Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scream 4 (2011)

Many years ago, a writer (Kevin Williamson) and a director (Wes Craven) teamed up to reclaim the flailing horror genre and once again make it original. They did this with a little film called Scream. Of course, not content to leave it at just one... Scream spawned 2 sequels, neither of which lived up to the original. Now, nearly 11 years later we are treated to a 4th film in the series. In an age where Hollywood is recycling everything it can get its hands on and rebooting everything else, it comes as no surprise to see Scream 4 take aim directly at those responsible, within minutes of the opening scene the film takes a shot at the constant gimmickry of modern horror films, only it would be much funnier had Wes Craven not been responsible for some of the dribble that has come out over the last few years (Cursed, My Soul to Take, Pulse) and even more so if his own film didn't then rely on the exact same formula.

Which brings me to my biggest issue with Scream 4. It had the potential to once again show the industry how good horror films can be, and whilst it certainly isn't bad, it does stick to many of the horror cliches that annoy and detract. Take the fact that ghost face is the master of the old re-appear/disappear trick, something that just got worse as the series progressed. In this film he disappears in front of 2 cops in a matter of seconds and I would love to know where to get a pair of shoes as quiet as those... You also have the old single woman walks into a badly lit parking lot to find her car won't start and a killer on her bonnet that magically disappears and yet she still gets out of the car to run to who knows where deal! Seriously, the first film was all about changing the cliches and playing on them, this one just seem formulaic. (Insert loud scary red herring score here)

Again the focus of the series stays with Sydney (Neve Campbell) as she returns to her home town on the anniversary of the first killing to promote her newly published autobiography. The night she arrives a double murder has taken place and former deputy now sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) is on the case. It soon becomes apparent that the old town of Woodsboro is again under siege by ghostface and that no one is safe.

Wes Craven is a great director, he has made some of my favourite horror films to date, but Scream 4 seems like a bit of a phone in for him. It is certainly the best film he has made since Red Eye, but I was honestly expecting more. The acting is fine although the characters are a little shallow (they get over the grief of seeing their friends slashed to pieces in front of them rather quickly), the score by Marco Beltrami is the usual fanfare of ominous bang and clash, Kevin Williamson's dialog is witty and consistent with his previous efforts. On the whole the film is a worthy sequel to the original and is certainly better than the previous installments. It is just a shame that it wasn't as good as it could have been.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Episode 84 - It’s All Inside Your Computer

And another week another podcast.... this week Matthew and I discuss movies based in virtual reality or computer systems (Yes, The Matrix gets a mention). The challenges were Nirvana for me and The Cell for Matthew.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Trailer Alert - Sleeping Beauty (2011)

Well the selections for Cannes Film Festival 2011 are out and it is nice to see Australia get some representation. After her blockbuster starring role in the critically derided Sucker Punch, Emily Browning returns home to star in what looks to be a very interesting role in novelist Julia Leighs debut film Sleeping Beauty.

Leigh will be up against the likes of Lars Von Trier, Pedro Almadovar, Takeshi Miike and Terence Mallick (to name a few) in the main competition. Not a small feat in the industry of show for a directorial debut. The film itself has taken a while to get to our screens having been approved in 2009 (with Mia Wasikowska set to lead), but I will certainly be in line to see it when it comes out. Browning plays Lucy, a University student strapped for cash who accepts a job as a "sleeper" in a Sleeping Beauty chamber (read high class brothel). “You will go to sleep, you will wake up. It will be as if the hours never existed.” - just what every girl wants to hear...

On the same day as the announcement to Cannes, this red band trailer appeared. This is definitely not one for the kiddies and viewer discretion is advised:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Episode 83 - It's All In Your Head!

Coming at you for another week is the latest instalment of How B Grade Movies Saved or Ruined My Life! This week Matthew and I discuss movies in which much of the plot takes place inside a characters mind! Yes, we discuss movies such as the recent release Sucker Punch, as well as classics such as Donnie Darko, The Wizard of Oz, Fight Club, Being John Malkovich and many more. Of course with such a show we must warn that spoilers will be abound, so take care if you have not seen any of the films we mention as we may spoil some of the endings in order to discuss the films. As usual we have our challenges: Matthew had Swimming Pool and he gave me Bug.

So without further ado here is the episode for your listening pleasure: