Entertainment Today and Beyond

Never Met a Zombi I Didn’t Like…

Possible WAR GAMES remake and FRIDAY the 13th Review

According to Production Weekly, Leonardo Dicaprio’s production company is looking to do a reboot of the classic 1983 thriller, War Games. The original John Badham techno thriller was a beautifully executed movie that continues to be a big fan favorite to this day. I can’t see it being done better and any casting director would be hard pressed to find a substitute for the unique screen personality of Matthew Broderick. He really had it going during that decade with this film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Max Dugan Returns and Project X. The whole remake-reboot thing has gotten completely out of hand as there’s no need revisit most of these films that Hollywood continues to hijack in order to make an easy buck.

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Speaking of reboots, Friday the 13th opened to $43,585,449 over the four day President’s Day weekend. Considering the fact that the last standalone Jason film, Jason X in 2002, grossed just $13,121,555 (the lowest of the series) in its entire theatrical run this was a pretty impressive feat. While watching the film it really made me realize how times have changed. When I saw the original Friday the 13th back in 1980 people would scream at the screen, truly scared by what they were seeing. The crowd I saw this new reboot with on Saturday night pretty much laughed every time Jason took someone out. With the dramatic increase in screen violence over the past decade, I guess most movie goers are so desensitized that they’re hard pressed to find anything truly scared anymore.

Overall, I found this new Friday the 13th film to be a good, but not stupendous, entry in the franchise. Considering it was directed by Marcus Nispel, who helmed the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, the film felt like I was watching a Leatherface story without his extended family. It was a sleek looking effort with some imaginative kills in the first half ( the arrow through the head during the boat dock scene was the film’s best) but I felt things got a little lazy in the second half where much of it was pretty predictable – surprisingly so. I also felt the screenwriters dropped the ball on the origin of the Hockey mask as Jason just literally finds it lying on the floor in a room. While I didn’t expect him to find it in a hockey arena, I did expect more thought to go into what could have been a memorable moment.

In all honesty, it’s hard to really analyze any of the Jason films with a critical eye as they are what they are. For the most part this film works for what’s its trying to do. Considering each entry has really been a product of its time, this interpretation is no different. Parked beside the original films, I’m partial to “Jason Lives” (1986) as I really enjoyed that installment. I would give this new Friday the 13th film 3.25 zombies out of 5. It was far from perfect, but I still had a good time. While fans were pretty energized this time, I think interest will drop off substantially next time around for the inevitable sequel, as the ‘been there – done that’ feeling will dominate once again.

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February 19, 2009 - Posted by | And Beyond - Trailers & News, Reviews

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