Last night I went and saw a screening of the new Stephen King movie 1408.

It stars John Cusack as a writer who does books on haunted places, mostly going to them and talking about the history and story, but debunking the actual haunting. He gets a postcard telling him not to check in to room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel in New York. So, of course, he goes. The rest of the movie deals with him getting the room and what happens inside.

All in all, it was a very well done movie. I don’t jump alot at horror movies, but this one got me about four times. John and Samuel L. Jackson are very believable in their roles. As with many horror movies, there comes a point where the scares stop and the resolution of the film begins, and as with many horror movies this is 1408’s weakest point. The ending doesn’t suck, but it is definitely lower key that the rest of the film.

Still, a good movie, and worth it if you like movies about hauntings.

Snakes on a Plane

Where do I begin?

When I first heard of this movie, I was excited because I love monster movies. A true monster movie is one where something, not human, shows up to kill people and the people try to kill it. No trying to save it or understand it, just survival. I also liked the concept, that airport security has become so tight that a man who wanted someone dead would have no viable way to sneak a weapon on board, so instead puts a giant crate of venomous snakes in the cargo hold timed to be released at a certain point during the flight.

And then you have Samuel L. Jackson, a man who excells at doing action flicks. By far, my favorite performance of his is in Deep Blue Sea. If you haven’t seen that, go see it. In fact, see it first, because his role in that actually makes one scene of SoaP (the stupidest shortening of a movie name in history, by the way) funny when it is not really supposed to be.

So… what went wrong?

First, there was the Hype. Originally the hype did nothing but make this movie better. The rating went from PG-13 to R, ensuring a bloodier and scarier movie. And it kept the name. At one point, as I’m sure you heard, there was a plan to rename the movie to “Flight 121” or something like that, but Sam Jackson actually threatened to quit, so it stayed “Snakes on a Plane”. But then the hype went too far… t-shirts, blogs, everything… just too much. The hype blew its wad too soon, and left its date unsatisfied. If the hype would have just coincided with the release of the film a little more, it would have worked so much better.

Next… well, I’m not going to spoil it, but… crappiest ending ever. Seriously. It was a good monster movie right up until “the line”. Yes, that one you’ve heard about when Sam drops two MFs in one line venting his frustration with the snakes. After that the movie went down hill. It had potential, all the right elements were there, but Kenan Thompson just totally blew it.

The movie, overall, was worth seeing… it is a good monster movie. But its not the end all be all of cool like the hype wants you to believe. See the movie if you want, or wait until DVD (3 months, tops, and maybe they’ll have a half dozen kickass comentary tracks). In the end, I enjoyed Deep Rising alot more than Snakes on a Plane.

Kill Bill, Volume I

When I saw Resevoir Dogs for the first time, I was stunned. The story, the style, the violence… all of it was just awe inspiring.

Pulp Fiction followed suit.

Jackie Brown… well, other than a few highly quotable lines from Samuel L. Jackson, it was a stinker.

Kill Bill is a true return to form for Tarentino, and a departure just the same. In what actually feels like a modern retelling of an old black and white kung fu/Kurosawa film, he blends the perfect mixture of style, story, and over the top violence to pull you in and leave you begging for more.

Thankfully, Volume II should be out in February.

I highly recommend this film. And if you like Tarentino, you’ll love this movie.