Posts Tagged “Redux”

KATATONIA and OPETH have historically been muttered in the same breath as fellow impresarios of fugue metal, even if the former hasn’t been anything remotely close to metal in quite some time. Of course, the bands shared Mikael Åkerfeldt through the Nineties, so they were bound to share the spotlight as well. Over the years, however, the two bands have become divisible even while rolling as touring mates. Since “Discouraged Ones” and “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”, KATATONIA have taken ongoing steps away from a pure metal path. OPETH continues to embrace it while exploring new courses, as “Damnation” and most recently, “Heritage”, have proven. In both cases, their progressive refinement is world-class.

Since their transformation that came as much out of necessity due to Jonas Renkse‘s battered vocals that demanded a clean-sung repertoire, KATATONIA has excavated labyrinths of atmosphere in search of an alternative and prog-grounded emotiveness. Long gone is the dusky grit from the early years when KATATONIA was the two-man operation of Renkse and Anders Nyström. As if the duo could foresee where the band has found itself on the heels of “Brave Murder Day”, one of the band’s last authentic metal albums. Today, KATATONIA keeps a spotless yet spacious music space, while Jonas Renkse has evolved into a beguiling, if frequently sullen vocalist.

Last year, KATATONIA took another major step away from their metal roots with “Dead End Kings”, a revelatory album that stripped down even more static than ever before. “Dead End Kings” pushed out heavy tones incrementally while embracing piano, synths, strings and an overall gentler touch that nevertheless hit home.

Now this year comes “Dethroned & Uncrowned”, a largely acoustic reworking of the “Dead End Kings” album for Kscope, sister label to the band’s main hub, Peaceville Records. Suffice it to say, KATATONIA strips things down even further on the redux, manufacturing even more elegance out of these eleven songs. While “Dead End Kings” manages to flex stray bars of electric muscle, “Dethroned & Uncrowned” hones deeper on the six- and twelve-string dreaminess that served as the former album’s epicenter, now this one’s apex.

Instead of making this a pure acoustic project, KATATONIA spills extensive piano scales, chamber fugue, Mellotron, synthesized beats, brass, reed instrumentation and acoustic bass to broaden the plaintive moods of the original songs. “Dethroned & Uncrowned” is thus stunning and quixotic, even more so than “Dead End Kings”. Every song in transition is a success, most notably “The Parting”, “The One You Are Looking For is Not Here”, “Lethean”, “Hypnone” and “Dead Letters”.

The near-naked character is essentially the same throughout “Dethroned & Uncrowned”, which means this re-imagination is demure, seductive and inspiring, even with KATATONIA‘s frequent themes of dirge and despondency. The lulling melodies of “Dead Letters” is so gorgeous one could picture it accompanying a Gothic romance film. In particular is a singular acoustic twine draped across an encompassing bridge that feels both windswept and amorous. This version of “Dead Letters” is by far one of KATATONIA‘s most engaging and articulate productions to-date.

The breezy cello and deeper accented piano plucks on this take of “The Parting” is enthralling in its own right, while THE GATHERING vocalist Silje Wergeland‘s vertigo-inducing parts on “The One You are Looking for is Not Here” are pushed up towards the front of the mix this time. The strategy allows for more congruency with Jonas Renkse‘s fervent swooning. Together the duet sounds as captivating as the massive layers of synth, string, piano and echoing percussion heaped into this inveigling cut of the song.

There are only a couple of spots on “Dethroned & Uncrowned” where electric guitars are retained, such as “Hypnone” and “Ambitions”. In turn, the distortion is struck altogether from the jazzier, piano-driven noodling on “Buildings”, the one moment on “Dead End Kings” that came close to constituting actual metal attributes.

This album’s version of “Ambitions” slinks on an erotic crawl via an echoing drum machine as it does with smooth syncopation and flirtatious Mellotron on “The Racing Heart” prior to. In the latter’s case, Jonas Renkse pulls off a near-close imitation of Seal. “Undo You” later rides upon tertiary coatings of cello, Mellotron and piano that garnish the primary acoustic spools and Renkse‘s placid wheedling. Despite the deathly odes of the song, “Undo You” gains momentum on this version from its initial conveyance of desperateness, nudging out of its bleak conundrum with flowing aspiration.

While absorbing the soul-torn despair of its predecessor, “Dethroned & Uncrowned” thrusts “Dead End Kings” onto a more dignified platform where further grandeur is raided and then pampered with the deepest respect. This could’ve been a cheap ploy to ride the success “Dead End Kings”, but it’s a testament to KATATONIA‘s gifted ensemble they manage to far outclass its predecessor. “Dethroned & Uncrowned” mirrors OPETH‘s magnificent “Damnation” in certain fashions, but KATATONIA proves here they have smartly mapped out their future, one that could find them scoring a film project or gracing an orchestra hall. Without using direct metal overtures, KATATONIA has helped legitimize the genre with as much class and poise as their celebrated countrymen.

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German metal icons Helloween announced that the band will once again join forces with Gamma Ray in a redux dubbed “Hellish Rock Tour Part II for March 2013. The full announcement on the band’s official website reads:

“Who doesn’t remember the crazy “Hellish Rock Tour” in 2007/2008? HELLOWEEN and their Very Special Guests GAMMA RAY played 95 shows in 34 countries and left ecstatic metal fans in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America in their wake! Those who didn’t have the chance to be there, can now breathe in deeply and make the ‘Remake’ twice as unforgettable! The conditions are right: Booking wires are running red-hot for the “Hellish Rock Tour Part II”, which will start in March 2013 in Europe and go around the globe, once again featuring GAMMA RAY. Watch out for the full-on ‘Metal Ax Made in Germany’ and you can start betting on what kind of awesome final Weikath, Deris, Grosskopf & co. together with Hansen have come up with this time!”

Helloween Guitarist Michael Weikath commented: “The atmosphere on stage and backstage was very special last time, we will be repeating the party and are looking forward to the tour already!”

Gamma Ray frontman Kai Hansen added: “‘The Hellish Rock Tour’ definitely was a highlight of our band’s history, we’ll absolutely go wild once again!”

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Twisted SisterLive at Wacken: The Reunion CD & DVD
2010 Eagle Rock Entertainment / Rebellion Entertainment
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Hard to believe it’s been a solid decade since Twisted Sister officially reformed, as in Mark “The Animal” Mendoza returning to the fold with Dee Snider, AJ Pero, Jay Jay French and Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda. While the core fivesome did lay their marks upon the 1998 Twisted tune “Heroes Are Hard to Find” for Dee Snider’s splat fiesta Strangeland, the recording of that tune was done through separate sessions where the players came and went without really seeing each other.

By now, everyone knows the story behind Twisted Sister’s crippling breakup in 1987. The mud has been flung and wiped away. Fences have been long mended and the makeup replaced the mud. The price has been paid and the sacrifices have been made and really, the only drawback to Twisted Sister’s presence in the 2000’s is a lack of a brand new studio album to comemmorate this long-term reunion.

Sure, the 25th anniversary edition of Stay Hungry was a superb event, considering Twisted Sister gave their fans an entire disc worth of previously-unreleased material from the original sessions, some demo tracks and “30,” a rocking new track recorded specifically for the occasion. They decked the halls with A Twisted Christmas in 2006 and they slung out a redux of their best-known album, redubbed as Still Hungry in 2004. Still, it’s been since 1987’s Love is for Suckers, an album we’ve come to learn was a Dee Snider solo project-turned-Twisted record, that a fresh Twisted Sister LP has hit us.

Honestly, that’s the only sour moment in reflection while watching Live at Wacken: The Reunion, a shot-for-posterity documentation of five men coming together from the ashes of their own wake following an inexplicably silent split-up in ’87. This event transcends the group themselves, even if Twisted rises up to the limit as headliners of the 2003 Wacken Open Air Festival. At this point, they’d headlined a few European festivals, fielded some club dates and performed for the USO in Korea.

Following such a drastic layoff and suddenly whisked back into the limelight, Twisted Sister would expectedly have a lot of rust in 2003, but this is hardly the case. The agitation making Dee Snider the pissed-off hellion leading Twisted through the seventies and early eighties yields to Mr. Showman. He’s money in this set, recreating most of Twisted’s tunes to-the-note. Occasional deviation vocally, Dee still bounces, pogos and swirls his locks while nailing “The Kids Are Back,” “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)” and “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n Roll” to the sheets before 40,000 berserker fans who meet him, word-for-word.

While French and Ojeda wail away for their worth and AJ Pero has a few hiccups and flubbed rolls but otherwise pounds his kit with snazzy accuracy, the other story musically is Mark Mendoza. Well-known for bitch-slapping his bass with envious resilience, Mendoza makes it look fluid instead of aggressive, and he hits some huge scales and sequences at blazing speed, ala “Stay Hungry,” “Under the Blade” and “Burn in Hell.”

Mendoza opted out for dolling up like the other Twisteds, yet you really don’t notice that much or care, honestly. Twisted Sister has reached a point in their careers where the New York Dolls element of their presentation has finally become secondary to the music.

Whereas they were the ultimate freak show of the eighties, they had the wherewithal and sensiblity to film their video for “The Price” in street clothes as evidence of that song’s seriousness. Some people thought that video and “Hot Love” where Twisted are depicted as ordinary headbanger-bikers was risky. Nowadays, there’s no issue; the glam image is just a part of the show.

“The Price” performed at Wacken still holds meaning for Twisted Sister, if not more at that point in 2003, having overcome the odds both internally and externally. Nobody expected Twisted Sister to be on the dime in such a short regrouping period, but they dust off the true fan classics like “Shoot ’em Down,” “Like a Knife in the Back,” “Under the Blade” and even “Destroyer.” It all shreds. “The Fire Still Burns” from Come Out and Play also gets a crack at shining amongst the staples “I Wanna Rock,” “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n Roll” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Stay tuned for a huge smile as the Wacken crowd continues to sing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” twice after Twisted Sister finishes, forcing them to kick up reprises in appreciation.

The coolest part to Live at Wacken: The Reunion is the mingled interview segments and side footage recounting the collapse and eventual rebuilding of Twisted Sister. Each band member speaks out during the intercuts of the main Wacken program where past animosities are detailed and healed, benefit shows are assembled in the light of rekindled friendship and Twisted Sister becomes a mighty force yet again in the new millennium. Ultra cool is watching Twisted rock out in regular clothes at a tribute show to their benefactor Jason Flomm, as is a wild stage transition where the Blue Man Group taps out “We’re Not Gonna Take It” on PVC pipes, leading into a surprise performance by Twisted themselves.

Also included in this package is a bonus CD filled with live material spanning three points in Twisted Sister’s lineage. While most live DVDs nowadays have separate CD packaging of the same material, you get six songs from the Wacken performance here (along with “I Am, I’m Me,” which doesn’t appear in the video) plus another five corraled from the early days. There’s four tracks from 1980 when Tony Petri was drumming for the band, recorded in Detroit and Portchester, NY. These are pure gems aside from artifacts. Even if every band and their mother does Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” it sounds fitting emitted from a bar rock band at that point still working on becoming a legend. This is a time where Dee was still an anarchist behind the mike, and he is indeed wild. “Bad Boys of Rock ‘n Roll” sounds beautifully rough, as does “I’ll Never Grow Up, Now!” Too bad this one didn’t stay in the band’s set over time.

Sound-wise, the only complaint to Live at Wacken: The Reunion is Jay Jay French’s audio feed is turned down a bit. We miss some of his solos and when he’s spieling his thanks to the Wacken crowd, it’s veiled and so thin you’ll need to turn it up. Of course, you’ll already have it cranked, won’t you?

Overall, a killer document of a heavy metal great who had the grace to bring all five key members back onto the team first instead of trying to sell a charade. This is legit, it’s loud as hell, it’s a fun run back to a time when life was a bit less strenuous even in the midst of a cold war. Most of all, it’s a rally for all the SMF’s of the world who believed in and supported this moment. Now if we can just get that new studio album… Twiiiisted Siiiiisterrrrrr….come out to playyyyyeeeeee…. Clink your beer bottles like a glassy mantra to the tune of The Warriors and Come and Out Play…

Rating: ****

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Argentinean rock journalist Lucas H.

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According to Sleaze Roxx, original BANG TANGO members Mark Knight, Kyle Stevens, Kyle Kyle and Tigg Ketler have joined forces with vocalist Michael DeMay to form BANG TANGO REDUX.

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celan_halo

Celan: Another export from Deutschland. This band is the brain child of Chris Spencer (Unsane, Cutthroats9) and Ari Benjamin Meyers (Redux Orchestra, Einsturzende Neubauten) each in love with a different style of music. Chris is driven by metal and Ari by classical and together created Celan, a project that is every thing metal, nothing conventional, and powered by emotion best described by classical. Metalheads be warned, this is not your typical metal…

A peculiar style I believe. While the instruments are metal, the way it is orchestrated suggests very heavy influences from the classical and romantic era of music with the emotions that run rampant through out the album. A distinct flow, however, is what ultimately differentiates between the classical and metal elements. Stereotypically metal being abrupt, abrasive and vulgar (which we all know and love) and classical I like to describe as like a river; smooth, flowing, and constant yet unpredictable (which, ironically, one can argue the same for metal). Typically you see metal bands taking an orchestra (two that come to mind are Dimmu Borgir and The Trans Sybrian Orchasta) and making it abrupt, abrasive and vulgar. With Celan in Halo, you see the opposite with a metal band flowing like the river which is what makes Celan so unusual.

Although there is a uniqueness to their tone, I must say I find Halo a little boring. Hearing the same notes through out the a 3 minute song, and every song I find to be bland and dole drum. On top of that, I find a hint of an EMO aura about Halo that I find distasteful. A whiny and overly emotional nature about it that makes me sick to my stomah. *Yack*

All in all, I would say that Halo, although boring and a little too emotional for my taste, further demonstrates metal’s ability to morph and take on other forms. An ability to go beyond even the most conventional ideals of metal, and come out with something original and rhythmic.

GOOD

Similar Artists: Deftones, 36 Crazyfists

1. Safty Recall Notice
2. A Thousand Charms
3. All This and Everything
4. One Minute
5. Sinking
6. Weigh Tag
7. Washing Machine
8. Train of Thought
9. It’s Low
10. Wait and See
11. Lunch Box

Chris Spencer – Vocals/ Guitar
Ari Benjamin Meyers – Keys
Franz Xaver – Drums
Phil Roeder – Bass/ Vocals
Niko Wenner – Guitar

Exile on Mainstream Records

http://www.myspace.com/celanband

Review by DALIA

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**WARNING: SPOILER ALERT**

So I had the rare opportunity to escape the house last night on Friday the 13th and if anything, superstition played into my favor more than it jinxed me. The parking attendent at the garage near my day job left early and put up the gate, which equated into a free pass, thank you, universe.

After writing up the recently-released Friday the 13th documentary His Name Was Jason (which you can check out at www.dvdreview.com), I had a coupon from the DVD for $5.00 off to catch the new Friday flick which came out yesterday. Granted, this time last year I was bitching up a storm over the announcement that Friday the 13th would be remade. I don’t know whether to shake Michael Bay’s hand for his ingenuity at retooling and reselling eighties pop culture (his Transformers sequel due out this year looks as badass as the first film, I will admit) or to curse his liberally-borrowed existence.

Damn near every eighties and late seventies horror flick that ever made an impact story-wise or financially has been rebooted within the past five years and for a lover of this stuff, it’s been utterly sad to see these pointless redos of The Amityville Horror, Halloween, The Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Fog and the especially needless redux of The Omen. Bad enough a frightening portion of the moviegoing public today are unaware half of these films were done ages ago. I will give credit to the new Dawn of the Dead for mostly making its own story and being an entertaining zombie romp, but seriously… Enough is enough is enough, you guys. Get your own goddamn stories, willya?

So yours truly tried to rustle up some company for the Friday the 13th remake but fate wasn’t having it and I’ll leave my friends to their privacy in said fashion. I’ve never been ashamed to go to the movies by myself (I’ve done it three times since the baby arrived for obvious reasons), but I will say this, even after chowing on sushi at Wegman’s and loading up a basket full of various teas I can’t get anywhere else, plus flowers for the wifey and my favorite soup mix Mrs. Grass chicken noodle (again remiss of most grocery stores save for Wegman’s), I was feeling a bit weird picking up my lone ticket amidst a throng of teenagers. Over two decades ago a mall used to be in this location and that was where I hung every weekend in my teenage years; I consider those grounds to be my own Fast Times at Ridgemont High, no matter what they’ve done to the place. The torch has long been passed, whether I wanted it or not.

I killed some time in the middle of the square where they have a large fireplace going and a little mouse came scurrying out to lighten up the tension in the cold air, which was now filled with the cloudy exhalations of laughter, repulsion and terror. Normally I’d find a rodent’s public presence a bit nasty, but we were technically outdoors, thus it is the mouse’s territory; we just liberate it unto ourselves as sovereign beings.

Come time for the flick, I saw a monster line of grumbling and noisy teens at the bathroom near our side of the theater, so I walked to the opposite side and strolled in where only myself and another did our business. Gotta love it. Experience wins over youth.

Popcorn and soda in hand, I mosied up to the theater portal where a bunch of folks were already hovering and waiting for the theater to open. Suddenly an usher forces all of us in our location to form a line behind what amounted to be one hell of a queue. Tempers were flaring from the seeming hopelessness of this wraparound line, while I thought back to the days when the original Friday films came out. Business as usual, as far as I was concerned. Bring Voorhees back out of space and put his rotted ass back where he belongs and people are suddenly interested again. Kids today have no clue how long we stood in line for movies during the eighties and how commonplace this phenomenon was, considering theaters usually only had one print of the film, not three or four as is today’s convenient norm. You kids are spoiled rotten! You want to steal what Gen X had before you? Pay your dues and suck it up!

As soon as the doors opened, panic ensued and people in the back of the line shamelessly turned around and squeezed into the file of folks who were already there first. I honestly wasn’t all that worried about getting a seat, being a single viewer and also aged 38. I’ve learned now that teenagers want nothing to do with sitting near old geezers, even though we have first claim to these fucking films to begin with.

So by attrition I ended up being the last one in line and I didn’t try to lobby my position further because the universe said I was exactly where I was supposed to be. With cussing and shoving ahead of me, I, along with the last four in line were told Friday the 13th was going to run in the next door theater as well. Can you dig it? Though that theater filled up just as fast, I calmly strode in, found the seat I wanted and ye bang, thank you, universe.

What can we say about Friday the 13th 2009? Not much different than what you’d expect from a traditional Jason splatter epic. Teens wander into woods, start fucking, find stray cannabis leaves near the abandoned Camp Crystal Lake. They think they’re in the Garden of Eden, until a sack-faced Jason Voorhees rips them new assholes.

Flash forward six weeks, another group of college idiots turn up on the other end of Crystal Lake for a weekend shindig. You know what’s coming to them. Enter the brother of one of the first group of campers looking for his missing sister. Jason takes exception to all of this milling about in his territory and begins dispatching them commando style. More fucking (at one point treading very close to softcore porn), a topless water skier doing aerials with her perky little tits bobbing in time to The Hives’ “Tick Tick Boom,” you get the picture.

The new Friday the 13th is designed to hopscotch elements of the first four original films. Writers Damien Shannon and Mark Swift grab what they see fit to use of those flicks, be it the brother (Jared Padalecki) in search of his lost sister Whitney (shades of the fourth film), the original Camp Crystal Lake sign planted surreptitiously in the background, the “legend” of Jason beside a campfire (despite preliminary word they wanted none of their characters to know a thing about Jason to give him more aura…oops), kids partying at a lakeside cabin or some of the eighties’ more memorable kill scenes re-thought in newer-realized spectacles. Expect to see Shannon and Swift, along with producers Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller try to one-up Kevin Bacon’s throat goring stunt from the first film, for starters. Hell, we even see them pay tribute to the original movie in a death sequence occuring in the basement of the luxurious cabin where a broken hanging lamp swings back and forth after the kill. Remember what happened instantly after Marci took a faceful of axe in the original? You really gotta know these films religiously to pick up the new one’s subtleties.

How about Jason strung up in a barn, albeit this time with chains? Of course the big to-do is how Jason obtains his famous hockey mask which is much different than in Friday the 13th Part III where Jason shows up from the shadows, having swiped the nerdy prankster Shelly’s prop hockey mask after sending him to a prolonged death. Honestly, in the new film, the way Jason finds the mask is too blase and far too convenient, but then again suspension of disbelief was always key in this series. Frankly, I prefer us not seeing Shelly’s death on camera, but rather finding him gasping for air in a later frame and dripping blood from a fresh throat slash (ahh, you’re fooling no one, Shelly), while his killer lumbers into another scene wearing the mask before shooting a harpoon into the eye of Rita, Shelly’s would-be love interest. Now that’s making an entrance bearing a new death shroud.

Nana Visitor (of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) as a briefly-seen Pamela Voorhees has no fault really other than not being Betsy Palmer. The flashback sequence of Momma V chasing down the last camp counselor (certainly nowhere near as memorable as Adrienne King) then hijacking all of Betsy’s critical lines before losing her head in un-gory fashion is rushed through so quickly you almost don’t care, other than to see a young Jason at the scene picking up Mommy Dearest’s cause. Honestly, this forced exposition could’ve been left out of the film since nobody bothered to dial in, performance-wise or plot-wise. Then again, I guess we need some sort of explanation for the reason there’s a bed in Jason’s cabin bearing his name carved into the headboard. Oh, how sweeeeeet….

Then there’s the scoring. Ugh. Okay, this is a modern interpretation for a contemporary audience, but Steve Jablonsky’s work here just doesn’t work, at least for a Friday the 13th film. We want Harry Manfredini’s traditional orchestral score and the way he leads his ensemble to peel off quick cello strikes to haunt the scenes more appropriately. Jablonsky reportedly wanted to pay Manfredini subtle homage, but it’s so subtle you’re going to be hard-pressed to find it unless you’re listening out carefully, and honestly when you watch the first four films, isn’t that what you’re doing half of the time, waiting for Manfredini’s death chimes? It lends to the creepy aura. Jablonsky’s scoring is too peppy, too bouncy, too loud, all indicative of a rushed society that favors getting-to-the-point in the most noisome manner as opposed to building up genuine suspense. By the way, did anyone else hear John Carpenter’s Halloween theme ever-so-silently during one of the scenes in Jason’s cabin before his mommy’s lopped head is discovered in a carved hole in the wall (and thought to be a doll, groan)?

Credit where it’s due, though. Some of the kill scenes are quite colorful such as the meaty boat sequence where an arrow takes the driver out while his topless girlfriend not only gets rammed in the head by the boat, by the time Jason catches up with her overtop a pier, her noggin-skewered dispatch is particularly gruesome. In the opening montage, one of the girls gets torched over the bonfire while strung up in her sleeping bag. Meanwhile, her boyfriend gets caught in a bear trap which Jason has laid out for him and his final moment on earth will remind you of what nailed Mark the paraplegic in Part 2.

Friday the 13th 2009 also has a Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Tobe Hooper’s version not the recent version) nuance playing into the scheme with Jason’s subterranean domicile (which we’ve never seen before, figuring he was content with an abandoned bunkhouse), plus his willingness to hold Whitney (Amanda Righetti) captive instead of snuffing her like he would anyone else. Can’t you hear it in the distance? “Bubba’s got a girlfriend!!!” The connection between Jason and Whitney here is that she bears slight resemblence to his mother, at least the one showing in a keepsake locket Jason has–oy. Of course, Whitney borrows Amy Steel’s mode of preservation in Part 2 by utilizing some head games to toy with Jason. Ho-hum. Someone call in Lar Park Linkin or Dana Kimmel and show this chick how to really take Jason to the mat, eh?

Unfortunately, this Friday the 13th simply cannot resist the urge to screw the entire endeavor up with its cheap shit ending. It would’ve been better to have let the camera fade on Jason’s sunken mask than what Shannon and Swift write for us… You know what’s going to happen by mere insinuation and most likely Shannon and Swift wanted to honor the memory of the original film, but let the crowd’s reaction be the gauge to having Jason leaping out of the lake in a flash-cut finale (never mind he’s supposed to have has brains shredded out beforehand): More than a few people screamed “Lame!” at that final uninspired moment.

And they’re right to say so. Friday the 13th 2009 was every bit as predictable as you would think, except the sex is hotter, the lead frat boy is more of a dick than usual (and you do cheer his riotous exodus out of the film) and Derek Mears as Jason moves at top flight. It did have things going for it.

Like the zombies in the Dawn of the Dead remake, Mears’ Jason doesn’t merely shamble along. Though setting no speed records for woods stalkers, Mears’ hulking mobility makes his interpretation a pleasant surprise, considering anyone who really gives a crap about these films feel Kane Hodder was robbed. Sure, Mears spends 99% of his time behind a head wrap and a mask, but his dexterous crouching and leaping, along with his considerable girth (despite being leaner than previous Jasons, due to the continuity factor of him living off the land) makes this Jason more of a hunter than nearly all of those from the original films. In the past, Jason would stalk, hide, cut the electricity, appear during incandescent lighting and kill. Under Mears’ guidance, Jason does all of those, however, this time he uses his victims as bait to lure out the others and he is seen on rooftops patiently waiting for anyone to come outside and pounce upon. Also take note this Jason wears something of a military jacket as well, giving him an altered appearance.

So in essence this Friday the 13th was not all that bad, but it certainly has its weaknesses. Of course, it far outshines Jason’s last four outings, Freddy vs. Jason included, which was brought to you by the same team as this one. For one of these dratted remakes, I can at least give it a shaky near-thumbs-up, taking it for it’s worth. I really loved the bridge location between the abandoned camp and the slight clearance where a fair portion of the film takes place. Dreadfully shivery. I also salute the troops here for waiting until Jason has first batch of kills before flashing up the title of the film, despite it being about 20 minutes in. Very inventive.

Though it took them a bit of time to start making some chatter, the crowd eventually started groaning and guffawing during the moistier death sequences, which is really all what the Friday the 13th 2009 team is likely looking for at this point, realizing the reviews would be unanimously horrendous just in mere hindsight.

Of course, on my way out of the theater, I by-passed the line of anxious teens trying to get their bladders unloaded and handled my business on the other side of the theater once again, having that bathroom all to myself. You know what, you kids just keep on doing what you’re doing; why mess up a good thing?

Unfortunately on my way out, I spotted a movie poster for the remake of Last House on the Left. Jesus, Wes Craven’s original was sick enough! I guess they’ll go after the nefarious rape ordeal of I Spit on Your Grave next. To make matters worse, we already know Freddy K’s sharpening up the gloves yet again and rumor has it Robert Englund has been thrown over for the role.

Hollywood, you’re exactly what teenage America called you in that theater last night: lame.

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