A Discussion Upon Two Films

In further effort to catch up I will present a pair of short reviews.

First up is “The Losers.” This is a movie version of a comic remake of an older comic. I have no other information on the comics, but the movie focuses on a CIA strike team who gets set up and goes into hiding. They eventually get the chance to re-enter America and wage war on those who set them up.

For the most part this movie has some good action and reliable characters. There is little personality among the heroes but each one works well enough for an old fashioned action movie. The action is good with some nice team dynamics. Being an over the top action movie does mean that some aspects are hard to buy, one in particular near the end bugs me to no end. Also a major logic fallacy annoyed me at the same time.

The biggest problem of this film is the villain. He seems like a perfect comic book villain, being bad enough to warrant death and darkly comedic. The problem is he really feels like he should have been left on the page, the rest of the movie almost tries for a somber tone but the main villain kills that mood and detracts from the movie.

Ultimately it’s a fun action flick that I would call “A poor man’s A-Team.”

Secondly is the remake “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” I’m a Freddy fan, I love the old movies (except for 2 and 6) and have been looking forward to this film with utter horror. I am a fan of Platinum Dune’s remake of “Friday the 13th” and hoped this would be up to that level. It wasn’t but it’s a still a good entry into the series.

To begin with we must tackle the new Freddy. Robert Englund is, and will always be, Freddy in my eyes, watching someone else take up the glove is a worrisome task but I knew if anyone could do it, it would be Jackie Earl Haley. Boy did he, Haley is terrifying in this flick. They worked the makeup t make good use of his face and he manages to be lit and move in such a way as to convey evil power. For the most part his lines evoke dark images and mostly ignore the wisecracking Freddy of later installments. I still prefer Englund, but Haley is an admirable and worthy successor.

The plot is a reworking and reimagining of the first film and it works pretty well. The pacing could have been better; the movie moved too fast early on and dragged a bit in the middle. Spreading out the tension would have been better, but I love the ‘micro-naps’ idea and felt that made the sense with the kids extra suspenseful.

There are a few negatives. Too much emphasis was put on loud jump moments, I like my terror slow and unfolding, not loud and sudden. Also characterization was sleight and sketchy, upon watching this I was actually recalling how well developed the characters in the original were; here they are barely working archetypes, and the fact that they have to play ‘tired’ all the time just makes them look lazy. I also miss the involved parents; the original had John Saxon in a memorable role as Nancy’s father. Here we get the amazing Clancy Brown as a barely there principle.

That emphasizes one other problem I had. Too much is taken from Nancy, with the lessened characterization and the additions around her she comes off as somewhat weak.

But while there are negatives it is a pretty good Nightmare movie. The reworked score is enjoyable, Freddy is terrifying, and the improved effects make the dream sequences really shine.

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One thought on “A Discussion Upon Two Films

  1. “The Losers” looked like an action-comedy to me, emphasis on the action, so that the movie rubberbands between somber with yet-undeveloped characters and grim comedy with the villian definately counts as a strike. My sister really wants to see this, being a fan of the male lead, so I will see it eventually anyway.

    As for “Friday,” this is one I probably won’t see, being that I’m scarcily into horror to begin with and when I do go to see it, it either masquerades as an action movie or is distinctly psychological in nature. I’m happy that it’s passable as a relaunch of the series with a far darker tone though.

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