nynebunnies asked: On Earth, perfection is non-existent. I've always hated Superman because he seemed too insuperable in a world where things never fall the way you want them to. Yes, he's one rule was broken but for someone who's lived their entire life in a planet of imperfection, is that so far off from being human? I applaud that he actually had to kill someone to save the world. Its an ugly, awful thing, but its realist. And its made Superman more real.
Hence my title: a Superman movie for people who don’t like Superman.
Superman is my favorite superhero. He’s always been, and always will be. From the time I could walk, I’ve watched the classic Superman films, which turned into reading the comics, and eventually just a full-on love for the character and everything he’s meant to be…but it seems like they just can’t capture this wonderful character correctly in film-form. In fact, it seems damn near impossible at this point. I loved the first two (even moreso the Donner cut of part two). I can even excuse the third for the hilarious split-Superman drinking (and fight). When it came to Returns, I just got angry, but comparing that to Man Of Steel, well…buckle up.
Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer have exactly no business entering the realm of Superman. They pulled-off Batman (well, at least The Dark Knight) but their aesthetic and graphic novel sensibilities just won’t translate to a modern Superman film.
Fast & Furious, as a series, is a lot like a heroin addiction. The first film was damn good. It was unexpected. It’s what cult classics are made of: a sub-culture, fast cars, loose women,and enough machismo to make Randy Savage take a bite out of a fucking Slim Jim. The problem? Universal was pretty insistent in continuing the story after it’s success. So, what do we get? An awful sequel (2 Fast, 2 Furious), and an abortion with exactly 2 seconds of Vin Diesel (Tokyo Drift). It was about this point that the true fans of the first began to clamor “if you’re going to make sequels, at least make them with Vin”. Universal AND Vin Diesel himself answered (after a very self-righteous/bordering on obnoxious Facebook campaign).
The result? The 4th sequel: Fast & Furious. It was decent, but still nothing close to the first. After the resurgence of Diesel, we got Fast Five, which took the gang to another level, becoming heistmen rather than street racers in Rio. In other words, us folks that loved the first continuously “shoot up” and go see these films hoping the next “hit” is just as good as the first. They never are. So, what’s Fast 6?
Fast 6 is what we get when a series is grasping at straws to continue making money and fund Vin Diesel’s ego (don’t get me wrong, Vin, I love you, buddy). We find ourselves where we left off: Toretto living a modest life in Rio, far from any jurisdiction for his previous crimes. O’Conner’s welcoming a kid with Toretto’s sister. Dobbs, the well-baby-oiled meathead of a government worker is on the trail of an even dangerous heist crew in London, headed by a ruthless….oh whatever, the fucking guy’s named Shaw, right? And he goes on long, overly obvious tirades about how his “code” is precision and Dom’s is family. Seriously, it’s like a 10 minute conversation.
So Shaw’s working with Letty, who is stricken with amnesia (surprise, surprise). As a result, Dom must assemble the crew and go after Shaw in exchange for full pardons for their crimes on American soil.
What does Fast 6 do right? Quite a bit, actually. It’s loud, fast, and full of car crashes and explosions. In fact, it’s got quite a bit more action than the overly talky Fast Five. The charisma between the actors in Dom’s crew is charming, especially when Dwayne Johnson weighs in his silliness. Speaking of, anybody notice how Johnson’s been adding more of himself in recent roles? The actor mask slips off quite a bit in here.
Now for the bad: the film’s opening is so campy, most uptight film-goers will find themselves itching to leave the theater (or bracing themselves for how bad it’s going to get). It opens on a race between Dom and O’Conner as he speeds home to his newborn baby boy. Then, we get a “flashback” credit sequence with music so tacky, it’s obvious Universal is painfully trying to be what it considers “hip” for it’s target audience. Lest I forget the worst scene of the film: Dobbs ruins an entire interrogation room, thrashing around a meathead captured from Shaw’s team. The scene is like Michael Bay at his worst: it doesn’t fit, it’s silly, ridiculous (even for Fast & Furious standards).
The film continues the story and brings it into a different direction. That being said, let’s not shit ourselves and suspect that there won’t be any stupidity along the way. There’s plenty, but the good outweighs the bad in fun sweet, sweet car porn. It’s clear where the film-makers are taking the series with the 7th by the finale, as well: it’s all reverting back to where it began. Almost everything is coming to a full circle, and that’s good news for us addicts: we want the next hit to feel the most like the first. Will it? Probably not.
SERIES RATINGS: THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: 4/5 2 FAST, 2 FURIOUS: 1,5/5 THE FAST & FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT: 1/5 FAST & FURIOUS: 2.5/5 FAST FIVE: 3.5/5 FAST & FURIOUS 6: 3/5
Here’s the thing about The Hangover series: I hated the first one. Still do, actually. I remember all the hype. I remember my excitement, sitting in the Cherry Hill AMC Lowes theater, waiting for the lights to dim, recalling my favorite parts of the trailer (Tyson beating the shit out of Stu after air-drumming Phil Collins always cracked me up). I especially remember leaving the theater feeling empty, cheated; like I’d wasted three or four months of my life waiting for this film. I think it was also around this point that I became suspicious of modern comedies.
The years went on and the sequel came out. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. Something about how dark they went on the second (the setting, the jokes, everything was pitch black in comparison) made me recall what I expected of the first. Hell, I don’t care if it’s the same exact film. We all have to remember: there’s seriously only about 10 or 15 plots out there, anyhow. Point was, they took what they had and made it better (an obviously unpopular opinion).
The trailer for the third came out and I initially was excited. John Goodman. Dudes with pig masks. Ending the series. Sure, it’s totally outstayed it’s welcome as a series. Certainly, there doesn’t need to be a trilogy of films like this, but (and pay attention, you whiny asses) it’s here: let’s embrace it, give it a chance, and remember it’s a comedy. When’s the last time we had a decent comedy, anyway?
Well, that’s not here, either. Todd Phillips (Road Trip, Hangover I & II, Old School) brings the gang back together, breaks the plaster mold of the first two, and pits the gang going on a roadtrip to send Allen (Zach Galifinakis) to rehab after his father dies. Things, obviously, go wrong when Marshall (John Goodman) hunts the Wolf-Pack down in order to locate some gold Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) stole from his men.
There’s two reasons to watch this film: Galifinakis and Jeong. Everybody else is sleepwalking through their roles. Cooper and Helms are barely present. Their lines don’t matter. Their actions don’t matter. They’re seriously background to push forward the story. Usually, Cooper is the sly asshole we all love and Helms is the straight-man that accidentally tags along with people that flip his life.
Galifinakis and Jeong are hilarious. Sure, you can say Allen is idiotic and childish, and you’d be right: that’s exactly why he works. Jeong works as a larger-than-life psychopath. As Marshall muses towards the end of the third act: “Leslie Chow is madness. You don’t talk to madness”. The film does an absolute amazing job proving this even more. He’s outlandish, he’s psychotic, he’s dangerous, and, most of all, funny. Between Allen and Chow, you want to keep watching, and because of that, the film doesn’t really wear on your patience.
Another thing I want to mention: the cinematography. The guy who did it is Lawrence Sher. Look at his filmography, and you’ll find a mixed-bag of gorgeous to bad cinematography (Garden State, The Dictator, Due Date, etc.). In the third act, we venture into a penthouse Chow had taken over. Strobe lights flicker, prostitutes run around, Black Sabbath blasts. It’s at this point when you feel as if you were waiting for this. Between Sher and Phillips, the scene is extremely well-done, switching between the feeling of comedic to “holy shit, they need to catch this guy”. Sher does this. In the more action oriented scenes, he uses a very orange tint. The pink pig masks stand out just enough to make the viewer feel uneasy watching Marshall’s men. Phillips ventures from his safety zone as well. We’re finally treated to images just as pretty as the first two films’ credit sequences (and we’re also treated to a third Danzig song).
Peppered throughout the film are references to the first two, some warranted, some completely shoe-horned in (COUGH Heather Graham COUGH). Seriously. Try harder, guys.
The biggest thing to remember about the film, however, is that we’ve got one central character this time, rather than four: Allen. This film is meant to be a journey for Allen, to grow-up, to become a “man”, etc. Although, he never truly does. Sure, certain things prove he’s grown-up by the end, and I suppose we could say there’s a “change”, but at the end of the day, you leave feeling “well…what was the point?”.
Don’t get me wrong, the third is not a “bad” film, but it’s not a very “good” one, either. It’s smack-dab in the middle, and my rating will obviously show that. Much like Iron Man 3, it works as a Summer blockbuster, but it lacks any real soul. Sure, you laugh. Sure, we look back fondly at the first two, but still, we’re stuck in the same pattern, only they promise not to make anymore.
Which makes me wonder: who wanted a third in the first place?
THE HANGOVER: 2/5 THE HANGOVER PART II: 3.5/5 THE HANGOVER PART III: 3/5
The Features have been a very personal favorite band of mine for quite some time. I first heard them as an opening band for Kings Of Leon when Leon were backing their third album, Because Of The Times. Needless to say, this was the beginning of the downfall for KoL (especially after their masterpiece Aha Shake Heartbreak), but I went regardless. The Features took the stage first, running through a blistering 40-minute set. Singer/guitarist Matt Pelham walked-out with perfect southern gentleman stride and exploded into a demonic scream, expelling any and all evil off his back. Drummer Rollum Haas rolled his hands like thunder clouds. Roger Dabbs broke his tambourine on his bass halfway through “The Way It’s Meant To Be”. After the concert ended, I was lucky enough to meet the guys selling their own merch at their own merch stand (seriously). I quickly proceeded to drop all the cash I had on whatever albums they had (at the time, one major from Universal—which was OOP and sold-out, one self-produced EP).
As time went on, I learned that The Features had been a band since 1997, actually giving KoL their major breaks first. The Features had a major record deal for a small amount of time before they were dropped by Universal. In between being dropped and eventually getting signed to KoL’s label, they released another two albums (Some Kind Of Salvation, Wilderness).
Only last week was their self-titled fourth album released: an album which had a single that actually made it to the radio here in Florida (“This Disorder”). Success is seemingly returning to this little Tennessee outfit, and they deserve it. Why?
The new self-titled album starts with “Rotten”, opening with a synth line remniscent of “Take My Breath Away” (oddly enough) and slow tom fills that remind of “The Gates Of Hell” from Some Kind Of Salvation. By the time Matt starts crooning, you realize it’s more southern-fried Elvis Costello than anything (which is what The Features always were for me).
There’s a pattern in the first three songs, however, that lasts the entire album: the band is tighter than ever. Every note from every instrument flows inbetween one another like crackfiller. The songs take detours that flow like a water-slide. Matt confesses like a sweet Christian boy fighting off demons sliding into his bed as he sleeps.
The album derails slightly in the ladder half, however, where songs like “Ain’t No Wonder” dwell. It starts with a strict 80’s synth beat that brings Prince to mind. The chorus rolls in, however, and Matt reminds us it’s still him, with a little slightly classical piano groove chiming beneath his belting “Ain’t no wonder I/I love you like I do” like James Brown.
The final song “Phase Too” seems to impart the ideal that The Features just want us to dance, with a tight little 2-and-4 beat pulsing through the song.
At the end of the day, The Features fell into a slight slump with their last effort, Wilderness, that ultimately came out sounding muddled and confused rather than like their trademark, tightly-knit, southern power-pop style. The Features still have indie routes, and their self-titled effort begs us to remember that. While it’s certainly not as adventurous as Some Kind Of Salvation or as tight and rocking as Exhibit A, The Features punches you in the face with fun, succinct, highly addictive tunes.
There are moments in any film lover’s life that they experience and immediately know that five, ten, fifteen years down the line it will still hold the same significance. Although I’m going to obviously ruin the review by starting it this way, one such moment is the first time I saw The Place Beyond The Pines, Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up to 2010’s Blue Valentine.
Handsome Luke (Ryan Gosling) is one hell of a cyclist for a traveling, daredevil carnival act. A long-lost one night stand comes back to reveal his worst fear realized: he’s got a son being raised by another father. Luke, fed by his own hatred towards an absent father, decides to team with another local outcast Robin (the amazing Ben Mendelsohn) in order to put his “special skill set” to use and rob banks.
Without going into specifics about the plot (which would only serve to ruin an absolutely fantastic film), the story moves through a deliberately slow pace to completely immerse the viewer into a meditation on fathers, sons, and the consequences of our decisions on those we love.
Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) scores the film, picking and choosing a few select haunting/off-the-beaten path songs (“Please Stay” by The Cryin’ Shames in particular narrates a particularly strong scene between Gosling and Eva Mendes). Patton’s original score toys with many styles from surf rock, hymnals, and downright dirty, sludgy mechanical sounds. Patton’s score delves deeply into the characters on-screen and brings forth an even more immersible experience.
Cianfrance, on the other hand, handles many of the intensely emotional scenes much like John Cassavettes in The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie where the camera stays on faces, ignores background, and allows for intense observations on the viewer’s part, leaving very little room for any sort of phoniness on the actor’s parts.
The script creates an epic landscape for these characters, spanning generations. The performances are all very strong, however Ben Mendelsohn in particular burns up every scene as Robin, a fellow outsider that serves as Handsome Luke’s only friend and confidant. Mendelsohn demands sympathy from the audience in his sad eyes, eager smile, and slurred speech.
There’s a particular scene that sets the entire film into perspective for me. Luke and Robin are conversing by his garage, Robin’s dog playing around in the background. Luke tosses a popped ball, waiting for the dog to fetch it. Robin explains the dog’s sight fails her, and despite knowing this information, Luke still asks, moments later, if she found the ball. Robin’s delivery, a sigh, and a hopeful “Nah, she’s not going to find it” is the sort of minor detail that breaks hearts. Taking place specifically in Schenectady, New York, the spirit of the disenfranchised, small eastern town experience is flawlessly executed. Coming from a rough, small Jersey town, the film tugged on my heartstrings endlessly. I knew these people. I knew Robin’s dog. I felt the pain, the desperation, the cracked sidewalks. While the film’s message is universal, Cianfrance’s talent at capturing a place and a type of people is spot-on beautiful.
The film’s got flaws, sure, but they are, honestly, all debatable. No matter how one slices an experience, good and bad will come from both sides. The film takes a snail’s pace purposely to keep you stuck in that moment. The film also changes horses more than once. While many will argue one act may be more entertaining than the other, it’s highly questionable. The film, for me, was just a massive piece of place, time, and theme. Beautiful, sad, poignant, and brilliant.
People seem to have strong opinions on comic-book films recently, and I suppose for good reason. Less than ten years ago, we were fed nonsense like Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four, and looking back, even the X-Men films seemed fairly crummy (seriously, rewatch them). We as Americans have begun to embrace the comic-book adaptation as our modern-day mythological stories set to film.
The backlash against Iron Man 2 almost seemed like a fad. It became fashionable to bash it, when in reality people’s expectations were raised too high thanks to the first one (which, let’s be honest, is an anomaly as an actual great origin story, even with repeated viewings). Iron Man 3 seems to have audiences entering with mixed expectations. The film-goer’s in the know immediately suspect that Shane Black’s scripting and helm would automatically make the next chapter in the series “better”. Meanwhile, the average film-goer seems to be praying it be better than the second. Both are wrong.
Quickly summarized: Tony Stark’s a mess after the events that transpired in The Avengers. His popularity has him ridden with anxiety, always waiting for the next big attack. Meanwhile, a new terrorist by the name of “The Mandarin” (played by Ben Kingsley, who can take even the most ridiculous sounding role and make it into something special) is threatening the President. It’s near Christmastime, and the clock is counting down until The Mandarin’s attacks go full circle (Shane Black seems to love Christmas for some reason, ever notice that?). With the appearance of an old, forgotten acquaintance (Aldrich Killian, played by the always wonderful Guy Pearce), Tony’s world is thrown upside down.
For those who are familiar with the Iron Man mythos, the Extremis plot is finally adapted and put to good use. Those infected with Extremis help fuel the action, while leading Tony towards an interesting (albeit predictable) adventure. Where Black fails is the comedy. It’s no secret that Marvel is the lighter of the two major super-hero comic publishers, however, Black, at many points of the film, seems more concerned with throwing puns and slapstick at his typewriter than adding to Tony Stark’s film exploits. While some jokes hit (and hit very well, at that) others beg the audiences to throw up their hands and quit. Black knows screenplay structure, however, so he does do a fairly good job at the balancing act, despite some overly goofy moments.
One theme that Black introduces begs to be inspected under a microscope: this is the first time audiences and Tony feel danger from his work. Given, Tony was slammed with the danger of his work in the first film, but it wasn’t until the third installment that his suits are seen as dangerous. This little piece leads for a bigger questions of Stark’s character as the film wears on. The theme comes back repeatedly, as various suits are used for very different reasons, both morally good and bad.
There is a moment, however, that seems to be begging for further scrutiny within the third act. Honestly, at first glimpse, it seems like sloppy writing. It is not until we step away and make allowances, deeper observations, and—once again—ALLOWANCES that is truly works itself out. Still, upon first viewing, this is a pretty big piece of the film that would otherwise leave most audiences frustrated and intellectually insulted. The resolution either comes in the form of “Wow, that’s incredibly stupid” or “Shane Black is one hell of a screenwriter”, but nothing else.
Iron Man 3 is better than it’s previous installment, but not as good as it’s initial. Tony Stark still has one-liners, big guns, explosions, and vaguely Bond-ish themes despite the film’s flaws. We’ve begun to expect a certain quality from Marvel now, which is quickly becoming a quality far too high to live up to. The Avengers have been assembled, and all those initial films seem more like a stepping stone to get to that big, beefy adventure. Iron Man 3 raises the bar in the sense of, well, a middle-finger to sequels. Black’s script is tight and with structure, even when the nails and wood begin to show.
It’s Summer movie time, and you know what that means: mediocrity that seems entertaining (at least until full conciousness or Oscar season rolls around). If you’re looking to kick-off the Summer movie season with a racist, sexist, violent, profane, ridiculous, drug-addled, bombastic piece of cinema: look no further than Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain.
Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (a physical trainer/con man), the film takes place exclusively in Miami between 1994 and 1995. With two other meat-heads, he decides to attempt to force local deli-owner (and full-time asshole) Victor Kershaw into dropping his wealth of hefty assets into his own pocket. When things go wrong, however, things go ludicrously wrong. With a cast of cartoons and characters, Michael Bay tosses his shit into the ring after the Transformers movies and succeeds.
Why? Scaling back the budget meant only one explosion (seriously, I counted). The film was shot with RED and GoPro cameras, which lend a pretty slick appearance to the film. Colors pop, cameras fling and crane all over the place, but not in the usual ADD-Bay style. Rather, it’s much more controlled.
In fact, I would easily call this Michael Bay’s best, as it is a legit decent film. As a Summer movie, however, it’s going to difficult to beat. Dick jokes, shit jokes, fat jokes, meat-head jokes, Floridian jokes, Jewish/Hispanic/Black/White jokes: Michael Bay puts his stamp on yet another politically incorrect film. The women are shot and used more as objects and porn-stars (if they’re not naked and straddling something, they’re acting like they just stepped-out of a 12-year-old boy’s imagination).
The stand-out achievement here, despite Bay’s lower budget (and therefore, better self-control), The Rock’s malleable talent is on full display as he steps into the shoes of Paul Doyle, a cokehead Jesus freak with a penchant for finding trouble, despite his attempts to stay on the opposite side of the road. The Rock has always had a presence. I’d previously mentioned how much I enjoyed his role in Faster, and while his role here is completely different, he’s just as effective. Washing-off the macho factor, he does a good job playing tennis with himself, battling the good and evil sides of his personality.
Michael Bay seems to be making a statement with this film, as well. Note the multiple uses of tight, shallow depth-of-field close-up’s with the American flag buzzing in the background. The American dream tosses itself between characters, making the viewer realize just how fucked we all are. While Bay is a stranger to films that actually “mean” something, the script lends itself to something slightly bigger than Bay’s initial aspirations.
Here’s the problem: sometimes, as a film-maker, I forget that there’s films out there other than art-house films I haven’t seen yet. Sometimes, other than your average, run-of-the-mill big-budget Summer movie season, there’s films I forget even exist: films that I decide whether or not I’ll see based-on a single, solitary review from some nameless asshole who fancies himself the same as myself (aren’t we all the same, afterall?) that claims “oh, the plot was thin, the characters were one-dimensional, and it wasn’t worth my time”.
One such film was The Last Stand, which came out way back in January. At the time, it was one of two films battling for my attention: the return of Sylvester Stallone (out of The Expendables) with Bullet To The Head and the long-awaited return of Arnold Schwarzenegger with The Last Stand. Oddly enough, the film was on another “choose-between-the-two” on my list: the emergence of two wonderful Korean directors in America: Jee-woon Kim (The Last Stand, I Saw The Devil) and Chan-Wook Park (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance), and once again, The Last Stand lost.
Three times I’d passed-up seeing this film…until now. Was it worth passing up? In short: fuck no. The Last Stand packs violence, silliness, clunky action screenwriting, and Arnold’s one-liners. The judgement that’s passed on this film can be measured simply in it’s badass-ness.
Arnold plays Ray, the sheriff of a sleepy Arizona town, ex-LAPD drug cop, and most of all: disrespected by his own people. In Nevada, the FBI lose a psychotic Mexican drug baron/stock car racer (I shit you not), barreling through the streets in a souped-up sports car, aiming for a makeshift bridge his minions have built for him, coincidentally connecting Ray’s sleepy little town to Mexico. Ray, pissed-off that his day-off is ruined, declares an all-out war on the drug baron’s minions, as well as the drug baron himself.
With silly characters (the pudgy Hispanic cop, played by Luiz Gusman), the town eccentric gun nut (Johnny Knoxville), and more, Ray establishes a home-front from a school bus, blowing everyone that get’s in his way.
Needless to say, the script is as dumb as it gets. The writer’s only other work was a instant-streaming comedy about ghosts (Ghost Team One). It made me truly wonder: did he expect his script to sell and become Arnold’s comeback?
As far as Arnold, he’s had better, but comparing this one to Stallone’s Bullet To The Head, it’s a masterpiece. Jee-woon Kim’s direction is fast, pretty, and effective. He allows the action to breathe, as opposed to the self-aware fast-cut’s found in most recent action films.
The Last Stand is by no means a “great film”. It’s a fun movie. It’s excessively violent, incredibly loud, and set-up entirely to be nothing more than “incredibly badass”.
I remember the very first time I entered the world of Evil Dead. I was 11 years old, and finally got permission from my Mom to see Army Of Darkness with my brother (10 years my senior and a big fan of Army Of Darkness especially). Immediately after the film, I had to hunt down the first two. This, of course, was back when Blockbuster still carried VHS, and—living where we did—our local BB’s selection was always picked-over, lost, and stolen. I begged, pleaded, offered my allowance money for months in exchange for my Mom to drive me to the Hamilton BB, where the coincidentally had both. Imagine an 11 year old watching The Evil Dead, lights out, in his room BEFORE dinner. Long story short, at the time it shocked, repulsed, and scared the shit out of me…but I knew I’d just found something I’ve love for as long as I exist.
2013…here comes the inevitable remake: Evil Dead. At first, I kicked, screamed, cursed Sam Raimi’s name, but to no avail: it was happening whether I liked it or not. After it got Bruce Campbell’s blessing, I still questioned exactly what they could possibly do. Eventually, I came to terms with my childhood, pushed my memories aside, realized they wouldn’t be tarnished (if I didn’t allow them to be), and walked on in to the theater.
Mia (played by the adorable newcomer Jane Levy) is kicking heroin for the second time, surrounded by her friends Eric, Olivia, Natalie, and her estranged brother David. The chosen “kicking” station? Their Summer cabin (which has been ripped to shreds since their last stay, apparently). Naturally, somehow they come across the “book” (no longer called the Necronomicon) and off they go battling Deadites/Demons.
First, the problems: Natalie, David’s girlfriend, is literally non-existant, and only there to fufill and body count. Obviously, in a horror film like this, the characters don’t matter, so it can work both ways. To me: the excuse that “it’s a horror movie” only goes to show poor screenwriting on the film-maker’s part.
Second, originality. Obviously it’s a remake, but, that doesn’t mean the film-makers can’t be more adventerous. At some points, I found myself pointing out “who is who” from the original series (ex: Eric is technically Scotty, just look at the shirt and pants). This moves more from an interesting original take on an established series, and more into “ok, let’s be overly slavish to the orignal”.
Third, at 89 minutes, the film feels only partly drawn-out. The way we enter the third act is actually overly simple. It almost feels as though we’re falling into the ennui of the screenwriter again.
Now for the good stuff: gore, gore, gore. Lot’s of it. I’d imagine the forthcoming unrated version is going to be even more of the stuff. Gore is what the original had in droves: and it delivers.
About halfway through the film, I found myself realizing just how dumb the writers made these characters. Somewhere between Eric thinking “hey, it’s a good idea to read a demonic book—because I’m a high school teacher” and David’s solution to literally every injury being duct tape, the humor came back. The reactions, the quips, the sheer over-the-top-ness of everything made the film a little sweeter to injest. Thankfully, despite it’s grim feel, the film maintained some of the humor in translation.
What WAS interesting, or the most interesting aspect, is the places the film can go. This has, afterall, been a Hollywood trend lately, to make an underwhelming origin, only to have an amazing spec script for a sequel (I’m looking at you Green Lantern, and especially you, Superman Returns). Where we leave the characters, there are so many places to go, and since the plan to “merge universes” has already been established, the film leaves me with excitement as to where we can go.
While not Raimi’s, this Evil Dead certainly stands as the “best of a bad situation” as far as needless horror film remakes go. If you don’t believe me, after seeing Evil Dead, why not revisit A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th, and Halloween 1 & 2. Evil Dead may have lacked originality, and served to be a bit choppy at some points (something that can possibly be solved with the inclusion of the unrated cut) but it still kept with the theme, the humor, and the gore. Go for the gore, stay for the fun.