Good Times Gone But You Feed It
Hate's Grown Strong You Feel You Need It
Just One Thing Do You Know
What You Think That The World Owes You
What's Gonna Set You Free
Look Inside And You'll See
When You've Got So Much To Say
It's Called Gratitude, And That's Right
May 4th, 2012 marked the end of an era...The Beastie Boys are no more. People in life come and go, everyone has a number, and sadly Adam "MCA" Yauch's number is officially up. A spiritual individual he was, a self-proclaimed Buddhist who went on to organize the Tibetan Freedom Concert back in the 90's. Adam, along with his partners in crime (Mike D & Ad-Rock), influenced and touched everyone who was willing to give The Beastie Boys a shot and since the release of "Ill Communication" back in 1986, they became a hip-hop household name who amazed generations of music fans.
I'm 27 years old (soon to be 28) and I remember the old school days of MTV (you know, when they actually gave two fucks about music) when "Sabatage" and "So Whatcha Want" ruled the air. 1992 was the year I got into them and now, 20 years later, It pains me to no end to have to write this. I never got to personally see them live, but the closest I came to it was in March of 2006 when my two best friends Sean & Joe had me come with them to Regal Cinemas in Belair to see their live movie "Awesome, I Fucking Shot That!", a full 2 hour live show from MSG that was recorded by 50 random fans throughout the arena with their camcorders that were supplied by the group. It was definitely an amazing time and now I'll remember it even more since I'll officially never see them perform as a trio.
Exactly a year before Adam's passing, The Beastie Boys released what is now their final album, "Hot Sauce Committee Pt II". I've always thought that album was their best effort since 97's "Hello Nasty" and now that it's their last release, I'm extremely happy with that. Personally I think that album has some of MCA's best material, lyrically. It also includes the single, "Make Some Noise", and the video was the perfect conclusion to their "Fight For Your Right" video from '86.
I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said today by millions of fans...
"Adam, we all love and miss you so fucking much. Thank you for the music and inspiration for the last 20 years of my life. As soon as I read about your passing I got tickets for us to see you and your fellow bandmates perform at the "Golden Gate Benefit" I heard you're already planning. The cost of the tickets was my soul, so when my number's up...I'll be seeing you soon."
50) Final Destination
48) Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
47) Eden Lake
46) The People Under the Stairs
45) The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
44) The Blair Witch Project
43) Dead Snow
42) Dead & Breakfast
40) The House of the Devil
37) The Frighteners
35) Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight
34) Haute Tension
33) The Prowler
31) From Dusk Till Dawn
29) House of 1,000 Corpses
28) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
27) Jeepers Creepers
26) The Lost Boys
25) Evil Dead 2
22) The Mist
21) Texas Chainsaw Massacre II
20) Near Dark
19) Let the Right One In
18) Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
17) Psycho (1960)
16) The Last House on the Left (1972)
15) Trick 'R Treat
14) Child's Play
13) The Burning
11) Return of the Living Dead 10) Nightbreed
9) Night of the Creeps
7) My Bloody Valentine (1981)
6) The Thing (1982)
5) Halloween (1978)
4) The Fly (1986)
3) Pet Sematary
2) The Fog (1980)
1) Dawn of the Dead (1978)
It has been 11 years since we last witnessed Ghostface in action. In his 11 year absence, the Scream series has been taunted by the god awful Scary Movie films and other series of countless spoofs. According to Wes Craven, it would take a powerful script from series writer Kevin Williamson to get him back to helm a new blood of victims in Woodsboro. Was it worth the comeback? Did Craven find the perfect formula to mix winning over a new generation of horror fans who were learning how to count and look both ways while crossing the street when the original was released, as well as keeping the veteran fans interested with the new sequel? Here's my take on Wes Craven's Scream 4...
The Scream films were always known for their opening kills with better known celebrities, from Drew Barrymore to Jada Pinkett, and Omar Epps to Liev Schreiber. Here, the opening goes in a different direction and mocks itself as well as other massive sequel franchises such as Saw and other horror films with countless sequels. There's a triple opening sequence that came out of left field. I got it, I understood where writer Kevin Williamson was going with this, but it left me let down and I personally felt the comedy of it all took me out of the element. I really became skeptic of the rest of the film, but overall I definitely wasn't let down!
In this movie, as most of you already know, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has taken a page out of Gail Weathers' (Courtney Cox) book and written a book herself about her personal experiences with the Woodsboro murders. It's been 10 years since the events of Scream 3 and since then, Gail has married now-Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and all has been quiet for the town of Woodsboro. But on the 15th anniversary of Ghostface's original killing spree, Sidney has returned to town on the last stop of her book tour and suddenly, the Woodsboro murders have begun again. The film's main theme now is this generation's horror, with Ghostface recording his/her murders and posting them on the web and also re-creating certain events from the original "Stab" film. Roger Jackson has returned as the voice of Ghostface, I know personally that's one aspect the series cannot do without, the voice of Jackson asking "What's your favorite scary movie?".
The deaths here are bloody and dark, just like the other films. One thing that's for sure in this film is that Ghostface is fucking pissed and really goes knife happy! My only issue is that I felt the death scenes could have been more creative rather than just people either getting stabbed or shot (although I did dig the defibrillator sequence at the end). Also, Anthony Anderson's one-liner before falling down to die was unnecessary and ruined what could have been an awesome moment. I know Wes Craven has stated in various interviews that the MPAA surprisingly didn't make him cut anything out to receive an R rating, but I could definitely tell some of the deaths were trimmed...especially Olivia's death.
I will tip my hat to everyone for acting their parts to perfection. Never once did I feel like I was watching a bad episode of Gossip Girl or 90210 like with that fucking Elm Street remake from last year and The Final Destination. Courtney Cox played the part of a has-been reporter, dying to make a comeback very well and David Arquette once again nailed it as Dewey. Neve Campbell did great, having not seen her in anything since 2004's When Will I Be Loved, and Emma Roberts really surprised me...I'd say the MVP of the film goes to her. When I first read that negotiations with Ashley Greene fell through and Roberts was casted, I had my doubts. I say that because to me, she just seemed too young for the role and I just couldn't see her as what I thought would be the film's heroine. Low and behold, she turned out to be the killer (more on that in a moment...) and really hit one out of the park as a psychotic and intelligent member.
As it turns out, Scream 4 went back to the same formula of the first two films and revealed two killers, Jill (Emma Roberts) and Charlie (Rory Culkin). While the reveal of Charlie was highly predictable to me, the reveal of Sidney's cousin Jill truly surprised me. This film is filled with Red Herrings, it's really hard to predict who's who when everyone and their mother is made to look like a suspect. I never would have guessed Jill, based on the obvious fact that she seemed to be the new heroine and also being Sid's cousin. I love a good surprise, and this one was no exception. Looking back on the film a day later, I thought to myself how fucked up it must be for Sidney and her family history. Her mother was raped and brutally murdered, her father was the main suspect in the first film, her half brother, Roman, was the killer the last time Ghostface was on a rampage, and now her cousin wants her dead...killing her own mother in the process. After Jill turned out to be the second killer, I immediately thought Williamson was going to throw us another curveball and for the first time in franchise history, a third killer would be revealed (my guess was Deputy Hicks for obvious reasons), however that never happened.
All in all I really had fun with Scream 4. I missed watching Ghostface reap havoc and more importantly I missed the town of Woodsboro after it's absence from the last movie. Fans of the original trilogy are going to be pleased with the new sequel and new fans are going to be happy as well. I would never consider it "the best sequel" as that title goes to Scream 2, but I'm still happy with the final product. Apart from the less than stellar opening, the repetitive kills, and a few "stupidity elements"...I'm comfortable giving this a final score of 7/10. I have a few ideas of where the series can go from here, and I do honestly believe a new trilogy will come from this. All-in-all it was worth the wait and I'm looking forward to continuing my trend of all the films and seeing it again in theaters.
So 2010 has already came and is almost out the door. It definitely wasn't my favorite year in film, especially in the horror department. Maybe I didn't see enough, well actually I did so not a whole lot came out of what I saw this year. I'm already looking at next year as "the comeback year", I'm calling it now. Until then, here's my annual end of the year in horror list:
My Top 10 of 2010:
10) Saw 3D
7) Piranha 3D
6) The Killer Inside Me
5) The Crazies
4) Let Me In
3) Hatchet II
The Shit of The Shit:
Cabin Fever II: Spring Break
The Descent Part II
Survival of the Dead
Night of the Demons
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Giallo (Now I know why both Argento & Brody are keeping their distance from this one, holy fuck)
Thommy Hutson, Daniel Farrands, Andrew Kasch, and Heather Langenkamp (Never Sleep Again)
-These four managed to pull off one of the finest, most in-depth documentaries I've ever seen. 4 hours, documenting all 8 films of the original Elm Street franchise and it never misses a beat. I can't tell you how much shit I learned from this (ie Robert Englund originally not returning as Krueger in Elm St Part 2...the scene where Krueger emerges in the gym shower is actually the "zombie" stunt double who was going to play the role before New Line got Englund back). I tip my hat to these people involved in bringing this project to light.
What the Fuck Is Taking So Long??:
The Cabin In the Woods
Jeepers Creepers 3
Wish I Would Have Seen Before 2010:
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
28 Weeks Later
The Mist (in B&W)
Most Anticipated of 2011:
3) The Cabin In the Woods
2) The Factory
1) TIE: Scream 4 and Red State (I sat here for 30 minutes, debating which one I'm looking forward to most. In the end, they're both equally anticipated)
Now, with that being said, Platinum Dunes have once again managed to fuck up a good thing. When I first heard about this remake, I had mixed emotions, but when New Line announced the casting of Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger, I became more optimistic about this project. I even went back to watching all the original Elm Street films in chronological order while I was snowed in back in February. After watching all 7 films (Freddy vs Jason is a film in it's own), I thought the series did need a fresh reboot. Now I'm regretting that thought...
I'll start with the bad (Where to begin?): First off, Krueger's make up job annoyed me from start to finish. I can't help but to immediately think of Stephen King's Sleepwalkers whenever he's on screen. If the make up job wasn't enough, his personality just helplessly screams BORING. His one-liner's are anything but cute or funny, they just make him look like a damn fool because let's face it, if this is a darker Freddy than what we grew up with, then there shouldn't be any room for lame punchlines. Just about every time you see Krueger, he twiddles his two claws which, for some reason, got on my nerves very quickly. Samuel Bayer also has a thing for sparks, every time Krueger SLOWLY slides his claws across pipes, sparks shoot out like crazy. We all thought Haley would be the next best thing as Freddy Krueger, but we were dead wrong. I know many people wanted Englund for the role, but if that were the case then this would be just another sequel in many people's eyes. Haley had potential, but he dropped the ball heavily on his performance under the make up.
The other big problem with this mess is that there's ZERO character development. What we know is that there are five main characters, one of which meets his fate within the first ten minutes, all we know about that guy is that his name was Dean. The rest of the gang are just there. We know nothing about them, all we know is that Freddy haunts their dreams, so why even care if they die or not? The character Kris (Katie Cassidy) is an obvious take on Tina from the original, that's all we really know. She's not associated with Nancy, we just know that her and Jesse (Rod from the original) just broke up and she begins seeing Freddy as soon as Dean is killed off (beginning at his funeral). Jesse's in the film long enough to witness Kris' demise, go to prison, and die...that's all (folks)! Quentin has a crush on Nancy, who isn't even really introduced until the second half, and he's played by Kyle Gallner, who looks and acts exactly like his outcast characters from Jennifer's Body and The Haunting in Connecticut. The character of Nancy in this Elm Street is nothing at all like the character once portrayed by Heather Langenkamp, in this film she's just a quiet loner-type person who's simply just like the artistic, keep to herself, character you see in any other teen film. I mean for real, in one scene, Nancy and Quentin try and start a conversation together and all they talk about is one's favorite color...I shit you not! Clancy Brown did what he does best, take control. He's the only actor in this film I can say played their part to perfection (with the limited amount of screen time he was given).
There are also a few scenes that are straight out of the original film, such as the bathtub scene and the body of Kris in a bloody bodybag, but they felt just so damn forced into the movie. Nothing screams cliche' more than a remade sequence just to throw it in there to remind the viewers that this is a REMAKE. The body count is very small (not gonna give that much away) so this film has a lot, and I mean a lot, of filler. The micro-nap subplot also brought the film down another notch because it was overdone. It was just a sorry excuse to bring Freddy into reality with split second "jump" sequences that really robs the audience of a sincere scare. One last thing, when did Freddy Krueger drop so many F-bombs? I'll just jump to the next part of my review before I get carried away again.
With the bad comes the good, and I wish I could say the good makes up for the bad, but there's simply not that much to praise about this film. I will say Haley's performance of the human Fred Krueger was excellent. My only problem with that was we never see the creation of the glove, even though that's how the original opened. Here it's just there, he's Freddy Krueger, he has that glove, the end. I also enjoyed the recreation of Tina's death scene from the original for what it was. Kris wasn't rolling around the walls like in the '84 version, here she's thrown all over the room violently like a fucking rag doll, but what the original had that this one didn't was that very short-lived moment where a bloody Tina and Rod reach for each other, right before she falls into the bed of blood (and her death).
All in all this "Nightmare" was a nightmare. It's a mess. It's very rushed with no emotion or any sense. The character of Freddy Krueger bored me, the kills themselves are nothing to run to your friends and talk about the next day, and the film's climax was extremely anti-climatic. If this is the beginning of a new franchise then I'll quit while I'm ahead. New Line Cinema was once known as "the house that Freddy built", now (26 years later) it will be known as "the house that Freddy destroyed".