film is not for everyone, but I personally think it was fantastic. If you are the least bit curious- check it out...
Rush in Rio (2003)
The Power of Three
"Rush in Rio" is, no doubt, one of the most exciting DVDs I have purchased. Although I am a biased Rush fan of almost 20 years, I found this performance to be flawless. The music is heavy and sharp (which sounds great on any surround sound system), the band is energetic, the crowd has a constant smile... it's like they were able to capture every concert I've been to. For any Rush fan, this DVD is a must; if anything, just to see the "Boys in Brazil" documentary (which reveals the travels of this rather isolated, personal band). For any non-Rush fan, this DVD is an enjoyable concert. Rush fans know the talent of these three Canadians. We have rather firmly stood by them for years. I've shown this DVD (or portions of it, anyway) to those who have never heard of Rush, or those who think Rush is less than good because they do not appeal to the pessimistic masses of rock (i.e., sex, drugs, and a drunken frenzy). The bottom line is this DVD is worth every penny and more than worth the time to view it.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Not too shabby
I must admit this remake of the Classic was not too shabby. This film did not quite capture the horrific brutality Tobe Hooper did. But it did add a bit of ferocity... which is ALWAYS sweet for a horror movie. I will add more when others have a chance to check it out. I gave it a 9 out of 10. That's mainly because it was one of the more effective horror films in a while. (Oh, and by the way, speaking of horror remakes, they did show a trailer for "Dawn of the Dead." Cool.)
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Freddy Vs. Jason=Dracula Vs. Frankenstein
I must admit my review is biased because I love horror films. All in all, the film was pretty entertaining. Although this has been done before with the 1930 monsters (in very similar fashion), the special effects and general, relative longevity of the current creeps made this one a good deal better. The film delivered only a few "spooky" moments (i.e., a few dream sequences), but made up for it by letting the two heavyweights slug it out for a solid fifteen to twenty minutes. The rest of the supporting cast was annoying. There was the typical, gratuitous sex stuff, drug use, and teens behaving badly. But Ken Kirzinger's hulking, silent performance and Robert Englund's surprisingly energetic role are enough to make this film worth seeing for any horror fan. If you don't expect much, you will like the movie. If you are expecting something a little more in depth and creative, I think 28 Days is still playing in some places.... And I don't care what anyone says- Mike Myers still rules!!!