Los Tigres del Norte VS Los Broncos del Norte
Writing or saying negative things about Rob Zombie’s John Carpenter’s Halloween is a lot like poop shoots. Everybody has one. Rob Zombie’s John Carpenter’s Halloween wasn’t made for the people who worship the John Carpenter original. It’s not a film made for people who can appreciate subtle scares and a steady shot. Rob Zombie’s Halloween was made for the MySpace generation. The kids who grew up with the Jigsaw Killer as their Jason & Fredies and claim that Eli Roth’s Hostel is their favorite film. Zombie made a film that ultimately serves as white noise while people exchange text messages with each other, but packs enough blood and cheap scares to keep them interested. Or at least until they get another text message.
Before writing my thoughts on Halloween, I went back and watched Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, a film that made it onto my top ten list of 2005 and discovered one thing. All the things that I loved about The Devil’s Rejects were all the things that I hated about the Halloween reimagining. The cameos and casting of horror icons works extremely well in TDR where as in Halloween, it becomes down right distracting. I believe that Devin Faraci in his review said it best when he said that the casting in the film gives the impression that it was filmed during lunch breaks at Comic Con. It’s gimmicky, but at the same time, what point does it serve? Rob Zombie probably has a solid working relationship with a lot of these actors from his previous films, yet the question remains: are the kids who this film was made for going to appreciate a split second cameo by Udo Kier or even the extended cameo by Brad Dourif? I’m a minor fan of Brad Dourif, but it took me a couple of scenes to realize it was him and by then, he was gone from the film all together.
As I was watching the film, I started to believe that Zombie is the Splat Pack’s version of Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino populates his films with actors from the films that he loves and generally lifts plot points from and Zombie is no different as a filmmaker (Not to mention, Zombie’s fetish for guys with long hair is pretty bad as Tarantino’s feet thing), but it’s going to become a hindrance on his career. I know that it’s his wife and all, but for his best interest, Rob Zombie needs to stop using his wife or at least give her just small, very small roles. Yes, Sheri Moon Zombie is hot and makes for a great psychopath in TDR, but as a mother in Halloween, it’s painful. In addition, if Zombie steps away from his troop of actors (not every director can have a troop of actors as strong as Preston Strurges did), he’ll be forced to step out of the box in terms of his dialogue. Yeah, every character in TDR screaming “Fuck this,” and “Motherfuck that” works, but in Halloween, it just becomes too goofy. I was extremely surprised that the baby in the opening breakfast scene didn’t say “fuck”.
Then there’s the cinematography and editing which in other words means shake the camera all over the place so any action taking place is undistinguishable with a cherry on top known as awful lighting then cut the scene to shreds, so it’s completely unwatchable. Or maybe put a rock song from the 70s over the footage and create a zippy montage. The film’s biggest laugh comes from what I want to assume that Zombie would be an emotional high point: the infamous & dread “Love Hurts” montage. An overplayed song by the great Gram Parsons is supposed to convey the suffering a ticking time bomb is feeling because nobody would take him out trick or treating? Yes, horror films are largely successful due to its score and sound effects, but the way Zombie uses music in the film is too on the nose. American audiences are in the midst of a great “duh-duh” period, but come on, give the audience more credit than that. Also, thanks in large to the editing, I had no clue what was happening during the film’s climax. The footage looked murky and the editing was just all over the place. It looks and feels uninspired and mostly likely because it was one of the many sequences that were re shot in early July. The blog, Horror Movie A Day compares the leaked work print cut and the theatrical cut here.
It’s just an uninspired mess of a film that wants it both ways. It wants to humanize Michael Myers as a kid with a shitty upbringing, but it also wants him to be a super human kill machine. It wants to Laurie Strode to be the innocent, nice girl, but she just seems like a punching bag for her friends (It should be noted that Scout Taylor-Compton was one of three things I liked about the film) And for those who’ve been keeping score here over the last couple of years know that I’m a fan of nudity in film, but there’s one sequence in the film that goes beyond bad taste and exploitation. Granted, it’s nowhere as awful as Heather Matarazzo’s death scene in Hostel: Part 2, but it’s certainly up there. And oddly, I didn’t leave the theater angry or upset like I did after watching like Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake. Maybe I hold Dawn of the Dead a bit closer to my heart or Zombie’s film just bummed me out. Bummed me out because film executives were unwilling to let an emerging filmmaker do something original and unique. Bummed me out because somebody is doing another shitty remake of a John Carpenter film (fingers crossed that they never think of re-doing Jack Burton’s adventures on the good ole Pork Chop express). It’s just a bummer, man.
I don’t know who deserves the hype more: the band, A Place to Bury Strangers after getting that review on Pitchfork or this girl who had her digital camera stolen? After listening to a couple of songs by A Place to Bury Strangers and seeing that girl’s stolen NSFW pictures, I think that the girl rightfully and deservedly earns the hype. I’m not a fan of fake boobs, but that girl makes it work as if Tim Gunn told her to. Where as that A Place to Bury Strangers, I dunno. Whispery lyrics, lots of feedback, really slow. Been there, been done by eight million other bands. I guess I can’t go to Brooklyn now though since I like nice boobs as opposed to local boys making noisy, boring rock music.
A friend of mine lives in Oakland and he’s afraid to mention that he doesn’t like certain Bay Area rappers because he doesn’t know how people are going to react.
Courtney Love is a giant piece of shit that the world is better off without and she should learn to keep her mouth shut especially on matters that one would assume be a sensitive issue to her given what happened to her first husband, but apparently, it doesn’t fucking matter as long as her name is back out in the media. You know drag somebody’s name through the mud because she wants to be in US Weekly for something other than being a fat piece of shit who can’t stay sober and probably and thankfully never actually had a hand in raising her child. Leave Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan alone and crawl into a hole where nobody will ever hear from you again. Okay, that was a little mean, but I feel better now that I vented.
A bunch of films screened at the Venice & Telluride Film Festival the past couple of days. Read the reviews of: The Darjeeling Limited, The Assaniation of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Margot at the Wedding and Juno. I read the script for Juno a few months back and wasn’t that impressed by it. It had a bit of a hipper than thou attitude to it. I don’t know. Maybe it’ll work better on screen, then again, I don’t have that strong of a sense of humor.
I learned that from a party that I went to over the weekend. I was talking to three people that I’ve never meet before in my life and I only made one of them laugh. Apparently jokes about how iPhones don’t impress girls and calling a guy who looks like Crispin Glover “Jingle Dell” won’t make the girls laugh, but it did make a struggling actor crack up. I was told by the girls to make more references to “Laguna Beach” in my jokes. I was going to go into the kitchen and work on a new routine, but then I got tired and upset that somebody drank all of the Stella Artois I brought to the party; I only had two and then it disappeared. Lousy hipsters.
Then again, my goal for that evening was to only speak in quotes from Superbad, but it was weird. There were people who hadn’t seen it yet. I just bombarded my friend with texts of quotes from the film and to tell them to her friend, but it turns out that my friend’s friend hadn’t seen the film either. Thank goodness, I didn’t wear my Chik Chik Yeah t-shirt or any other of these random Superbad t-shirts.
It’s probably not that tough or macho to say, “It’s like we’re on an episode of “The Hills”,” as you’re eating brunch with your friend at some spot in Hollywood? Probably not. I would to love to seen an episode of “The Hills,” where they encounter like Captain Garbage as they’re walking out of Les Dipshit or whenever. That would be more in keeping with the Hollywood experience or at least the experiences I’ve had. Sitting in a depressing pizza place talking to the guy from Windy City Heat while some homeless lady goes from table to table asking for change.
The other night I heard a new M.I.A. jam on the radio, but then I thought it wasn’t M.I.A. for a moment, then I thought it was at least M.I.A. on a record with somebody else, then we beamed signal back to Mr.Big’s limo, then the radio announcer said it was a new Santogold song . Then I realized to most people, Santogold is going to sound awfully a lot like M.I.A.. So if you’ve never heard Santogold yet, go here and listen to some jams (I also took the picture above from there as well). I highly recommend her stuff. Although, if you’re in Southern California and it’s during the day, don’t dance to her stuff cause shit is too hot these days.