Blu-ray Review “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later”

Directed by: Steve Miner
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, Michelle Williams
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Running Time: 85 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 0 out of 5 stars

“Halloween H20” was never really my favorite installment in the “Halloween” franchise. I felt like it was a bit too much Hollywood and lost its edge. Nonetheless it is still a “Halloween” film. Laurie Strode is also one of the best strong female horror icons, so it is always great to see Jamie Lee Curtis take on the role. Echo Bridge did not put a lot into this release though and fans of this franchise will not be happy overall with this. It is barely a step up from a DVD release.

The film picks up with Laurie Strode (Curtis), who is now a headmistress of a private school and still struggling with her 20-year-old memories of Michael Myers. Of course guess who suddenly reappears looking to continue to stalk his sister. Michael also sets his sights on the school’s students and staff including Laurie’s son (Josh Hartnett), his girlfriend (Michelle Williams) and the school security guard (LL Cool J). It is up to Laurie to conquer her greatest fears and go up against her brother, Michael, once and for all…or at least until “Halloween: Resurrection”.

This Blu-ray presentation is extremely disappointing with a weak 1080p transfer, which looks bland and lacking sharpness. The film is presented in 1.78.1 but was shot in 2.35.1, so you can expecting cropping. The audio track is also a bit disappointing with its DTS-HD MA 2.0 and no surround track. What is even more disappointing is that the DVD release at least offered a 5.1 track. If you are looking for special features you will be disappointed again. This film is baron, there is no extras, trailers or even subtitles. Sorry Echo Bridge, very weak release.

Blu-ray Review “Halloween: Resurrection”

Directed by: Rick Rosenthal
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Sean Patrick Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tyra Banks, Busta Rhymes
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Running Time: 90 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Alright we all know that “Halloween: Resurrection” is not the best in the series, but it is far from the worst. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Busta Rhymes kung fu kick Michael Myers? When this was released back in 2002, it a smart way to pick up from “Halloween: H20” and a great way to continue the series, although it didn’t turn out that way. With horror franchises like “Halloween” it’s fans just want to watch Michael Myers continue his killing spree, the film itself can just be so-so. I wish they would continue stop constantly rebooting these franchises and just continue with sequels like this one. They are fun and able to be re-watched over and over.

With the rising craze of reality TV, this installment of the “Halloween” franchise adds that aspect the Michael Myers story. Reality TV producers (Rhymes, Banks) pick a group of teenagers who are chosen to spend a night investigating in the childhood home of serial killer Michael Myers. . The live streaming broadcast takes a turn for the worse when Michael Myers himself shows up and starts killing the shows contestants.

The Blu-ray presentation is damn impressive. Of course there is a big focus on head cams in the dark, so completely clarity is not expected. The 1080p transfer looks great overall and the film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. There also is a great variety of audio tracks included a Dolby Digital 5.1 HD, DTS-HD MA, and LCM 2.0 Stereo tracks, very impressive. Kudos to Echo Bridge for stepping up with this release.

Unlike most Blu-ray releases from Echo Bridge, “Halloween: Resurrection” comes packed with some decent special features, even if they are only in 480p. There is an audio commentary track from Director Rick Rosenthal and Editor Robert Ferretti, which is very informative and interesting. There are about 10 minutes of Alternate Endings and Deleted Scenes. There is a tour of the set with Production Designer, Troy Hansen. “On the Set with Jamie Lee Curtis” focuses on the role of Laurie Strode in the film. “Head Cam Featurette” takes a look at the cameras used in the film. Lastly there is a storyboard split screen which compare various scenes in the film, decent but a little short. Overall very impressive features for fans of the series.

Comcast Brings Annual “Halloween Moviethon” Collection to Xfinity

COMCAST BRINGS ANNUAL “HALLOWEEN MOVIETHON” COLLECTION WITH
MORE THAN 200 OF THE BEST SILVER SCREEN SCARES TO XFINITY ON DEMAND AND XFINITYTV.COM

WHAT: During the month of October, Xfinity On Demand and XfinityTV.com are serving up more than 200 movies in a comprehensive collection of classic and current horror and monster films, from edge-pushing slasher and giant monster epics to family-friendly animated scares in its “Halloween Moviethon” collection.

Xfinity On Demand

Xfinity On Demand’s “Halloween Moviethon” offers instant access to a bevy of the greatest movies that can get any member of the family into a scary holiday mood, from the vampire-obsessed teens to the 20-somethings and Scooby-Doo loving toddlers.  The films are grouped according to genres, such as: Creepy Classics, Frightful Family Fun, Horror Franchises and Scream with Laughter. Highlights include:

Creepy Classics

  • The Birds
  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • The Shining
  • Carrie
  • Alien

Frightful Family Fun

  • Young Frankenstein
  • Addams Family Values
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Ghostbusters
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • Men in Black

Horror Franchises

  • Friday the 13th (starts 10/7)
  • Resident Evil
  • Halloween (starts 10/7)
  • Saw
  • Final Destination
  • The Grudge
  • Underworld
  • Human Centipede (starts 10/12)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (starts 10/7)
  • Romero’s Living Dead (starts 10/7)

In addition, to help make this Halloween even more haunting, Xfinity On Demand will be offering a slew of activity-oriented programming just for kids.  This varied content includes activities such as costume making, pumpkin carving, magic tricks and much more and can be found at Xfinity On Demand>Kids>Kids Picks>Halloween.

XfinityTV.com
XfinityTV.com is also hosting films, including classic creepers like The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror (1979) The Phantom of the Opera, Village of the Damned, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Bride of Chucky along with special Halloween themed TV episodes including HGTV’s Halloween Block Party and VH1’s Scream Queens, to get revelers in the mood for the season of scary.

WHEN: Now throughout the month of October

WHERE: For the “Halloween Moviethon” collection, customers can go to Xfinity On Demand >Top Picks>Halloween Moviethon or visit XfinityTV.com.

For kid-friendly activities customers can go to Xfinity On Demand>Kids>Kids Picks>Halloween.

About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.

“Halloween: The Musical” CD Review

Record Label: John B. deHaas
Music & Lyrics: John B. deHaas
Recorded and Mixed by Brandon Knechtel at The Jamnasium, Clermont, Florida.
D Squared and Listy Lils Music Company Present
Total Length: 29:55

Album Score: 3 out of 5 stars

John Carpenter created one of the best horror films in history in 1978 and it has been used as the basis and inspiration for many projects. The latest is a musical parody stage production called, “Halloween: The Musical”. The project was recorded in fall 2010 and features its Orlando, FL cast and musicians. The man behind this creative idea is John B. deHaas. I have to say that this project is definitely ambitious as it takes one of the horror genres most important films and turning it into a musical. The idea of it works…for the most part.

In the first and second track, I have to give it to John, the lyrics are creative and the music is fun. The next three songs, “Walkin’ and Talkin’/Totally”, “Standin’ and Talkin'” and “Cruisin’ and Talkin'” are also decent but get a little bit repetitive. I liked them but I do not think I will be replaying them as favorites. I really enjoyed the song “Evil Eyes” sang by John Graham as Dr. Sam Loomis. “Don’t Get Dressed” was really catchy and fun song. Even though I was just listening and not watching I felt that it conveyed the action really well and was funny. My least favorite song was “The Confession” such Shawn Walsh as Michael Myers.

Overall the CD is fun in the beginning but loses it ideal about half way through…and the album is less than 30 minutes.  It is probably a hoot to watch the group to perform it live.  Overall, you got to give it up to John B. deHaas for taking a very serious and respected film and turning it into a witty musical comedy.  Worth a listen for sure if you are a genre fan.

Track List:
1. Trick or Treat
2. Why’d It Happen in Haddonfield?
3. Walkin’ and Talkin’/Totally
4. Standin’ and Talkin’
5. Cruisin’ and Talkin’
6. Evil Eye
7. Ben Tramer
8. The Bogeyman
9. Don’t Get Dressed
10. Michael’s Revenge
11. The Confession
12. Trick of Treat Finale
13. Michael Myers’ (Megamix)