Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Round Table Discussion: Scream 4

This is the first installment of 'Round Table Discussion'. Essentially, it's a movie review. However, it is a group dynamic. Most of the time it will be a film we have all just seen together. We discuss comments directly after the experience at hand. This gives everyone a chance to explain his/her perspective on the movie. It will give the viewers a chance to see that not everyone shares the same opinions. As you get to know us, and our tastes, I'm sure you will enjoy the banter and even find yourself siding with one of our fellow bloggers. In this installment, you will be reading and hearing the voices of Michael, Andrew (Beam), and Gnasty (Gena). We recorded the conversation directly after the film. We are currently working out the logistics of 'Round Table', but this is our first attempt.


Let the blood bath begin...

Initial Thoughts

G: It was fun, and I thought it was better than Scream 2 and Scream 3. However, it was eerily like Scream at the beginning, but then definitely took some turns and twists that were unexpected (in comparison to Scream). The opening scene was awesome but after that the beginning could have been more creative. At first, I saw it travel a road I've seen before, and I was unsure how I felt about that. But it ended up having some nice alternatives. For instance, Trevor was implicated for a while as the killer just as they did with Billy in the first Scream. I'm really pleased who the killer was, needless to say. I loved the fame aspect that they tied into the killer's story, it was completely believable for this day and age. And I liked the technology use that ties in to our generation. Downside: It could have been a little more riskay, I think they could have done things a little differently, and killed off people a little sooner. It ran a little long. The previous characters all survived (SHOCK). I wish they killed off at least one of them. Somewhat predictable. I don’t think it was to die for (no pun intended) but I enjoyed it, it was certainly entertaining.

B: I guess I'll go in the middle because we’ll probably want to balance out me bashing this entire thing. I actually thought the movie was pretty atrocious. I'm a little upset I spent the $6.50 on the movie. The fun and entertaining aspect was lost on me, because I feel like I've already seen this sort movie before. Like G said there were new twists and kind of a different take then say the first 3 which, to be honest I'm not as familiar with, I haven’t seen those in a long, long time. I just remember getting in to those and wanting to see those because they were the R rated movies and that was the thing to see. I will admit, there may have been twists but I didn’t see them as serious twists, I just saw them as ‘oh alright I could see that’. It wasn’t something where I was like ‘OHHHH’. There weren’t any of those moments for me. I actually hated the beginning where they started playing the whole, ‘oh the typical horror movies, this is what happens in the the horror movies’. I thought that was really stupid but then it started becoming kind of smart more at the midpoint, but then they started continuing and it was like beating a dead horse. You know then it was like we get it, youre trying to satirize the whole horror movie genre. What I actually liked were some of the characters, like Jill's character. Kurvy was also really good in the movie. Oddly enough the veterans I thought were fucking terrible. David Arquette was never a good actor and to quote Keith Buckley, “ 'David Arquette is a great actor', no one has ever said that." I'll leave it at that.

M: I thought it was highly entertaining, as a horror fan boy. There were so many nods to the movies of the past. There were posters in the film room, loved that. The opening sequence referenced so many movies, and made fun of them at the same time. It was completely self aware of what it was doing. It didn’t break any boundaries. As much as it was similar to Scream in structure, it wasn’t what Scream did for the genre of horror. Back when Scream came out, horror was at a massive stand still and Wes Craven came out of nowhere with a reinvention of the slasher and did a great job with it. And now with Scream 4, he took that formula and almost kind of remade his own movie with the slight twists that have been mentioned. I also liked how he came in with commentary on the current state of horror and the blatant dig in the beginning of the film to the Saw movies, and torture porn, which has been the label placed on the Hostel movies and gore movies, that really have no point besides grossing audiences out. Clearly Craven, not a fan, made his point known. Also, I liked how the integration of technology in our lives was noted and I liked the social commentary at the end, ‘What do you have to do to be famous nowadays?’. You know our lives are constantly in the public eye and I thought that was a nice touch to make the film more relevant, a la George Romero with Dawn of the Dead and consumerism. So I thought it was more than met the eye. It didn’t break any boundaries, but like I said it was highly entertaining and kept me guessing until basically the very end. Some of my suspects got killed off, but I got it right in the end...50 percent right in the end. It was a really fun movie.

Scream 4 review sound bit by A Brief Intermission

Final Thoughts

G: I had fun. And I, I would watch it again and you know what? ... Yeah. I wasn't ready for final thoughts yet!
B: I kinda wish I had rented it. That’s one of the movies I probably would have sat home and maybe would have enjoyed it more..
M: With some beverages
B: …More under the influence. I wouldn’t mind next time someone else being on my side because being teamed up like this is a little difficult. It’s just one of those movies that I thought did not need to be made, I wasn’t asking for it. I guess maybe all the horror geeks were asking for it.
M: The horror community did not think it was going to be good. Reading all the blogs - reading the initial thoughts - there were groans like, ‘Uh, is Wes Craven really doing this? All his movies recently have been shit. Courtney Cox and all them, they’re in the past. Why is this being made? The series is dead and done with.' And now the general census is ..
M & G: It’s a pretty good movie.
B: Well hey, I'm not in the horror community.
M: Clearly.
G: I would hope they don't come out with a Scream 5. I really hope they don’t.
M: I agree with that.
G: He wanted to end on a good note and I think he did. He brought the franchise back up to say you know, ‘It was a good run, it had a good run’ and he can still make a good movie. Generations change, for instance, since the 90s to now... but I think it's still entertaining, you know in its own little niche of horror.
M: Final thoughts...I'm gonna echo a lot what I said at the beginning. I thought it was a nice little clever reinvention of Scream. A lot of nods to the horror movies of the past and I thought it was good commentary on the current state of horror, as well as some social commentary on the use of technology in our lives.
B: I actually did like that a lot. The whole bringing the social media sort of thing was good. [background laughter...Beam is playing Angry Birds while interrupting] I also enjoyed the 'what it takes to be famous' part. But that as well as some other things came a little too late for me. If I was going to like that movie, it shouldn't have been done a half hour later. And by that I mean the movie should have ended a half hour sooner.
G: They could have cut a couple things out.
M: To wrap up my final thoughts... If you're a fan of American horror and Slashers, then definitely go see this movie. If you want your faith in Wes Craven to be slightly reinstated, then this movie might do that for you because this is the best thing he's done since Scream, for sure.
[G stuttering]
B: Gena just fails all over the final thoughts.
G: I think parts could have been cut, it could have been more creative. But, I liked what they played into from the franchise and I like what they changed. It ran a little too long, the original actors sucked and that was the worst part of the film for me. However, I think it was fun, the kills were good and anyone who like Scream will thoroughly enjoy Scream 4.
M: Agreed. Except Beam.
B: I will say the whole Anthony Anderson - Bruce Willis thing.... Not funny.


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