by Shane Hnetka

Contrary to what you might think after reading my movie listings in the back of Prairie Dog for the past however many years, I don’t really hate movies — in fact, the opposite is true. It’s just that the majority of Hollywood films are, well… let’s say they tend to be less-than-stellar works and I enjoy calling the studios on it. It’s not just the crap that bugs me — the constant stream of mediocrity that fills theatres is at least as offensive. If a movie is good or even great, that’s awesome. If it sucks, well, that can be entertaining too. But just to be average? That’s a crime against the hundred-plus years of cinema.


Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful had an $80 million opening weekend, which is a lot better than Bryan Singer’s latest, Jack the Giant Slayer, did the week before. I guess some fairy tales are more appealing than others. Actually, it looks like Jack the Giant Slayer might bomb worse than Disney’s John Carter did last year. That’s some serious bombing. My question is, when is Hollywood going to adapt some of the really cool fairy tales, like The Juniper Tree, The Girl Without Hands or The Robber Bridegroom? What’s wrong with a little murder, mutilation and cannibalism in children’s fairy tales? Kids have to learn about these things sometime.


Speaking of Sam Raimi, it sounds like he might actually get around to making Evil Dead 4 or Army of Darkness 2 or whatever he decides to call it. I guess with the remake on its way, Raimi and original star Bruce Campbell don’t want to confuse audiences with too many Evil Dead films — especially since remake director Fede Alvarez already has sequel plans. As for Alvarez’ remake, I really want to rage against it. Not only do I generally dislike remakes but this is Evil Dead we’re talking about — one the greatest horror films ever made. But the early reviews are all positive so I’ll reserve judgment. In the meantime, Raimi should ditch the flying monkeys  and make his Evil Dead sequel as soon as possible. Campbell is starting to look as old as Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.


Every year there’s one family friendly movie that overstays its welcome. The classic example was Alvin And The Chipmunks, which I had to write listings blurbs about for almost a year. This year’s Chipmunk award goes to Hotel Transylvania. It opened Sept. 28 and it’s still playing at the Rainbow, even though it’s been on DVD and Blu-ray since Jan. 29. Hmm. Maybe I do hate movies.