The Final Destination

The Final Destination 3D

Some of the cast hopes this movie won't be the high point of their careers.

(New Line) Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, Haley Webb, Mykelti Williamson, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella, Justin Welborn, Stephanie Honore, Lara Grice. Directed by David R. Ellis

The Final Destination film series has made bank on a simple premise which has been repeated over and over again for the first three films of the series. The fourth one, which features no number in the title which might confuse moviegoers or DVD renters with the first film of the series which had the same title minus the “The”, is no different in that sense.

Teenager – in this case Nick O’Bannon (Campo) – gets a premonition of a horrific disaster, this time at a NASCAR race. He urges his companions to leave immediately, causing some consternation and ill feelings. However, all concerned are quickly relieved when the disaster happens exactly as foretold. The survivors are then picked off one by one in a series of increasingly graphic and elaborate “accidents” which have some kind of supernatural assistance. Surviving teens race against time to change the order of the death sequence and stop the carnage.

The whole trick to the movie working is how well the death scenes work and under the stewardship of director Ellis (who previously helmed the second film in the series, as well as Snakes on a Plane) they do most satisfactorily, ranging from a death by air conditioning unit to a death by pool filter (trust me, it works). It’s kind of ghoulish to be seeing a movie to watch a parade of people being turned into hamburger by a variety of means, but at least the filmmakers understand the point; one of the characters is pointedly criticized for going to a racetrack so that he might see a car crash. It’s really the same principle here.

The acting here is fair to middling, and sometimes not even that. The whole point of the movie is to filet whoever is next in line and so I’m fairly sure the producers weren’t worrying about acting chops so much. “I did Hamlet for my local Shakespearean company.” “That’s nice kid, now let’s hear  you scream.”

In all honesty I can’t really differentiate between this and other films in the series all that much. Quite frankly, they all kind of blend together and had I not seen this one recently, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to tell you which execution takes place in which film. I suppose at the end of the day it doesn’t matter.

So basically, the whole thing is this; if you like the series, you won’t walk away disappointed with the latest one. You might even get your thrill on because this is the first one to be in 3D, so the body parts and sharp pointy objects come flying at you more realistically I suppose. However, be warned if the previous three movies of the series haven’t floated your boat much, neither will this.

WHY RENT THIS: This is more of the same; if you liked the first three films, you’ll like this one.

WHY RENT SOMETHING ELSE: This is more of the same; if you hated the first three films, you’ll hate this one too.

FAMILY VALUES: While there is some sexuality, there is a lot more violence of the sort that has become synonymous with this series. In other words, don’t invite the small fries to sit through this one if you don’t want years of therapy to follow!

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: This is the first film in the series not to feature Tony Todd in a supporting role.


BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE: $186M on a $40M production budget; the movie was a big hit.


TOMORROW: Punisher: War Zone


New Releases for the Week of August 28, 2009




Who says Paul Dano can't look studly?

Who says Paul Dano can't look studly?



(Focus) Emile Hirsch, Demitri Martin, Imelda Staunton, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kelli Garner, Eugene Levy, Liev Schreiber, Henry Goodman. Directed by Ang Lee.

In 1969, the counterculture was focused on a farm in upstate New York for one glorious shining (ummmm, okay…raining) weekend – near a place called Woodstock. Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) takes a fond look back at that moment in time in this new comedy inspired by events that actually happened – note that it’s inspired by and not based on, so expect ol’ Ang and his screenwriting partner James Schamus to play a bit fast and loose with the facts but so what? It’s all in good fun.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: R (for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language)


(Fox Searchlight) Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving. Adam is a young man who not only lacks the social graces, he lacks any sort of grace whatsoever. He has been comfortable in his insulated world – until Beth walks into his life. As worldly and cosmopolitan as he is shy and awkward, she comes into his life like a tornado in a miniskirt. An unlikely romance, yes but this is an indie film after all so there you go.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material, sexual content and language)

The Final Destination

(New Line) Bobby Campo, Shantel van Santen, Mykelti Williamson, Krista Allen. The fourth (and possibly final) entry into the horror franchise follows the same formula – teen has premonition, saves friends from horrible accident that kills others, then said friends begin getting picked off in a series of elaborate, gruesome accidents. Yes, I know you’ve seen it all before – but have you seen it in 3D? Yes, it’s in 3D in selected theaters, but not all so check ahead if your particular multiplex is carrying it in that form if it’s important to you.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: R (for strong violent/gruesome accidents, language and a scene of sexuality)

Halloween II

(Dimension) Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif. Is it that time of year again? Rob Zombie, who is God to legions of horror film fanatics, returns in this sequel to his reboot of John Carpenter’s Halloween. Taking place immediately after the first film left off, it follows heroine Laurie Strode in the aftermath of the carnage of the first movie as Michael Myers seeks out his own brand of retribution.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: R (for strong brutal bloody violence throughout, terror, disturbing graphic images, language, and some crude sexual content and nudity)