More New October Netflix Listings – HGTV Food Travel DiY

If the list seems overwhelming, it is because Netflix has a new deal with the HGTV/Food/Travel/DIY group of channels.

Hit!

Action/Adventure: Hit!

Comedy: Bad Johnson, Monique Marvez: Not Skinny Not Blonde, Pride: The Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam, Swearnet Live

Documentary: American Jesus, American Promise, Ancient Extraterrestrials: Aliens & UFOs, Caucus, Documented, Everything or Nothing, Ken Burns: The Address, Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present, Please Subscribe, Under the Electric Sky, Watermark

Drama: Murder on the Home Front

Family: Curious George: A Halloween Boofest

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Vikingdom

14 Blades

Foreign: 14 Blades

The Town that Dreaded Sundown

Horror: Big Ass Spider!, Carrie (2013), The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

Television: America Declassified, American Masters: Billie Jean King, The Brian Boitano Project, Buying & Selling, Chopped: Collection, Color Splash Collection, Cousins on Call, Cupcake Wars Collection, Cutthroat Kitchen, The Dead Files, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives Collection, Flea Market Flip, Ghost Adventures Collection, Good Eats Collection, Holmes Inspection Collection, Hostages, Hotel Impossible, House Hunters Collection, House Hunters International Collection, How to Start a Movement, Income Property Collection, Love It or List It Collection, Mysteries at the Museum Collection, 11 new Nature specials, Nazi Hunters, Off Limits Collection, The Pioneer Woman Collection, Property Brothers, Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day, Rehab Addict Collection, Reign, Restaurant Impossible Collection, SciGirls, Selling New York Collection, Sid the Science Kid, Wild Kratts, and new episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Collection, Man v. Food, The Vampire Diaries, and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman

Carrie Why?

I just saw the Carrie remake at the theater.

Carrie

 

Carrie (2013) – Rated R

A reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.

The other kids, they think I’m weird. But I don’t wanna be, I wanna be normal. I have to try and be a whole person before its to late.

One Line Review: Unnecessary remake poorly handled, CGI blood laughable.

Obviously the big question besides ‘is it any good?’ would be ‘why remake Carrie yet again?’. After all, the 1976 film from Brian de Palma is an absolute classic, carefully paced, well-acted, and inventively filmed with a hard-to-beat finale and a coda that has since been copied in dozens of other horror movies.

People were respectful enough to leave Carrie alone until 1999. This is the year The Rage: Carrie 2 was released, with a different telekinetic teen suffering a very similar series of circumstances. Amy Irving reprised her role as Sue Snell. In 2002, Carrie was rebooted as a TV movie starring Angela Bettis. Despite the story being framed as a Greek tragedy, this was planned as a television series. Thankfully that did not get off the ground.

Carrie is a wonderful story about high school bullying and not fitting in. Carrie 2013 director Kimberly Peirce wrote and directed Boys Don’t Cry, a great story about bullying and gender identity. One would think that that would make her uniquely qualified to helm a bully-centric version of Carrie. Unfortunately this aspect is barely touched upon.

Very little of Lawrence D. Cohen’s script has been rewritten. Many scenes are verbatim from the 1976 original. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa makes a few modernizing tweaks. The filming and YouTubing of the shower incident are excellent ideas, straight from the headlines. Unfortunately they aren’t handled very well and don’t ultimately have the impact one would hope.

More of Carrie’s burgeoning abilities are covered. Unfortunately they are handled as if she is training them. In the original, the telekinesis comes across more as a force of nature, supporting the Greek tragedy aspects. Here she trains her powers and everything is much more deliberate. Instead of Carrie losing control, you sit there wondering why she didn’t do ‘x’.

Only a spoiler if you haven’t seen any version of Carrie nor read the book: Normally I only talk about endings in the vaguest of terms but, as this is a reboot of a remake, I feel safe mentioning Prom. Prom is the big showpiece of any Carrie. Brian de Palma used multiple camera angles and an inventive use (at the time) of split-screen. Kimberly Peirce’s version is even worse than the made-for-TV version. The CGI blood looks like very weak kool-aid that defies the laws of physics. Apparently in 37 years, we have regressed in the art of special effects. Honestly, I should put LOL as the bucket drop actually made me laugh out loud in the theater.

There are a few nice things to say about the remake but only a few. iPhones and YouTube are certainly necessary updates, even though they are mishandled. The bass effects are well done (too bad the visual effects money was spent on sound design). The lead is age-appropriate – it was a little hard to believe that 27-year-old Sissy Spacek was having her first period. Most of the rest of the cast are actors in their mid-20s playing high school students, just like in the original.

Julianne Moore does a fine job with Piper Laurie’s role but is not better than Laurie. Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass, Let Me In), who I normally love is okay here but Spacek’s performance was much more nuanced. The other actors were okayish but could not exceed the material.

Carrie isn’t downright awful except for the Prom sequence. and the road sequence following. and a few of the earlier scenes. Anyway it’s not awful, just not particularly good.

FREE Movie Tickets – Machete Kills Carrie Escape Plan

Yay a good wave of FREE movie tickets has just hit including a one-day only ticket.

Machete Kills

* Machete Kills did not debut very well. AMC is offering a buy one ticket, get one FREE coupon on Machete Kills (coupon can be readily found online). Regal has upped that with a buy one ticket, get one FREE and get a FREE small popcorn with EACH ticket (no coupon needed). The caveat is that this is only good on Saturday, October 19th. Check with your local theater as this may be a nationwide promotion for most theaters.

Escape Plan

* Stallone and Schwarzenegger return in Escape Plan today. FREE tickets for this movie may be found on select copies of Red heat, Total Recall, The Expendables, The Expendables 2, The Cold Light of Day, Dredd, The Last Stand, Safe, T2, Sin City, Red, Man on a Ledge, Haywire, and the Rambo series of Blu-Rays at Best Buy.

Carrie

* The Carrie remake also opens today. FREE tickets to that may be scored off select copies of Amityville Horror (either), Carrie (original), Child’s Play, Donnie Darko, Haunting of Molly Hartley, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Jeepers Creepers, Kalifornia, Last House on the Left (original), Mirrors, The Omen (either), Poltergeist II, Return of the Living Dead, Species, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Stephen King

I think the most wonderful thing Stephen King has done is to help make horror mainstream. If you are caught reading Edgar Allan Poe, people think ‘school assignment’. If you are caught reading H.P. Lovecraft, people think ‘geek’. If you are caught reading Stephen King, people wonder why you still read in this day and age but at least they don’t wonder about what you are reading.

Stephen King’s biggest strength has always been characterization – his plots are not dissimilar from those of other horror writers but his books feel real because the characters feel real. There are currently 5 Stephen King films available on Instant Netflix.

Carrie

1. Carrie (1976) – “Carrie (Sissy Spacek) is an ostracized girl saddled with a strict mother. But the teen has the ability to move objects with her mind, and when the high school “in crowd” torments her with a sick joke at the prom, she lashes out with devastating, deadly power. Director Brian De Palma deftly transfers Stephen King’s first novel to the screen”

Stephen King and Brian De Palma, both on the rise prior to this film, take off like a rocket after it’s release. This adaptation is excellent, Sissy Spacek is heartbreakingly vulnerable as a young girl abused both by her mother and by her peers. Brian De Palma’s use of splitscreen is wonderful, particularly during the climactic prom sequence. John Travolta has a wonderful time playing a slimeball.

*Minor Spoiler* – the fake ending has since become a (severely overused) staple of horror movies.

Cat's Eye

2. Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (1985) – “Three shocking Stephen King short stories are linked by a stray cat that roams from one tale to the next. First, Dick (James Woods) is trying to quit smoking by any means necessary — even joining a shady self-help organization. Next, Johnny (Robert Hays) is an adulterous man forced by the wronged husband to circle a building’s hazardous ledge. Last, Amanda (Drew Barrymore) is threatened by an evil gnome who throws suspicion on the family cat”

Stephen King adaptations are almost always hit or miss. Surprise! This one is a miss. It isn’t bad – just overwhelmingly meh. The writing, directing, acting, and editing are all highly pedestrian – it’s hard not to get the impression that this was a paint-by-numbers made-for-TV movie.

Misery

3. Misery (1990) – “Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) rescues her idol, romance novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan), after he crashes his car during a fierce blizzard. But when she finds out he plans to kill off the heroine in his next volume, Annie morphs from nurturing caregiver to sadistic jailer. In this tightly wound, suspenseful adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Bates earns her Best Actress Oscar as a woman come undone in a claustrophobia-inducing house of horrors”

One of Stephen King’s most personal books is superbly adapted by writer William Goldman and director Rob Reiner. James Caan does a really nice job as the suffering writer but you won’t be able to keep your eyes off Kathy Bates’ amazing performance. This film also contains one of the most excruciating scenes ever – I dare you to see it for the first time and not wince or flinch.

People watch: look for the radiant Lauren Bacall in a small role.

The Shawshank Redemption

4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – “Framed in the 1940s for the double murder of his wife and her lover, upstanding banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) begins a new life at the Shawshank prison, where he puts his accounting skills to work for an amoral warden (Bob Gunton). During his long stretch in prison, Dufresne comes to be admired by the other inmates — including an older prisoner named Red (Morgan Freeman) — for his integrity and unquenchable sense of hope”

This is another wonderful Stephen King adaptation, this time directed by Frank Darabont who would go on to direct two more excellent King adaptations, The Green Mile and The Mist. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman give excellent performances and Darabont’s attention to period detail is wonderful. Clancy Brown and William Sadler provide nice backup but look for a scene-stealing James Whitmore as a long-time inmate.

Hearts in Atlantis

5. Hearts in Atlantis (2001) – “An elderly man (Anthony Hopkins) with bad eyesight and a gift for second sight moves into a widower’s home as a boarder and befriends the woman’s young son (Anton Yelchin), who reads to the aging visionary and learns of his mysterious power — and the danger he’s trying to escape. Set in the 1960s, this coming-of-age drama based on a short story by Stephen King came on the heels of the successful adaptation of King’s The Green Mile”

William Goldman again writes an excellent screenplay from a Stephen King story. This film is a charming story of Bobby’s coming of age as he comes to know the mysterious boarder. Anthony Hopkins provides his usual excellent performance and the young Bobby Garfield is played well by Anton Yelchin who recently gave a hilarious performance as Chekov in the new Star Trek movie. Look for a pre-Firefly Alan Tudyk in a small role. This movie is very¬†enjoyable but not a classic.