Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I wish...

that they would put Freddy's Nightmares out on DVD. I've never seen it and was totally not cognizant of its existence at the time it was one, but I bet it's awesome. Plus, I read that one episode goes into Freddy's backstory which, despite rumors to the contrary, I am pretty sure they are never going to explore in a prequel. No one wants to see a movie about a child molester/murderer, especially not a wisecracking one. I know there are always debates about whether Freddy was actually a molester or JUST a murderer but 1. what a dumb thing to argue about, even on the Internet and 2. I think it's pretty clear that he was both. Anyway, I know I said a few posts ago that anthologies never work, but I think they work much better on TV than in a movie.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween: Resurrection

Halloween: Resurrection might be the worst movie I've ever seen. What could have been kind of a cool idea-fake Michael Myers hanging around, not knowing the real Michael Myers is there too- was just stupid. I hated stupid Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks. And the movie started with the clumsiest exposition outside of the beginning of a Babysitter's Club book. Jamie Lee is in the mental institute. One nurse asks the other who the patient is. The other nurse says, "Let me tell you about her." Cue flashbacks. UGH!! And it's not good-bad, which is excusable; it's boring, the cardinal sin for horror movies.

Poison Ivy

Back in the day, my mom put on Poison Ivy for my sister and I cause she thought it was a movie about camp. It lasted about 3 minutes, until the dumpy main character, Sylvie, (played by Sara Gilbert, Darlene from Roseanne) said "lips are supposed to be a perfect reflection of another part of a woman's anatomy." Click.

This is such a piece of trash that I'm surprised the Roseanne people didn't have more of a problem with Darlene starring in it right in the middle of their third season (a la whats-her-name from 7th Heaven posing in Maxim). An "erotic thriller" that's neither erotic nor thrilling, Ivy stars Drew Barrymore as the title character as a wrong-side-of-the-tracks girl (scholarship is code for poor) who moves in on Sylvie and her family. She kills her emphysema-ridden mom and sleeps with her gross dad (Tom Skerritt), including a scene featuring his pale, thrusting butt which may be the least sexy thing ever in life. My notes read "ew, you can see his butt."

Drew is pretty good in this, though miles away from her flowers and sunshine persona of today. I think this was her major comeback vehicle post-rehab--the only titles I recognize after it on her IMDB are the Amy Fisher Story (also 1992) and then that bit-part in Wayne's World II. And then her career seems to pick up again in 1994-5 with Bad Girls, Boys on the Side and of course, Scream.

Anyways, though not erotic nor thrilling, it was definitely entertaining, probably because of my unabashed love for badass teen girl movies (like the godawful Thirteen).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Creepshow 2

Creepshow 2: dumb, dumb, not scary. The only segment I was really interested in was The Raft, since it's based on a King story from Skeleton Crew. Though it retained the sense of dread from the book, the kids were so obnoxious that it was hard to feel sympathy when they got eaten by a giant oil slick. Especially the last guy, who touched his girlfriend's boob, then threw her to the monster and swam for his life. In fact, pretty much every character in this movie is completely unlikeable. I feel like these anthology movies never work.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

30 Days of Night

30 Days of Night was pretty much the first scary vampire movie I ever saw--and probably the only one that didn't either try to make them sexy, or turn into an action movie. Unfortunately, it suffered from way too much Josh Hartnett, who is totally unbelievable as a hero of anything. Everything that comes out of his mouth sounds dull. While the movie looks cool--the vampires are badass, and there were several awesome sequences (especially when one of them jumps on top of the car, and it's all silvery and black and flickery, and an aerial shot that pans over the whole town as the vampires wreak havoc), the awesome parts didn't add up to an awesome movie. It remained entertaining throughout, but I don't know that it will stick with me--by the end, I didn't know any of the characters names or care. It fails to make the emotional connection of the similar, but far superior, 28 Days Later.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Carrie (2002)

There's only one thing you need to know about the 2002 TV-movie remake of Carrie: IT ENDS WITH CARRIE ALIVE. On her way to Florida, driven by Sue Snell. To start a new life. Had the remake been more successful, it would have been a new life HELPING OTHER PEOPLE WITH TELEKINESIS, documented on a new TV show. I couldn't make this shit up.

Up until that point, it was actually pretty decent. Though the format of showing the events of and leading up to the prom interspersed with police interviews from the days after is actually much closer to the novel, it causes the movie to lose momentum. It also recreates a scene that was in the book, but not in the movie, of a four-year-old Carrie causing rocks to fall from the sky after she sees a teenage neighbor sunbathing topless. Though it adds some backstory, it also adds a lot of bad CGI. The new Sue Snell has an arrogant quality that is totally absent from her portrayal in either the book or the movie. Angela Bettis, also seen as a total misfit in May, was pretty decent as the title character, though she lacked the ethereal quality of Sissy Spacek when she finally gets dressed to go to the prom. Emilie de Ravin is okay as mean-girl Chris Hargensen, although I have no idea why they rewrote the story to make her have second thoughts at the end.

I guess since its a TV movie, this "reimagining of Carrie for a new generation" was interesting enough, but lacked the sheer nastiness and horror of the 70s original. The scenes with the crazy mother (played here by Patricia Clarkson) were way toned-down, though the scene where Chris and her cronies killed the pig is much longer, and much more harrowing. Also, it seems like there is a lot more useless exposition, as if the movie was geared toward teen girls who wouldn't otherwise understand the themes. The prom scene is still fairly shocking, though the moments leading up to the fated drop of the bucket lack the dreamlike feel of the original. Also missing is perhaps the most iconic moment from the original, the hand out of the grave at the end. Though I guess it wouldn't scare anyone now.

But like I said, all you really need to know is that this movie was originally conceived as a pilot for a TV series in which Carrie moves to Florida and helps others with telekinesis. Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Midnight Movies

For anyone in NJ, the Cinemark in the White Horse Pike in Somerdale is showing a midnight movie once a month. Last weekend we saw The Goonies, and next month, on October 26, they are showing Friday the 13th. The movies are preceded with old-school trailers, and the management takes requests for future showings.

The Last Broadcast

I first heard about The Last Broadcast shortly after The Blair Witch Project came out. The story, about four guys that go looking for the Jersey Devil and go missing, until just one comes back and is charged with the murder of the others, was often called a low(er) budget ripoff of the latter, though it was actually made first. I was excited to see a movie about the Pine Barrens, but, since it was so hard to find (probably because it cause only $1,000 to make), I couldn't find it for rent until now.

It took me three weeks to watch this from start to finish. My enthusiasm was immediately dampened when I opened the envelope and found the cheesiest disc image ever: a cartoony looking blue devil rising up over the trees, superimposed by the title in bloody letters.

In execution, the film is actually not all that similar to the Blair Witch Project. For a good hour, it's more of a courtroom drama, as various players are interviewed about the trial of Jim Suerd, accused of murdering his friends who didn't come back from the woods. It's extremely repetitive and very boring. Also, the fact that a major plot point relies on Suerd's use of Internet Relay Chat immediately dates the movie.

The footage deemed to be "the last broadcast" from the group isn't actually shown until 2/3 of the way through, and is supplemented with commentary from the narrator throughout. It's basically a grainy videotape that periodically slows down, the audio track replaced with what sounds like the voice of Satan (though you can't hear what he's saying). The filmmakers could have done with a big dose of the "Show, don't tell" maxim. Also, it's one of those movies where you can tell they just got a bunch of their friends, cause all the characters are white guys in their 30s and none of them can act. The ending, meant to be shocking, was stupid and nonsensical.

After the huge success of the Blair Witch Project, there was an incredible backlash. Though I haven't seen it since it was in the theater, and didn't think it was all that scary, I do remember that the final scene, with the girl going down the steps and finding her friends all facing the wall, gave me chills. That's more than I can say for anything in The Last Broadcast.