Sunday, May 27, 2012

Disappointing Sequels, Prequels, and Remakes

Alright, I've been promising to write again for a long time. Even though I've been doing a bit of writing "behind-the-scenes" I haven't consistently come out with new content. I keep asking myself why that is and I've been convincing myself that if I write a bunch of movie reviews that lead up to a big post that's thoughtful and well-written, it'll make it up all the posts I've been promising to my readers. I've been stuck in a rut for a LONG time. Promising to post content and planning big things out that never come to be. Wasn't until I read a post by a homie over at Freddy in Space that I finally realized why I've been having trouble writing. I try to plan out a schedule for myself and write reviews for those movies instead of being more spontaneous and working on something that I really want to write about. So rather than write long reviews of individual movies, I decided to condense the topic that I've REALLY been wanting to write about this entire time.

After I put my Netflix on hold for a period of time, I kept seeing movies that I wanted to watch but didn't have the money to buy or even rent anymore. Finally, when I found a new job, I got my Netflix back and I was able to check out all the movies I've been wanting to see. So here are just some quickie blurbs on the more disappointing movies I've been watching as of late:

 

Conan the Barbarian (2011)

 

First up, even though it's not a horror movie, is the remake of Arnold Schwarzenegger's classic sword-and-sorcery epic. Say what you will about Arnie's acting, but the story was friggin' AWESOME. Giant snakes get their head cut off, an evil witch turns into an ugly old hag after being fucked, and Conan's mom gets her head chopped off awhile holding baby Conan's hand. The remake seems to have missed the key points of what made the original so good. There is zero emotional investment in any of the characters so we're just waiting for them to die off, there are no epic elements to the story like the sword of Crom, and all of the action ends in some anti-climactic way. What a stinking pile of shit this movie was. I'm embarrassed to say that I was actually excited for this movie. When it was first coming out. They spend the entire movie building you up for battles that end before anything cool happens. Even the sword looks crappy compared to the swords from the original. (And Arnold had TWO) This was by FAR one of the most disappointing remakes I've ever seen. And I've seen Night of the Living Dead 3D!!!

 

Scream 4 (2011)  

 

I wasn't as disappointed with this movie, maybe that's because I knew what I was getting into. I didn't expect much from this sequel, so I guess it was harder for me to be disappointed. In truth, I really enjoy the Scream franchise and I really wanted to like this one too. The problem was that they tried to drag the "jokes" on too much. I understand that this franchise is supposed to be a "self-aware" horror movie that openly states the rules that they're trying to live by as the movie is happening. This was fun in the first Scream when it was still clever. Now that it's not anymore, they attempted to do more with the "in-jokes" but I felt like they ran on too long. In fact, I think they could've shaved a considerable amount of time off this movie by cutting out jokes that ran on too long. (Probably an entire hour of running time!) I liked what they attempted to do with this movie but it was poorly executed. The story brings back the cast of the original as Sidney Prescott is returning from her book tour and ends up in her hometown of Woodsboro. There's a new copycat killer on the loose, putting Sidney and her younger cousin (Emma Roberts) in danger. I loved all the horror movie references and even nods to its own predecessors. Sadly, those are the only things that I can say I really liked about this movie.

 

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009)

 

This movie was a bunch of crap. Within the first 8 minutes or so, they flash a pair of boobies to hook you in. Once they have your attention, they switch gears and bring in a bunch of convicts to turn it into a sausage fest. To make matters worse, the movie itself is dark as hell so you feel like you're watching some sort of gay orgy happening in the backwoods of West Virginia. I was a big fan of Wrong Turn and Wrong Turn 2 but this movie was definitely the lowest point in the series. The blood is CGI!!! I really can't respect a movie that is too lazy to mix up a bucket of fake blood and splash it around in the woods. The "special effects" mostly look like crap, which is also why I think it's so damn dark. Just to hide the fact that the effects are garbage. I think they had potential with this story because the mutants aren't just hunting a bunch of helpless teens, they're hardened criminals who know how to defend themselves. The movie was pretty boring overall and I really wished they hadn't used the Wrong Turn franchise for this film. Really brings down the series as a whole.

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011)


While not the best in the series, this was a lot closer to what I was looking for in a Wrong Turn movie. This one takes place in an abandoned mental institution in the snow, so no dark scenes where you can barely make shit out. Also, they significant upped the blood and violence from the last one. I still liked the first two in this series the best, but this is what I thought Wrong Turn 3 should've been. This one is also a prequel so you can see how the mutants hillbillies got their start. While it's a vast improvement over the previous sequel, this one still has it's flaws. Mostly the characters in the story this time. When the group finds out that they're being hunted and eaten, they hatch a plan to fight back against the freaks. They scare them into a cell and are about to burn them alive.... when one of them has a pang of conscience and decides to let them live. (Smart.) So, of course, they break out and start killing again and the girl who suggests that they spare the freaks immediately switches gears and starts thinking about how to kill them. Really? You to had to lose ANOTHER one of your friends before you decide to kill them? There's a "twist" at the end which really makes no sense and you're left feeling like you wasted an hour and a half of your life watching a bunch of stupid bitches get themselves killed in the snow. You really can't feel bad for any of these characters and so you don't really care that they die. Surprisingly, this comes from the same director that made the last one. So at least he's getting better at what he does.

Hostel: Part III (2011)


One of the better sequels that I've seen lately, this one takes place in Vegas. While still not up to par with the first two, directed by Eli Roth, this one was a direct-to-video sequel by a different director. While lacking Roth's style, this director doesn't butcher the series and actually turns out a decent sequel. (At least by direct-to-DVD standards) I'm sure no one expects this to be as good as the original, so when compared to the other movies in this post, this one was actually decent. This is what I imagine The Hangover would be like if they turned it into a horror movie. A group of friends are in Vegas for a bachelor party and are invited by a couple girls to a "wild" party. Once they arrive, they realize that it's set up by one of the friends in the group and the girls are a couple of escorts paid to show the bachelor a good time. One of the friends disappears with one of the escorts and when the group goes looking for them, they're all eventually taken hostage to be auctioned off. The biggest difference in this movie is that the buyers were given a private room to kill the victims as they pleased. This one is more of a gameshow where gamblers watch the torture through a window and bet on things like what the victim will say to avoid being killed. The only plus was that one of the escorts (Sarah Habel) is absolutely GORGEOUS and a pleasure to watch on screen. (Still not as good as the originals though...)

The Thing (2011)


This is another movie that I'm really disappointed in and am embarrassed to say that I was actually excited to see this movie when I heard it was coming out. I am a HUGE fan of John Carpenter's The Thing, the special effects were incredible and still stand up to this day, so naturally I was stoked when I heard that they were coming out with a remake. I usually try to reserve judgement until I've seen the movie or at least hear more details about it before I flip out about them remaking one of my favorite movies. I really wouldn't mind if it was done well because that's at least updating a classic for a new generation. Also, whenever remakes come out, it brings the original(s) back into the spotlight. Well, this one is supposed to be a prequel rather than a remake, so you can see where they try set up some connections to the original story. What pisses me off the most is how they went with bad CGI for the alien. I know I hate on CGI a lot but if it's done well, I don't usually complain. (Especially if it's done in a way that I don't even notice it)  This movie is a sequel/prequel/remake of a movie that set a standard for practical effects in Sci-Fi movies. Why would they even bother to make an inferior sequel/prequel? My other question is, if this is supposed to be the prequel, why does it share so many similarities with the original? Does the alien attack two different groups of people who react the same exact way and have the same things happen to them? Not as terrible as say, Wrong Turn 3, but still disappointing that they even bothered to put this one out there. Not even the girlfriend from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World could save this piece of shit from the bad CGI effects that ruin this movie.

Final Destination 5 (2011)


I'm sure that since this movie was intended to be in 3D, I didn't get the full effect by watching this at home on my old CRT TV. Regardless, 3D should enhance the viewing experience, not be the focus of the entire movie. Therefore, if the movie is already crap, adding 3D isn't going to make it a good movie. That's exactly what's going on here. We all know the story of Final Destination, there is little variation from one chapter to the next. The kills aren't as inventive in this one, although I do have to give kudos for the laser eye surgery scene. For those of you who know me, I'm an optician and I've also had the pleasure of watching a Lasik surgery being performed. Pretty cool stuff, but I can see why people get nervous when the surgery is about to be done. Although, according to this movie, even a botched laser surgery wouldn't kill you... just don't jump out any windows afterwards and you'll be good. Tony Todd, who also plays Candyman, makes another cameo in this one but his role is minor. There is one person that I wish wasn't in the movie and that's David Koechner. I don't know what it is about that guy, but it always pisses me off when his ugly mug pops up in a movie. His face just really bothers me. The one thing I really did like about this movie was how they connected it to the others at the end. You can decide for yourself if it's really worth spending an hour and a half watching an average movie just for the ending.

These were some of the more disappointing movies I've seen recently since getting my Netflix back. I apologize to my readers who were waiting for me to post again but I'll do my best to make sure that I start writing again. While most of these movies were disappointing but still watchable, my pick for the #1 Worst Remake of All Time goes to...

Godzilla (1998)



Without a doubt, the most disappointing remake in the history of cinema, I absolutely LOATHE this film. I was a big time Godzilla fan when I was a kid, watching monster movie marathons on the SyFy (Sci-Fi back then) channel and TNT's MonsterVision. As cheesy as the Japanese Godzilla franchise would get at times, it was infinitely more satisfying to watch a guy in a silly rubber suit stomping on miniature cities than it was to watch this big budget piece of hot dinosaur shit. How the fucking hell do you fuck a movie up SO bad?!?! I mean, I was in middle school when this movie came out. I was 12 years old!!!! How hard is it to impress a 12 year-old?!?! I'm sure that I didn't have especially high standards at that age. I just wanted to watch a giant mutant dinosaur stomp around the city and blow his atomic fire breath at shit. How come I got a T-Rex that looks like a Jurassic Park reject stomping around the city with NO fucking fire breath?? And it's killed by fucking missiles?! REALLY??? Godzilla had about a billion missiles fired at him continuously and all he did was giggle like a schoolgirl before continuing to take a dump all over Japan. Seriously, I hate this movie with a passion. I would sooner re-watch Night of the Living Dead 3D... in 3D... with no 3D glasses on. I would probably enjoy a YouTube video of kids playing with Godzilla toys than I did this movie. This piece of radioactive monster shit raped my childhood and I demand justice!!! I want to gather all the people involved with this movie, put them all on the same plane, and make them watch this horrible atrocity as I shoot the plane out of the air. These people must pay for what they've done. If you haven't seen this movie yet, do me a favor and go pick up a copy of this movie then BURN IT.

I really hope this post saves some of you from wasting your time on any of these movies (especially Godzilla). If I was too late to save some of you, and you've already seen some of these movies, I can't give you back those hours of your life... but you can feel free to vent your frustrations in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!