Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street, 2010 version: It's a nightmare, alright

Picture the 1984 horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street. Now picture that film if it was produced by bombastic Michael Bay, director of Pearl Harbor and the Transformers films. Now picture all of the worst possible outcomes of that marriage.

You don’t have to. You could just plunk down your hard-earned cash – better yet, don’t – for this craptacular remake, which opens with midnight showings Thursday night.

Not that I can stop you from seeing it. No number of bad reviews (and this is one of many) would have kept me away. Curiosity alone demanded I see the new Elm Street, so when a critic buddy asked if I’d like to tag along to a screening, I did.

I mean, it couldn’t be awful, right? It’s a darker take on a character that had fallen into parody. Its screenplay was co-written by Wesley Strick, who has worked with Martin Scorsese (1991’s Cape Fear). And supernatural killer Freddy Krueger is played by Jackie Earle Haley, an Oscar-nominated actor who was so creepy as Rorschach in Watchmen. How bad could it be?

Really bad, it turns out. Astonishingly, amazingly, how-could-you-possibly-screw-this-up-any-worse bad.

Samuel Bayer, a longtime music video director making his feature-film debut, accomplished his stated goal of draining away all the cheeky fun of the Freddy films. Unfortunately, he also drained away all the scares. What’s left is a dreary, poorly-lit slog with uninteresting characters, wooden acting and a complete lack of tension, suspense or energy.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscars tonight, aka this is much longer than I had intended

I will be tweeting throughout the Academy Awards tonight. Usually I attend an Oscar party, but I'm still stuck in Tallahassee for another couple of weeks, so there we are.

Most years, I make it a point to see at least all five Best Picture nominees before the Oscars. But then the Academy had to go and expand to 10 nominees this year. Between that and having fewer opportunities to see the smaller-release films (I mentioned I'm in Tallahassee, right?), I'll go into tonight having not (yet) seen An Education or Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.

(I just had to use the whole title because, fine as that film apparently is, that's a remarkably stupid title).

(And yes, I know poor Precious had to change its title from Push so as not to be confused with a dumbass action flick starring Dakota Fanning and Johnny Storm, but dammit, I'm not cutting it any slack.)

(This sentence has no reason to exist; I just thought it would be funny if I had another parenthetical comment.)

(Apparently I was wrong.)

Anyway, this is where I'd usually be talking about the film I'd like to see win Best Picture. I usually blow off other people's opinions on this subject, for one simple reason: If you haven't seen all the films, you're in no position to judge. So shut your hole.

And I used to feel awfully goddamn superior because I had seen all the Best Picture nominees. But not this year. So I'm going to follow my own advice and shut my hole.

Well... mostly.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Flash Fiction: "This Is the Note..."

This is the flash fiction (that's a story of 500-1000 words, if you didn't know) that I spontaneously wrote tonight. I'm not sure why; I've been so busy with nonfiction writing lo the 15-or-so years I've never even completed any fiction in that entire time. I figured 1,000 words was easy enough to get back in the swing, so... what the hell, I might as well.

In any event, here it is, after the jump: