June 2010 Archives
Is genetic engineering rigidly regulated because of what we're worried the modified creatures will do to us, or what we'll do to the creatures? That may be the question Cube director Vincenzo Natali asks in his new film, Splice. Or he may simply be asking the question, "What if two kind of messed-up geneticists went off the reservation?" Because that's what happens in this film, and the situation they've created for themselves spirals out of control in a way that is frightening, sad and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. But while some of the laughter comes from legitimately humorous moments, much of it comes from shock, as the film toes the line in several scenes then calmly strides right over it. Depending on how squeamish you are, the laughter may also manifest itself as squirming uncomfortably in your seat, and your feelings about the movie will have everything to do with whether or not that sounds like fun to you.
I belong to the camp of people who love Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Since Get Him to the Greek is a spin-off, my hopes were actually a little bit lower than usual, because I trust no one when it comes to tinkering with my guilty pleasures. Let's just say I've been disappointed.
First of all, let's give a moment of thanks for scientific experiments, especially scientific experiments gone awry. Without them, movies would be much more boring. First of all, we would have very few superheroes: Spider-Man, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four wouldn't ever have existed. But even outside the world of superheroes, science is often the villain in movies, with cold logic warping the minds of the bad guys and reckless tampering with nature leading to bloodshed. The latter seems to be at play in the new genetic-modification horror film Splice, and we've been inspired to put together a list of some of our favorite scientific disasters in movies. Do not duplicate these tests!
Now that director Guillermo Del Toro is no longer directing The Hobbit, a mad search is on to find the new director, both by the studio and by the press, who have thrown out the names of every geek-friendly genre director from Abrams to Raimi. But why does the director have to be known for the fantasy and sci-fi genre? After all, the last three directors of the Harry Potter franchise were virtual strangers to the fantasy film world before they signed on to their installments, and they've been incredibly successful, each with their own distinctive voice. While we aren't going to scour the film festivals to find the next Peter Jackson, there are plenty of established directors who aren't known for swords and sorcery, but might be willing to tackle such an important work of literature.
Despite some middling reviews, Shrek Forever After managed to hold onto the number-one spot for the second week in a row, defeating new releases Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2 by bringing in the kids and charging extra for 3-D. Don't expect it to hang out in the Top Ten for long, though -- sure, the previous kid-friendly spot-hog, How to Train Your Dragon, is only now preparing to exit the Top Ten after 10 weeks, but between Marmaduke, The Karate Kid and Toy Story 3, the next three weeks will likely eat into Shrek's young audience, as well as the souls of any accompanying adults. (Toy Story 3 being the sure-to-be-tear-inducing exception.)
If you go chasing rabbits, and you know you're going to fall, tell them a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you a call. Also, tell them you're hot new actress Mia Wasikowska, and you're there for your 3:30. (They may ask you to spell it.)