Jun 12, 2016

WIWTW #50

I'm pretty encouraged about what I'm hearing about the new Predator movie that's due out in 2018. We're a long way off from knowing if it'll actually be good, but director/writer Shane Black is definitely saying the right things.

It's hardly an original or unique thing to be pumping out yet another movie set in the Predator world. What's to make this one genuinely good? We already have six movies if we include the AVP movies (wish we didn't have to) and nothing has come close to matching what the original Predator was able to do.

I think the key factor that this new Predator movie needs is the ability to stand on its own two feet. That's why I actually didn't mind Predators that much. Sure it wasn't executed all that well, but it did have a pretty original set up. Nothing will sink this new movie faster than inserting a bunch of callbacks to the original movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens can manage it because it's freakin' Star Wars, but this is Predator and it's time to bring that fear of being watched in the jungle back again. If anyone knows that, it's Shane Black. The guy was there.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Very happy to hear that composer John Williams is going to be a busy man. @Comicbook.com
  • Box office report: Some good news for Hollywood at last with The Conjuring 2 scaring up some good business over the weekend. With $40.5 million, that's only a tiny bit less than the original made in the summer of 2013 and it equals the film's production budget. Prepare for The Conjuring 3. At number two we find Warcraft which managed $24.4 million which quite honestly is a disaster given the film's $160 million budget. It's been released overseas for a couple of weeks though and that's actually been very beneficial, especially the $144.7 million it has gotten from China so far. At number three we got Now You See Me 2 which added Daniel Radcliffe to its star-studded cast and it earned $29.4. That's actually a smidge more than what Now You See Me did, but Lionsgate did spend an additional $15 million on this sequel, so they're going to have to make up the difference somewhere.
  • Some discussion about the recent "collapse" of Hollywood sequels. @ScreenCrush
  • Sounds like Danny DeVito missed out on the role of a lifetime. @Philly Voice
  • So this all-female Ocean's 11 thing is really happening eh? It's going to have to really prove itself in being more than just a gimmick. And not be anything like Ghostbusters too I guess. @Comingsoon.net
Video of the week:I seriously didn't remember the opening credits to Friday the 13th Part III being this cheesy/80's.

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Number of movies watched: 8

Average rating: 5.63
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June 5th

 

Trailer Park Boys: Don't Legalize It (2014)

Rating: 6.5/10

What is it: The third and presumably final TPB movie

This is the final TPB property that had Mike Clattenburg on board which makes Don't Legalize It the end of an era. TPB has gone on to being a Netflix exclusive and fully controlled by the "boys," but few can deny that the show has lost a certain spark. Anyhow, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by DLI. Sure it's got some of the property's standard jokes, but what I appreciated the most was the surprisingly dark and depressing tone. We've never seen the residents of Sunnyvale Trailer Park this low before and we probably never will again. DLI is a welcome change in my books and rights a lot of what went wrong in Countdown to Liquor Day.

June 6th

 

Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Rating: 7/10

What is it: A UK anthology horror film with a decidedly macabre tone

I recently watched HBO's Tales from the Crypt, so I figured it was worth my while to go back and see this original adaptation of Tales from the Crypt. Can't say that I was disappointed and any fan of older UK horror flicks should be more than satisfied. The stories are all quite good (maybe one or two of them are a little less interesting than the best of them) and I certainly appreciated the presence of English greats such as Peter Cushing and Ralph Richardson. OK, so some of the special effects are a little dated, but it's very easy to look beyond that. There's actually some pretty impressive makeup work on display. For an anthology horror film, Tales from the Crypt is easily a classic.

June 7th

 

Only God Forgives (2013): Best Movie of the Week Award

Rating: 7/10

What is it: A Nicholas Winding Refn crime film following his work on Drive

Everyone (mostly everyone) went nuts over Drive and I can't deny that I enjoyed it quite a bit. With Ryan Gosling back in the fold, everything looked like it was in place for another Drive, but that's not really what happened. Only God Forgives brings Refn back to his more typical sort of fare and his typical is certainly not for everyone. I'm a sucker for movies soaked in colour, featuring fancy lighting and carefully planned framing, so this was a film for me. There's little dialogue, tons of symbolism, an intense score from Cliff Martinez and a story line that I admit is on the thin side. I'm a sucker for these practically dialogue-less art projects so what can I say? You'll probably either love OGF or hate it.

June 8th

 

April Fool (2010)

Rating: 3.5/10

What is it: A Malayalam remake of Hindi comedy Bheja Fry

Funnily enough, Bheja Fry is a remake itself of French comedy Le Dîner de Cons which is a classic in my books. So yes, this is a remake of a remake. Normally I'd have seen Bheja Fry beforehand, but to be honest I just really wanted to get this one out of the way. Predictably, it's a very poor production with poor editing and cinematography. You know that dramatic editing technique where it cuts back and forth between characters with that little "boom" sound effect? There's loads of that and the score is of extremely poor quality as well. What saves this from being a 3 is actor Jagadish who actually creates a few amusing moments by himself. It's still not enough to make this film anywhere near worth watching however.

 

 

The Vault of Horror (1973)

Rating: 7/10

What is it: A sequel to Tales from the Crypt featuring even more horrific tales

It's rare when sequels live up to the original, but The Vault of Horror happens to be one of those sequels. It's not quite as macabre and dark as the first one, but it makes up for that by having some truly gripping stories all the way through. And the acting talent that's been amassed is an embarrassment of riches for a movie like this. Terry-Thomas is one such example and so is Curd Jürgens (of The Spy Who Loved Me fame). Tom Baker is worthy of mention as well and the segment that he stars in is a great example of saving the best for last. All I can say is that a double-header of Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror is worth any horror fan's time.

June 9th

 

VeggieTales: Pistachio (2010): Worst Movie of the Week Award

Rating: 3/10

What is it: Big Idea's take on the story of The Adventures of Pinocchio

As much as I find it easy to hate on VeggieTales, Pistachio isn't that bad as far as VeggieTales go. I mean it is kind of hard to screw up the story of Pinocchio and I suppose the so-lame-that-it's-funny joke about replacing everything in Pinocchio with something food-related is something. Geppetto? Make it Gelato. I'm not going to give more examples because you get the idea. Anyway, what completely derails Pistachio is how hard Big Idea forces the message of listening to your parents. There's hardly an ounce of thought that went into how to best fit their message without coming off as preachy. Nobody likes being repeated the same thing over and over again and I certainly didn't like 50 minutes of it.

June 10th

 

The Girl in the Café (2005)

Rating: 6.5/10

What is it: A UK romance/drama that's not exactly what it seems

The Girl in the Café is a bit of a strange movie. On the surface, I thought that it was going to be purely about a blossoming romance between an old and lonely politician with a young woman. While that's certainly part of the recipe here, screenwriter Richard Curtis turns this into a bit of an anti-poverty propaganda piece. While it's perhaps a bit too idealistic of a film, I really appreciated Kelly Macdonald's character for doing what she thought was right. There's a very forlorn tone to TGitC that I really liked, but it feels strange alongside the G8 storyline. It's almost as if this should have been two different movies. Bill Nighy is of course brilliant though and Macdonald grew on me over time.

June 11th

 

One Man's Hero (1999)

Rating: 4.5/10

What is it: The true story of Irish-American deserters during the Mexican-American War

The story of One Man's Hero is an interesting one. Tired of seeing his men be mistreated, Sergeant Riley (Tom Berenger) leads a group of Irishman to desert the American army and gets roped into fighting with the Mexicans. It's an interesting examination into the question of loyalty and obligation during war. It's too bad that OMH is so embarrassingly by the book and "Hollywood-ized." The romance storyline has exactly -1 emotion and the battle scenes are horribly edited, looking every bit the $11 million budget. Not to mention the handful of heavily dramatized scenes that are played up hard by the score. This is not a good biography/war film which is a shame because the story truly is an interesting one.