‘Evil Dead’ Review

evil_dead

Dir: Fede Alvarez (short film Panic Attack)

Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore

Synopsis: Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival

Before I get into the review I want to get this out. Please try to see this with a neutral mindset. Yes, it is a remake/reboot of Sam Raimi’s classic Evil Dead film. I know the “hardcore fans” have been down talking the movie, which is fair since most remakes/reboots don’t tend to be all that good, but if you try to at least put aside what made Raimi’s Evil Dead great and know this is not trying to be that but it’s own thing then you will enjoy it, trust me. Last bit, if you seen the trailers then you know what you’re walking into somewhat so please don’t complain like A LOT of people are doing AND the movie is produced by Sami Raimi and Bruce Campbell so it’s not like they did to cash on the name and make more money. Alright onward to the review.

The beginning of the movie really kicks things off and pretty much lays out how the rest of the movie will go tone and horror wise with characters that we won’t see for the rest of the movie. From there we are introduced to our characters that are there to help one of their friends, Mia (Levy) who has a drug problem. Among the friends are Eric (Pucci), Olivia (Lucas), Natalie (Blackmore) and her estranged brother David (Fernandez).

While Mia is confronting her own horrors of withdrawal, her friends find the cellar filled with some very unpleasant things but also find a mysterious book which is in a trash bag wrapped in barbed wire (which really should be a sign). While the group deals with Mia’s withdrawal symptoms, Eric is fascinated by the idea of the book and of course reads from it despite the warnings. Once he reads it we see the familiar “demon POV speeding through the woods” shot and from this point is when start to see the Evil Dead we know, or at least some of it.

The evil, if that’s what you want to call, does all that it can make sure that no one leaves the cabin and of course starts to posses and kill the people in the cabin. The movie does have a similar structure to Raimi’s and embraces them with sounds, imagery and even some dialogue. If you are said hardcore fan I’m sure you can even find some “Easter eggs/homage” in the background. It even plays with the audience a bit knowing that they are looking for things or even specific scenes from the original to be in there.

Obviously I don’t want to give too much away but needless to say this movie is almost different and similar to the original. The movie does focus a bit more on the characters like Mia, Lou Taylor Pucci’s Eric and David. But let’s face it, the read star of the movie is the horror and boy there is a good chuck of it. The movie hardly gives you a break from the horror and the tremendous amount of blood (apparently there was over 50,000 gallons used in the movie!). The gore might throw some people off and it is definitely cringe worthy most of time, although you can also thank the movie for using practical effects over CG for the majority of the movie. 

The movie does lose some momentum at times especially nearing the movies last act but that last act really reels you back in and dare I almost makes the movie. Director Fede Alvarez does a great job of creating his own story and themes but also while keeping the essence of what made Raimi’s movie a favorite almost fans.

All in all, Evil Dead is a cringe-worthy bloody good time that I think hardcore fans can enjoy if they accept the fact that this is not trying to replace Raimi’s version but its trying to be a part of it. The movie does turn the creepy factor on high and if you like gallons of blood this is the movie for you. Also, if you like, stay after the credits for something small.

Evil Dead

4.5 out of 5

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Big News Items for the month of March

Alright ladies and gentlemen, I figured I do something new and I’ve actually wanted to do this for quite a while now but never actually did it. Now I know a lot of movie news items come out every month but I figured I’d take the “big” one and write a little something about them. So after you read them let me know what you think of the idea and if you would like to see more of this at the end of every month or more often, for example every week.

 

In no particular order

(Expect this one) Rumor that Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, and Zack Snyder would come back for the Justice League/World’s Finest movie

The news items for March really kicked off with the “atomic bomb” of all comic book news items. The rumor was that Nolan would be the man that Warner Brothers wanted to over look the DC Universe and would act as a producer from this point forward. It continued with Bale possibly returning to once again play Bruce Wayne/Batman alongside Henry Cavill Man of Steel’s Superman/Clark Kent in the long gestured Justice League of America OR a World’s Finest movie. (For those non-comic book fans, World’s Finest is essentially just Batman and Superman). The last bit was that Zack Snyder would come back as the director of either those two movies and David Goyer (writer of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel) would likely return as well.

Now obviously this is a HUGE rumor and should only be taken as a grain of salt. But, this came from the Latino Review which has a good track record when it comes to some exclusive comic book news. Would this be cool? For some yes (like me) and some no. Not everybody liked the “dark, gritty and grounded approach” that Christopher Nolan bought into The Dark Knight Trilogy and now into Superman but honesty ask yourself, “Would you want Nolan, who in my mind has a great track record, or somebody new that could possibly mess it up?”

The other thing that people have bought up is if Nolan is willing to almost erase his ending and arc of The Dark Knight Rises in order to bring back Christian Bale? And would WB sign Bale for more than just one movie? Well at this point no one is saying anything and I will only believe it when I see it. WB actually said that the fate of the JLA movie would depend on the success of Man of Steel but that was before WB threw out the script by Will Beall (Gangster Squad).

 

Veronica Mars movie greenlit thanks with help of KickStarter and fans

            Well this is a first. Series creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell have always said they would love to do a Veronica Mars movie based off their cult favorite TV show that was canceled after three seasons (all season available on Netflix). But Thomas and Bell asked Warner Brothers, the right holders to Mars, if they could get two million dollars would they greenlight the movie, of course the answered yes. Then Thomas and Bell took to Kickstarter and raised the two million in a record breaking ten hours!

This pleased fans that have been waiting for more Veronica Mars but it also now opened the door for other possible TV shows that ended too early and some creators have even flirted with using Kickstarter like Chuck and Pushing Daises. However don’t hold your breath for a Firefly/Serenity from Joss Whedon because he already said it’s not going to happen since he’s tied up at Marvel for the next two to three years. However he did say it would be a “game changer.” While some will agree with Whedon the other part of all of this is what the people that really “win” in this situation is WB.

The concern is that Kickstarter might be “selling out” since the primary use for Kickstarter is not big studio companies but small independent filmmakers. The fear is that more companies may see the success of Veronica Mars and have fans pay for a chunk of the budget. Fans really don’t get the backend of the box office haul, they will only get the satisfaction of knowing they were responsible (if they gave money toward the Kickstarter) for getting the movie made.

Do I see other companies doing this? Yes. Companies are always looking for a way to spend less money on a project if they can. The main thing here is that we can finally see everybody’s favorite PI come back.

 

Western Drama Jane Got a Gun had some behind the scenes drama

Every once awhile we hear some drama on a movie set. Whether it’s that the project has run into production trouble with the budget or it running behind its shooting schedule. Or it’s just to bad from the beginning (I’m looking at you World War Z). Well apparently it’s happened again and for yet another project I was looking forward to.

Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) was set to direct Jane Got a Gun which see Natalie Portman (who also is a producer) trying to protect her outlaw husband from the gang he betrayed with her ex-lover who still has feelings for her. Ramsay surprisingly didn’t show up the first day of shooting and left her cast and crew hanging. Although the full story as to why she dropped out is yet to come out there are some theories that she had some personal issues that didn’t allow her to take the directors chair.

However, this isn’t the first hit the film took. Originally the outlaw husband was supposed to be played by Joel Edgerton (Warrior, Zero Dark Thirty) and the ex-lover was supposed to be played by Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Prometheus). But scheduling conflicts with X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fassbender dropped out and left the movie without one of the main three characters. Good news came when Edgerton stepped out of the villain husband role and into the ex-lover role because Jude Law boarded the film to play Portman’s husband. Also, Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) came in as a director for the film.

But, of course the film lost Jude Law too because news reports say he only joined because he wanted to work with Ramsay. Now producers and O’Connor are looking for someone to replace Law and the names there going for, at least at the moment, are Jack Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, and Jeff Bridges.

 

Joss Whedon says Planet Hulk is NOT happening and that he wouldn’t bring back original stars for Star War Episode 7

Joss Whedon has been a busy man this month. He premiered his Shakespeare adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing but of course people can’t help but to ask him questions that involve Marvel and other nerd worthy movies. The first was his denial of the rumored possible storyline for Avengers 2 and possibly Avengers 3 that would have been based on the highly popular comic book Planet Hulk and World War Hulk.

I know many fans were giddy at the possibility of this rumor being true but when the man behind Marvel, at least at the moment, came out and said it’s not happening many were disappointed. I from the beginning knew this would be HIGHLY ambitious for Marvel to pull off and the other fact is that those stories feature very little of Bruce Banner that Marvel would really have no need in having Mark Ruffalo which would really suck.

Little bit later in the month, Whedon was asked what he would do if he directed Star War Ep: 7 (which he was rumored to direct when it was first announced) and if he would bring back the original cast of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. His answered surprised some when he said “No.”

Of course there has been multiple stories that Ford, Fisher, and Hamill saying they are in and saying they are out and has lead many fans to voice their opinion if they want them back. I personally wouldn’t mind to see them but only if it was a “passing of the torch” type of scene.

 

Sam Mendes isn’t returning for Bond 24

If you saw Skyfall you know that it was arguably one of the best Bond movies made. It was most likely to the darker tone and more personal/emotion aspects of the James Bond character. But I think the real success is thanks to director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) who was able to capture all of things and make a great Bond movie.

An original story had come out that Mendes was almost set to return but Mendes apparently misjudged his schedule and now won’t be able to return. I understand “scheduling conflicts” in Hollywood, especially if you’re a high profile figure but I’m still upset that Mendes won’t be back in the director’s chair since he did a damn good job with Bond.

Watchmen killed the Bioshock movie

If you’re a video game fan you where probably looking forward to the game adaptation of Bioshock. The movie had a descent track record going for it at first, Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3, The Lone Ranger) was on board to direct and wanted to make the movie a hard rated R horror movie. This made video gamers happy that it would be keeping in tone with the source material. However, years and years passed and nothing happened. Verbinski eventually left after Universal Studios didn’t take agree with a high budget ($200 Million) R rated horror movie idea.

But now the real story has come out as to why the movie really didn’t happen and it was all thanks to the graphic novel adaptation of Watchmen. Yes, that’s right Alan Moore’s popular graphic novel adaptation killed the chances of seeing a high budget rated R movie.

According to Ken Levine (one of the people behind the game) spoke about this and how Watchmen killed the movie saying “but it didn’t do well for whatever reason and the studio got cold feet about making an R-rated $200 million film.” He went on to say they bought in someone else and he didn’t like the idea and he decided to kill the movie.

It’s actually been a while since I’ve played Bioshock but I do think a Bioshock movie could work if they got the right team behind it and don’t go too far away from the source material.

Colin Trevorrow to direct Jurassic Park 4

With the 3D re-release of Jurassic Park on April 5 for the 20th anniversary, what other kind of news would Jurassic Park fans want? Oh that’s right the news that another movie would be made. Then news came out that newcomer director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) would be directing with the script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).

I actually thought Safety Not Guaranteed wasn’t that bad of a movie and I think Trevorrow can do something cool and refreshing. But, I think we all are excited (or somewhat at least) for another JP movie.

 

Dwayne Johnson’s Fast Five/Fast and Furious 6 Hobbs could get own spin-off

That’s right! Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has confirmed rumors that his character that was introduced in Fast Five, Luke Hobbs, will be getting a spin-off movie. However the question is when? Originally the plan was supposed to be Johnson filming the spin-off in between Fast and Furious 6 and Fast and Furious 7 but it now turns out that Vin Diesel says filming for part 7 will shoot this summer. So it looks like the Hobbs spin-off will now happen after filming of part 7.

Honestly I pretty excited about this. I think it would be cool to see more the Hobbs character go off on his own and catch some other person.

 

Robert Redford joins Captain America: The Winter Solider

Yes you read that right. Robert Redford has joined the cast of a Marvel movie! Saying he likes the idea “of stepping into new territory.” Why make a big deal out of this? Well Redford hasn’t done “Hollywood movie” since Spy Games. He’s been sticking mostly to independent work and directing his own movies, which isn’t a bad thing. This is a huge in the fact that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has said Winter Soldier would be more of a “political thriller” which is right up Redford’s ally.

No word yet on who exactly he’s playing besides the fact that he plays somebody that is high up in S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Head of S.H.I.EL.D next to, or above, Nick Fury.

 

Is there still hope for the Deadpool and Venom movies?

Yes believe it or not some are still trying to make a Deadpool. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) who are involved in trying to make both Deadpool and more recently the spin-off Venom movie talked a bit about their vision for those movies and if or when we’ll be able to see those. Of course fans of these two popular comic book characters

            Let’s first talk about Deadpool since it’s been in development for a LONG time. Ryan Reynolds, who played his counter part Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is passionate about the project and has not backed out which is what usually happens when you’re attached to a project for a while. Rhett and Wernick finally said that Fox wasn’t really ready to “pull the trigger” on a Rated R comic book since all other comic book movies are pretty much rated PG-13.

            As for the Venom movie, it almost seems like their no longer involved Wernick said that they did indeed work on the script but “it likely will not become a movie in that form. Too many things have happened in between now and then and different people have been involved, and it’s just likely not to happen in the form that we wrote it, unfortunately”

Which is unfortunate because it sounded like their pitch was a “realistic, grounded, a little more dark take on the character.” Wernick even said “Imagine a symbiote traveling across a city at some point in the movie, jumping from body to body as it goes, and each person that it inhabits ends up becoming really violent and striking someone else and then it jumps to the next person.  There was a really cool sequence like that in there”

I’m actually looking forward to these movies, if they even happen. I like Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and a Venom movie has a lot of potential if they get the right director and actor.

 

Why Will Smith turned down Django Unchained.

If you were a fan of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained imagine what the movie would have been like with Will Smith as Django and not Jaime Foxx. Smith was apparently Tarantino’s first choice for the role but Smith turned it down because “Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!” That other character Smith was referring to was Christoph Waltz Dr. King Schultz.

Smith did say he liked the movie but it’s not like it erases he’s comments from that. But don’t act surprised here. Actors (especially high profile actors like Smith) have some tendencies of coming in and rewriting an already established script. Without going into spoilers Smith does say something about his character that he thinks he should have done.

When you look at it at as a whole, Django Unchained did really have two co-leads in Foxx’s Django and Waltz’s Schultz. Was Smith being a little ego driven? Maybe but the movie turned out to be pretty good anyway with Foxx’s performance and I don’t know if I could see Smith doing that role the way Foxx did.

 

Does Man of Steel have another familiar villain?

We’ve know for some time now that Michael Shannon will play General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel movie. However, hardcore Superman fans have wondered if we’ll see another villain that is a common presence in the comics and even in the others movies, Lex Luthor.

Screenwriter David Goyer had suggested that another classic Superman villain would show up but never said who. Ain’t It Cool News reported that Mackenzie Gray, who played a Luthor clone in an episode of Smallville, appears in Man of Steel playing an “ambitious, ego driven and cold version of Luthor” who has a significant role in the story’s endgame.

Of course this isn’t a confirmed report despite it coming from the pretty much reliable Harry Knowles. However, some people are taking his as a “grain of salt” (which they should) but also questioning it since Knowles as been making the public rounds recently. He was featured in a Hollywood Reporter story and Peter Jackson (yes that one!) talked about how much he loved Knowles. Now don’t get me wrong, if Luthor is in the movie in some sort of form okay.

Remember Christopher Nolan is producing the movie and he didn’t bring in Batman’s main nemesis until the second movie. It doesn’t mean he’s doing the same thing here but let’s face it, not having Luthor in a Superman movie in some form would be just a little weird.

 

Roland Emmerich gives Independence Day sequel details

We all remember Emmerich’s 1996 alien invasion movie. About last year Emmerich confirmed that he wanted to move forward with not one but two sequels to Independence Day and it made some fans excited and some fans worried. The movies having a working title of ID Forever Part 1 and ID Forever Part 2 and will apparently take place 20 years after the events of the first film. The events are also set into motion because of a distress call sent back to the aliens home planet from the first film.

Emmerich revealed that the sequel’s story is set into motion when a distress call sent back to the aliens’ home planet from the first film to brings reinforcements, which doesn’t sound that bad. Also, if you’re wondering if Will Smith will return well brace yourself.

The sequels will be a mix of characters from the original film and newcomers, with the primary focus being on the latter: “While there may be some familiar faces in the sequels, Bill Pullman has already confirmed that he is onboard; Will Smith has not, their storylines will focus on a new generation of human heroes, including the stepson of Will Smith’s Independence Day character.”

Also the movie may have a cliffhanger ending to keep audiences coming back for more. “The first one ends on a little success, but only enough to give the humans hope. And then in the second one they free themselves again [from the aliens]”

I don’t know how I feel about about Independence Day movie oh I mean movies. Usually movies that wait a long time to do a sequel usually don’t do so well quality wise, of course there are exceptions. If the material and trailer looks cool I’ll be in.