Archive for the ‘Action Movies’ Category

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…)

Man, you guys.  I wasn’t even going to write about this, until Charlie Jane Anders posted up this article from The Wrap, which is about how The Hunger Games and The Avengers are doing so well that there’s no money left for Battleship, and it contains a quote from Universal’s domestic distribution chief Nikki Rocco in which she says:

In my heart of hearts I feel ‘Battleship’ would have fared much better if in its third week ‘Avengers’ wasn’t doing $55 million.

This is basically the same thing as saying, “I believe that if pizza weren’t so successful as a food product, more people would be lining up to buy my turd sandwich,” in that yes, duh.  Of course people would rather see The Avengers nine times than see Battleship.  I would rather watch The Avengers nine times, and I hate watching anything twice.  I would rather watch no other movies for the rest of my life, and watch The Avengers every single day until the Four Horseman annihilate the world at the front of a wave of radioactive space sludge than watch Battleship.

Because Battleship is a turd sandwich.

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To get psyched (well, more psyched) for this weekend’s Avengers, I’ve been spending a little time catching up with the previous films. Y’know, Iron Man 2, Incredible Hulk, Nick Fury

Oh, have you not watched Nick Fury? Because son, you are in for a treat.

Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD is what happens when a not-all-that-bad-actually script by David Goyer meets the two things that can utterly destroy it: Soap opera actors and a mid-90’s TV-movie budget of I’m assuming about five hundred bucks.

I imagine Goyer’s initial enthusiasm upon hearing his script had gotten picked up (“Oh man, first Blade and now Nick Fury? Things are finally looking up for ol’ Lucky Dave! What’s next, BATMAN?!”) was crushed pretty completely fairly early on, but I’m not sure which piece of information would’ve really done it:

“Well Dave, it’s gonna be on Fox. And even though this format hasn’t worked for Doctor Who or Generation X, they seem to want to keep on trying.”

Or

“And we’ve got David Hasselhoff attached. He’s got some interesting ideas on how to play Fury. Something about ‘crazy, sweaty, a bit drunk, and walking around in this weird bowlegged crouch like he’s got a load in his pants.’”  (more…)

Well, word is that John Carter (of Mars) isn’t going to do so well – certainly not enough to make back its budget, or merit any sequels. This is kind of a shame, because I think it was pretty much a lot of fun, but at least now I can talk about what I think was a kind of a glaring problem with the story that I’d have felt guilty talking about before.
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Haaaboy. Ghost Rider 2. OK, let’s just get into this, with a series of thoughts on it, since I don’t feel it’s worth a whole review-type post.

To say Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is better than its predecessor (which the movie only barely concedes actually happened – it even rejiggers the scene where Johnny Blaze sells his soul so that it looks…well, so it looks more like if Neveldine/Taylor had done the first film featuring a guy who is not Peter Fonda Satan) isn’t just damning with faint praise. It’s implying that the film doesn’t have a whole host of its own problems, so I guess if GR1 got a 1 out of 5, then GR2 gets a 1.5 out of 5.

That’s because the couple things it does right ARE massive improvements over the first film, but even that’s debatable (in that Braak and I debated over whether or not they were actually better).

Non-arguable point 1: Setting the film on the desolate, barren roads of Somewhere In Eastern Europe is much closer to the spirit of the character than having him drive through Dallas or Houston or wherever the first one was set, and having Ghost Rider deal with city cops, which is just kinda stupid.  (more…)