Monday, May 3, 2010

Short Reviews of Movies I Watched One the Weekend of May 1st

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to have the weekend off from work. Instead of taking advantage of the fine weather and going outside, I took the opportunity to watch some movies. One was new, one was newish, and one was not new. I figured that here would be a good place to review them for the benefit of all two people who read this blog. If it is a newer movie, I will try not to spoil it. So, here we go:

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010): This is the remake/reimagining of the 1984 film of the same name. Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschch from The Watchmen) replaces Robert Englund in the iconic role of Freddy Krueger. The new one is supposed to be darker and more serious in tone than the original horror series. In this one, a group of kids in Springwood are being killed in their sleep by Freddy Krueger. Nancy and Quentin, two of the teens, investigate Freddy and try to figure out why they and some other kids are being terrorized by Freddy. There is a conspiracy at work that links Freddy to the specific teens he is killing, which I won't give away. The Nightmare franchise is probably the weakest of the horror series (as only 1,3, and 7 were any good), so I didn't have my hopes too high. In comparison to the rest of the films, this one was acceptable. Haley was a believable Freddy Krueger, but the script didn't leave him with much to do besides talk like the aforementioned Rorschach and kill dumbass kids. The problem is that even in the original film, Freddy had a sense of humor and creativity and in the new one that creativity and humor isn't there. The colors in the film were very drab, even in the dream sequences and the script was a bit humorless. One or two of the kills were cool, but there was nothing like this in it. Overall, I would say that its worth seeing once if you are a fan of the series, but if you miss it, its not the end of the world. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't as good as last year's reboot of Friday the 13th. I would give this film an overall score of 5.5 out of 10.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009): When this film came out, I was surprised it didn't get more attention than it did, as it contains the last work of Heath Ledger. He died during the making of the film and was replaced by (in order of appearance) Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell. In this film, Christopher Plummer plays the mystical Dr. Parnassus. Parnassus runs a theatre troupe that lets people inside his imaginarium, where he uses his mind to bring the imaginations of the people to life. A long time before, Parnassus made a deal with Mr. Nick, aka the Devil, (played by Tom Waits) that granted him immortality and the love of a beautiful woman. In return, Mr. Nick would gain the soul of Parnassus' beautiful daughter Valentina when she turned sixteen. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Mr. Nick makes a deal with Parnassus. Mr. Nick and Parnassus make a deal that whoever can successfully seduce five souls inside the imaginarium first wins possession of Valentina's soul. Meanwhile, Parnassus and his group find a man named Tony (Heath Ledger)hanged over a bridge. Tony's past is a mystery and despite that, he ends up joining the group and helping Parnassus in his quest.

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