Friday, April 30, 2010

Nightmare vs. Nightmare

Here we go, another remake of a classic horror series so for this review I thought I'd do an original vs remake. Now I have no deep connection with the original so I hold no bias in this review at all. I watched both movies in the same night, starting with the remake followed by the original. I'll be judging them both in different categories, so here we go.

The Teens
First we look at the cast of teens for each film, starting with the remake. For the 2010 cast we have your typical group of twenty-somethings posing as teenagers. Not a single one leaves much of an impression and I have a difficult time even remember their names. Most fall under set cliches while others die before they can even become stereotypes. The only one to really stand out for me was Kyle Gallner as Quetin, but for all the wrong reasons. Gallner's expression appears as though he is constantly smelling a fart.

The '84 cast doesn't exactly break any molds, but it does a better job of developing its characters. The only actor most remember from the film is Johnny Depp as the boyfriend, Glen. However for me it was Heather Langenkamp as Nancy that leaves the biggest impression, and as the main character has the most development. As the movie progresses and the fear of falling asleep has pushed her to the edge, instead of crumbling under the pressure she finds the strength to fight back.

I have to give this round to the original, with the stronger lead claiming the win.

Next up is who is the better Freddy Krueger, and I won't linger on this for to long since the winner should be obvious. While I didn't love Watchmen I will admit Jackie Earle Haley was perfect as Rorschach, and that is exactly what we get from his Freddy. It is like pulling Rorschach's mask off to reveal Freddy Krueger underneath, but not the same Freddy we've known for years. The 2010 Freddy has a different take on the look of burnt flesh, which gives this Freddy eyes that resemble a cat's that just did not do it for me.

Of course the original Freddy was Robert Englund, who portrayed the character in every installment of the series except this one. The original Freddy is a horror icon, but unlike Jason or Michael Myers you can't simply put a mask on anyone and make them Freddy. Robert Englund's performance is a big part of what made Freddy as a character.

The bottom line is the original Freddy is the one that will be remembered for years to come, while the 2010 version will likely be forgotten. Robert Englund is the winner by a landslide.

Which version has the better nightmare sequences? Well to start off the remake attempts to replicate a few of the moments from the original, but they feel forced most of the time. A majority of the scenes in both films involve the teens finding themselves in a dimly lit factory or boiler room. In these instances neither one really excels over the other.

The biggest difference is Freddy himself. In the original it is Freddy's world and he could do whatever he wanted in it, and was delighted to show you any chance he could. Freddy would slice his own fingers off, cut open his chest to reveal green puss and maggots, or replace the receiver of a phone with his tongue to gross you out.

2010's Freddy does not attempt any such things, and in fact other than a few jump out moments he hardly even tries to scare anyone. No, this Freddy seems intent on murdering these teens as quickly as possible. Part of what made Freddy great and set him apart from the slasher icons was the pleasure he found in screwing with the minds of his victims before killing them, and sadly this is lost in the remake.So once again the win goes to the original, and that about says it all.

The Winner
The clear winner in this battle is the original 1984 Nightmare on Elm Street, except no substitutes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Games: Mega Man Mystery?

Capcom has filed a trademark for "Mega Man Universe" but what could this mystery Mega Man title really be? It seems reasonable to imagine it as a cross over title involving every the characters of every Mega Man series. Could it be a fighting game in the same league as Marvel vs Capcom or Tatsunoku vs Capcom, but with the casts of Mega Man filling its roster? Or could a miracle have occurred and Universe is going to be the title of a long awaited Mega Man Legends sequel? Its highly unlikely, but a man can dream!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Now Playing: Yakuza

What I have learned from playing Yakuza.

1: Stomping on a man's groin causes blood to spew from their mouth.

2: Yakuza don't use guns, it's more honorable to beat a man to death with a giant road cone.

3: Gangsters in Japan must work the word "Fuck" or any variation of said word into every other sentence out of their mouth, its Yakuza law!

4: Everyone wants to fight you! No matter how petty the reason, everyone in Japan prefers to brawl in the streets rather than settle their differences through words.

5: Sega apparently forgot the second analog stick exists, and instead opt for terrible camera angles with no control over the camera at all.

Anime: Kamehameha !

Dragonball Z is set to make its returns to the American airwaves in the form of the remastered and redubbed Dragonball Kai. Surprisingly it will air on not just one but two channels, and even more shocking is neither of the channels is Cartoon Network. The Toonami classic will air on Nicktoons as well as 4KidsTV on the CW. Now a new generation of kids will experience Dragonball's censored blood/violence, beer mugs of frothy milk, and will learn all about the "Other Dimension" just as I did every afternoon after school.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Losers Review

The Losers are a special opts team working for the US government until they are betrayed by the mysterious Max. Now they are out to get back their lives and take their revenge on Max. That is the set up for The Losers film, loosely based off the events of the comic series it is an adaptation of. While the plot is rather cliche and paper thin, it is the Losers themselves that are the glue holding the movie together. Every moment the Losers are on screen their chemistry together shines, but the moment Max takes up screen time is when things start to fall apart. Max and his scheme that makes no sense is one of the things that just doesn't work in the movie's favor. The second failing of the film would be the PG-13 brand, while I understand they are hoping to reach a larger audience with the rating the source material calls for something with more punch. Gun fights look as though they are unfinished, waiting to have digital blood and gore added in the editing room. I can only assume that was the director's original intent until the production company squahed them with a PG-13. Perhaps we will see an uncut dvd release with all the intended violence. Though even with said addition a few of the biggest action scenes were obviously held back by the film's budget, and could have used a bit of Michael Bay Big Budget Movie Magic to spice them up a bit. Aside from those few misteps I enjoyed watching The Losers, at least when it was focused upon the team itself. Overall I give The Losers a passing grade of a B.