Summer of Same

August 2009

by Bill Gibron

29 April 2009

 


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Final Destination: Death Trip 3D

Director: David R. Ellis
Cast: Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Haley Webb, Nick Zano, Krista Allen, Jackson Walker

(Warner Bros.)
US theatrical: 14 Aug 2009 (General release)
2009

14 August


Final Destination: Death Trip 3D

With 3D horror clearly the new fear fad (isn’t that right, My Bloody Valentine???), it’s no surprise that this fourth go-around for the Grim Reaper splatter satire is using the added dimensions of the format to refuel the franchise. While the first film used a more meaningful combination of suspense and Rube Goldberg-like gore, the remaining sequels have stuck to the slaughter and very little else. The NASCAR based set up at least taps into something different, though it might be hard to top Part 2’s horrific car crash opening, and it must be getting harder and harder to turn coincidence and circumstance into a killing spree. Still this has been one of the more amusing fright franchises, and the added appeal of 3D makes it a theatrical must-see.



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District 9

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: William Allen Young, Jason Cope, Sharlto Copley, Kenneth Nkosi, David James, Venessa Haywood

(Sony)
US theatrical: 14 Aug 2009 (General release)
2009

Review [3.Jan.2010]
Review [14.Aug.2009]
14 August


District 9

For fans still fuming over how the Peter Jackson produced adaptation of videgame fave Halo was treated by Universal, here’s the next best thing - a sci-fi film based on writer/director Neil Blomkamp’s political allegory about illegal extraterrestrials hiding out in South Africa. The original short, entitled Alive in Joburg, has an eerie, ‘you are there’ quality, and the Kiwi mastermind behind the Lord of the Rings phenomenon promises more of the same here. This might just be the Summer 2009 effort to watch out for.



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Bandslam

Director: Todd Graff
Cast: Gaelan Connell, Alyson Michalka, Vanessa Hudgens, Scott Porter, Lisa Kudrow

(Summit Entertainment)
US theatrical: 14 Aug 2009 (General release)
2009

Review [14.Aug.2009]
14 August


Bandslam

The poster looks like a reject from Camp High School Musical Rock, and fledgling filmmaker Todd Graff appears to be re-mining territory he covered in his 2003 tale, Camp. Still, with a hot young cast including HSM’s Vanessa Hudgens and a surprise cameo from David Bowie (an influence of the characters in the film), this might be able to tap into the wannabe wishes of a Guitar Hero heavy populace. 


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