Tag Archives: David Tennant

A Thank You Letter to Peter Capaldi

Dear Mr. Capaldi,

Thank you for being amazing. Truly amazing.

Doctor-who-Peter-Capaldi-2124919

Twelve. (image property of BBC)

Thank you for being the Doctor that I have wanted for a long time. Not that I had anything against previous Doctors. Nine (Christopher Eccleston) was outstanding, he was the Doctor that hooked me and brought me in. Ten (David Tennant) was phenomenal! He was the Doctor that stole the show, he grabbed me by the hand and took me on some incredible adventures. Ten has always been MY Doctor. Eleven (Matt Smith) was excellent too, it just took me a while to get used to him. I mean, I didn’t really get into him until much later on during his time as the Doctor. After watching his episodes again, I developed a better understanding of and enjoyment for him. He’s actually quite good.

But you, Mr. Capaldi, are something else. Something other-worldly, something astronomically wonderful. You are quickly becoming my favorite Doctor and that’s not an easy thing to do. Tennant’s Doctor is near and dear to my heart, so for you to nearly take his place so quickly is extraordinary.

Thank you for not being the goofy, love-sick-puppy Doctor that we’ve all come to know. Thank you for being the cynical, curmudgeonly Doctor we’ve needed most. A Doctor who isn’t trying to play house or be someone’s boyfriend–but a grumpy old Doctor, still with a heart of gold, yet not an overly-emotional softy. Your Doctor is more guarded, more closed off, but still a good person, whether he thinks so or not.

And now he’s a Doctor with a mission…to find Gallifrey, which I truly hope he does. I really, really, really hope he does. I feel that if your Doctor finds Gallifrey, it will be a life-altering experience. I mean, when Ten, Eleven, and the War Doctor saved Gallifrey from the destructive Time War, if was a huge burden taken off the Doctor’s mind. But now that his home is safe in an alternate universe, he has to worry if he’ll ever find it again and be reunited with his people. And I see that worry and fear in your Doctor, but not in a bad way. I see that it’s what is driving him; it’s what moves him. Though he does continue on his side projects to help people, finding home is main mission.

Finally, thank you for making every episode better and better. Even though we’re only five episodes in, you haven’t had a bad one yet. I feel the rest of the season will be the increasingly more stellar than it already has been. And hopefully you stay for a while. There was a rumor in the beginning that you were only staying on for one series and I hope that rumor is a lie. After seeing how much the fans love you and what you do, I want you to be convinced that leaving would be a horrible thing to do. Please, please, please stay.

In summary,

1. You’re the best.

2. Please stay.

3. Everyone would miss you.

4. I could watch Listen a million times and never get tired of it.

The best episode so far. So freakin' good! (Image property of BBC)

The best episode so far. So freakin’ good! (Image property of BBC)

5. After you finish your run as Doctor, reunite Dreamboys with Craig Ferguson. That would be awesome.

 

Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you’ll do.

 

Your fan for life,

Rob

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My Antic-Who-pation Continues to Grow

The title is a bit of a stretch but it works.

As the release of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special steadily approaches, with the Christmas Special not far behind it, I find myself becoming increasingly anxious as the days go by. I’m wondering how they’ll bring Rose and Ten back, what the deal with John Hurt’s Doctor is (Is he Nine or not?), and what Peter Capaldi’s Doctor will be like. And the last thing makes me wonder about how I’m going to handle Eleven’s regeneration. I’m not as attached to him as I was with Nine and Ten, but I still think it’s gonna be rough for me. This is all so much to process.

I’m most excited about the return of Rose (Billie Piper) and Ten (David Tennant): my favorite Doctor and companion back in action once again. However, I am worried as to how they will return. Are they going to be Rose and clone Ten that were supposedly trapped in another dimension or are they going to be Rose and the real Ten and somehow Clara and Eleven will cross timelines with them? I trust Moffat not to fail on something as monumental as the 50th Anniversary Specia,l but it doesn’t mean I’m not worried.

 

Is this the real Ninth doctor?

Is this the real Ninth doctor?

The enigma of John Hurt’s Doctor has been bouncing around in my head since he first turned around and “Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor” appeared on the screen. Is he Nine? Does this mean Nine is now Ten, Ten is now Eleven, Eleven is now Twelve, and Peter Capaldi is actually the Thirteenth Doctor? Does this mean the Doctor actually has one less regeneration than we thought he did? Is he going to be an angry, merciless, destructive Doctor or a remorseful Doctor wracked with guilt from what happened during the events of the Last Great Time War? There are too many questions, but I do expect an amazing performance from John Hurt.

Almost as much as Rose and Ten’s return, I’m excited for Peter Capaldi becoming the new Doctor. I’m constantly wondering what type of Doctor he’ll be. A goofy Doctor, an angry Doctor, a cynical Doctor, a completely serious Doctor, or a little bit of everything like we’ve come to expect? How will he dress? Classy like the First or Eleventh, modern like the Ninth or Tenth, or silly like the Fifth or Sixth? Will he change his Sonic screwdriver, and how will the Tardis look when he takes over? I’m hoping that his Sonic has an orange light, the Tardis stays the same, and he has a beard. Capaldi looks pretty awesome with a beard. Also, I want River to stick around and Captain Jack to make a comeback. That’s not asking for too much, is it?

 

11 to 12Finally, I have no idea how I’m going to react to Eleven’s regeneration. Matt Smith has grown on me over the past few years. It took a while to get used to him after becoming so attached to Tennant and Eccleston, but once I did, I’ve found him to be quite an amazing Doctor. He really knows how to make you laugh and pull at your heartstrings. I’m thinking it’s going to pretty emotional when he says his goodbyes this Christmas and a lot of people are going to be very teary-eyed. For me, Capaldi taking over will soften the blow to my tear ducts a little more then when Smith took over for Tennant. Though I will have to wait until next year to truly see how great of a Doctor he will be.

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Man of Steel 2: Batman, Superman, & the Who and What I Want to See

Over the past few weeks, after DC/WB’s announcement of the MOS sequel, I’ve been thinking about who I would like to see in the film (characters and cast) and what should happen.

I’ve been wondering a lot about how this story is going to go. Are Bats and Supes going to be friends or enemies or enemies then friends once they realize they have a common goal? Who will the villain or villains be? Where will it take place? Metropolis or Gotham City or both? And this film is supposed to be a lead-in to the Justice League film, so will there be any guest appearances or clever references to other DC characters or places in the DC Universe?  There has also been talks of crossing the DC television universe into the cinematic universe, so is there a chance of “The Hood” making an appearance?

The World's Finest playing nice? (image source: WB & DC)

The World’s Finest playing nice? (image source: WB & DC)

First, for the story, I think they should do a combination of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and the animated feature The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest. The Joker (or The Riddler) shows up in Metropolis wreaking havoc, teams up with Lex Luthor for some sinister plot, and Superman has to ask Batman for help since he’s dealt with The Joker before and somewhat knows how he works. When Supes shows up in Gotham, Batman isn’t pleased after seeing the destruction he caused in Metropolis some time back, so at first they’re at odds. There’s a big epic fight but then they realize that they should be working together to thwart a greater threat, so they team up. Which means the film will spend a small amount of time in Gotham but will mostly take place in Metropolis.

Obviously, that means the villains of the film will be Lex Luthor and The Joker, the heroes of course being Batman and Superman. Recasting the Joker after Heath Ledger’s phenomenal performance in The Dark Knight will be difficult and Lex Luthor is never an easy task. There’s also the highly-likely chance that Batman/Bruce Wayne will be recast. However, I thought I’d take a crack at it.

1 – All recurring characters from Man of Steel should be played by the same actors because that was perfect casting.

A perfect choice, I think. (image created by Javier de Mairena)

A perfect choice, I think. (image created by Javier de Mairena)

2 – Batman/Bruce Wayne: Josh Brolin. He’s an incredible actor with great range, he can handle the physicality of the role, and he has the look. Strong jawline, gruff-looking, older, that’s what WB is looking for with this recast. Now I would love to have Christian Bale back, but on the chance that he doesn’t come back, Brolin is my top choice to put on the cowl.

3 – Lex Luthor: Billy Zane. I know many people don’t think much of Mr. Zane, but I find him to be an exceptional actor. He can play smart and sophisticated, as well as cold, calculated, and maniacal. Not to mention, he can pull off the bald look nicely.

4.1 – The Joker: Adrian Brody, Crispin Glover, Damian Lewis, or Robert Carlyle. One of these four actors would make a superb Joker. It’d be difficult for them to top Ledger’s performance but I’m positive they would give it their best, knowing that they have big shoes to fill. Honestly, Crispin Glover has always been a top choice for me but I believe Damian Lewis might actually be a better choice.

Tennant's Riddler.

Tennant’s Riddler.

4.2 – The Riddler: David Tennant or Matthew Gray Gubler. I’m partial to Tennant because he’s my favorite Doctor, a brilliant actor, and can play the conniving genius quite well. Gubler is also an incredible actor and would do well in the part but Tennant is my first choice.

5 – Commissioner Jim Gordon: Gary Oldman. If they bring Gordon into the film, there is no other actor that should play him than Oldman.

As for crossovers and references, I don’t think any crossovers should take place other than Bats and Supes, of course. It would be nice to see Stephen Amell make an appearance as Oliver Queen at least, but not “The Hood” (of course by the time this film is being made, they may actually be referring to him as “Arrow” or “Green Arrow” though). But WB could get by with just making references to other heroes and their respective cities without actually including them in the film. They don’t wanna blunder and pull a Spiderman 3 move and have too many characters in one film. Just stick with the two heavy-hitters and their main arches and don’t overdo it. I’d also like to make a point that Robin should not be involved in this film at all, neither the comic book character or Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character from The Dark Knight Rises.

The way I see it, this film could be the perfect stepping stone for DC/WB to lead them into the Justice League film and helping them to making the DC Cinematic Universe as successful as Marvel’s has become. On the other hand, this film could be a complete disaster and be a huge setback for DC/WB. Either way, I’m willing to give it a chance and see what happens.

Are you? What are your thoughts and predictions for Man of Steel 2?

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Who’s Next?

trifectaI am pretty certain that being a fan of Doctor Who is a prerequisite for boarding The Cool Ship. In fact, I may be the only Cool Shipper who has not written at least one article about our time traveling hero.

Today feels like a good day to rectify that. Like most Americans, my Doctor Who exposure began with the 2005 (which I did not watch until 2011) revival. At first I enjoyed the contrasts of light and dark concepts. I saw the series as The Outer Limits but with reoccurring characters. Christopher Eccleston  (my first Doctor) was also full of contrasts, at once whimsical and brooding.

I just finished rewatching the 7th series, and with the impending departure of Matt Smith and the red herring that is John Hurt, I cannot help but wonder who’s next.

Selecting the next Doctor must resemble the Conference of Cardinals except the Catholics are probably easier to please. The Internet is all abuzz with “so and so took a meeting” and  “so and so has denied being interested” (which has been true of both Tennant and Smith). Even fellow Cool Shippers have speculated on the next Time Lord’s identity.

nobleWith that in mind I could not resist trying my hand at picking the next Doctor:

John Nobel:

Maybe I just miss Fringe, but John Nobel would make a great Doctor. Before you say it; Yes Nobel is old. Smith is the youngest actor to ever pilot the Tardis, and though his Doctor is quite different from Tennant’s, there are certain similarities. Nobel would be a new direction for the character. All previous incarnations have been British, and yes, Nobel is Australian, but they have the Queen on their money, right? To purists and the BBC this might seem a bit of sacrilege, but to me as an American it is hardly a deal breaker.

 

 

grintRupert Grint:

A quick IMDB search shows Grint doing a lot more film work than I had realized. The shooting schedule of a weekly series may be beyond his ability. Making the Doctor a “ginger” would be a great twist to a long running joke. Ron Weasley is younger than Matt Smith and could serve the show for quite a while.

 

 

 

Alexander Siddig:

alexander_siddig_1Siddig hits right in the middle of the possibilities as far as age. A veteran of seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine his sci-fi street cred is already established. With a lot of talk swirling about the possibility of the first black Doctor or the first female Doctor, Siddig would be the first Sudanese Doctor. As an actor his range is very broad. He could embody all of the previous incarnations while bringing a new reverence to the character.

 

 

 

 

Which leads me to a few actors who have no business being the Doctor:

Simon Pegg:

I don’t know why every time a role like the Doctor comes along names of actors who are already experiencing success in feature films get tossed into the mix. Personally I think Pegg would make a fine Doctor. His comic timing would be a welcome addition to the character. However, I fear the scripts would be too joke heavy in order to capitalize on this ability.

Russel Brand:

DEAR GOD NO!!

Daniel Day Lewis:

LewisThere is no part that Daniel Day-Lewis cannot play. Anytime there is a discussion amongst my friends as to who should play any role I always throw Lewis out there. In reality he would be the most expensive doctor in history, and when we reach the end of his run the show would also be no more; I mean who would follow him? Also as a character actor Day-Lewis doesn’t just play a part, he inhabits it. Imagine if Day-Lewis lived as The Doctor in his off time. It would almost be worth whatever it cost to get him to consider it.

 

 

Just a few suggestions for people who should and should not play the Doctor. Who do you like for number 12?

 

 

 

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Getting Ready for the Big 50

Series 7 of Doctor Who wrapped up for us Americanos on Saturday. I’m not going to do a recap (because you should bloody well watch it yourself), but I do want to mention that it ended on somewhat of a cliff-hanger, introducing a “new” character.

(Like the quotes? Oh, yeah…you know what I mean.)

There are a lot of rumors floating around as to what role this character is actually playing and how he fits into the current Doctor mythos. I have a favorite theory that involves carnage and wiped memories, but I suppose only time and the BBC (or BBC America, I suppose for us Yanks) will tell.

Suffice it to say, the season finale was a lead up to the Doctor Who 5oth anniversary special that will air on Nov. 23. It’s a long time to wait, but we Whovians are accustomed to twiddling our thumbs and playing a rousing game of tiddly winks while our British overlords take their sweet time eking out the brilliant blue TARDIS-flavored cream into our weak American tea.

Doctors

Eleven and Ten…OR ARE THEY? (Watch the Series 7 finale!) Image taken from a screen grab of the video below.

**sigh**

I will say that they’ve done a good job recently of putting out videos, teasing the return of David Tennant’s tenth (OR IS HE?) Doctor and his beloved Rose (Who for some reason could never seem to find the time to visit a decent colorist. Space and time? Sure! Matching your roots to your bleached-out mess of a hair style? No time! No time? You’re in a time machine! Argh! I’m in a minority of those who weren’t overly impressed with darling Rose…in case you couldn’t tell.). Tennant is my favorite Doctor thus far, and I’m excited to see how the special plays out.

They’d just better not make me super sad again when he goes away. For real.

Confession: I didn’t start watching Doctor Who until Christopher Eccleston took over as the ninth Doctor (OR IS HE?), and I wasn’t all that taken with his performance. I later learned that there were problems in paradise; Eccleston didn’t have the greatest experience in the role. It’s a pity, but I must say that it came through in his portrayal of the Doctor, a flippant, somewhat disinterested time traveler who never quite convinced me that he gave a rat’s a$$ about much of anything.

Eccleston just didn’t ring true for me.

It wasn’t until Tennant took over that I really got into Who. Tennant brought vitality to the show; he seemed to actually enjoy himself. Was his Doctor written that way? Perhaps. Was Eccleston’s purposely written to be more detached? Perhaps. We could argue about that for quite a while, but the fact remains that I found Tennant’s Doctor more enjoyable!

Oh, and Donna Noble beats Rose Tyler any day. Fact.

Even though I’m not a huge Eccleston fan, I was still disappointed to hear that he wouldn’t be in the 5oth anniversary special. And what of the other surviving Doctors? Nope. It’ll just be Tennant and reigning Doctor, Matt Smith (and the “new” character, of course. But, I’m not talking about that, remember? Seriously! Go watch the Series 7 finale!).

While I understand that the older actors don’t fit into the picture of how we last saw their Doctors, I think something should have been done to include them. Perhaps they could have played other characters, had cameos a la Stan Lee. It was a missed opportunity for sure.

But, I still must say that I am definitely looking forward to the anniversary special! Every time a new Doctor Who video pops up on Facebook or YouTube, I greedily devour it, of course.

Here’s a fairly recent one:

What say you, Whovians? Are you looking forward to the 50th anniversary special?

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My Doctor Who Dilemma

I’m at a bit of a crossroad. I love Doctor Who, but I’m seriously considering not watching until he regenerates. I know, I know, it seems extreme.

Ten and Eleven in the 50th. Yeah, this is happening. (Image source: scifipulse.net)

Ten and Eleven in the 50th. Yeah, this is happening. (Image source: scifipulse.net)

I don’t hate Matt Smith. He’s taken a while to grow on me; I have come to enjoy him as The Doctor, not as much as David Tennant or Christopher Eccleston, but I do like him. He is a great Doctor with an incredible ability to evoke every feeling possible from you when watching him (The Doctor’s Wife and Vincent and the Doctor). Lately, the only feeling that he’s bringing about is boredom. I am ready for him to move on and a new Doctor to take shape (cough, cough… Tilda Swinton).

I can’t blame him for my current feeling towards the series. Some of the blame lies on Steven Moffat and the other writers for “fumbling the ball,” lately. I’m quite partial to the Russell T. Davies/early Moffat days (not just because Tennant was The Doctor for the majority of them), and I’m really missing that era. I feel the writing was a little more creative and enthralling, then. I’m not saying Moffat has become a horrible writer or anything; he has written some of the best episodes of Who, ever (Blink, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Silence in the Library/The Forest of the Dead). I just think he hasn’t been putting a lot of effort into writing DW. At times, it feels like he’s throwing darts at a dartboard of ideas and going with whatever he hits.

Warning: You may have seen this episode before. (Image source: BBC)

Warning: You may have seen this episode before. (Image source: BBC)

Take for example, The Bells of Saint John, the most recent episode. One might figure that for a mid-season premiere and after a seemingly long break, this episode would be more of a nail-biter, but it ended up being a lackluster regurgitation of Blink. This episode felt more like what the series premiere of a US version of Doctor Who would be rather than the actual British series. [If a US version ever happened, I would rain hellfire down on whatever studio was producing it. You can be damn sure of that. And I wouldn’t be the only one.]

A non-threatening object is killing people (sort of) when they’re not expecting it, because they don’t expect it to be dangerous. Sound familiar?

No one expects a statue to zap them back into the past to die a slow, normal death but if you take your eyes off of them… Bam! Blink, and you’re dead.

No one expects to be downloaded into a database of souls just by clicking on a mysterious wifi source but once you do… Bam! Click, and you’re dead.

Completely unnecessary. (Image source: amazonaws.com)

Completely unnecessary. (Image source: amazonaws.com)

See the similarities? Like I said, a lackluster regurgitation of Blink. And I think the writers knew the episode was gonna be like this, and that it wasn’t going to as good as Blink, so they threw in a scene of The Doctor riding a motorcycle up the side of a building. What?! Like I said, feels more like a US version premiere. They also had him use the TARDIS to pop inside a plane that’s about to crash in order to stop it from crashing–that’s something I could see The Doctor doing, not hot-wheelin’ up a building. It’s just too “action star” for The Doctor. All flash and no substance.

I think the relationship between The Doctor and his new companion, Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman), works really well. They do have an amazing chemistry, kinda like a mix of Doctor/Donna banter and sass with a bit of Doctor/Rose flirtation. I’m hoping this will develop more as the series goes along, and she’s not killed off again.

My main concern is about the writing. Will it get better as the season continues? Will the stories envelop me more like they did in seasons 1-4? Will they make me want Matt Smith to stay for another season? As of now, I’m ready for him to leave after the 50th anniversary special. I mean, he could regenerate in the next episode, and I wouldn’t mind.

And while we’re on the subject… Given that I’m iffy now about the current state of the writing for the series, I’m a tad bit fearful for the anniversary special. I really hope that Moffat doesn’t screw it up and does something like remake The Three Doctors. I’m ecstatic that David Tennant and Billie Piper are returning, though I don’t know in what capacity. My fingers are still crossed for Christopher Eccleston and John Barrowman returning as well, but only time will tell. I don’t think I will, but there’s always a chance that if Moffat screws this up, I might stop watching. I think a successful anniversary special is what I need to restore my faith in Moffat and maybe even help me to like the idea of Matt Smith staying on for another season.

But for the time being, my dilemma is should I keep watching and hope that I’m not disappointed or take a break until the anniversary special and save myself the anguish? What to do, what to do?

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Why I Won’t Miss Amy & Rory

Rory the Roman and the Kiss-o-gram Girl [source: fanpop.com]

I’m probably going to be one of a small few, if not the only one, who will not miss Rory and Amy Williams/Pond. I have grown quite bored with them and, to be honest, wasn’t a huge fan of them to begin with. Amy was a nice change at first, but she eventually felt like she was just “Donna: Part 2,” and I was never really a fan of Donna Noble until the time she had her memory wiped and was sent away. Amy was okay in small doses, but most of the time she was a big ball of annoying sass, just like Donna. Rory was decent comic relief and had some pretty badass moments, but he just seemed like Mickey: Part 2. Ya know, Amy loved him, but she didn’t really want him around to spoil the fun she was having with the Doctor. Near the end though, it felt like she was getting tired of the Doctor. She cared about him, but he was a bit of a burden in her and Rory’s life.

And that’s where she differed from Donna. Donna actually wanted the Doctor in her life, not at first but eventually she came around. Of course, that was David Tennant – the Tenth Doctor. Now we have Matt Smith, and I could understand why one might want him to go away. He’s still a distant third to Christopher Eccleston and my favorite David Tennant. I’m excited to see how the rest of this season goes, but I’m even more excited to see who the next Doctor is going to be and if he or she will be better or worse than Matt Smith. I’m not expecting the next to ever replace Tennant but maybe come close. What I’m trying to get at is that Eleven, Amy, and Rory didn’t quite have the type of relationship that Ten had with Rose, Donna, or even Martha, and it really kept me from making any kind of real connection with them.

When Ten separated from any of his companions, I was saddened. I felt his pain. I even teared up a bit. When he regenerated and uttered those final words “I don’t wanna go,” I cried like a baby. But when Amy and Rory were sent and back in time by The Weeping Angels and the Doctor and River cried, along with millions of Whovians, I felt no sorrow. Only joy and relief. Does that make me a bad person?

The new girl. [source: sciencefiction.com]

I’m hoping that the new companion will breathe some new life into the series and freshen things up a bit. To me, Amy & Rory overstayed their welcome by about a season. I think they should have left mid-way through last season. Jenna-Louise Coleman has her work cut out for her, but after her appearance in “Asylum of The Daleks,” I think she’s going to be able to hold her own and keep Matt on his toes. Also, I wanna see River’s reaction to a new companion that isn’t her mother and/or father. I think there will be a period of adjustment.

I’m not expecting another Rose Tyler, but something more than Amy and Rory would be nice.

And for the love of everything that is Whovian, can we have Capt. Jack meet Eleven?! I mean, c’mon already!

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My Favorite Horror Remakes

This week, I thought I’d chat about horror remakes that I love and why I like some even more than the originals.

Most of the time, I hate remakes. To me, it just seems like a cop-out, and way for someone to make a film (and money) without having to come up with an original idea. This is primarily because the new writers and directors and producers will follow the steps of the old film to the letter, only replacing it with a new cast and an updated look. No changes, just a refresh. The good remakes are the ones that will retrace some of the steps of the old film while making their own new footprints without completely going off the beaten path and getting everyone lost. Do you understanding what I’m saying? I hope so. This is especially important when it comes to horror films. You want a film that will scare as much as the original… and then some.

So without further ado, here’s some of my favorite horror remakes:

“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.” [source: IMDB]

1: A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010). I wanna start off with my favorite remake, Nightmare. The original is one of my all-time favorite horror flicks with one of my all-time favorite horror villains, so for someone to remake this is a big deal to me. I was a little leery about this at first because Michael “Baysplosions” Bay was attached to produce it. Not to mention the director Samuel Bayer had only directed music videos prior to this. It’s quite a leap to jump from quick music videos to full-length major motion pictures. and making that jump on a horror classic such as Nightmare is a bit unnerving. However, Bay had done a great job with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th remakes and Bayer had directed some pretty great music videos (i.e. Marilyn Manson’s “Coma White” and The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”), so I gave the team the benefit of the doubt. The result turned out better than expected. Jackie Earle Haley was an excellent casting choice for Freddy, adding depth and even more depravity to the character, as well as some much needed creepiness (Near the end of the original series of films, Robert Englund’s Freddy had become more comical than scary). If I can leave a film more scared than I was of the original, then it’s a successful remake.

 

Ch ch ch ch Ha ha ha ha [source: hometheaterforums.com]

2. Friday the 13th (2009). Once again, Michael Bay and a music video director (Marcus Nispel) team up. This time though, I wasn’t as worried. Jason Voorhies was never really a favorite of mine. I liked the look of him but that was about it. He was just a mindless killing machine, no flare, no panache. The remake changed that. It gave him a little something extra that got me to pay attention – Intelligence. I’m not saying he’s a brainiac or anything, but he’s not a mindless twit either. He sets up elaborate traps and alarms and underground tunnels all over the camp in order to snare unsuspecting visitors. And you know what else is great about “new” Jason… he runs! That’s right – he freakin’ runs! No longer does he move with a slow gait while you sit and wonder how the hell he managed to catch up to, and sometimes get ahead of, someone running faster than him. His new ability to run, along with the tunnels, made it completely feasible for him to “magically” appear in front of someone after they thought they lost him. Not sure why it took so long for someone to make Jason run, but someone needs to buy that person a beer. Thanks for bringing logic to work that day. And let me just say that when the ending came around, I was expecting it, but it still scared the crap out of me. That, added with making J. Voorhies interesting to me, AND skipping over the ridiculous “revenge-seeking, killer Momma Voorhies” storyline makes for a damn fine remake in my book.

 

Prepare to stay indoors on Halloween. [source: awesomebmovies.com]

3. Halloween (2007). I may or may not have mentioned this to you before, readers, but pretty much anything Rob Zombie does is golden to me. Music, movies, artwork, whatever – it’s all golden! Some of it may not be as shiny as the rest (Halloween II), but it’s still valuable. This film is no exception.

The original Halloween was already as scary as could be, how do you top that? Michael Myers: a deranged serial killer who grew up in a mental institution, escaped from said institution, and is hellbent on slaughtering his family, anyone who gets in his way, and anyone who goes into his old house. And he’s out-and-about on Halloween night, dressed in a mechanic’s jumpsuit and a mask, so you can’t tell if he’s a killer or an adult who really loves Halloween, until he kills you. As a kid, watching this, I’ll admit that I was a bit freaked out to go trick or treating when Halloween night rolled around. I kept a watchful eye on everyone.

So how exactly was Zombie going to make this film any more scarier? Well, for starters, he was gonna give us a little more backstory on Michael, show us what led him to become the way he was, and even show us his first kill. There is nothing more unsettling than watching a little kid slit a grown man’s throat. From there he explores his time in the mental institution and his downward spiral into madness. After that, he just makes him non-stop brutal. So brutal that you almost feel every hit or stab, you cringe even more at the sound of a skull cracking or a neck snapping, and when he pops out of nowhere or crashes through a wall in an attempt to murder someone, you jump higher than you ever have. Zombie made this new Halloween so brutal, so violent, that I was actually desensitized to the original. I watched the 1978 version months later and was actually bored by it. That’s how you make a remake better – make the original seem boring and safe.

Make everyone look badass on the poster. Check. [source: Wikipedia]

4. Fright Night (2011). Here’s what sold me on this film from the very beginning: David Tennant as Peter Vincent, the magician/vampire slayer. That’s it. The fact that the Tenth Doctor was in this film was enough for me. I mean, Colin Farrell (one of my favorite actors) as the vampire Jerry was a nice addition as well, but it didn’t compare to the Doctor being cast. With that being said, I’d also like to add that, like the Friday the 13th remake, I wasn’t really worried if they messed up this film. I wasn’t a big fan of the original. I had maybe only watched it once when I was younger, and it never really latched on as one of my favorites. It wasn’t a bad flick, just wasn’t a favorite. The actual reasons I wanted it to do well was because it would introduce more people to the greatness that is David Tennant, and it might usher in a new wave of quality vampire films that might save us from the crap that is Twilight. Honestly, I think it did more of the former and less of the latter, which is fine by me, but it would be nice to see less sparkly vampires and more slaughter-y vampires. I was starting to get bored with the vampire genre, but this film managed to rekindle a bit of the love for the bloodsuckers. It was scary (I jumped a few times), it was witty (Tennant is quite funny), and it was incredibly well done (vampires that kill and don’t sparkle). It managed to make itself one of my favorite horror films, which is more than I can say for it’s predecessor. High five for that.

“Ooooo gurl! He crazy!” [allmoviephoto.com]

5. The Amityville Horror (2005). This film is one of those “Wow, I really didn’t expect that!” type of films. By that I mean it was actually a good remake and Ryan Reynolds proved that he can do more than just act like a goof. He was legitimately scary, like frighteningly scary. At no point was I thinking “Oh Ryan, put that ax down and stop acting like an idiot,” it was more like “HOLY SHITE! He’s gonna kill them! He has lost his damn mind!” Don’t get me wrong, I like Ryan as an actor but he’s always been the funny guy. This film was the first time I had seen him in something where he wasn’t trying to be comical. And it worked. Since then, I’ve seen him do more than just comedy and the guy can actually act, he’s got range. This film was proof of it. The rest of the cast was solid too (Melissa George, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Philip Baker Hall, just to name a few). And the film itself was well written, suspenseful, and quite scary. Just as good as the original, if not better. I mean, it makes me not want to be a home owner. Well, that and high mortgage rates and interest on home loans, finding safe areas to live in with good schools, and the fact that my credit isn’t so great right now. But mostly possessed houses.

 

You better run, and run fast. [source: Wikipedia]

6. Dawn of the Dead (2004). I wanna just start by saying that I hate zombies, especially in film. I find them quite boring and pointless. In the gallery of movie monsters, they are the lamest, right there with possessed dolls and baked goods. By saying this, I hope you can assume that I have a great dislike for anything with zombies with the exception of Shaun of the Dead, The Walking Dead, and Dead Rising. Oh, and this movie. This is an excellent movie. The best thing about the zombies in this flick is the fact that they’re quick. They’re the “Carl Lewis”-type zombies, which in real life, you don’t want to encounter but in movie life, it makes things more exciting. Here are some other great things about Dawn: First off, it was Zack Snyder’s feature film debut (one of my favorite directors). Secondly, it’s a solid remake of an already classic zombie film (Ok, I enjoy the original too. Happy now?). Thirdly, it takes place in a mall, which is the perfect place for a zombie film because it allows for the zombies as well as the people to die in so many strange and incredible ways (especially in the food court). Fourthly, it has Ving Rhames. Doesn’t mean it’s going to be good (Day of the Dead) but then again, it could be (Pulp Fiction). Finally, and most importantly, I made me enjoy zombie films just a little bit more. That’s not an easy thing to do and if someone or something can do that, even just a little bit, than something great has been accomplished and praise is deserved.

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