Retro Week In Cinema: June 27-July 03, 2013

the burbs

I live in the suburbs, but we’re out in farm country, where isolation is preferred!

I do watch a lot of horror, huh,

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002, Don Coscarelli, United States Of America) ***

A bit of fun, but it’s not the most brilliantly funny movie ever or anything like that, despite what its legions of fans assured me of. Still, it is fun, it’s enjoyable to spend time with Bruce Campbell as this character, Ossie Davis as well. It’s very slight, but that’s okay.

The ‘Burbs (1989, Joe Dante, United States Of America) ***1/2

Really, really funny. I grew up on this film, I watched the VHS so much that it eventually stopped working. I’m happy to say that all these years later it still holds up. The comedic timing on display is excellent, Tom Hanks shines of course, but Bruce Dern is darn great as the gun toting neighbor and Corey Feldman is really good as well. There’s also a bunch of stuff that I never got as a kid, stuff about modern suburbia and how it really is its own civilization within a civilization. Each individual block/suburban area operates under their own rules and guidelines of decor. It’s kind of sad actually that since this film was made we’ve become such an insulated society that I don’t think this is true any more, simply because neighbors tend to not talk to one another nowadays.

Død Snø (Dead Snow, 2009, Tommy Wirkola, Norway) *

So, a premise this cool should be easy to make into a cool movie, and that leaves me wondering what the heck happened here. It started off alright, featuring some cool night time scenes, a nice atmosphere and was moving in the right direction. As the movie went along it was progressively worse, turning into a blood and gore fest with no real purpose behind any of it. The director never did anything with the whole Nazi zombie thing, they were just zombies, it didn’t matter that they were Nazis. The movie was also all over the place in establishing its rules, some zombies die from shots to the brain while others don’t. They try to make it about the zombies only killing for their gold, but that doesn’t work since they killed the girl at the beginning and the crazy man before the idea of the gold was even introduced.

Also, was I the only person bugged by how crisp and clean the film looked as it moved along? The film took on a real manufactured look, one I was not a fan of. Should have been so cool, instead it’s a bunch of rubbish.

Teeth (2007, Mitchell Lichtenstein, United States Of America) **1/2

Could have been something I think, but it’s brought down by not really adding up too much, and by the character of the brother. Sure, it’s camp, but the brother is so over the top and so obvious that he ruins every scene he is in, and when he’s ruining what is supposed to be the big moment in the film I think you have issues. Speaking of issues, I don’t quite feel this is the feminist film some have made it out to be, the camp, a lack of focused direction and the brother take the focus away from any sort of message and leave a film that is just sort of meh.

Day Of The Dead (2008, Steve Miner, United States Of America) 1/2*

Yeah, uh, this was terrible. It’s like the director took everything that Zack Snyder did successfully with his remake of Dawn Of The Dead, and went to the opposite extreme. Instead of running zombies we have super fast kung fu monkey zombies that can jump across entire rooms. Lots and lots of bad CG is all over the place, there blood and gore that isn’t just unnecessary, it’s badly done. Finally, Mena Suvari, what the heck happened? Outside of Jason Biggs (Allyson Hannigan doesn’t count as she already had Buffy The Vampire Slayer) you were the one person of the American Pie crew who I thought had the potential to do something with their career.

Wrap-Up:

Amid all the horror I watched this week one film easily stood out above the rest. The excellent The ‘Burbs takes home retro movie of the week honors. I’ll be back next week with five more retro capsule reviews!

Cheers,
Bill

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2 responses to “Retro Week In Cinema: June 27-July 03, 2013

  1. Good call on the ‘Burbs’, what a classic. Not seen it in years, but after this trip down memory lane, I might well change that sooner rather than later.

  2. Hope you dig it just as much when you get around to rewatching it. 🙂

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