Monday, August 31, 2015

Goodbye Wes Craven

Everyone remembers their first horror film and for me, it was Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. I remember running to turn on the lights as soon as I knew that Pinhead and his demon allies known as the cenobites were going to appear. It was a good feeling only because I was introduced to a new genre and I have to admit that I liked being shocked every now and then. After that, I moved on to Halloween and wasn’t really into the whole slasher genre and the same goes for Friday the 13th. The one slasher/horror film franchise that did make me afraid to go to sleep was A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Kruger was hands down the scariest thing I’ve ever seen and for good reason.

I dream a lot so a film about someone that could kill you in your dreams will really make you want a lot of caffeine. I can thank Wes Craven for giving me a lot of sleepless nights but also a sense of what it really means to be scared. Now he’s passed on at the age of 76 and that is a terrible loss for the horror genre. Today’s horror films are mediocre at best to be real honest. I can’t tell the last time that I went to a horror film and was actually scared to go to bed. To be fair, the bar is set high which is another credit we can give to Wes Craven, Clive Barker, and John Carpenter.

His career is marked with many memorable films and The Serpent and the Rainbow was his crowning achievement in my opinion. Like John Carpenter’s The Thing, that film was just one of those movies that gets to you no matter how many times you watch it. It’s a true gift to make a horror film when you know what’s coming and yet you can’t help but flinch. Now these days we’re so desperate to be scared we’re remaking classics like Poltergeist in order to bring back real horror but instead of great acting and a capturing story, we’re given cheap C.G.I. tricks that ruin it for the audience.

People say that the horror genre is dead and there is some truth to that. Back when I was young, we had monsters that were never seen and were creative with the way they looked and the way they scared people. Like I said before, the bar is set very high but there has been some progress with horror with hits like Paranormal Activity, Sinister, and The Conjuring. There’s some creativity flowing back but it’s slow and with our beloved Masters of Horror no longer at the wheel, it’s still up in the air. I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to Wes Craven’s family and his friends during this time.

I would also like to thank him for making some of the best films that I’ve seen. If you aren’t familiar with his work then please look him up and see what you can, especially The Serpent and the Rainbow. Wes Craven left behind a legacy that most film makers should aspire to achieve and hopefully surpass. I would like to try something different instead of just closing this and wishing everyone a good day. Let’s honor Wes Craven’s memory by sharing a memory of our own. I invite you to please share what was your first horror film, how old were you when you saw it and which horror film is your favorite.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fox Fantastically Fails

When Man of Steel came out I said that if you’re a fan of the Christopher Reeve Superman then you weren’t going to like the new Superman which is based off the New 52 generation. Today I’m telling you that if you’re a fan of the Fantastic Four then don’t see this movie at all. Back in 1994, there a Fantastic Four movie that was made so poorly that it wasn’t even released in theaters. I truly feel this film should’ve gone down that same path because I’ve never seen so many people walk out of a theater before until this morning. I’m sorry to all involved with the movie because I’m sure they did the best they could to put together a blockbuster but the cold hard truth is this is a bust.

This film was problematic from the get go when it was revealed that this was going to be a different fantastic four with a completely new origin. At first I wasn’t opposed to it because as long as the story was good then I didn’t have a problem. The origin was altered in the 2005 version as well but there was still some elements that kept it traditional such as the cosmic storm and that it was the cause of their powers. The only part that ruined that series was a weak Dr. Doom that wasn’t a leader of a country, just a cheap Lex Luthor knockoff. The film also kept true to the internal struggles of the group and the traits of the characters such as Johnny Storm being cocky and Reed Richards being the over thinking egghead.

This isn’t the case of the newest version of the franchise because the new way they get their powers is nothing short of ridiculous. I saw the reaction of the crowd and the way it all occurred left the audience wondering, “Really?” The next problem occurs with the introduction of Victor Von Doom who again is no leader of a nation or even a wealthy business man like in the previous version. The only thing this film stays true with him is he’s the main villain, he has a desire for Sue Storm, and he wants to rule the world. It gets bad when has powers that he’s shouldn’t, he’s not as intelligent as he should be, and his signature look can only be described as weak like Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern C.G.I uniform.

I respect how the whole film wanted to be taken seriously by appearing more real but it wasn’t properly executed for a comic movie. A lot of this film was more dialogue and debate instead of the fancy uniforms, the heroic music, and action. The only time this film got my attention was in the final fight scene between Doom and the group but by that time, I had seen at least thirteen people get up and leave. The ending left much opened for a possible sequel and one is scheduled for 2017 but considering how poor this movie was, I have no doubt it will be canceled. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this film didn’t make it to number one this week.

Fox really dropped the ball when it comes to this franchise which is a shame for Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara. This film will remain a scar on their careers and if this had been their first film then it could’ve been their last. The director, Josh Trank has already came out saying that the studio is partially to blame but it doesn’t really matter at this point. The fact is this movie dared to be different from all the Marvel movies but it failed miserably. I give this film a 4 out of 10 simply because the actors did a good job but unfortunately the story didn’t make sense and the changes weren’t popular with the fans.

Do I think the Fantastic Four are cursed characters that should just be kept in the comics or cartoons as some believe? No but I do think as many do that Fox should just sell the rights back to Marvel because this is the 3rd time they’ve made a film and they just can’t deliver the fantastic. If you were really looking forward to this movie then I’m sorry to disappoint you when I say don’t bother. When this film was over I completely forgot to stay and look for something at the end of the movie because I simply wanted to get out of there. I had really high hopes for this movie because I liked how Fox was trying to be creative unlike so many other companies but the fact is Marvel is the only one that can save the Fantastic Four.