The Thursday List, Episode 2

Technically it's Friday, I know, but there've been hardware problems tonight. All fixed now, and so...

"Season of the Witch" (2011)

Two seemingly unstoppable warriors desert from the Crusades, head home, and get roped into transporting a teenage witch to a monastery for exorcism. Formulaic mediocrity ensues at what can only be described as quite casual speed. The only people in the thing seeming to have any fun or even pride in the project were Ron Perlman and Stephen Graham, and while they keep the thing from being wholly uninteresting and dull, they are no match for the unimpressiveness and yawn-inducing power Nicholas Cage, the rest of the cast, the script, and the direction. Not recommended.

"Paranormal Activity 3" (2011)

The third time's a charm, apparently. A youngish couple buys a house, and things start getting a little weird right away. Fortunately for us, dad's a wedding videographer, and viola! A movie franchise is born! It's a little slow to get moving, but unlike its predecessors it has atmosphere, keeps things interesting, and builds pretty solidly. They got it right (or right enough) on the third go. It has a few hiccups and things that make no sense, and you can see some things coming miles away. But it actually kind of works, all told. It's slightly better than average, and as such it is... Recommended.

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" (2011)

Boring and stupid. That's the problem with this remake, as it is with most remakes, really. Freddie isn't scary, and the teenagers are wholly unsympathetic. Even the camera and editing tricks used to try to bring the creepiness and rubber reality are standard fare. The rewrite of the storys background is just plain uninspired, as is the script itself. There's no atmosphere. Heck, there isn't even any acting or effort on the production side to do anything other than try to make it look cool. It's just another dull, boring, uninspired movie-by-the-numbers attempt at milking a cash cow. Not remotely recommended, not even for a laugh. (It's still better than "Neighbor", though.)


  1. Michael Bay's remakes leave me feeling tired and annoyed. He's working his way through every major franchise, though - I hear reboots of Hellraiser and Child's Play aren't far behind.

    I'm already two films in, so there was never any real doubt I'd watch PA3, (even though I was highly disappointed in PA2,) but it's nice to hear it won't be as bad as I expect.

  2. Michael Bay, while a competent director, has fewer tricks than a one-trick pony, when it comes to making films. That said, he provides plenty of explosions, shaky-cam chases, bright lights and colors, and faux-rock soundtracks with ludicrously bass and volume... which is what all (too) many seem able to ask for. So he manages to deliver the cash for the studios, enough to keep them happy and in the black.

  3. Absolutely agreed, and all too true.