FRIDAY THE 13th
The original 1980 movie, directed by Sean S. Cunningham, is widely acclaimed for its horrifying and creative murder sequences. It was ground-breaking at the time and sent many film patrons screaming for the restrooms as their bladders ran amok. Over the course of the seemingly endless films in the original series, the killer (bad guy) Jason, went through numerous personal attacks that made him impervious to death. At one point in the series, Jason was actually dead, however a lightning bolt strike brought him back to life. After the series hit the third installment, I must admit that I lost interest in the series - having only screened the films more because I needed the story rather than wanting to actually see the picture. Well, here I am, back for more as the series seems to be re-imaging itself. This time, however, the story doesn’t focus on the death of his mother as was the case in the original installment. This time, the well known character of Jason Voorhees is substantially expanded upon and is the focal point of the story. Terror and suspense abound in this 24-hour nightmare of blood. Camp Crystal Lake has been closed down for over 20 years due to several vicious and unsolved murders. The camp’s new owner and seven young counselors are readying the property for re-opening despite warnings of a “death curse” by local residents. The curse proves true on Friday the 13th as one by one each of the counselors is stalked by a violent killer.
Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to vent for a moment. People often ask me on what criteria I base my rating of a film. Personally, I expect a film to take me somewhere. I expect movies to be able to sell something or be of a believable substance. When I watch a film such as Friday the 13th, I don’t get scared - I get angry. I get angry because the film simply isn’t believable. Oh, yes - sure, you could find stories of murderers traversing the countryside taking people out one at a time. Sure, I could buy that. But as a former educator who has seen the multitude of gray matter missing from so many of the youth of today, this film is an impossibility. Why do you ask? Because there is no way that a group of young adults, who recognize the fact a maniac is killing them off one at a time, would separate themselves from the pack so they could meet the wrong end of a machete, get run over by a speedboat, or even get the Paris Hilton treatment through the face with an arrow. Oh, and lest I forget the supernatural abilities of Jason Voorhees. The boy disappeared after drowning in the lake when he was eleven. Somehow, even with the brain damage done through his drowning, he cognitively put together that his mother was killed by a Camp Crystal Lake counselor. Its at that point when Jason began to train for his revenge. This tyke, all on his lonesome, became skilled as a professional electrician, learned to excavate a series of caves in the manner of professional warriors, and also taught himself the art of the bow and arrow that would rival Olympic competitors. This doesn’t even begin to explain how this kid, who grew up eating grapes and other shrubs, got a hold of the Human Growth Hormone that he had obviously been using since his early teens. Give me a physical break! Bottom line is that if the youth of today would actually permit themselves to be picked off one at a time as depicted in this film, then I say good riddance to them and this picture.
Friday the 13th
Starring: Jared Padalecki & Danielle Panabaker
Director: Marcus Nispel
Now Showing: In area Theatres
MPAA Rating: R
THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY: Season Four - Sony
The television family who defined a generation returns for a fourth season, stealing the hearts of American viewers young and old. Every kid wanted to be a part of the Partridge Family in the early 1970s, and the adventures of these pop sensations remain fresh, fun, and timeless. Shirley Partridge (Shirley Jones) was a widowed mom struggling to make ends meet, so she put together a band with her exceptionally talented children, and the rest was history. While enjoying their success in the fourth season, the family also does its best to stay grounded. Included here are all of the episodes of this final season.
BECKER: Season Two - Paramount
Ted Danson stars as Dr. Becker, a sharp-tongued physician whose arrogance is only matched by his dedication to his patients. Brash and opinionated, Becker is a specialist in rubbing people the wrong way. But beneath the prickly exterior Becker is really just a softhearted teddy bear--just don’t tell him that. Operating a small practice in the Bronx, Dr. Becker has an entourage of opponents/associates that includes happy-go-lucky neighbor Chris Konnors (Nancy Travis), dependable head nurse Margaret (Hattie Winston), and spoiled-rich-girl Linda (Shawnee Smith). With this wry series Ted Danson finally found success after Cheers, and an irascible character who would erase all memory of bartender Sam Malone.
MELROSE PLACE: Season Five - Paramount
A grownup, racier version of 90210, Melrose Place harked back to the days of classic nighttime soaps like Dynasty and Dallas while adding a decidedly younger, hipper edge with amped-up levels of sex, betrayal, murder, and a multiple personality or two. The backstabbing action centered on a group of fashionable, affluent 20-somethings living in a stylish apartment complex on the L.A. strip of the title: vulnerable ad exec Alison Parker (Courtney Thorne-Smith); her roommate/love interest, Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue); conniving doctor Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro); his sweetly innocent wife, Jane (Josie Bissett); her trashy stripper sister, Sydney (Laura Leighton); nice guy Jake Hanson (Grant Show); openly gay Matt Fielding (Doug Savant); tough New York transplant Jo Reynolds (Daphne Zuniga); the utterly psychotic Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross); manipulative rich girl Brooke Armstrong (Kristin Davis); and, of course, villainous vixen Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear).
THE ROCKER: Blu-ray - Fox
Slovenly drummer Robert “Fish” Fishman (Rainn Wilson) is booted out of his 1980s hair metal band, Vesuvius, right as they’re signed to a big label, crushing his dreams and leading to a 20-year stretch of office park employment. A second chance comes in the form of his overweight teenage keyboardist nephew (Josh Gad) who needs an emergency drummer for his band’s gig at the prom. It’s an odd match--an ‘80s metal guy in a teen emo-lite band (their name is A.D.D.)--but he’s soon offering fatherly counsel to fatherless boy singer Curtis (Teddy Geiger), giving hair gel tips to the foxy bassist (Emma Stone), and working to get the band a club gig. Soon A.D.D. is signed to the same label as Vesuvius, poised for major MTV-stardom, all leading to a big arena spot as the opening band for the dreaded Vesuvius. Fish needs to overcome his tantrum-throwing ways and step up to the kit, if he wants to impress Curtis’s hot mom (Christina Applegate) and outrock his former colleagues.
CLERKS 2: Blu-ray - Genius
Ten years ago best friends Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) were New Jersey mini-mall clerks still slacking off together in their early 20s. Now, Kevin Smith checks back in to see what kind of changes have rocked their lives -- in work, romance and their eternally raucous life philosophy. What he discovers is that never before have so many still done so little while having so much fun doing it. Now working in the fast-food universe, Dante and Randal have managed to maintain, and even hone, their in-your-face attitudes, agile skill with vulgarities and unbridled love of screwing with the customers. But they’re also faced with such shocking new prospects as marriage, leaving Jersey and finding real careers. Smith pushes his nothing-is-sacred humor right to the edge and then takes a leap as Dante and Randal invade the world of Mooby’s fast food restaurant, where the slogan is “I’m Eating It.” Behind the counter, where the only other employees are an uber-nerd (Trevor Fehrman) and an entirely too sexy manager (Rosario Dawson), Dante and Randal are free to offend anybody and everybody who so much as orders fries in their inimitably irreverent way. But, even as riotous debates rage between them over such burning matters as George Lucas v. Peter Jackson v. Jesus, change is on the horizon.