Monday, May 09, 2005

House of Wax

Friday, I went to see the matinee ($6 is a matinee price? Apparently United Artists thinks so) of House of Wax at the nearby UA Eastchase Market, since my usual theater (Cinemark...where the matinee is $3. HELLO!) wasn't showing it. I invited my friend Derik to go with me, since he was just as anxious to see it as I was.

So, we get there, eventually, after being stuck behind, of all things, a funeral procession (seriously). Derik voices my sentiments exactly: "Six dollars? I thought it was $3." And I was like "It is $ Cinemark. This is the most expensive theater we have." We then decide to peruse the exorbitantly-priced concession stand. Derik opted for the $5 small popcorn, while I'm ashamed to admit, I paid $4 for a friggin' medium Mr. Pibb. At these prices, this better be the best goddamn Pibb I've ever sucked out of a straw!

We walk into a completely empty theater. Hurray! Naturally, it didn't stay empty for too long and we ended up seeing the movie with 3 couples and 2 singles. One older couple (maybe in their 50's/60's) asked us if this was the theater for House of Wax, apparently puzzled by the fact that, at the time, there was no on else in the theater. Odd, especially for a premiere. I said "yes" and commented on the fact that I too thought there would be a lot more people here. Then we all settled down for (and I am seriously not making this up), 2 hours of commercials. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit. But it seemed like 2 hours. Actually it was at least 30-40 minutes of commercials (20+ minutes OVER the initial movie time posted in the newspaper and on the Internet). This is exactly one of the many reasons I do NOT frequent this theater. On a related topic, allow me to digress for just a minute. This all reminds me of a section of Kevin Murphy's book A Year at the Movies:

[ Click For A Larger Printable Version ]I will definitely be sending it off this week, for all the good it will do.

Anyway, back to the movie. Once all the commercials were over then the movie trailers kicked in...half projected on the top of the screen, the other half projected...ON THE CEILING. This went on for 2 trailers. I swear they have fuckin' monkeys running the projectors. Sigh. After someone went to tell the projectionist, we sat through 5 more trailers at which point the man who was part of the aforementioned older couple said out loud "Goddamn! Are they going to show a movie?" LMAO! Derik and I cracked up. We could SO empathize. On the plus side we did get to see the trailer for the new Dukes of Hazzard movie! WOOT! It looks like a lot of fun. Johnny Knoxville needs my kisses.

I recently read an overtly hostile review about the movie, which I didn't agree with for the most part. Then I looked to see whether a man or woman wrote the review. It was as I suspected, it was a woman. She obviously had some kind of "issues" with all the women in the film as well as horror movies in general, so I was forced to discount her as a reliable resource. So, for a reliable source, here's my review in a nutshell: Fun, fun, fun! I love that the movie plays like an homage to 70's horror movies, in it's look and approach. You know, the good "old-school" build-up to the horror. There are no murders or bloodshed for at least 20-30 minutes into the movie. None of that Scream-style opening murder sequence stuff that seems to be so popular these days. The movie actually takes the time to establish some character development, which is always a nice change of pace. I found myself being reminded of Just Before Dawn, with bits of Friday the 13th and Motel Hell thrown in for good measure. I really liked all the characters, with a few exceptions. Ironically, the two pieces of eyecandy(Robert Ri'chard & Chad Michael Murray) that I was most looking forward to when initially commenting about the movie, actually ended up being my least favorite characters. But, then I guess all slasher movies have to stick to some kind of formula. I actually really liked Paris Hilton ('Paige'), Jared Padalecki ('Wade'...YUM!) and Jon Abrahams's ('Dalton') characters best of all.

Of course, keeping with the general rules of slasher movies, not everyone makes it out alive. If you're remotely familiar with the genre, you pretty much know who they are. Overall, it was worth the price of admission. I wasn't disappointed. The movie had a great look, the characters were nicely established before done away with, the murders/gore hit a nice balance. Not Japanese/Italian-gory, but enough to make you squirm. Lots of suspense. Some wicked surprises. Interesting backstory came full circle nicely. In short, I'd recommend it! Go see it, you'll have a lot of fun!

And yes, all the buzz is true, Paris actually is surprisingly good. In an interview I read, the director commended her for coming to the set with complete professionalism, without airs/attitudes and was never late once. AND no cell phone drama. Good for her.

And last, but certainly not least, to top off the experience, when the movie was over, Derik and I opted to sit through the entire film's credits, on the off chance that there was some extra goodness (like at the end of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert or Wrong Turn), when the cleanup staff came in to start picking up leftover trash, etc. We had one employee literally stand at the end of our aisle and stare us down, expecting us to get up and leave. This really pissed me off. I looked over at him as if to say "Can I help you with something?" and he finally got the fuckin' message and walked away. Motherfucker. That really pissed me off. We were both tempted to throw the remainder of our concessions to the four winds...but we didn't. Needless to say, I won't be going back there any time soon. So, all in all the movie gets 2 thumbs up, while the theater itself gets 2 middle fingers.


Blogger Mariana said...

I get the feeling some movie critics are afraid of having too much fun at the movies, especially women, lest they might not be taken seriously unless they are very serious.

And unless a movie is Casablanca and the script was written by Shakespeare then it doesn't measure up to their high expectations.

Monday, May 09, 2005 6:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

My feelings exactly. I don't understand why every film that's released these days has to be "realistic" or Oscar-worhty. If I wanted to see a documentary I'd turn to PBS or the Discovery Channel. Whatever happened to just having going to a movie to have a good time? Well, I had a good time at House of Wax and I'm not afraid to admit it. After all, that's one of the main reasons I go to the movies.

And no, I'm not saying women in particular are worse than men when it comes to reviewing movies, but I do think they tend to enter into their reviews or particular genres of movies, with preconceived ideas and emotions. However, men are the same way, ESPECIALLY the men who review movies here in Texas. God, I just hate most of their reviews. Our channel 8 News has some of the all-time worst male move reviewers EVER. They are too goddamn old and suburban to give anything but bad or mediocre reviews for anything that doesn't either 1) Have a "known" celebrity at the forefront -or- 2) Isn't familylicious. Ugh. Just more proof that once you become a parent/grandparent all remnants of a personality go right out the window.

Then there's the fact that critics in general seem to have a problem with horror as a genre, to begin with. It's the redheaded stepchild of cinema.

Saturday, May 14, 2005 8:39:00 PM  

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