Tag Archives: entertainment

Insidious: Chapter 2 fails to capture the nerve-wracking plot of the original

By Christian Dimartino and Bryce Romig

There is a vicious cycle when it comes to scary movies. The original is released, it becomes an instant classic with a large fanbase; however, most of the time, the filmmakers do not leave the original alone. Instead, the director brings along a new form of terror: a sequel. About 99.99 percent of the time, the sequel never lives up to the original. So, going into James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2, the burning question on the viewers’ mind is this: Can it top the original?

Insidious, Wan’s 2011 movie that slowly gathered a cult like following, was one of the more effective scary movies in recent history. Wan hit another slam-dunk back in July with The Conjuring, an even better movie (and very successful and even critically acclaimed) which is among the year’s best.  So, there is a lot of hype to live up to. But did he do it?

The sequel takes place directly after the events of the original. The Lambert family is trying to move on with their lives and recover from the events they had previously been through. But of course, since this is a sequel to a scary movie, the recovering doesn’t last very long. The wife Renai (the always terrific Rose Bryne) starts to notice strange occurrences again, including the behavior of her husband Josh (Patrick Wilson, the most overlooked actor in Hollywood), who she doesn’t reallytrust, due to events of the previous film.

Warning: Do not see this movie without seeing the original. It is not worth it. For confusion sake, just sit down and watch the original. The sequel will not be completely confusing, but either way the original is worth seeing. The original has a solid plot that is crucial to the second.

It’s always nice to see good acting in a scary movie. Like in the original, Wilson and Byrne nail it. The statement about Wilson being the most overlooked actor in Hollywood is true. This guy is great in Hard Candy, Little Children, Lakeview Terrace, among others, and he is still not a household name. Neither is the gorgeous Byrne, who is known for FX’s Damages and Bridesmaids. These two are in top form here. Everyone’s acting is solid, and it is nice to have almost everyone from the original (even Lin Shaye’s deceased character Elise).

At the end of the day, Insidious: Chapter 2 is not quite as captivating as the original. For Wan, this is a step down from the original Insidious and The Conjuring. Jumping out of your skin is guaranteed, yet the movie needed something more chilling. It needed more of Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe through the Tulips” or the freaky demon that had a close resemblance to Darth Maul.

It is a good movie, but some of it is uneven. Not quite all of it adds up. Also, the twist, while good, is out there, even for this movie. Insidious: Chapter 2, though flawed, is a consistently entertaining movie that is worth seeing. It works, just not as well as the original. But Insidious: Chapter 3, if it happens, is pushing it.

Regardless of a hard to follow plot and somewhat confusing storyline, Insidious: Chapter 2 is definitely going to leave you paranoid at night.

Rating: 7.5/10

Columnist proposes dreary Spring Break movie solutions

By Christian DiMartino

Hopefully, just hopefully, Spring Break will be nice and fun, but hopefully not too much fun if you know what I mean. But the weather has been dreadful lately, and what is there left to do on such long, miserable days? Watch a movie. Or two. Or three. Maybe five will do. Here are five movies guaranteed to make your rainy day a better one.

5. Die Hard (1988) – Nobody knows about being trapped in a boring building for a day better than NY cop John McLane (Bruce Willis). But try being stuck in a building with a group of German terrorists taking hostages. Die Hard is basically a guy playing cat-and-mouse with a lunatic for two hours. But those two hours are quite an adventure. The presence of Willis and Alan Rickman (the bad guy) is key.

4. Airplane (1980) – Airplane is a comedy that simply never grows up, and that is what is awesome about it. Even with repeated viewings, it always remains consistently entertaining and hilarious. So why should a rainy day be an exception? It is dumb, possibly the dumbest movie of all. But it is guaranteed to slap a smile.

3. Back to the Future (1985) – This is the epitome of a rainy day movie. Back to the Future will be entertaining whether it is on an airplane, in a house, or in a Delorean, It is a smart, fun, and sort of creepy (the main character’s mom falls in love with him). But it is funny in the way that it is creepy. All it takes is a Huey Lewis song, and the mood to watch this movie will suddenly increase.

2. Titanic (1997) – Rainy days feel like the longest days. So it seems like the perfect time to commit to James Cameron’s big, romantic, three hour disaster epic. It is amazing how this film still has such an influence on us today. Cameron went on to make Avatar 12 years later, but that is not this movie. Titanic is groundbreaking for its time. It is big, it is adventurous, and it will and has left people talking for years. Titanic, we will never let go.

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – Imagine the adventure that can happen on a sunny day. Well, it is supposed to be a rainy day, so that option is out. But instead, join Indiana Jones on his first and best adventure, which is arguably the best adventure of all. Raiders of the Lost Ark is the definition of adventure, and since this is a list of rainy day movies, no adventure will entertain more than this one. It is a sure thing.

Book turned film disappoints critic

By Blake Dykes

Friday night was a night I had been looking forward to ever since I finished the book Safe Haven. I finally got to see the movie. While I was not entirely excited about the overall outcome of the movie, I also was not disappointed. It is typical that movies are usually never as good as the books; that is mainly because movies do not go into as much detail as the book.

For starters, I enjoyed the book more because it really went in depth about Katie’s past and all of the abuse that she endured. The book really made me feel her pain, and I could vividly see each punch Katie would take from Kevin. However,  the movie just showed a few flashbacks, never allowing the viewers to see how wicked his character truly was.

Another better aspect of the book is that the reader witnessed how insane Kevin was because we were able to read all of his thoughts. I read how he rationalized his abuse that he inflicted on Katie, and how he made it acceptable in his head.

A bigger difference between the book and movie is the role that Jo plays. In the book Jo is more significant, and the connection between her and Katie is much more developed. Jo is constantly giving her advice about Alex and his children.

Despite the obvious connection between Katie and Alex, the book seemed to have more events that brought them closer. I was able to understand what drew them together. I specifically remember a passage in where Alex came over to Katie’s, and Katie relieved her past, telling him everything that had happened to her, and Alex was her shoulder to cry on. However, in the movie, it appears Katie will never admit her past, or the awful marriage that she is still involved in. It actually shows that Alex does not even believe Katie’s past, he just thinks that she is lying.

Overall, Safe Haven is a good movie if you have no read the book. However, if you have read the book, I would brace for some disappointment.