April 30, 2010, - 7:34 pm

Weekend Box Office: Skip This “Nightmare” (On Elm Street); “Littlest Traitor” on Israel

By Debbie Schlussel

Nothing that spectacular at the movies, but at least there’s finally something that’s relatively, slightly pro-Israel.

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*  “A Nightmare on Elm Street“:  Some movies should never get remade, and this horror movie is one of them.  The 1984 Wes Craven original was fine, it was campy, and it even had Johnny Depp swallowed up by a bed.  The new one is not only not an improvement on the old one, but it’s a bloody, four-letter-word filled, sadistic waste of time.  It isn’t funny or humorous, not campy, and not scary at all.  You know exactly what’s going to happen pretty much the whole time.  It’s that predictable.  Not to mention stupid.

Plus, it stars David Cassidy’s daughter, Katie, the pretty girl who creepy daddy dearest said he would enjoy watching in a lesbian scene.  Fortunately, he doesn’t have that luck here.  It’s the same story as the original, but it stars the far substandard Jackie Earle Haley as “Freddy Krueger,” in place of actor Robert Englund.   High school friends begin being haunted in their dreams with nightmares starring a creepy burn victim.  Soon, some of them die, and others who learn of this desperately try to stay awake so that the burn victim, Freddy Krueger, doesn’t kill them.  If you die in your nightmares at the hands of Freddy, you’re dead in real life.  Why is Freddy haunting them?  Too gratuitously violent and pointlessly graphic, not to mention stupid, for me to care.

Absolutely awful. Rent the original, instead.

TWO-AND-A-HALF MARXES
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*  “The Little Traitor“:  This Israeli-produced film is unique in one aspect among several others.  It’s actually relatively pro-Israel, compared to the dreck that’s usually produced by far-left Israeli filmmakers and funded by the Israeli government so HAMAS and Bin Laden don’t have to.  The movie is mostly in English with a few Hebrew parts containing subtitles.  It features classic actor, Theodore Bikel, in a small role.

“Relative” is the operant word here.  The movie is based on a novel by Israeli leftist, Amos Oz.  It follows a young boy (well acted by cute, young Israeli, Ido Port) and his Holocaust-survivor Polish immigrant family in pre-Israel Palestine, just before the Jewish State becomes a reality and officially recognized by the international community.

The boy, “Proffy,” and his friends plot to ambush and inconvenience British soldiers who are occupying Palestine and harassing Jewish residents, including turning Holocaust survivors away. Proffy befriends a British soldier (Alfred Molina), who catches him when a nightly curfew begins.  The movie also shows Proffy’s parents’ involvement with the Jewish underground, who worked to save Jews and help establish statehood for Israel.  Because of his family’s involvement with this, Proffy comes under suspicion for being a traitor when his friendship with a Bible-loving British soldier is discovered.

The movie is very light on this and doesn’t show the British violence against the Jews, which was severe.  Nor does it show the British siding with the Muslim Arabs in the area, which was also extreme.  Instead, it shows Proffy and the Jews at peace with the Muslim Arabs.  That wasn’t the case, as Muslim Arabs hated the Jews then as they do now, fomenting murderous pogroms against them.

And the movie is light on story development.  It really isn’t very touching, not even the scenes showing Israel becoming a State or even a scene of a Jew killed by the British for little reason.  The only touching part is at the end.  Still, because there are so few movies that are relatively pro-Israel or even centrist on the issue, I give this a better rating than I normally might.

TWO REAGANS
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11 Responses

Deb – ….nice to see Doctor Octopus back in the good movie game….

Nick Fury on April 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Robert Englund made the Elm Street movies and Freddy Krueger what they were, as did Anthony Hopkins in his portrayal of Hannibal Lechter. These actors made what would have been very forgettable “B” movies into enjoyable fare. Let’s face it, it is really, really, hard to make a child murderer/demon and cannabalistic serial killer interesting characters, but Bob and Tony managed to. Lightening does not strike twice in the same location, so the new Elm Street film really did not have a chance. In fact, it was the sort of film that its predecessor would have been without Robert Englund, namely a dud.

Worry01 on May 1, 2010 at 3:13 am

About Nightmare on Elm Street…two words…

WHY BOTHER?!

Bob Porrazzo on May 1, 2010 at 7:07 am

I liked the new Nightmare on Elm Street movie. I was surprised, since I expected worse from the trailers. Jackie Earle Haley isn’t Robert Englund, no, but he possesses a surprising amount of menacing charisma and was truly scary in this film. As a bonus, the story from the original franchise evolved in unexpected ways and I thought was made more convincing.

I did not like Anthony Hopkins’s fey portrait of Hannibal Lector compared to what was originally done with the role by Brian Cox (in Michael Mann’s Manhunter). And I figured I’d feel the same kind of disappointment about this movie, since Englund is certainly the scariest “monster” of modern times, our own Boris Karloff in his way–who could replace him? But Haley is good in his own right.

Too many recent teen-slasher-gratuitous-gore film are saturated with “hip” MTV teen politics which go way beyond mere political correctness. For example, Saw VI showed middle class insurance agents gruesomely tortured because they offered home loans at variable rates. And the most recent Final Destination was full of race-baiting politics. Not so with this Freddie movie which is completely and blissfully apolitical.

Burke on May 1, 2010 at 9:40 am

    So I’m not the only one un-impressed by Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector character? Maybe it was the overblown hype leading to a huge let-down, but I saw it as a bit of a joke. I thought the movie could have done as well without his overhyped underwhelming performance.
    The original Nightmare was a great, very original concept, but after so many sequels do we really need to start back at square one again?

    theShadow on May 1, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I’m guessing you didn’t screen “Furry Vengeance”. If not, I don’t blame you.

Matthew on May 1, 2010 at 9:46 pm

For films that show British volence against the Jews, try HILL 24 DOESN’T ANSWER. EXODUS, of course, was a big hit, but its laughably inaccurate. I haven’t seen CAST A GIANT SHADOW. I don’t know how accurate it is.

Happy L’ag B’omer to all.

Miranda Rose Smith on May 2, 2010 at 4:16 am

?? calling the movie stupid, debbie sorry but you sound stupid with your review. They re-imaged it thats why it wasn’t funny they made it so it will be scarey and serious and they did a good job, and the new story line was great putting a tie between freddy and the kids showing why he chose those kids, idk why you sed you dont get why high school friends are being haunted if you paid attention to the movie you would know everyone that was getting huanted was part of the group that went to the pre-school together where freddy molested them, know about the movie before you try to put it down your review sucked everything was great only thing I didn’t like was freddy’s new look I prefer the original look but other then that the movie was good and deserve 3 and a half stars. also for new people who don’t know about the original loved the movie

robert villa on May 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Personally, I see Israel as a wondering nation finally come home. Being of Polish ethnicity, a country wiped off the map for over 120 years and finally re-born after WWI, I’d love to see an honest non-PC, non-liberal movie about the re-birth of Israel (after 2,000 yrs!?). Is there one?
Say, did I just find the difference between a country and a nation…A country is defined by it’s borders, a nation by it’s people? I think I must have read that somewhere before.

theShadow on May 3, 2010 at 12:43 am

Am I the only one down here who understands that the Nightmare “re-imagining” was a sorry waste of money? It was awful. I’m glad Debbie agrees.

Phil on May 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

nightmere on elm street best remake.. i find every scary movie predictable especially a re-make u kno how its going to end u know most the story so y sit there an B*^ch about it. y would u want a funny scary movie isnt a horror scary movie suppose to scare u not make u laugh??? and u should see the movie and pay attention to it before u judge it

fred on May 10, 2010 at 10:59 am

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