Thursday, October 31, 2013

Old vs New: The Grudge

Recently, I have been watching a few Asian horror films like the Korean White, and the Japanese Sadako 3D (review to come!). These are the films that still scare me. Even after being watched a few times White remains my favorite and still gives me chills.
But why? Why do American films do so little while the Japanese have me using much more of my flashlight app on my phone?
Perhaps we can answer this by comparing a Japanese original and the American attempt. 
In the year 2000 Japanese director Takashi_Shimizu helmed the movie Ju-On. This is a film in a series of creations following a ghost, or curse as it affects those who come in contact with it. 
You see, in Japanese lore, if a person dies a tragic or violent death, then the place it occurs in becomes tainted with the evil spirits of the dead. Should anyone enter the place, then the spirit will some after them and, sometimes, harm their loved ones. 
Ju-On follows those who enter a house in which a horrific crime has been committed. The house seems innocent enough until those who enter it either die or vanish. 
The American remake starring Buffy the Vampire slayer's Sarah Michelle Geller and directed by the same man as the original follows a similar plot with similar characters, just changing a few to more relatable American characters. 
So if they are so similar why does one scare me and one is just meh?

One could argue that it's the foreign aspect. The fact that one of these films is in another language and must be read could, subconsciously be unnerving for me. To be placed in an atmosphere that is unknown to me could add to the effect the movie has. 
It could also be the way it is shot. I have seen most if not all of the Ju-On films (a sequel and two short spin off films were made) and they all have similar ways of telling the story. Sort of like end to beginning. 
The story begins not with how the curse begins, but with one of it's latest victims. You are then taken backwards to who they got the curse from and onwards until you are shown how the curse began. In this fashion you know only slightly more than the characters you see as they encounter the curse. This adds to the atmosphere and engrosses you into what is happening. 
The American remake loses both of these by making the main characters American and keeping a linear timeline (perhaps to not confuse some people). 
Plus I just kept seeing Buffy the whole time! This came out not soon after the show ended and I just could not separate the two just yet!

My advice? If you like one, check out the others! That is, if you don't mind a bit of reading!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm Back!

Okay, so I haven't been posting to this blog very well, but I have some new things in the works that I want to share so you will hear from me a lot more!

First of all I want to explain why I was gone: I fell in love. It's a big sob story which is described in my other blog (you should check it out!), but for the past few months I have not had one 'actor kick'. Next one hasn't shown up yet, so I'm waiting for it to come up.

But now I am back and ready to get going again! I am watching a lot of Japanese and Korean horror movies so an Old Vs New of The Grudge is coming up, and what better time than Halloween! Also, I think an Old Vs. New of a few other remade foreign movies may come up as well!

We'll see!

Good to be back!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

5 Songs that were popular in the 90's that you never hear played on the radio anymore

5 Songs that were popular in the 90’s that you never hear played on the radio anymore.

By: Brian Cotnoir

5.) Mambo No. 5 (A little bit of...)- Lou Bega

     Artist Lou Bega took a 50 year old song in 1999 and turned it into a hit with “Mambo No. 5 (A little bit of...)”.  With a great hook, and beautiful dancing girls in his video, “Mambo No. 5” propelled Lou Bega’s debut album A Little Bit of Mambo (1999) into Platinum sales status.  Unfortunately, for Lou Bega, the success that followed “Mambo No. 5” was nowhere near as close in terms of success and popularity.  What else is there to say about this song, other than: thank goodness for Ex-Girlfriends.

4.) Whoomp! (There it is)- Tag Team

     Miami Hip-Hop Group Tag Team found success in 1993 with their song “Whoomp! (There it is!).  This song reached #2 on the Hot 100 Charts and was very popular at Sports Arenas (especially Basketball).  Tag Team actually re-worked the song and released “Hoop!  There it is!” in honor of the Houston Rockets NBA championship in 1994.  This song is considered both one of the greatest “one-hit wonder” songs and also “one of the worst songs of all-time”.  Whether you like this song or not, you have to admit that this was a popular song in the 1990’s.

3.) Blue (Da Ba Dee)- Eiffel 65

     Remember the first time you saw the music video to this song back in 1999?  Wasn’t it one of the coolest things of the decade?  By today’s standards the CGI in this music video is very primitive and crude, but it was one of the things that helped Italian Techno Group Eiffel 65 and their debut album Europop (1999) into superstar status.  However, just like Lou Bega and Tag Team, Eiffel 65 failed to reach the same success with a follow up.  “Blue (Da Ba Dee) may have been the #1 song in over a dozen countries, and received two Grammy Award Nominations, but I’m afraid they are doomed to One-Hit Wonder Status (at least in America).

2.) Gangsta’s Paradise- Coolio

     This song appeared in the 1995 “Dangerous Minds” and propelled Rap Artist Coolio into superstar status in the 1990’s. This song earned Coolio the 1995 Grammy for “Best Rap Solo Performance”.  Later in the decade a feud would ignite between Coolio and Parody-Cover Musician, Weird Al Yankovic, over Weird Al’s parody of “Gangsta’s Paradise” entitled “Amish Paradise”. 


1.) Macarena- Los Del Rio

     Holy Shnikes!  This song was INESCAPABLE in the 1990’s. If there was one song the absolutely dominated the radio airwaves and if you went searching through the radio dial, chances are this song was going to be played on at least one of those radio stations.  The song was released Los Del Rio, a band that had been performing and touring since 1962.  It was #1 in the U.S. and many other countries.  From the time it was released it was one of the most successful songs—not just of the year—but of the entire decade.  Who cares if you didn’t understand or know any of the lyrics to the song, because white people were doing that stupid dance at every wedding, family reunion, and birthday party.  This song is what many people to be the “Greatest One Hit Wonder of All-Time”...and yet when’s the last time you heard it played on the radio?  Isn’t it strange?