SCREEEEEAM!!!!! (x5)

I was totally inspired by Zoë at The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger to check out Scream films after she reviewed all four parts. And I continued by watching MTV’s and Netflix’s collaboration series based on the films. And I was kind of pleasantly surprised. All of them weren’t total waste of time.

scream posterSCREAM (1996)

Directed by Wes Craven

Written by Kevin Williamson

Starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Rose McGowan & Matthew Lillard

Synopsis (provided by IMDb): “Attempting to cope with her mother’s murder, Sydney and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by a murderer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go.”

If you haven’t seen Scream, you should watch it. It’s a classic. Craven and Williamson redefined horror genre with this flick. I remember when I saw it for the first time. It was the first day of the year and I guess I felt a bit hangovery and kind of relaxed because I remember laughing out loud a lot. Scream combines all cliches of horror genre and laughs at them. But it’s still a bit exciting. At least if you watch it alone.

“What’s your favorite scary movie?”

Scream has survived the time. It looks very much ’90’s but it’s as the new series (reviewed later in this post) shows it could as easily be happening now with a bunch on technological advances. Craven was a master horror director but to me Scream works because Williamson is an excellent writer (on and off though; do never see Cursed if you haven’t yet). He’s at his best in horror/high school genre, but I also love Dawson Creek where he made his characters much older dialogue-wise than annoying teens usually are. But Scream is his master work, I think. It’s also his first writing job. It’s funny as hell but still surprising and very interesting to follow. You sure don’t know what’s going to happen next. What I and I think the most of the viewers like the best is how Scream reminds us how horror flicks usually go and Skeet-Ulrich-photo-222x300then shows it. Hilarious.

Of course all actors play nicely. Sidney is great example of good girl from neighbour and so are the usual characters from horror genre. I enjoyed how they are build and how they are played. It also helps that Skeet Ulrich was such a hottie back then.

I’m blabbing. Anyway, Scream works. I liked it even more this time around that I did the first time or in between. It might be a bit nostalgic but who cares?! Just enjoy the script, it’s a rare treat.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

SCREAM 2 (1997)

Directed & Written by same guys

Starring: same guys and some more


I just realised that the less you know who is in, the less spoilers there are in case you haven’t seen these films.

Scream 2 is by far not as good as the original. For some reason I found its beginning hugely annoying and supporting characters that are new just are not interesting enough to carry the story. And the biggest fail is the obvious one. According to the greatest film critic Robert Ebert “each film is only as good as its villain” and that is so true. Scream 2 (and actually 3 and 4 as well) forgets that. Or then they just wrote way too good villain to number one and the sequels just couldn’t compete with that one. Good thing is that all sequels make fun of that fact and the villain in number one is remembered thorough. But again, the dialogue clicks and there are some memorable moments in the second film too. Though I’m just trying to remember some and it’s a bit hard. So maybe not. At least there’s Sarah Michelle Gellar whom I love!

Rating: **½ 


SCREAM 3 (2000)

Directed by Craven

Written by Ehren Kruger (characters obviously by Williamson)

Starring same folk and some

This part is made more like a comedy. And not very good one. And it feels much cheaper than the previous installments. Then again, if you look Scream 3 that it is intentionally made over-the-top like its tagline says “the final scream will be the loudest”, it works a bit better. I kind of hate all the characters, including Sidney the protagonist. She steps up her game quite a lot from the second part but she’s still a whiner. No Ellen Ripley there.

But the positive side is that I remembered this to be much worse. It actually wasn’t. I enjoyed it enough. I don’t really know what to say. Nothing new here. We go through the same cliches, how the film should go when it’s the final part of trilogy and then it’s rolling.

Rating: **½


SCREAM 4 (2011)

Made by same folk plus some stars of today like Emma Roberts, Hayden Panittiere & Alison Brie plus bunch of cameos

11 years and several Courtney Cox’s plastic surgeries later we have the final Scream for now. And it’s back to its roots surpassing parts 2 and 3. Even the villain is almost there. But the scariest thing still is that modified face of Mrs. Cox. Kind of sorry about that as I like her. I watched parts three and four in a row last night and her face really popped out.

Anyway, Scream 4 is updated to suit the time and it suits quite nicely. The story is familiar from the original one and it works well. No one is particularly annoying but you don’t really care about them either. I’m trying to think of something more to say but I can’t really figure out anything original. Williamson writes better than he did in part two and there is a hint of originality in this installment and some relevant commenting of the world we are living right now with our obsessions of ourselves.

Rating: ***½


SCREAM – The series (2015)

Created by Jay Beattie, Jill E. Blotevogel & Dan Dworkin (Williamson wrote the pilot)

Starring Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Carlson Young, Amadeus Serafini, Tracy Middendorf, Tom Maden, Amelia Rose Blaire, Connor Weil & Bobby Campo

First of all, I love the fact that this series Scream is paying serious respect to original movie. The mood is there, the dialogue is there, the characters are like they could be in the first film, everything is pure homage to original material and that works! It’s not a masterwork but it surely is entertaining pop culture piece.bobby campo

Secondly, I love that they used (some very handsome ->) new faces in the series. When you don’t know the players, you never know who’s going to get it and how soon. That is a trend today (see Game of Thrones for example) and it is great! It is actually pointed out in the script how much it hurts when one of your favourite characters is killed after you started to love the character and root for her/him:

Noah Foster: Gotta remember that the whodunit may not be as important in our story… You need to figure that it’s a horror story, that someone might die at every turn. You have to care if the smokin’ hot lit teacher seems a little too interested in his female students. You have to care if the team wins the big game. You have to care if the smart, pretty girl forgives the dumb jock.

Riley Marra: Sounds like Friday Night Lights

Noah Foster: Exactly. You root for them, you love them, so when they are brutally murdered, it hurts.

And as you can see from that clip of dialogue, the series is full of references to other series and films. I love that! Make sure your up to your viewing though or you might get spoiled. Not badly, thankfully.

Unfortunately, Scream fizzles out of steam at some point between sixth and seventh episode (altogether 10) and fills in too much drama. That very annoying teenage girl kind of drama. Ugh. But it picks up again in the last episode. I did knew the killer though, so I hope they will be more inventive in the second season that I will be, for sure, watching.

Oh, and the soundtrack. They do make good music still! Yay for that. Listen to this nice playlist in YouTube from the first season. And the mask! Oh yeah, so much better than the original Ghostface’s.

Rating: ***½ (I would have given four without that annoying teenage girl drama.)

TIFF Update #4 – The Oscar Predictions continue

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.I’m so behind! New York Film Festival is already on and I haven’t even updated Toronto yet! So here it goes the last update from Toronto. Which films soared, which fell flat? Any Oscar nominations on their way?

Well, Bryan Cranston might be looking at his first Oscar nomination with Trumbo, a true story about Hollywood screenwriter who was blamed to be a communist in 1940’s. Hollywood loves Hollywood. Cranston plays the title role. Trumbo is at the moment fresh at Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 86% but it looks like the film will be nominated for the best actor and maybe for the best screenplay but shut out at the other categories. What I’ve read it might be too light and entertaining. Helen Mirren in supporting role but apparently plays it over-the-top.

And to the ladies. Sandra Bullock’s Our Brand Is Crisis bowed at TIFF and for a moment it looked like it might be another Sandy-moment there but after couple of days, not so much. Sad RT score of 29%. It’s still said that Bullock is doing fine job even though the rest of the film sucks more or less. No nominations, I predict.

The Lady in the Van is a film based on a play about a woman living in her car that’s parked in one man’s driveway. Sounds weird but I absolutely love the trailer and hope so much that always fantastic Maggie Smith (check Downton Abbey, she’s the best thing in a superb series) will get a nomination for her lead role.

Brooklyn already had its first screening in Sundance back in January but has maintained its popularity among critics until this day. It looks like a big gamer with possible nods to the lead actress (Saoirse Ronan), screenplay (adapted by Nick Hornby from the novel of Colm Tóibín), cinematography, production design and costume design (the safest bet) plus possibly editing and score. And obviously with that many nominations, the best picture as well. I love the trailer, again, it looks so pretty. And Domnhall Gleeson is a good thing too. Check it out:

Cate Blanchett has a problem. She’s apparently great in Truth (RT 78%) and in Carol (96%) that bowed already in Cannes and not at all in Toronto but I think I should bring them both up with Cate’s problem. The thing is that an actress (or actor) can’t be nominated twice in the same category. In Truth Blanchett is for sure playing the main role and what I’ve read, she’s scene stealing, again. There has been talk about putting Blanchett to supporting category for Carol (different distributors, obviously) but she IS playing Carol after all… So, the question is NOT “will she be nominated?” but “which film she will be nominated for?”. I’m betting on Carol because it looks like it will be major contender with possibilities in the best pic, director, actress, supporting actress (it looks like Rooney Mara has this one to lose), screenplay, cinematography, production design, costumes and music (was that 10? I had it 10 times on my prediction list). Oh, possibly editing. Trailer for Carol underneath, here you can check the one for Truth.

What do you think, who and what will be nominated come January? Blanchett at least. New York Film Festival opened on Saturday with The Walk and will be the host for premiere of new Spielberg flick Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks. Sounds like an Oscar, huh?
This week I will be seeing The Martian and The Walk myself and on Sunday I’m off to London and will be seeing Suffragette, Beasts of No Nation and Trumbo when London Film Festival kicks-off on Wednesday 7th of October. I’ll be more wise after couple of weeks.


Films of the Week Vol. 11

Yay, I have had this blog for something like 2,5 years and this is Vol. 11?! I’m lazy. Anyway, here we go, couple of films to review. I will probably see something else too this week but let’s just go with these now.Pitch Perfect 2


Directed by Elizabeth Banks

Written by Kay Cannon & Mickey Rapkin

Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld & Brittany Snow

Synopsis (IMDb): “After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.”

Pitch Perfect 2 is ok. Which is kind of sad as I loved the first part. It was such a great surprise how much I liked it and I wished I’d like the second one as well but it’s kinda meh. It’s not bad but there aren’t any really good songs that you want to go back to like in the original one had. A lot of them. I listened to the soundtrack for a long time and I can still go back to it. And as both parts are about music it should stand out.

I don’t know. I didn’t care about any of the characters. Well, maybe about the guys in Treblemakers but not the girls. I like Anna Kendrick a lot as well as I like Elizabeth Banks a ton, I hope she will continue directing films but I hope they will be better than this. Rebel Wilson and her over-the-top characters are becoming kind of old, don’t you think? In here you have basically none “normal” scenes of her. But there still is something endearing in the film because during the last scene I did find myself crying, so they did get something right, it moved me (not a hard thing to do but at some point I really though I don’t care enough to shed a few tears, in the end, I did).

Pitch Perfect 2

Even though Pitch Perfect continues in the familiar way of the original, it feels more like separate scenes than the first one that indeed was growing up story like this one is pretending to be. Moving on is a hard thing but for some reason PP2 left me feeling like there should have been one part in between. Now it was a bit hard to identify within the situation because time jumps that much ahead from the first part. Anyway, Pitch Perfect is ok.

Rating *** (out of 5)

P.S. I know it’s so fun to make fun of Germans and their accent but really! That again made me feel like I’m watching something set in WWII.



THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Directed by Guy Ritchie

Written by Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Jeff Kleeman & David C. Wilson (Original series by Sam Rolfe)

Starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander & Hugh Grant

Synopsis: “In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.” 

I saw this film about four hours ago. I already almost forgot I saw it. I think that is saying a lot. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is all about style and less about content. I’ve never been a big fan of Guy Ritchie and this sure didn’t change that.henry cavill hot and shirtless

Henry Cavill looks too good. I annoys me for some reason. I have hard time to concentrate his acting or character because I’m only paying attention to his physics. Yeah, I know, that sounds weird but it’s true. In a scene I just stare at his pecs instead of even thinking what is happening around them. And in this film he wears really nice suits too. Bothering. Armie Hammer’s character here (despite his stupid accent, again!, what is wrong with you people! Especially in this one, he plays a spy, wouldn’t he have perfected his accent? Huh?! Gosh, that makes me angry…) is much more approachable in the way that he feels and looks real. If anyone in this flick. And I can’t get over the fact that Alicia Vikander is a) a very talented actress b) an amazingly beautiful woman c) soon to be an Oscar nominated d) dating Michael Fassbender. I kinda hate her…

Yeah… It looks like my complaints are bit off here. :D But really, the film is empty with its content. It’s a bit like the first episode of series, it introduces everyone with a twist and then when you really start being interested in characters the film ends. I do want to know what happens to them next but unfortunately Uncle has made only about 100 000 $ according to Box Office Mojo which means with its 75M production budget that there will not be a sequel. Let’s hope it rallies within streaming services.

The film sure looks good. Just look at these costumes and make-ups and hairstyles and settings etc. Looks great, huh?

Elizabeth Debicki and Henry Cavill in the man from uncle with costumes Costumes in the man from uncle Production setting of the man from uncle in Rome Beautiful Alicia Vikander in The Man from Uncle












And I appreciated it that Russians spoke Russian together like Germans spoke German and Italians Italian. I do appreciate this. But when you watch a film like this in Dutch cinema with Dutch subtitles and don’t speak said language it’s a bit challenging. :D Thankfully I speak some German, so I wasn’t totally lost.

Rating: **½ (out of 5)

P.S. Based on the reviews it looks like I should have given more stars to Uncle but the thing is that Pitch Perfect 2 is not that bad, it’s just that the first part was so much better.

TIFF #2 – The Oscars 2016 Update vol. 3

Finally. Toronto Update 2. And the Oscars 2016 update 3. Or basically 4 because I believe that The Martian will get multiple nominations. So, which films triumphed at TIFF? Same that triumphed at the earlier festivals already. Mostly Room and Spotlight. The latter has become the forerunner for the best picture and the first got People’s Choice Award at Toronto that usually goes to films like 12 Years a Slave or Slumdog Millionaire (both winners of the Best Picture Oscar). I already wrote both of the films, read it here!

Beautiful Elizabeth Olsen

Tom Hiddleston hot as hell

Anything new then? Well, yes, but nothing really spectacular. I Saw the Light, that I hoped would be fantastic, plummeted. Too bad because it apparently still includes great performances from Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.

Jean-Marc Vallée’s  (Dallas Buyers Club) Demolition got bumped to 2016 and according to Rotten Tomatoes it stinks (53%). It also, like I Saw the Light, has solid work from Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role. Denis Villeneuve’s (Prisoners) Sicario then again might be one to get some nominations despite the fact that it is supposedly quite dark and gritty. Emily Blunt might have a chance in crowded Best Actress category and Benicio Del Toro his in Supporting Actor. Might. I kind of doubt it but we’ll see. Trailer beneath. Sicario is out around Europe and US now or soonish.

Another transgender flick besides The Danish Girl (talked about it here) this year is About Ray which, according to people, who saw it in Toronto, is too light-hearted to be taken seriously enough. Elle Fanning is good in it but I doubt it helps to gain an Oscar nomination this year when a lot of ladies are giving their best works. And one other film that deals with minority issues (same heritage rights to same-sex couples) is Freeheld, led by always good Julianne Moore and supported by Ellen Page. Unfortunately the film itself doesn’t carry. Michael Shannon in another supporting role is said to be great too. But again, that is probably not enough. But you never know.

Michael Moore screened his new documentary at TIFF too. Where to Invade Next is a flick about how Moore will in the name of the USA invade other countries to get their best stuff to his country. My Finland is there as well as punch of others. I’m not sure it the film already has a distributor but if it does, it’s a candidate for documentary nomination.

Ok, let’s save rest of TIFF stuff, the better half, I think, to the next post. Check out my updated predictions here and stay tuned.

Oh, another big player was revealed today when The Big Short, film starring small names like Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, will premiere at AFI Fest. I do hate those hairstyles a lot but the story is a true story based on same author’s, Michael Lewis, book who wrote The Blind Side and Moneyball (both Best Picture nominees. According to Variety’s Kristopher Tapley The Big Short “as I hear it, could be an awards play for Christian Bale and particularly Steve Carell, with other hopes for best picture and best adapted screenplay lingering.” Trailer with horrible hairs:

Straight Outta Compton review

compton Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Directed by F. Gary Gray

Written by Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus & Andrea Berloff

Starring O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge & Paul Giamatti

Synopsis (IMDb): “The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.”

Straight Outta Compton was quite an experience for a white girl from Scandinavia. I think people like me should go and see this film. It’s quite nice way to get some shaking. And also very sad to notice how little has changed in 25 years. This film is very much showing the reality of today as well as the reality back in the days of N.W.A. And that kind of reality I have no idea.

Besides the politics, Straight Outta Compton is very good film. More than that actually. Characters are well-build and amazingly look-a-likes to their real life role models. Stories of these guys were authentic, there were no minute when I didn’t think this couldn’t happen. Even though there are scenes without purpose, so some more editing would have been good but those scenes too were genuine. It was so refreshing to see unknown faces on the screen for a change. Except Paul Giamatti who again did swell job. When it comes to other actors, most notably excellent Jason Mitchell in the role of Eazy E, they did splendidly. O’Shea Jackson Jr. is the other actor I’d like to point out for his work in the film but then again, he was playing his father, so there might have been some background work already done before this gig.


Like said, some more editing wouldn’t have hurt and some scenes were repetitive but that’s life. It can be easily be repetitive. I think that’s basically my only complain. Ok, I’m not the target audience for this film as I find this kind of machoism quite annoying but for the first time I have to say, I kinda got it. There just might be a reason to do stuff that looks stupid like giving the finger to authorities. I’m glad this story got told. And I’m very glad it happened now, it’s so relevant.

And the main thing. The music! Wow, those guys were and are talented. I haven’t really been listening to this kind of music but I sure will from now on. Have a look:

Rating: ****(out of 5)

Everest review

everestEVEREST (2015)

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur

Written by William Nicholson & Simon Beaufoy

Starring Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Josh Brolin, Michael Kelly, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright & Mount Everest

IMDb – synopsis: “A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.”

I’m still thinking of this film. I saw it only few hours earlier. It’s not very good. But it’s not very bad either. And it’s not that much “meh”. I don’t really know what it is. Let’s try a pros vs cons list.

Cons first because I’m a positive person and like to finish with the good stuff.

Robin Wright and Keira Knightley were so unused. So unused because they were, after the said mountain, the best things in the film. They are so good and these brief roles they have in Everest proofs my point exactly.

I didn’t really care about anybody. Too many characters. Gone in a second. And most of the time they are covered by necessary clothing and stuff, so you don’t really know who that is. That being said, it was kinda waste with that kind of actors not to really see how good they actually are because, lets face it, the main character in the film is Everest. As it should be but, you know, you do know it’ll survive no matter what.


And that brings me to the pros. I really liked that the film did respect the mountain. It is actually shot in Nepal and Everest’s South Base Camp. According to IMDb there were another real life accident at the mountain when shooting of this film happened: “This movie is based on the worst disaster to ever occur in the Mount Everest region in Nepal but a striking coincidence occurred when this movie was being shot in Nepal. An avalanche on April 18, 2014 killed 16 people on Everest and the casualty was higher than the 1996 disaster which this movie is based on. The shooting had to be postponed and the disaster took the most lives ever taken in an Everest Disaster mostly Sherpas (all Nepalese) who were preparing ground work for the upcoming climbing season.” You have to respect the nature. And after seeing this film I have absolutely no desires to climb a mountain. No way. No. I can still hear the wind. And feel the cold. No.

Everest looks great in the film. Beautiful and dangerous. Majestic. All in all, all the technical aspects work really nicely. It sounds and looks good but the feeling is kinda gone and, as a mountain lover, I think it’s hard to capture how enormous those things are, especially Everest. I’m glad some other things are easier to capture.

Jake Gyllenhaal shirtless gif

Rating (for the film, not Jake here): *** (out of 5)

The Martian Preview (Toronto Update #1)

The_Martian_2014I had a though of doing three posts of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) premieres but I have to admit, I don’t know where to start because there are so many films getting their first showings there… So I ended up writing a piece of The Martian, upcoming Ridley Scott blockbuster. At the moment, after 20 reviews, it still has 96 fresh percentage at Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ca is 8.8 (only 605 votes, though). Critics are loving it and the trailer makes it look like a good ride. And funny one, I might add.

The Martian synopsis goes (IMDb): “During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.”

It stars Matt Damon in the lead role and names like Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Michael Peña and Sean Bean in supporting roles. It’s, like said, directed by Ridley Scott and shot by very talented Dariusz Wolski, who has shot films like The Crow, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd and Pirates of the Caribbean films (and I would guess knows Johnny Depp quite well…). It’s based on the bestseller (which is apparently really good) by Andy Weir and adapted skillfully by Drew Goddard. The editor, Pietro Scalia, has four noms, two wins in the Oscars. Set decoration is basically NASA or Mars/space and guys responsible of that also have done previously nominations worthy work. It sounds like a winner now when I take a deeper look. Then again, in my opinion, Scott hasn’t done anything good since Gladiator (then again; it was amazing film!) and I’m accustomed not to wait anything from him anymore. Seems like he’s back.

I’m not a big fan of Matt Damon or Ridley Scott. Not even sci-fi films but this one looks very good, I’m excited now! Take a look at the trailer and tell me what you think?

Oh, and when it comes to the Oscars, anything’s possible. It can score big but I’m quite sure it will score at least in some technical ones like sounds (both; mixing and editing especially), visual effects (I’m sure of that) and probably cinematography. At least. But at the moment I think Matt Damon will be there with Scott and the best picture too. They need one blockbuster there, you know?

Premieres around the world in the end of Sep or at the beginning of Oct.