independent films

Halloween: H2O (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on October 22, 2011

79. Halloween: H2O (available to stream on Netflix and Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Halloween: H2O.

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Halloween: H2O is a full out horror/slasher film, set 20 years after the original Halloween.  Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode, but she has assumed a new identity.  Michael Myers, her brother, is also back, of course.

This is super creepy.  I have less trouble with the Jason Voorhees mask because it’s not resembling a human like this one.  This one just makes my skin crawl.

So, we start the movie and Laurie is doing well as Keri Tate, her new name since she changed it to get away from her past and her brother.  She has a boyfriend and is a successful headmistress of a private school.  She has a cute son played by Josh Hartnett.  His girlfriend is played by Michelle Williams, and they have disposable friends.

These two finally meet up again after 20 years. Happy reunion!

Naturally, more people die and at the end, Jamie Lee gets her bitch on and kills him dead.  She beheads him with a fire ax, and although I don’t think it is very realistic, I’ll take it.  I was quite pleased with this film as another in the Halloween series, and Jamie Lee Curtis is fantastic in it.  Another good one for the Halloween playlist.

Halloween: H2O is available on DVD from Amazon for $9.28.

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Scream (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on October 21, 2011

78. Scream (available to stream on Netflix and Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Scream.

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Scream is what brought back scary movies in the 90s.  Released in 1996, it launched a string of scary movies released in the following years.  Not so much horror films, these movies were lacking in severe blood and gore, but lots of suspense and murders. (Spoiler alert starts now!)

Drew Barrymore GETS IT in this movie. And her little boyfriend too.

The story opens with a heinous double murder where the killer calls Drew Barrymore and taunts her like crazy with movie trivia and killing her boyfriend before eventually killing her too.  This is a BFD in the little town of Woodsboro.  We meet Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), and find out that her mother was murdered the previous year.  We also meet her friend Tatum (Rose McGowan), her boyfriend Billy (Skeet Ulrich) and Tatum’s boyfriend Stu (Matthew Lillard).  Supporting cast includes reporter Gail Weathers (Courtney Cox), Dewey (David Arquette) and Randy (Jamie Kennedy).

Sidney gets stalked on the phone by the same killer and is attacked in her house.  From then on, its a string of death until we finally find out who the killer is.  Who they are, actually, but that’s all I am sharing.

I love Rose McGowan! She’s great in this movie, and her death is awesome!

This is a great addition to your October movie playlist.  It’s funny and scary and twisty and even if you’ve seen it before, it is fun to watch again.

Scream is available on DVD from Amazon for $13.89.

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Helvetica (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on September 22, 2011

67. Helvetica (available for streaming via Netflix and Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Helvetica.

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Helvetica, as many of us know, is a font.  However, what you might not know is that it is literally EVERYWHERE.  This documentary was released in 2007 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the initial creation of Helvetica.

I really enjoyed this documentary – there is no other typeface on earth that is this widely used.  There is also not another typeface with this much drama surrounding it!  Lots of designers were interviewed in this documentary, and some of them love Helvetica for its simplicity, and some hate it for its invasion of all things type.  I highly recommend a viewing of Helvetica.

Helvetica is available on DVD from Amazon for $20.99.

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Empire Records (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on September 13, 2011

63. Empire Records (available for streaming via Netflix and Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Empire Records.

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Empire Records is a story of a day, obviously in the 90s, for the employees of an independent record store on the brink of going corporate.  The film features Liv Tyler, Renee Zellweger, Anthony Lapaglia, Robin Tunney and a bunch of other, less famous actors.

It is Rex Manning Day at Empire Records, and the young employees are preparing for having a celebrity in their midst, especially Liv Tyler who is planning on bedding the famous singer.  We have already found out that another employee, Lucas, took all of the store’s cash to Atlantic City the night before and lost it all during a game of craps.  The day goes on, and the staff deals with sharing their feelings about each other, meeting Rex Manning, trying to find a way to get around having to go the corporate music store route, and dealing with customer madness along the way.  This movie makes me wish I was 17 and working in a cool music store, instead of my actual reality which involved a green vest at Publix.

A really enjoyable part of this movie is the non-squinty and non-emaciated Renee Zellweger.

Plus, the soundtrack is pretty rad.

Empire Records is definitely worth checking out, and is available on DVD from Amazon for $11.33.

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