Shane wraps up the January releases with one of his favorite teen rom-coms: "She's All That". Shane tells some stories abut employee screenings, and then dives into discussing the massive cast of teenagers who make up this special film. Shane wraps up the episode talking about the soundtrack to the film.
Friday, January 28, 2022
Shane and Jason welcome their first guest of 2022 to the podcast: Micah Scott Winters. Micah wrote the music for the intro video that now runs before every episode of the show. The guys reminisce about their times working together on the GemInI Films projects, they also discuss Micah's old band Rebuilt, as well as his inspirations of writing music. Finally, Micah takes the shortened Horowitz Questionnaire.
Saturday, January 22, 2022
This week, Shane takes a look at what he considers the worst week of 1999 releases. Shane explains that Hollywood tends to dump bad films at the beginning of a year, and then Shane transitions into discussing the book Best. Movie. Year. Ever. by Brian Raftery, then he goes into his thoughts on the Sharon Stone film "Gloria" and the British Comedy-Drama "Still Crazy".
Sunday, January 16, 2022
“Scream” (2022) Review
There aren’t many films in history that deserve a fifth entry into their series. However, in a genre where Michael Myers has appeared in eleven films (and apparently three different universe/timelines). This genre has also seen Freddy Krueger show up in nine films, and Jason Voorhees has shown up in eleven films – including the cross over between these two villains. So, if Ghostface ends up getting a couple of more films, then I will continue to enjoy them.
The difference with Ghostface, is the fact that each film features a new killer – or combination of killers – to take up the Ghostface mantle, and as far as Sidney Prescott goes, this makes her the John McClane of the horror franchise. While Jamie Lee Curtis was famous for Laurie Strode, she did only do the first two films, before waiting twenty years to reprise her role (the same timeframe Neve Campbell finds herself at now), then Jamie demanded to have Laurie killed off in “Halloween Resurrection” before decided to “re-kinda-boot” the series and have Laurie alive, but ignore everything after the first film.
In regards to those comments, I’m fine with this fifth film being the last “Scream” for Sidney Prescott. A new young cast has been introduced, and if they decide to move forward with these characters, I’m not opposed to that concept.
In 2015, MTV created a “Scream” television series, and while it was nowhere near as good as the first two films, it was something new and different. The story and plot were separate and not at all connected to the film series. A weekly slasher series, that gave me a wonderful “whodunit” feel throughout the first season, and…
OK, THIS WILL BE A MINOR SPOILER FOR THE FIRST SEASON, but I am not revealing names.
…the first season of the TV series, revealed the killer and resolved the storyline – however, it did something that none of the films have ever done: The revealed there was a second killer, who actually did get away with everything. That character, then goes on into the second season, and creates an incredible new sense of dramatic storytelling, as the audience knows their involvement, but none of the surviving characters do. It was something that was never done in the film franchise, and I really enjoyed it.
The first two season aired over two years, and then there was a long gap until the third “Scream” tv season came out in 2019. Titled, “Scream: Resurrection” we finally saw the Ghostface mask return to the franchise, over the six episode run – that I think was the best of all three seasons. It had an interesting and enjoyable twist (that was pretty predictable, but still executed well) and the iconic mask really helped with the overall vibe of the season.
The same year as the third season, we got the early reports that Blumhouse would be producing a new “Scream” film, and I was not a happy camper. Having Wes Craven direct all of the first four films, I never wanted to see an entry without him involved as the director. I was willing to accept the idea of a reboot, if they felt they wanted to update things for the modern generation. While I personally believe “Scream” still holds up as one of the best slasher films, ever – I can understand how some of the plot falls flat on the youth of today. Landlines. No home security cameras. The inability to “Go Live” on social media. There’s a lot of thing I lived through in my youth, that kids these days can’t comprehend. So, if this was going to be a reboot, to attempt to update the concept in a way that could scare a new generation of teenagers… I would be interested in that, since it’s the same thing that all three seasons of the television series attempted.
As more and more news came about, I learned it was going to be considered the fifth films in the series. Which originally disappointed me, but many of the interviews with Neve Campbell, she explained her reasoning for being willing to return, and her feels about how much the writers/directors wanted to honor Wes Craven, and make him proud of their film. With comments like these, I went ahead and relaxed my concerns and looked forward to the film.
And then I had to wait. And wait. And wait even longer, as COVID delayed the release of the film by almost a year.
Now, here we are. The fifth film in the Saga of Sidney Prescott has been released, and I went to the Thursday night showing with a great group of guys – many of whom I worked with on my first feature length horror film “Consternate”. Jason, my co-everything in life, who wrote and directed “Consternate” with me, and now is my better half of the Shane Talks Podcast was there. His brother Michael was too, who played a musician in the movie. Mark Buckwalter was adamant for months that we had to watch this film together – and I was so honored to get to watch the movie with him. Mark played the Killer in our film, and he is my biggest champion for getting me to write a sequel to “Consternate”. I’ve bounced a number of ideas off of him over the years, and every time, he just tells me to write anything, and we will make the best sequel we can. (Hopefully one day…) And finally, Joe Langlais, who played Billy Joe Cracker was also there. Joel Conway also joined us, but he didn’t help out on “Consternate”.
So, let’s talk about this fifth entry into a franchise that really means a lot to me. The opening attack scene is really well done. It’s tense and creepy, and it also does a good job of mirroring the original Casey Becker scene, but updating it and making it more relevant to the world of Woodsboro and it’s characters. I really enjoyed the opening attack, and then I also enjoyed all of the fallout from that attack. It was something new and different – on the level of “Scream” 4, being completely different than the openings that came before it, and managing to be something original and different from all the others.
Following the attack, we get a scene at the high school where we are introduced to our main teenage cast, in a scene that exactly mirrors the group scene at school in the original film. Throughout the film, we get a number of scenes that take place in a hospital – which reminds me a lot of the original “Halloween II” and then the 2021 “Halloween Kills”.
The film does a good job of building on the new and young cast of characters and focusing on their connections to the new attacks. It waits a while to bring in some of the original Big Three cast members, and then also sprinkles in Deputy Judy from the fourth film, which I really liked seeing her come back to the franchise. My biggest disappointment was not seeing Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) return in this film, which means it’s most likely that she did die (offscreen) in the fourth film. (She was stabbed on screen, but only once, and then fell out of frame… she easily could have survived a single stab wound, with the evidence of Dewey surviving multiple stabs in multiple films).
The “STAB” Film-within-a-Film Franchise is alive and well in this entry, and even goes so far as to put down the opening of “Scream 4” which saw the bizarre opening of “Stab 7” as the opening of the film. Throughout the newest film, the “Stab” franchise is referenced numerous times, and the audience gets to experience the meta-commentary about how far off the rails some horror franchises go, and the film eventually enters into the Toxic Fan commentary of current fans. All in all, I felt like it was a pretty good assertation of how many film franchise fans (not limited to horror) currently react to some film properties – and I am to blame at times for being a part of this.
The “The Act Bloodbath” was set up and executed well, and once again mirrored the original film in a positive way. Throughout the entire film, I was constantly guessing, and re-evaluating my guess of who the killer was going to be. In the end, I enjoyed the reveal, and thought it was well executed – despite the final showdown being rather ridiculous at moments.
For a film that I never thought I needed, I really enjoyed my time watching it. I had a lot of fun, and I felt like the violence was very good and gory. The plot was about on par with what I have come to expect from the franchise, and in that account, I wasn’t let down by the story I was told. The focus on the new main cast, and using the franchise characters as supporting characters was a smart move for their story telling.
I rank this newest film THIRD in my ordering of the franchise.
1. “Scream” (1996) – The original, the one that changed the horror franchise, and created my addiction. Smart and well put together.
2. “Scream 2” (1997) – A very good and solid sequel, with a few minor issues, but overall a very scary and well-orchestrated follow up story.
3. “Scream” (2022) – Very violent update to the franchise, bringing modern complications into the slasher franchise.
4. “Scream 4” (2011) – I really enjoyed this entry when it came out, and every time I watch it, I continue to believe it holds up, and that it was a very smart update to the genre when it was released.
5. “Scream 3” (2000) – Despite this film coming out while we were in pre-production on “Consternate”, that only helps it hold a nostalgic place – because it’s a pretty poor film overall. The production was plagued by studio interference following the Columbine massacre, and the violence in cinema fallout that followed. They were forced to add too much comedy, and remove the majority of the violence. Leading to poor deaths and lame situations. Granted, their only redeeming factor is that I love the storyline that connects back to the original film, I really like that aspect of the story.
I’m really looking forward to my next viewing, and seeing how well the film holds up a second time. No matter what, I am happy to see this added to the franchise, and will happily watch it each year during my annual Scream-A-Thon.
In conclusion, I would give the film a 7/10.
Solid and enjoyable for the franchise, with a lot of great nostalgia associated with the film.
Saturday, January 15, 2022
In this first episode of a new miniseries of podcasts, Shane M. White looks back weekly at the films that were released in 1999. This week, Shane takes quick looks at the releases of "Virus", "At First Sight", and "In Dreams" before getting to the Main Attraction: "Varsity Blues". Shane looks at the young cast, and the themes of the teenage sports drama/comedy.
Friday, January 14, 2022
Shane and Jason return for their first episode of the new year. The guys discuss five New Year's Resolutions they have for the podcast in 2022. Then they spend a lot of time talking about their excitement for watching "Scream 5" this week. Finally, they dive into the list of theatrical releases coming up and talk about their levels of excitement for them.