Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween.’ A 10 Year Retrospective

(AOTN) The Halloween movie series had arrived at a difficult place back in 2002 when Dimension released Halloween: Resurrection, starring rapper Busta Rhymes and incorporating the then new Big Brother style concept into it’s narrative. It’s conclusion was standard. We had all seen it before in previous installments and any fresh ideas were seriously lacking. It became eventually obvious that the Halloween franchise may be in trouble after already going down several different routes in the past.

Hollywood had just got the ball rolling when it began to churn out reboot after reboot of some much cherished films including the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Approximately four years went by, and fast forward to 2006, a remake of 1978’s Halloween was set in motion and confirmed to be directed by industrial metal singer Rob Zombie. At that point he was known for his original theatrical works of House of 1000 Corpses and it’s sequel, The Devil’s Rejects. Although Corpses was met with mixed criticism, Rejects fared much better with audiences, but fans were very skeptical that Zombie had the talent to respect the original Halloween enough by creating something new and would have a pleasant impact.

 

‘The Devil’s Rejects’ fared much better than Rob Zombie’s previous effort, ‘House Of 1000 Corpses.’

Regardless, it was going to go ahead no matter what anybody thought and everybody had to just hold their breath and wait! Rob did the decent thing and called John Carpenter, director of the original movie, to confirm his intention of remaking one of his most notable and masterful works which was met with a rather nonchalant attitude by the man that also knew what it was like to reproduce a production when he remade The Thing back in 1982. Basically, Carpenter didn’t care and simply wished him good luck.

Zombie met heavy concerns with attempted reassurance by reporting that he would incorporate more realism into his vision of Halloween and also create mostly new material that had not been seen before. In other words, 2007’s Halloween would simply not be a shot by shot remake as the abysmal and pointless remakes of Psycho and The Omen came to be.

Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Psycho was a pointless exercise.

Halloween was finally released on August 31st, 2007. As promised, it delivered much more new material. However, Zombie’s approach of thoroughly exploring the character of Michael Myers did not go down too well, with fans insisting that Myers is a force of evil that should be left down to one’s own interpretation as to what and why the way he was. 07’s Halloween heavily indicated that the reason why Michael killed his family and stalked his second sister years later was simply because he was raised by a dysfunctional family.

As what Halloween 5 did for the movie slasher that was once proclaimed to be not human, Myers was given a human soul and appeared to be somebody akin to a lonely man looking for that somebody special to give him some love. While the first half of the picture is mainly new, the second half quickly became dull and uninspired once Michael broke out of the hospital and killed those closest to his sister in an attempt to get to her. Scenes from the original film are imitated but much more carelessly. It all eventually leads to an equally unimaginative ending that delivered an underlying sense that Rob’s small fountain of ideas had well run dry. It was as if he had a vision for creating an original movie that would run about an hour in length. In the second half, he simply borrowed what we had already become familiar with.

2007’s ‘Halloween’ explored the Michael Myers character. An unpopular move with fans.

 

Still, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, at least back then, was entertaining on a superficial level and wasn’t totally devoid of a couple of replays if one had not much else to do.

Now here in 2017, after watching the movie once more after a rather lengthy amount of time, how is it?

Well, it is still much the same. What has become more noticeable is how second rate the dialogue really is. As if that wasn’t enough, the timing of delivery is often off. Although Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis probably delivers the film’s best performance, he is guilty of forcibly putting too much into it at times. Sheri Moon Zombie’s acting here is surprisingly heart wrenching as Michael’s mother who struggles to come to terms with losing everything after one blood splattered night. Scout Compton is largely forgettable as Laurie Strode.

She just does not hold a candle to the virginal, sweet and innocent portrayal originated by Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis’ portrayal of Laurie Strode was much more likeable.

The decision to cast Daeg Faerch as young Michael was decent but would have been even better if he was told to play Michael much more mysteriously instead of a kid with a lot of built up anger that eventually and predictably leaked out on those around him.Really, 07’s Halloween does not largely differ to how it was first seen 10 years ago. Except that it’s flaws show through more copiously. The good thing is that it is somewhat timeless.

Daeg Fearch as young Michael was a presence ominous enough.

With a new Halloween picture in pre-production and slated to be released next year in 2018, perhaps it will regain some of the elements that were missing in the Rob Zombie version and his sequel. John Carpenter is onboard as executive producer and seems to have regained his enthusiasm once again for the pale white mask wearing killer he created 39 years ago.

Now in the middle of an 8 year hiatus, this has been the longest ever time that Michael Myers has not returned to Haddonfield. There is no doubt that his presence is longed for by many devotees.

We just hope that whatever effort is put into it, that it is a little bit more than what was put into creating that mixed effort that was made 10 years ago.

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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Trailer #2 Breakdown

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ love child Spider-Man: Homecoming has had its second trailer released and it’s time for a trailer breakdown! Watch the official second trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, below.

 

0:08 – We see Peter Parker put on the new auto adjusting Spider-Man suit. The same suit which was given to him by Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War. It looks like Mr. Stark took a page out of Back to the Future with the auto adjusting feature.

0:18 – Tony Stark makes his first of many appearances in the new trailer. Peter Parker is asking about what it takes to be in the Avengers and Tony Stark slips in the “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” phrase/title.

0:30 – Iron Man and Spider-Man fly and swing through the streets of New York.

0:37 – Captain America makes his cameo in a educational video. A cameo that in my opinion should have been left a surprise and not put into the trailer. During Cap’s cameo, Peter Parker references when he stole his shield in Civil War.

0:45 – The Avengers tower makes an appearance. And we also see what Tony Starks role is in the film. Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture (Michael Keaton) is explaining that “rich and powerful people like Tony Stark” don’t help people like “us”. Who is the “us” that he is referring to?

0:47 – A Shocker and Donald Glover show up. It’s not yet known what role Donald Glover is playing.

0:54 – The Vulture takes flight.

0:58 – Peter Parker is finally in the Avengers tower. Tony Stark is explaining to Peter Parker that there are people that take care of “flying-monster guys.” Referring to The Vulture and the Avengers.

1:04 – Spider-Man takes on some henchmen and Vulture makes his presence known.

1:19 – Spider-Man has a really cool comic book cover-like action shot where he is attempting to keep the ship together with his webs.

1:22 – Iron Man comes to Spidey’s rescue.

1:30 – Tony Stark gives Peter Parker a father-like lecture of what it takes to be a hero.

1:41 – The Vulture’s agenda is now known as he explains that he will do anything to protect his family. It reminds of a Doctor Octopus or Sandman type of villain to where they have some good intentions hidden in the madness of being a villain.

1:44 – Spider-Man takes one of the Shockers

1:52 – Vulture is going after Spider-Man who happens to be wearing a Spider-Man suit a little similar to the Scarlet Spider suit.

1:59Spider-Man: Homecoming has some action in Washington.

2:02 – Spider-Man has some more cool looking tech. This time it’s a robotic spider that flies straight out of his suit. He also has the webbed wings that he had early on in the comics.

2:08 – Spider-Man and Vulture take the fight to the skies on a jet.

Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Halland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Bokeem Woodbine and Jon Favreau.

 

 

 

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‘Legion’ is Hypnotically Intense

 
Have you ever had that feeling that you’re experiencing a dream? Only to realize you were actually just watching FX newest hit show ‘Legion’? Maybe not? Well that has been my experience for the first six weeks of its premiere season, and it is now safe to say my mind grapes have been stretched and twisted in ways I never thought could be so engaging. Each new chapter in the show feels as if I’m given a cosmically charged LSD trip littered with foreshadowing of oncoming information revelations, reminders of past events that tie into current events, and easter eggs for future plot twists. It is bold in its very nature, a show about a mutant who has potentially hundreds of personalities existing within him, and each personality comes equipped with its own characteristics and more interestingly their very own super powers. It is also bold in its storytelling and production. Scenes seemingly end and begin traveling between planes of reality and time periods. The creators expect you to be sharp enough to keep up, forcing you to earn the right to understand David Haller’s gift. You can never truly be sure what you are seeing exists. Is it reality? Or is part of David’s mind? These sorts of questions are answered while at the same time compounded upon in a way that is both satisfying and challenging. Without hesitation I can say this show is very heavy and needs to be given your maximum focus and attention while viewing. This may be a drawback for people looking for a casual experience, but I can attest to the fun and excitement of trying to play detective, picking apart every detail to form your own interpretation of what’s to come. Noah Hawley (Fargo) beautifully demonstrates that he is not scared of testing your understanding of reality within the “Legion” universe. Drawing heavy on flashbacks, dream sequences, astral planes as well as times in which characters have changed bodies or are figments of the imagination, you may easily begin to think you have lost your own mind trying to keep pace with the storytelling. Eventually the scale tips the other way, providing important information revealing momentary clarity while simultaneously creating new questions. Patience will pay off in a well crafted and well designed story such as this. Those who need instant gratification may be frustrated by the lack of answers initially given. Same for those who expect non-stop action, just because it’s a Marvel title. But who needs those people anyway, I mean I’m sure there is a new Transformers movie right around the corner for them to stare blankly at. A unique quality about “Legion” is its overall ambiguous tone (which seems to be purposefully done to mirror David’s character). This show feels like a drama with some action but has a tendency to dance with elements of psychological horror. As we explore some memories of David’s they glow with an aura of creepiness through the tone and set pieces. The character design in the baddies are simple yet effectively terrifying, striking a nerve we all have within us that reaches to the roots of our childhood. Its setting and timeline seem to draw heavy influence from late 60’s to mid 70’s culture and is executed it in a way that feels real but also dreamlike. The sound design is supremely handled. I can recall many moments where the music was effectively altered in a way that communicated the tone change of the scene and heightened the tension. This show successfully aims to draw on your senses as it guides you through the characters psyches in a hypnotic fashion. Among the multitude of recurring themes within “Legion” I have noticed a large one revolves around control, more specifically having none of it. David struggles to grip his own thoughts and actions at times constantly at war within himself. Spotlight characters have had traumatic pasts and dwell over having no way of changing it, becoming victim to its outcome. This motif of no control is masterfully reflected in the environments they find themselves in. Whether confined to a psych ward or trapped within a memory their restrictions become haunting. It is layered to the point where the characters feel completely helpless adding depth to the unsettling tone set all throughout. Even between romantic partners we see the ongoing clash of control. Resisting urges, regret over past choices, not knowing the truth about intentions… The theme of control creeps through the narrative like a parasite feeding on the conscious of the characters. Legion” is not afraid to spread its wings narratively and challenge its audience to unfold the wrinkles of their own brains along the way. It has quickly became one of my staple shows and I look forward to continuing my journey through David’s mindscape. The fact that it has already been renewed for a second season proves that i’m not the only one invested in this journey. The post ‘Legion’ is Hypnotically Intense appeared first on Age of The Nerd. Save

‘Bates Motel’: The Final Season So Far

(AOTN) Psycho and Bates Motel have finally collided in what is the final season of A&E’s Bates Motel, starring Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore as the mentally troubled young motel manager whose evil alter ego could endanger everybody that dares invade the life of “mother” and son.

After the events of the season 4 finale, Norman Bates is back at home after receiving psychiatric treatment, except this time he has the frozen corpse of his mom, Norma Bates to keep him company after he attempted to kill himself and her. Former Sheriff, Alex Romero was locked up on perjury charges, eventually escaping prison to go after Norman after he killed the one woman that could have potentially see his life result in some kind of salvation. After being beaten in prison and shot while on the run, will Romero make it to the Bates Motel to finish what he started?

Dylan and Emma have settled into a quiet life in Seattle. His father, Caleb came knocking and needed a place to stay for a while but Emma had to build up the courage to ask him to leave. After all that has happened in the past three seasons, Dylan felt that the only way forward was to maintain distance. Caleb obliged and made his way to Norman’s home, startled at seeing the place deserted at first despite Norma’s car parked up outside the house.

After receiving the news that his sister was killed and rival Chick Hogan confirming so, Caleb worked out that Norman must have surely been the one responsible. Breaking in and shouting for Norman later the same evening, he was knocked unconscious while standing in the basement and staring in terror at his sister’s dead body laid in her rocking chair. Unfortunately for Norma/Norman, Chick stumbled upon the scene but the two quickly came to an agreement that allowed the former crook to stay at the motel with “Norma’s” consent.

Caleb met a sudden end when he was put to death by the sight of Chick’s oncoming car when Norman sent him scurrying after he tired him up in the basement. This show never promised any happy endings for anybody.

A case of infidelity unwittingly involved Norman when a married guy turned up requesting a room for himself and a secret mistress. As it turned out he happened to be the husband of the girl, Madeleine, that Norman met in a paint shop early in the season. Eventually he confessed to be none other than Sam Loomis! He was the character made famous in the original movie that ultimately helped reveal Norman’s terrible secret.

Madeleine and Norman hit it off almost immediately despite delaying their lust for one another. The two eventually got close enough and they eventually fell into a passionate embrace, but as always “mother” arrived on the scene to disturb the proceedings, sending Norman dashing out of fear that “Miss Bates” would cause harm to his new love interest!

Adding to Norman’s problems, Sheriff Greene made inquiries concerning the disappearance of a certain Joe Blackwell, the guy that was sent on a mission by Romero to shoot and kill off Norman in events that occurred between the season 4 finale and the final season’s first episode. Norman as “mother” ended his life and hid his car in some bushes but it probably will not be long before Greene turns up the heat a notch or two.

Fans waiting for the arrival of famous shower movie victim Marion Crane will have to anticipate her entrance for a little while longer as events unfold. We were given a glimpse of what many viewers think was her in the season’s first episode but things will surely ramp up within the next couple of weeks! Whether we will get to see the show’s own version of the shower murder sequence is not known at this point and nothing has been hinted at by producers.

Nods and references to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic have made themselves known, some of which have been imitated for this version of the narrative. What is surprising is the shockingly low amount of outcries by Psycho worshippers that this final series of episodes are, when looking at the bigger picture, a reboot of the movie! Character names and events are vastly different, as are the alterations to the story, but this is still essentially a television redo. The interrogation sequence between Norman and Greene in Monday’s episode is one jot of proof. Perhaps the dreadful 1998 remake starring Vince Vaughn has made fans simply not give a stuff.

Still, Bates Motel has become a riveting piece of television during the last couple of years after making a strong entrance back in 2013. Seasons 2 and 3 may have contained little inspiration to maintain viewership but at least the series is being allowed to finish the story it wants to tell, unlike NBC’s superior Hannibal series which was cancelled after it’s third run.

If you have been watching since the very beginning then there is no doubt that you will probably be interested enough in continuing watching the show to it’s very end. But may this article be so bold enough to suggest that if you skipped out during the show’s second and third seasons that you check back in and get yourself comfortable.

Afterall, the timing could never be better!

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5 Vs Movies That Should Happen

(AOTN) Kong: Skull Island has recently made over $61,000,000 at the box office, signalling that audiences have not got tired of the largest cinematic ape. The film has garnered mixed opinions but plans for a King Kong v Godzilla movie, slated to be released sometime in 2020, is going full steam ahead as of time of writing.

A revealing post credits scene at the end of the recently released film has gotten fans all excited about what lies ahead although there are concerns about differences in physical attributes between the two monsters. Godzilla was also given the Hollywood remake treatment, a film that was released in 2014 and was predicted to make more money than it actually did. Still, all the obstacles are being seemingly plowed through to get the epic vs monster film up on    the screen.

Hollywood started a minor phase of vs films back in 2003 when the long awaited Freddy vs Jason was released after many years of anticipation. Alien vs Predator followed a couple of years later as well as a sequel. It was surprising that more films were not made to capitalise on what is an admittedly corny but entertaining concept.

Will Hollywood executives ponder to resurrect the idea? And if so, what vs films would fans want exactly?

This article is going to lend five suggestions.

Let us know at the bottom of this feature what characters you would like to see pitted against one another!

Michael Myers v Jason Voorhees

Let us start with one of the most obvious and demanded ones. Two kings of the slasher genre fighting one another is a mouth watering image for horror fans. But there are a few snags. Myers has proven in past films that he does not have the physical strength that his would be nemesis has. And his butcher knife is probably no match for Jason’s huge machete. But what Myers lacks physically, he has more of upstairs. He is smarter, and as has what has been said before time and time again throughout cinematic horror history, “evil never dies.”

Robocop v The Terminator

The Robocop films never had the shelf life that the Terminator films had but time has proven not to be an issue, as fans still occasionally voice their enthusiasm in wanting to see the two shoot it out against one another. The terminator likely has the edge in physical toughness and can absorb much more damage. He is also probably more smarter. Which is why Robocop would most likely need some kind of back up. Realistically, Jason Voorhees should have crushed Freddy Krueger in their real world final battle in Freddy vs Jason but the crew tweaked the script to make the match up more even. If this movie was to ever be produced then that is what can be foreseen to occur.

KITT v Airwolf

If one browses Youtube for Knight Rider and, or Airwolf then you are bound to see a few KITT v Airwolf fan made videos. Anybody not born before 1989 will probably not be familiar with either technological character but that does not stop this showdown being quite thought provoking. The heavily armored helicopter vs the most technologically advanced car of the 1980’s would make for a great battle providing KITT’s driver Michael Knight isn’t behind the wheel!

Airwolf has enough speed and stealth capabilities to give KITT the drive for it’s money!

DC v Marvel

We know it will never happen! And the characters are too numerous to pick any kind of battle. The closest we have ever gotten to experiencing such frays was back in 1996 when short lived comics, plainly named DC vs Marvel, were designed to give fans something they have wanted for a long time at least in some form of media.

There are many great ones, but if you readers really want to push me to think of any particular Marvel v DC battle then how does Batman v Captain America sound? One of the darkest and most psychologically haunted of superheroes going up against one of the most famous soldiers in the Marvel universe. Both are human, although Captain America was somewhat genetically modified to give birth to his then newfound abilities. It would be the ultimate battle of wits, speed, agility, strength and ultimately will!

Chucky v Leatherface

Hold up! You’re thinking that it would be easy work for Leatherface, right? Well, not exactly. This battle would also be potentially the most amusing! As was proven in the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface can be made to be frustrated and crack under pressure. And Chucky has plenty of potential to tease the chainsaw wielding lunatic with a liking for eating human flesh.

Incorporating the killer doll into Leatherface’s world would be interesting, requiring some skilled and creative writing. At present, there is a new Child’s Play movie in production but it would be good to give the voodoo loving killer something else to do for once. Leatherface could also do with starring in a movie that is not another redo that we have all seen before.

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Summer Movies 2017: Encountering Aliens Both Friendly and Hostile

As a child, the one thing I found I always looked forward to more than the “freedom” from school lessons that came with summer vacation was the eclectic slew of summer movies that went from the beginning of May all the way to Labor Day. One key ingredient to a great summer has always been a healthy and robust lineup of films to appeal to an audience of all ages; action, comedy, drama, horror, family, you name it. Last night, what one can assume will be the final theatrical trailers, both released in time to accompany any screening you’re sure to attend this weekend of James Mangold’s critically lauded Logan, for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Alien: Covenant came to say they’re coming to start the summer with a number of out of this world bangs provided by James Gunn and the good people over at Marvel and legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott making another return to the series that made him a household name.

Much like the trailers for the original Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’s marketing decides, instead of revealing the plot, to remind us of what made the original such a fun film, ranging from the chemistry, be it comedic or heartfelt, between each member of the team as they embark on another mission to save the galaxy before they are recruited to save our own next summer, a focus on the unique worlds that make up Marvel’s colorful universes outside our own and the equally unique and statuesque alien designs, sure to garner Marvel another Oscar nomination for Makeup come 2018 (which one is sure the comic fans who subscribe the whole “Marvel vs DC” ideology will want now more than ever as Suicide Squad just transcended its critical limitations and won an Oscar in the same category two nights ago), and, of course, a teaser for what to expect on Awesome Mixtape #2, this time in the form of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”.

It also decides to expand on smaller characters from the original film – Michael Rooker’s Yondu and Karen Gillan’s Nebula – who are now full fledged members of the Guardians and the hardships their involvement are sure to guarantee, new reveals of Pom Klementieff’s Mantis and an adorable deal of emphasis on Baby Groot, who, much like his adult counterpart, is sure to garner a major fan base between now and opening night. And, like any good preview, the trailer ends on a perfect note to leave the fans wanting until the evening of May 4th: the Guardian’s encounter with Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) and his take on an iconic line from the mechanical mouth of Darth Vader. The summer already sounds like its off to a strong start with James Gunn at the helm.

Two weeks after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the universe becomes a cold, monochromatic labyrinth once again as Ridley Scott continues where he left off with 2012’s divisive Prometheus with the promise to take us deeper down the rabbit hole of the time that was before the crew of the “USCSS Nostromo” discovered no one could hear them scream in space in Alien.

The latest trailer for Mr. Scott’s Alien: Covenant, due out May 19th, tells a different story than Guardians of the Galaxy, that of the crew (including Katherine Waterston sporting a very Ripley-like haircut, Michael Fassbender as this ship’s “trustworthy” android, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Billy Crudup, La La Land’s Callie Hernandez and James Franco, of all people; basically, the largest assembly of A-list stars to be slaughtered by hostile extra-terrestrials since Tim Burton blew up congress in Mars Attacks!) of the ship “Covenant” as they travel the galaxy in search of new planets to colonize and inhabit. As is the custom for any crew of a movie with “Alien” in the title, the “Covenant” lands on a planet that seems to be the place of dreams, from breathable air to grain crops, until a familiar breed of chest-bursting parasite returns to reestablish its position on the food chain of cinema’s most terrifying monsters (although, as tends to be the case when CGI comes into play, the limber (and completely digitized) Xenomorph in its early stages of evolution revealed in the final frames does leave one longing for the days of Tom Woodruff Jr. in expertly applied makeup scuttling around darkened sets).

Currently yet to be featured in the marketing as of now, another form of danger is sure to come in the form of David (also being played by Mr. Fassbender), the now-bodiless android whose machinations ultimately damned the crew of the “Prometheus” and led scientist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace, confirmed to return, though to what extent hasn’t been confirmed yet) deeper into space in search of the Engineers and answers for their hatred of their creation (you know, the questions that left “Alien” fans angry at the end of Prometheus). Whether “Covenant” decides to leave its questions as open ended as “Prometheus” did is sure to be a point that will further unite or divide the “Alien” fanbase, but the marketing so far seems to be a decent indicator that Mr. Scott will be delivering to audiences a product sure to be on a level close to his classics.

It’s ultimately hard to believe the summer and its movie season are already approaching, but the season is quickly making its way here and, if the new trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy and Alien: Covenant are any indicator, 2017’s upcoming crop of summer films – ranging from the tales of Amazonian princesses and spider men to Christopher Nolan’s love letter to 70mm filmmaking and the war that will determine whether the planet is one of man or a planet of the apes – are looking to be a benchmark of the power that can still be found in mainstream cinema. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what it brings.

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