Halloween

Forty years ago, a slasher movie came out, by John Carpenter, and people really liked it. I don’t know if Halloween changed the game from movies in that time, but it was well liked, it had some long cut scenes, surprises, boobs, and a lot of scary scary moments. It spanned a lot of sequels.

Three weeks ago, I finally watched that movie, and hey, I liked it enough. It was fun and I was excited for the sequel. I definitely did not watch any of the follow ups, because hey, new Halloween said they don’t matter. This is a direct sequel, fuck the other movies.

Sounds good to me.

Mask
This killer is now super old, and his mask really shows those stress lines.

Forty years ago, some bad stuff happened in Haddonfield, Illinois. You may have seen the documentary about it. And since that moment, since Michael Myers was apprehended, he has been studied in psych wards for decades. He barely moves. He doesn’t speak. No one can figure out his deal. We even have a new scientist (Haluk Bilginer), protege of the old scientist, who has made Myers his life’s work to unravel. And the state is finally done with Myers, so they are going to transfer him to real prison for him to just be jailed and ignored, no more chance for study.

Back in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is living life on her own, in a compound in the wood. She’s got gates, security cameras, hidden rooms, and a lot of gun training. She is ready for the big day she knows is coming at some point. It has ruined her life in more ways than one. Her daughter was taken away from her when she was 12 years old due to her training, and her daughter (Judy Greer) hasn’t really let her back in her life much sense. That daughter is now married (Toby Huss), raising her own daughter (Andi Matichak) and trying to become normal and not driven by paranoia.

Needless to say, due to events, Michael is breaking out again, and he is ready to finish what he started. His obsession. His reason for breathing heavily.

And the plot involves some damn investigative journalists (Jefferson Hall, Rhian Rees) trying to stir up some memories. It is not the fault of the local Sheriff (Will Patton) this time. Also starring a few other teenage sidekicks to up the body count of people we potentially may care about, like Miles Robbins, Dylan Arnold, Virginia Gardner, and Drew Scheid with the worst Hobbit face known to man.

Door
And fuck this door in particular.

Halloween starts out strong and keeps up the pace for most of the film. We get to have a similar score from the original film, similar opening credits, and a whole lot of intense moments that have nothing to do with people dying from kitchen knives.

It does have jump scares early on, of relatively silly things, that modern movies love to do with teenagers. They can be annoying. This Hall actor being a journalist feels like he really just wants to be Kenneth Branagh. I really hate the fat jokester friend by a lot. He has a hobbit face, and it confuses me, and I just don’t want him in this movie.

Michael kills a lot more in this film, and seems far more superhuman than he did in the first film. Ridiculous deaths, jaws ripped off and more. Would make sense from a more supernatural point of view, but I thought this was meant to be more realistic slasher film.

I still did enjoy most of the film. But the last act felt very rushed (minus one search the house scene). Things were cut quickly, scenes moved quickly, and it became harder to follow while also being less exciting overall.

Honestly, the ending pushed it into just average territory. It was a fine follow up and probably lead to adequate follow ups in the future. Hopefully Kenny Fucking Powers will be in those follow ups.

2 out of 4.

Rosewater

I don’t often use the democratic process when working on my website, but I like to keep things interesting. Because I only go to 1 pre-screening a week now, I have to sometimes make difficult decisions on what I want to watch now and watch later. I had FOUR choices this weeks of screenings, and since none of them were Foxcatcher, I took to Facebook and Twitter to let the people decide.

And overwhelmingly, the people decided on Rosewater.

Like most people, the only thing I knew about Rosewater is that it was directed by Jon Stewart. And that is it. Current events be damned, sometimes I don’t keep up with all of the happenings all around the world.

Shock
Don’t look too shocked, I am just super America-centric.

Rosewater is the true story of journalist Maziar Bahari (Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal), a guy who worked for Newsweek in London. Mazier was born in Tehran, Iran, but he left it to go to Canada to get the college education and has mostly stayed away since then. Now, in London, he has a pregnant wife (Claire Foy) and things are looking good. They are sending him to Iran to cover a new election. It is a big one, because a dude who has been there forever and very religious might actually lose the election. The people are clamoring and demanding change, so they are going to maybe elect a professor who wants to help his country grow.

Very exciting times.

But while there, he ends up hanging out with some activists who are really anti the current Iranian government. Thanks to them, he can see Iran as it really is, with the protests and the underground movements. And when the conservative guy wins again? Iran blows up. Figuratively. Protests, anger, rah rah rah. Now Maziar is there a lot longer than he expected. Oh well. As long as he doesn’t do anything illegal, he should be good.

Well, he gets locked up anyways. Just for filming and showing it on the news. And he gets called a spy. And he has to stay in solitary confinement, with blindfolds, for almost 120 days, while they mentally torture him believing him to be an American spy. Weeee~

Also featuring Kim Bodnia, Dimitri Leonidas, Haluk Bilginer, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Golshifteh Farahani.

Blindfold
He probably got a lot of sleep with that thing too.

In case you didn’t know, the reason why Jon Stewart felt compelled to tell this story in movie form is because The Daily Show had ties to Maziar. Maziar was interviewed by The Daily Show when he was in Iran for this election in which he was jokingly called a spy along with other terrorist jokes. The Iranian government used that interview as part of their proof that he was in fact a spy, despite the nature of the show. Yeah, Jon probably felt pretty bad. But they go over that in the movie.

In case you didn’t know where the title came from, Rosewater is a scent and the main interrogator for Maziar had that type of cologne or whatever smell on him. However, awkwardly enough, the movie didn’t really explain or say that, from what I can tell. Just a small snippet about it at the beginning and then never really brought it up again. Seems to be an important point.

Rosewater really is just an average movie. I liked the cinematography, but the aspects of it as a complete film are probably Jon Stewart’s faults. It felt like a movie 10 years ago showing the few “social activism” scenes, like trending hashtags and news reports about his situation. They stood out way too much and seemed like a way to escape the film and the horrible conditions Maziar was in. Because of the frequent interruptions and weird way to present his imprisonment, I rarely could connect with him. It just didn’t feel serious enough.

I also couldn’t really figure out the purpose of this is, outside of maybe letting more people know that Iran government is kind of corrupt. It was a shitty situation, but one that also kind of got resolved pretty easily and the whole thing just felt…weird. I heard there was a documentary on the same subject, it is probably a better source of information and maybe even more entertaining.

2 out of 4.