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Monday, August 30, 2010

Movie Review - A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

So, I’m thinking remakes right now and it got me thinking about “A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)”. I have to admit, I was excited to see this one, not much into remakes but I was curious. Well, within the first 20 minutes, I regretted watching this flick. I decided to follow through to see if it got better or worse. I did make it through to the end clenching my teeth. It was worse than I anticipated. The original 1984 version was perfect and didn’t need a ‘reboot’.

In most cases remakes tend to ‘borrow’ elements from the original but this movie stole scenes directly from the original concept. Now, the story line did sway from the original 1984 movie and it definitely was unique but the set up was too sloppy. The look and feel of this movie was not scary at all; it had some cheap thrills here and there but was not even close to the same caliber that the 1984 movie left us craving for more. The “Halloween” (2007) remake was better in this regard and was a true ‘reboot’ of the franchise.

The acting overall was so-so, nothing special. The usual you would expect from teens that are self absorbed these days. It’s funny how the times have changed and it’s evident with the use of computers-internet and cell phones as play into the picture. The only performance worthy was that of Jackie Earle Haley (Freddy Krueger). He made Freddy his own. If I could compare his performance though, I would say it was like watching Val Kilmer acting out Batman. So well, that might be better than George Clooney it’s not even close to Michael Keaton –if you know what I mean. The costume design was the same but the make up effects on Freddy’s face wasn’t ‘scary’ looking. To put it plainly, for such a main character –he was dull.

I would not recommend viewing this movie; it would be a waste of time. I would however recommend watching the sequel to see if they resolved their mistakes. Remakes mean that it has potential to suck the minute it hits the theatres but it doesn’t always have to be this way. I did keep an open mind and was raped, so I rate this movie 3/10. I’m very disappointed that it lacked on so many levels and should I have paid to go to the theatre, I would have demanded for my money back!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Movie Review - The Crazies (1973)

I was doing a bit of research, going through a list of movies to see made by my favorite director; George A. Romero and came across this flick; “The Crazies” (1973). I was really prompted to view this because there was a remake released February 2010. I never knew this movie existed. In any case I thought I would view the original version to compare to the new version. (Look for my review in the coming weeks)

The story involves the military control of a small town due to some contagion virus that gets loose. The airborne virus seems to cause insanity and in some cases makes residents do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. It seems to me that this film could be considered a comment on the military and how they value human life. The movie explores chemical warfare and its effects of fear with how people will do anything to survive. This film is slightly more realistic compared to zombie themes but is very thought provoking.

The actors are all unknown but they did fantastic job acting. The camera work and dialogue was definitely Romero. This movie lacked gore but it had a few clever killing scenes. I truly thought this was going to be a zombie action flick before viewing but it wasn’t bad for what it was. All in all, this movie had potential to be greater. I’m sure back in 1973 it may have been fearful to watch but lack by today’s horror standards. Now, you have to keep in mind the time for which it was released, the low budget and of course it is one of the early works of George A. Romero. I won’t rate this film, it just wouldn’t be fair but I will recommend viewing it.

*I wonder what the new version can offer…

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Movie Review - Pandorum (2009)

So, I was looking through my collection of movies to watch, torn between a horror remake and what looks like a science fiction flick. I won’t lie; I’m more swayed with science fiction and in went the movie “Pandorum” (2009).

Although this flick is considered sci-fi or at least labeled, it could also be listed as horror-psychological thriller. I was pleasantly surprised what I saw.

The movie takes place in the future aboard a space transport ship. Apparently there are a few thousand on the way to colonize a distant planet. The story opens with two surviving members waking from their sleep pod only to find no power and no crew. They soon discover that they are not alone and to make matters worse, the power generator is dying.

In trying save the ship they encounter cannibalistic humanoid creatures roaming the ship. If this doesn’t sound bad, add ‘pandorum’ a condition known to make people go insane from deep space travel. I won’t give away the ending but let’s just say it ends happy.

The main character is Lieutenant Payton played by Dennis Quaid. I’m not a fan of his work but he did rather well compared to previous films. The other main character was Corporal Bower played by Ben Foster. He was in films like '3:10 to Yuma' or '30 days of Night'. I can’t remember what his performance was like but he held his own in this one.

The set and scenes were fantastic, a lot of detail. You knew you were on a ship and it was in the future, no question. The make up effects were decent, creatures were decent looking. Lighting and background music helped with the mood. I was moved.

To me it was like “Aliens” (1986) meets “Madmax” (1979) and may have borrowed the psychosis themes from “Event Horizon” (1997). This translates into a good mix. I can’t say it was a rip off but it was still fresh to see a mash of past ideas creating a decent storyline. I rate this movie 7.5/10 but I do think that a little more could have been done.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book Review - Terminator Salvation: From the Ashes

I just finished reading “Terminator Salvation: From the Ashes”. Yes, I’m a big fan of the Terminator franchise. I have the sequel book next to read. This book was decently written. The intention is to read the book before watching the movie, sadly I never knew it existed until after. With that said my thoughts on the book are a little jaded.

The story opens following different factions of survivors in Los Angeles and shows the early roles that John Connor and his crew originated from. It also explores how Kyle Reese and Star ended up staying in LA and their role with the resistance.

I can see this book providing a bit of a ‘back story’ and shows some character development but it would seem that it only takes about 6-8 months back from the movie. It was a very simple and obvious plot line that lined the characters up for the movie. I found the ending to be dull, I did have more questions because the book and movie leaves me hanging. I would have wanted a full prequel from say the start of Judgment day or something longer back that explores the trials and tribulations of Skynet Central and the Resistance / Army in their efforts to gain control.

I did enjoy the book for what it was. Great imagery on the battle sequences with the T600's. I was wondering why there wasn’t reference of any fancy Skynet creations. The author only chose a specific event to focus on. All in all, I would recommend reading this book. I do rate it 7/10 because it had potential to be better but as a fan, it should be added to your summer reading list.