Movie Review

An episode dedicated to the review of a single movie.

Review: Overlord (Carson’s View)

Overlord starts with a nearly can’t miss premise: A World War 2 airborne platoon stumbles across some experimental Nazi-Zombie-Monster-Things.  What could be better than that setup?  The good guys and bad guys are firmly established before you even take your seat.  The ultimate evil getting eviler.  If you feel like that all sounds vaguely familiar, you probably have played the game Wolfenstein.  Other than there is no Hitler in an Iron Man suit to fight at the end, Overlord stays pretty close to the video game story.  Maybe they are just saving that for the sequel.

Overlord is made pretty well. It is much more of an actual movie than I had anticipated.  It is well shot, well acted, and the effects used to bring the Nazi-Zombie-Monster-Things to life were frighteningly realistic.  Although, the balance seemed off for a movie like this. I had hoped for much more of the Nazi-Zombie-Monster-Things and less of the other character development and side plots. Had the script been more original and less straight forward, I could have appreciated this type of an approach. However it wasn’t, so the Nazi-Zombie-Monster-Things needed to be featured earlier and more often for my tastes.

 

Review: Overlord (Garrett’s View)

Overlord manages to provide all of the pulpiness of a B-movie grindhouse film while escaping the pitfalls of shoddy effects and terrible acting that usually accompany those movies.

Episode 67: Bohemian Rhapsody

Garrett and Carson will rock you as they talk about the Killer Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Review: Bohemian Rhapsody (Carson’s View)

Bohemian Rhapsody tells the origin story of the band Queen.  This is a fun ride that follows Farrokh Bulsara’s transformation into front-man Freddie Mercury through Queen’s unforgettable performance at Wembley Stadium for Live Aid. If you are a fan of Queen and want to hear Queen’s songs throughout, you will not be disappointed. It is chock-full of their greatest hits.

It is hard not to have a smile on your face each time a new song is written.  This is one of the strengths of Bohemian Rhapsody. It is fascinating to watch genius at work developing songs that would soon be immortalized.  Then to see them played on stage with such passion and vigor through Rami Malek’s terrific performance as Freddie Mercury is an experience that leaves the audience wanting more.  Malek will surely draw the attention of the academy.

There are those that were hoping for a much darker version of Queen’s story. They were wanting the secrets of Freddie and Queen exposed. To witness the ultimate lows of each band member to create more drama. They would call Bohemian Rhapsody’s interpretation “safe”.  Not to say that heavy issues aren’t addressed. Bohemian Rhapsody dives head first into Mercury’s confusion over his sexuality and how he wanted to deal with the disease that eventually took his life.  They could have devoted the entire movie to either of these topics, instead they chose to focus on the music and the band. While it wasn’t dark enough for some, it hit exactly the tone that was intended.  It was an entertaining tribute to one of the world’s greatest musical groups of all time.

Review: Bohemian Rhapsody (Garrett’s View)

For those not looking for the ups and downs of deep cuts and who instead just want to skip from one hit to the next, Bohemian Rhapsody is a perfect greatest hits album.

Review: Scream (Garrett’s View)

Scream redefined the slasher genre by poking fun at it and in turn, became the defining horror film for an entire generation of people.

Review: Friday the 13th (2009) (Carson’s View)

Friday the 13th is a reboot/sequel.  It has the same title as the original, however, serves more as a follow up to Mrs. Voorhees’ killing spree.  It shows a brief recreation of the events that happen in the original Friday the 13th to introduce Jason’s mother to a new generation.  This is origin of our new Jason.  This is the genesis of the hockey mask.  We are supposed to forget that he ever went hell, or into space, or fought Freddy Krueger.  This is a clean slate for the stalker of Crystal Lake.

Friday the 13th is a pretty predictable slasher horror movie.  It doesn’t give us anything new, just updated.  Instead of killing young adults of the 80’s, we are now killing millennials (which might appeal to some).  It is good to see Jason run after his victims.  No more silent walks through the woods.  It is much more difficult to escape a fast, ax-throwing Jason.  I appreciate the reboot sticking to what makes Jason “Jason”, although I had hoped for more of a reimagining of the character and the plot.  For someone who has never seen a Friday the 13th movie before, this is a good introduction to the franchise.  For those of us who have seen the other 11 movies, this feels a bit of a retread.

 

Episode 65: Halloween (2018)

Garrett and Carson hope to get more treats than tricks with the latest Halloween movie.

Review: Friday the 13th Part II (Carson’s View)

In Friday the 13th Part II we finally get to see Jason Voorhees as the killer!  But it is not the Jason we all know and have grown to love.  When considering counterparts such as Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers or even Chucky, Jason has evolved and improved the most over the years.  Some would argue that Freddy, Michael, and Chucky peaked in their first appearance and have never reached that sort of greatness since.  Not Jason. He takes a lot of time to achieve his iconic status. Jason was a child and only had a brief cameo in the first Friday the 13th.  In Part II, he is a goofy hillbilly in overalls, a plaid shirt, and a pillowcase over his head.  A far cry from terrifying.

Friday the 13th Part II establishes the premise for the entire franchise.  Not only do you not go to Camp Crystal Lake, you don’t go anywhere near Crystal Lake at all or Jason will get you!  If you think of Part II as Jason’s rookie year into killing, a lot of this movie can be excused.  He is just trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. For instance, don’t try to stand on a rickety old wooden chair if you want the element of surprise.  Because it will break, you will fall, and lose all credibility as a viable scary movie threat in the future.  Also a pillowcase over your head isn’t intimidating at all. Perhaps next time go for a hockey mask.

Review: Friday the 13th (1980) (Carson’s View)

Jason was always my favorite of the “slasher killers” when I was growing up.  With him on the sidelines, it did not encourage me to ever re-watch the original Friday the 13th.  It has been at least 25 years since I had seen it. Beyond the the major plot points that you are reminded of throughout each movie of the series, it is safe to say that I remembered next to nothing. For instance, I had no idea a young Kevin Bacon was one of the camp counselors.  I had also thought the “Jason Sound” was only for him, not the entire Voorhees family.

Friday the 13th is pretty low on the scare meter due to two factors.  First, is that each kill is almost entirely shown from the killer’s first person perspective. This is supposed to create some tension by keeping the killer’s identity a secret, however, it comes across more hokey than scary.  The other factor that detracts from investing the audience into the movie, is that the victims do not know they are being hunted until it is too late.  You cannot live vicariously through their terror.  Most good horror movies have a shared experience with the audience as they are looking over their shoulders while they try to escape with their lives.  In Friday the 13th, the counselors go from happy-go-lucky to dead.

The original Friday the 13th should be seen merely from a horror-movie-pop-culture perspective.  See it so you can check it off your bucket list… before you get hit in the face with an ax!