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Halloween Destination: Woodstock?

This weekend features two ridiculous horror movies and a retrospective comedy about a legendary concert minus the music.  Could you ask for a clearer sign that summer movies are over?  We’ve hit the fall movie season and all its unmarketable foolishness.  I don’t mean to imply that fall movies are generally bad, but they are hard to sell.  After all, our first movie is The Final Destination (and this time they mean it) (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic) – part 4 in a series that hopes to dodge the past by ignoring the numbering system inherent to most franchises.  Also, it’s in 3-D, which is cinema’s best publicity stunt since…well…3-D.  Amazingly, modern 3-D is impressive rather than gimmicky – if only the movie didn’t seem predestined to suck like most part 4’s.


“With an array of gory mayhem only marginally enhanced by 3-D and a plot as developed as a text message, The Final Destination may finally sound the death knell for New Line’s near-immortal horror franchise.” Variety Jordan Mintzer

A horror plot based a text message and an immortal horror franchise?  It sounds like the premise to a Stephen King novella, or a heavy-handed intro to a new Saw movie.

“Too many digital effects ruin the spell of a tactile world of evil objects scheming your demise. But even a mediocre FD is better than more Jigsaw.” Time Out New York Joshua Rothkopf

So, it’s only good if we compare it to something terrible?  It sounds like critics can’t agree on what makes this movie lame.  Anyone up for a guess?

“This isn’t a franchise, it’s an arcade game.” Matt Pais Metromix.com

Disturbing.  After all, this is a series devoted to ensuring the deaths of its protagonists via urban legend death traps (for example, this movie includes scenes of mayhem-inducing crashes at a race track, rocks being lethally propelled from lawnmowers, pool suction devices pulling innards from attractive 20-somethings, and escalators turning deadly).  The video game simulation of these events sounds like something Congress would be upset about if they ever ran out of important topics to discuss.

“A car has a flat and the whole world blows up, for no particular reason, until everyone’s dead.” Joshua Tyler CinemaBlend.com

Kaboom!  Fantastic summary!  Now then, explosions are likely to be in short supply for the Rob Zombie slasher film: Halloween 2 (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic), which continues the perplexing tradition of releasing holiday movies on weekends that are unrelated to the film’s premise.


“Repellent not only in content but in visual style, writer-director Rob Zombie’s hatchet job on the series he revived so artfully two years ago plays like a violent act of euthanasia.” Rob Nelson Variety

Can the sequel be inferior to the original if the original was a remake?  After all, aren’t acts of ‘violent euthanasia’ the whole point of the slasher genre?

“Halloween II is every bit as pointless a sequel to the first as that film was a pointless remake of the John Carpenter classic.” Uncle CreepyDread Central

I had to read that review twice because I’m not sure if Uncle Creepy is saying that this pointless sequel was as pointless as the original pointless sequel (Halloween 2 with Jamie Lee Curtis) rather than Rob Zombie’s 2007 pointless remake.  Whew.  Who knew pointlessness could be so confusing?

“Anyone uninitiated with Rob Zombie’s brand of grainy hillbilly brutality would be better served by eating a bran muffin and steering clear of this particular horror film, because it’s a compliment to call it a piece of crap.” Todd Gilchrist Sci Fi Wire

Wow.  If being a “piece of crap” is the upside of the sequel/remake, I’ll try not to picture the downside.   I hope a similar fate doesn’t await the fictionalized story of growing up at the 1960’s iconic cultural event in Taking Woodstock (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).


“If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be there – to actually be there, man – this movie gets it.” San Francisco Chronicle Mick LaSalle

Yeah man, this movie gets it.  It’s like, you know, essential fictionalization and stuff.

“Lee distills the flavor of this transforming event and hints at how it transformed some who were there. His movie is a contact high.” Philadelphia Inquirer Carrie Rickey

Wait a second.  Are you promoting that this film will get you high just by watching it?   If so, fuck 3-D.

“Taiwanese director Ang Lee sees the ’60s through a rose-colored telephoto lens, but his sympathetic spirit extends the generous message of the hippie era like a passed joint.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch Joe Williams

I’m starting to sense some false expectations here, after all this is a fall movie and therefore cannot be perfect.  What’s the downside?

“It’s a frustrating complication of a movie with a sprawling story and grand ambitions — and some truly grand acting — that stumbles almost as often as it soars. Bummer.” Los Angeles Times Betsy Sharkey

Totally bummer, especially considering that Woodstock is the best reviewed movie of the weekend.  Rather than going to see a movie (and if you live in Pullman), I’d recommend going to the Black Cypress instead.  It’s a new restaurant that a friend of mine opened and the food served there is far better than any feast for the eyes offered by this week’s entertainment.  If you’re local, check it out.  If you’re not, save your cash and avoid the theater’s this week unless you’re seeing something older.

PDJ is hungry for more great food courtesy of the Palouse’s first culinary hotpot.

PDJ is hungry for more great food courtesy of the Palouse’s first culinary hotpot.

4 Responses

  1. I don’t like your attitude about horror movies. Here’s a warning, my friend – don’t open and then close your medicine cabinet mirror anytime soon.

  2. Holy Shit, Death reads my blog?!? I guess it makes sense that he’d like Final Destination movies, they’re like his empowerment fantasies. It’s like me watching Dead Poet’s Society. Hm, I wonder if he’s a fan of that too.

  3. Black Cypress!!

  4. Hey Pat, my first time here. Looks like a cool site. Keep up the good work. I’ll check back again in a few years.

    P.S. Did I mention this was my first time here?

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