Movie Reviews: Hills have eyes, Harry Potter 4 and Just Friends
The Hills Have Eyes
Wes Craven produces this remake of his 1977 classic of the same name, about the Carters, an idyllic American family travelling through the great American southwest. But their trip takes a detour into an area closed off from the public, but more importantly from society. An area originally used by the U.S. Government for nuclear testing that was intended to be empty...or so they thought? When the Carter's car breaks down at the old site, they're stranded...or are they? As the Carters may soon realize that what seemed like a car casually breaking down, might actually be a trap. This trap might be perpetrated by the inhabitants of the site who aren't pulling a prank, but are out to set up a gruesome massacre.
Typically there is a single reason to remake a film, to improve on the original. This remake doesn't accomplish this. In fact, it simply re-threads the same plot as the original adding very little new or fresh to the idea aside from better make up and effects. The remake slavishly follows the same idea and at time even the same dialogue as the original. This holds true up until the very end of the movie were it dives off from being just a bad horror film to a silly excursion into schlock.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry's fourth summer and the following year at Hogwarts are marked by the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, in which student representatives from three different wizarding schools compete in a series of increasingly challenging contests. However, Voldemort's Death Eaters are gaining strength and even creating the Dark Mark giving evidence that the Dark Lord is ready to rise again. In the unsuspecting lives of the young wizard and witches at Hogwarts the competitors are selected by the goblet of fire, which this year makes a very surprising announcement: Hogwarts will have two representatives in the tournament, including Harry Potter! Will Harry be able to rise to the challenge for the Tri Wizard Tournament while keeping up with school or will the challenges along with Voldemort's rebirth be too much for the young hero?
As someone who's never read any of the Harry Potter book, Potter's previous adventures at Hogwart had been a bit of mixed bag for me. At time I thought they were fairly interesting but at other I was a bit bored. The previous movie had never held my attention at a high level for the entire film. Thankfully, Goblet of Fire changed that. This installment moves the franchise into slightly more adult themes with much darker undertones. I assume this is why I enjoyed the film so much more than the previous entries. I was a bit taken aback at how bleak the ending is but am curious to see how the next film plays out.
When he confessed his love for his best friend during their formative high school years ago, Chris was met with a broken heart and a degrading humiliation. Only adding insult to injury was his larger than life frame which became a source of ridicule for cruel classmates. But years later and things having changed, Chris is now a hotshot record producer in Hollywood and the complete physical opposite of himself in high school. He's also got an up and coming act by the name of Samantha James who has a psychotic crush on her producer. When a freak accident occurs on the way to Paris, Chris is forced to return home with her in tow. Little does he know that he would come face to face with the friend that he tried so desperately to forget. With the chance to woo her again, Chris will do what he can despite his client's violent misgivings and a competitive rival suitor against him. No matter the crazy obstacles he must overcome, Chris will do whatever it takes to be more than just friends.
Just Friends is a totally uneven comedy that can at one moment provide you with a gut busting moment then followed by some flat material, much like Ryan Reynold's other recent film Waiting. The biggest issue this film has is that the main character, Chris, isn't particularly likable thus making it a bit hard for the audience to root for him. Overall a fun flick that can provide some serious laughs but don't expect too much going in.
Up next week:
V for Vendetta