Scream 4 – Still standing!

Scream 4 (2011) by Wes Craven

(I will not reveal who is behind the mask, you have to find that out for yourself.)

The first time I heard about Scream 4, I was actually excited. And that is surprising because generally I think that enough is enough already, leave well enough alone, stop while you’re ahead. In other words, sequels don’t give me the thrills. Why is Scream different? Well, for once it’s part of the horror genre and for me that means: there are no rules. I came to the genre at the age of ten (when I read my first Stephen King novel), but didn’t know that I was actually beginning to love a genre. I thought, I just liked that author… so I discovered pretty late that I loved horror movies and Scream was one of the reasons I did. I never watched a Scream-movie at the movies only on dvd, so this was also an opportunity to have the Scream-experience.

I confess that I did not expect much of this movie. I was excited, yes, but I knew it could go either way: awesome or horrible, and the many possibilities in-between. I was not disappointed, though. I liked it. It was like meeting an old friend after a decade has gone by and you find out that you could still talk to one another for hours on end and even if you were never to meet again, the meeting was not for nothing.

 So, Sidney Prescott is back in Woodsboro, and so is Ghost Face. A lot of people get killed, film theory gets another chapter, and we wonder for roughly 111 minutes who is behind the mask – and where Dewey’s pronounced limp has gone.

This is the first time I realized how many female characters inhabit the Scream-series (I might write a blog post just about that but I think I would have to watch the other movies again before I do) and especially this installment. Of course, we have Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox reprising their roles of the classic trilogy. But then we have Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Marley Shelton, and Alison Brie. And they are great in their respective roles (though none is as absolutely awesome as Hayden Panettiere as Kirby… and I think Kirby is gay, I don’t care that she almost made out with a Culkin, she was drunk… what, other girls get drunk and kiss girls, she gets drunk and kisses guys, I think that says it all, also she so checked out Sidney!).

I was also thrilled to see Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox again. Of course, Courtney Cox is doing that rather annoying sitcom (surprisingly enough I am not talking about Friends, though I would have used the same terminology for it), but who’s honestly watching that? But what has Neve Campbell been up to since “The Company”? (Nothing worth mentioning, unfortunatelty, I just looked it up.)

You can say now that I am easily pleased and maybe I am, but I am a nostalgic person. And seeing a franchise revived without it being totally ruined is pleasing to me. And I love how Ghost Face always gets smacked around by everyone. I have just read that there are talks about Scream 5 and I already know that I will be totally there, even if just for the fun of having made film theory made cool.

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Burlesque

Burlesque (2010) by Steve Antin

So, yesterday, as there was nothing else to do – despite the workload I would have to read for both my classes and my B.A.-thesis – I went to watch a movie. Earlier that day – despite mentioned workload – I relaxed with a DVD in our nice new media room at the institute, the DVD having been Itty Bitty Titty Committee and it was a blast since I actually got the references about feminism/lesbian feminism this time…

And what better way to end a day like that (a day that begun with me falling on my bum because of all the beautiful shining ice that graced the sidewalks and continued with Mark Twain…) with a musical. Okay, it wasn’t really a musical since I think one has to differentiate between movies where they just break out in song and dance in any given situation or where they sing and dance on a stage in the closer confines of the narrative. So Burlesque to me is rather a music movie than a musical (you can discuss that at home while I insert a picture of the reason I wanted to watch this movie).

Yes, friends and neighbors: I love Cher. Not only because I think she’s got an amazing voice but because she actually is a brilliant actress – and underrated as such. Unfortunately, I missed the Berlin premiere that took place just two days after The Tourist premiere and both Cher and Christina Aguilera were present (well, we had our Xmas Party that night, it was a close call though…).

While loving Cher, I never got any opinion to Christina Aguilera. She was the other girl that Madonna kissed at that Movie Awards Show. And yes, I actually like Britney Spears better, she has a higher entertainment factor. And I cannot say that watching Burlesque really improved my opinion of her. She is certainly not an actress but the story (her story within the movie) lacked substance as well. I mean, girl comes from hicktown, USA, to L.A. to become a singer and accidentily ends up in a burlesque club that takes her breath away and she wants to do nothing else but sing and dance there while falling in love with the bartender/song writer (Cam Gigandet) instead of a rediculously hansom (Eric Dane!) millionaire who is, of course, the villain who wants to buy the club from Cher…

Cher’s story line isn’t that much more interesting but since she is actually a great actress it is more believable than Aguilera’s. Also, the banter between her and her best (gay) friend Stanley Tucci (and I love him whether he plays the best gay friend of any gorgeous actress, or the cool straight father to Patricia Clarkson’s cool bisexual mother) is very entertaining – although it seemed I was the only one in the movie theater who thought so… everybody else seemed to enjoy the plot around Aguilera and her pretty boy better.

Not me. The songs were good but not very memorable. Christina Aguilera, of course, has a great voice although I enjoy Cher’s much more. What can I say, I am old fashioned that way. The cast was really good, besides Cher, Aguilera, Dane and Tucci, there was Peter Gallagher, Kristin Bell, Glee‘s lovely Dianna Agron (who unfortunately did not sing or dance in this one) and even James Brolin stopped by for a second (it wasn’t really more than a second but it is good to see a friendly face one sees so little of lately).

Well, the movie was not my new favorite musical, or anything but it was alright. The story could have been better and there could have been more numbers like that first one with Cher and her girls but it was okay.

Kate Hepburn said that sometimes the pictures to a movie are better than the movie they are from, this certainly holds true for the picture above…