Things I did on the long weekend:
saw Rob Zombie's Halloween. Saw it at the Rio, which is the place to go if you're going to a see a movie. For some reason, despite Jamie Lee Curtis, I've never liked the Halloween movies as much as, say, Prom Night, The Fog, or This Night I'll Possess Your Soul. The whole Michael Myers as unrelenting killing machine concept (IMDB calls it "indestructible villain" and includes Moby Dick as an example) means that they're usually just a series of chase sequences with brief respites of psychobabble from Donald Pleasance. The overwhelming doom and gloom of the best ones (you know which ones I mean) make me claustrophobic and anxious. Which, y'know, is the whole point I guess. I just don't like feeling claustrophobic and anxious. But Nicole obviously does.
Zombie's remake is gratuitous in its gore, unilluminating in its revelations, the subtext is writ large and everything is generally Rob-Zombiefied. Instead of the more quietly scary suburban origins of the Carpenter version (and nearly all the classic teen-slasher flicks of the late-Cold War era), this time Myers comes from a more obviously troubled family. His stepfather is a lout and his mother's a stripper (but she has a heart of gold, naturally, and is played RZ's wife, a former exotic dancer, naturally). Young Michael looks like a tiny Kurt Cobain might've. In fact, he looks like Bobby Hill dressed up like Kurt Cobain for Halloween.
So there's this grim Columbine-ish backstory, where before there was none. Malcolm McDowell (who for some reason, I keep miscasting in my memory of The Limey instead of Terrence Stamp, and therefore overestimating his awesomeness) brings none of the pathos or urgency to his role that Pleasance did. Scout Taylor-Compton (sounds like walkie-talkie code) in the Jamie Lee Curtis likewise pales in comparison.
By this point, you're probably thinking that I didn't like the movie, but you're wrong. I liked it just fine. Micky Dolenz (best known as "Arthur" from the animated series The Tick or possibly for singing "Last Train to Clarksville") as a gun-shop owner was awesome, and with the smell of fall in the night air, a scary movie hit the spot.
Speaking of hitting the spot, we also hit my favourite Italian restaurant on the weekend. Vita Bella Ristorante might not be the most popular pasta joint on the Burnaby part of Hastings, but it should be. Briefly, it's f$%!ing nice. It wasn't until after we'd ordered, that Nicole and I realized that we'd each chosen the dish the other had last time we were there. That meant salmon and avocado penne for me. F$%!ing nice. I don't mean to sound overdramatic, but by the second bite of this rich and sumptious dish, all the tension my shoulders had accumulated over the work week was g-o-n-e. I've never eaten duck before, but Vita Bella's signature dish is a linguini fumate that's sooo tempting, as is nearly everything on the small, but dignified menu. A nice wine list and warm front of house staff, too.