Archive for September 11th, 2008

I had to check and re-check to make sure I was correct on this; I could’ve sworn that Chicago had not won Best Picture.   It did win back in 2002 but I kept thinking otherwise – surely this was wrong?

As I’m sure everyone and their dog knows, Chicago is based on the popular musical of the same name.   It’s not an awful film.   In fact, when I initially saw it, I really liked it.   A second viewing, however, doesn’t feel very fresh and got stale pretty quickly, but for the musical genre Chicago is pretty good.

The one problem I always had with the movie was that it felt oddly cast.   Catherine Zeta-Jones was a pretty good Velma, but I didn’t like Renee Zellweger much as Roxie, nor did I feel Richard Gere was particularly outstanding in his role.   Even John C. Reilly felt a little out of place and that feels odd to write down.

It certainly wasn’t better the second time around and I found myself marveling that, yes, this movie did win Best Picture.   It’s certainly well handled, especially since I think taking something from the stage to the screen can be more than a little tricky and even trickier when it’s a musical.   To be fair, the musical numbers are done well and the rest of the film is not poor by any standards.

The problem is that when I sat down to really think about what Chicago had achieved, I wasn’t feeling very impressed.   I keep coming back to the fact that the movie was pretty good.   Chicago is not great, not excellent, just a little bit above the rest of the flock.

Who else was nominated in 2002 for Best Picture?

  • Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Hours
  • The Pianist

I’m flummoxed.   I have to be honest – I have little to no idea what Academy members have in their heads when they vote, nor do I intend to start speculating.   If you compare this movie with The Pianist, for example, The Pianist comes out on top easily.   Adrien Brody really did a fantastic job in that movie and it was all-around great, as opposed to being just pretty good.

Why Chicago won, I don’t know.

I do know, however, that Renee Zellweger’s face must un-squint itself, since you can barely see her eyes anymore from all the face-scrunching.    Renee, you gotta stop doing that, because watching your movies nowadays makes my face hurt for you.

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Nightmare Week: Freddy’s Dead

The light at the end of the tunnel…I can see it!

First problem:   This movie comes with very stylin’ 3-D glasses.   It was originally in 3-D, and let me tell you, it is not impressive.

Second problem:

Freddy Krueger haunting someone as the Wicked Witch of the West is neither scary nor inventive.   It’s just sad.

Third problem:  Well…everything.

Without going through this one bit by bit, it’s basically this:   Krueger had a child before he got roasted, and he needs the kid to help him move out of Springwood and onto bigger and better things.   His kid is Maggie, although the film initially leads you to believe otherwise.   Maggie is a social worker taking care of four kids in a shelter who takes one back to Springwood to see if his memory will come back after she discovers items about Springwood on his person.   (His memory has been wiped, presumably by Freddy.)

Of course, Freddy starts in with the killing.

I don’t have much left in me at this point to make fun of this one.   It is almost painful to watch, primarily because the movie tries to be very cool for the time period (one character dies after being sucked into a video game, for heaven’s sakes) and it fails.   It fails massively and miserably.    This is the kind of movie you want to take out in the backyard and put out of its misery because you’re afraid it might be contagious.

The three death scenes are far from anything to write home about, and the idea of Freddy’s daughter being the last to finally “kill” Freddy is just outright cheating anyone who remotely likes the series.  For the first time in six films, Freddy is actually dead  (excluding Freddy vs. Jason), and the idea of Maggie – a very unlikeable, boring character – being the one to cement his fate is so cheap it’s almost criminal.

Don’t get me started on the 3-D.

I can only guess that the moviemakers wanted to have some campy fun with the “last” installment and thus went the 3-D route, throwing every hackneyed 3-D gimmick into the movie, including the stupid shots of characters thrusting things at the screen to shock the viewer.   It should be noted as a matter of fact that this sucks.   They even have Maggie put on 3-D glasses in her dream to let the viewer know to put on their 3-D glasses.    Watching the 3-D part of the movie (or even in 2-D, when you can tell that it’s clearly a 3-D section) is like having a lobotomy.   It was like I could feel my brain dripping out of my ears while my IQ plummeted fifty points in three seconds.

Another thing is this:   It’s completely unnecessary to give the bad guy more backstory than he already has.   We know how he was conceived, born and died; we know about his mom the nun and that he was a real person.   We know his M.O. now that he lives on in people’s dreams.   Any further exposition is unnecessary, right?

OF COURSE NOT.   If you’re making this movie, why not give Freddy a little extra meat in such moronic ways?    We see here in the above photo how Freddy got his powers, due to evil…things offering him the proverbial deal with the Devil to live on forever.   Is that necessary?   No.   It’s just wasted minutes and so on.   We get way too much information, as a matter of fact, and we also learn that Freddy had a wife and what he looked like when he was human.    Since no one cares about that crap by this point in the series, it’s dead weight.

Normally I try and find some ray of hope in bad movies but this one is totally rotten, beginning to end.   There’s absolutely no value to it.   You’d think I could at least make one stupid, cheap joke at this movie’s expense, but I think it says a lot that I’m not even that motivated.

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