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Poor Take on the Original Classic
I went into the theater with very few expectations except for one: This new Halloween movie was going to have great atmosphere and chills. I was confident it would be one scary movie and I was really looking forward to it.
The first ten minutes go by and I'm laughing quite a bit. I thought to myself, is this supposed to be a comedy? Am I in the wrong theater? I figure maybe Rob Zombie made it funny at first as an odd way to hook the audience.
Suffice to say, I'm still waiting to be scared. This movie had no atmosphere and did not scare me in the least. Sure, some of the killings were gross but none were scary. And where was the 1970's style horror atmosphere? I thought Rob Zombie loved 1970's style horror movie making (as do I). Halloween is 1970's horror served up on a silver platter.
This isn't a bad movie overall, very average if you ask me, but it is a less than stellar Halloween remake or re-imagining. It just doesn't work as a different take on Halloween. It's almost as if Rob Zombie took an old story he created about a kid with a totally messed up family life who becomes a serial killer and said, "Hey. I'll just make this kid Michael Myers." His "explanation" of Michael Myers, while very well acted especially by the little boy, just didn't ring true to me. The boy becomes a serial killer because of a bad family life? Cliché and uninspiring to say the least. The footage of him in the asylum was even worse. Awful and boring are words I would use to describe the asylum footage. And the writing and acting for the Dr. Loomis character was laughably poor. It got to the point where I laughed every time he was in a scene.
*** Spoiler*** And the ending. The endearing quality of the original 1978 film is the ending. The imagery of seeing Dr. Loomis looking out the window at the spot where The Shape should be is the most compelling and powerful portion of the film. I literally was so scared I couldn't even move when I saw the original the first time. Fantastic imagery and a fantastic ending to the movie.
Rob Zombie chose to include the silly "Laurie Strode is my sister" add-on angle from Halloween II but chose an ending that is neither clever nor endearing. It's your average bloody girl somehow is lucky enough to survive and kill the knocked out bad guy. Folks, that's not what the original Halloween is all about.
I guess I assumed wrongly that Rob Zombie understood what Halloween was about originally. Or, maybe, he didn't have complete creative control as claimed. Either way, what I saw was a decent horror movie but a very poor take on the original Halloween.
An Interesting Tale
Let me start off by saying I did see 'The Ring' a few years before I watched Ringu so I knew quite a bit about the movie from the get go. Also, subtitles are not my favorite thing as I don't see many movies with them and they were a bit of a distraction for me. Some of them were simply laughable as something was lost in the translation.
Overall, I enjoyed this film quite a bit. I was amazed at how closely 'The Ring' followed Ringu, which was not nearly as frightening as The Ring. The best word I can think of to describe it is creepy, especially the last third or so. The acting is decent and the story-line is alright, although certainly not the greatest story ever told.
The one thing which bothered me about the movie was the ringing phone, or, to put it more accurately, lack of a ringing phone. After the main character watches the tape, the phone rings right away to signal her pending doom in one week. She then shows it to her ex-husband at her home. After he watches it, the phone never rings. I was left thinking, 'Hmmm. It didn't work for him.' But, later, he says to his ex-wife, 'I only have one more day than you,' meaning the phone must have rang but they just didn't show it. I found that very odd. Same thing occurs after their little boy watches it. The phone does not ring but we are led to believe the boy is also in danger.
Good movie and my first taste of Japanese horror outside of Godzilla (not really horror I know). I did enjoy "The Ring" more but this story interests me enough to where I would definitely like to see the next Japanese Ringu movie if I can get my hands on it.
What Happened Was... (1994)
I watched this movie the other night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, you must be in the proper mood to enjoy a movie such as this. This movie centers around 2 lonely characters, man and woman, on a 'first' date at the woman's apartment. This movie is not too funny nor is it fast paced. The movie simply tries to flesh out each person's character for 90 minutes. This movie also led to some candid discussion between my fiancé and I, especially about the man's 'troubles' at the end of the film. We also discussed if there would be a 'second' date between them. The movie is steeped in realism and is shot very well. Worth a look if you're in the proper mood for a slow but interesting, character development story. 6 out of 10.
Ghost World (2001)
Odd tale of negativity
I watched this movie with my girlfriend and we both had the same reaction at the end. "What was that?" was pretty much our reaction.
This movie isn't awful because it is well acted and funny at times, Enid's father is hilarious, but it just doesn't go anywhere. The main character in the movie, Thora Birch, plays a recent high school graduate who has this "I'm so much better than everybody else" attitude. Everything she sees around her she considers "sucky" in some way. However, she ends up befriending a lonely record collector and this is when the story began to get interesting. I won't go into spoiler details but she pretty much ruins Seymour's chance at happiness because she becomes jealous when Seymour begins to see and like a woman Enid pleaded with him to meet originally. She is a twisted little girl.
I was thinking about the title too. I believe the title is not about her living in a "ghost world" per se, it is the opposite. She is actually the one living as a ghost in the world. She goes thru life like a ghost. Her attitude ostracizes her from her best girlfriend and her friend Seymour whom she ends up misleading into a life of misery when he was so close to finding true happiness. She went thru life, not as a person with hopes and dreams, but as a ghost, dead inside and raining on everyone's parade. And what does she do at the end? She rides off into the sunset as a ghost would...unseen, without a sound and with nobody to really care. She actually tells Seymour this is her fantasy earlier in the picture. An odd tale about what can happen if you poison your friendships and life with negative attitudes, lies, and jealousy.
Wrong Turn (2003)
Could have and should have been much, much more
Wrong Turn' could have been so much better. It turned out to be just an average horror film that wasn't very scary, not to mention the plot rip-off of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was actually a little comical to see 3 retarded, inbred hillbillies killing people and keeping a few of their body parts for reasons never revealed in the movie. This film also didn't have any charisma of it's own. It was simply a twist of TCM.
However, it COULD have been so much more. The first part of the film, with the 2 rock climbers, should have really set the tone of the movie. Instead, it was a huge disappointment. Without getting into specifics, this portion of the film could have been horrifying but took the easy way out with killings off screen that had no scare or shock value whatsoever. Then, unbelievably, they spell out who the killers are immediately via press clippings during the opening credits. I don't get it. Very poorly conceived way of telling a horror story.
If you ignore the obvious TCM aspects and simply watch the movie, it is watchable and somewhat enjoyable but highly predictable. I knew the outcome 10 minutes into the movie, including who would get killed and in what order. I will give the director credit though for having three highly attractive women in the movie, especially the short-haired redhead.
The ending also leaves a lot to be desired. These killers are simply brutal and kill their victims on the spot. However, they simply tie up the final woman instead of killing her in the woods. Why? Very strange. Anyway, I give the movie 4 out of 10 stars. But only 1 star for horror. This movie is just not scary.
Sidewalks of New York (2001)
"I'm the biggest dog there is but even I don't mess around with married women. It's bad karma, kid."
This is a very funny movie. The subject matter is near and dear to everyone's heart: Dating and relationships, marital or otherwise. The story centers around 6 main characters that are made to look like they're just regular people on the streets of New York. Each one is `interviewed' on the street about topics ranging from sex, dating and relationships. Then we see what each person's dating or marital life is like. Each of the 6 people's lives are intertwined somehow throughout the movie. A well done, well acted cross-section of the 6 people's love lives. Also, look for Dennis Farina's character. This guy had me rolling on the floor laughing; everything he said and did was funny to me. An enjoyable hour and a half. Highly recommended.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Story line very, very bad
*** SPOILERS *** I've enjoyed many of the Halloween movies, especially the first one. I saw H20 back when it came out and thought it was a good way to end the series. H20 satisfied the following...Michael Myers met his doom. An ending which completely wraps up the saga with Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Myers.
Now comes this film which, literally, lies to the viewer. There is really no other way to put it. To say Michael Myers was not killed at the end of H20, that it was somehow another man who survived being pinned against a tree at high speed, is tantamount to the most foolish storyline I can imagine. Not so much because it is ridiculous but because it's a complete lie. The film was ruined for me right there. I couldn't believe the writers actually expected the audience to believe such a thing. A total insult the audience's intelligence.
The rest of the film just never worked for me. Busta Rhymes. Man, I don't know what to say. Worst actor of the year award? And the whole reality TV angle with all the Myer props in the house, which had nothing to do with Michael Myer's real childhood, was absurd as well. Just a bad, bad storyline.
I read an interview with John Carpenter a long time ago which stated he never wanted a single sequel made with Michael Myers. The first movie back in 1978 was it. A great open ending but the Michael Myers story was complete. Carpenter actually wanted other writers to write stories under the name "Halloween" each year with different characters and story lines each time. It is past time for that to happen.
Please.....No more Michael Myers. The man is gone...Dead in H20. Burn this installment of the Halloween series and start with a fresh story line.
This is Must See TV
I receive BBCAmerica on my Directv system and one day I turned to the channel and saw this show. I can honestly say I laughed non-stop. This show is funny, intelligent, pertinent and, most importantly, politically incorrect. Anything goes on this show and the method of story telling is unique and fun. The characters and the situations involved are so true to life.
I can't figure out why but some people compare this show to Friends in the USA. I can unequivocally say Coupling and Friends have very little in common. Watch one episode of Coupling and you will see why. Friends attempts to be a soap opera, Coupling doesn't. Friends attempts to be funny, Coupling actually is funny. Hysterically funny. Friends discusses sexual topics like a freshman in high school would. Coupling has a biting sexual wit and intelligence I've never seen before in a sitcom. The characters are adults and they act like adults.
I could go on but these few words won't do the show justice. Watch the show and find out for yourself. You won't be sorry.
Excellent Film Making
My thoughts on this movie are two-fold. First, the story and plot are only decent. The story centers around two women, Margot Kidder and Jennifer Salt. They are two very different personalities who are set up against one another for obvious reasons. Both give good performances but Kidder's character is the highlight of the film. She is sweet, sensitive, and extremely alluring but a tad off the wall. Her French Canadian accent was hard for me to decipher in the first part of the movie. I won't give away any of the plot but it is dated. The music score is good. My biggest frustration was the ending. Psychologically scary, yes, but definitely not the type of ending I was hoping for. It was a let down.
My second thoughts deal with the cinematography used by director Brian De Palma. Excellent. I loved the camera work in this movie. The use of split screen is tremendous and the ending was filmed well. I just didn't care for the ending from a story perspective. Overall, a good movie. I rated it 5 out of 10. If you enjoy psychological thrillers/horror movies, you should enjoy it. Also, Alfred Hitchcock fans should give this one a look as well.
Finally on DVD
I grew up in the 1980's. So, for me, 80's music, shows and movies are nostalgic. I think this is one reason I really love this movie. I loved it when I saw it the first time and now I own it on DVD. This movie is uplifting, charming, and has the best ending to a film I have ever seen. The music makes the whole movie work. It is almost like the movie was created to go around the music.
Jennifer Beals plays a lonely, attractive, yet scared 18-year-old woman, even though she acts much older. She is mature, intelligent, strong, and full of life. Any man, including myself, would go gaga for a woman like this. But, most importantly, she chases her dream. It is this part of the movie that I feel captures the entire film. The main character, as well as other side characters, chase their dreams even though they are all scared to death of failure. Some of them do fail but some succeed in varying degrees. They all chase what they want out of life and that is truly the message of the movie. The ending you will have to witness for yourself but every time I see it I get goose bumps. It makes me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. Excellent film. Highly recommended.