Sunday, February 22, 2009

James' Oscar Picks

Best Picture - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director - Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Actor - Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) - The upset here would be if Sean Penn wins it for Milk
Best Actress - Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Best Supporting Actor - Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Best Supporting Actress - Penelope Cruz (Vicky Chistina Barcelona)
Best Original Screenplay - Dustin Lance Black (Milk)
Best Adapted Screenplay - Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Animated Feature - Wall-E
Best Animated Short Film - Presto
Best Foreign Language Film - Waltz With Bashir
Best Art Direction - The Dark Knight (But most likely will go to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Best Cinematography - The Dark Knight deserves it (But will most likely go to Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Costume Design - The Duchess
Best Documentary Feature - Man on Wire
Best Documentary Short - The Conscience of Nhem En (I would like to see it go to The Final Inch though)
Best Editing - The Dark Knight (But most likely will go to Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Live Action Short - Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Best Makeup - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Original Score - A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Original Song - "Down to Earth," Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman (Wall-E)
Best Sound Editing - The Dark Knight (But Wall-E is the one the Academy will most likely hand it to)
Best Sound Mixing - Wall-E
Best Visual Effects - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds Trailer Premiere (Title Is Spelt Like That)

The movie is set in World War II and focuses on a group of Jewish-American soldiers that are known as “The Basterds”. This group of men are chosen to brutally kill Nazis in order to spread fear through the Third Reich.
The film was written by Quentin Tarantino and it is also being directed by him. Brad Pitt will star as what looks like the leader of “The Basterds” named Lt. Aldo Raine.
After watching the trailer many will argue that this doesn’t feel like a Tarantino film and I disagree, this film doesn’t feel like his Kill Bill movies but it definitely feels like his older stuff and I’m looking forward to see how he’s going to execute this. Also, the trailer makes the movie look good, expect for the last part which seems a little too quirky.
The thing that I think can hurt this film is how it’s being rushed out. The film moved from filming to post rather quickly and it’s already slated for an Aug. 21, 2009, release date. Hopefully they are making sure this film gets enough care during post and they make it the best that it can be.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen Trailer Released

Here is the trailer for the upcoming summer blockbuster - Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.
When looking at the trailer I can say we can expect a lot more robots and also a lot more explosions. The beginning part of the trailer also reminds me of Michael Bay's other film Armageddon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday the 13th is Back and Jason Lives

This weekend saw the return of one of the world’s infamous movie villains – Jason Voorhees; the hockey mask wearing, machete wielding, psychopathic killer that is bent on revenge.
First thing I will say is that I really did enjoy this movie and for those of you that have been saying that it’s a bad Friday film, you clearly haven’t seen Jason Goes to Hell or Jason X.
This movie trumps both of those films. Yet, I will admit the movie really has nothing new to offer and we’ve seen it all before and it will not reinvent slasher films. It’s just a Friday the 13th movie and that’s not a bad thing, it has plenty of gore and other things that we expect.
The movie does effectively merge elements from the first four Friday films and weaves them into a new entertaining story, I mean it doesn’t have a great plot and the characters are cardboard cut outs of stero-types but it’s entertaining to say the least.
The plot is basically this; Clay (Jared Padalecki) is searching the area around Crystal Lake for his sister who went missing. He meets up with a group of kids that have come up to the “rich kids'” parent’s cabin for the weekend to party and of course in Friday the 13th fashion they all start to get killed off one by one – if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.
Alright let’s talk about what everyone is going to this film to see and that’s Jason. Well he’s back and his back and very agile and with a higher IQ this time around. (Side Note: Everyone has to stop complaining about Jason running, because Jason has ran in the franchise before. If you want to argue with me, just go watch parts 2, 3 and 4 and you’ll see Jason chasing his victims. So, for everyone who denies this I think it’s safe to say they’ve never seen those parts. The Jason that you see in Freddy vs. Jason was a slow walking one and he was never like that before that movie, the slow walking thing was always a Michael Myers thing.) Back to Jason in this movie, he’s great and he has made the abandoned Camp Crystal Lake his fortress, he has dug out under ground tunnels and has rigged wires all around the camp so when someone trips over one a bell will ring in his under ground tunnels alerting him of trespassers. I thought this was pretty smart of Jason and makes him a little scarier.
We also see a young Jason very earlier in the film and he witness his mothers death and I liked how he picks up her locket and then takes the machete that killed his mother and grips it in his hand, I felt this was like Pamela Voorhees passing the baton to her son, because we hear her tell him to kill.
Now, a question everyone has been asking me is if the classic theme of “Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma” is in the movie and it is but not a lot. I heard it very distinctively in the very beginning and then again at the very end. I could have missed it during some scenes.
Also everyone is always interested in the kills in these types of movies and the kills are good, there’re a few that are PG-13 type kills but all and all I thought they were creative, it was basically old kills with new tricks and it worked out. My favorite kill involves a sleeping bag and a camp fire.
In the end being a huge Friday the 13th fan I was not let down. The people I think who are going to be let down are the ones that go into it looking for a horror masterpiece, its not a horror masterpiece, but it takes all the things that made Jason great and gives us what I expected a movie that sticks to the very basic formula of Friday movies.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th Retrospect Part VII "The Final Part"

In the tenth chapter in Jason legacy we see Mr. Voorhees captured and in a research facility in the year of 2010. He was captured in the year 2008 and we learn that he was executed multiple times, in multiple ways and nothing has worked. He of course escapes from his chains in this facility and starts killing and as he chases his last female victim they both end up in a cryo tube and both cryogenically frozen.
Since no one ever went looking for the missing Jason Voorhees, he’s frozen until the year 2455 and so is Rowen, the women he was trying to kill.
A group of students and their teacher come across the frozen bodies, as part of a learning experience on the destroyed Earth.
Jason and Rowen then end up on a space cruiser and learn that the year is 2455.
Jason soon comes to on the ship and kills the students that inhabit it. The remaining crew must survive Jason’s dark deeds, as they make their way to Earth 2.
During this process, Jason is blown to a million pieces by a women robot, but he is then later reanimated by these worm like things and Jason is then built into Uber-Jason, a metal version of his old self and he looks much more built in muscle mass.
Eventually as they approach Earth 2 and escape their ship through a pod, we see Jason being sucked out into space and start flying towards the rest of the survivors. He is soon intercepted by Sgt. Brodski who saves the remaining crew by tackling Jason in space and sends him hurdling towards Earth 2.
We see Jason, the man who has been haunting people for year’s burns up in the atmosphere of the Earth 2.
Jason’s burnt up body crashes into a lake (which might be Crystal Lake 2) and his mask becomes separated from his body.
It’s unclear that Jason is dead or not, two people sitting by the lake notice him and Sgt. Brodski hurdling down from space but mistake it as a shooting star. We know that they are going over to the landing site of Brodski and Jason, but this happens off screen, because the chapter ends after they say they want to go check it out.
Final Words: The Friday the 13th series has seen many changes through the years, some good and some just a little strange. Yet, in the end we still have a wide variety of movies that might not be Oscar winning, but they're entertaining.
Now with the release of the new Friday the 13th we'll see the rebirth of a horror icon and I'm just hoping that they don't forget who Jason is and stick with the series roots and make sure it still feels like a Friday the 13th movie.
The biggest concern I have with the reboot is if they will reveal too much of Jason's back story, like in the new Halloween I thought the film was dragged down by watching Michael Myers as a kid and also I think it made him less scary. So, I hope that Friday the 13th goes by the motto the less we know the scarier it is.
NOTE: The reason Freddy Vs. Jason was mentioned before Jason X is because I was sticking to timeline and the events of Freddy Vs. Jason take place before Jason X.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday the 13th Retrospect Part VI

Years will pass and Freddy Krueger has been forgotten by the children of Elm Street, and if he’s forgotten then he can’t return to fulfill his gruesome needs.
Freddy searches the bowels of hell to find someone he can unleash on the world, to spark the fear back in the children of Elm Street, to make them remember the name Freddy, so he can return from hell.
He finds this in Jason, when he approaches him, Jason is in a hell of his own, where it seems he’s obligated to continue killing even in death. Freddy takes the form of Mrs. Voorhees and appears to Jason, Freddy (as the mother) tells Jason that he’s only been sleeping and he needs to wake up and punish the children on Elm Street. He needs to rise up and make them remember what fear tastes like.
After being motivated by Freddy/Mrs. Voorhees, Jason rises up from the ditch where he lays and starts to walk to Elm Street.
I know this is far fetched, because Freddy’s Elm Street is located in Springwood, Ohio and Jason’s Crystal Lake is located in New Jersey, which means Jason was walking a very long time before he arrives on Elm Street.
Once he’s there he does not hesitate and starts to obey his mother / Freddy’s will and kills whatever teenagers he sees. Of course this starts what Freddy wanted - the fear and his name being remembered.
After Jason kills a lot of teenagers, Freddy is able to return, but is unable to stop Jason from killing. This really irritates Freddy, causing him to pull Jason into the dream world and try to kill him.
That doesn’t work, since we learn that Jason can’t die and he can regenerate tissue which we learn in the tenth Friday the 13th chapter, which takes place after the events of Freddy vs. Jason.
So, the surviving teenagers decide that they’re going to help Jason and bring him back to Camp Crystal Lake so he has home field advantage. Lori the female heroine during these events sends herself into the dream world and pulls Freddy out, so he has no power and Jason now has the upper hand.
As the cabin, where the two horror titans now face each other, burns, Freddy and Jason begin their battle to the death.
More murders continue as they battle and in the end Freddy is killed with the glove he sleighed so many people with, as Jason rises from the lake water and with one last effort wins the battle.
Loris also decapitates Freddy and his lifeless body falls into the lake and the two horror icons float to the bottom, assuming that both are dead.
When first light comes we see fog lifting off of Crystal Lake and Jason Voorhees rising from the water with Freddy’s head in hand. And, before we end this chapter we see Freddy wink at us, leaving the ending up for interpretation.
So I don’t know exactly what year the events of Freddy vs. Jason took place, I’m guessing 2002 or 2003, since that’s when the movie was filmed and released.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Friday the 13th Retrospect Part V

In the next chapter Jason is once again fully grown with hockey mask on face and machete in hand.
There is a lot of question in how Jason is able to go from a boy after being hit with toxic waste to once again a man and I will try to explain it the best I can.
In the next chapter of the Friday the 13th series we meet Duke Creighton, a bounty hunter who makes it his job to find and hunt down Jason. He gives a theory on how Jason survived and if this holds up, it’s most likely the best answer we’ll receive. Stay with me, because it gets a little complicated.
When Jason was destroyed in the sewers the spirit that drives Jason found its way back to Crystal Lake and since this spirit can only pass to a Voorhees, he found his mother’s decaying body and took it over, which would explain why Jason looks so weird in the next chapter.
When we see Jason again he is back home in Crystal Lake and he is back to his old ways. He’s chasing a young woman around the property who ends up being a trap set by the F.B.I. The women leads him to a plot of land, where the F.B.I. blind him with spotlights and then blown him away with tons of ammunition.
The bits and pieces of Jason’s body are then sent to the coroner and while he is examining it he notices the heart is still beating. The heart then hypnotizes the coroner and he begins to eat it. Inside this heart is the vengeful spirit that was passed from Mrs. Voorhees to Jason all those years ago.
This spirit needs to move from person to person as for the vengeful creature cannot sustain just in a normal body, it needs to find a direct descendant of Jason in order to be truly reborn and he finds this in the guise of Erin Grey.
Jason then is reborn after using people’s bodies to find his way back to a Voorhees. His victory is short lived, because he is stabbed in the heart and creatures from hell come and pull Jason down where he belongs.
Only the hockey mask is left lying on the ground but Freddy Krueger’s claw comes up and grabs it, making way for a confrontation between Jason and Freddy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday the 13th Retrospect Part IV

In the year 1991, a girl by the name Tina Shepard who possesses the gift of telekinetic powers is sent to Crystal Lake to help her cope with her fathers death. She is sent to this specific location, because her father drowned in the lake, because of Tina’s power in the year 1979.
When she arrives back at the lake, she unknowingly raises Jason from the dead and out of his watery grave in which Jarvis put him. This causes Jason to once again kill teenagers and even Tina’s mom.
Jason now is a walking corpse and Tina is able to break the hockey mask off his face and we all see what Jason has become. He doesn’t even resemble a human anymore; he’s rotting and looks more like a monster.
In Tina’s and Jason’s confrontation Tina uses her powers to force Jason back into the lake in which he came. This doesn’t sit well with Jason and he is able to fight against Tina’s power and rise up from the water once again. Tina desperate for any help uses all of her power to raise her father from the lake and she does it successfully.
We see Tina’s father rise from the water and tackle Jason back down into the lake, thus defeating him once again. Jason returns to the bottom of the lake and he once again settles into his watery grave.
One year will pass and that will move the timeline up to the year 1992 and once again Jason is resurrected by an electrical cable attached to a boat that hits the chains that are wrapped around him.
At this time a group of teenagers are boarding a cruise ship that is going to take them to Manhattan. Of course, Jason finds his way onto the ship and finds it filled with things he can kill and he does just that.
Once the ship reaches Manhattan, we see Jason for the first time in a city environment and we see him chase his targets into sewers underneath the city, while in these sewers Jason is killed again by being emerged in toxic waste and he is reduced to his former child self.
Everything that made him and adult is burned away and he is what he was when he drowned all those years ago.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Friday the 13th Retrospect Part III

Once Jason returns to his stomping grounds, he comes across a house that is home to Tommy Jarvis and his mother, sister and dog. He lets this house be for now and moves to the house next door to it, where a group of teenagers are renting.
Jason once again kills the teenagers and then moves his sights on the home of Tommy Jarvis.
Jason picks off the mother and then works his way to Tommy’s sister, as Jason is trying to kill Trish Jarvis; Tommy shaves his head to look like a young Jason and tries to distract the now mute killer. Much like what the heroine tried in Jason’s first murderous rampage with his mothers head.
Jason falls into a trance and this allows Tommy to hack away at Jason until his head was split – killing him.
Crystal Lake goes silent after this and the Jason murders have all but stopped since his stand off with Tommy Jarvis. The years pass by and we soon find ourselves in 1989. Tommy Jarvis is now a 17 year old boy and he’s being transported to a camp for troubled teens, Pinehurst halfway house.
Jarvis is still haunted of visions of Jason, the man that is the reason for all of his problems. Yet, it’s been years since a Jason murder was reported and he’s believed to be dead.
Which isn’t entirely true, the real Jason might be dead but his image has been taken by another. See in this same year an ambulance driver by the name Roy Burns had taken up the guise of Jason and had began to kill the residents of the home for troubled teens.
The reason behind his murderous rampage is similar to Mrs. Voorhees’; he is seeking revenge for the death of his son, who was killed by one of the other teens.
Tommy finally faces off with the masked killer and he is thrown from the rafters of a barn to the ground below, when they look to see the body laying lifeless they see that the mask has fallen off and it reveals the true identity of the killer.
Nine years will pass since Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy Jarvis and the year is now 1990, which would put it a year after the events at the troubled teen camp and make Jarvis 18 years old.
Jarvis is still haunted by visions of Jason and decides to sneak out of the institution, where he is residing and return to Crystal Lake and to the grave of Jason Voorhees.
The corpse of Jason now lies in a grave in the Eternal Peace Cemetery; Jarvis quickly digs him up and unseals the coffin to reveal the rotting corpse of Jason.
Jarvis takes one look at him and the memories come rushing back and he looses it. Jarvis grabs a metal rod and starts to stab Jason in the heart, repeatedly. Once he gotten most of his aggression out, Tommy climbs out of the ditch and grabs gasoline and prepares to cremate Jason.
As Tommy is preparing his supplies the rain storm becomes more ferocious and a bolt of lighting strikes the metal rod that sticks out of Jason’s heart, causing him to come back from the dead.
Jason quickly kills Tommy’s friend, but Tommy is able to escape, as Jason picks up his hockey mask and places it back onto his face and prepares himself for more violent deeds.
During this time we learn that Camp Crystal Lake is no longer called Crystal Lake but Camp Forest Green and Jason has become something of a legend in the town, a legend in which they are all trying to forget.
Tommy makes his way to the sheriff’s station and tells them about Jason’s resurrection and of course they think he’s crazy and place him in a cell.
While Jarvis is trying to prove that Jason has returned, Jason himself is back to his old tricks and murdering off counselors at the newly re-opened camp. Yet, he’s true goal is to face Tommy Jarvis once again and he does this, but looses.
Tommy wraps a chain around Jason’s neck and knocks him into the lake and like when he was a child, Jason drowns again and once again Jason is defeated.
After these events this would be the last time we see Tommy Jarvis face Jason Voorhees, but it will not be the end of the Jason legend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Friday the 13th Retrospect Part II

Two months would pass since the murderous rampage of Mrs. Voorhees and Alice, the sole survivor of Pamela Voorhees rampage, is home and working hard to overcome the events that took place back at Camp Crystal Lake. Little does she know that Jason is back in action and has hunted her down to her home. He enters her house and takes revenge on the girl who killed his mother by murdering her with an ice pick.
After he takes his revenge he returns back to the forest that surrounds Camp Crystal Lake , where he will stay and prey on camp counselors and anyone that crosses his path.
Two months would pass since he killed Alice and a man by the name Paul Holt has opened a camp counselor training ground near Camp Crystal Lake . This doesn’t sit well with Jason, even though they’re not actually at Camp Crystal Lake they’re in his territory and that only aggravates him.
Jason starts to stalk them and when night falls he makes his way into the cabins and finds a sac, which he uses to hide his deformed face. And like his mother before him he takes up killing and murders six camp counselors.
Once again the last female alive proves to be a challenge for Jason, just as it was for his mother. This young girl named Ginny finds her way through the forest and to Jason’s house and inside she discovers Pamela Voorhees’ head on a shrine. She then tries to use the head to trick Jason in thinking that his mother is actually alive.
Ginny then drives a machete into Jason’s shoulder and then seeks refuge in one of the cabins. Jason then jumps through the window and grabs her, but this is thought to be a dream rather then an actually event, because we then see Ginny on a stretcher, alive, and being loaded into an ambulance.
This also could have happened in reality, because we know Ginny blacks out and this could have fooled Jason into thinking she was dead and he just left her. So, really it’s up for interpretation.
The very next day, Jason stumbles across a house/store where a couple is living. The house is located near Crystal Lake and at this point if you’re anywhere near this lake there is a good chance that Jason is going to get you.
While at this house Jason kills the couple and also acquires some new cloths. With his new threads and a desire to kill some more, Jason makes his way to Higgins Haven, a cabin which is located on Crystal Lake .
During this time another group of young adults are going up to the family owned cabin to enjoy a nice weekend away, little do they know that Jason is lurking in the woods and barn that is located right next to the cabin.
The heroine this time has as past with Jason, we learn that she ran away from home one night and found shelter under a large tree. While she was sleeping Jason approached her and attacked, she was able to get away but that event would forever haunt her and it is also an event that most likely happened when Jason was in his early days of killing.
Once again Jason Kills, but this time its seven vacationing teenagers and three bikers. And during this killing spree, Jason replaces his sac with what the killer’s image would be known for – a hockey mask.
At the end of this rampage, Jason once again faces another worthy heroine, Chris Higgins, and she is able to take and axe and bash it into the side of Jason’s head.
With an axe sticking out of his head the paramedics pronounce Jason dead. They then take Jason’s body to Wessex County Morgue. It’s in this morgue that we find out that Jason is not dead, when he regains consciousness, does some killings and escapes back to his forest that surround Crystal Lake.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Friday the 13th Retrospect Part I

It all began Friday, June 13, 1946, in Cunningham County, Connecticut. A baby boy named Jason was born to Pamela and Elias Voorhees. Jason was slower then other kids and also deformed looking, but Pamela Voorhees loved her son no matter what.
In the summer of 1957, Jason attended Camp Crystal Lake. His mother was working at the camp as a cook at the time, so she could be close if Jason every needed her.
While she was working, Jason was left in the care of the camp counselors. Jason was going to go swimming and it was up to the counselors to watch him, but they let their hormones get the better of them and they ended up leaving Jason and went to fulfill their own needs.
Jason was left alone by the lake and he enters the water. It has been stated that Jason was not a very good swimmer and with no one watching him, Jason started to struggle and eventually he drowned.
After Mrs. Voorhees lost her son, she went crazy. She swore that she will take revenge on the people who were responsible for Jason’s death.
She went quite for about a year and in that year she planned out her gruesome revenge. When the summer of 1958 rolled around she returned to the camp and killed the counselors that were supposed to be watching the children. After these murders the camp was closed and Mrs. Voorhees had her victory.
Years would pass and they attempted to once again re-open Camp Crystal Lake, but Mrs. Voorhees would not have any of this. She set fire to the camp and poisoned the camps water supply; these events would cause the camp to obtain the name “Camp Blood”.
The camp remained a sleeping dog until the year of 1979. Steve Christy, son of previous camp owners, hired a new group of camp counselors and tried to re-open the once plagued camp grounds.
Mrs. Voorhees got wind of this news and started to spy and stalk the camp grounds and the counselors. Under the cover of darkness and a wicked rain storm, Mrs. Voorhees snuck into the camp and kills Steve Christy and the six hired counselors.
The only survivor of this horrific event was a girl named Alice. She was able to fight off Mrs. Voorhees and decapitated her with a machete. Alice then climbs into a canoe and rows out into the center of the lake and falls asleep.
As she awoke the next morning she could see the police calling her name from the shore. Everything seems fine until a deformed child jumps out of the water, which is Jason, and pulls her into the lake.
This was all a dream, since Alice awakes unharmed in a hospital bed and the police confirm that she was dreaming.
There is a lot of ways to look at this, for one that it was a dream, but what makes more sense that it wasn’t. You see when Pamela Voorhees was killed that vengeful spirit that drove her was passed back to Jason; this explains why Jason keeps coming back and why he seems to possess such superhuman powers (tissue regeneration) and also why Jason was able to resurrect himself from the bottom of the lake. Or, you can look at it this way, you can say that Pamela never had the spirit and when she was killed that only irritated the spirit that still possessed Jason, causing him to rise from his grave. So where does this spirit come from, well I’ll explain it.
The answer doesn’t lay with Pamela Voorhees it actually lays with Jason’s father, Elias Voorhees.
Elias was born to an American woman and a native American medicine man who was the one that possessed spiritual powers that were eventually passed on to his son. So when you have a vengeful Native American spirit joined with Pamela Voorhees schizophrenia, actually allowed the spirit to become stronger and pass to their son Jason. This spirit was the cause of Jason’s disfigurement at birth and when Pamela Voorhees died it once again was sent back to Jason and his reign of terror was only beginning.