Friday, June 5, 2009

Movies

Just want to add my two cents on a couple films.

This Wednesday was Chelsea's birthday and along with the cake eating and present giving (I got her a silver necklace with a heart on it) we saw a couple movies.

Drag Me To Hell
Honestly, I was never sold on this movie. I love the Evil Dead films, but pretty much everything else Raimi has done, aside from Spiderman 2 I guess, has been pretty mediocre. I was excited that he was returning to horror, but the trailers just looked so generic and not all that interesting.

I'll preface me mini-review by saying Chelsea loved it. She was screaming and cowering the whole time. It was basically what my reaction was the first time I saw Evil Dead. I'm sure you're all familiar with the story, girl pisses off witch woman gets curse put on her, but I'll try to be spoiler free.

First the good. The acting was decent (nothing awful, but nothing mindblowing either), the writing was solid, and it was scary. Raimi certainly knows how to craft terror and create tension. Many of his old Evil Dead techniques return for this film (weird noises, askew angles, tight closeups and zooms) and they're still as effective as they were 28 years ago. All the characters were fairly fleshed out (although a little superficially so) and had believable emotions and experiences, at least as believable as you can get in a horror movie. Plus the whole thing just looked and sounded great.

Now the bad. It was boring as hell, and almost nothing happens the entire movie. Aside from an interesting opening, a near 'finale of the film' seance scene, and the actual ending, the movie is basically just Alison Lohman in some sort of house walking around slowly waiting to be scared. The scares are potent but it just seems like Raimi and team (sadly a total reunion from his Evil Dead days ie. writers, producers, director) just wanted to pack in as many jump out scares as possible in an hour and a half. I didn't really care about any of the characters (minus the fantastic Dileep Rao as the shaman who helps Lohamn, he really stole every scene he was in) and the cool mythological story stuff was barely touched on.

It's very odd, and perhaps hard for you to understand, how something could be both scary and boring. But when the movie consists almost solely of pop out scares and mounting tension it becomes both repetitive, draining, and ultimately annoying. It's like when a child learns a new trick or joke, and they keep wanting to share it with you over and over. It's funny and cute the second time, and you don't hate the kid the more he does it, you just wish they'd find something new.

I know Raimi isn't new to the horror genre, but it felt like he was trying too hard with this film to prove that he's still got it. Yes Raimi, we get that you can create a scary ride, but next time can you try to craft a compelling and enjoyable film around it?

My Bloody Valentine 3D

And here's where things get weird.

While waiting for DMTH to start, Chelsea and I went to CD Warehouse where we found this film on sale. We were going to rent it earlier but then remembered we wouldn't get the 3D glasses with it, so we decided to split the cost and just buy it to watch later that night. I know that the technology used in theater 3D movies and home 3D movies is vastly different, but I just wanted to see what it was like.

Overall the film was damn enjoyable. I don't usually like remakes, or even new horror movies, but I hated the original Bloody Valentine, so I figured at least this one couldn't be worse. And it sort of wasn't.

The characters were still archetypal, the acting was passable, and the story was kind of secondary, but the gore effects, and the 3D made up for all the shortcomings. No one goes to a 3D movie looking for a compelling story. You go to see what weird ways they can use 3D with. This movies shots were mostly relegated to punching, kicking, axe swinging and throwing, protruding body parts etc. But what I was really impressed by was how amazing the depth of view was in 3D.

Anyways it wasn't the greatest movie, and perhaps I only liked it because of what I witnessed earlier in the evening, but it was still fun. Not great, but fun. Kind of the opposite of Drag Me To Hell in fact. Poorly made, but still hokey and fun. Funny that.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wow, so its been a while since I last update. And yet I have nothing to say either.

Been on a bit of Star Trek binge lately. Purchased Wrath of Khan at CD Warehouse for $6 and left satisfied. However, after coming home and going to bookmark the rest of the films for later purchase on Amazon, I realized they are now all out of print. So of course I had to go out and get films 3-6. Sadly the only one they didn't have (or maybe not since it's so boring....) is the first, but I've put my name down on their 'alert me if this movie comes in' list.

Also saw the newest entry, which was surprisingly more campy than I thought it would be. But it was still great. Some of the humour was obvious and awful, and the lens flares drove me absolutely crazy. Also, why the fuck is Spock in a sexual relationship? Honestly now. I'm not a Star Trek expert, and in fact I only like the original series/cast, but has this ever happened before? It seems like it's breaking all sorts of previously unexplored (for a reason) ground.

Also purchased Hamelt 2, which everyone should watch ASAP, and the out of print Army of Darkness with the making of feature on the disc. Woo!

Wednesday also happens to be Chelsea's birthday and we will be going to see Drag Me to Hell, which while I've heard is awesome, I'm still skeptical of since Raimi turned crappy, ummm roughly 15 years ago.

Currently reading The Terror. During the mid 1800s and shipwrecked uhhh ship looking for the Northwest Passage begins to be attacked by a msyterious creature/force from out on the ice. It's long, slow moving, but really well reviewed. So far it's great, but definitely a little in the vein of Stephen King where it gets a little wandering at times. However it's different (at least time frame wise) from my usual reads and it's definitely creepy.