Saturday, April 6, 2013

Carrie (2013) Movie Trailer

Here comes another pointless remake of a horror classic. This time it's Carrie (1976), Brian de Palma's masterful film adaptation of Stephen King's first novel. The original worked due to it's brilliant castSissy Spacek and Piper Laurie were both nominated for their performancesand it's faithfulness to the book while adding in a much better ending.

The 2013 version of Carrie has Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) as the lead role and Julianne Moore (Magnolia) replacing Piper Laurie as the overprotective and insanely religious mother. Now I have no problem with the actresses themselves, I enjoyed Moretz's performance in Let Me In, but part of what made Spacek so perfect for the role was her humanly awkward look because every high school has that weird girl. My complaint is Moretz is not that girl and even in the trailer she doesn't look convincing in that role. 

After just seeing the new Evil Dead, my tolerance has waned for new releases that take it upon themselves to remake classic films for no reason. The film hits theaters in October and for anyone who hasn't seen the film I recommend not watching the trailer because almost the entire plot and climax is given away in two minutes.

Evil Dead '13 (Movie Review)

An Unnecessary Evil

Now before I get into this review, let me give some historical context about the The Evil Dead series and it's impact on the horror genre. In the early 80's Sam Raimi and his childhood friend Bruce Campbell set out to take their love of film to another level. With a small budget, an inspired script and an ambitious director they set a new standard for horror and created their own sub-genre in the process. 

Nowadays children will probably laugh when they see the original The Evil Dead (1981) and there is a campy quality through a lot of it, but keep in mind the first film was not meant to be funny and in fact the movie was deemed so disturbing by the MPAA that it still holds an NC-17 rating. Audiences were shocked at the amount of gore, violence and dark humor which made it a cult classic in Europe and eventually in America. The acting remains laughable, the character development is thin and the tree rape scene is regretted by Raimi himself but The Evil Dead holds a status in horror that few films can reach, even with the more slapstick sequels. 

The last film I saw where a group of teenagers go to a cabin in the woods was in fact, Cabin in the Woods (2011), a film I enjoyed because of it's originality and satiric approach to horror cliches. The Evil Dead's formula has been recycled so many times in horror that somebody might watch the original and not know that it's among the first and best in that category.  So here's the actual remake of The Evil Dead with Sam Raimi's support and I was skeptical but enthusiastic at what the film could achieve over 30 years later, and despite writer/director Fede Alvarez's daring debut, he fails to capture what made the series so iconic and instead makes a stale and forgettable film.

Is this an April Fool's poster?
The story is basically the same, five friends go to an old cabin, this time to support their friend Mia (Jane Levy) who is quitting drugs cold turkey. Mia has tension with her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) who was not there when their mom died but he is apologetic and wants to change things. That is pretty much all of the backstory in the film, oh aside from the opening scene which shows a father burning his daughter at the stake. The other characters are unimportant; one is a high school teacher, one is a nurse and the other barely has any lines, or purpose.

While Mia is suffering from withdrawal symptoms, the two guys come across a basement with dead cats hanging from the ceiling and ignore every sign to go home until it's too late and they find "The Book of the Dead". The bold high school teacher has no hesitation when stenciling over the demonic book to translate and recite the words to awaken the demons lurking beneath the woods. While the backstory wasn't important in the original this one takes the subject matter very seriously and so that is how I watched it. Much like The Nightmare On Elm Street remake, which I also didn't care for, the film lacks any fun or empathy in its characters and it really affects the outcome because I didn't have fun watching it.

Even if I overlook the subpar cast, the script is full of so many plot holes and diverges from the source material so much that midway through the gallons of blood seemed like an attempt to distract, more than to entertain. I mean when's the last time you've seen someone in their 20's not have their phone out for an entire day? I know I'm supposed to suspend my disbelief but it's 2013 and horror movies at least have the "no service" excuse most of the time. And the group of hipster friends who agree to help their friend "sober up" decide to go to a remote cabin they haven't visted in years, because as I'm sure the nurse would agree, it is more effective than a rehabilitation center. come you didn't text me last night?.....

As for the gore, Evil Dead serves up more than enough gallons of bodily fluids to satisfy bloodthirsty fans. The weapons range from a chainsaw, meat cutter, box cutter, and syringe which are all used to puncture and mutilate every bodily orifice available and most of the wounds are tended to with duct tape (Probably from the nurse's first-aid kit). One character raids the shed and builds a makeshift defibrillator out of jumper cables. 

If there is any redeeming quality to the film it is from Jane Levy's range and intensity in her performance and some of the homages to the original are appreciated while others were unnecessary like the updated rape scene or the necklace David gives to his sister at the beginning of the film. Alvarez's Evil Dead certainly had potential to update a classic but it veers so far off course by the end that by the credits the thought of a sequel  is scarier than the film itself. You're better off staying home and watching the originals.

Also: if you're a fan of the originals stay after the credits. 

My Rating:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Action Bronson Live in Toronto

Action Bronson is one of the few new artists I haven't seen live yet, but from concert videos like this he shows why you don't want to miss his set. Noisey was there to capture the hilarious footage of Bronsolino freestyling, crowd-surfing, stretching and working as his own security while rapping with massive energy. 

Action Bronson was recently named one of XXL's 11 Freshmen this year, despite having been around since 2011, but hey as long as pfeople recognize how dope he is; better late than never. Check out his latest single "Strictly 4 The Jeeps", produced by Harry Fraud. The song features an infamous sample from Biggie's "Juicy" at the beginning and another one from EPMD's "Rampage" (which features a show-stealing verse from LL Cool J) through most of the song

Bronson released two of my favorite projects last year, Blue Chips (with Party Supplies) and Rare Chandeliers (with The Alchemist) and his new album Saab Stories, with Harry Fraud, is coming this year after he postponed it in 2012. It will be his first full length album released under Vice Records. Check out the duo's latest collaborations "Morey Boogie Boards" and "Compliments 2 the Chef". And another hilarious concert video.

Listen and download "Strictly 4 The Jeeps" below.

Sean Price - Bar-Barian (Official Music Video)

"Bar-Barian", one of the best tracks from Sean Price's latest album Mic Tyson now has some snowy visuals. The video features some Street Fighter thugs dressed in viking attire and Sean Price in a Game of Thrones inspired hooded vest. The song is produced by The Alchemist (@Alchemist) and the video is directed by Isaac Aguirre and even though these aren't my favorite visuals from P, see STFU, Pt. 2, do you hear these bars??

"I don't want to dougie, I just want money/study under the understudy the one-twenty/young dummies can't spar/no life, my flow tight, like your pants are"

And those are just the opening lines! If you haven't already buy Mic Tyson on iTunes now.  

New Movies: The Purge (Offical Trailer)

From the producer of Paranormal Activity and Sinister comes The Purge, an uneasy mixture between Battle Royale (2000) and The Strangers (2008). The film stars Ethan Hawke, who recently starred in Sinister (the last good horror movie I've seen in years) and Lena Headey from Game of Thrones (currently my favorite show on TV) and the premise foresees a disturbing future for America.

Due to overpopulated prisons and the crime rate the government allows 12 hours of anarchist freedom where the police lines are turned off, hospitals are closed down and illegal activities become fair game; this is "the purge". When a family (hiding from the frenzy in their safeguarded home) takes in a stranger on the run, they stand between a group of masked maniacs and their "target" for the purge. The madness can be seen May 31st when it hits theaters.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Joey Bada$$ - Day In The Life (Prod. by Harry Fraud)

Rap enthusiast Peter Rosenberg from Hot 97 put together a collection of New York artists on a mixtape and the result is New York Renaissance. The premier track on the tape, "Day In The Life", features Joey Bada$$ one of the best lyricists in the game right now (And he's only 18!) and is produced by Harry Fraud, one of the most notable producers in recent years. It's a dopeass track aside from the overused "flipped like recipicrals" punchline. Listen and download to the mixtape here.

Also listen and download to Harry Fraud's latest mixtape Adrift featuring various artists like Action Bronson, Kool G Rap and Danny Brown.

Drake - 5AM In Toronto (Music Video)

Drake recently dropped the video for his song "5AM In Toronto" the sequel to his original "9AM In Dallas" after putting out "Started From The Bottom", the first single from his new album

Drake said "That might be like my first viral video. Doing it for the city this time around. Well every time but this time especially" on Twitter and there's not much happening throughout other than weed smoke, a club scene and half-naked women playing volleyball. What else do you need? 

The song is the strongest song lyrically that he's put out in years and the simple video footage gives the viewer a chance to listen to the subliminal's specifically aimed at The Weeknd and Chris Brown. His new album Nothing Was The Same is set to drop later this year.

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