The Best Picture Reviews: La La Land & Lion

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I wrote my thoughts yesterday on the two first nominees, read them here!  Now it’s time for the next two.

LA LA LAND (2016)

Directed by Damien Chazelle
Written by Damien Chazelle
Starring Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling

Synopsis (IMDb): “A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.”

I’ve been waiting to see Chazelle’s next move since seeing Whiplash about exactly two years ago. Whiplash blew me away, I couldn’t move after seeing it for the first time, that strong was the impact. And then I heard he is going to do a musical with the best on-screen couple of today. OMG! I only saw La La Land 10 days ago, so you can imagine how my expectations have been rising and rising. The film just couldn’t be THAT good. How unbelievably happy I’m to say it so was. This movie was made for me. Once a dreamer, always a dreamer.

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La La Land is up to record-tying 14 Oscars and is loved by the cinema-going audience (IMDb Top-57 of all-time) as well as critics (Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%), so it would be silly to bet against it. There’s a chance that the Academy will spread the love but I still would predict that La La Land will be the big winner of the night. As I wrote yesterday, I haven’t seen all nominees yet but I hope that Emma Stone will get her Oscar, she’s dazzling. I love her anyway, so I might be a bit biased but to me she was perfect. And I’m not complaining about Ryan Gosling either but his characters in other movies are similar to Sebastian, so it is a fact he can do those roles. I did love Sebastian’s passion. Passion is the key to living, in my mind. Whatever it is, you need to have passion.

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When it comes to technical categories, I would predict that La La Land will take home at least editing as Chazelle knows how to use editing when intensifying the story (see Whiplash right now if you haven’t seen it yet!). It has a great chance with costume design (Jackie is, though, a real competitor), cinematography (the first scene!), production design (that is, of course, over-the-top) and sound mixing as it is a musical. There shouldn’t be competition in music categories, Justin Hurwitz should be shoo-in for the score (although I have to say, we have had great music in films this Oscar season) and I bet “City of Stars”
will win the best song, I hope it’ll be “Audition” because I like it more but I’m putting my money on “City of Stars”. Also they should stage a pier on the stage at thedamien_chazelle_a_p
Oscars where Gosling starts to sing “City of Stars”, Stone joins him and after his part he leaves and Stone performs “Audition”. I’d love that.

Like I wrote yesterday, I absolutely worshipped Arrival and its director Villeneuve. And I think I’m in love with Damien Chazelle. He is SO talented. I wish they would share the best director Oscar. As it’s not likely to happen, I bet Chazelle will win this time. His work is so purely a work of passion. And as it seems, everyone is in love with La La Land and chasing your dreams, especially in Hollywood, so I also predict that La La Land will win the best picture Oscar.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

lionposterLION (2016)

Directed by Garth Davis
Written by Luke Davies
Starring Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham & Abhishek Bharate

Synopsis (IMDb): “A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.”

Before going to see Lion, I was told I should take a towel with me because tissues wouldn’t be enough. True enough, Lion makes you cry. You have to be one hard boiled egg, if it doesn’t. And what is the coolest point here, it’s a true story. And it’s told well.

Sunny Pawar stars in LION
Photo: Mark Rogers

To me Lion is a bit like The Imitation Game of two years ago. Very well-made, with everything working but there’s nothing spectacular. The Imitation Game was up for 10 Oscars, Lion is up for six and I agree, there is that much difference in quality. I did enjoy Lion a lot but not as much as I thought I would. I absolutely loved the music, if Oscar goes that way, I’m not complaining. I did like the cinematography a lot too, so they could win that too. It’s a hard category to predict this year. Overall Lion is beautiful to look at and listen, it breaks your heart a bit and is tremendous accomplishment for a first time director.

devpatel_hotWhich I don’t like with the Academy again is that, that Dev Patel is in the lead role. Yes, Sunny Pawar, who was robbed by the way, might have more screen-time but the story is about how the adult Saroo found his family. And still they placed Patel in supporting actor category. I like that he is recognised but those category breaches still annoy me.

Lion should be watched as it’s a good story of never giving up (although that obsession was getting to my nerves a bit). I have a lot of friends who liked it much more than I did. Maybe I just don’t get the importance of your roots or something. Anyhow, good film and even though I think it’ll go home empty handed on Sunday, I wouldn’t mind giving it a statue or two.

Rating: **** 

P.S. Dev Patel has gotten so hot!

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The Best of the Best – Disney Company Films

To celebrate 93rd birthday of The Walt Disney Company I wanted to list my favourite films produced by the company. Walt Disney is one of my biggest heroes. He was the man who made fairytales to become live. My all time favourite quote is his

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and I always try to keep that in mind when it feels I can’t. We all can. 🙂

There might be some films missing but I blame IMDb if not my fave Disneys are on the list, as these were the ones the search of ever reliable IMDb gave me. There are some minor SPOILERS in videos.

10)

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Ratatouille (2007)

9)

Enchanted (2007)

8)

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Freaky Friday (2003)

7)

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

6)

Mary Poppins (1964)

5)

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Frozen (2013)

4)

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

3) (This breaks your heart. The best montage ever.)

Up (2009)

2)

The Lion King (1994)

1)

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Wall-E (2008)

Lovely, lovely films! It’s great that there are still people who make you feel good with creating this kind of films.

And there’s more to come like live-versions of Beauty and the Beast, Tim Burton’s Dumbo or Cruella with Emma Stone starring. Even the trailer for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean looked promising. Mary Poppins also returns and Lasse Hällström is going to direct Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, that should be interesting. And yes, the live version of  The Lion King sounds scary idea.

Liebster Award #2

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Great JW at Film & Nuance nominated me for a Liebster Award for the second time in my blogging history. THANK YOU! It’s nice to be recognized. 🙂 Check out his site! And if you’re up to it, here’s my previous Liebster post.

Here are the questions he set up for all of us nominated:

1.What is your favourite movie in your least favourite genre. And why?

  • This is kinda hard to answer. There are three genres that I don’t like that much: western, war movies and mafia related films. But to be honest, all the films I’ve watched in the last genre mentioned, I’ve liked, so I should probably stop saying that I don’t like it. And I don’t remember watching any westerns that I actually liked. So, let’s say… Atonement. Can I call it a war movie? No? Well, hmmm, what about Inglourious Basterds? Still no? Ok, I’ll change genres back to western as I just realised (after checking my  IMDb ratings) that there is one western that I liked a lot: True Grit, Coens’ version. There you go, found it.

True Grit - Hailee Steinfeld -

2.If you had to favour a certain style (for directing a film,writing a book or any other art form of your choice), would you prefer a no-frills and direct approach, or an artistic and ambiguous one. Why?

  • I’d had to go with no-frills and direct as I enjoy those kind of films more than artsy ones. I do love beautiful writing in a book but without obvious story it just doesn’t work for me.

3.Name a movie you can watch any day.

  • That would be something silly and easy to watch like Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, Love Actually, Trainwreck etc.

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4.If you could keep an object that you had previously but by now either lost it,sold,misplaced,had it stolen or destroyed, what would it be?

  • Nevermind album by Nirvana. I used to listen to it all the time and got fed up with it and for some idiotic reason sold it. Same goes for special edition of Green Day’s Dookie. Idiot.

5.Pick an era to live in.

  • Hippietime, sometime around 60s to 70s. Interesting times, a lot of political changes, freedom and great music.

6.The best film you’ve seen this year and an unreleased 2016 film that you think might beat it.

  • Spotlight and I doubt there will be one but possible contenders are The Light Between Oceans, Silence, Arrival, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and La La Land. I’m really picky about films that I give 10/10 and there have been years when I haven’t awarded full points to any film. But La La Land is my the most awaited film of the year as I absolutely love both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and Whiplash, that was made by same man, Damien Chazelle, was my absolute favourite from 2015.

7.Name a memory you would keep till your death.

  • I don’t think I can single out one memory. I have a lot of those that I’d like to keep. I haven’t done anything THAT spectacular that I could point it out.

8.Ice-cream or popsicles?

  • Ice-cream

9.Where do you stand on the Harambe case?

  • I wasn’t aware of this case but went and read about it. Idk, to me zoos are no-no anyway, so… But I think the staff acted the best way they thought was suitable at the moment. In case there’s someone as clueless as me, here’s the story.

10.Favourite type of music? And what does it mean to you?

  • These days I listen to all kinds of music from classical music to hard rock and anything between, also EDM. But I guess my favourite kind is still rock especially classic rock e.g. Led Zeppelin.

11.How do you cool off after being upset/angry?

  • Music. It always works. My ex-roommate aka one of my best friends used to say it was easy to know my mood by the music I was listening to. I use music to manipulate my feelings. It affects me a lot.

There you go. Something about me. Now it’s your turn. I should nominate ten blogs I guess but I’ll settle with half of them. Here are the blogs I love to follow and I hope they will get a lot more followers! I know it should be under 200 followers but I choose not to care. 😉 Check them out!

So, here are my questions for you guys and girls:

  1. What kind of a role in a film would be the most interesting to you to play?
  2. If you read, what is the book you always go back to?
  3. Three things that would make your life better?
  4. Who is your ultimate celebrity crush and why?
  5. Who’s your favourite dead director?
  6. If you could choose to study whatever despite the future earnings/finding a job/the place of the study/etc. what would you study?
  7. What film do you think will win the best picture Oscar next February?
  8. Your dream vacation spot?
  9. The best movie memory?
  10. Do you have a schedule for blogging?

That’s it! Good luck and haveagreatweek_minion

 

The Oscar Predictions 2016 #4

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.And the last predictions are here before the actual nominations announcement.

BEST SCORE

  1. Carol – Carter Burwell
  2. The Danish Girl – Alexander Desplat
  3. The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
  4. Inside Out – Michael Giacchino
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road – Junkie XL
  7. Sicario – Jóhann JóhanssonSpotlight – Howard Shore
  8. The 33 – James Horner
  9. Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman

Composers are known to vote the same guys (yes, guys) every year. It’s very hard to break into this category. Carter Burwell has never been nominated for an Oscar but he has been nominated for BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy, so I reckon this is his year. All of the others have been nominated, John Williams for 49 times (he has won five times). This year I believe it’ll be Morricone’s. The music of The Hateful Eight was the best in the film. I do hope Junkie XL would make the cut but I doubt it. Sicario’s score is really good, so I kept it there but Jóhann Jóhansson just won the last year, so maybe they won’t nominate him again. James Horner unfortunately died last year in an accident and he might get a nomination because of that. Such a loss. Shore is always an option and so is Thomas Newman who’s been nominated for 12 times but never won. We’ll see.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  1. Mad Max Fury Road
  2. Carol
  3. Bridge of Spies
  4. The Danish Girl
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  6. Cinderella ???
  7. The Martian
  8. The Revenant
  9. Crimson Peak

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Again some question marks. I have been going back and forth with this category. Cinderella and Crimson Peak both look amazing and I also appreciate how Mars looks in The Martian. And apparently The Revenant works too. But I think this one goes to Bridge of Spies, its set decoration is beautiful and everything is in its place. But I haven’t seen Carol and The Danish Girl yet, so I might chance my mind.

7fa5a9336e440c4abab068973ebbbd5fBEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Carol – Rooney Mara
  2. The Hateful Eight – Jennifer Jason Leigh
  3. Steve Jobs – Kate Winslet
  4. Spotlight – Rachel McAdams
  5. Trumbo – Helen Mirren ????
  6. Clouds of Sils Maria – Kristen Stewart ????
  7. Ex Machina – Alicia Vikander
  8. Youth – Jane Fonda
  9. Love & Mercy – Elizabeth Banks

7e736b8dd9de643fc32fd6ea542bcbf7BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. Bridge of Spies – Mark Rylance
  2. Creed – Sylvester
  3. Beasts of No Nation – Idris Elba
  4. 99 Homes – Michael Shannon
  5. Spotlight – Mark Ruffalo
  6. The Big Short – Christian Bale
  7. Spotlight – Michael Keaton
  8. Love & Mercy – Paul Dano
  9. Sicario – Benicio del Toro

My two least favourite categories this year. Not because they’re bad but because I can’t decide. As you can see there are too many possibilities. And I’m not sure at all I chose correctly. With guys all of them are deserving, all nine of them what I’ve read and seen. I’m gambling on Shannon even though in the end the last spot will probably go to Bale or Keaton but this is my gut feeling and I’ll go with it. And when it comes to ladies, I have Vikander in leading category now with The Danish Girl and I really, really wanted to put her here too but as I can’t see Rachel McAdams missing the slot and I think older folk of actors branch will vote for Mirren, I just couldn’t fit her there because the first three are definite. But to be honest, if any of these people get the nod, I’m happy (except maybe in case of Mirren because I thought she over-did her character in Trumbo). Mara and Rylance for awards. I think..?

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  2. Spotlight – Thomas McCarthy
  3. Carol – Todd Haynes
  4. The Revenant – Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu
  5. The Martian – Ridley Scott
  6. Bridge of Spies – Steven Spielberg
  7. The Big Short – Adam McKay

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Everyone’s betting on McKay after BAFTA, Golden Globe and Directors Guild nominations. Well, I disagree. I believe that Miller will get a lot of number one votes because Mad Max has been such a long production from the idea back in 12 years ago or so. I also believe that Scott, Iñarritu and McCarthy are shoo-ins and that leaves only Haynes’ place open and I think he deserves it more. To me the real dark horse is Spielberg and I have a tiny feeling that I’m just underestimating how liked he is. Heck, I love the man myself and would probably give him all the prices you could. He is the best director of all time if I just check the ratings I’ve given to his film. And I love his enthusiasm.  And Bridge of Spies is not bad. Still, I predict he’s out this year. How’s going to win? Your guess is as good as mine…


BEST PICTURE

  1. Spotlight
  2. Mad Max Fury Road
  3. Carolstraightouttacompton
  4. The Martian
  5. The Revenant
  6. The Big Short
  7. Bridge of Spies
  8. Inside Out
  9. Brooklyn
  10. Straight Outta Compton
  11. Room
  12. Trumbo
  13. Sicario
  14. Steve Jobs
  15. The Hateful Eight
  16. Ex Machina

16 films in the running. Still. Maybe 14 if I take out Steve Jobs and Ex Machina that are really long shots which is stupid especially in case of Steve Jobs that will be nominated for the best actor, supporting actress and screenplay at least. Possibly also editing. So it kind of must be one of the best of the last year… Room I took away only today and replaced it with Straight Outta Compton. I don’t believe Compton is better but it’s different and I hate to say this, but it is the only film that has African Americans in the leading roles. Plus it was a pleasant surprise. I think the first six are locks and from the next seven I could put into top-10 any of them. Inside Out is there because I have a gut feeling that this is the one of those rare years when animation will make it to the Best Picture. And winner? Spotlight. The Martian? Mad Max (I wish!). Carol? Or The Revenant? I don’t know. We’ll see.

That’s it folks! Here you can see only the ones that I’m predicting without bubbling unders. Have a happy Oscar time! The stream of  the announcement for the nominations tomorrow (14th) at 5.30AM Pacific Time (that’s 2.30 in Amsterdam, 1.30 in GMT and 3.30 in Finland) can be found here.

Paper Towns in Paper and Film

It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed a book or books to be exact. I read way too little these days, I’ve only managed to read eight books this year. Wohoo. But one of them is another John Green novel (the last year I read Fault in Our Stars that I enjoyed a lot), called Paper Towns.papertowns2

Paper Towns (2008)
written by John Green

Synopsis (IMDb): “After an all night adventure, Quentin’s life-long crush, Margo, disappears, leaving behind clues that Quentin and his friends follow on the journey of a lifetime.”

John Green might be becoming one of my favourite writers alive. If he continues writing (Fault in Our Stars was released already three years ago and it’s the latest of his novels) and also develop in the way that difference between Paper Town and Fault in Our Starts shows, then he really might become my favourite. To me he is writing actual literature. The writing is beautiful even though it’s contemporary. When reading Fault, I read passages of it aloud because I thought those words were worth of hearing. Paper Towns is not that good and at the beginning it feels like that its just one of those “whatever”-kind of teen wannabe-romances but towards the end Green shows why we call him author.

What I especially like in Green’s books is the amount of quotable lines. The understanding of complexity of life and being able to put down it in words. That is something I really admire in writers. I even took photos of some of the quotes while reading. And that is a sign of a good book. That you need to capture something and think about it later. One of my favourites from Paper Towns:

ptquote1

What is the main problem in Paper Towns to me is the main character’s, Quentin, crush on the next-door neighbour, Margo, who is the one that puts everything in the motion. She’s obviously needed for the story but gosh, she’s annoying and it is really hard to understand Quentin’s obsession towards her. But then again, I’m not a teenager anymore, maybe it is not my place to understand. But because of her, Q as Quentin is referred, is an asshole. So she makes our protagonist effing annoying. And I hate books when I feel so turned off by the main character that I want to throw the book on the wall. Guess that is also a good sign? The character is living when I have strong emotions while reading. But it is still annoying.

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Anyway. Paper Towns is average. It is much better towards the end, I even liked both, Margo and Q in the end thanks to John Green who made them realise something. I don’t know what I should say more? What should a person in general write about books? Books feel so much more personal than watching films and reviewing them. Or maybe I’m just used to do that? Let’s see:

papertowns1

PAPER TOWNS (2015)

Directed by Jake Schreier

Written by Michael H. Weber & John Green (author)

Starring Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Halston Sage & Jaz Sinclair

Synopsis: see book review

Well. What I liked about the film Paper Towns is the use of unfamiliar names except Cara Delevingne and she’s not really known for her acting. It makes this little film a bit more real. What else did I like..? Can’t remember. It wasn’t bad. It was just totally “whatever” and definitely worse compared to the book.

What I remember is that the music was so off. Or maybe that was the point; they wanted to make the film feel different from the book? Because the music didn’t suit the mood of the book at all. It bothered me thorough the whole film. Cinematography was kind of nice, sunny and a little pastel coloured. It looks the same like the poster of the film. So, that’s in line. Oh, the character of Ben (Austin Abrams) was so much more in the film! I didn’t find him very funny in the book but in here he is kind of perfect. Yeah, he is probably the best thing in the film.

PAPER TOWNS

Script of the film is different from the book in reasoning. I don’t want to give out anything but that is kind of story-ruiner as the reasons of doing things in the film are just plain stupid. Plus they’re much funnier and relatable in the book. And Q’s actor or how he portraits Q is off. He’s way too lazy to be properly obsessed what he really is. Doesn’t work. And Margo is not really annoying he, so it’s hard to see why Q is. Cara Delevingne is nice, she seems cool as Margo. In a good way.

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Verdict: Read the book if you feel like it. If you don’t, read Fault In Our Stars because you should, it’s very good. Watch the film if you have some spare time but I’m sure you’ll have better things to do.

Ratings: Book: ***½ (out of 5) Film: **½ (out of 5)

SPECTRE review

spectreposterSPECTRE (2015)

Directed by Sam Mendes

Written by 7 (!) different people plus Ian Fleming

Starring Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw & Naomi Harris

Synopsis (by IMDb): “A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.”

The problem here is not Spectre, it’s actually Skyfall. Spectre is a good Bond film. Skyfall is a great film. So after seeing both of them, Spectre feels empty and stupid. Yeah, Bond films are usually that but they’re also entertaining, fun and full of action. There are beautiful people in beautiful clothes in beautiful sceneries with the latest gadgets. Spectre fits the bill. But it’s not as emotional as Skyfall that made you really feel it for Bond, maybe for the first time in Bond-history.

The biggest flaw in Spectre is the script but now, after seeing, that there’s been just way too many people involved in writing, it kind of makes sense. But if you forget the ridiculous screenwriting with worth-of-facepalm dialogue and lack of emotion, Spectre is fine. It’s almost 2,5 hours long but it doesn’t feel that long. And you even forgive stupid one-liners because it’s Bond! If he or someone else involved would have said those things 50 years ago, it would have been totally fine.

dayofthedead

In general Specre doesn’t look as good as Skyfall but hey, Deakins as a cinematographer is the greatest living one, so don’t go blaming Hoyte van Hoytema, he had huge boots to fill. And did a good job. Especially I enjoyed prologue, how come no one thought of using Day of the Dead before as a backdrop for Bond. Genious! Looks amazing! And I liked Thomas Newman’s soundtrack quite a lot, it compliments the film. And even though Sam Smith’s Writings on the Wall was not my favourite at the beginning, it’s growing on me and the title sequence in Spectre is again gorgeous.

leaseydoux_spectre

All of the actors are good. Enough. I don’t really see the points of Monica Bellucci’s or Dave Beautista’s characters but Léa Seydoux definitely helps her international career here even though they wrote the most ridiculous lines to her and Christoph Waltz is usual Bond-villain. Ben Whishaw is cute as hell and I’m glad they gave him more to do and talk and well, I never complain when a film has Andrew Scott in it. And I will be the most surprised if Craig is coming back to play Bond, in Spectre it feels like he has given everything now. Bond is fed-up with everything but doesn’t know what else to do but Craig has a choice.

danielcraig_bond_spectre_lasttime

So, all in all, Spectre is good. It’s not spectacular like Skyfall was but it’s good enough. Great sounds and amazing explosions. It’s worth of your 2,5 hours but don’t expect too much.

Rating: ***½ (out of 5)

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

hot_girls_from_scream2

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 

ghostface_in_scream-1920x1080

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

Scre4m_Cast

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-Header-02-Pilot

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.)