Friday, December 28, 2012
Well blog followers and sometime readers, as you know I was in the middle of talking about the horror movie trilogies and sequels in my collection at the beginning of October. Well around that time I got sick and wasn't feeling up to posting and then of course holidays rolled around and a lot of overtime and work that left me too tired to blog. Then December rolled around and a lot of things seemed to overwhelm me. Not just Christmas and work but a touch of winter blues involving people in my life important to me as well as the anniversaries of deaths in my family and my circle of friends. All of this came to a head for me when I saw on the news about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Now I for one have never believed that action and horror movies are to blame for people going out and shooting or killing people but I do believe that some things are in bad taste to talk about when something of such horrific magnitude has happened. I am not abandoning my blog nor am I ever going to stop talking about the movies I love but for now I have decided not to talk about horror movies or any other movie I feel may be in poor taste according to my standards. That said my blog will be more focused on light hearted subjects such as animated and family oriented films.
I am not meaning to alienate those of you who love horror films but being that I am almost thirty years old and entering a time in my life where I hope to be a wife and mother I need to focus on that other side of my persona. Though it will be weird for new readers to see horror and then more light-hearted films I hope that those of you who are faithful can understand. In a way, this is how I feel I can best pay respects to all of those poor little ones who had to be taken from their families just before a holiday I always associated with being a child.
I hope you all continue to visit There's The Girl With The Blog as I look back at nostalgic movies from my little girl childhood and fellas, I'll understand if you are turned off for awhile. I hope to talk about movies with you for a long time and I can promise you that I will return to the horror genre again someday but no guarantee on when that may be. Stay tuned...I'll be back at the first of the new year with my first blog post.
Thank you all so much
Courtney Yvette Lones aka Theresthegirl
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Well now that it is October all my talk of horror films seems very appropriate and we begin this month of Halloween horror with another werewolf film but this one is a little different than the lupine horror films I have already talked about. There are only one of two ways you can get a teenage girl or young woman to fall in love with werewolves in film: either make them smoking hot or make them relateable by...comparing the werewolf curse to the curse we women suffer every month. Congrats to me that I probably just alienated my male readers but that's basically what the plot to Ginger Snaps comes down to if you look at it. Well that's the interpretation if you want to get technical but this movie is a new kind of edgy, black comedy look at one of the staples of horror and man is it perfect for the gorehound fans of the genre! More about that later so how do we always start?..
What's The Plot?
Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald are a pair of sisters not like the other teenage girls around them in the town of Bailey Downs, a suburban neighborhood settled up in Toronto. They have a fascination with death and the macabre, don't dress up like fashion models, smoke cigarettes and have the most attentive yet totally clueless parents. They are outcasts at school and they like to imagine how popular girl and the bane of their existence Trina Sinclair might die and of course, this leads to conflict and many trips to the guidance counselor's office. They decide to get back at Trina by setting up a scene to make it look like her prized Rottweiler has been mutilated by what is being called "The Beast of Bailey Downs" but on the way to pull their morbid prank, Ginger is attacked by what can only be described as a werewolf ironically on the night that Ginger inherits another curse, her menstrual cycle which is implied to be why she was attacked in the first place.
|Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald|
Brigitte's theory that it was a werewolf that attacked Ginger is cemented when her sister's wounds heal quickly, start sprouting hair and when it looks as if she is growing a tail. The changes in Ginger also seem to be causing a rift between the once close sisters as Ginger becomes more aggressive and starts pursuing boys with almost a sexual predator nature leaving Brigitte to turn to local teenage drug dealer Sam who happened to kill of the werewolf with his van the night the Fitzgerald sisters were attacked. It's getting closer to the full moon when Ginger's transformation will be complete and it's up to Sam and Brigitte to find a cure but is it already too late for Ginger to turn back?
So of course you know that's all the plot I'm about to give you and since I'm blogging about horror films and sequels you pretty much know that a few characters are probably doomed and some are going to return so that's it for plot so...
What Else Can I Say?
Emily Perkins plays Brigitte Fitzgerald and I think she is a wonderful actress. I first saw her as Beverly Marsh in the miniseries of Stephen King's IT when she was thirteen playing a ten-year old character and she did a marvelous job with drama and Ginger Snaps also proves she can handle black comedy as the snarky, brainy goth Brigitte. They make Emily look as unattractive as you can make an already very attractive actress and she handles it well as it does make her look younger since she was twenty-three playing a fifteen-year old and you almost believe it which proves that Emily Perkins can act and adapt to the role she is given with ease.
|Emily Perkins - Bloody Brilliant!|
Katharine Isabelle plays Ginger Fitzgerald, the fiery redhead of the siblings, and you can peg Katharine Isabelle as one of the new generation of scream queens as she was in Ginger Snaps, had a role in the TV remake of Carrie as well as a role in Disturbing Behavior and starred as Gibb in the awesomeness that is Freddy vs. Jason. She is a versatile actress as she can be the innocent victim, the sarcastic even comedic relief and the alpha bitch if you need her to be. Ginger of course is meant to be the more attractive of the sisters and since she is the one who is becoming the werewolf and we all know that being a werewolf makes you full of animal magnetism it's a no-brainer since Katharine is quite attractive even when they slap on the werewolf make-up.
|Katharine Isabelle wolfed up|
Since he plays an important role, let's talk about Kris Lemche who portrays Sam. I love Kris Lemche because in every role I have seen him in (okay mostly this movie and Final Destination 3) his character is a sarcastic know-it-all who borders on being a total asshole and it surprisingly works well for him in that I'm not sitting there hating his guts. It also doesn't help the fact that Kris Lemche is gorgeous with those dark looks but he has great confidence as well which is another reason I find him attractive. His character of Sam is meant to be an almost anchor for Brigitte when the rift of the Fitzgerald sisters begins as he is the only other person who knows about werewolves and takes the scenario as rational and not some big joke.
|Kris Lemche as Sam|
The only other actor in this film who needs some praise is Mimi Rogers who plays the almost psychotically chipper Pamela Fitzgerald, mother of Ginger and Brigitte. Now I have seen Mimi Rogers in a mixture of roles that require drama and/or comedy and know she is a great actress and I have to saw this is my favorite. Her character of Pamela is sometimes clueless trying to be the cool parent but she seems to handle her very sullen daughters and their weird hobbies quite well. I also love that she is kind of a mild bitch as she henpecks the girls' father and has no regard for his opinion in raising their daughters. Mimi Rogers is very talented and I love her being the comic relief in such a dark kind of film.
|Katharine And Emily publicity still|
Acting aside, Ginger Snaps is a great new kind of horror film and made at a time when the shooting in Columbine was plastered on the news and movies like this were seen as bad influences, it had a dynamic that made it different. Yes it is gory and has that undertone of comparing the werewolf curse to puberty but it is also about the bond of the Fitzgerald sisters being tested and strained in what is not just sisterhood but also how one might fell losing their best and only friend or watching a loved one go through changes that might be harmful or destructive. I know that gorehound horror fans will enjoy this film it's a given but if you want a good modern take on werewolves with some black comedy and a little substance then Ginger Snaps is definitely a film worth checking out.
Next Blog: The saga of The Fitzgerald Sisters is not over as we tackle Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
|Original Movie Poster|
If you have come back then obviously you either really like my blog or you have never seen I Know What You Did Last Summer and came to check out me talking about its sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Now I'm not used to talking about films and then directly talking about their sequels after so you are going to have to bear with me here on many spoilers as for the next many blogs I will be doing the same thing.
|Freddie And Jennifer return with some new blood...|
Now this film was released one year after the original and only two (or technically three characters) return so there you go for spoilers right now and just so you know I will not be talking about the last of this trilogy the film titled lamely I Will Always Know What You Did Last Summer just because it has nothing to do with any of the characters we have talked about or will talk about. If you were expecting that I am so sorry but you will just have to discover that film on your own as I have never seen nor will I ever see it. Now that I have gotten all of that out of the way let's discuss the plot to I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
Our Story Continues As Follows:
Julie James is back up at college still plagued by the terror that was Ben Willis, a fisherman who she and her friends Ray, Barry and Helen accidentally hit with their car on The 4th of July weekend two years ago. They thought he was dead but he survived the foursome dumping him in the ocean and he came back for revenge killing Barry and Helen. Disappearing the night he tried to kill Julie and Ray, now presumed to be really dead, the memory still haunts Julie despite the best efforts of her roommate Karla Wilson, her boyfriend Tyrell Martin and new college friend Will Benson.
|J. Love back as Julie James|
Julie has even distanced herself from her former love Ray who still remains a townie down in Southport, North Carolina even though he still loves Julie and is even thinking about proposing to her. When Karla wins a trip to a Caribbean resort via a radio contest, Julie invites Ray to go to make up for being so evasive but he says he might not be able to make it because of work and Julie heads off with Karla, Ty and Will not knowing that Ray is planning to surprise her instead by showing up unannounced with his engagement ring in tow.
|Karla And Julie waiting for their ride to the Bahamas|
Arriving in the Bahamas, our new foursome finds that they have arrived at the beginning of storm season which means all of the other guests are heading back for the mainland and they will be the only people there besides a small group of the resort's staff. Despite this news, the four college students decide to make the most of their trip and it seems some sparks are developing between Julie and Will. The good times abruptly end when Julie's past comes back with a vengeance and bodies of the hotel staff start popping up and she now knows that Ben Willis is back to finish what he started. Being cut off from the mainland and with storms about to come to the island, can Julie and her new friends escape their angry, hook wielding fisherman killer? Will Ray be able to get there in time to save the girl he loves?
|Freddie Prinze Jr. returns as Ray Bronson|
Pretty basic sequel plot and as always leaving you with only a taste of it since you pretty much know that Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. are back as Julie James and Ray Bronson respectively. I'm not about to tell you who else survives and who dies but I can tell you a little bit about the new characters and what I think of the actors who portray them. Brandy Norwood or pop star Brandy as you know her plays Karla Wilson, our strong, independent, sassy African-American best bud of Julie. I love Brandy as Karla because she brings so much to the movie and since they killed off Sarah Michelle Gellar's Helen in the first film, you need another strong woman in the cast. Karla is more like Julie was in the first film to balance out Julie being the haunted girl with the secret past because when Julie is scared Karla is strong and when Julie is strong Karla is still scared but she gets past that just as Helen did in the first film.
|Brandy as Karla Wilson|
Mehki Phifer as Tyrell "Ty" Martin is just a blast in this film as the wisecracking, completely horny boyfriend of Karla and even though he is hilarious he is also a no nonsense guy when it counts. I have seen Mehki Phifer pull of some serious acting in the movie "O" and as Doctor Gregory Pratt on ER so he does a great job pulling off the same here with a mix between drama and comedy and for a horror film it is not easy because you can come off as cheesy or dull if it is not done right. I think Ty is supposed to be the Barry of the group this time around since Ryan Phillipe was killed off in the first film but Ty is a little more likeable than Barry and he only starts to be an ass a little later in the film than from the very beginning as Barry seemed to be but that is only my opinion of course.
|Mehki Phifer as Tyrell (Ty) Martin|
Matthew Settle plays Will Benson, a new character who seems to be smitten with Julie James, and I wish I could say more about his acting but I can't as this is the only thing I have ever seen him in. He is handsome, an all around nice guy kind of character in this film, but that is pretty much all I can say. If I had more work to compare his role in this film to I might have more to say about Matthew Settle as and actor but I honestly can't. Aside from our main cast, there are supporting characters and the cast is pretty okay. Jack Black has an uncredited role as Titus, the white stoner pool boy who thinks he is Bob Marley, and he gets in a few laughs. (try to guess whether he makes it or not?) Muse Watson of course returns as killer fisherman Ben Willis and he does okay for what little screen time he gets not killing people and we even get to learn more backstory about his character which is kind of nice.
|Matthew Settle as Will Benson with Brandy & Mehki Phifer|
Sexy actress Jennifer Esposito who played Stacey on Spin City with Michael J. Fox plays a sarcastic bartender named Nancy and I like her ball-busting, witty attitude enough that she deserves a mention and the final actor of note is Jeffrey Combs. If you don't know who Jeffrey Combs is and are a horror fan like me, you need to be re-schooled in classic horror real quick and go rent The Frighteners and Re-Animator if you really want to see Combs in all his gory glory. If you aren't into horror (as much as me I mean) but you have a love for Star Trek you may recognize Combs as well from the Deep Space Nine part of that franchise. In any case, Combs is great as the hotel manager Mr. Brookes, playing the same kind of sarcastic, smarmy asshole he is so great at playing as always.
|Jennifer Esposito as Nancy with Brandy & J. Love Hewitt|
If you are wondering why I didn't talk about Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. and their characters of Julie and Ray it is because I already talked about them in the blog about I Know What You Did Last Summer. Both of them are still great actors but their characters are pretty much the same as they were in the first film just a little bit more troubled and slightly harder emotional wise but they still get in likeable, funny moments and few smiles here and there that continue to make me like the characters. What more can you say without repeating yourself?
|Julie And Karla get Ben's message|
So is it a good sequel? Yes I believe it is. Is it better than the first film? It's about the same in tone but there are more characters that grab my interest than in the first one so I would have to say it's only slightly better but not by much. Is it worth watching? There are worse movie sequels out there but I Still Know What You Did Last Summer isn't one of them.
Next Blog: We tackle a different horror film trilogy and now that it is the time for horror being close to Halloween I hope you will join me as we take a look at an obscure little treat called Ginger Snaps.
Friday, September 21, 2012
|Original Movie Poster|
In the 1990s it seemed to me that horror was becoming a little cinematic in scope of the things because Stephen King movies based on his works like The Shawshank Redemption were not full of horror but drama (which isn't bad by any means) and then Scream came along and brought back the horror film and the following year I Know What You Did Last Summer came out and brought the budding horror fan in me a little hope which caused me to discover many of the classics I have already talked about. I didn't know until years later that this film was loosely based on a novel by Lois Duncan and that it wasn't as gory as it was on screen but more thriller based but I did know that I wanted to see it because Sarah Michelle Gellar was in it because I was a die hard Buffy fan but more on that later. So for those of you who have never seen this film (I shudder to think that no one has ever seen this film) let's get right to it shall we?
What's The Plot?
It's 4th Of July in the fishing town of Southport, North Carolina and newly graduated seniors: brainy but beautiful Julie James, quarterback Barry Cox and handsome but poor Ray Bronson go to see their friend and Barry's girl Helen Shivers win the crown of Croaker Queen in the yearly beauty pageant. After her win, the foursome go down to the local beach to celebrate with alcohol, making out and urban legends around the driftwood fire of the killer with a hook for a hand. They head back to town with Ray driving Barry's new graduation present car as Barry is too drunk to drive but it doesn't stop them from getting into an accident by hitting a man crossing the road and killing him. Knowing it is his car and that he is drunk, Barry freaks out when Julie mentions going to the police and the decides that they should dump the body in the ocean and never speak of this again. The others are hesitant and disgusted but Ray and Helen go along with the plan and once Barry threatens hers, Julie solemnly agrees to take this secret to the grave.
|The Four Main Characters: Helen, Barry, Julie and Ray|
A year later, Julie comes home for the holiday from college but it is clear that the guilt of what she did has changed her as she is withdrawn and haunted. It doesn't help much when she gets a note stating I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and realizes that someone saw her, Helen, Barry and Ray run down the man on the side of the road. The secret they swore to keep has separated these four friends but now they must reunite to figure out who it was they killed and just who that person might have known that could be sending this note on the anniversary of their crime. Pretty soon a note is the least of their worries when a slicker clad figure with a hook is bent on killing the teens and making sure that they do indeed keep their promise all the way to the grave and beyond...
|The Gorton Fisherman is pissed!!|
Of course, telling the whole plot is a foregone conclusion if you have indeed seen this film and if not, since you know there is a sequel that I plan to talk about you know some characters from this movie survive and I will spoil it in my next post. It's not I'm mean and don't want to tell you the whole plot I just like to indulge those who don't really watch movies as much as myself and others in case they have never seen any of the films I talk about. I hope that the people who read my blog come back just to see what I talk about and see how I express my own views to films in general. I'm not an expert but I can convey things in writing much better than in speaking and I love movies and of course, love sharing that with you. Moving on from that...
What Else Can I Tell You?
I Know What You Did Last Summer has a very talented, good looking young cast who portray characters that are likeable and even un-likeable at times but it proves they are very good because in real life even the people you love or like can annoy you at times with just a shift in their attitudes or some little thing they do that annoys you to no end. Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie is a bright young woman and a strong character but she is also human and you can see that in how she is struggling to keep the secret and what it is doing to her. She wanted to go the police and was the most logical of the four and of course the one disgusted to just get rid of the body. Jennifer Love Hewitt is a great actress as her work on Ghost Whisperer proves and she is also a new age Scream Queen of horror (quite literally).
|Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie James|
Ryan Phillipe as Barry Cox is a good looking jerk jock and at times you can hate him but there are times when you can like him mostly in scenes where he is genuinely scared because he is at his most human and you can tell that Barry does indeed love Helen and is protective of her even though is is shown that keeping the secret destroyed their relationship. I can't really say much about Ryan Phillipe as an actor because the only other movie I have seen with him in it is Cruel Intentions but he was very good in the film and ironically played the same kind of character of a jerk with human emotions and actions hidden beneath the surface.
|Ryan Phillipe as Barry Cox|
I will be honest after I saw this movie I had a crush on Freddie Prinze Jr. big time! His role as Ray Bronson is portrayal of a character who is not as well to do as his friends or even his girlfriend Julie but he is a caring person as well as intelligent that you can look past those puppy dog brown eyes and good looks and see a real human being. Ray is probably my favorite character in the film for those reasons and I think Freddie Prinze Jr. did a good job bringing Ray to life from a character in a book to the big screen. Besides being a talented dramatic actor, Freddie excels at making me laugh as well whenever his characters require comedy which is why I love watching him in She's All That and the Scooby Doo films because having an actor who is not only good looking but good at comedic timing and dramatic, human acting is hard to find.
|Freddie Prinze Jr. as Ray Bronson|
Of course, Sarah Michelle Gellar-Prinze as she is known to me now is the main draw of why I went to see I Know What You Did Last Summer with my friend Chris in the first place. See around this time it was Season 2 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my favorite show of the time and of all-time if you want to know and I just had to see SMG on the big screen. Sarah plays Helen Shivers, beauty queen but she is not just beauty she is also brains and attitude because there is just no way you can make any role that Sarah Michelle plays be that of a ditzy dumb blonde (and if you argue with me that Buffy was one you didn't really watch the entire show or understand the complexity of the character but I digress).
|Helen and Julie off to see Barry.|
Helen is Julie's best friend and the secret drives a wedge between them as it does between Helen and Barry and you can see that Helen misses the closeness she once had with both of them. She also has to put up with her older sister Elsa being a bitch and that people do see her as beautiful and shallow but once she has to deal with a killer coming after her and her friends you can see the human side of Helen even in the face of fear. Yes I admit that I am a Sarah Michelle fan girl and I have no shame in it!
|Sarah Michelle as Helen Shivers|
As an actress, I know she is very talented and she is very versatile in her roles as strong women, likeable women you can relate to, human characters facing real problems and even bitchy women you love to hate as her role in Cruel Intentions and one part of her dual role in Ringer proves. So there you have it I love Sarah Michelle Gellar-Prinze as much as I love Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart because there aren't too many women nowadays that I view as good role models but when you are genuinely human, beautiful and talented I'm not about to ignore that. Say what you want about it but there it is pure and simple...
|Helen, Barry and Julie look for answers.|
In a nutshell, I Know What You Did Last Summer is a decent, enjoyable horror flick and a very tame slasher film bordering more on thrills than out right blood and gore and it did succeeded in actually scaring me enough that in the theater I jumped in my seat and made then popular Surge soda come out my nose. If that's not a good enough reason to view this movie that it actually did shock me but not scare me (who watches horror movies on a predominant basis) then I don't know what is!
Next Blog: We return for a look at I Still Know What You Did Last Summer...is the sequel worth the view?
Saturday, August 11, 2012
The world of high school is one subject that movies love to deal with because well the lives of teenagers are usually so ripe with drama...I should know as I was once a teen in high school only eleven years ago. It depends what you were in high school that defines how your own high school movie would go: drama, comedy or maybe even horror or even a combination of the three. Popularity in high school is something we all either had or wanted but did you ever wonder if that was enough? Maybe being yourself was okay because most of the popular people I knew were either very nice or completely obnoxious and I don't think it was important enough to be popular if everyone hated you but if you could be popular and nice it made the mean girls just hate you even more.
Why do I sound so melodramatic you ask? Because this is basically the premise of why I love this movie we came here to talk about: Jawbreaker. I saw this film when I was sixteen and a freshman/sophomore in high school and it is one of those films that I came to embrace about high school and kind of helped me understand the way popularity worked: either fear or hero worship. Since it it is a black comedy I don't take the lesson seriously but I do take it with a grain of salt.
What's The Plot?
Every high school has its clique of popular girls and at Regan High, The Flawless Four rule the school. There of course is the nice popular girl, Elizabeth Purr, and then the girl popular because of her looks, Julie Freeman, and her closeness with the aforementioned Liz Purr. There is the brainless follower, Marcie Fox also known as "Foxy", and then there is the Queen Bee Bitch who rules with fear behind a mask of deceit, Courtney Shayne. Despite their different personalities, these four girls are friends who enjoy shopping, hanging out by the pool and playing practical jokes on one another until the day one of those pranks goes too far.
"Kidnapping" Liz from her bed on her seventeenth birthday with the prospect of tying her to the flagpole in her undies before all of Regan High, Courtney, Julie and Marcie discover Liz dead in the trunk of the car instead after she asphyxiates on a jawbreaker that Courtney used to gag her with which is now lodged in her throat. Julie and Marcie are panicked and upset but Courtney, ice queen that she is, decides that they will just return Liz to her bed since her parents are gone on some sort of vacation or retreat and make it look like their friend was the victim of a possible sexual attack. Calling as Liz's mother, Courtney tells the Principal Miss Sherwood that Liz is sick and that one of her friends will bring her homework home. However, the girls get so caught up in their plans to get Liz's body home that they forget the homework and Miss Sherwood gives the task to unpopular, mousy Fern Mayo who literally worships and fanatically adores Elizabeth Purr.
Fern ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and hears Courtney admit to killing Liz (possibly on purpose out of jealousy at Liz's popularity due to her kindness and natural/inside beauty) and when she discovers the body she runs off. Courtney and Marcie get to Fern before she can tell anyone and Courtney offers Fern something in exchange for her silence: popularity. She tells Fern she can take Liz's place and finally be one of the beautiful people she has always dreamed of (which is probably why she had such a fixation on Liz in the first place even though Liz was nice to her once) and of course Fern is easily swayed.
|Julie Benz as Marcie "Foxy" Fox|
Disgusted at Courtney's actions, Julie leaves the Flawless Four who now become a terror trio with a newly blonde and fashionably dressed Fern who becomes Courtney's creation, dubbed the mysterious transfer student "Vylette". Seems the politics of high school will go on until the death of Elizabeth Purr is announced as rape and Julie knows that Courtney is behind it but can she convince Detective Vera Cruz who is on the case that everything is not what it seems? With her new found popularity at stake, can Fern turn against Courtney or will she become the monster instead...even worse than the queen bee who made her?
The plot of Jawbreaker sounds like any normal high school teen flick but with its dark take at comedy the movie is anything but sweet after school special fluff. The title itself is named after a piece of candy but I wouldn't call this film as anything remotely sugary as I would probably liken it more to Sour Patch Kids instead: bitter with a sweetness underneath which is fitting to the characters. Both Fern and Julie fall to being sour on the outside but truly nice people inside while Courtney is just the opposite: sugary on the outside but bitter within which I guess would make her the true jawbreaker and not just in a metaphorical way either. One of the many things Jawbreaker has going for it is the fact that you can relate to the main characters whether you are a man or a woman because there was always the nice ones, the popular ones, the mean ones, the wannabes and the outcasts in every school and you can remember being one or knowing one in your own youth.
Setting the story aside, another thing that makes Jawbreaker a fantastic film to watch is that it has a very good cast. In a role after her breakout in Scream and before she became part of the Power of Three on the WB's Charmed, Rose McGowan is very good at playing a very bad girl and she is always sexy and cute no matter what she does. Maybe I am biased a little because my name is Courtney but I love to love and hate Rose McGowan as Courtney Shayne because her morals and ethics are non-existent but she is also very cool and icy that nothing gets under her skin and I kind of like that about her.
|Rose McGowan as Courtney Shayne|
Rebecca Gayheart as Julie is another favorite of mine because she is portraying a character that is actually like a lot of people I know where as she isn't what she seems. She's pretty and it could give her license to be as much a bitch as Courtney but Julie is very nice in a human way as she feels bad for what happened to her best friend Liz and then she becomes concerned for Fern's own well being and genuinely tries to reach out and be her friend.
|Rebecca Gayheart as Julie|
Speaking of Fern, I love actress Judy Greer in this film and in general as much as I love Rose McGowan in all of her roles. I love how Greer can go from being a nice girl to a bad girl because when she is a nice girl she can be demure or bubbly and when she is a bad girl she can go from being slightly cold to being a down right evil bitch and that takes real acting to pull that off. As Fern, I can relate to being one of those unpopular, geeks who feels invisible and wanting not popularity per se but at least acknowledgement that I am a good-hearted person.
Julie Benz who plays Marcie "Foxy" Fox is great to watch in this movie as the air-headed sidekick to McGowan's sadistic villain and after watching her portray Darla on Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel which is a complete 180 from Foxy, it's clear to me that Julie Benz is so very talented. Charlotte Ayanna who plays Liz Purr has no dialogue in this film but she deserves recognition because I don't know if I could act like a corpse for almost half a film where I have to look dead on at a camera and not blink. I wish she could have had a bigger part maybe in flashbacks or something to show just how nice Liz really was and why she was so popular because I've seen Charlotte Ayanna act with dialogue in The Rage: Carrie 2 and she is by no means without skill or talent beyond being very pretty. Besides the main character cast, there are great supporting actors in this film even if they play maybe not so memorable characters such as Carol Kane who plays the Principal Miss Sherwood (I have always loved Kane with her quirkiness and that distinct voice of hers as well as she is a good actress).
The late Jeff Conway (known to most as Kenicke from Grease) makes a cameo as Marcie's single dad in a very hilarious scene and the original Foxy...Foxy Brown that is Pam Grier appears as hard ass but cool as ice Detective Vera Cruz. Since I am a Carrie fan, I have to mention that William Katt and P.J. Soles from the 1976 film appear in a very short blink and you will miss it cameo as Liz's parents who only appear to return home and find their daughter dead. (their daughter who's actress also happened to be in the Carrie sequel I might add!) I wish they had gotten more screen time but I guess it would have taken a little bit of the darkness out of the film if we had to focus on the parents' grief for the death of their only child but I would have liked to have seen what Katt and Soles could have done with it.
|William Katt & P.J. Soles as Liz's poor parents|
The last thing I think that makes me a fan of Jawbreaker is that it has a very kick ass soundtrack! If you are into indie pop, alternative, rock and pop punk then you would love the soundtrack even if the movie was not something to your liking. The Cars and Veruca Salt have songs that only appear in the movie but the soundtrack has Letters To Cleo, The Scorpions, The Donnas and some great maybe not as well known bands such as Shampoo, Transister, Imperial Teen and The Friggs who have some very good stand out songs in the film that don't appear on the soundtrack as well as tracks on the soundtrack album itself.
So sorry if this blog post was really long winded but when I talk about movies I really enjoy and want to share with you I have to tell you every detail that I think you need to know and should know. Is Jawbreaker a movie for everyone? Probably not. Is it worth seeing? I think it is. Are you going to try and give it a viewing anytime soon or ever? Now I can't answer that because I am not you but if you want to check out something different for a change I highly recommend giving Jawbreaker a taste.
Next Blog: For the next couple of blogs we are going to be focusing on some film franchises which means some more remakes, some sequels and the ever fun trilogies and movie series that refuse to die! So first up: I Know What You Did Last Summer
Friday, August 10, 2012
A big trend in Hollywood lately is remaking horror movies of the past for a whole new generation of today. The problem with me is I am still a part of that old generation when most of these movie first came out so I have already seen them and if you don't know me here's something else to know: I am not a fan of change when it comes to my music and movies. Not that I don't own a few remakes of my beloved horror films but what bugs me the most is when you call something a remake and do one of two things:
1) Remake a film and just shoot the exact same film like when Gus Van Sant remade Psycho frame for frame with just new actors. You weren't creative enough to change it just a little so just how did you remake it?
2) Remake a film but you changed the character names is a good start but then the story resembles nothing of the original. Sometimes it works but some times it doesn't like I can watch Rob Zombie's re-imagining of Halloween but that is because it is telling the exact same story with a few changes to make it more mainstream. I can't really explain why I don't like the story to be changed but if you do it right I am hooked but if you don't I am turned off that's basically it.
Anyway enough of the ranting let's get to what you really came here for shall we? Prom Night is one of my favorite horror films and when I heard about the Prom Night that came out as a remake in 2008 I was intrigued. So it comes down to which one I think is the better of the two that I would suggest you watch. Instead of starting with the original, let's start with the 2008 version first.
2008 Version: What's The Plot ?
Donna Keppel is about ready to attend that highlight of the senior girl's life known as prom. She is going with her handsome boyfriend Bobby and her very best friends Lisa and Claire and their own boyfriends, Ronnie and Michael. What's different for Donna about this night is that it is the bright spot in a high school run marred by tragedy because when Donna was a freshman her family was murdered. Her father and little brother were killed and then Donna witnessed the murder of her mother first hand which was committed by one of her very own teachers, Richard Fenton.
Fenton was obsessed with Donna and wanted to make her completely alone so they could be together but all his actions did was get him arrested, force Donna to be taken in but her maternal aunt and her husband and send the poor girl to therapy for constantly dreaming about that horrific night. Donna plans to put that all behind her but the past won't ever rest for her because now Fenton has escaped from jail and he is still just as obsessed with Donna. A night of fun is going to turn into a night of terror for Donna and her friends because Fenton won't stop until he has Donna all to himself and he'll kill anyone that stands in his way...
So since you know the plot for this version let's talk about its pros and cons before we venture backward to look at the 1980 version. First off, you could probably throw this plot onto any occasion besides a prom or on any holiday but you call it Prom Night just because well there's a prom going on isn't there? So the story is less than original and way off from the original as well but I give a point for effort to make it a little different. The only actors that are of note as victim and killer respectively are Brittany Snow and Johnathon Schaech as Donna Keppel and Richard Fenton.
Brittany Snow makes for a great innocent victim but sometimes she flips from being a positive final girl to a less than stellar scream queen. When it comes to the scenes with the murder of her family, Snow gives a good portrayal of what anyone would feel in that moment and the emotion is raw and powerful. Schaech is perfect for Richard Fenton but at times I think he is too good actually because he looks like he could be a killer and his calm tone throughout doing these awful things and not going completely berserk is the most chilling thing imaginable when the person killing you looks like he could be your teacher, your dentist or any person you see everyday.
As for the other characters they don't really stand out to me at all except for actor Idris Elba who plays Detective Winn who was in charge of the case where Fenton murdered Donna's family and comes back into the picture when he learns Fenton has escaped. Elba's character stands out because he is concerned not just because he wants to get Fenton back in jail but because he is concerned about Donna's physical and mental well-being which makes him one of my favorite horror film cops by far.
From a gore stand point, there are murder scenes but they aren't grisly but this is what happens when a horror film is rated PG-13 and no I am not kidding that is its rating but even if you get the unrated version it is not that different and for you horror fans who like nudity or sex you won't get any here and I probably just turned 50 % off horror fans off this version with that one statement. So that's pretty much all I can say about this version so let's go back to 1980 for the original Prom Night...
1980 Original: What's The Plot?
Technically we start off in 1974 with a group of children playing a kind of twisted version of hide and seek/tag (where you hide from a killer and if you are tagged you become one too?...where did these kids come up with this?). Passing by are Kim Hammond and her younger siblings, Alex and Robin. Robin wants to play but Alex says the other children don't want her in their game but Robin doesn't listen as Kim and Alex end up going on without her. When Robin finds Nick, probably the nicest of the four, he turns the game on to Robin making her the victim and along with Kelly, Wendy and Jude they chase Robin around chanting the word 'kill" over and over again (again fun game these kids are playing isn't it?).
Their fun comes to end when they end up backing Robin against a window on the second story and she falls out of it on to the ground below where she is killed by the broken glass. Nick (again the nicest of the group) wants to go get help but Wendy (the meanest and future high school bitch) makes them all swear not to tell or else they will go to jail and the others agree and ride of on their bikes. As you may have guessed, someone witnesses the death of little Robin and their revenge is what will set off the drama and horror of the upcoming minutes of the film.
Six years later, the anniversary of Robin's death falls on the night of the senior prom at Alexander Hamilton High School and this time a real killer is coming. Kim Hammond is now dating Nick and the both of them are about to be crowned as Queen and King of their disco prom and Nick's ex-girlfriend Wendy (yes same little bitchy Wendy) is not happy. As for Jude and Kelly, Jude is going with the resident stoner, van-driving comedic geek Seymour ( " Slick" to his friends) and Kelly is going with her horny hound dog boyfriend Drew who only wants to get up her virginal skirt.
Yep everything seems normal in this high school rite of passage known as Prom Night but someone is going to the prom with murder on their mind. Wendy, Nick, Jude and Kelly have to pay for what they did and ominous calls are the least of their worries when someone has an axe to grind but will Kim also have to suffer for the loss of her sister as well as her brother Alex? Can Nick finally admit to Kim what he did before blood spills on the prom night dance floor? Tonight Prom Night is not about who you come with or who takes you home...it's about whether you will make it home at all.
Pretty different story huh? Well you will be happy to know that there is nudity, sex, drugs and profanity in this version so horror hounds rejoice! I like the revenge plot a whole lot more than the remake's story and I like all the characters a whole lot better even bitchy Wendy. Jamie Lee Curtis is back as a Scream Queen after her success in Halloween and The Fog and she does what she does best in Prom Night : portraying a strong female character as Kim Hammond. Jamie Lee Curtis is one of my favorite actresses and in her third theatrical film role you could tell she was going to be a star. Speaking of stars, another star of note is the underused role of Kim's father, principal of the high school, played by the late great Leslie Nielsen and yes that Leslie Nielsen! If you thought all Nielsen did was comedy and slap stick you are sadly mistaken because Leslie Nielsen was also a very good dramatic actor before he took on his more famous funny man roles.
As I stated, I like the characters in this Prom Night better because even though Kelly and Jude as children made a very tragic mistake and pay the price for it they aren't bad persons and Nick is just the same. Casey Stevens as Nick McBride is probably one of the most decent characters in the film besides Curtis' Kim and Michael Tough who portrays Kim's brother Alex and when you can make fictional characters dimensional enough to have personalities that you can actually relate to them, love them or hate them then you have done a good job as a screenwriter and director. Another thing about Prom Night is its very highly sought after disco soundtrack which is not really that bad but I am also a closet disco fan so I guess I wouldn't mind having it as well. If you aren't a fan of disco there is original scoring and a kind of touching song that plays over the end credits called Fade To Black which after the climatic killer reveal is poignant and chilling all in one.
So there you have it two movies with one shared title and two very different stories but which Prom Night is best? Well again I do enjoy 1980 Prom Night better than its 2008 "re-imagining" but the 2008 Prom Night is certainly not lacking on originality from its predecessor than taking the same story and characters. As a horror film, 1980 beats 2008 in gore and suspense and even in drama as well as character development. Despite my love/hate mentality on remakes of good horror films I guess it's an honor when a film is picked to be remade for a whole new generation because that means it is a significant and cultural cinematic piece of history...or maybe Hollywood is just running out of good ideas for original horror films, eh?
So in conclusion, if you have never seen either Prom Night, I would check them both out but start with the 1980 version first. If you have seen the 1980 version but not the "remake" I wouldn't bother because you have already seen the best one. If you have seen the 2008 Prom Night and not the 1980 film of which it is loosely based on...you have got to go out and get this movie! If you are a true fan of 80s horror then you won't be disappointed and if you like 80s horror with a cheese factor to it the 1980 Prom Night spawned three sequels that range from good to bad. If I am being vague on these sequels its because they really have nothing to do with Prom Night itself they are in name only sequels but even they have more redeeming qualities than Prom Night 2008.
That's right...I said it. Guess my inner bitchy prom queen made it to the surface.
Next Blog: Speaking of proms...if you like your comedies a little on the dark side the way I like my chocolate have I got a treat for you! Care for a little Jawbreaker my dears?