Everybody Scream!!!

Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have returned for another installment of a franchise that reinvigorated the slasher flick genre with a bit of wit, thought, and the old cliche for good measure.  Scream 4, while not as uniquely original as the, well, original,  does keep you looking for the usual suspects like the broody Ex-boyfriend, or the Crazy Eyed deputy that has a torch for the Boss.

For those of you who have never seen a Scream movie, I ask you why not?  Is it because you don’t like slasher flicks or is it because you don’t enjoy that feeling like your heart will skip a beat when something pops out from beyond the camera’s view?  Is it because you feel like the horror movie genre is somehow less intellectual than you would like?  If your reason is because of the latter, I do concur that many of the slasher flicks nowadays can go way too far (like House of 1,000 Corpses or Devil’s Rejects); there are still some that try to challenge you and keep up with the times.

And that brings me back to Scream 4.  The series revolves around Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), an “unlucky” girl whose mother was a little too “flirty” with the boys.  At least that’s how the whole thing began.  So long story short, usually during the anniversary of her mother’s killing, someone tries to kill Sydney.  Ta-da.  I’m not trying to make light of the movie. That’s just how it is.

The more I think about this movie, the more I think I like it.  Not just for the entertainment value of it, and it really was entertaining.  I kept turning to my partner in crime and saying, “I bet it’s ———.” throughout the film.  And even though I could figure out the formula, there was a step that I overlooked.   I won’t tell you what part it was, or it may ruin the ending for you.

For a horror movie, the acting was pretty good.  Nothing that is going to win an Oscar or anything, but it was almost all believable. There were a few moments when Neve Campbell would make her usual smile/smirk face as though she was nearly incredulous yet offended at the same time, and I remember thinking, “She does that often, doesn’t she?”  Not just in this series of movies, but in others like The Company (which I really love. It’s a dancing movie, c’mon!)  One of the characters that I had a hard time rooting for was Olivia, played by  Marielle Jaffe, so (SPOILER>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>) I found that when she was a victim, I was A-Okay with it.  Rounding out the major cast is David Arquette as Sheriff Dewey, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers and Dewey’s Wife, Emma Roberts playing Jill Roberts and Hayden Panettiere as BFF Kirby (who’s hair I LOVED!)

So here’s why I really like this movie.  It’s well directed!  Wes Craven shows why he is the master of suspense.  Once again an iconic serial killer is brought to the public consciousness that people will always associate with a particular image.  Craven’s knack for showing you the victims surprise/pain/anguish is remarkable.  (Inconsequential SPOILER>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>) One that immediately comes to mind is the death of Sydney’s publicist, Rebecca Walters, (Alison Brie).  After the usual intense moments of being trapped in a hospital parking lot in a car with a killer just outside, the victim makes a run to “safety” only to find that the door that separates her from the very people who try to prevent death is locked.  Craven cuts quickly from her trying the door to turning just in time to see that image racing at her with only that door to stop his momentum.  The subtlety could be easily overlooked, but sometimes, on very rare occasions, the lightbulb fizzles on for me.

On top of the directing, Kevin Williamson returns to the franchise that he created and has penned a script filled with smarts, creativity, societal/generational morality/ethics, and humor.  The opening has a triple decker of murder, but all of them are just part of the formula.  Kind of like a cinematic amuse-bouche.  It’s not an appetizer that you just order off the menu; the chef decides to allow you the little morsel of bloody goodness to wet your appetite for what’s to come.   The juiciest piece was Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell! You can totally tell what’s gonna happen, but it’s so funny that there’s no way you can’t enjoy it.

Williamson’s writing for this particular installment stays so modern to  society today in that everything is so Technoriented (yes, I just made that up) there’s no true sense of privacy anymore and there’s hardly any originality being brought to light.  So what’s one to do? To try to outdo the original of course, and in the process to show how you are doing it so that way you can be famous.  One of the scenes is at the “Cinema Club” AKA A/V Club and the leaders of the group go into explaining what the next logical step of a horror film would be.  Their thought (which actually frightens me that someone may get the notion to do this) is that the killer should be taping it and streaming it Vlog style so that the crimes will live on well after the death of the killer.  I hope that never happens, but then again… There’s a wonderful little monologue near the end of the flick where Sydney is being told why this is happening.  It makes mention of the fact that nowadays you don’t have to really do anything special or have any talent to be famous.  You just have to make a lot of crazy decisions or have something horrible happen to you that you can milk.  Of course I am severely paraphrasing here with my bad memory so know that it’s much more interesting and well worded than this.  Hahaha.  As for humor, who else would fit in word play like “Shriek-quel” for sequel?

But I highly recommend taking a gander at the Scream movies if not all of them, then at least the first one and this latest one.  The original movie has such an amazing first scene that to this day it is one of my all times faves! The intensity is priceless.

Have you seen the movie yet?  What do you think of it?  Was it too gory? Not enough?  Maybe too corny? Lemme know!

So for all of you that have read this far, I offer you a little treat.  I am giving away a tiny gift certificate to AMC Theatres for answering the two following questions and #2 must be correct:

1.  What’s your favorite scary movie?

2. Can you tie the term amuse-bouche to the franchise I just wrote about?  *Note: There is only one answer for this.

In order to qualify, just write a comment in the section below with both answers.  The answer to question 2 must be correct.  All correct entries will be entered into a drawing and the winner picked at random.  Deadline: May 1, 2011. Good luck!!

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5 good reasons…

to go see XANADU!!!

Both Perry and I knew we were going to love this show the moment we heard the first song of the Cast Recording.  The second song proved to be equally funny and instantly we were saddened that we couldn’t see the show in New York at that very moment.
BUT, to our absolute joy, The Retro Dome announced that the hit Broadway show will be coming to San Jose.  So Opening Weekend, we were there and I have to tell you…It was wonderful!!   There’s not a lot of time left to see  it, so you have to go now!!

Let’s get to the countdown!!

5.  It’s better than the movie!!! Way better!! (Although, I have to admit I like the movie.)

4. The music is fantastic.  (There’s a handful of Top 20 80’s hits that you will recognize thanks to Olivia Newton John or ELO.) “Eeevil Wo-man!  Ba-da ba bada bah!”

3. The script is funny as all get out. (Even little one liners in the songs are hilarious.)

2. Why waste the gas to go to San Francisco and see a great show when there’s a fabulous  one right in our own back yard? (You can spend the money you would’ve used on gas to buy an extra ticket for your friend.)

1.  The cast is incredible! (It’s full of locals who will sing your socks off!)

And you get a glowstick for the finale!

Don’t believe me that it’s gonna be fun?  Check out the commercial below or go to The Retro Dome site and pick up your tickets NOW!!

Video clip is courtesy of The Retro Dome.

I’d hate to say this but…

I really don’t want to be an uncle…yet again!

Before I get into the story, let me give ya a bit o’ history.

My mom and my sisters are the type of people, with nerve,  who will argue and stand their ground until you can totally prove them wrong.  TOTALLY.  I don’t know if it applies to a majority of women, but having lived with these particular ones, I am going to speak from this viewpoint of my past.

They yell when arguing which in turns makes the other person yell even louder to be heard.  Maybe that’s where my selective hearing comes from… There wasn’t much that resolved any of the arguments aside from a lot of huffing and puffing around the house when a ceasefire had to be called.

When my second oldest sister was 16 or 17, she got pregnant.  Surprised?  Not really.  Let’s face it, when you live in the ghetto, people’s gon’ be ghetto.  So living up to one of the stereotypes of the prego latina teen/hairbear, she drops out of school.  She does eventually get her GED.  Shortly after that, she pops out another kid.   Next, my younger brother gets a girl pregnant.  Guess what?  You’ll never believe this: They are still in school.  WTF!?!?  Then, my younger sister get knocked up! You’re kidding me right? Nope.  She had yet to finish school as well.  To this day, I don’t know if either her or my brother have completed it. Not to be mean, but those three aren’t the brightest 3 in the family.  But wait….There’s more!!!

So back to the first sister with a kid.  She has a third one. Not to be outdone, the younger sister has another.  Seeing he may be out of the it, my brother ties up the race for second place.

What in the hell is it that makes people do stupid stuff like this?  Why perpetuate the stereotype?  Is it an intelligence thing? Is it a lack of parental affection?  Is it social influence?  Please someone tell me because this is getting ridiculous.  So you may wonder how this affects me, right?  Like, how is it my business with what they do with themselves. My goodly reader, I will tell you…

But first, I must continue the story…

So the first niece decides to follow in the footsteps of her mother.  What?  Another contestant in the “Who makes the dumbest choice?” game?  Tying up the game with the older sister,  my brother’s now got a third one.  But older sister makes a trick move and has a fourth! Holy crap where do they come up with these things?  Looks like younger sister is giving up the game…but here’s the frackin’ shocker: niece number 2 from sister number 1 has got a bun in the oven!!  Oh my gawd!!!!  What a turn of events!!

So the current tally is:

Oldest Sister: 0

Second Oldest: 4 – but her oldest daughter has one and the second daughter now has one

Me: No frackin’ thank you!!!

Little Brother: 3 And another any day now!

and Younger Sister: 2

Here’s how this becomes my peeve: I am struggling, just like most other people I know, to make ends meet.  Why am I constantly asked to help with their issues that could have easily been avoided?

For my brother: Dude, couldn’t you have just waited?  At least, now your married, and all your kids have the same 2 parents. For my sisters who love to argue with advice and parental guidance:   Why didn’t they use that same nerve to say “Look, dick! Use a condom!”?   And, better yet for my nieces, who have lived through the hardships of a single parent why not wait until you actually have a solid relationship with your man before even having sex?  They are smart kids, so I think that’s where the logic in my head is having such a shit time dealing with these stupid decisions.

Well that and a phone call late-ish in the night asking for money to go to prom…

See what I mean about “nerve”?

Is it wrong that I feel like this?  What do you think of teen pregancy?  The ad at the top is actually from a blog that said some schools in Massachusetts are giving out counseling and condoms to first graders through high school to anyone who asks for contraceptive. I say thumbs up! If these kids aren’t getting sex ed taught in regular classes to make a more informed decision, then it’s good that the school nurse or whoever talks to them about their decision.  Because let’s face it: Parents all think their kids are little angels, but when they aren’t around 75% of them do stuff that their parents wouldn’t believe.  Now some people are all twisty britches because of the condoms, but I have to wonder if those are the same parents who shy away from teaching kids about sex in the first place and are helping the teen prego movement forward?  Ugh! The whole thing is frustrating, and makes me want to move to Canada so I don’t have to deal with another rugrat.

***UPDATE**** I was just reminded that my brother has another on the way…again! Shit!

These are a few of my favorite things…

and my favorite people…

Episode 17! 2 (The Re-Do)

(Click to play)

For show notes, click HERE

I guess I left one of the tracks on mute when I uploaded the podcast.  It’s all fixed now!  Sorry!!

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