Sunday, February 15, 2009

The 2009 disappointments continue

Though on a smaller scale than being denied my Canadian Visa. So far:

Friday 13th.

Yes, I know it seems unlikely that I would be disappointed over this remake. But I am. See, Marcus Nispel directed the Texas Chainsaw remake, which I loved and was terrified by. So I had high hopes that he would take the reins of this franchise reboot and deliver another nerve jangling treat. No such luck. I love love love the original so for me, alarm bells began to ring when a horribly edited opening credits sequence showed a Crystal Lake camp counsellor offing Mrs Vorhees right after she's given all the exposition required. Everybody knows the true joy of the original is Betsy Palmer's delicious turn as the batshit crazy mother of Jason when she's revealed as the killer. I can't believe they didn't get someone like Jessica Lange to ham it up as the deranged slasher this time around. For shame.

So anyway, it fast forwards to the present day and after a bunch of nobodys get offed by Jason, the action swings to another bunch of worthless cretins you will recognise from TV shows past and present as well as films with (for God's sake) Shia LaBoeuf. The great thing is, Nispel and the writers make the rookie mistake of having each of them be vastly irritating to the point where you're actively rooting for Jason to kill them, just so you don't have to listen to them anymore. Jared Padalecki is the hero of the piece, the loner outsider searching for his missing sister (she was one of the nobodys in the first bunch and because she looks a little bit like his mother, Jason has not killed her, he's keeping her in the basement. Whatthefuckever.) So when the people you don't care about have all been picked off in a variety of bloody ways (usually after they've had sex or been unnecessarily naked, of course), we're left with Padalecki and his sister to bring down Jason.

There is not one single good thing about this film. Not one. The writing is terrible, the acting embarrassing, the direction ham fisted. There's no sense of menace, there's no sense of horror or fear, it even fumbles the cheap shock, make you jump moments. It is, in a word, shit. And what is so frustrating is it could have been fantastic. In more capable hands, this could have been the horror franchise reboot the fans have been waiting for. But no, instead it's an unholy mess and I just hope the sequel baiting ending doesn't come to pass.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Yeah, make that The Tedious Case and you have a title closer to my opinion of the movie. Wow it was long and boring. I genuinely don't understand the hype and awards buzz around this one. It was pleasant enough to watch but it was kind of like a Chinese takeaway. I didn't really notice it at the time and I'd forgotten it about 20 minutes later. I wanted to love it as I love Cate Blanchett, I love Tilda Swinton and who doesn't love Brad? But it left me cold and it left me more than a little bored too. And I found the Katrina framing of the piece very heavy handed. Shame.


It is becoming more and more apparent that the writers and creators of this show didn't expect to be a hit and therefore never thought beyond their first season. The second, strike interrupted, season was hated by pretty much everyone and the efforts to atone for that in the third season saw the show become increasingly fractured, misguided, overstuffed and underwhelming. The third season has two books, the first book, "Villains" failed on just about every level and if you want evidence, check out the two part episode "The Eclipse" which was trumpeted as a key and important episode but was instead everyone wandering around without powers for two episodes while absolutely nothing happened.

Book Four, "Fugitives", is only two episodes in and I already hate it. There are still too many characters splitting the focus and not enough of them are interesting enough for me to care about anymore (in fact, only the extended Petrelli family in the main storyline are worth bothering with). The ONLY thing worth watching the show for now is Sylar and his increasingly fascinating arc. It's like his scenes wandered in from a different show altogether, the level of writing and acting in them is so far removed from the dross of the rest of the show.


Alex said...

Second you on the pointlessness of Heroes. Sylar, Claire, and Noah are the only characters I care about at this point. If they bring back Monica (the cousin from New Orleans), that'd make four. Sylar and Noah are the only characters who can pull off the heroes-villian ambiguity that drives every. single. season.

Popcultureboy said...

I know! When Tim Kring gave that interview saying that Volume Four was a total reboot and you didn't need to have seen an episode before to start watching said Volume, I didn't think that was going to be because they're essentially recycling the first Volume's storylines. God, it's so bad.