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Well, I guess it couldn’t last forever.  After two weeks of pretty solid releases we are now encountering a pretty soft week.  There’s not a lot to talk about here, but there is some potential.  I feel a bit dubious that the potential will be realized, but there is potential.

This is going to be a rare week where I do not issue a Pick of the Week.  Looking at the national releases this week, I do not feel any of them have a strong enough pedigree for me to endorse wholeheartedly, so, in order to avoid losing the trust of my readers, I will not give my stamp of approval out this week.

That being said, on with the show…

Halloween II

Trailer

Synopsis: It is that time of year again, and Michael Myers has returned home to sleepy Haddonfield, Ill., to take care of some unfinished family business. Unleashing a trail of terror, Myers will stop at nothing to bring closure to the secrets of his twisted past. But, the town’s got an unlikely new hero, if they can only stay alive long enough to stop the unstoppable.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I admit, I did not see Rob Zombie’s remake of the original “Halloween.”  That fact makes it difficult for me to truly know what to expect from his remake of the sequel.  I avoided the first one because I feel that John Carpenter’s original “Halloween” (still among the most successful independent films of all time) is one of the best examples of the horror genre that has ever been made.  The film plays on our fears like a finely tuned instrument and offers us a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of death that, because of his lack of supernatural origins, seems more real (and thus much more visceral) than the likes of Freddy and Jason.  In my mind, the first two “Halloween” movies actually comprise a single film in two parts, especially since “Halloween II” picks up mere minutes after the end of the first.  I don’t really know what Rob Zombie is capable of here, but remaking the classic films of a genre is a dangerous games, and the fans of the originals are going to be very critical of any alterations.  Personally, I would save the ticket money and rent John Carpenter’s original two films and watch them back to back.

The Final Destination

Trailer

Synopsis: On what should have been a fun-filled day at the races, Nick O’Bannon has a horrific premonition in which a bizarre sequence of events causes multiple race cars to crash, sending flaming debris into the stands, brutally killing his friends and causing the upper deck of the stands to collapse on him. When he comes out of this grisly nightmare, Nick panics and persuades his girlfriend, Lori, and their friends, Janet and Hunt, to leave. They escape seconds before Nick’s frightening vision becomes a terrible reality. Thinking they’ve cheated death, the group has a new lease on life, but unfortunately for Nick and Lori, it is only the beginning. As his premonitions continue and the crash survivors begin to die one-by-one-in increasingly gruesome ways, Nick must figure out how to cheat death once and for all before he, too, reaches his final destination.

MovieDruid’s Comments: Shouldn’t this be “Final Destination 4”?  Or, are we to believe they really mean it this time since this is “THE Final Destination.”  Beyond the rhetorical issues involved in the title, this movie just makes me sigh in resignation.  You made a good movie.  It was called “Final Destination.”  It did well at the box office.  Be happy with that for a change!  Of course, that didn’t happen.  We’ve had two monotonous sequels already, and now a third.  The premise was original once.  That’s the very definition of original.  Now, it’s just sad.  Hollywood really needs to get a hold on the constant rehashing of teen horror films.  But, I’m guessing that won’t happen as long as teen dollars keep buying tickets to these exercises in futility.

Taking Woodstock

Trailer

Synopsis: It’s 1969, and Elliot Tiber, a down-on-his-luck interior designer in Greenwich Village, New York, has to move back upstate to help his parents run their dilapidated Catskills motel, The El Monaco. The bank’s about to foreclose; his father wants to burn the place down, but hasn’t paid the insurance; and Elliot is still figuring how to come out to his parents. When Elliot hears that a neighboring town has pulled the permit on a hippie music festival, he calls the producers, thinking he could drum up some much-needed business for the motel. Three weeks later, half a million people are on their way to his neighbor’s farm in White Lake, N.Y., and Elliot finds himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life, and American culture, forever. The film features a standout ensemble cast and songs from a score of ’60s musical icons, including The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane and Country Joe and the Fish — plus a new recording of “Freedom” from Richie Havens.’

MovieDruid’s Comments: I see a little bit of potential here.  They have an interesting story based in true events.  They have an interesting cast including Emile Hirsch (“The Emperor’s Club” & “Into the Wild”) and Liev Schreiber (“Defiance” & “The Painted Veil”).  And, finally they have the backdrop of Woodstock and the festival’s music which altered the culture of this country forever.  But, despite all of this, there are a few things that are troublesome.  First, a movie that sets out on this scale is bound for either greatness or absolute mediocrity.  My fear is that comedies, and this film is being marketed as such, that go this route fall into the latter category much more often than the former.  I have a modicum of concern about director Ang Lee as well.  He has a gift as he showed in films like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Sense & Sensibility,” but he is also a bit inconsistent having also been responsible for the train wreck that was the original “Hulk.”  This one could definitely go either way, but I hold out hope for its potential.

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4 Comments

  1. I’m not certain about Taking Woodstock, either, but I LOVE Demetri Martin’s standup. (If by chance you haven’t seen it, you should YouTube him.) I think he’s done quite a bit of acting before — he had a guest spot in Flight of the Conchords, I think? — and I don’t find it as memorable as his solo stage work. Still, he gives me the warm fuzzies.

    • I’ll have to check him out on YouTube, thanks for the tip. Since we’re not really “small screen” people I often don’t know about an actors television based work.

  2. There has to be a pick of the week – in the past you at least gave us a new movie rental (ok we did get Halloween I&II) but owning them and watching is just not the same. And I am tired of the beat up on original Hulk movie – it wasn’t all bad – I really liked it!

    • NO PICK FOR YOU! COME BACK…ONE WEEK!!

      And, come on, the original “Hulk” was a cheesy mess! Even Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly couldn’t rescue that one.


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  1. […] of the “Halloween II” remake from August.  If you want my thoughts on that one click here for that […]

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