I am knee deep in National Novel Writing Month, and plan a full update with some excerpts from my novel. In between that time, take a look at some past movie reviews I did. Enjoy!!!
THE RING 2
Dane bought me lunch and we saw THE RING 2...which was extremely disappointing. The previews intigued me more. WAR OF THE WORLDS looks insane (and TOM CRUISE is still GIRL PORN APPROVED©), THE AMITYVILLE HORROR looks even creepier, and DARK WATER should be interesting to say the least. But that brings along its own connotations. Follow my circular logic here=====>>>>SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! THE RING took the rather lame and disjointed plot of Japan's RINGU and made it quite the thriller. The CGI "girl-out-of-the-TV" creep fest was fine b/c of all the urban myth and jump-worthy imagery injections throughout the first 2/3 of the movie. And then I was tipped off to JU-ON and any regular reader of this blog knows my extreme interest in J Horror and Asian cult, particularly ghost stories. RINGU did not impress me but DARK WATER did. Some went too far and some were just terrifying. So the news the THE RING 2 would be directed by the original Japanese RINGU and RINGU 2 made me both hopeful (in the sense that THE GRUDGE/Shimizu partnership that translated to a pretty neat adaptation of J Horror for American audiences) and worried (the fact that I was not a fan of his RINGU work). Hope won out over my fears and I knew that seeing THE RING 2 opening weekend was a must. And yes, the jumps were there, I was covering my eyes at many points in the film. But to turn your film into the simplistic plot of ghost that wants a mommy is "universally stupid" as Cereal Killer would say. While it is a theme that is a good idea--LOOK AT YOUR SCHEDULES PEOPLE! DARK WATER will be out this summer. It is being touted as being from the people that made "RINGU" and "RINGU 2." About a girl...that wants a mommy. People are going to get sick of the genre before they've even given it a fair chance. Oh yeah--CGI is not scary. Especially CGI deer that are supposed to be menacing. EVIL DEAD is a great movie and it used rubber prosthetics and fake blood. Take note.
+++++++++end of ZE BRICKTHROWER RANT #33++++++++++
AMITYVILLE HORROR [remake]
First and foremost, RYAN REYNOLDS used to annoy me. He doesn't annoy me anymore. Mr. Reynolds Sir, you are now officially GIRL PORN APPROVED©. And your axe dragging is JACK TORRANCE worthy! My favorite part of the body on a man? The indentation on either side of the six pack below the waist. I'm just sayin'.
Let me preface this by saying Friday night I spent researching the AMITYVILLE stories on a few sites and getting myself creeped out for the film. I'm new to the horror genre as I have been a card-carrying Scaredy Cat for most of my life. Discredited as a publicity stunt did put a damper on the visions of ghosties dancing in my head but I was still in the mood for a movie that would make me jump (just like KRISS KROSS!!)
I started saturday morning by watching the original Amityville Horror on the Mystery Channel, and laughing at the pure silliness of it all. There are scary movies made in the 70's--this was not one of them. The editing is horrible...but we're not here to talk about that...we're talking about the inevitable remake. Inevitable b/c I'm quite sure its the END OF DAYS and there are no stories left to tell.
The Amityville Horror is for the most part a mish-mash of past horror cliches and recent stylistic staples. The jump cut/sped up film technique that is being used in EVERY horror film is now just getting ridiculous. Its not scary anymore. DAMN YOU GOTHIKA!!! While I did jump--several times--I was left with mostly just a glazed over look of confusion that someone would actually attempt the "indian burial ground" story again. Seriously. The house was not the menacing part...it was the apparitions...the original JU-ON takes the cake on this type of scare so I won't even compare. The way they could've made this movie better was by having REYNOLDS' shirtless more. Nuff said.
STAR WARS : REVENGE OF THE SITH
Don't Listen to the HATERZZZ!!!GEORGE LUCAS--you have redeemed the STAR WARS name and made it cool to be a geek again!!! As the first 2 episodes of the Star Wars trilogy only proved to be convoluted messes of wooden dialogue and cheap laughs with the best character to be introduced dying MUCH too soon (DARTH MAUL was the shizzy, killing him that soon was perhaps the dumbest moment in the entire series of films). The second film with its "love story" and "petulant child" acting of Hayden Christensen was cringe-worthy on all accounts. I think you could tell my annoyance with the trilogy was high and my trust in the third film being good was shaken greatly.
REVENGE OF THE SITH opened with a massive STAR FIGHTER/and speeding air ships that led to a kickass action sequence, the less talk the better it seems. The light saber battles could not have been topped and were almost dizzying to watch. Everything that needed to be explained to lead you into the 2nd Trilogy was done so and not in a rushed way. It all made sense and was coherent. I still am not convinced of the love between Padme and Anakin but I blame this more on the dialogue than the actors--who have both proven themselves excellent in their craft. EWAN MCDIARMAND (sp?) is brilliant as PALPATINE, watching his transformation is stunning and he is able to give the story much credibility in his subtle yet sinister voice. It is EWAN MCGREGOR that shines as a young OBI WAN--his voice is dead-on and he even nailed such simple things as SIR ALEC GUINNESS' gait.
(((Left: The Bad Guys Always Make it Better!)))
Again, I must comment on the speed and talent exhibited by all those that held a light saber, even little YODA upstaged his previous fight with COUNT DOOKU, this time taking on PALPATINE with a zeal that he saves for the true evil of the Empire. I have always been a fan of the dark side, and to watch the origins of MY Darth Vader were awesome and saddening at the same time. This holds true for the JEDI's fate as well. To not give JAR JAR one speaking line is simply ici ng on the cake. LUCAS has given the fans something to be proud of...and confirms my theory that the titles that contain the a reference to the DARK SIDE are the better films (i.e. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK)
BIRTH stars a pixie-ish NICOLE KIDMAN as a 2-year widower, ready to marry a rich and pompous suit until a boy played by CAMERON BRIGHT (of GODSEND fame) enters their home and pleads with KIDMAN not to marry her suitor. Why would a little boy whom doesn't know KIDMAN even care whose she's marrying? B/c he claims to be the reincarnation of her dead husband SHAWN . This is the beginning of a story about love and love lost and more piercing stares by KIDMAN and BRIGHT than actual dialogue between them. This does not gloss over the obvious problems of a 10-year old boy claiming to be a dead man; sex is talked about, how BRIGHT will support his "wife," the sheer craziness and unbelieveable chance that KIDMAN has found her "Shawn." LAUREN BACALL, KIDMAN's mother, plods along with constant reassurance that her daughter will wake up andANNE HECHE has long hair (sorry, its a shocker to me) and plays a mysterious friend of KIDMAN's, whose secrets reveal that Shawn is not all that he seems. She is surprisingly good in this, with a wounded seriousness in her acting.
Although the resolution is ambiguous and the dialogue often left me asking "Why aren't they REALLY talking to each other???" I really enjoyed this film. The soundtrack was jarring at times; all classical and booming and majestic at times then quiet and morose at others--but it fit the story well. The real stars were the eyes of KIDMAN and BRIGHT, whom seemed to be speaking oceans of words to each other without uttering a single sound. This movie will not skeeve you out like a LOLITA but will twist and turn you on your head. Go. Rent. Now.
~Till Next Time Kittlings.