akashiver: (totoro)

"Fans"* of 19C African slave narratives will be pleased to know that Twelve Years a Slave is being adapted as a movie.

Fans of The Lone Ranger will be less pleased to know that the movie is on the rocks budget-wise for blowing all its money on CGI werewolves.  WEREWOLVES????!!!! Give me a freakin' break. By all means, put werewolves in genre-bending movies like "Pirates." But for Godsake, leave the William Tell Overture alone. If you want Cowboys and Aliens, make Cowboys and Aliens. Don't turn The Lone Ranger into Van Helsing, because you already *have* Van Helsing. What you don't have out in the marketplace right now is The Lone Ranger.

I curse Hollywood and its stupidity! (Yes, this Entertainment News Update is brought to you by me, Pinot Noir and Mad Men. For the record, Don Draper would know better than to put CGI werewolves in this movie. And given Don Draper's terrible judgment, that's saying something.)

More news: Steve Hillard's "Mirkwood' is being adapted. Cue cool plot description here: "The book centers around a fictional version of "The Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien who is hiding secret documents that the forces of evil will do anything to obtain." I am intrigued.

"Drive" and "Bronson" director Nicolas Winding Refn is campaigning for the directing gig on "Wonder Woman."  Also: it took everyone on Facebook talking about a certain obituary this week, but Hollywood took notice: the "White Mouse" biopic is being made.

* Not sure what the right word is here.


May. 15th, 2011 01:15 pm
akashiver: (Default)

Last night I saw Priest, starring Paul Bettany as a mystically-powered vampire hunter in a Post-Apocalyptic Future (TM). I went in with low expectations and ended up enjoying it much more than other films of its ilk (I'm looking at you, Equilibrium). 

For one thing, the cool-looking people in black could actually fight. No gun-fu nonsense here. More importantly, they could fight while riding their turbo-charged motorcycles.

Also, did I mention that the film features Paul Bettany and Maggie Q. as repressed lovers/Gothic-Catholic-warrior-priests fighting an army of decently-rendered CGI vampires led by Clint Eastwood's The Man With No Name? And that the plot is ripped off from John Ford's The Searchers, but with less horrible racism and more wire-fu? AND THAT THEY'RE RIDING TURBO-MOTORCYCLES?

The film definitely has its faults, starting with the fact it's a Bad Movie. The film has no interest in developing its characters or, you know, making any damn sense. But did anything in the previous paragraph sound like it was from a "Good Movie"? Let's move on.

What I do fault the film on is its dystopia, because it's obvious  the evil overlords just weren't really trying. First, they decorated their dystopia with Pier One's Bladerunner-line furniture, and topped it off with some1984 slogan posters that they ordered online.

Sadly, they made the mistake of many first-time dystopia-builders and didn't ask whether this decor would actually work for them. Towering city-scapes of perpetual darkness might look cool, but in a world ravaged by sun-fearing vampires, blocking the sun from your cities has some drawbacks. Also, it makes no damn sense.

This might have been remedied if you had an actual Evil Overlord, but Christopher Plummer was obviously given the job for his menacing looks, and not because he's genuinely eeevel. The guy has no idea how to be a supervillain. For example, it apparently has never occurred to him to stop people from leaving the dystopia. At the very least, he needs better border control, because every time someone defies him they can stroll out of his city with ease.

Poor Christopher Plummer. He's like the George W. Bush of Dystopian Overlords.

Anyway. The movie is what it is. It's not worth seeing in theaters, but if you've already seen (I'm sorry) films like Equilibrium and that one about the cannibalistic Scots behind Hadrian's Wall, then it's unlikely that you'll suffer more brain damage from this experience.

And this one has turbo-motorcycles. Which people cover in explosives and then surf towards moving objects. While fighting.

Just saying.


May. 8th, 2011 06:27 pm
akashiver: (Default)
(Because really, the title seems like it should have an exclamation mark at the end).

I enjoyed "Thor" much more than I thought I would. Marvel is doing its darn-tootin' best to produce good comic book movies, and its effort shows: the dialogue had some good lines, the acting was surprisingly good, and the plot was (gasp) not insultingly stupid!

In particular, I was impressed with how the screenplay handled both 1) the Asgard material and 2) the villain. We could have ended up in the cheesy-bad family politics of the recent "Clash of the Titans" remake here. Instead, "Thor" handled the Asgard material so well that it was one of the best parts of the film.

My brain was colonized by DWJ's Eight Days of Luke at an early age, so it's fair to say that no film version of Loki could possibly compare to the one in my head. But Thor's Loki, while different, was interesting to watch, and I was happy to see that the filmmakers didn't just make him a straight-up bwa-ha-ha villain. (Spoilers!) )
The weak part of the film is definitely the romance. It's testament to the acting of Ms. Portman and Mr. Fuzzy-Chops that it works at all, given that there is no development of the hero/love-interest relationship. Seriously - I think the Norwegian scientist gets a better "bonding" situation with Thor than Jane does. The whole Earth storyline seems to be given short shrift, actually. I liked the SHIELD material, but if the Earth portion of the story was supposed to be about Thor learning the value of mortal life and the importance of using power to protect rather than destroy, they needed to spend more time on that.

Stupid did finally break out at the climax, beginning with the words "Destroy Everything" and ending with a certain hammer, but I'm willing to forgive a certain amount of hand-waving at climaxes providing the film doesn't try to pretend it's being clever.
akashiver: (totoro)
First he mutilated "I, Robot," then "I am Legend," and now Will Smith is going to take on Flowers for Algernon. In other SFish news, Ridley Scott, lending plausibility to the rumors that he has lost his damn mind, is making a movie out of the Monopoly board game.

While you're chewing on that, here are some projects that sound interesting: Darren Aronofsky is making "Black Swan". Veteran ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman)... finds herself locked in a competitive situation with a rival dancer named Lilly (Mila Kunis), with the stakes and twists increasing as the dancers approach the ballet school's next big production, a new version of "Swan Lake". The veteran however is unsure if the rival is a supernatural apparition or if she herself is simply having delusions.

Also, FOX is adapting What Alice Forgot: a woman... suffers a head injury and wakes to find that she actually might be 10 years older and forgotten a decade of her life.

Meanwhile, the following projects are dead: the planned Oldboy remake (yay!), the Dark Tower series (alas?), and Dollhouse (eh.)


akashiver: (Default)

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