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.

Spare Parts

You see, Spare Parts is a metaphor. It both describes what they used in the movie to accomplish their goals, and what they felt society thought about them. They were leftovers, trash, extra coleslaw on the side.

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but you know I could have described the movie that way without seeing anything about it. That title has to work that way. As soon as I read it, my cheese factor went off, and I knew it had a double meaning.

When I read a brief description, it had every thing going for it to make a classic, and lame, “How do I reach these keeeds?” movie.

And it came out in January. I should stop before I talk myself out of even writing this review.

Group
Ah, you teach the kids by taking them AWAY from school.

Let’s head on over to Phoenix, Arizona, where it is hotter than hot, in a lot of good ways. There is a lot of immigration going on to, one could describe it as illegal. Like all of the main high school kids in our story. All of them are not legal United States citizens, so they don’t have a lot of prospects going for them. Their futures are kind of screwed.

Oscar (Carlos PenaVega) wants to join the military, but you know, can’t. So he is disappointed. For whatever reason, he wants to enter an underwater robotics competition in California. He has no team or adviser or anything. Thankfully, there is Fredi Cameron (George Lopez), a real engineer, and he is stuck substitute teaching at the school for a few months. The economy and all. He is the head of the Robotics club as per his job, but he was told no one would sign up.

So Oscar gets the idea to do the competition. They don’t have to compete against colleges, there is a high school division. Talent scouts and internships can be won there, along with a whole pile of prestige. Well, only if they can get a few other guys together. So Oscar is able to find a big nerd, Cristian (David Del Rio), a tech guy who is good at cars, Lorenzo (José Julián), and the muscle, for heavy lifting and stuff, Hector (J.R. Villarreal).

But things can’t just be that simple though, right? No, they really can. Here are some more cast members.

Jamie Lee Curtis plays our slightly eccentric, maybe on Xanax principal. Marisa Tomei is another teacher and new love interest of George Lopez and a huge team supporter. Alexa PenaVega gets to be random girl interested in Oscar, her real life husband. And Esai Morales gets to be the father who wasn’t there for his boy and never cared about his success. The makings of a truly stereotypical true story inspirational film.

Water
I mean, just thinking about it all makes me wet too.

If it wasn’t obvious, I certainly wasn’t looking forward to watching this movie. But I did it finally just to get it out of the way.

And you know what? It wasn’t that bad. Wasn’t bad at all. Was it full of cliches and some stereotypes? Sure, damn straight. Was the true story a bit better than the movie? Yeah, also true. Knowing some of the changes can be quite annoying. But eh, movies, yada yada, we have to get over it.

Here’s the thing. The characters were pretty charismatic. At least 2 of the boys one would probably enjoy their story. The other two I didn’t really latch on to, as I don’t think they told as much of an interesting store. Huh, a very average amount of things that I like.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about Spare Parts. You will go in knowing what to expect, and by golly, it will happen. It is a decent feel good story, where the only real difference between this and other ones is its heavy Hispanic influence.

2 out of 4.

Veronica Mars

Alright everyone. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

This is the moment a lot of you may have been waiting for. Veronica Mars has finally been given a movie.

For those who weren’t blessed with experiencing one of the better TV shows of the mid-2000’s, Veronica Mars ran for three seasons before getting canceled. It was one of those shows that was critically acclaimed, but suffered with ratings. It also didn’t help that the third season was a lot different from the first two (college), with several minor arcs instead of a big one. It also unfortunately ended on an awkward unfinished cliff hanger. Not as awkward as the series finale of My Name Is Earl, but awkward nonetheless.

But that isn’t the only crazy thing about this movie! No, it was funded by Kickstarter. Warner Bros. wouldn’t green light the film, so the cast raised money. They wanted $2 million to make the movie. In ten hours, the $2 million was raised, a record for the website. In the month time frame over $5 million ended up being donated. Needless to say, there was a lot of hype around it. Because of the Kickstarter, not only was the film released theatrically, it was also released same day Video on Demand, and the movie being sent out to all who backed it at the same time. Wow.

I will admit some bias. As a fanboy of the TV show (and as a Season 3 apologist), there is a good chance I like this no matter what.

Ride Of Feels
Total nostalgia overload aAAAAGGHHH11!!~

Guess what! It is time for Neptune, California’s favorite high school class to have their ten year reunion. Turns out after the third season of the show, Veronica (Kristen Bell) switched out of town to Stanford. Yeah. She got real far away. She went to law school and now she is about to get a high paying fancy lawyer job at NYC. But just when she thought she was out, they pulled her back in.

That’s right, Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is being charged with murder. He was dating another former Nuptunian, don’t worry about her, she had two episodes in the series. She eventually became a pretty famous pop star, and now she was found electrocuted in her own bath tub. Logan says he is innocent and for whatever reason, Veronica believes him.

So she is back in town. Her dad (Enrico Colantoni), still a P.I., the police force still inept, and her friends Mac (Tina Majorino) and Wallace (Percy Daggs III) are still by her side. Will this be her final case, something she swore she would never do again?

It also features more returning cast members than you can shake a stick at.

Piz (Chris Lowell), Dick (Ryan Hansen), Gia (Krysten Ritter), Weevil (Francis Capra), Leo D’Amato (Max Greenfield), Deputy Sacks (Brandon Hillock), and Vinnie Van Lowe (Ken Marino).

Also featuring some new faces, played by Martin StarrJamie Lee CurtisJerry O’Connell and Gaby Hoffmann.

Friends
Yay, BFFs, still after 8 years of not really talking. They too must be raging on nostalgia.

Going into this movie (despite my fanboyism) I was still a bit skeptical. I am used to the plot taking 22 episodes to solve, not one in less than two hours. I thought the plot might feel rushed/forced and I wouldn’t get enough cool clues along the way.

Well, after seeing it, I think the story really does work. It has twists and turns, there are multiple plots, and they did a few things I definitely would never have seen coming.

At the same time, this film might actually be accessible to those who haven’t seen the TV show. I wouldn’t suggest seeing the movie first still, because the show is phenomenal (What are you doing? Go watch it now!) but everything you need to know gets explained in the plot. You won’t get every character reference or throwback joke, but you can still get by.

Still, this film only seemed to arouse my appetite without bedding it down. What I (and everyone) really wants now is new seasons to continue the story onward. From what I can tell, there is absolutely nothing in the works but a small web series and that is all we are getting.

With just the length of a movie, although the story was good, it just didn’t feel like enough for me. Now I might find myself living in denial that it is truly over and done.

Veronica Mars is an excellent film continuation of a TV series, but I would argue it doesn’t match the quality given to us from the first two seasons. Alas, perhaps my lofty goals were set too high.

 

3 out of 4.

You Again

Surprisingly, this chick flick / comedy thing is only rated PG. Just seems weird to see.

You Again tells the story of Kristen Bell, having a shitty time in high school and moving away to become successful. Unfortunately, after she gets a sexy new promotion, loses the glasses and acne, and is less of a nerd, she goes back home to find her brother about to marry…her high school nemesis! Oh noes! But has she changed? Why doesn’t she remember her?

Kristen Bell?
How could she forget such a face?

So cue a movie of hilarity of seeing if people change, if its right to bring up the bad past of a changed person, and other high school dramatics. Jamie Lee Curtis is the mother of Bell, and Sigourney Weaver the aunt of the nemesis. Turns out those two also had a high school falling out. You again!

Overall, the movie is pretty predictable. I enjoyed it for what it was for the most part. I would have given it a solid 2 out of 4. That’s a passing grade folks. But the ending. Oh did I hate the ending. The bully was a bully to Bell all of high school, and ten years later she is still a bully to her. She has different reasons, but she maintains the bully thing despite claiming change. She only apologizes and changes once everything goes to shit. Once she has lost it all.

So at the end (spoilers) she still gets the marriage and everyone is happy. Fuck that. You don’t deserve that shit. That is just her getting to have a worryfree life, except for that one moment. She may even be a cyborg.

terminator
There is no basis for me to call her a cyborg or to use this picture.

There are other smaller cameo roles here, such as Betty White, Victor Garber, and Kristin Chenoweth. Also, crazed ex played by Kyle Bornheimer was great. But overall, that ending made it bad.

1 out of 4.