When you're watching a high-concept summer blockbuster with a seemingly can't-miss title like Cowboys & Aliens, the emotion you least expect (or hope) to experience is boredom. But that's the central feeling inspired by this surprisingly pedestrian and unimaginative combination of a square-jawed Western and an alien invasion-themed science-fiction picture. For all the admittedly impressive firepower on display onscreen and the many talented folks working in front of and behind the camera (including stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, director Jon Favreau, and a screenwriting team that includes Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof), Cowboys & Aliens is remarkably uninvolving. It's not just low-energy -- at times the film barely seems to have a pulse.
Ahh, the crowd-pleasing formula of a plucky young girl saving a sinking ship through good old-fashioned hard work and fortitude. Morning Glory adheres to that formula steadfastly, and it's all very touching and has a happy ending for all just like it should, but luckily the movie is saved from being generic by captivating performances and some smart attention to detail that, frankly, I didn't expect from it.
So, remember that part in The 40 Year Old Virgin where Steve Carell got his chest waxed and was all "Kelly Clarkson!" and you could tell he was in serious pain and that the waxing was real? CNN does. They're reporting that Harrison Ford is waxing his chest for the environment, and one of their story highlights, I shit you not, is "Similar scene originally appeared in a movie: 2005's The 40-Year-Old Virgin." I'm letting the fact that CNN is wasting its resources on fluffy crap and not reporting the real news slide (this time) because the article is ostensibly about the state of the environment, even if it's mostly about a movie star--there's News and a Message in there somewhere, even if I can't quite find it.
George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford can ignore the (generous mixed reviews and Ford's age (66!), but they apparently cannot ignore Indy's box office power, and therefore a fifth Indiana Jones film might be on the way, according to Ford. He said Lucas is "in think mode" and, "It's crazy, but great." I would like to emphasize the word "crazy" here, but it sounds like Ford's going to focus on the "great."
Blade Runner is one of the coolest movies ever, so it was with some trepidation that I read /Film's report about the possibility of a sequel. On the up side, at least my instantaneous reflexes of fear and empathy for other fans of the movie prove I'm not a replicant. On the down side, it means I'll probably never get my hair to look all retro-futuristic like Rachael's. But on to the much more important matter at hand: It appears that one of the Eagle Eye co-writers is penning a script for a follow-up to the 1982 movie adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel about a man who hunts rogue androids, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? At this point, /Film is careful to note that Travis Wright is not writing this with any studio's involvement at this point. One might even say Wright being something of a rogue himself.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull kicked off the Cannes Film Festival with fan appreciation but tepid critical response.
Lucky for Harrison Ford, he doesn't read reviews anyway. But it will be hard for him to avoid all of the buzz about this one. After all, this time there aren't just negative reviews; there are news stories about the critical response and roundups of the bad reviews.
The world is buzzing today with news and gossip about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The big news, of course, is the LA Times story that maintains that George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford won't be paid until the studio brings in $400 million in revenue. That's a large haul, even for Indy. And it's a shocker in Hollywood, where actors, directors and writers usually get paid a high set rate first, and talk about residuals later. It's a risk on the parts of the big three, but they clearly believe in this movie, and were willing to bank (pun intended) on it making a haul big enough to cover the $400 million and still pay them loads of money. Or maybe they're doing it for the love? Naaah...
There's nothing wrong with Nicole Kidman. Okay, there's long been speculation that she has an eating disorder, but otherwise, I'm sure she's a perfectly lovely person, and in many roles, a very talented actress. A very delicate, waif-ey, porcelain-skinned actress who can play any number of dramatic roles, but not one you'd expect to see in an action-adventure film unless she were the damsel-in-distress. (Yeah, like that Batman we're all pretending never happened.) So you can imagine my surprise when it was announced that she'd signed on to produce and star in The Eighth Wonder, an action-adventure pitch from Mr. & Mrs. Smith writer Simon Kinberg. The bit that took me by surprise? The project is described as centering on "an archeological discovery that sets off a globe-spanning race. The aim is to be a grittier and more character-driven version of the Indiana Jones movies."
Will Smith was voted the best moneymaker at the box office for 2008, the second time a black actor has been at the top of that list. (The first? Sidney Poitier in 1968.) Okay, I get that Will Smith is a big box-office draw, and I've even been known to acknowledge how well his movies tend to do at the box office. (Seven Pounds is looking like an exception.) But, um, "voted"? "Voted"? As in, they cast a ballot on who made the most money?
An Indiana Jones movie franchise without Indiana Jones is like... well, it's like an archaeologist without a trusty bull whip and well-worn fedora. George Lucas seems to have come to the same conclusion, recently telling MTV News that he's not looking for Indy's son Mutt Lange -- er, Williams -- to replace Papa in future films. This change of heart comes just three months after Lucas told Fox News that he had an "idea to make [Mutt] the lead character next time and have Harrison [Ford] come back like Sean Connery did in the last movie." A few Shia LeBoeuf-related news headlines later, Lucas says he's now looking for a new story for Indiana -- for "something for him to go after." He noted that it would take "'a huge amount of research to come up with something that will fit.'" As a former would-be archaeologist, I might be able to help.