Monday, May 31, 2010

Cold Souls

Right from the get go you know something is odd when a film is based on a Woody Allen dream where he found his soul was a chick pea. A chick pea! Thus we have Paul Giamatti with said soul who decides to try another and a bunch of weird shit happens.
Let's deal with that whole premise first. It seems they tried to market COLD SOULS as a comedy and in this case it fails. Seriously fails. Some have tried to say it's science fiction. Uhhhh...if tossing somebody into what looks to be an industrial chicken cooker and swapping souls can be considered science fiction well bully! It worked, but in my books such malarky is not sci-fi! Then we have the school of thought who feel COLD SOULS not only is an existential examination of life, the "soul" and the whole why are we here bit and is nothing more than a poor mans BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND 0r even ADAPTATION. Yes, there are elements of each to be found in COLD SOULS but to compare them would be along the lines of saying DIRTY HARRY was a rip off of MACBETH. There SEEMS to be something intelectual going on here but as this is the feature directorial debut of Sophie Barthes and have no guage to figure what might be intentional or what may be projected by my own viewing experience. What I can say is I liked COLD SOULS despite the fact Giamatti star in it and I hate him! HATE HIM! More than than dude from CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Like Larry David I have nothing personal against Giamatti but both play characters I can liken to a mutated Woody Allen on a serious crack binge and it simply makes my skin crawl. That said, it's another fantastic performance from Giamatti but it is his straight faced delivery that makes it so hard to ascertain if this was meant to be a comedy or not. Doesn't matter, what does matter is the flick looks great, has an interesting pace, shows us some Russian actresses we rarely see over here (Dina Korzun, Natalia Zvereva), gives us some itneresting work from David Straithairn, Emily Watson and Lauren Ambrose and it MAKES US THINK. Perfect for a date at the rep cin with some strong coffee and even stronger cigarettes later. I can hardly wait to see what Barthes gives us next.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

R.I.P.-Dennis Hopper


Friday, May 21, 2010

The Novice (Crossroads)

I've never heard of Murray Robinson but he produced, wrote and directed this little oddball number about a young Jesuit priest wannabe (Jacob Pitts) who runs into Amy Acker and has has second thoughts. Actually, he was having second thoughts before he ran into Acker but I gotta say I'd be leaving the seminary for ANGEL's "Fred" quicker than you could snap a rosary! This is Robinson's only film to date and while having a made for TV feel it is a nice, clean, piece of work. He pulls together a cast of television faces you may not know by name but certainly by face including Matthew Carey, William Lee Scott and even Orson Bean who goes all the way back to the original TWILIGHT ZONE. Interesting roles for Alan Arkin and Frank Langella, both priests, in this pleasant little film.

The Company

I had no idea Neve Campbell used to be involved in ballet, I gather she knew that so she went out adn wrote and produced THE COMPANY which is, you guessed it, all about the ballet. So much in fact it comes of as a documentary with a ton of modern ballet pieces with a little bit of drama thrown in. I'm not going to slam anybody, especially Neve, for putting their money where their heart's are and getting Robert Altman to direct was a major coupe but truth be told THE COMPANY didn't do much for me. It is beautiful IF you happen to like this style of dance but it kept reminding me of shorts I used to see on BRAVO in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. Malcolm McDowell is fantastic as director of the troupe and James Franco serves well as the love interest when the non-dance action happens but this one, as visually beautiful as it is, will most like be for patrons of the arts only.

Desaccord parfait (Twice Upon a Time)

Antoine de Caunes directs wrote and directed this cerebral comedy involving a celebrity couple who meet again after thirty years. It's an interesting combination of the British and French styles of humor helmed by the impeccable talents of Jean Rochefort and Charlotte Rampling. Rochefort as the director still moved by his actress muse shows why he is so respected in France but the true talent here is Rampling who not only shows how to age gracefully but displays fire and screen passion of such quality it puts most of the new crop of actresses to shame. While a complex balance is maintained between the dramatic and comedic elements we are given an interesting look at the lives of older couples and between the laughs some serious thoughts are explored. The late Ian Richardson has some fine moments and Charles Dance and CORONATION STREET's Simon Kunz show up as does Boy George in a fun cameo. There is a great scene in a leather piano bar and Winston the bulldog damn near steals the show. Still, despite the talent pool this one is carried by Rampling who is simply outstanding. Too slow for the younger set but certainly worth the older crowd's time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Walker

Woody Harrelson claimed he would not do publicity for this film because he was unhappy with his performance which in my mind was a polite way of him saying "boy howdy this is one bad film".

It is and it shouldn't be.

I had to watch it half a dozen time to figure out where the great Paul Schrader went wrong and the best I can come up with is THE WALKER would have been just fine if it had been made and released in the early '80s. It's along the lines of the problem many have when they rewatch Brian De Palma's remake of SCARFACE. Great film but it is as firmly rooted in 1983 as MIAMI VICE and thus supremely dated. With THE WALKER, Schrader is dealing with modern related events but he presents it in the same manner as AMERICAN GIGOLO or CAT PEOPLE and the result is one friggin' mighty boring film and a sadly wasted all-star cast. Serious, the star power here is off the chart. Besides Harrelson, who IS GREAT as the gay male lead here, we have Kristin Scott Thomas who delivers easily the worst performance of her life, Lauren Bacall who has but a moment to shine, Lily Tomlin in a serious role who does not get a single laugh and Willem DaFoe in a cameo that just screams "hurry up and get me the fuck out of here". That cameo by the way happens to be for a major character! Strangely enough, while everybody but Harrelson flounders, Ned Beatty stepped up to the plate and smacked off a home run with his part and fans of The Ned may want to sit through this ONLY because of him. As for everybody else, other than film students who should see this for, if nothing else, discussion purposes, keep walking as there really isn't much to concern you here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fluff and Fold

Toronto's Brad Armstrong has been a powerhouse in the adult film industry not only as a performer but an extremely respected director. He stands out in the field because he actually knows HOW to make a film so when you view one of his features you get a genuine picture not just a random sequence of naughty hotties bangin' their ever lovin' brains out. With FLUFF AND FOLD Armstrong ventures into the comedic world essentialy taking HIGH FIDELITY and moving it to a laundromat and surprisingly enough he managed to deliver a product funnier than what he copped! Not quite an all-star cast but a stellar one with Jessica Drake, Cherokee and Lezley Zen with Armstrong himself, Randy Spears and Tommy Gunn along for the ride. Good clean fun here with some great action though I must confess it says something when you are more turned on by the laundry doing part than the actual matters at hand.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Described by many as ALIEN meets RESIDENT EVIL I would be more apt to describe PANDORUM as Dennis Quaid loses his shit in deep space. It's a great loss of shit mind you but that's pretty much the extent of what makes PANDORUM unique. Not a bad film at all but other than the ending we've seen it all before. The Travis Milloy script tries to gussy up what is essentially an action film with some science and back story but in the end you won't'll just want to see the aliens do their thing and bo do they ever. Christian Alvart directs a sharp, atmospheric spook house here but unless you have one honkin' home theatre system much of the effect will be lost.

R.I.P.-Lena Horne

They sure don't make them like that anymore.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Flock

Yet another motion picture where the public and critics got their hate on for Richard Gere. It's always hard to pin-point why we want to dislike him so much, either PRETTY WOMAN or the whole free Tibet thing, not sure, but when the script warrants the dude can act. Here he plays a civil servant charged with the duty of keeping track of registered sex offenders. At the end of the line and showing his replacement, Claire Danes (slighlty miscast but more than up for the task), the ropes when he loses it and starts going all Denzel Washington. Think TRAINING DAY meets SE7EN and you have an idea where THE FLOCK is going. Aside from Gere delivering the goods we have the direction of Wai-Keung Lau whose work we don't often see in these parts. His style works for what is a much heavier product than the trailers would have you believe and there is some pervertedly fucked up shit on display here which might explain why Ray Wise signed on. Special mention must be made of French Stewart of 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN fame who, while always strange, is a bonafide creepshow in this outing. Little Avril Lavigne comes out to play as does KayDee Strickland doing her best work since THE GRUDGE. In the end though it all comes down to Gere and when he gets down rough and tumble he's a hard man to beat. Great to see he can still pull it off.

The Stepfather

The 1987 original had some extra creep factor as it featured Terry O'Quinn with hair but that is a blurb for another day. Today we have the 2009 Nelson McCormack remake which is of some import namely being McCormack is rumored to be directing the 24 feature. He has already done a couple of the TV episodes as well as work on numerous of our favorite shows but to date his films include only TV jobbies and a dismal remake of PROM NIGHT. With THE STEPFATHER we have a stronger showing with Dylan Walsh stepping into O'Quinn's role. It's standard fare but the teen set will get a thrill from it with Penn Badgley of GOSSIP GIRL fame and the lovely Amber Heard, who we are about to see alongside Johnny Depp in Hunter S. Thompson's THE RUM DIARY, as the teens spooked by ol' stepdaddy. The end was a little rushed considering the tension built throughout the film but it still delivers a nice kick. More notable is the directing style which leads me to think McCormack can properly helm the 24 project.


For those who prefer their espionage cold BREACH will be a breath of icey fresh air. Based on the true story of America's most devastating mole and how a veteran team with the help of a green operative orchestrated his downfall BREACH manages some tense moments while staying entirely believable. For this reason some may find it a bit tedious but I suggest doing your utmost to surmount this reaction as the picture contains many gems the biggest being Chris Cooper. As the double agent Robert Hanssen he gives a menacing and authentic performance, up there with his finest work and this floats BREACH across it's ponds of weakness. While Laura Linney is a great actress she is slightly miscast and you will tempted to think the same of Ryan Phillippe as the young Eric O'Neill. This is only writer Billy Ray's second film in te big chair but he does a great job on evolving Phillippe from the new bright eyed kid to quickly jaded man with precision and the effect is a powerful one. While there are no great surprises story wise in BREACH is does work as a taught character study and if you get a chance to grab a cheap copy on DVD do so as the extras are a grande compliment to the film down to DATELINE's MOLE episode and a full commentary with Ray and the real like Eric O'Neill.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Leidenschaftliche Blumchen (Boarding School)

I don't care how many naked girlies they threw into this sorry excuse for a film, given the chance I would have rounded them up like a litter of kittens and drowned the lot! OK, maybe not that extreme but the giggling and cackling going on here drove me 'round the firggin' bend. It's one of those Euro soft-core jobbies along the lines of LAURA and EMANUEL which I've never been fond of to begin with but for those of you into this tepid crap there may be some points of interest. Yes, we have a barely 19 year old Nastajja Kinski running around half naked for most of the picture but that's nothing new and while this marks the debuts of Sean Chapman (HELLRAISER) and Fabiana Udenio (BABYLON 5) I can't find much nice to say about this one. The music will drive you nuts, the soft focus make you go crosseyed and the giggling will make you want to defenestrate yourself...even if you live in a basement apartment!

Brief Encounter

Here we have another amazing film based on the work of Noel Coward and in this case it earned the late great David Lean his first two Oscar nominations. Celia Johnson and Tevor Howard throw off literal sparks as the strangers who meet at the train station for the titled brief encounter and the reults a film making perfection. Serious. I often wonder if such a film could be made like this today as BRIEF ENCOUNTER set so many standards. Much has been written about this film from the directing to the acting and even the choice of music so I need not go on other than say this one is a must see.

Hudson Hawk

Despite being one giant in-joke and ham-job for Bruce Willis HUDSON HAWK is on heck of a fun film and I tend to not get along with those who would trash it. Just great absurd, nonsensical fun in which all involved look to be having a great time. Hell, even Daivd (take off your sunglasses, star off into space and insert snappy comment here) Caruso is entertaining. Danny Aiello is the perfect partner for Willis and I still hope they manage to get the sequel off the ground. James Coburn is a howl and future Leatherface Andrew Bryniarski gets some AMAZING laugs as Butterfinger. Sandra Berhard and Richard E. Grant as the Mayflower couple are downright diabolical and we have the vocal talents of the great Frank Welker as Bunny and narration by William Conrad! All in all and raucous feast where one must leave their snobbery at the door.

Psycho III

While I have great love for Anthony Perkins and the Norman Bates character there is no way in hell this should have let him have his directorial debut with this feature. It's simply too vane and Perkins hams it up to the point of utter distraction. About the only thing he did right was bring back Virginia Gregg (sadly her final film) who voiced mother in the original as well as the sequel. Perkins had worked on Ken Russell's CRIMES OF PASSION before this and it seems as though this is what he used as inspiration here the result being we are subject to far more psychosexual introspection than we should be and it guts the heart out of the picture. By all means worth a look for the die hards but by no stretch of the imagination a good film.

Cet obscur objet du desir (That Obscure Object of Desire)

The last film of surrealist master Luis Bunuel earned him his second Oscar nomination but amazingly he never grabbed on of the coveted statues. Here the object of desire is a woman lusted after by Fernando Rey. Said object is portrayed by tow actresses and is in my opinion one of the greatest examples of film snobs and critics reading themes into the work which were never there. Conchita was originally played by Carole Bouquet but when she quit half way through production Bunel brought Angela Molina in as a replacement. The nature of Bunuel's work made many believe this was intentional to reresent different aspects of the Conchita character when it was merely circumstancial logistics. Just the same, it has an interesting effect and while the slow moving action unfolds around the growing actions of terrorist bombers we are presented with one of the most powerful endings in any of Bunuel's work. Profound imagery and direction this is a special film but will not be to the taste of all.

Beyond the City Limits (Rip it Off)

Looks like we have another money laundering nightmare of a flick here as this is one sloppy, jumbled mess of a film. Nastajja Kinski adds another clunker to her resume, Jennifer Esposito is wretched, Alyson Hannigan (with some funky eyebrow tats happening) wasted, fellow BUFFY/ANGEL alumni Alexis Denisof laughable as a Russian mobster with one of the worst accents I've EVER heard. Brian McCardie and Todd Field get some intentional laughs but in all honesty the most interesting aspect I found in this film was the fucking fish! At least we now know what happened to Roxanne Hart of HIGHLANDER fame who gets dragged into the amazing mess. Avoid at all costs!


I have biased opinions here being a fan of Patrick McGrath's written work so I'll say this right off, if you found SPIDER slow don't even think of bothering with ASYLUM. Set in 50's England, the sadly late Natasha Richardson stars as a lady who undergoes a sexual awakening of dire proportions. The wife of a psychiatrist stationed to a institution for the criminaly insane she soon finds hersef embroiled in an affair with one of the inmates. Sounds like a simple story but in the hands of McGrath, who was raised next to one for real where his father worked, the material takes on an air of authority and the subtleties in the story give this more weight than is often seen. David Mackenzie has an interesting directing style which work well in this enviroment and he gets solid work from his cast. It's a shame Richardson was unable to work with her husband Liam Neeson as was intended but issues with KINSEY prevented this. Just the same, we get fine performances out of Marton Csokas, Joss Ackland and the great Ian McKellen. Lot of sex in this one but like every other aspect of ASYLUM it is very stark and brutal. Look for McGrath in cameo as one of the inmates.

Hooray for Horrorwood

Before the days of FANGORIA the groovy ghoulies all counted on Forrest J. Ackerman's FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND for info on all things horrible and fantastic. With this documentary we take a look at the man, the history of the magazine, the careers of horror greats Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Sr as well as an intimate tour of the Ackermuseum. Certainly of interest to monster junkies but that's about it.

Easy Virtue

Delightful! There is a word you don't hear me use too often but it succinctly sums up how I feel about Stephen Elliott's film adaptation of Noel Coward's play. From top to bottom this film delivers, amazing acting, stunning script and an ending for the ages. For Jessica Biel to hold her own against the likes of Kristen Scott Thomas is amazing enough but for both to utterly excel in their roles is nothing short if incredible. I've never been a fan of Colin Firth, not a personal thing but an issue with the characters he plays (I've not yet seen A SINGLE MAN which I hear is great) but he is perfectly suited to the skin of Mr. Whittaker and for my money this is his greatest work to date. Alas, the same can be said for all involved as the casting is impeccable right down to Kris Marshall as the butler Furber. Alongside all of this acting talent and and blessed script is Elliott's directing style. We've seen it before in EYE OF THE BEHOLDER and THE ADVANTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT but in EASY VIRTUE is raises the bar. There is one scene in particular involving a record and a turntable which is right up there with the shower scene in PSYCHO and it these little things combined with solid basics that makes EASY VIRTUE so special. Again delightful and I do wish we'd see more films like this hitting the silver screen.

The Brothers Bloom

I think I can be forgiven for thinking writer/director Rian Johnson might have read Michael Chabon's THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY as he was flushing out THE BROTHERS BLOOM as there are many similarities between the two. This isn't a bad thing but I found it rather distracting. Still, from the opening shot with a one legged cat shuffling along on some wheeled contraption you pretty much no what you are in for. The principal cast are more than effective in conveying the manic nature of this tale concerning the title mentioned con artist brothers played to perfection by Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo. Joined by Rachel Weisz they embark on a series of maladjusted happenings destined to entertain the most jaded viewer. While smart, sexy and downright explosive sadly THE BROTHERS BLOOM never manages to elevate itself above average. Rinko Kikuchi is fabulous as Bang Bang, a character bound to become a cult favorite in years to come, and both Robbie Coltrane and Maximilian Schell have great bit parts but overall this viewer was left wanting more at films end. Certainly worth taking a chance on.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

Considering the talent involved here I can't help but say I expected a bit more from THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURG. Then again, this wasn't one of Michael Chabon's better books and I only say this as compared to WONDER BOYS and THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY. All of the elements we a familiar with in Chabon's work are here but they never quite congeal and a disjointed as his stroies may seem they usually pull together nicely at the end and this one doesn't. Fine perormace from Jon Foster as Art Bechstein, who is out to live it up before his life as a stock broker begins. Interesting dynamics between his gangster father, downplayed by Nick Nolte and his dual love interests in Peter Sarsgaard and Sienna Miller. Mena Suvari floats around the action causing some interesting bits of trouble but the bottom line is this one his for a night when nothing else is on or if you happen to be a Chabon fan in which case I might remind you of how Chuck Palahniuk's CHOKE turned out.

My Zinc Bed

In defence of MY ZINC BED (I have no friggin' idea just WHAT the title is supposed to mean) it was made for television but even this does not excuse the fact it is a play that doesn't work in movie film. I've never seen this on stage but while watching David Hare's (THE HOURS, THE READER) work presented in this fashion I couldn't help but think it would work so much better in a dark warehouse with benches and booze bottles scattered about the floor. The booze bottles are important as MY ZINC BED is about just that, a rich old boozer, Jonathan Pryce, antogonizing two recovering addicts played by Paddy Considine and Uma Thurman. What we have thoughout is one hell of a lot of bitching and blah blah blah which certainly reminded me of an AA meeting and bored the living shit out of me. Shame too as the performances are great but it just goes on and on and on and by gawd you'll be driven to drink after the first half hour. Fans of Thurman will certainly want to see it if for no other reason the funky accent she uses but I'm pretty sure most of you will agree this one should have stayed on the lighted boards.

Iron Man 2

For some reason I wasn't expecting much from the first IRON MAN and I wasn't about to from the sequel. Granted of late we're finding better bang for our buck in comic based frachises these days but more often than not film makers just rehash what worked in the first and leave it at that. We can thank our banging anvils they didn't do that with IRON MAN 2. Allow me to say I don't know what film the "big critics" were watching to pan this one so bad as it is a fine follow up as well as an adequate gateway to events about to unfold in the Marvel Universe. While director Jon Favreau has come under fire for somewhat pushing Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark character to the sidelines in order to explore other players on the field fanboys at large need not despair. There is plenty of Downey Jr. action to go around but there are also lots of others things to consider namely being Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell. Rourke is the wild card here and I can see why some have issues with his vilain Ivan Vanko (actually a combo of two comic book baddies, Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash). Rourke is fabulous and his research into the culture of the Russian underworld pays off in spades yet the character feels like he's in the wrong film. Rourke plays it so straight you feel he'd be better suited for the BOURNE series than being stuck here with the jokes and abundant one-liners. I had no problems myself but others have. I did have an issue with Favreau's use of slow motion during the Monaco Gran Prix scene. I think it greatly detracted from what should have been a mind blowing sequence but that's just me. As for Sam Rockwell, who we know and love from GALAXY QUEST and THE GREEN MILE, he once again does what he does best, annoy the hell out of you. A radical envisionment of the comic book version, I'm even pursits will forgive the decision as it makes far more sense to have a contemporary business rival for Stark and Rockwell is perfect. I would have liked to have seen more of Scarlett Johannson who sadly is slightly wasted here, her Black Widow character not even being named in this outing but like Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury it's more a teaser of things to come and when Johnasson does get to bust a move it's certainly worth it. Odd to see Don Cheadle steppingin to replace Terrence Howard as Rhodey and Gary Shandling has a killer cameo. Speaking of cameos look for Stan Lee as Larry King in a split second shot. All of this is backed by a smart script which is dense enough to make multi viewings of IRON MAN 2 probable. Be sure to stay through the end credits for a revealing bit of information.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Hard to say but if ever there were a man to have a fetish for gigantomastia it would have been Russ Meyer. I'm trusting you are well aware of his film work and his love for the bustier of the fair sex and in FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! we have one of his most famous films, perhaps second only to BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. Interesting thing is other than midnight film cultists most have never seen the picture, they just know the title which neatly wraps up the elements Meyer felt a good film should have, speed, sex and violence. This one has it all, mind you as much as he could get away with in 1965, and most of it being meted out by the great Tura Santana who is pretty much an underground star on this part alone. It was nice to "see" her in Rob Zombie's THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO last year and this is certainly a testement to her counter-culture status. As a film, FPKK is a matter of taste and you can easily see the influence it had on John Waters. Required viewing for underground film buffs but little here for the mainstream viewer.

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Appatently May is Cheeseburger Month (I thought every month was) and in honour of this White Castle have issued a burger scented candle. You read that correctly, a burger scented candle. Now, in defence of the fast food chain (older than McDonald's believe it or not) the proceeds from said candles will go to austism research. I don't make this stuff up. That being said, let's take a look back at the 2004 classic of modern comedy. Sure, THE HANGOVER is the flavor of the month but I didn't think it came close to this, the first of the HAROLD & KUMAR flicks which is flat out, bust your friggin' gut funny. Why Cho and Penn have not become the modern day Lewis & Dean or even Cheech & Chong might have something to do wth Penn being involved with the Obama Administration though word is they will return for a Christmas film to be shot in 3-D! Again, I don't make this shit up.....HAROLD & KUMAR IN 3 FRIGGIN' D! When I was talking about this with the pub-gals one piped up that it would suck as Neil Patrick Harris wouldn't be back as he was killed in ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY to which I said somebody missed the end credits as there were indeeds signs of life in NPH. To my knowledge there wasn't in his carreer until WHITE CASTLE was released. After that his was riding high (no pun intended) as a once again pop icon. There is no need for me to ramble on here, HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE is a classic, smart, gross, and funny as fuck. The cheetah will make you piss your pants and even Christopher Meloni manages to lighten up!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street

As I remember it was a bitter cold and snowy day in November when I was outside a cinema in Halifax, Nova Scotia waiting to see what Wes Craven had come up with and, a little under two hours later walked out thinking "Well, this is the start of something new." It was. Unless you lived through the '80s it's hard to understand just what the Freddy phenomenon was. I was having this conversation with a film critic (one who gets paid....BASTARD!) the other day and he was of the mind it was just the whole youth in revolt thing playing out. I'm of the school of thought, it was much darker. Aside from another "pop' icon who I shan't mention for fear of a true horror show law suit (try mentioning a certan day-time talk show icon and you end up in the same shark tank). What other child molesting psycho ended up on the t-shirts of millions and had his own TV show? This isn't a slight against Robert Englund, a truly wonderful man, and one must remember the sexual abuse element of The Krueger character was never explored, perhaps implied but never brought out in the open. Not sure Englund would have stayed on as long if they had. Just the same, I always suspected the counter culture success of Freddy was in fact why so many children of that generaton WERE abused, for real, and this was a severe in the face up yours to the older folks and a bloody damn good way of saying "Hey, we SEE you....turn blue ya fawkin' creeps".
I may be wrong, just the same, it's 2010, there is a new nightmare happening on ol' Elm St. and that skeletal abuse cat is well out of the proverbial body bag.
The critics at large (even my buddy) took their own razor blades to this need...a cash grab... boring...what's the point etc.
Uh........32 big large million so far on opening weekend should answer part of the "what's the point" question and back up the cash grab aspect. Question is, was it worth it...answer....yes. While the original holds up amazingly well ( does) this update works just a bit better for the modern age. I won't ruin the good stuff for you but, they flush out the motivation behind the events in a way we didn't see in the series before. Samuel Bayer's work in the music video world is evident in some parts but not so much so that you get a headache from the rapid editiing style so many others make when they switch from the tube to the big screen. What struck me most about the new nightmare was casting. I thought Rooney Mara was fantastic as the new Nancy and she has a great partner in Kyle Gallner. Ah yes, Kyle Gallner. Despite having seen him in numerous TV shows (short stint on CSI: NEW YORK) I still can't look at him without thinking I'm watching Wil Wheaton but, he does a great job with his part so I must confess the big treat for me was Katie Cassidy. I don't care if she's David's little girl or not, she is SMOKIN' hot and will no doubt be causing a "different" type of night dreams for the teenagers in the weeks to come.
Of course, the big issue is Jacke Earle Haley as Freddy. I liked him for the most part but I am not overly fond of the new makeup design. It's not the face, though had he been using Mont Source Unique Shaving Solution he might not look so bad, but the eyes! They have this alien/cat like quality that for some reason seem out of place. A small point I know, but it's my job to tell you.
To wrap this all up, the new one is worth your money. Hard to say if it will reboot the franchise as such but, it is certainly a fine stand-alone.
I walked in opening day as I had done 26 years ago and I felt old and when I left, well, I didn't think it was the start of something new but it wasn't a bad beginning to a new future.