14 January 2010

Did you see that? When his head just crumbled! I just threw up in my mouth...

Halloween 2 – Rob Zombie


I’m going to just take a breather for a little while. Wow. I’m shocked, I’m utterly shocked. Please go see Halloween 2. It’s fucking gruesome. You don’t expect it to be that bad. Go see the uncensored version. This must be at least 10 times worse than the cinema cut. No way could they add some of the scenes in there. I’ve seen Hostel. I’ve seen Saw. I’ve seen old horror movies, ones where you can’t buy them anymore because of how horrible they are. And I don’t mind them. But this really wants me just to sit down and evaluate film making and most importantly my life. It has scenes that will shock you to the core. The deaths of certain characters in the film are used for effect, almost amped up by Zombie from the first Halloween remake film he directed.

H2 tells the story of Laurie Strode, a year after the massacre by Michael Myers, trying to live her life again and not in fear of Michael’s return. She’s seen to be mentally unstable, having troublesome nightmares and terrors whilst taking prescription drugs to help with her panicked state. Whilst Laurie is getting back on track, Michael is still alive. This time he is having strange visions of his dead mother and is being told to find Laurie. Michael goes on search for her, along the way killing a few innocent people, farmers, strip club owners, strippers, teenagers, police officers; he kills a lot of people to find Laurie. Dr. Loomis meanwhile is publicising his latest book about Michael and what happened in the past. These three stories are interacting to form the backbone to the film, all of them rejoining at the end for the last sequence.

The whole storyline with Michael having a psychological connection to Laurie is very thin bare and isn’t explained well enough. It makes the story into a fairytale almost, the way that they expect the audience to totally understand that they can see each other in their minds, kinda like Voldemort and Harry Potter, but you know; one’s a famous horror film series and the other a kid’s magical tale of wizards. H2 takes away Michael’s unnerving willingness to fuck shit up, but makes it seem pointless, where the kills are random and not inventive, more gruesome. Plus seeing his face slowly starts appearing as the mask begins to disintegrate is a nice touch but Michael is just a mask to me. Same as Jason, all I want from these villains is to stand there, look terrifying, show no emotions and kill to find something. Not just randomly but almost on a mission that they must finish, even if it means killing thousands of children to do it.


Simon Childs

Trailer Watch III

14th - 21st January

Here are another weeks worth of trailers for your liking, remember, if you want to see them properly, heard over to the Apple Trailer website:


1. Clash Of The Titans

2. Hot Tub Time Machine

3. 44 Inch Chest

4. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

5. Despicable Me

12 January 2010

Megan Fox, Monsters and Marmite?

Jennifer's Body - Karyn Kusama

I think this is the first review where I’m really unsure whether to like or hate Jennifer’s Body. I came into the film expecting not much, just a teen slasher film with clever dialogue and sexy actors. I pretty much got that but told in an unusual way. It defiantly is a curve ball. The direction is there, the dialogue is there, the music is spot on, the acting is okay, as expected, but there is something different about it. Something that is very hard to pinpoint. It’s hard to really enjoy the film, because i think i went into the film expecting it to be rubbish, I expected the film to be bad, but i was wrong, i think.

The film follows “Needy” played by Amanda Seyfried, a total departure from her last film, Mamma Mia, which I’ve never seen and never will. Needy is beat friends with Jennifer, played by the face, Megan Fox. I would say actor, but she doesn’t act, she just flaunts, which is great. I’m not knocking it, but it works. She knows she has the effect over the audience. Something very similar to Marilyn Monroe. So after seeing a band perform at a local bar, Jennifer becomes a demon after a sacrifice went horribly wrong. She starts killing and eating local boys and Needy finds out. All nastiness and sometimes hilarity ensues with Needy and Jennifer going back and forth about what’s going on. A nice cameo from Seth Cohen, sorry Adam Brody, and an annoying boyfriend of Needy, plus a cameo, which some people might have missed, J Jonah Jameson as a school teacher. The film follows Needy throughout the whole debacle; it’s an okayish narrative which is different for a teen slasher film, with dark comedy thrown in, in the way of the dialogue.

It does have the through back to older horror films in the way of the special effects and everything and it’s a nice touch. It does have the feeling of being a b-movie. I guess that’s the style they were trying to achieve. Comparing this film to current horror films with twists of comedy, it does it more focused on a teen audience, having references to culturally significant thing, but it doesn’t carry it over in the way of action. The audience know what’s going to happen even before they show it. Audiences want something totally different, something never seen before, like showing a car crash. A horrific car crash where say, for comedy value, it smashes into a cow. And then it would show the crash and it would hold onto a shot of one of the drivers. With say, his face, like in half, just crushed from the impact. How amazing would that be? I would love to see a director put that in a film! (Next review is Halloween 2!)


Simon Childs

Christian Bale Shouting: The Motion Picture

Terminator Salvation - McG

Now I’m a big fan of the Terminator series, even the third one, I know many of you would gasp at that fact, but I liked the fun it had, I liked the light hearted humour, the terrible acting from Arnie, but I still enjoyed it. I think it was one of the first DVD’s I ever brought; very sad indeed. But Terminator 1 and 2 were legendary films, films that will never be forgotten. And here we are now, looking into the future at the war between Man versus Machine. Something we thought we would never see. And now, directed by McG, yes the name does make him sound like a twat, but he is good at doing what he does best, blowing shit up and making people shout a lot.

The film picks up a little more after number 3 where John Connor and his wife were locked in an underground bunker whilst the world fought against Skynet, the massive corporation who build machines to kill everyone. It’s apocalypse basically; shit is defiantly hitting the fan. John and the resistance are trying to figure out the best way to finally put an end to Skynet. After finding a signal that seems to disrupt the machines and switch them off, they begin to figure out the best route of action. Whilst this is happening, Marcus, a man who is built as a machine with human flesh and organs, awakes in the future to find the world a mess. Resistance members are scattered around cities and Marcus is trying to figure out what’s going on. He meets Kyle Reece, a key figure in this whole series, as the father to John Connor, so the film turns from being a machine versus man future war epic into a travelling film where Marcus travels to different places looking for answers where he finally meets John Connor and they both figure out a plan to destroy Skynet once and for all.

You can pretty much figure out the rest of the film, and includes a strange but cool cameo from Arnie, well his face, not his actual body. The fight with him is very similar to all the fights in Terminator, it has to be in a really disgusting place, a factory of the robots, lots of strange sounds and what you would imagine to smell like a cross between an old shoe shop and an alley full of piss. The films action sequences are cool, on a full-scale, large explosions, cool CGI and everything, the full works. This is what they wanted from this film, focus on the machines, and make them out to be horrible things that destroy places with ease. It’s less about the humans and the dialogue and more about the action. It’s very unbalanced.

One good thing about the film is performances from Anton Yelchin and Sam Worthington, which stragenly enough is better here than in Avatar. Anton, famous for his role in Star Trek and Charlie Bartlett, a great little indie film, plays a likeable role in Kyle Reece, the starter of all this shit and the father of John Connors. Even if the role is small, it’s believable, and shows a real human in a situation like this. He’s given little comedic lines and lines from the past films to link them, but they could of given him more. If they wanted him to be the comedy of the film, it didn’t work.


Simon Childs

10 January 2010

Letters From The TV Front

Burn Notice Season 1

Feel the burn
We’ve all heard of them; Prison break, Heroes, Lost, 24. They are the American TV shows that made it big in the UK. Picked up by Sky, Channel 4 and the BBC, these are the shows deemed exciting enough to cross the pond. But in this week’s letter, we turn our screens to a lesser known gem of TV delight, USA network’s Burn Notice. Burn Notice follows the recent times of Michael Weston (Jeffery Donovan), a freelance spy working for a major American agency. While on assignment in Nigeria however, he receives word that he’s been “burned”, a term used by governments when a spy’s employment is terminated. The introduction to the series puts it nicely: “When you’re burned, you’ve got nothing. No cash, no job history and you’re stuck in whatever place they decide to dump you”; In Weston’s case, his home town of Miami. The series revolves around jobs Michael takes from ordinary people, using his super-spy skills to battle car thieves, con men, gangsters and the occasional Ukrainian assassin while continuing the wider story arc – trying to find out who burned him, and why.

It’s a fresh take on a classic story – the spy left out in the cold. But the charm of this series is brought by the superb mix of cool spy action and the people in Michael’s life: “A trigger happy ex-girlfriend (Gabrielle Anwar), an old friend who’s informing to the FBI (The legendary Bruce Campbell), family too . . . if you’re desperate”. It’s a tongue in cheek look at the life of an ex spy – juggling old friends, avoiding his mother and trying to earn money all the while jumping from windows, getting shot at and creating ridiculous spy contraptions (MacGyver Style). My personal favourite part of the series is the helpful tips Michael gives as part of the first person narration. Things like “Bathrooms are the best environment for hand to hand combat. . .lots of hard surfaces” and one of my personal favourites: “When you can't win in a fight, sometimes you have to settle for making sure that if you lose, everyone loses. It works for nuclear weapons; it works for me.” These golden nuggets of espionage information give the show a cool flavour and make you wonder just how the writers get this stuff (Tips also include ways to make phoney cheques and how to deliver a convincing mail bomb).

In the end, like I say, it’s the characters that make this series. The action from episode to episode keeps you entertained, but the personalities of the people keep you coming back for more. Just a word of advice: In the first episode, Fiona’s accent is hideous and Michael’s mother grates on your nerves. But don’t fear, they sort that out in the next episode right as rain!

Rating (If you’re into that sort of thing): 100%