Archive for Kyle Gallner

Red State (2011)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith

Tagline: Fear God

Plot: Set in Middle America, a group of teens receive an online invitation for sex, though they soon encounter fundamentalists with a much more sinister agenda.

Cast: Michael Parks – Abin Cooper

Melissa Leo – Sara

John Goodman – Joseph Keenan

Kyle Gallner – Jarod

Michael Angarano – Travis

Review:

Red State is one of those movies that might just have worked if it had been directed by some anonymous indie director and not by a well established Hollywood director like Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith became popular in the 90’s with movies like Clerks, Dogma & Chasing Amy  but in the 00’s he really went downhill (especially after releasing Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) with pretty average movies like Jersey Girl, Clerks II & Zack and Miri Make a Porno (I didn’t see Cop Out because it received really bad reviews), and lately Red State which is, arguably, the last nail in the coffin of his career. Although Kevin didn’t release a really good movie in about 10 years I still think that his less successfull movies have interesting scripts which were well written. Unfortunately, I can’t say that about Red State. First of all, we’ve already seen Kevin deal with topics like religion and extreme violence in Dogma, so what was the point in making a clearly inferior movie with such similiarities to the cult classic? And second of all, the dialogue in Red State was just awful – and Kevin Smith is the guy who wrote some of the most memorable lines in 90’s cinema!

Honestly, when I started watching Red State I knew it wasn’t going to be the next Chasing Amy or something like that but I at least expected a fairly entertaining fun; instead I got this boring mixture of weak acting (except for Michael Parks who plays the pastor Abin Cooper, and maybe John Goodman in some scenes, although his real potential is overlooked), bland characters and pointless action scenes. The movie starts off as a psychological thriller with some survival horror influences only to turn into an action shoot out in the second act. And by time the audience is just following a one group of undeveloped characters trying to kill the other group of undeveloped characters, I find that to be horrendously boring. Despite the fact the first part of the movie was nothing new nor original I would have rather watched another wannabe torture porn movie than to be forced to watch this strange genre changing direction the movie has taken. The third, and the final, act of the movie was, I think, supposed to be some social commentary and possible criticism against the USA goverment (?), which could have been good if it had been following the movie’s pacing. Because of that, John Goodman’s final lines seem to come out of nowhere and noone can possibly take them seriously.

I don’t know why Kevin Smith decided to change the movie’s plot so violently and rapidly after the first act but it definitely seems forced, especially when you consider the fact that Red State’s duration is less than 90 minutes (and considering that no valid plot points happen in the first 20 minutes!). The direction of the movie is also not remarkable, in spite of some decent camera angles. It is really disappointing to see Kevin Smith go this low.

My Raing: 3/10… One of the most anticipated movies of the year (because I’m a really big 90’s Kevin Smith fan) turned to be one of the worst movies of the year. Forgetable characters, boring actors, and worst of all, a really bad script ruined it for me.

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A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Samuel Bayer

Writers: Wesley Strick

Eric Heisserer

Tagline: Never Sleep Again

Plot: A re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people in their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

Cast: Jackie Earle Haley – Freddy Krueger

Kyle Gallner – Quentin Smith

Rooney Mara – Nancy Holbrook

Katie Cassidy – Kris Fowles

Thomas Dekker – Jesse Braun

Review:

It’s time to finish our Nightmare on Elm Street week (although it lasted much longer than a week) with a review that spawned this idea. The remake of the original Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) recevied pretty mixed reviews from both critics and viewers. I didn’t like it at all due to its shallowness and unoriginality, which will be explained shortly. I think you are all familiar with the movie’s plot and concept so I don’t have to further introduce it.

It is important to say that remake is very similar to Freddy vs Jason (and that definitely isn’t a good thing) so it seriously lacks the 80s atmosphere, which was one of the best things in the original. Because of this, the movie looks too modern; I can’t seem to find any reason why was this movie even made besides money and “amazing” special effects.  So it’s more than obvious that this remake is clearly unnecessary. In the introduction I said that A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) is shallow and unoriginal. What I meant by that is that offers nothing new, all of this was seen somewhere before. The several good scenes in the movie have been shamelessly copy/pasted from the original, and the rest of it was just awful. I don’t know why would anyone chose to watch the remake over the original, the cult parts of both movies are almost the same but the original also offers much more like better character development, better scriptwriting and better atmosphere. But if you do decide to watch it be ready for an unintentional laugh or two because, as it can be seen in the trailer, the remake is full with extremely cheesy dialogue like: -Oh god!- -No, just me.-; this is also similar to Freddy vs Jason. I think you are all wondering whether Jackie Earle Haley was a good replacement for Robert Englund in his role as Freddy. And the answer is: No, he wasn’t. I don’t have anything against Haley’s acting skills (I liked him in Watchmen) but the whole Freddy concept was destroyed because he was given these stupid /cheesy one liners and new looks, which were also awful and made him look like an alien. In addition to that his background was slightly changed…to worse.  So Haley isn’t good as Englund but I think that’s really not his fault. The rest of the cast are simply awful in their roles, most of them are either too static or too unbelievable, especially Rooney Mara who is a very bad choice for the role of Nancy – she isn’t special in any way, a very very bad choice for the final girl. There isn’t left much to say about this remake. All in all, it is utterly bad, even Freddy vs Jason is a slightly better movie.

It seems to me that A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) had absolutely no potential at all. It was “doomed” from the second someone decided to make it. A lot of fans were spectical with a good reason because it is blasphemous to turn a cult movie into something like this. Almost every aspect of this remake is horrible besides the “stolen” scenes and some kills (unfortunately, the kills are good in every NoES movie, besides maybe Freddy’s revenge, so that doesn’t make this remake anything special). It is just your typical “wannabe mainstream” horror movie.

My Rating: 3/10… Don’t watch it! It is easily one of the worst movies from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.