June 2010 Archives
Director Michael Bay recently revealed that the next installment in his Transformers film franchise may be the last. As much as that news saddens us (not really), we were more intrigued by what little was revealed of the plot: the story will center around the U.S.-Soviet space race, which apparently involved our friends from Cybertron! This fact, combined with the knowledge that an ancient Cybertronian weapon resides in one of the great pyramids, makes us wonder: how long have the aliens been influencing our history? What other historical events could they have played a part in that we didn't know about? We scoured our high school textbooks and read between the lines to find the unexplained moments where shape-shifting techno-organic beings from outer space set the human race on a different course.
It was a battle of the remakes this weekend, with the revamp of the 1983 TV series The A-Team going up against a transformed take on the 1984 movie The Karate Kid. In the end, the Kid delivered a crane kick to the A-Team's mohawked skull, pulling in $56 million to the team's $26 million and taking the #2 spot behind Rush Hour 2 for biggest martial-arts film opening ever.
In Cyrus, Jonah Hill plays the title character, a 21-year-old man-child who shares an unconventionally close relationship with his mother (Marissa Tomei) and wants nothing more than to make her new boyfriend's (John C. Reilly) life a living hell. We usually associate Hill with comedic roles, playing lovable schlubs in movies like Get Him to the Greek and Superbad, but Cyrus called for the star to act aggressive, unhappy and downright pathological. Even though it was a big leap from his former roles, Hill stepped up and nailed the dramatic character, and now we're excited for the possibility of seeing more of his range. During a press junket, we sat down with the funnyman and discussed the film, his acting method, and his upcoming projects. Below are the highlights.
It's World Cup time, and association football fever is sweeping the globe! Of course, if you aren't currently using the metric system, you may know it better as soccer, or possibly as "that game I played in junior high." But even if you aren't a big fan, or have very little tolerance for televised sports in general, there is a way to participate in the soccer mania without enduring an actual match -- namely, by watching a marathon of soccer movies! Like real soccer matches, they take place around the world and run nearly two hours, but at least with a movie you're guaranteed three things: dramatic storylines, big-name stars and far more goals scored than you'd see in an actual game.
The Karate Kid is an unnecessary remake, and it stars the spawn of two very rich and famous people who also produced the film, so I get that it's very difficult to like on face value. I didn't want to see it. You probably don't want to see it either. But you know what? If you've got two-and-a-half hours (two-and-a-half hours! I am not joking!) and 12 bucks to burn, it's a surprisingly not awful way to pass the time.
Five minutes into The A-Team, Hannibal Smith steps out of the Mexican desert and hijacks B.A. Baracus's van at gunpoint. Although strangers, the two quickly realize that they're both Airborne Rangers, and Baracus actually knows of Smith. It's a coincidence bordering on preposterousness, and it was at this point that I came to a realization: The A-Team is the guy version of Sex and the City 2. What A-Team has for guys (explosions, missions to Germany, prison terms) Sex and the City 2 has for girls (gay weddings, vacations to Abu Dhabi, brief detainment). And this totally chance meeting between two people in the middle of a desert? It's like Carrie meeting her ex-lover Aidan on the streets of Abu Dhabi. And while neither is a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, my guy genes were a little more lenient on A-Team's awfulness. What can I say, I am a prisoner of my gender.
Comic fans were psyched to finally get an official Fantastic Four movie in 2005, especially since the first attempt at a film ended up in Roger Corman's trash bin. The 2005 movie, while ridiculous, poorly acted and primarily played for laughs, still made enough money to get a second film greenlit, which led to the even more ridiculous Rise of the Silver Surfer. It was also more costly, so when it actually brought in less at the box office, 20th Century Fox knew they had to make a change to keep their superhero franchise alive. Now, a reboot is in the works, and we've got four suggestions for how they can put the quartet back on track.
Oh, to live on Shutter Island, with the prison and the deadly typhoons. You can't be crazy and leave Shutter Island, or we're thinking you'll be leaving there too soon.
It looks like Marmaduke was less competition for the kiddie dollars than we expected, as Shrek Forever After still handily defeated all comers, moving into a few more theaters and scaring up another $25 million in ticket sales. I guess kids are no longer impressed by animals who don't have jobs? After all, why see a movie about a plain old dog when you can see a movie about a cat sword-fighter, or guinea-pig secret agents, or a mouse chef? (This may be why they're spinning Puss in Boots off into his own movie.) Maybe they should have called it Marley & Me 2: Puppy-Size Me!, and had Owen Wilson magically transform into Marley-maduke at the beginning of the film. Then it might have made $36 million in its opening weekend, like Marley, rather than the $11 million it did. Well, you know what they say: hindsight is a golden retriever. Rimshot!
In the world of international espionage, love can get you killed. A boyfriend or girlfriend may be nice to come home to at the end of an assignment, but if your enemies get ahold of them, you need to be able to cut your losses and forget about them, or your life -- and more importantly, your mission -- will be forfeit. Which is why it's a good idea for spies to only date spies; they know what they're in for, and they don't get taken hostage easily. In Killers, Ashton Kutcher's spy character teams up with his clueless civilian wife (Katherine Heigl) when he's targeted by assassins, and while we're not sure giving her a gun was the best idea, it made us think about some of the best and worst spy couples in film history.