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Zombie drives the franchise... down.
Nearly thirty years have followed since director John Carpenter unleashed his horror classic Halloween to audiences everywhere. In those three decades, the film has become a franchise spawning sequels, T-shirts, conventions, coffee mugs, action figures, and of course, a Rob Zombie remake. While Busta Rhymes and his pseudo-ninja antics is clearly not a highlight of the Halloween saga, it's not to say the 2007 remake is any more glorious.
What new moviegoers will find this weekend is not a new vision of the film Halloween, but an adrenaline bastard child of it's former self, unsure of what it wants to be, and insistent on going for the jugular. Mind you, by the end of the film your neck will be swollen.
The story is much the same as it's always been. Young boy murders his sister (in this case his immediate family and some loose change) and is sent to a mental institution, where he breaks out fifteen years later on Halloween. As simple of a premise, director/musician/Ed Wood prototype Rob Zombie makes an educated guess and delves deep into the mystique and macabre that is, Michael Myers.
Unfortunately what pans out is a self professed Americana lifestyle, where the normal consist of crude variations of the former cast list of The Devils Rejects (another Zombie film). Zombie attempts at realism by darkening what was a typical nuclear family but falls flat. Instead, the Myers mythos becomes a staple cliché and spoon feeds the audience the answer to why Myers is a psychopath; whereas Carpenter and co-writer Debra Hill carved evil out of left field, leaving reasons unknown.
Dialogue, especially amongst the teenagers in the second half of the film, is both crude and obnoxious, a monotonous drivel of promiscuous sexuality that should be insulting to teenage girls everywhere. While Hill shaped teenagers Laurie Strode, Annie Brackett, and Lynda van der Klok from past recollections of her former youth, Zombie seems to write the dialogue from five minutes of a reality television blooper reel. William Forsythe's colorful lines of dialogue come to mind as a prime example of the over the top writing Zombie employs, referring to sister Judith's rear as a "fine dumper." Even the presence of Malcolm McDowell, filling the footsteps for the late Donald Pleasance, can't bring the dead weight script to life. His lines fall flat and by the end of the film, the Dr. Sam Loomis he portrays is neither heroic nor memorable. The same must be said for heroine Laurie Strode, played by Scout Taylor-Compton, who nails the look but much like McDowell, has no source material to work with. Unsurprisingly, the only fair development in the cast is given to Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon, who portrays Michael's mother, Deborah Myers.
Zombie's vision lacks atmosphere and depth, something prevalent in the original that gave its signature look. Gone is the mystery and the off the cuff imagery that followed the moviegoers home. Instead, the characters are slaughtered and butchered straight out of a Mortal Kombat game which after an hour becomes monotonous. If that element of a horror movie is nonexistent then there are problems that lie far deeper than a script.
By the time the film concludes after its' seventeenth climax, after the credits have hit the screen, and after the score drones (which is brilliantly revitalized by Tyler Bates), one should be tired, bored, and desensitized. Clocking in at just under two hours, Halloween feels like a long, overblown magic show where the magician reveals all its secrets before the act is even played out.
Why pay for that?
I could safely say this is one of the better and more original films to have surfaced within the last few years...
Exceptional...what an understatement that is.
Joseph Gordon Levitt becomes essential the next Ash, the next Bogart. Well, I wouldn't go that far, but maybe?
If you love film noir, if you love a great mystery, and if you want something that is refreshing, this is totally it.
I hated the director's previous film, "May", and found this to be such a step forward.
Men at Work (1990)
Men At Work: Midnight Classic
The fact that this is a memorable movie, meaning I still remember it, says a lot. The fact that this takes one of Hollywood's greatest actors' sons and makes them garbage men, even more daring. The fact that Keith David is in it, is even more accommodating.
Men At Work is a comedy classic.
You're probably ready to shoot me with a gun marked common sense, but no, this is really something else. Men At Work is the last in a long line of midnight movies that were released heavily in the 80's(i.e. Weird Science, Little Monsters, etc.) The formula of taking one situation and going over the top with everything, on an extravagant night when everyone else is asleep is a midnight movie. This just happens to involve toxic waste, which must have been a big deal in the eighties, because now, it's only packed with action figures.
Anyway, it's a classic and stands out because it's just fun. The directing by Estevez isn't bad and it's also got some funny situations. The acting is what it's supposed to be, low key, but fun.
Just imagine Double Dragon, but as garbage men.