The Halloween Town series (1998 – 2006) Halloween horror #17

halloweentown

These are movies I saw when I was very young. I have purposely avoided re-watching these films for the review. I will base the review off of pure nostalgia.

The HalloweenHalloweentown (film)town movies were a Halloween themed TV movie series made by Disney. There were 4 total. I remember really loving the first 2 Halloween Town movies, and really hating the last 2.

The first two Halloween town movies kind of blend together in my mind. They were full of great characters, and had a unique charm about them. It was not a horror movie, but instead a Halloween movie. There were full of magic and mystery.

Great kids movies and I really, recommend the first 2 Halloweentown movies to all kids for Halloween. It makes a good tradition. The kind of movies you watch once a year, like those old Christmas movies.

The first two went so well together, but then the third one came out. It’s called Halloweentown High. It’s a Halloweentown movie without Halloween town in it. In the first two movies, there was this mythical town called Halloweentown, which was so well constructed and full of wonder, and instead of that, we have a highschool.

There are still some people from Halloweentown but they are trying to blend in with the normal kids. I really do think that was about the time that Disney started to be evil.

This one still tries to an extent, but lacks all the mystery and charm, and instead feels like a really bad 80’s TV show. I remember being so excited for this movie. The movies all came out 3 years apart from each other. The first in 1998 the second in 2001 and the third in 2004. I was so disappointed by this movie. I was angry after seeing it, but not as angry as after the final Halloweentown movie.

The last movie is called Return to Halloweentown. This title is just plain wrong. It’s not in Halloweentown, it’s in another fricken school! Maybe the school is supposed to be in halloween town, but that’s bull. The Halloweentown from the first to movies, was bright and imaginative. The charm once again is completely missing. The third one tried a little bit, but this one didn’t try at all. The movie is a complete disgrace to the original mythology set up by the first two films.

This was made once the evil of Disney had taken over. From a certain point, Disney became really currupted and began making nothing but crap. Aside from their work with Pixar, Disney is now pretty much useless.

Perhaps the most immediately off-putting thing about this sequel is that they recast the main actress. You don’t have a character be played by the same actress for 3 movies and then recast her with no explanation. The actress who originally played the character really hasn’t done much since then, so I wonder why she didn’t play the role. Maybe, Disney people were dicks and gave the role to this other girl, who is a horrible actress by the way. Or maybe she read the script and saw how utterly horrible it was, and didn’t want anything to do with it. I do think it’s a shame that she hasn’t done much else. I would cast her in my film.

I say pretend the last 2 don’t exist and watch the first 2. They are great kids movies. They are kid friendly without talking down to them like most movies do in this day and age. All kids should see the first two Halloweentown films.

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SNOB Film Festival Reviews ~ by Sam

On September 16th and 17th I volunteered at the Somewhat North of Boston (SNOB) Film Festival. This event is in its 10th year, running four days and screening 60 independent films from around the world. I spent most of my time working and watching movies at the Red River Theatre in Concord, NH. It was a great experience, the people running the event were great and I got to meet a lot of writers and directors.

I saw a total of 23 films, mostly shorts, and would like to share my reviews of them over a few blog posts.

29 Reasons To Run

29 Reasons To Run is a comedy about 2 guys who go cross country for a few different reasons (there aren’t 29), meet with friends along the way, and get into various comedic situations.

A simple formula that’s been done before and 29 reasons to run doesn’t really bring anything new to the sub-genre. Even though the actors are only in their 30’s the movie can be boiled down into a mid-life crises movie. The characters experience events such losing their jobs, being framed for embezzlement, a cheating girlfriend, and other events that send them on their journey.

At one point they find themselves at the Grand Canyon when their mini-van breaks down. They have a deep philosophical talk about life, but the whole time I just kept wondering whether they were actually there or if they were just on some rocks and used some establishing shots.

The movie was funny at times and was never really boring, but some lines and jokes felt really forced. One of the main characters seems like he’s trying to impersonate Adam Sandler. The actor overall was nothing great, but not bad except for sometimes seeming really unnatural. I couldn’t really see this movie playing in theatres but I can definitely see it playing on TV. Near the end there are some lame plot twists and an extremely built up joke that falls flat.

The writer, Gary Weeks,  co-stars in the movie, and is a successful actor, writer and filmmaker. He has appeared in several movies and TV shows including roles on Burn Notice, Monk, Wicked Wicked GamesNCIS, Parks and Recreation, All My Children and the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse with Ving Rhames’s.

Alter Ego: Rating 2/10

Alter Ego is about a man in world that has super humans and he kills them for a really vague reason. The movie likes to pretend it is led by a strong narrative but really it just comes off as convoluted and doesn’t make a whole of sense. He is basically a serial killer, who’s target is super humans.

The superhuman concept is completely pointless, it could have been replaced by any other group or minority. (He kills a man who can breath underwater, by drowning him. How does that work?) even though its only 15 minutes long, it feels like half an hour of a very boring confusing mess, centered around a very lacking protagonist who’s main target looks like three different people and I couldn’t tell who was who, but that was most likely because I didn’t care enough to really pay attention to the names. That is a sign that your movie has failed

Cravings: Rating 1/10

This is the type of movie that gives independent films its bad reputation. The stereotype that this movie gives off is what you see when someone is making fun of an art house film. No sound just music over the visuals, which can be done well, just not here.

The movie is 5 minutes long and consists of a model being followed around by these people with pig masks on. I understand it is to represent her “cravings” and how she runs away from them because she’s a model, but that doesn’t really matter. Just having symbolism doesn’t make it a good movie. That’s all it is a woman getting followed around by pig people, nothing else to it. The director should be ashamed for confirming a bad stereotype.

The Dance

The Dance: Rating 8/10

This is an example of how you make a movie that’s sound track is only music and have it be really good. At 8 minutes long it doesn’t really have any down time, but manages to not feel rushed, which is an important but difficult task for a short film.

The plot is simply a man wants to ask a woman to the “the dance” who works in the cubicle on the other side of the room from him. It goes through about a week overall. Each day he does and wears something to get her to realize they have something in common. For instance one day she wears a dress that has cupcakes on it. The next day he wears a cup cake suit and tie and makes her a tin of cupcakes. Unfortunately, the cupcakes get eaten by another co-working.

The entire short is very funny and has a nice ending, where he stops trying to impress her and just acts like himself. He is wearing a puzzle piece shirt with a piece missing. She happens to be wearing a shirt that has the missing puzzle piece on it. This is the day after the dance, so they end up dancing in the office, and it turns out, she liked him all along. Very funny and has good energy to it while pulling off the music only style.