Fashionably Late Movie Reviews: Scream

INTRODUCTION:
With all the reviews I do, sometimes I don’t get around to reviewing old movies, especially ones I love and have impacted me a lot. One of those movies is Scream. I loved it back in 1996 and I love it today. I am reviewing some twenty three years after the fact and I am not going to hold back on my thoughts, because all is fair for a skewer or praise, even my own favorite things. So what is your favorite scary movie? One of them is Scream!

SYNOPSIS:
Woodsboro is a quiet town where not much happens. It has seen better days then the murder of a young mother, but a year after that, things become hectic, and Woodsboro is never the same again.

CHARACTERS:
Shallow as puddles. I mean, exposition attempts to give us back story, but not really in a way that is needed, since it is being shown. For instance. Dewy saying to a smoking chief, “I thought you quit” when he is smoking, yet the body language is enough for us to see he is tense, his past doesn’t make this scene more poignant than it already is. A longer movie that build up the relationships better or better chemistry between the actors would of helped a lot. Otherwise, you really don’t care for most of them.

DIALOUGE:
Not bad at all. Although I do have some issues with one aspect and that is Randy’s Rules for a horror movie and one other aspect about the boyfriend always being a suspect. First about the boyfriends, what movie was it ever the boyfriend? It never was! I’ve seen 1000’s of horror movies and this was never a thing and while I haven’t seen every single horror movie made, I still can’t even find movies where it turned out to be the boyfriend. This seems like made up bullshit that found its way into the series. Second are the rules are never actually real rules. Let’s take rule one, being a virgin. Not a single survivor girl is ever labeled a virgin, we’re just presumptuous because usually the survivor girl is typical girl next door, reads books, but the question must be asked, whose perspective are these written from? I would expect a popular chick to not want to bang the nerdy kid, but not a single man picking up the easy nerdy female ass? I get if a killer is on the loose not to run off to a room to get off, because you’re going to be venerable, but Come on now, to think every character that ever went up against a killer in these movies couldn’t get laid or never did, well, this insults my intelligence. The other two make sense, but they really aren’t rules for a horror movie, more like, how to survive period. Don’t get intoxicated for instance. Well no shit Randy Meeks! How about, always have a gun? The “I’ll be right back” aspect also barley happens in movies. It seems to me that screams meta aspect, while there, is over inferred and whatever movies Williamson was watching were not movies I was watching nor anyone else. One of the weaker parts of the movies that is never discussed.

ACTING:
When I first saw this, I hated Officer Dewey, but David Arquette is really the guy who jumps off the screen with the best acting of them all. He never hams it up on screen or has an uneven performance. I have to appreciate David and his acting through this series more now than I ever did in the past. He is really good! The rest of the cast are uneven and one wonders if this is the first acting gig for most of them or if they were too cool to bother putting in the effort on such a low brow film. The answer is probably a mixture of both. Courtney Cox gets an honorable mention, even though Gail is over the top, she seems to have taken this seriously and brought an A game perforce and she is another character I loathed in the series.

PRODUCTION:
Production is weird on this. Scream, regardless of what some think, is not Wes Craven’s finest hour. It features weird 1960’s batman angles which not only look like shit, but add nothing and I noticed this was nixed later on in the series. A poor choice that, thankfully, didn’t hinder this movie or his career, because it seems so amateur. The set style attempts to be so not 90’s that somehow it is even more 90’s than being dated would have been, if that makes sense? The clothes are not teenage choices of the era, the set dressing barley have anything 90’s about them. I would presume they wanted to go “evergreen” so it looked good no matter the year, but somehow made it look like this was created by two out of touch old men. Then there is the police, which are all dressed like 70’s California Highway patrol. I don’t know where Woodsboro is, but it seems like it should be in New England, given that Dunkin Doughnuts outside of the region where hard to come by back then, so I don’t know how these Eric Estrada fanboys were getting it.

KILLS:

Awesome! They’re just right for the film series. Gory but not over the top and weird.

SUBTEXT: None

CONCLUSION: Scream worked well in its time frame because few movies were like this. You had Jason Lives with the meta aspect and that was all. It still mostly holds up, even though the cloning of cell phones was a dated reference even then, the fact Sid manages to make a 911 call on a system that never existed in the 90s, right after she tries the phone. Back then, this would have disconnected her from the net and she would have been frustrated waiting to reconnect via dial up. Kudos to her for being the first woman to ever have DSL before it existed. The production seems to be done by out of touch old men and the acting is typical fare for these films of any era, never mind the shallow cast of character. Scream’s charm lies not in how original it was or wasn’t but in how real it was, especially in the original decade of school shooters. It could happen anywhere and that is where the really scary part comes into play. It’s a movie that, had I seen as an adult, I don’t think would of influenced me as much, but because I was the right age and right time, it ultimately is one of my favorite horror movies and I am glad that I had the chance to see it then, because it really is a great and fun movie, despite all its flaws.

3.5 out of 5.

Fashionably Late Movie Reviews: Friday The 13th Part 7

Introduction
Another installation of fashionably late movie reviews. This time we’re reviewing Friday the 13th part 7:The New Blood. This is another of my favorites in this series. If you never seen this one, it’s the one were someone had a pair of balls in some shitty production meeting in 1987 and said “What if Jason fought Carrie White?” and in typical Hollywood fashion some rich asshole with more money than brains said “fucking brilliant, here is 20 million bucks, go make it!” That is pretty much how these things are app to go. So without further ado, I call this review, Friday the 13th part 7: The Search for More Money!

Synopsis
A plethora of cliché and shallow “teen” characters played by early 30 something actors are stranded in the woods of Crystal Lake for the billionth time, when PLOT TWIST, a psycho named Jason Vorhees shows up to kill them!

Characters
All the bullshit tropes are accounted for, nothing new here and all shallow as fuck!

Acting
Holy shit is it bad! I mean, the porn your parents made on their honeymoon was probably better acted then this shit. One of the worse acted of them all.

Dialogue
Fine, nothing that really stands out as absolute garbage.

Kills
Nothing over the top or interesting. This is one that could hold up well on TV, with minimum edits.

Conclusion
This is easily one of the more interesting entries in the series, if only for the psychic aspect. Had the characters been given more depth so we could care about them getting axed, along with developing the story a tad bit more, even with terrible acting, the seeds were there for a even better version of this flick. What we ultimately got was a mess of a movie that seemed to want to wade into unfamiliar territory but too scared to make those choices because it didn’t want to drop it’s successful formula in favor of originality. Had the film makers been less reticent, this might have spawned a whole slew of slashers straying from their A-B, horror by numbers. It is an ashame too, given Part 6 did just that and gave room with excellent box office numbers to get them to give different another go. Clearly, it wasn’t meant to be and it still turned out to be OK entry into the series and still one of my favorites, regardless.

3 out of 5

Kagemas: 1922 movie review

INTRODUCTION
Ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas. How I loathe this season. Idiots crowding the malls, poor people spending even more than they earn and kids acting like entitle little shits. Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la, la la, la la. So what better way to start off Kagemas then with 1922, a Netflix “original” based on the Stephen King Novella, of which I have not read. If you love Miracle on 34th Street and other feel good family, well, you’re in for a treat, because this shit is the complete antithesis of it.

PLOT
Dude is poor with a family on a farm in 1922. Everything is fine, until plot twist, greed takes over. See, I told you this was a great choice to start off Kagemas, it is exactly what this season is about, greed, gluttony, fat ass spoiled children and annoying family members you want to kill, which incidentally, is exactly what the Punisher or Thomas Jane, if you want to get technical about it, does. Long story short, ghost, dying and rats about sum up this claptrap.

CHARACTERS
None of them are develop whatsoever. We basically go from happy family for 22 mins which leads directly to killing the wife. It is all downhill from here as his son takes a girl he likes with him and goes off ala Bonny and Clyde, both die. Thomas Jane loses a hand. The best developed characters are the rats.

STYLE
I like the cold tone it has throughout. It doesn’t look very cheap, even though it clearly was.

ACTING
Superb from all of them. Shit, too bad this movie was such fuckin rubbish and a waste of fuckin talent.

CONCLUSION
1922 is a horrible, unoriginal pile of dung, filled with shallow characters, lack of development, decent visuals and pretty great acting. Like an aging rock star, it is a shell of what it could have been, without the benefit of being a great once was.

1 out of 5 stars.

Kageoween: American Psycho Movie Review

INTRODUCTION

     This movie came out two days after my 14th birthday and I can recall wanting to go see it. I didn’t get the chance to and ended up ordering it on PPV months later. My first impression was about how much I loathed the flick and how slow it was. I like dark comedy, but this was devoid of humor. What was funny about it? The pacing was wrong, the acting atrocious and it was devoid of any story whatsoever. It was, in my mind, how not to do a slasher flick.
Well, having just re-watched it for the first time since the year 2000, the question of, does it hold up and is it ultimately better than I remember needs to be answered.

STORY
     Same basic story as the novel. Young yuppie, wallstreet cunt, does too much cocaine, desires to fit in and does a bunch of boring, mundane things, like rent porn, exercise, have random outburst over shitty business cards that anyone but him would find virtually impossible to tell apart from one another, fuck prostitutes and oh yeah, he moonlights as a killer.

ACTING
     The acting is still fucking atrocious. I’ve seen better acting on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood than this snooze fest of a flick. It is one of the few movies where the leads are upstaged by minor characters, proving the age old adage of “there are no small roles, just small actors” correct. A lot of people praised Christian Bale as nailing the role of Patrick Bateman, but compared to his roles in other movies, he really seems to have no fucking clue what the hell he is doing in this flick. The only person worse, is Jared Leto. Thank fuckin’ God that both of them finally learned to act, but this isn’t the film that would showcase their talents.

VISUALS
     The visuals suck and don’t hold up. The lighting is poor, the sound quality on the Amazon prime version was complete shit. Is that a fuckin 90’s Glock in his hand towards the end? What the fuck? Then again, how could you tell, almost all Glocks look alike, which I think is the overly subtle joke, that few people will understand, that just like all the people are alike, so too are the inanimate objects. Besides that, there was a few, seemingly, era inaccurate aspects, which I won’t waste my time point out them all, because there isn’t a point to it. Other than that, there isn’t much to say other than that there are 80’s B-movies on VHS that look better than this eyesore.

CONCLUSION
     What is there to say about this movie, after nearly 20 years? It doesn’t hold up is what I have to say and it never did. The failure on the director’s part to seemingly make it like every other shallow, shitty, slasher flick, as if the movie itself was trying to fit in, is also lost on the audience, because of how Hollywood operates. Hollywood doesn’t like to mock itself often and few films, short of Scream, could has pulled off a feat so well. It fails overall and if you have to explain the joke, it isn’t funny. Oh sure, it has some very iconic scenes for any horror movie, from chasing the hooker down with a chain saw, to the ATM saying to “feed it a stray cat” and the Huey Lewis and the news ax scene, to name a few. Yet everything that was enjoyable about the book, is lost in translation in the film. Bateman is too one dimensional in the flick. I know that’s the point, superficial, charming, typical serial killer, yet so mundane and typical. How Bale played Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins is exactly how I expected Bateman to be played, which makes more sense, since Batemen was a metaphor for how Bret Easton Ellis felt during this time, the conformity and loathing within oneself lost here and would of added some depth. Another problem is that, they, the director, chose for us that Bateman is indeed, a serial killer and was supposed to have actually committed murder. In my mind, that was piss poorly done, since I left the movie, twice, thinking he was just making the shit up and still unreliable. The movie is way too long, with no clear intention of story and worst yet, it is unfunny as fuck. For a black comedy, I would have recommended adding some humor into it, besides “Feed me stray cat”.

     The movie is, has and never will be for me, but perhaps I will watch it again in another 20 years and see what I think then, but my teenage self and thirty something self absolutely agree, that this shit sucks!

1 star out of 5