Monday, August 31, 2009


    Rob Zombie, former front man of "White Zombie" and now solo artist, embarked on his new passion for horror films. Already a devoted horror film fan he both wrote, produced and directed movies such as "House of 1,000 Corpses" (2003) and "The Devil's Rejects" (2005). In 2007 he released his re-imagining of the popular horror franchise Halloween and gave new life to the Michael Myers killer. Essentially a remake, however Zombie's new version explores more of the psychology and origin of Michael Myers who in the original films remains very much a mysterious character with a very vague back-story. Now, Zombie continues the story with essentially a remake of a sequel to a remake in H2!
    The story begins much like the original Halloween sequel "Halloween II" (1981) with Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) in the hospital following the aftermath of Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) killing spree. But, surprise, surprise, of course: Michael is not dead! The rest of the film focuses three point of views: Laurie's new and traumatized life as she now lives with Sheriff Lee Brackett (Brad Dourif) and his daughter, Laurie's best-friend Annie (Danielle Harris); Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) as he profiteers of his new book about Michael Myers revealing the truth about Laurie being Michael's sister to the world, unbeknownst to her! We also see a little into Michael Myer's life as he has retreated to an almost hermit-like life in the counrty where he is constantly haunted by bizarre visions of his dead mother (Sherri Moon-Zombie) and his younger self (Chase Wright Vanek) apparently Daeg Faerch from the last movie did not return?
    Well, it's Halloween again and Michael Myers is determined to find his sister "Boo" (Laurie) and try to reclaim what family he has left or kill her in the process and what follows is an even more intense and ultra-violent killing spree where the once un-emotional and silent Michael Myers has become slightly more bloodthirsty and determined as he hacks and slashes his way through Haddonfield.
    I must admit I was somewhat taken back by this new direction and the bizarre twist ending that I don't think anyone had imagined. Also, the very disturbing and somewhat psychedelic visions of Michael's mother all clad in white and followed by a white horse adds to the dream-like imagery of the movie. With this odd new direction I wonder if Rob Zombie will continue on with a slew of Halloween's, but perhaps he can go on to more original films. We shall have to wait and see...

Saturday, August 8, 2009


     With the overblown success of the Transformers movies, the obvious choice for any toy franchise turned into a movie is of course G.I. Joe. If you were born anytime between 1977 and 1990 (and most likely, a boy) you grew up with the 1980's "G.I. Joe". As Hollywood yet again takes everything you loved from your childhood and make it into a multi-million dollar blockbuster and to sell more toys to a whole new generation of kids (and guess's working!).
     M.A.R.S., run by James McCullen/Destro (Christopher Eccleston) is the world's leading weapons technology developer and their latest weapon of mass destruction are warheads containing metal-eating nanomites. As a NATO force transports the weapon, they are ambushed by COBRA, "a ruthless, terrorist organization, determined to control the world!" along with The Baroness (Sienna Miller) and Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) As new recruits Duke and Ripcord join the G.I. Joe team along with Snake-Eyes (Ray Park) and Scarlet (Rachel Nichols), led by General Hawk (Dennis Quaid). It's a race against time as COBRA plan to use the nanomite weapon to destroy the major cities of the world starting with Paris and the Eifel Tower.
     The movie is saturated with the usual CGI special effects, over the top action sequences and the typical martial arts fight choreography you would come to expect. But in reality you can't have G.I. Joe without all that. Anyone that complains it's too much special effects or too much camp, obviously never watched the show and enjoyed it. An extra special treat was having Ray Park (Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Ep.I" and Toad in "X-Men") play Snake-Eyes (one of my personal favorites), which was a perfect choice. For a character who never says a word, he definitely made him come alive!
     Despite the hype and obvious mass-marketing aspects of the movie. "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra" is a fun and entertaining, action movie. What more do you want from a movie made from toys. I must admit going into this I had my doubts as I was not a fan of director Stephen Sommers ("The Mummy" franchise and "Van Helsing"). But I was a huge G.I. Joe kid since 1983, and I must commend Sommers for staying true to the source material. If you were a fan of G.I. Joe or just want a fun movie experience well, now you know..."and knowing is half the battle." "Yo Joe!"