Sunday, August 14, 2011

'Til Death Do Us Part


Final Destination: A class of high school students is going on a trip to Paris. The plane takes off, and everyone dies. The End. Or not...turns out it was all a dream. Until it starts to happen. Cue airplane freakout, a handful of people getting kicked off, and the plane exploding as predicted. Now death wants to get the people that escaped. What follows is a series of convoluted deaths, an FBI investigation, and the inevitable twist ending. Like I said, the deaths are sometimes a bit convoluted, but they are all fun to watch. There are so many things happening during the death scene, it is almost a game to see what the eventual demise will be. There is also an interesting plot development where if you manage to avoid your death, you are skipped over for the next person on the list.

Final Destination 2: A group of friends are going on a trip when a horrific pileup on the freeway kills them all. Except it is all a premonition again. A bunch of people who were meant to die end up living, and are now marked for death. This time, they are dying in reverse order to when they should have died in the accident. Once again, we have convoluted and insane deaths happening. Some fun gore on a couple too (loved the window pane best of all). This time, the way to stop death is to have new life that was not meant to be. A pregnant woman who should have died in the crash much give birth for all to live. The only movie to have a returning survivor in it, this is a pretty good sequel that takes the ideas of the original and twists them.

Final Destination 3: High school seniors at an amusement park die on a roller coaster, except they don't. Death stalks them all, killing them in order. This time around, however, there are clues as to how they will die. Each had a picture taken that gave cryptic hints as to what their eventual fate would be. Now we have the3 fun game of not only trying to remember who dies when, but also trying to figure out what the picture will mean in the end. The deaths are not quite as "rube goldberg" as the other movies, but are equally fun due to to addition of having a clue about the impending doom.

The Final Destination: The usual beginning. Horrible accident at a racetrack that is just a premonition. More deaths of a crazy and convoluted variety. Honestly, this one was sort of forgettable. I had to look up the movie online to remember what the major deaths were. While I liked the death in the pool, and the escalator death was a nice image from the trailer, the majority of this was sort of uneventful in my mind. I do like how the end was a nice twist on the usual tropes of the movies. I think this movie more than likely was relying on the 3D gags to work, but I saw it in 2D on DVD, so I missed those. All the better for me, I think, as I hate 3D that relies on gags.

Final Destination 5: A return to the basics. A bunch of people are going on a business retreat (though they all look far too young to be executives) when a bridge collapses. Thanks to the inevitable premonition, they survive. One difference here is that the premonition doesn't give nearly the same amount of prep time as normal. Not that it matters, since everyone who tries to gets away and we know they will all be dying anyhow. We get more of the convoluted deaths, some of which are incredibly fun. We also find out that, in this case, death will let you live if you take the life of another. Basically, you kill a person when you are marked to die and you get their years. This makes for an odd turn later in the movie, but I can forgive that small issue. The final ending is also quite fun, tying the movie in with the rest of the series nicely.

Overall, I love this series. Decent plot development. Fun gore gags. Interesting game of guessing just how each death will happen, as well as trying to remember what order they should occur in. Good use of premonitions and hints of future events. All in all, a great franchise that I would be ok with seeing more added to. My only real complaint is the last two movies have been done in 3D. I am not a big fan of the 3D craze, and find some of the techniques used to be pandering rather than necessary. I hope that this fad will die down before another of these comes out. Otherwise, loving this series.

A Hunger Satisfied

I don't remember how I heard about these movies. I just know I found a bundle for them at Walmart and bought them off of some half remembered memory of the name.

Feast: What we have here is a goofy movie with an interesting premise. A bar of random people, each given a silly nickname and bio as they are introduced, is attacked by a group of monsters. Said monsters seem to be motivated by two things: eating and procreating. Base emotions but a workable motivation. What follows the initial attack is a series of the usual arguments, gross out effects, and the eventual survival of a small handful of protagonists. Overall, a decently fun movie. I did appreciate the fact that they play with assumptions with actors and roles in the movie. To say more on that would spoil the fun.

Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds: Taking place the day after the first movie, we have the beasts taking on a nearby small town. The survivors of the last movie are back (minus the two bigger actors, who I assume were to expensive to rehire). Along for the ride are a set of new characters to watch and hate. Really, not a lot of likable characters in this one at all. We get more of the stupid nickname/bio stuff, more monster vomit melting people, and more monster cum shots. This time around, there is more of a lowbrow humor than the last, as well as less of the horror element. Part of that is due to actually seeing the creatures better this time around. The movie has a sort of anticlimactic ending, where it all leads up to something that doesn't happen. Still fun, but less than the last entry.

Feast 3: The Happy Finish: Once again, set immediately after the last movie. once again full of bios, vomit melt, and monster semen. Survivors of the last movie, with the requisite surprising return, try to escape town. This time there is the indication that the monsters can be controlled. Kind of an interesting plot element. This movie is also the worst of the bunch. Nearly no horror, almost all camp. I mean, we have an action star who loses his arms and is told to walk it off. Let me reiterate...he loses his arms, survives this, and is told to stop complaining about little things like that. Blech. One thing I had a love/hate relationship with was the ending. It was funny, and random. It also felt like the writers had no idea what to do with the thing, so they tossed some random element in and called it good.

A movie series that started out strong, and lost steam as the movies went along. It could almost have been a Troma series, if the production values and humor had been worse. I like how the movie started with a decent motivation for the monsters (revenge plus primal nature). I like how the first movie feels like a good monster siege with some interesting twists. I do not like how the following movies proceeded to lose that edge in favor of fart and sex jokes. I do not like how the initial revenge motivation just sort of drops off in favor of stereotyped characters and stupid jokes. I sort of like the ending of the last one, in that it makes me laugh when I think of it. But, I also dislike it for making me laugh when I want to be thoughtful or intrigued after a horror movie. overall, i can't say these are worth picking up. Maybe netflix or something if you are bored.