Archive for the ‘Action Movies’ Category

braak

W - MillerThe Wolverine was pretty okay, but I think we can all agree that there was room for improvement, and I think we all know what that improvement is. To that effect, I am going to write a treatment for the third installment of the Wolverine series. I am actually torn between this title and also Wolverine 3: Wolverine with a Vengeance, except I’m not sure how much vengeance I really want to make use of. Don’t worry about the title. Here we go.
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braak

the_wolverine_digital_exclusiveHere’s the thing.  I actually don’t know if I’m in the tank for Wolverine or not.  As I have written, Wolverine is one of my favorite characters.  But am I the kind of fan who is going to like his favorite character no matter what, or the kind of fan who is never going to be satisfied with a particular interpretation because it doesn’t live up to the one in my head?  I never watched Constantine (or, to be honest, Wolverine Origins X-Men or whatever the fuck the actual title was) because I had a suspicion it would make me want to put my foot through a wall.

On the other hand, I happily forgave Hugh Jackman for being too tall after he wrecked all those guys in the mansion in X2.

As it turns out, The Wolverine is actually pretty good, which means I may never know the answer for sure.

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Holland

A few recent articles have pointed out that this year has been marked by a surprising number of big-budget commercial disappointments (After Earth, Lone Ranger, R.I.P.D., and Pacific Rim – which, BTW, the wife and I quite enjoyed), and how the smaller counter-programming films – even, god help us, Grown Ups Goddamn 2 – have been the quiet successes of the summer.

Moon KnightPretty much, if it didn’t feature Iron Man or Superman, it kind of thudded. People are slowly but surely getting bored at watching the same damn giant movie again and again and again, unless there’s a superhero involved somehow.

In the wake of the 2014-15 movie-promo fest that is Comic-Con these days, it got me realizing, in a few years, even having a superhero won’t help. My evidence for this? Me.

To gear up for The Wolverine, I popped in the first X-Men movie, which I haven’t watched in years. Aside from noting that there was a time when Hugh Jackman was simply very well-built, but not to the negative-2% body-fat, eating-whole-chickens-to-mainline-protein levels he gets to these days, I was mostly charmed by how…crappy it looks.

I mean, it’s fine, it’s not like the bricks are all made of Styrofoam or anything. But it’s clear the people paying for this movie felt like they were taking a huge risk, and were hedging their bets financially. Remember, other than Blade, which could be thrown into the “horror” genre category fairly easily, the last superhero movie at the time was Batman & Robin. THAT was the image in people’s minds when they thought “superhero movie.”

I also remember my blatant excitement that there was A superhero movie in theaters. ONE SINGLE MOVIE.  Simpler times, those times. (more…)

braak

World’s Edge
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the film. For other uses, see World’s Edge (disambiguation).

World’s Edge
 
Directed by Neil Blomkamp
Produced by Michael G. Wilson
Barbara Broccoli
Screenplay by Neil Blomkamp
Mark Boal
Based on James Bond 
by Ian Fleming
Starring Idris Elba
Archie Panjabi
Tom Hardy
Sharlto Copley
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Don Cheadle
Ralph Fiennes
Music by Trent Reznor
Atticus Ross
Cinematography Emmanuel Lubezki
Editing by Stuart Baird
Kate Baird
Studio Eon Productions
Distributed by MGM/UA Communications Company
Release date(s)
  • 29 June 2015 (London, premiere)
Running time 131 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $75 million
Box office $2.2 billion
Idris Elba as James Bond in World's Edge

Idris Elba as James Bond in World’s Edge

World’s Edge (2015) is the twenty-fifth entry in the James Bond film series and the first to star Idris Elba as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.  The film is the first to allude to the fan-theory that James Bond is a cover identity.  The theory would be stated explicitly in the twenty-sixth entry.
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Holland

So it’s been a few hours, and now I feel I can talk about Man of Steel without simply writing the word “Fuck” one thousand times.

Man of SteelBut guys…that is really the only rational feeling one can have at the end of that movie.

After my initial sense that the movie may not be spectacular, but would certainly be, y’know, Superman-esque, in a way that, say, letting another man raise his wheezing bastard child might not, I have to admit…this one may be worse.

Because as much as I can complain about how wrong-headed Superman Returns was, at the end of that movie, at least Smallville and Metropolis aren’t largely smoking, death-filled craters. Man of Steel can boast no such claims.

I’m going to start asking a lot of questions very shortly – which means I am going to tell you a lot of spoilers but that is because I GENUINELY THINK YOU SHOULD NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE, so trust me, I am ol’ Public Service Holland from here on out.

But first I suppose I should tell you all about the things I didn’t hate about this movie, in a brief list format:

  1. The casting – Honestly, everyone here does a bang-up job with what they’ve got, starting with Henry Cavill, whom I look forward to seeing in a good Superman movie, should one ever come about. Looking the part’s one thing, but he has that calm, assured voice when speaking to authority that sounds just right, and there’s that little smile he gives every now and again, works great. Amy Adams as Lois Lane was more plucky than flinty, but still, it worked. Laurence Fishburne, nice stuff. The Kents, okey-doke. Even all the secondaries are filled out with dependable character actors.
  2. Pa Kent – This was one of the more controversial choices called out early in the trailers, Jonathan Kent advising his son against saving people if it means revealing himself. And, in fact, allowing himself to die rather than have his son save him in front of a crowd. It’s hardly the inspirational Pa Kent we’ve come to expect, but it’s an interesting idea. Jonathan Kent as a guy who is himself totally upended by what Clark might mean to the world, and is just trying to get the kid to adulthood so he can figure that out, without scaring the shit out of everyone first. I can appreciate that interpretation. Not my PREFERRED idea of Pa Kent (in that this version is more like Uncle Ben, and Superman is not Spider-Man), but…sure, let’s try something new.
  3. The…action? In that I appreciate that there was some action, after that last movie was mostly about a guy who lifted heavy things? There’s punching, and I do like a Superman who punches and flies fast. So…hooray.
  4. Faora – OK, that woman was pretty rad. Not a lot to her, but of all the Kryptonian Murder People in this movie, I think I liked her most.
  5. The costume, I guess, works okay. At the end of the day, you don’t really give a shit about the trunks not being there, is what I’m saying.
  6. OK, that last line. “Welcome to The Planet, Clark.” That’s pretty good, even though it screams of “Line of dialogue David Goyer’s been sitting on for a dozen years now.”

AND NOW, SOME QUESTIONS:

1. Who the hell was in charge of this thing? I mean honestly? (more…)

Holland

BVS4 In the spirit of trepidation surrounding the forthcoming Man of Steel, I thought it’d be best to remind everyone that Superman movies are hard, apparently.

I already talked about J.J. Abrams’ intermittently clever, but mostly dumb as balls treatment. But did you know that at one point, Warner Bros. was considering rebooting the Batman (at that point killed by Schumacher) and Superman (at that point still in post- “Superman Lives!” – turnaround) franchises in one fell swoop, under the pen of one-time David Fincher co-writer Andrew Kevin Walker?

It’s true! And it’s terrible. So why don’t I just walk you through this maze of horrors so you can understand what kind of bullet we all dodged, starting with the fact that the first word to describe Superman is – I am not exaggerating – “dickhead”:   (more…)

I may not agree with the internet’s current collective conclusion that Man of Steel will be terrible for some reason (apparently “At one point Clark Kent has a beard” is just too “out-there”?). But I can see why people would be at least very guarded in their enthusiasm.

Because let’s face it, this is still Warner Bros., the company that heard Brian Singer pitch a sequel to a 30-year-old movie where Superman doesn’t really do anything other than lift heavy things, Superman Flyby1bail on Lex Luthor’s court date letting him to go free, and stalk the ex-girlfriend he left pregnant five years ago. They heard that pitch and said, “Of COURSE that is the movie we should be making.”

And then there’s the news that the announced Justice League movie is going back to the drawing board, for the silly little reason that no director will sign onto it because the script is some kind of abomination.

(I don’t even know how that could be – I mean, we TOLD them how to make a perfectly good Justice League movie. It’s like they didn’t even listen!)

Also not helping: the possible Kickstarter-funded documentary reminding everyone of every ridiculous, wrong-headed idea for Tim Burton’s Superman Lives project that flamed out just before America could get a load of Nicolas Cage in a rubber electro-suit and laugh along with Braniac’s sassy gay robot sidekick.

So look, I get it. The odds of a Really Good Superman movie are, at this point, not terribly great. But even if it’s not a great movie – if it does not even surpass Superman Returns somehow – it is still not the biggest misfire we could get.

For that, we can look to J.J. Abrams’ script for Superman: Flyby.   (more…)

So, we’ve got some new speculative science fictional motion pictures coming out, involving Giant Things Crashing Into Or On Top Of Each Other, and they all released trailersImage this week.

That is goddamn insane, to ask me to have opinions about Superman AND The Lone Ranger in the span of a day. Be more considerate, Hollywood.

But what amused me the most about After Earth (which is bafflingly named, since the Will Smith informs his son that the harsh alien landscape they have crashed into is, in fact, Earth, so don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining, movie!) and Pacific Rim (probably the most relaxing name a film about giant robots fighting monsters can have) were the character names.

Will Smith’s character, you see, is named Cypher Raige.

A screenwriter who was possibly not M. Night Shyamalan sat down, wrote something like, “Ext. – Earth Not Earth?, Night: CYPHER RAIGE looks on at his clone son, forlornedly…” and saw NOTHING THAT MIGHT NEED EDITING.

So yes, I’ve just been laughing at that name in my head all week.

Then came Pacific Rim, and…well, here:  (more…)

James Bond is a character who can teach us many lessons about how to survive this cold, cruel, confusing world, and so I like to try and extract what lessons are available for my edification.  The following are a few notes that I picked up from Skyfall:

1. Bitches can’t shoot straight.

2.  Get those black ladies out of the field and behind a desk, pronto.

3. If MI-6 is fucking up, it’s probably because you just need to put a dude in charge.

4.  Preferably one who cut his teeth shooting Irishmen.

5.  If you go to a casino in Macau, and there is a giant komodo dragon slithering around in a pit, then someone is going to get eaten by that komodo dragon.  (This rule is called “Chekhov’s Komodo Dragon”.)

6.  If you see a naked lady in a shower, the best practice is to take off all your clothes and just get right in the shower with her, even if you have only talked to her for two minutes an hour ago and she doesn’t know you’re there and her boat is full of armed guards.  (This only works if you are James Bond, I guess.)

7.  James Bond is hell of ready to let suckers die before he kicks everyone’s ass.  This is called “professional courtesy,” you should learn it.

8.  Dame Judi Dench made grenades out of shotgun shells, glass, and nails, which she used to murder some mercenaries.  That means that Dame Judi Dench is ten thousand percent more rad than you or your mom.

9.  Albert Finney is impossible not to like.

10.  Times are tough for white people these days, what with all the computers and minorities, but as long as we’ve got our invincible murder-machine ready to cap suckers and maybe take a couple names if he remembers to (he probably won’t remember), we will be all right.

So apparently now that Warner Bros. doesn’t need to worry about how much of Superman it actually owns, they’re gonna go ahead and just make a Justice League movie next year, to be released against Avengers in summer 2015 – though that’s a hell of a turnaround time, considering they don’t have a cast or director in place.

It’s also comically, stubbornly refusing the Avengers individual-films-then-an-all-star-jamboree model of franchising. Instead Warner Bros. is banking on the idea that it can introduce a bunch of characters in Justice League, then spin them off into their own franchises.

And look, this does sound incredibly hubristic, but if you’d have asked me five years ago if Avengers would have been successful…well, I’d have still been too thrown by the notion that people went to see a Thor movie to even field the question posed to me. So it’s not impossible, just…a daunting task, I suppose is the most diplomatic way to put it.

But unless they think they’re going to revive the Green Lantern franchise, this is not likely to pay off as expansively as Warner Bros. probably hopes.

I mean, look at it this way, the line-up is most likely going to be:  (more…)