May 2010 Archives
Apparently, everything we know about Robin Hood is wrong, or so Ridley Scott would have us believe. Sure, there are hundreds of different versions of the Robin Hood myth, and Scott himself recently directed a documentary on the myth's origins, but Scott's feature-film take introduces us to a completely different Robin, one with a different last name and a different path to folk-hero status. And you know what? I like this one better.
As the lights went down in the theater, I thought I knew what to expect from this formulaic-looking movie: A woman who's engaged gets swept up in a romantic adventure, finds love in the last place she expects and realizes that the man she's engaged to isn't right for her after all. It's a tale as old as the movies, although not quite as old as the story of Romeo and Juliet, which actually plays a much lesser role in the film. But the movie surprised me... It surprised me by telling this simple, classic tale in the most clumsy and ham-fisted way possible.
An interesting piece of news coming out of Cannes is that future cop Judge Dredd will be returning to theaters. Those who remember Sylvester Stallone's 1995 flop judge it to be either an innocent action-movie pleasure or a guilty bastardization of a long-running British comic book, but either way it was not a successful film at the box office. With the director of Vantage Point, the writer of 28 Days Later and concept art by the co-creator of The Losers, not to mention a smaller production budget, it looks like this version has the potential to become a franchise, but the film needs to learn from history. We've come up with three laws the production needs to follow in order to avoid the stiff sentence the last movie got.
Many evil creatures of the night threaten our society. Vampires. Renegade angels. Jabberwockies. But with the right tools, and the correct blood-alcohol level, Mel Gibson can defeat them. And as long as you don't have a dog in the race, you can help him
It was no surprise that Iron Man 2 was the number-one movie at the box office this weekend. The only question was how high up the list of biggest openings of all time it would go. Well, it did pretty amazing, making $133.6 million to the first movie's $98.6 million, and landing in fifth place, behind four other sequels: Dark Knight, Spidey 3, New Moon and Dead Man's Chest. Sure, it didn't beat Batman's haul, but it beat Shrek 3, and that has to count for something.
Well, that's it. The backlash has begun. Against the Iron Man franchise (although not the first movie, which is apparently unimpeachable), against Marvel's slow build to The Avengers (which is really only touched on twice in the new film, briefly) and against Robert Downey, Jr. himself, who is apparently too obnoxious, although they may have him confused with the character he plays. I'll admit that I had my own doubts going into this second installment since I do recognize the greatness of the original and since Marvel hasn't had the best luck with getting their comic book characters firmly established as film characters on par with the likes of James Bond, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter. But from the perspective of a long-time, die-hard fan of ol' Shellhead, I thought director Jon Favreau, screenwriter Justin Theroux and RDJ and the rest of the cast delivered a sharp, entertaining follow-up despite some cracks in the armor.
After 28 years, The Dark Crystal is finally getting a sequel. The Jim Henson-directed original, which frightened children everywhere in 1982 with its creepy, creepy puppets, will be followed up by The Power of the Dark Crystal, to be directed by the Spierig brothers, who also directed the zombie romp Undead and the vampire flick Daybreakers. Horror-movie directors taking on a children's movie classic? That... kinda makes sense, actually. The original movie's fans are all grown up now, so why not push the film's PG creatures farther into the realm of R-rated nightmares? In fact, why not make horror films out of all of these already-horrific kids' films? We'll even assign the directors!
Since you all are soooo looking forward to a third Transformers movie (What will blow up this time? Will Shia LaBeouf meet robot God again? Tell us!), we thought we'd help share a particularly sexy bit of casting news: Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey will appear in TF3 as Megan Fox's boss. (Presumably, he's not also a transforming robot, but we've learned never to assume.) Now, the Transformers and Grey's Anatomy may not seem like a logical connection, but there's actually more than meets the eye here than just a cheap grab for more female audience members. No, Dempsey is perfect for the franchise, and here are five reasons why.
Many of the franchise's most passionate fans are fine leaving it as-is, but despite that, we're getting a Die Hard 5 anyway, and this time, we're going global. Which could mean anything, most likely something resembling an old, grizzled Bourne movie, and depending on when it comes out, it could be the Armageddon to the 24 movie's Deep Impact. It's superfluous, but it's not the end of the world. That doesn't mean it's not extremely easy to screw up, however (especially with the guy behind Swordfish, Hitman, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine in talks to write the script). Here's how to avoid that (besides not hiring that guy).
It seems difficult to mess up a character like Ghost Rider. He's a motorcyclist with a flaming skull for a head, who hunts the guilty and makes them relive their crimes with his Penance Stare. He looks awesome, and his goals are pretty straightforward. And yet, somehow, the movie based on the comic book character was pretty universally awful. A lot of it had to do with the story, but the rest had to do with the cast: Eva Mendes was dull as the true love, Wes Bentley wasn't particularly intimidating as the evil demon, and Nicolas Cage's quirky stuntman actually overshadowed his skull-faced alter ego. So that may be why they're making another Ghost Rider movie without Cage. Wait, they can do that? Isn't Cage, like, a huge comic book fan? We can't imagine he's thrilled to have been booted from his own superhero franchise, but hopefully he'll have more success with The Sorceror's Apprentice. (Although they should probably avoid putting his huge face on the posters, which seems to be a common thread among his bombs.) In the meantime, we say remake more unsuccessful Nic Cage movies using a different actor. Everybody wins! Except for Nic Cage.