Monday, June 25, 2007

Hostel release


Late to the game, but I have finally seen Hostel part II and quite liked it. I'd like to say Eli Roth finally knocked one out of the park, but that would be an exaggeration. It is a solid ground rule double, however, which is itself happy news. Happy news in a market of horror that can rarely even manage a respectable show at bat.

And hopefully happy news for Mr. Roth's future endeavor's, although his recent MySpace message suggests that his discouragement may cause a break in the steady rise in quality in his movies. This movie is also much more successfully a tribute to the great Sergio Martino than the first movie was a tribute to Takashi Miike. And the Ruggero Deodato cameo was much... tastier than the Miike one was.

The leads seem mostly cast to type, Bijou Phillips is the "bad girl" and Heather Matarazzo is basically a grown-up Dawn Wiener. This movie considerably enriches its narrative by adding to clients, played by Richard Burgi and Roger Bart.

There are some interesting review/discussions at Some Thoughts on Hostel Part Two by Jeremy Richey and Body Shop: One Last Look at Hostel part II by Dennis Cozzalio, notably by Kimberly from Cinebeats, and I don't have a lot to add to any of them at this moment.

I will say, that I think Roth may have, like Coppola did with The Godfather, part II, created a sequel that enriches its predecessor to an extent that watching the sequel makes the original movie even better. I'll need a few months before I can sit down with both DVDs and test this. Although frankly, I think someone should beat me to the punch and release a Hostel: The Complete Epic edition DVD that runs the first right into the second, fixing some of the hyperactive editing in the sequence refreshing us on the first movie.

But mostly I hope Eli Roth comes out of this critical and box-office drubbing punching. I'm quite enjoying seeing his growth as a moviemaker and I hope to see it continue.

And, by the way, the 30 Days of Night trailer is pretty dang cool on the big screen. I hope the movie lives up to it.

4 comments:

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks for the link to my review and I am glad to hear that you liked the film as well. I liked it even more the second time, with most of my initial problems with it disappearing.
I am eagerly waiting its arrival on dvd, as I am whatever the ever improving Roth delivers next.

Piper said...

Neil,

Liking Hostel Part II to Godfather II?

I will have to say that I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. And it's obvious that Roth has some chops about him. But as I've stated before, placing such cliched characters in a more real premise is the work of an amateur. And people have said it's because Hostel Part II is a spoof of 80s Slasher movies and I cry foul to that statement. This is not a spoof of any kind.

Piper said...

By the way, you've been tagged by me.

Neil Sarver said...

Jeremy, it was my pleasure. Your thoughts were quite interesting. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it more a second time, I look forward to seeing it again.

Piper, Piper, Piper... *sigh*

I really knew I'd get called on that, and I almost wrote a pre-emptive defense, but I'd hoped it wouldn't come to that...

If a movie juxtaposed scenes that preceded its predecessor with scenes that followed it, would it be fair to make the comparison with The Godfather, part II, regardless of the quality of the movie being compared?

This is likewise a relative comparison. There are plenty of sequels that I think are better movies that Hostel part II in themselves, say Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Dead or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, that don't, however, do anything to actually improve the movie that precedes them.

I'll verify if I still feel that way when I see them together. I may have developed a stronger supporting argument for the movie, too. I do agree it's not a spoof at all.

And I'll respond to the tag soon.

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