Blog – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed

Blog – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed

Quick Review

To celebrate today being Friday The 13th In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided back in 2014 to rewatch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I re-watched ever kill, every slash and every Jason death. So here it is – a complete look at the Jason Vorhees back catalogue…

Phil Hobden

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th (2013)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the documentary that started it all: Crystal Lake Memories is an exhaustive (and exhausting clocking it at a nearly 400 min run time) look at the history of the Friday The 13th films – from it’s humble beginnings right through Freddy Vs Jason and the studio remake and is a must see for fans of the films. Brough to you by the same team that delivered the equally essential Nightmare Of Elm Street documentary Never Sleep Again no stone is left unturned.  Best of all far from a fluff piece this digs into what worked, what didn’t work and what happened behind the scenes.  Simply put this is both essential and fascinating. 

IMDB Rating: 

Any cast of note?   Almost everyone who has ever been in or involved with the films! 

 

[divider]

 

Friday The 13th (2009)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So in hindsight the remake of Friday 13th is actually pretty good.  Gone are the japery and silliness of the later Friday films, back comes the hardcore gore and nudity that was a hallmark of the series at it’s best.  Plenty of gruesome kills, a story which nicely remakes three Friday’s for the price of one and a cast that can actually act, it’s directed with a sense of respect to the better instalments whilst delivering a few nice new moments.  I liked it and, stood alongside the rest in the series, it comes across as very good indeed.  Recommended.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Sleeping bag then on fire.  Ouch. 

Any cast of note?   Danielle Panabaker, Nana Visitor

 

[divider]

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay that’s better.  Whilst most of the Friday films have aged badly, Freddy Vs Jason is still a prime cut in a butchers shop of (mostly)offal.   Bride Of Chucky director Ronny Yu once again delivers on a quirky premise and gives fans something they have been waiting for since it was first muted back in The Final Friday.  A knowing film with a strong idea its heart, the films full of crowd pleasing smackdowns, gross out blood and guts and nudity: everything you want from a Freddy or a Jason movie.  Best of all it leaves you wanting more which, sadly, hasn’t yet arrived.  So overall even though this isn’t strictly just a Friday The 13th movie it’s certainly one of the strongest in the series and for sure the one that delivers best all-round.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy’s hand kills… er… Freddy.

Any cast of note?   Robert England, Kelly Rowland, Monica Keena

 

[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Find Similar Articles here

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Complete)

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Complete)

Quick Review

In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided to rematch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I will re re-watching ever kill, every slash and every Jason death.  This blog will be updated as I work my way through each of the films, cumulating with a final list of the films in order of greatness (or not… yes Part 5 i’m looking at you!).  So here we go.

Phil Hobden
July 2014

 

[divider]

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th (2013)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the documentary that started it all: Crystal Lake Memories is an exhaustive (and exhausting clocking it at a nearly 400 min run time) look at the history of the Friday The 13th films – from it’s humble beginnings right through Freddy Vs Jason and the studio remake and is a must see for fans of the films. Brough to you by the same team that delivered the equally essential Nightmare Of Elm Street documentary Never Sleep Again no stone is left unturned.  Best of all far from a fluff piece this digs into what worked, what didn’t work and what happened behind the scenes.  Simply put this is both essential and fascinating. 

IMDB Rating: 

Any cast of note?   Almost everyone who has ever been in or involved with the films! 

 

[divider]

Friday The 13th (2009)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So in hindsight the remake of Friday 13th is actually pretty good.  Gone are the japery and silliness of the later Friday films, back comes the hardcore gore and nudity that was a hallmark of the series at it’s best.  Plenty of gruesome kills, a story which nicely remakes three Friday’s for the price of one and a cast that can actually act, it’s directed with a sense of respect to the better instalments whilst delivering a few nice new moments.  I liked it and, stood alongside the rest in the series, it comes across as very good indeed.  Recommended.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Sleeping bag then on fire.  Ouch. 

Any cast of note?   Danielle Panabaker, Nana Visitor

 

[divider]

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay that’s better.  Whilst most of the Friday films have aged badly, Freddy Vs Jason is still a prime cut in a butchers shop of (mostly)offal.   Bride Of Chucky director Ronny Yu once again delivers on a quirky premise and gives fans something they have been waiting for since it was first muted back in The Final Friday.  A knowing film with a strong idea its heart, the films full of crowd pleasing smackdowns, gross out blood and guts and nudity: everything you want from a Freddy or a Jason movie.  Best of all it leaves you wanting more which, sadly, hasn’t yet arrived.  So overall even though this isn’t strictly just a Friday The 13th movie it’s certainly one of the strongest in the series and for sure the one that delivers best all-round.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy’s hand kills… er… Freddy.

Any cast of note?   Robert England, Kelly Rowland, Monica Keena

 

[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Updated 24th March)

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Updated 24th March)

Quick Review

In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided to rematch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I will re re-watching ever kill, every slash and every Jason death.  This blog will be updated as I work my way through each of the films, cumulating with a final list of the films in order of greatness (or not… yes Part 5 i’m looking at you!).  So here we go.

Phil Hobden
July 2014

 

[divider]

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay that’s better.  Whilst most of the Friday films have aged badly, Freddy Vs Jason is still a prime cut in a butchers shop of (mostly)offal.   Bride Of Chucky director Ronny Yu once again delivers on a quirky premise and gives fans something they have been waiting for since it was first muted back in The Final Friday.  A knowing film with a strong idea its heart, the films full of crowd pleasing smackdowns, gross out blood and guts and nudity: everything you want from a Freddy or a Jason movie.  Best of all it leaves you wanting more which, sadly, hasn’t yet arrived.  So overall even though this isn’t strictly just a Friday The 13th movie it’s certainly one of the strongest in the series and for sure the one that delivers best all-round.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy’s hand kills… er… Freddy.

Any cast of note?   Robert England, Kelly Rowland, Monica Keena



[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Updated 17th March)

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Updated 17th March)

Quick Review

In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided to rematch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I will re re-watching ever kill, every slash and every Jason death.  This blog will be updated as I work my way through each of the films, cumulating with a final list of the films in order of greatness (or not… yes Part 5 i’m looking at you!).  So here we go.

Phil Hobden
July 2014

[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: The Dead 2 India – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: The Dead 2 India – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Ford Brothers The Dead was most interesting for it’s African setting.  Taking a ‘If It ‘Aint Broke…’ approach, The Dead 2 is essentially the same film but in India with a better lead but less appealing support cast and a pace that, at best, could be described as pedestrian. In fact, in a post Walking Dead world, it’s hard to see what a slow paced, mostly gore less film that struggles to have more than a handful of Zombies onscreen at once offers as it’s USP other than it’s setting.  Sadly other than lead Millson, the cast are forgettable and lack chemistry. It’s not all bad – the film looks beautiful and the visual FX punch above their weight but other than that I can’t find much to recommend this.

Best Bit: The film is well shot

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Borrow

If You Liked this Try: The Dead, Dawn of The Dead, The Walking Dead

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Cheap Thrills Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – Cheap Thrills Reviewed

Uncategorized

A question for anyone who’s seen this right off the bat – is Cheap Thrills a dark comedy, or a light horror? It can’t be both. It doesn’t have the faintest idea what it wants to be. So it decides to be both, I guess, and let the viewer decide. The poster suggests riotous, cheeky comedy.

When the film starts, its tone is blatantly clear; this won’t go well tonight for young new father Craig (Pat Healy) in what is undoubtedly the year’s biggest F.U. to any character – he’s served an eviction notice, goes to work and is laid off, and goes to drown his sorrows in a bar – only to meet a former high school acquaintance who’s much easier to handle when on mute. Poor sod.

Vince is his ne’er-do-well friend played by Ethan Embry, and they drink… and when Craig returns from the bathroom, Vince has cozied up to a couple named Colin and Violet. Colin is played by the go-to guy who’s name we can never remember but we always see in staple big budget comedies; David Koechner. Here, he’s the star of the show – his young trophy wife clearly with him because of his money; and, boy, does Colin wave it around. He dares the two youngster to down tequila and pinch a girl’s behind…

… and they end up back at his place, where the game really begin. Vince and Craig really need the money, and the wealthy sadist Colin dares them to do a number of ‘thing’s, which I won’t spoil, whilst simultaneously raising the amount. So, it’s one of those high concept comedies or horrors.
Why then doesn’t it work? On paper, scripted as it is by David Chirchirillo and Troma’s own Trent Haaga must have read better than it plays. The film is set to slow-burn for approximately two thirds of its running time, and it all heads toward a tedious inevitability. I think the problem here is with relative newcomer E.L. Katz; tonally, the film is all off. It’s like the opening of Scream – in a manner of speaking – pulled out to 88 minutes. Rarely has a film felt twice as long as its own running time.

Okay, there are one or two reasonably satisfying set pieces involving – nope, not saying. Why? Well, if I do say what they are, then I’ll have ruined what limited fun there is to have.

The whole subtext about Craig needing to do this shit for the money, and Vince wanting the money is not exploited well enough until it’s far too late. Anyone who’s seen – let alone grew up on – concept cheap-o-ramas such as drivel like this will guess what one of the dares is before they’ve even left the bar. Especially if you’ve seen The Man From Hollywood. The ending is especially slack, with little-to-no motive (the furthest of the film’s troubles) for the lead character to do what he does, through to the daft reconnaissance that closes the picture down when the big titles flash at the end.

The main issue I have with the movie is that it simply doesn’t have the courage of its convictions. It doesn’t go TOO far enough. The BBFC have, according to the press notes, slapped this with a ‘15’ certificate for its May release. Fuck that. A film of this nature should be going apeshit bonkers, along the lines of Brian Yuzna’s Society or even Danny DeVito’s War of the Roses. If it were me, I’d have raised the bar higher a lot quicker, and the end would have been… too outrageous for print in a respectable website.

Cheap Thrills; perhaps the clue is in the title. Cheap? Certainly – this four hander seems to have been shot in the producer’s rich grandparent’s LA Canyon home. Thrills? Eh, not so much.

 

Author: Andrew Mackay

 

Phil Also reviewed Cheap Thills and liked it MUCH more!  http://www.philhobden.co.uk/?p=7664  

 

Blog: Transcendence – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Transcendence – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Look I love Wally Pfister’s work. He’s one of the best DOP’s working in Hollywood today.  He’s made the Nolan films he’s worked on look amazing. But man based on this steaming turd I hope he goes back to doing what he does well, because based on the evidence here directing sure isn’t it.  A poor script (that makes this more TranscenDUNCE), a near prosaic performance from Johnny Depp (who is hitting Keanu levees of lazy acting of late) and the constant push to make the world believe that Rebecca Hall can act (note: She can’t) just add the the general frustration that watching this film brings.  Worst of it… it doe net even have the decency to be terrible.  Just boring.  And that’s a whole lost worse…

Best Bit: Visually it’s okay

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Inception, Lucy, The Dark Knight

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Sex Tape Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – Sex Tape Reviewed

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

Do you remember Kevin Smith’s Zack & Miri Make A Porno? Yeah, me neither – and I saw it. One thing I do remember, though, was the acute disappointment that it decided to go down the schlocky, friendly slapstick route. I remember saying on our old podcast that it should have been retitled “Zack & Miri Make A Sex Tape” and taken an altogether more serious tone. Doing this would have accentuated the awkward moments, which would have been ripe for comedy.

Here, we have a director not a bazillion miles away from Smith; Jake Kasdan (of Juno fame) directs this time, with Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz – two very capable performers of comedy – as a couple who, once they get married and have kids, stop having instant, spontaneous and raucous sexual encounters. They succumb to a life of routine mediocrity; she’s a successful “mommy” blogger, and he’s… something else. They get drunk one night while the kids are on a sleepover and decide to make a sex tape on an iPad. He doesn’t delete it, and has a penchant for giving iPads as a gift. Guess what happens next? Yep, some recipient of said tape starts sending Segel threatening messages saying that the tape will go viral. Diaz and Segel then enlist their best friends to go on a wild goose chase to track down everyone who might have received the iPad.

See, this the problem; the conceit and the set up. I was really hoping that the said three hour sex fest was going to make it online. I was curious to see some extremely wrought and cringe-inducing drama turning into comedic moments. For the second time of trying, the yanks screw it up again.

What we get is a series of elongated, yet fairly charming, set pieces. This mostly involves an extended farce-lite sequence involving Rob Lowe as a mega rich CEO as Diaz and Segel charm their way into his house. She ends up doing cocaine as he searches the house and wrestles Lowe’s violent dog. In any other movie, for any other narrative, this may have been a blast. Here, it nestles itself comfortably into a different movie; around the half way mark the writers seem disinterested in the tape and more on the relationship. We groan at the more contrived set ups.

I was on board with the first two thirds of the movie. There’s no denying Diaz and Segel have the requisite charm to carry the movie along. We see her naked behind twice. Rob Corddry turns up as the weirdo best friend.

What’s not to like?

The third act, that’s what. I can suspend disbelief only so far, but the final twenty minutes feature a cameo by a very well-known funny man playing the chief of an extremely well-known porn site. The film at this point sticks two fingers down its own throat and vomits whatever creativity or wit and wisdom it once had right down its chest. I cannot swallow (as it were) this final swerve into creative bankruptcy – more so, I can’t fathom the actual message contained therein. Do you really mean to tell me that someone like that would care that much, based on the oldest of contrivances that his squeeze can influence his decision? I realise this means little to you, dear reader; but one day, perhaps soon, you may catch Sex Tape and remember what I’ve written in this paragraph, if nothing else. The couple’s kids are there to witness the entire exchange for the most part, which makes it even more arduous and contemptible.

The filmmakers ought to have known better. Make a stupid Zack & Miri lightweight entertainment – or, go hog wild. Sitting in the middle with all the R-rated language and none of the determination to really wring the concept dry just sits uneasy.

It’s such a shame because, for a while there, this could have been a relatively engaging comedy drama. I expect better from all involved, not least Kasdan. Sex Tape will go down in my memory as the movie that showed Kasdan will sell out – and work with a cast and crew who didn’t pause for two seconds and question this dumb conclusion. My guess? They were probably too busy thinking about which shots that week will make the red band trailer, and what the poster may look like.

I fear it may be too late for Diaz, Segel and Kasdan – the distributors will release this embarrassment into the cinemas soon, and none of them will be able to take it down, or remove it from their resume.

Author:Andrew Mackay

Review: Bad Grandpa (DVD/BR)

Review: Bad Grandpa (DVD/BR)

Other Cr*p Uncategorized

The Review:  Wednesday night, 2-for-1, Kevin Bacon adverts, 25 minutes of commercials, lights dim down (small black mark on the centre of the screen which you can choose have distract you, especially if the picture is white) and – boom – Bad Grandpa’s first reel rolls and there’s an ei9ght year-old kid in a doctor’s waiting room telling an unsuspecting, genuine punter, that his mum is a crack whore. The unsuspecting woman shrugs her shoulders and isn’t sure how to respond. She’s also unaware that she’s being filmed.

In fact, everyone who isn’t the eight year-old stooge (Jackson Nicoll) and Bad Grandpa himself (Johnny Knoxville) is not in on the game. Did you see Borat? Okay, you get the general idea.

And the general idea – i.e., the interaction between Nicoll and Knoxville – sadly, are the weakest moments in this 85 minute movie. By turns shocking and hilarious, but for long, long stretches merely tedious and long-drawn-out. The ‘story’ goes that Knoxville needs to transport his eight year-old grandson across country to his deadbeat father, who’s only too happy to take him because of the child benefit pay out. They carry Grandpa’s wife’s carcass in the trunk of the car and hightail it across – wherever. And when the public aren’t involved, God damn is this tedious stuff. Why? Because the film’s glue – its narrative – is unfunny because both participants are in on the same joke we are.

Funnily enough, this is where the Jackass movies got it right. It had no pretentions that it was anything other than a series of skits. Bad Grandpa (which reunites director Jeff Tremaine, Knoxville and Spike Jonze in their usual roles) hasn’t understood why Borat has worked, and made a movie out of the least funny parts of their Jackass movies. If Bad Grandpa was a series of skits without all the faffing around, then it’d have been way funnier. The central conceit just doesn’t work – as evidenced by the other audience members, who sat for prolonged periods of time in stony silence. The funeral scene near the beginning of the movie is so desperately unfunny, as is the drink machine “incident” – I started to wonder if the film had crossed the line into downright surrealism.

Perhaps this film is best viewed as a psychological and sociological experiment. Some of the reactions aren’t funny at all, but rather worrying – a woman overreacts, we suspect, to Knoxville’s prank at his in-house sale. A fascinating reaction, in my view. But hardly funny.

That’s not to say that the film isn’t funny. I think I laughed about four, maybe five times throughout the movie. Dickhouse and MTV productions, also responsible for Jackasses 1, 2, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3, 3.5, 3×15-8=16 etcis famous for including behind-the-scenes material during the closing credits. In Bad Grandpa, we’re treated to Knoxville and co. revealing that they were ‘punking’ the public, and their reactions to it. While this is a nice touch, it’s not terribly funny. And Bad Grandpa doesn’t come close to Borat’s crescendos, or the sheer balls-out lunacy and bravery of Bruno.

If you’re really planning on a trip to the cinema for this one, then see it for the wonderfully stoic performance from newcomer Jackson Nicoll. How on Earth he has the mettle and temerity to keep a straight face during the thick of the pranks is astounding. I’m tempted not to spoil any of it, but the trailer for the movie has done a damned fine job of doing just that – so if you want the skinny on the best of the funny, then just head on over to YouTube and save 82 minutes

 

Reviewed By: Andrew MacKay

Join the debate on our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/Filmsploitation) or on our website (www.thefilmpodcast.co.uk)

 

Review: American Hustle (Cinema)

Review: American Hustle (Cinema)

Uncategorized

The Review: Okay so the Award For Overrated Film Of 2014 goes to… American Hustle. Much like Silver Linings Snore Fest last year, this is a film that did nothing for me. Yes it looked nice (Gravity), yes it was well acted with a great soundtrack (Playbook) but fuck me after an hour I couldn’t care less about the characters or what they did, let alone the story that went nowhere fast.

It’s the smuggest film of the year (okay the year is but a day old but trust me year end no film will out smug this), from a smug director who everyone seems to think can do no wrong.

As you may have heard (in the somewhat over flattering press surrounding this movie) Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence are great, turning in real career highlight performances, and it’s nice to see Christian Bale acting again with his talent rather than his creepy bat voice, but seriously there are only so many shots of women in front split dresses and no bra (Bra budget for this movie =$0) that I can take and after about 15 mins (about 150 shots of said offence) I’d had enough. Which is roughly also the point where i start dot get bored.

This is the point where usually I’d recap the story. I can’t. It went something like… Someone cons someone then get’s taped up by the FBI to con someone else. Sound riveting? No. Not really.

But wait! Don’t worry about the story listen to this LOUD song from our GREAT SOUNDTRACK. Or look at this CAMEO. Whatever you do don’t focus on the story…

Director Russell has turned in a karaoke version of a Scorsese film without the heart or talent. It just made me want to watch Casino or Goodfellas again. In fact American Hustle is like a great receipt the filmmakers once saw on TV then years later tried to cook it again… they got the ingredients right (other than the dash of Cooper which turned out to be a full smug bottle full) but they just had no idea how to put them together into something that is more than a sprinkling of flash (okay food references over).

Wait! STOP! Over here! Look at Amy Adams in a front split dress and no Bra! Just ignore the story.

In my book Russell has made ONE good film – Three Kings, one okay film (The Fighter) and two of the most over praised films of the decade.

Side note: Also my bug for 2013/14… can directors please use different cast members in films. Even Scorsese gave DeNiro a break from now and then. Having almost the whole cast of Silver Linings PlayBook just annoyed me, whilst reminding me that Cooper overacts at ever chance.

LOUD MUSIC! SPLIT DRESS! STUNT CASTING! IGNORE! COOL SEVENTIES CLOTHING. STORY.

Emperors new clothes? Sadly no… see the films greatest con is actually convincing the press (and cinema goers) that what they are seeing is something great when in fact it’s a polished turd. A nice looking one. But a polished turd none the less.

 

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

Join the debate on our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/Filmsploitation) or on our website (www.thefilmpodcast.co.uk)