November 2008 Archives
For a production company who has not made a single movie that I have seen, Nu Image/Millennium Films has managed to put together a movie that I would actually break out of prison to see. And, yes, it's Lindsey Lohan's Labor Pains. How did you guess?! Okay, it's not. What did actually hook me is the fact that the production house has managed to put together the Holy Trinity of Ass-Kicking, bringing together Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li and Jason Statham in one shiny package. The three actors will star in The Expendables, as a team of mercenaries who are sent to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator in order to liberate the population. Their team is hired to do jobs that no one else can or will. Duh-duh-DUH! The best part? The script was written by Stallone, who will also direct. I don't care how good or bad it is, I'm in.
Since the news cycle is still pretty clogged with election results and stories (even Variety has an electoral map on their home page) and the rest of the world -- including Hollywood -- can't seem to get much of a word in edge-wise, I'm going to follow Odie's lead and report on a politics-movie tie-in. Over at The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Biz Blog, Steven Zeitchik explored the possibility of whether or not Republican Presidents are bad for movies. It turns out they kind of are.
If you didn't already know the trivia that the human head weighs eight pounds before you watched Jerry Maguire, then the cuteness seared into your brain by the adorable delivery of said fact by a kindergarten-bound Jonathan Lipnicki pretty much ensures that you do now. Hell, anyone who saw the trailer for the movie could easily answer the Jeopardy question. The fact that that clip alone will probably be akin to Lipnicki's epitaph no matter how successful he ever becomes makes me feel bad for the kid. That, and the fact that he looked like Cousin Oliver with spikey hair. The young actor has worked quite a bit since, but I for one can't remember a single part without having to think about it for several minutes, and then only because I happened to attend a screening of The Little Vampire at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2000 and got a free TLV T-shirt. (The movie name on the shirt was glow-in-the-dark. It was otherwise unremarkable.) But it turns out Lipnicki is still getting acting work, his latest part a starring turn in the upcoming psychological thriller The Other Side of Innocence.
Remember those poor Japanese kids who went into convulsions while watching the constant flashing on Pokémon? Their parents had better keep them away from the current crop of action movies. These films are being edited to within an inch of their lives as of late, making Tony Scott's hackwork look like slow motion by comparison. It's gotten so bad that it's nearly impossible to see who's doing what to whom and where they're doing it. Numerous people have complained about the Bourne series, but I think they're edited far better than most recent actioners. The Guardian feels my pain, complaining about Quantum of Solace's herky-jerky editing. That's the least of that lousy film's problems, however.
Whatever happened to killer kids in horror movies? I remember during the '70s and '80s, horror movies were filled with children who made those little brats in Lord of the Flies look like altar boys. The Swedes have an answer to my opening query, a vampire film called Let The Right One In. It sounds like a cross between Bergman and Hammer Studios. The plot has a lonely 12-year old boy befriending his next-door neighbor, a 12-year-old who turns out to be centuries old, yet trapped in an adolescent's body. Sort of like Dakota Fanning, whom I'm sure will be tapped to play the vampire for the American remake. The critical praise bestowed upon the film got me thinking about some of the old killer kid movies of my past. Note that none of these kids would have remained the way they do if the parents had called my mother to assist them.
Michael Crichton, creator of ER and The Andromeda Strain, died yesterday. The 66-year-old multi-hyphenate's career spanned four decades and spawned numerous books and movies with which you are no doubt familiar. His books-turned-movies took us to Jurassic Park and The Lost World, made Demi Moore sexually harass Michael Douglas in Disclosure, put Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson in a Sphere and sent James Bond and Passenger 57 to the land of Rising Sun. His loss is a sad occasion for this writer-slash-science major who loved the way he mixed the two disciplines in his work. His books were so cinematic that they seemed ready to film straight from the bookstore. Here are a few examples of Crichton's lesser-known work onscreen.
Barack Obama has just been elected the first Black President... and I'm here to talk to you about entertainment news. Oh joy. I feel like the guy who goes into the cathouse bedroom after Long Dong Silver. Nothing I say is going to have one damn bit of effect today, and it shouldn't. History has been made! Why are you even here? Get! Go celebrate or mourn, depending on your political affiliation. Sober up or get drunk! Poke your finger into Joe the Plumber's buttcrack as he fixes your sink. Whatever! Just do a Marvin K. Mooney imitation and PLEASE GO NOW! You're still here? I guess that means I have to write something. (I'm never going to sober up now.) Let's cast the upcoming Election of 2008 movie!
Just in case you're not reading our DVDs Unwrapped blog, we thought we'd clue you in on the latest DVDs we've gotten the chance to review. Sadly, we were turned down for a review copy of The Complete Fraggle Rock, but we'll keep trying.
Get Smart -- Too silly to be an action movie, to serious to be a comedy. It does, however, have Steve Carell in a fat suit.
Futurama: Bender's Game -- A sci-fi cartoon full of Star Trek references, injected with extensive Dungeons and Dragons humor. Is there anything more geeky? No. No, there is not.
The 4400: The Complete Series -- It's like a much better Heroes! Except this one's already been canceled!
Shrek the Halls -- If you're a completist when it comes to Shrek, animated holiday specials or Scottish Mike Myers movies, here's another 22 minutes for your collection.
30 Rock: Season 2 -- Now that the new season's started, you know you want to buy it.
Check out more DVD reviews in DVDs Unwrapped!
Talk about your perfect match. The Farrelly Brothers, masters of slapstick and gross-out (mostly gross-out) humor, have written an origin story for the Three Stooges, stars of film shorts and features from the 1930s through the 1960s. Everyone knows the personas of bowl-cut boss Moe, curly-haired commentator Larry and cue-balled imbecile Curly (heck, they may even know the personas of later Stooges Shemp, Joe and Curly Joe), but nobody knows where the heck they came from. Well, if MGM gets the rights back from Warner Bros., they could have a movie on screens by November 20, 2009. Let us give thanks!
It's not hard to find a glamorous vampire, or a kickass vampire. You can find scary ones, creepy ones, ones that make you want to sleep with garlic in your pajama pockets. But the movies are full of sexy, seductive immortals, too. Sure, the bloodsuckers in Interview With a Vampire and those in all the variations of Bram Stoker's Dracula are well-known, but what about those who toil away in box office obscurity? Before the cool teen vampire flick Twilight comes out later this month, here are a few vampires you may not have met before.