Showing posts with label Bruce Campbell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce Campbell. Show all posts

Monday, 29 April 2013

Evil Dead II

Released six years after The Evil Dead, the cult hit sequel Evil Dead II sees the hero of the first movie, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) back at the cabin in the woods with his girlfriend Linda. When a tape recording unleashes evil spirits and his girlfriend is first possessed and then dismembered, Ash is left alone to fight the evil and at times his own body until the daughter of the cabin’s Archaeologist previous inhabitant joins him in the battle against malevolence.

I saw the original Evil Dead for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it. It was intense, gruesome and funny and last week I was also impressed with the remake which while not so funny, was just as intense, much scarier and more gruesome than I could manage. Evil Dead II is different again from its predecessor in that it forgoes a lot of the traditional horror and indeed most of the scares, in favour of creating a hilarious and downright bonkers movie which is entertaining from start to finish.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Evil Dead

I’m not going to pretend that I was outraged when a remake of classic 1981 horror The Evil Dead was announced because I only saw that movie for the first time about six weeks ago. What I will say is that when I did see it, I loved it and suddenly hoped that a remake wouldn’t do what so many other horror reboots/remakes do and cock up and completely miss the point of the original. Evil Dead ends up somewhere in the middle, remaining recognisably true enough to the original while growing its own branches and taking its own directions. It fails to match the original in terms of entertainment or laughs but is much scarier and is possibly the most stomach churningly disgusting films I’ve ever seen.

Differing slightly from the original, five friends converge on a cabin in the woods in an attempt to get one of their number off drugs. Believing the secluded cabin is the perfect place to cure their friend’s illness they are unaware that it also has a history of the occult and is home to a demonic presence. One by one the group are forced to deal with the demons, leaving them either possessed or gravely wounded.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Evil Dead

I always seem to prefix horror movie reviews with the same statement and here it is. I don’t really like horror movies. I don’t like to be scared and horror movies scare me. Now that’s out of the way I can spring a little surprise and say that watching The Evil Dead was just about as much fun as I can remember having with a movie, possibly ever. It’s fantastically gory and over the top as well as being hilariously and outrageously funny to boot. I watched the movie for two reasons. The first was to try and expand my cinematic viewing (horror is the only genre I generally avoid) and the second was to make sure I saw the original before the remake Evil Dead hits cinemas next month. I’m really glad that I saw this terrific movie before the remake.

The story will sound very familiar as the concept has been copied hundreds of times over the last thirty years but basically five college students head to a cabin in he woods for a break and things start going bump in the night. Shortly after arriving they discover some creepy looking items in the cellar which include a tape recorder on which a scientist documents strange goings on in the woods. What follows is an hour of gory, gruesome and genuinely mirthful slayings as the kids battle the demonic forces that lurk in the woods.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s (21 Jump Street) directorial debut, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a computer animated family pastiche on the disaster film genre. Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is an enthusiastic but sometimes misguided inventor who lives on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean which has come on hard times since the local Sardine factory closed its doors. The islanders are left with nothing to eat but the oily fish so in an attempt to create a different source of food for the islands inhabitants, Lockwood invents a device which turns water into food. While an intern weather girl Sam (Anna Faris) is visiting the island from New York to document the opening of the theme park ‘Sardine World’, Lockwood accidentally launches his invention into the sky. After a short time, food begins to fall from the sky and the islanders are overjoyed but soon things take a dramatic turn when Lockwood’s invention becomes sentient and creates food-weather storms which threaten the entire planet.

This is probably the most visually appealing computer animated film I’ve ever seen. The animation is bright, colourful and bold. It really is a joy to look at. Some of the animation such as certain foods and especially water look incredibly real while the human characters have an eccentric and unique look to them. There is also great detail given to the background. In one scene for instance, two children are seen squirming while two adult characters kiss. Although they can barely be seen, it’s a nice little bit of attention to detail.

The script is full of wonderful witty and quirky sight gags and the dialogue had me laughing out loud. The characters are great and well defined. I especially like the way the cop (Mr. T) says ‘Flint Lockwood’ as if it is three separate words. Other fantastic characters include Lockwood Snr (James Caen), a technophobe who only communicates in fishing metaphors and Steve the Monkey (Neil Patrick Harris) who Lockwood has given the power of speech to via a Monkey-translator. I think Steve is funnier than the dog in Up.

The story is obviously crazy but it works. I was enthralled by it and even though most of what was going to happen was pretty obvious, I went with it. Other than the actual premise of precipitating food, there isn’t really anything new here. Like most modern children’s films, there is a strong message which it delivers to its young, captive audience. The film shows the perils of overeating and also warns that actions have consequences.

The film isn’t afraid to make fun of itself but more importantly the disaster film genre. One scene in particular was very amusing. After seeing giant food land in Times Square, on the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China and on Big Ben, a weather man pronounces that the storm is taking a strange course, focusing on the world’s major landmarks before spreading to the rest of the world. The film is full of little nods to disaster films.
Since watching the film, another thing that has amused me has been the discovery of what the film was called in non-English speaking countries. For instance in Poland the title was Little Meatballs and other Weather Conditions. In Russia it was Cloudy, possible precipitation in the form of meatballs. While I could continue to laugh at funny foreigners, I end by saying that Cloudy… is a unique and quirky film which has great visuals and a funny script. The story isn’t groundbreaking but the animation perhaps is.