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.

The November Man

Whoa, when did the first half of September turn into shit? Not making biases or anything, but there are not a lot of releases for Labor day weekend or the week after it. We don’t see big titles until mid September. What is this? January? Because even January has big titles, they are just usually big shitty titles. This is just…just nothing coming out for a couple weeks.

The November Man is the only real big release coming out for Labor Day Weekend, which makes it like an anti-Memorial Day weekend. There is a horror, but that is a lot more limited and didn’t really have a lot of advertising.

So, like it or not, The November Man, coming out in September, becomes the biggest release. Even if it looks like an awkward shitty spy thriller that might have gone straight to DVD, it gets to be the big draw to the theaters. Boooo. Booooo.

Jump
Full of generic action scene cliches, if we are lucky.

The November Man. Why is Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) called that? Well, according to the trailer, the CIA used to call him that because after he came through, nothing lived. Fuck. That has got to be the worst/cringe inducing reasoning for a nickname that I have ever heard. Seriously. Nicknames are organic things that are kind of on the spot based on a small reference. Does the nickname make sense? Sure. Can a normal person organically come up with that without a lot of thought? Fuck no. Even after describing that to someone, they might not get it right away.

So Devereaux used to be in the CIA and was, I guess, a killing machine. A few years ago, while training a young operative Mason (Luke Bracey), a kid got killed during an operation, and Deveraux decided to call it quits. He just wanted to retire in Switzerland, like any sane person.

But now, present day? His old handler, Hanley (Bill Smitrovich), has called him back in. They have to extract a woman out of Russia. This woman has information on Arkady Federov (Lazar Ristovski) who is primed to be the next president of Russia. This information she has is a game changer. And she asked for Devereaux by name.

Factor in a Belgium social worker (Olga Kurylenko), some other CIA people (Caterina Scorsone, Will Patton), a reporter (Patrick Kennedy) and a Russian assassin (Amila Terzimehic), and you got yourself a political action thriller.

Grimace
“Okay Pierce, can you give us a grimace?”
“Can I?!!?”

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t hate all of the the movie. Despite the beginning of the films best efforts to make it look like a shitty Luc Besson movie, eventually the movie started to make some amount of sense. A little bit. It definitely has its shares of twists and turns, if you are into that sort of thing. And I guess, for the most part, they make sense.

That is a stretch. This film has a lot of plot holes. When there are too many twists, early character actions don’t always make a lot of sense. We can chalk it up to deception, but…people aren’t that smart.

Follow up to that. The main character is not a hero in anyway. He kills a lot of people. A lot of US citizens in the CIA, who aren’t bad guys at all, but don’t know what is going on and are just following orders. He feels no remorse either, just killing everybody on every side. It is terrible. Speaking of killing, the ending series of events was also bad because he could have killed one of the main legit bad guys and didn’t. It would have solved his problems and not put the people he cares about in harms way.

Just a mess of a movie. It had some interesting parts. But a cringey title, bad hero, and bad decisions for smart characters turn me completely off.

1 out of 4.