November 2009 Archives
For those of you who were hoping that Ninja Assassin would be a historical exploration of what ninjas were really like, be warned: the filmmakers were not striving for realism. In fact, one of their biggest stylistic influences for this film was Ninja Scroll, a particularly gruesome bit of Japanese animation where blood shoots out like geysers, the ninjas move supernaturally fast, and one even travels through shadows like they're a network of tunnels. Needless to say, I was very interested to see how they would convey the feeling of that movie in live-action, given that a direct adaptation has been on the drawing board for years. In a word, they nailed it.
Comedy lovers, watch out! The smash feel-good hit of the year is here, and it's even funnier in the privacy of your own home! That's right, Angels and Demons is out on DVD. ...What, did you think I meant Funny People? Have you seen that movie?
First things first: I realize that no matter what I say about this movie, the Twi-hards are going to go see it. So if you fall into that category, go. I'm sure you'll love it (and you already got your tickets a month ago anyway), though I did hear quite a number of not-so-young ladies at the screening I attended complaining about the distinct lack of Edward (and Robert Pattinson's hair) in this film. But I'm guessing that most Twi-hards have read the books and are aware that this is the Jacob-centric installment. However, for the rest of the world that reads on here, be warned that spoilers abound.
In the first Twilight film, we learn that Jacob Black is a member of the Native American Quileute tribe -- in the sequel New Moon, we find out he's also a werewolf. Not bound by the full moon, the Blacks can transform on command into oversized but otherwise normal-looking wolves. While not particularly creative, it's certainly a refreshing change of pace from the way Native American werewolves are normally portrayed in movies, and there are a lot of them. While most ignore the specifics of the legend, most films that combine werewolves and Native Americans cannibalize the myth (or at least the name) of the "skin-walker,'' a witch or shaman who has committed murder or another deplorable act to gain power or take revenge. (Episodes of Supernatural and The Dresden Files have, as well.) Here are some films that touch on the skin-walker legend.
It's a good day for DVD buying, especially if you like science fiction, vampires, superheroes, television actors and stereotypically gay men. And if you like all of those things, it's the best day ever. ...Of course, if you like all of those things, every day is probably the best day ever for you. Also, your room is probably awesome.
The disaster movie 2012 had a blockbuster opening weekend, with $65 million domestically, and over $160 million internationally, making the planned 2013 TV series a sure thing. For those of you who didn't see it, it ostensibly was about a scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) helping his boss (Oliver Platt) and the president (Danny Glover) put together a massive international effort to save the human race from a scientifically predicted apocalypse. But it mainly followed a divorced couple -- played by John Cusack and Amanda Peet -- as they tried to get their kids to safety, with help from a crazy conspiracy theorist (Woody Harrelson) and a Tibetan monk. Although it wasn't shown in the movie, everyone was Twittering like a fury even as civilization crumbled around them, and we've got a transcript below. Warning: Spoilers abound.
I will admit to a certain amount of disappointment when I heard that Wes Anderson's next film would be a stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Fantastic Mr. Fox. While I had read the book as a child (along with everything else Dahl had written), it was not a favorite by any means, and, being so enamored of Anderson's live-action work, I assumed that an animated children's film would be bereft of his usual stylistic touches and quirky performances. I have never been so happy to be wrong about anything in my life.
The new disaster movie to end all disaster movies known as 2012 enters theaters this weekend with John Cusack in the hero role. This film involves crashing aircraft carriers, tidal waves and the destruction of New York, California and the White House. It looks relentless and John Cusack looks like he's going to do his best to stop whatever is causing this worldwide annihilation... or at least avoid getting killed in the process. But while this is Cusack's first proper disaster flick, there are other movies he's made that turned out to be massive disasters of a different sort. Some might have even been considered career suicide. He's lucky he survived.