I had a rare weekday off today, so I planned an excursion involving corned beef and flesh eating mutant fish. Not at the same time, mind you, but I did find myself at the Brookfield Majestic Ultrascreen (with about five other people, one being Papa Cash) to watch the epic that is:
The reason I mention where I saw this film is because this screen is huge. And I mean HUGE. It's 72 feet wide and three stories tall, according to their website. Sounds neato, right? Well, maybe - but even though I was almost at the back of the theater, I kept finding that I was pushing my head into the back of my seat - trying to get away from the giant King Kong screen that felt like it was trying to sear itself into my brain and brainwash me into buying stock in the Marcus Corporation. And I didn't even purposely pick the Ultrascreen - I was only there because the theater I usually go to wasn't showing Pirahna in 3-D, and I didn't even realize that the movie was playing on the Ultra.
I left feeling kind of banged around - with a headache and my eyes feeling wore out - so I'm looking forward to seeing this movie again, on the Firefly Ranch home theater. (I'm finding more and more I prefer my own home movie experience to going to the movies lately). I'm looking forward to watching it at home so I can see if I can actually, you know, SEE STUFF.
I realize that pirahna move really fast and are all crazy n shit, and I would imagine if you're being eaten alive in the water by a thousand fish, you're probably not going to be staying real still. Arms and legs are gonna flail and water is going to splash. But I've said it before (most recently with Zombieland) and I'll say it again: SLOW THE FREAK DOWN AND SHOW ME SOME SHIT.
There were some great shots and some awesome kills (which I define as those that make me laugh out loud) but there were way more times that I felt like : Huh? Wha? WTF just happened?
And then I'd try to extricate the back of my head from the permanent indent I made in the seat cushion.
I am a fan of the original Pirahna, and for the most part, I've sworn off remakes and sequels. But I didn't feel that the original Pirahna was something so sacred it couldn't be touched, and I looked it at more as another movie about killer fish - and Mama is nothing if not a HUGE sucker for monsters in the water films. I love underwater shots, and camera shots that zoom through the water from the monster's perspective make me feel all warm and gooshy inside.
So even though it was technically a remake - for me, it really didn't feel like one - I felt like they just kept the basic premise and did their own thing. I especially loved the little shout-out to real fans of horror with the cameo by Richard Dreyfuss in the beginning - they didn't stop at just having him in the movie, they added a couple of inside jokes that only fans of Jaws will get. It was a nice nod to classic horror.
Overall, the movie was heavy on the red stuff and probably about as gory as they could get away with. I hope the DVD will come unrated with even more goo and body parts. I loved the big carnage scene, and the party scene (boobies included) didn't annoy me too much. I think as far as what we've been offered with mainstream horror, this was fun. I just don't know that the 3-D aspect really made it any more enjoyable for me - and it was the big reason I saw it so quickly - because I imagine in a week or two, it'll be replaced by the next thing in 3-D. And I have seen other films in 3-D and didn't feel so overwhelmed by them.
Sigh. Maybe Mama is just not a kid anymore. (You think? -Capt. Obvious Editor). But hey, for some escapism on my day off, it fit the bill. None of the acting made me cringe (too much) and Eli Roth's death was pretty sweet. Keep your eyes peeled for the barely-there Greg Nicotero cameo.
Oh, and BTW, Milwaukee, if you haven't been to McBob's for a corned beef sandwich, do yourself a favor and get there pronto.
Here's a link to a blog post singing the praises of McBob's much more eloquently than I could. And with pictures!