Category Archives: MOVIES

Grizzly Review: Scream 4 (aka SCRE4M)

Anyone who read my Scream Retrospective earlier this week will know I greatly respected the first movie and was looking forward to this installment. When I arrived at the theater, the teenage girl behind the counter told me that the new one was ‘really awesome’, but that she had never watched any of the first 3 movies because they looked ‘stupid’ and ‘lame’. For some reason, her ringing endorsement did not instill me with confidence, even though she was clearly an expert on the franchise.

Once inside, I was surprised that a 7:45 show, on opening night wasn’t more full. The theater was probably less than 1/2 capacity, and of the kids there, probably most were still in diapers when the original was released. The movie started in the expected way, a phone call and a discussion about horror movies. This time however, it didn’t seem so fresh. Now you’re probably thinking: “Of course it’s not fresh, it’s the 4th movie“, but I was expecting something new. And they do mix it up a bit, but while I don’t want to ruin anything, this ended up feeling more like a comedy than a horror flick.

Never have I watched a movie so self-aware of how cool it’s predecessor was. Scream 4 largely revolves around talking about how great the Stab franchise is. Stab being the movie within Scream 2, based on the first movie. So here you have a script written by Kevin Williamson (who wrote the first movie) that never stops stroking Kevin Williamson’s ego.

Our 3 returning Scream Staples – Sidney, Gale, and Dewey – seem to be nothing more than charactures of themselves. Sidney has written a book about her exploits and is on tour. Her last stop is Woodsboro. Gale has settled down and married Dewey, who is now the sheriff of Woodsboro, and employees a star-studded police force that made me feel more like I was watching Scary Movie 6 than an actual canon chapter of the franchise.

Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson are deputies that define a new level of ineptitude within the genre. Sure, cops always wind up dead in horror movies, but they usually at least seem competent before hand. There is never a point in the movie where you are made to believe these could even remotely protect anyone. They’re too busy talking about how cops always get killed in horror movies. The sad part, they are the most believable cops in the movie. Marley Shelton (Sin City/Grindhouse) plays another Deputy that is openly crushing on Dewey and doesn’t care that his wife is right there. Her character is so strange you wonder how she could ever be allowed to carry a gun. No police force in film history has ever instilled less confidence. That fact is cemented by Dewey’s shooting ability, and later his hand to hand combat scene with the killer. I won’t ruin anything, but Dirty Harry he is not.

Sid is staying with her Aunt and her teenage cousin Jill. Once people start dying and phone calls are streaming in, Jill is asked to stay home for her own protection. This leads to hearing her do nothing but compare her bedroom to a prison cell annoyingly for the rest of the movie. Life is so hard.

The rest of the high schoolers are equally irritating (which may be a sign of my age), so much so that I found myself actually rooting for the killer to end them. They are headlined by Hayden Panettiere (The Cheerleader in ‘Heroes’) who is in actuality only 20, but looks about 30 in here, and was at no point believable as a high schooler. She reminded me of a college creeper who likes younger guys, or is around cause she can buy beer. Kind of awkward…

Then we have the entire ‘Gale’ storyline. Her fall from grace since becoming a cop’s wife is so epic that she basically has to beg the High School Cinema Club to hang out with her and help solve the murders! And could you find a couple of less likable film geeks than the kid with the web-cam on his head and Macaulay Culkin’s little brother? I doubt it. Randy is probably rolling in his grave.

The cast though is one thing that the franchise has always counted as a strength. The amount of name actors in this movie certainly helped add to the buzz. Aside from the actors already mentioned, we see a whole plethora of recognizable faces, including local Detroit News 4 anchor – Devin Scillian. Plus Friday Night Lights star Aimee Teegarden and Allison Brie of Community. (Thanks to Warming Glow for the picture)

Anyhow, no surprise, this movie was totally style over substance.  To be fair, there were a couple of parts I liked. The Kristen Bell scene was good, and there is a fight where a girl gets smashed into a picture on the wall, that was hilarious. But there was no point at which I jumped, nor saw anyone else around me jump. Normally, no matter how cheesy the movie is, a horror movie audience will always have a few girls who actually scream at the ‘scary’ parts. I heard none of that, but there was quite a bit of laughing…

In the end the movie came off obnoxiously pretentious and so self-aware that you can’t help but think that between this and Scream 3, the franchise has hurt the genre just as much as helped it. This is why I was so surprised to find that it has a critics score 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. That means 59% of the reviews were favorable. That’s about 6 out of every 10 critics gave it a passable grade. I guess I’d be in that 41% minority…

I give Scream 4 a score of 2 Bears. 1 Bear, out of respect for the original movie. And another Bear for putting Kristen Bell and Allison Brie in one movie.

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The “Youraagh” Scream – Little Brother to The Wilhelm

After watching a terrible showing of Final Destination 3, a friend of ours called up asking where a certain movie scream originated from. It was a bit distorted through the phone’s speaker, but I could clearly hear that it was a generic movie scream that I and my colleague Dr. Kronner had heard in countless movies over the years. More specifically for me in the first StarCraft game. If you’re thinking of the Wilhelm Scream, the “Youraagh” is very different and a bit more hilarious to me. The Wilhelm sounds like this:

While the Youraagh sounds like this:

Now I’ll let you be the judge of which scream is the funniest but I have to tell you to watch this awesome compilation that I found. I think it will ultimately sway your opinion towards the Youraagh:

As you can see this scream is in classy movies like Serial Mom, Last Action Hero and Broken Arrow. Hell, there was even a Chuck Norris movie that used it. You don’t get much more credible than that.

After searching endlessly for the origins of this classic movie scream, (I really only did a Google and Yahoo search for ten minutes) I couldn’t find anything on it but more and more questions. One can only hope that one day the Youraagh scream will gain as much prominence as the Wilhelm. In closing, I leave you with Youraagh modified TIE Fighter engines in Star Wars: A New Hope.

Abduction Trailer: Taylor Lautner

So let me start off by saying that I hate Twilight pretty badly. The same goes for the majority of the actors involved, because they are mediocre at best. None more so than Taylor Lautner, the always shirtless werewolf kid who is attracted to the rat faced looking Kristin Stewart. I always thought to myself: How about this kid does something else other than Twilight movies? Maybe he wouldn’t be so bad in something else.

“You stink of fail little Lautner!”

It looks like he’s still a pretty stagnant actor, but the trailer for his new movie Abduction definitely looks promising. Check it out below:

Now I didn’t see him with his shirt off once in the trailer, which is good because I’d have to instantly boycott the movie. That’s not to say he won’t run around shirtless for an hour in the movie (Much to the enjoyment of the ladies), but I’m hoping all of the seemingly constant action will help move us past that. Lautner may be a pretty shoddy actor, but it looks as if he will be surrounded by a pretty talented group of co-stars. The most notable of these actors would be Sigourney Weaver of Alien franchise fame, and many other movies since. Alfred Molina is in it as a government agent bent on capturing Lautner’s character. You may remember Alfred Molina for his turn as Doctor Octopus in Spiderman 2 and his most recent movies Prince of Persia and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Also starring, albeit briefly, are Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) and Maria Bello (History of Violence).

So it would seem like a monkey could do a good job in a movie surrounded by talent like that, so I’m willing to give teen-wolf Lautner a chance for this one. Plus the movie is directed by John Singelton, whose last movie, Four Brothers, definitely kicked some ass… even though it was almost six years ago.

So what does everyone think? Yay or nay on this movie being any good? I’m hopeful because some of these pretty boys need to break out of being type cast as the teenage heartthrob in everything. I might be able to stand them if they started doing some dumb action flicks instead of dumb romance movies. Leo Dicaprio did it, so can you wolf-boy!

Abduction is released in theaters September 23rd, 2011.

New Trailer: ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’

Finally after a few months of name changes, production pictures, and a very brief clip of what I assume to be Caesar – Rise of the Planet of the Apes has its first trailer. And let me tell ya: It looks awesome. Check it out below:

Now for me that was both visually pleasing, and a little creepy looking. The apes themselves look awesome, but what do you expect from WETA. (They did the effects for Lord of The Rings and Avatar.) James Franco looks to be at his best in the trailer, playing ‘Doctor Will Rodman’ who is experimenting on apes to develop a drug that helps the brain reconstruct itself. As he stated in the trailer though, these experiments make the apes smarter. No big deal right? Wrong. As you can imagine these apes run rampant, paving the way for a planet ruled by them.

Andy Serkis as Caesar

At first I was just relying on this movie to be decent at best and wait out a sequel, because we all know that’s when the real good stuff is going on. (Apes with guns on horseback! Heyyooo!) But this movie now looks like one with the potential to be very interesting and even scary in its own way. Also, the apes look way more realistic through motion capture instead of going the makeup route that Tim Burton went in his epic failure.

James Franco as Dr. Will Rodman

Rise of the Apes releases on August 5th this year, no longer sharing a release date with those little blue bastards The Smurfs. Count me as someone who can’t wait!

For the Apes, not the Smurfs.

I know I used this in my last apes article, but it’s so cool.

Sound off below, what did you think of the trailer?

The Crow: Nothing Says ‘Undead Vigilante in Detroit’ More Than…Bradley Cooper?

In my time at Bam Kapow I wrote multiple articles on the impending remake of The Crow. For those not in the know, The Crow was an early 90’s comic book action movie set (though not filmed) in Detroit, in which a spirit of vengeance comes back from the dead on Devil’s Night and rains havoc on the city’s worst scum. When I was 12 it was maybe the coolest thing ever. The lead character, Eric Draven, was played by Brandon Lee. The son of none other than the Legendary Bruce Lee.

In the movie Eric, who along with his girlfriend, had been killed the year before, and a mystical crow brings him back to exact revenge for the woman he failed to protect, his fiancée Shelly. He is impervious to pain and seemingly can’t die. He oddly befriends police officer Winston Zeddmore when he isn’t murdering people or scaring junkies into taking care of their kids.

He proceeds to hunt down the people who had a hand in destroying his happy life. From Steve Crosetti the pawn dealer that paid for Shelly’s jewelry to T-Bird (played by the guy in the video below), the gang leader that tossed him out the window to his death.  Eventually Eric works up the ranks to T-Bird’s boss ‘Top Dollar’, who is played by Michael Wincott, who is creepy in everything. It’s all very entertaining.

Tragically however, Brandon was killed while filming the movie, due to a mistake with the prop gun. This in truth probably added to the mystique and helped make it more of a success. It cost only $15 million to make, but grossed near $100 worldwide. And as someone who spent 5 years behind video store counters, I can tell you it did quite well in the VHS after market as well.

But like most good ideas, it was bogged down and played out by not 1, not 2, but 3 terrible sequels, and a remake in 2000 that like 54 people actually saw. It has a 3.9/10 on IMDb. All of these movies obviously absent the star of the first film.

Now, Hollywood, never to let something die is trying once again. This time the budget will surely exceed that of the previous 5 movies combined, as will the advertising. But with Lee in the grave for nearly 2 decades, who should portray our protagonist? Well, after years in development, we may have an answer to that.

Bradley Cooper.


Cooper is in talks, and appears to be set to play Draven in this most recent reboot. I don’t dislike Cooper by any means. He was funny in The Hangover and Wedding Crashers, and I always liked him during his days on Alias. But to be honest, I’m having trouble seeing this…


What do you think about this? I guess I’d be ok so long as it still takes place in Detroit and is shot here…