I think the first Halloween remake was released in August to avoid competing against Saw, but because it did so well I think they decided to try an August release again. I really liked the first remake. I liked the MM backstory part the best. It gave him more motivation. I was never a big fan of the original MM, except for the cool mask and the music. All the other great horror icons of the 80's seemed to have a motivation, something driving them, but I never quite got what drove MM in the old films-granted I only saw Halloween, Halloween 2, and H20, so maybe it was explained in one that I missed. In Zombie's remake I got a better understanding of who MM was and why he did the things he did.
Now, on to H2. I was majorly disappointed. I didn't care for the actress playing Laurie in the first film and I sort of tuned out when I realized she would be carrying the majority of the sequel. Others have pointed out some of the stupid plot points, but one thing that I thought about much later after watching the film was why couldn't anyone smell MM coming? I mean, he didn't look like he was the most hygenic person in the world, but yet he was able to sneak up on everyone. Overall I think that H2 was a pointless remake, the 'twist' ending didn't work for me either. I think that Brad Dourif did fine and I didn't have a problem with McDowell's new slant on Loomis though he was never as impressive as Donald Pleasance in either film.