Friday, August 14, 2009

Movie Review: 500 Days Of Summer (2009)

You mean, 500 Days of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, right? Right. Ever since the first quirky little trailer debuted, audiences everywhere have been waiting for this movie to hit the big screen so they can be swept away by a charming, romantic and un-relatable movie. Everybody wants to see a relationship blossom before their eyes on the silver screen so they can live vicariously through Levitt and Deschanel’s union and forget about their own shortcomings in their love life. Ain’t that the way it always goes? You watch romantic movies so you can have something in your own life to look forward to. These movies that set the standards for relationships in your own love life so you know what to expect because you think you’re THAT worth it to be Sleepless in Seattle, or to have someone keep a Notebook about you through your bout with Dementia (sounds like Dementor; think Harry Potter), or better yet, how you deserve to be a Time Traveller’s Wife.

Well you’re wrong. And this movie will destroy your expectations.

Not to say that this movie is horribly realistic and overly dramatic. It’s actually a very hilarious romantic comedy, but as the disclaimer in the beginning says: This is not a love story.

500 Days of Summer is a story that ruins it’s own ending from the beginning. It tells you the ending before you even expect it. Hell, it even tells you the whole movie in the poster itself. Basically, it’s a film about a guy named Tom Hansen (Levitt) who portrays your typical under-the-radar average indie Joe. From the clothes, to the music to even his not-so-cool-but-kinda-cool-job (he’s employed at a greeting card company). I mean, put him in a VW Jetta commercial and you got yourself the poster child for the mainstream media’s version of a relatable “edgy” everyman. One day, Tom feasts his eyes upon the classic beauty of Summer Finn (Deschanel) who is the boss’s new secretary and who also becomes his new love interest. As the days go on, Tom begins to pine for this fine young specimen who appears to be a mystery. From the get go, she’s put on this pedestal of adoration and eventually, with one confrontation (Summer approaches him about his musical taste, namely his liking towards The Smiths) he knows what he must do. Make this girl his lady. Of course, you can imagine, he gets the girl but not completely. There’s a few catches. Such as how Summer doesn’t believe in relationships and just chocks it up to being carefree and living your life. How she doesn’t believe in love, not even the possibility that it could ever exist. This poses as an obstacle for our little manfriend Tom, but if you’ve ever seen He’s Just Not That Into You, you’ll know then that when a guy wants to date you, he WILL date you. So despite these signs of possible failure, Tom fights on and does what he can to make her a part of his life. And as you can imagine, our lovely little couple’s story unfolds by jumping back and forth to different points of their relationship showing both the good and the ugly and all of the bad.

Here’s the only complaint I have about the movie. It’s pretentious. From the very beginning of the movie (mentioning Tom’s affinity for dreary Brit pop bands and how the movie The Graduate helped deform his attitude towards finding that special someone) to the middle of the movie (oh what? Summer Finn quoted a Belle and Sebastian song? No she di’int!) to the end of the movie (how many more damn Joy Division shirts can he wear?), the movie showcases the filmmakers ability to “relate” to a certain demographic. I mean, if the makers of this movie weren’t trying to make an “indie” romantic flick, then I don’t know what they were trying to do. Here’s one of the pinnacle points of the movie between Tom and Summer: They’re sitting in an elevator and he’s got his headphones on. You faintly hear The Smiths and she mentions that she loves that band too. Ummm, Garden State anybody??? Sorry but that quaint, innocent moment of musical appreciation belongs to Natalie Portman and Zach Braff people. On top of that you have the pencil drawings that look like lined paper notebook doodles illustrated by the artsy side of Tom that resembles the marketing scheme of all things Urban Outfitters and other subpar movies (try Napoleon Dynamite, Away We Go and other films I can’t think of off hand). I mean, all in all, this movie tries way too hard to relate to this particular demographic of a non-mainstream audience. And it doesn’t need to at all. The story itself is good enough and different enough to capture the interests of heartbroken lovers everywhere. So screw you 500 Days of Summer for shoving bands that I already know about in my face.

And as for the couple? Well, they definitely don’t do a bad job at carrying this film on their own. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who by the way is a spitting image of Heath Ledger) does a great job at being a very likeable character. There’s this transition that young movie stars go through, I think it’s called their late 20’s. It’s hard for the world to see an actor who was famous for their youthful roles in a TV sitcom go on to do more serious movies as they get older. I mean, I know he’s been in other great films (Brick, The Lookout) and maybe not so great ones (GI Joe: Rise of Cobra) but to tell you the truth, I’ve not seen any of these. So maybe I have no basis. But still, it’s kind of like watching Haley Joel Osmond take on older roles (have you seen him lately? The kid hasn’t grown anything except for some chin pubes). BUT since this is the first movie I’ve seen Levitt exercise his talents as a grown actor, I must say I have certain level of respect for him now. He’s definitely got the stuff that it takes to possibly become a leading man in Hollywood and this movie demonstrates that charismatic aspect that every lead holds. Zooey Deschanel (who by the way is a spitting image of Katy Perry) on the other hand, she’s a beauty. Sure, she prances along the screen as this airy, careless soul but you can’t help but be captivated by her nonchalant attitude towards commitment. But this movie is not about her as the title suggests. It’s about Levitt’s character and how he deals with Deschanel and that aforementioned nonchalant attitude towards commitment. And lemme tell ya, it’s heartbreaking.

Overall, the movie displays the anti-destiny theme in a colorful light. In that I mean that it gives you the message that the notion of a “soulmate” is completely preposterous. It takes two to tango my friend. And by watching the movie, you will understand what I’m talking about here. There is a slight twist to the movie and you wouldn’t think it was much of a twist until you look back on it and realize the movie punched you in the face with the brass knuckles of reality (actually that twist kinda reminds me of the end of The Sixth Sense). You will feel Tom’s pain and you will be overjoyed by the end of the movie at what you’ve realized all along. You have to remember that “the future is not set. There is no fate but what we make.” Wait, was that Terminator? Thanks Edward Furlong.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Movie Review: Away We Go (2009)

The Office's John Krasinski? Check. Saturday Night Live's Maya Rudolph? Check. Standard indie-folk rock soundtrack? Check. Awkwardly hilarious and charmingly poignant? Double check. It's kind of an overload to have more than one independent rom-com in one year (what? Did I sound too Hollywood by saying "rom-com"?), but the indie community wants their films and they want it now! Like, this Summer-now! And the first will be Away We Go (with the second going to 500 Days of Summer), and not a bad choice either. The film is directed by Sam Mendes, who, if you're paying attention, also made American Beauty, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road. And if you've really paid attention, then you can expect some sharp jabs to your conventional perception of relationships that's usually kept hush-hush.

The movie is centered around Burt (Krasinski) and Verona (Rudolph); a lovely little secluded couple that seems to reside in a house in the middle of WhereTheFuckAreTheysVille. The film begins with kind of an awkward scene (especially when you're on kind of a friend date thing with someone you've never gone out with before) where Burt is performing *ahem* well, let's just say he gets more than just dessert after eating dinner at the "Y". And by more, I mean the discovery that Verona is preggers. Whaaaaaaatt? Yeah, she's with child. So upon finding out that Burt's "tasteful" theory is correct, they both break the news to Burt's parents (played by Catherine O' Hara and Jeff Daniels) and have dinner to celebrate. Unbeknownst to our film's couple, Burt's parents have other plans that involve them moving to Belgium instead of sticking around for their grandchild's birth. Heartbroken and feeling a sudden wave of lonliness, Burt and Verona begin to put their lives into perspective by asking the age old question: "Are we losers?" (to which Burt convinces Verona that they're not despite having wood boards for windows). After this question is unconvincingly answered, they both decide that since Burt's parents aren't sticking around, then they don't have to either. And so, our fearless duo come up with a plan to visit various friends and family across the U.S. to determine which place will be best to raise their unborn child. In their adventures across the nation, they run into their fair share of lush couples, tragic stories, unorthodox parents and broken families (of course, all in typical Mendes fashion) before making their own decision on where to end up. Of course, I'm not one to ruin movies so I'll leave it up to you to watch if you haven't already.

Now I'm sure everybody has their expectations of this movie, being that "Jim" from The Office is going to be in it. I'm sure everybody wrote it off as another flick filled with quirky little looks from our male lead which isn't too far from the truth. But the refreshing thing is that he magnified that persona by 10 and in all actuality did a successful job at setting himself from his counterpart. He grew a nice looking beard, threw on some expected rags and completely made the role his own. Krasinski's character was humorous and charming, and surprisingly never ever let the audience down as a budding father / boyfriend. Usually in movies like these, the male part does something to completely fuck up the relationship (and then goes on to redeem themselves yada yada yada), but not in Away We Go. You'll like Burt. And you're gonna keep liking Burt until the very end. There couldn't have been anybody else better to take on this role; yes it was expected, but at least it met your expectations rather than disappointed right?

As for Ms. Rudolph, this movie was a bit of a stretch for a female comedian to take on. I mean, coming from the likes of Saturday Night Live and Idiocracy, it was hard to imagine Maya Rudolph in a semi-dramatic role as a pregnant girlfriend. But then again, the movie itself wasn't that dense; but surely it demanded less of a slapstick approach and more of a touching hilarity that is reminiscent of Eternal Sunshine. But alas, Rudolph takes flight in this film and charms her audience with her tribulations as a maternal girlfriend. Her visage, chock full of freckles and non-existent make-up, is framed by her tousled hair. Her appearance adorned with maternal semi maxi dresses and sometimes blanketed with a heavy jacket. And she has an indelicate approach towards her whole pregnant situation and yet, of all this supposed homely-ness, you still find her radiantly attractive. You can't help but fall in love with Rudolph as she wearily takes off on a quest across the States to Mordor in order to return the Ring. Wait, wrong movie. But you know what I mean.

Krasinski and Rudolph's on-camera romance is so natural and effortless that it's alluring and makes you root for them the whole way through the movie. Not once do they do any wrong as parents, which is surprising, considering Mendes' knack for portraying the twisted realities of potentially doomed relationships. More or less, Mendes steps away from our revered couple and throws that meat to the supporting cast to digest while Krasinski and Rudolph are free to roam across the screen (they literally do so very candidly). The other couples in the movie are what Mendes' movies are made of. Keyword: dysfunctional. Sometimes it's obvious, and sometimes (just like American Beauty) you have to look below the surface. But regardless, you'll see the amusing tragedies unfold on screen, all brought together by the most quintessential indie-folk soundtrack for a movie ever. Nothing oozed "indie" (are you hating that word yet?) more than the flims music.
All in all, it was a seductively sweet movie that successfully portrays the alternative parenting styles of couples. But more importantly, it depicts the convictions of a couple so intent on raising a child in the perfect place that it makes you want to provide the perfect home and community for them. It's a story bleeding with hope and adversity. And in the end, it really wants to make you pack your things and carelessly leave your surroundings for something better. Hell, aren't we all trying to constantly do that now?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Bay Wants To Blow You

Michael Bay. Cousin of Leonard Nimoy. American. Millionaire. And Hollywood Director that puts together big budget summer blockbuster films with one thing in common: He likes to blow your mind. If you take a gander at the movies he's done, you'll know what I'm talking about. The man loves to go over the top on his films. He's the Barry Bonds of Tinseltown. Everybody likes to watch his movies but knows he's cheating somehow because you know his movies are chock full of testosterone from rhino sperm.

Let's take a look at the titles he has under his belt: Bad Boys (1995), The Rock (1996), Armageddon (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001), Bad Boys II (2003), The Island (2005), Transformers (2007) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009). In the beginning, Bay came out in the ring as a lightweight contender with Bad Boys. After that movie was released with rave reviews, he redefined the action genre and set the standard with huge explosions and some pretty nifty special effects. Everybody thought "Wow, this guy knows what he's doing." Then The Rock came out and you couldn't get enough of Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage fighting side by side and the dramatic adventure they go through to save San Francisco. Still, the same explosions and action sequences played out and you figured "Ok, it's entertaining, I still like it!". Then Michael Bay decided to go somewhere else and take his big budget blow-shit-up plan into space (coincidentally around the same time as another movie with the same premise came out; Deep Impact). Okay, this shit's getting old, no? After these three movies, you realize Michael Bay is following the same old formula: Huge over-the-top explosions + Swooping camera angles (usually from the bottom looking up with a wide angle lens) that's showing someone say something dramatic for 5 seconds before cutting to the next camera angle + The film's protagonists uniting and walking towards the camera in cool slow motion to glamorize their heroic appearance + Presidents making epic speeches before the epic climax + Empty romances multiplied by a huge studio budget = COCKBUSTER!

Nobody ever revered this man as the next Francis Ford Coppola or anything. But you have to admit, his movies get extremely old. You would think that as a director, you would try to challenge yourself artistically and take a chance. After eight movies, I guess not. Personally, I'm never really excited when I see the Dynamic Duo (Michael Bay & Jerry Bruckheimer) attached to any film. I try to avoid it, actually, at all costs. There's just no depth to his films. No meat. Just pixels and fire. But again, it's because of the audience that goes and watches these movies that keeps Michael Bay making films. So, I can't really sit here and request Michael Bay to stop making films that have a diarrhea of stunts, explosions and special effects. I would have to sit here and request dumb America to stop watching his films. So America (or The World), please try to acknowledge that his movies are poop. Show me that you people have taste. The same goes for anybody that likes Roland Emmerich. That name alone makes my eyes roll long enough to look like I'm having an epileptic seizure.

Friday, June 19, 2009

To The Red, White and Black...Comedies...

If you're as observant as I am you'll notice a few things about the comedies that have been released in the past 12 years. Yes, some of them were hilarious, some of them mediocre, and most of them just downright horrible. Of course, the downright horrible ones you wouldn't really remember because you didn't watch them (or maybe you did and thought they were hilarious. For that, dear sir/lady or both, you suck hard). You'll notice that there's a very close relationship between the movie posters and how good or bad the movie actually is. Let's focus on the bad ones.

Now, look at the funny movies that have come out in the past 12 years. You see anything? There's something they all have in common. You see it yet? Well you're fuckin' blind then. Or maybe I should've clarified. Look at the movie posters. Now you see it? Good! You got it (actually you probably didn't because you weren't really looking at ALL the comedies in the past 12 years, you didn't even bother. Hence why you're reading this, to find out). From a designing perspective, all the posters are terrible! They share the same qualities! The background is predominately white and the big goofy sans serif font that they use is always, ALWAYS red. Maybe red with a stroke around it (you don't Photoshop, then you don't know what "stroke" is), but regardless, they're all the same. This type of movie poster alone should alert you to the very fact that these movies are shit. Chock full of mediocre jokes and horrible slapstick comedy. Basically, they're all comedies that insult your intelligence.

Here's another thing you might've noticed. Almost all of those movie posters (I'd say about 95%) are Black comedies. No, no, I'm not talking about "dark, funny" comedies (like Death to Smoochie; great movie). I'm talking about "tha brothas". Yeah, I said "brothas", so effing shoot me. I had to clarify for all you politically correct lame-o's. So if you see the correlation between these comedies, their posters and their cast, is it safe to come up with a few theses? Can we propose that Hollywood is racist by predetermining the success of these "Black" comedies by marketing it as another cheap-o movie with their crappy posters therefore targeting a certain audience? Or can we assume that the Black demographic has a horrible sense of humor and don't even look at the posters and just watch the movie and thinks it's funny because there's an all Black cast? It's almost kind of like posing the question "What came first? The chicken or the egg?" You don't believe me? Lemme go ahead and list a few movies for you. And you'll also find that all these movie posters belong to a certain celebrity who's stuck doing these comedies: Eddie Murphy.

- Meet Dave
- Norbit
- Daddy Day Care

- Dr. Dolittle (1st & 2nd)
- Nutty Professor (1st & 2nd)
- Life

- Bowfinger
- Holy Man
- Imagine That
(this is the only exception because the font color is purple, but it still sucks)

*Now let's try some other movies without Eddie Murphy (but with a Black cast) and you tell me if they're bad.

- Beauty Shop
- Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins
- Big Momma's House (1st & 2nd)
- Are We Done Yet? (as well as Are We There Yet?)
- Scary Movie (Wayans Bros wrote and starred in it, that kinda counts)

Now you ask, "Whut abowt 'white people' and them their movies? Hmmm?" To that, I answer with this delectable selection:

- Malibu's Most Wanted
- Kickin' It Old School
- Meet The Spartans
- Epic Movie

- Date Movie
- Fun With Dick & Jane
- The Heartbreak Kid
(although, this one was okay)

So, with all that said, what can we make of this marketing scheme? What is our answer? Maybe we can say that Hollywood knows a shitty movie when they see one and decides they're not going to spit out the cash to really spruce up the movie posters. Or maybe we can say that these movie posters are made for shitty actors that can't ever be taken seriously. Or maybe we can say that Eddie Murphy can't ever escape his family friendly comedies because he's made a deal with the Devil somewhere along the line to make horrible movies in exchange to give Mel B an illegitimate child and sleep with tranny hookers. Maybe there's something we don't know about these actors? Maybe they all sold their soul the Devil at one point. I mean, c'mon, Jamie Kennedy? His movies are shite. He might be a good writer, but not on his own movies. Queen Latifah? Get outta here with your sass. Martin Lawrence? He's on his way to Eddie Murphydom. Jim Carrey? Now, he's great, but he's had his time and he needs to stick with his indie flicks (I love you Eternal Sunshine) or jump on the Judd Apatow train (but that's such different comedy from his older flicks). And don't even get me started on those stupid movies mocking other movies. Date Movie and shit. Why does Hollywood greenglight that diarrhea?

Now let's take a brief look at why these movies are predominately Black. What is Tinseltown trying to do? Again, is it because the Black audience will only watch comedies that involve a Black cast and Hollywood producers knows this so they make the typical red and white posters? Or is it that Hollywood is cheapening these movies through their marketing scheme because they don't care about the Black audience, therefore influencing their (yeah, I said "their", get over it) perception of humor? I guess you'd have to go all the way back to 1996 when the first types of these posters were released. The Nutty Professor. Yeah, it was funny. It was great. Eddie Murphy's last hurrah as a legitimate comedian. Then after that there was an influx of such comedies with the same poster. The designs got more simple and simple as the years went on and eventually, it just simply contained white background and title with goofy font in red. That's it. But who's decision was it? I guess we'll never know what came first, the McChicken Sandwich or the Egg McMuffin.

Whatever the explanation is, you're not too far off. Overall, what we can safely conclude is that any movie that has a movie poster such as these attached to it, you can assume that movie will blow. Maybe a few slip by and they're actually good, but hey, that's the studio's fault for putting their movie in that category with their stupid posters. With all this said, I leave you with Eddie Murphy's catalogue of these god-awful posters and you'll finally see what I mean.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Just Keep On Suckin'

Can you smell it folks? Can you smell the iron scented crimson blood running down the dark copper celluloid film only to emulsify and be projected on screen? Can you see the scarlet blanket that drapes itself over the the windows to your soul? Well if you do, it's because vampires have taken over Hollywood. Duh.

I mean how could you not notice? They're everywhere those damn Transylvanian terrorists. The Twilight Saga. True Blood. Blood: The Last Vampire (upcoming remake of Japananimation cartoon). The Underworld Trilogy. The Blade Trilogy. Guillermo Del Toro's collaboration with Chuck Hogan for their book, The Strain. 30 Days of Night. Rooskie land's Let The Right One In. The idea of Morbius being in Spider-Man 4 (but then it was scrapped because the overly saturated vampire craze) et al.

I'm not going to say that I hate it. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love vampires as much as the next person. True romances cursed by bloodlust and immortality. That's a great premise isn't it? The everlasting battle between humans and the living dead. I mean you can do so much with such an epic story. But what you shouldn't do (at least I think so anyway) is portray vampires as monstrous satanic humanoids. There's nothing worse than turning the seductive look of a classic vampire into a horrible looking bloodthirsty turd looking creature. I understand that filmmakers want to strike fear in the hearts of their audiences with a wooden stake, but facial prosthetics is NOT the way to go.

I think humans are more scared by realism than fantasy. I mean, it's pretty far fetched enough that your captor turns out to be a bloodsucking being with a rapist wit. So why add on to that unbelievable debacle by morphing their their snout and adding millions of sharp teeth and making their foreheads look like Klingon labias? You want some examples? Okay. Take Interview With A Vampire for instance. In my opinion, best vampire movie ever. A stellar cast and an elaborate story spanning two centuries (and might I add Kirsten Dunst was amazing as a young actress). Nobody in that movie once turned into a retarded monster Klingon. Everybody had the classic look ranging from the romantic aesthetics of the late 1700's to the present.

Now, take into consideration hmmm...let's see...Wes Craven's fucking Vampire In Brooklyn starring Eddie Murphy. I think this was the first vampire movie in which I was disgusted with, mainly due to the fact that Eddie Murphys vampire, "Maximillian", turns into this grossly perverted vampiric monster. Even at that age of 10 I could tell this movie was shite. Sure they tried to add in the exotic look of having long locks like a black Fabio and a well groomed beard, but that was just a cheap attempt at disguising the horrible idea of Wes Craven's vampire look. Other movies are like this. Such as Blade, John Carpenter's Vampires, Tales From The Crypt: Bordello of Blood and a crapload of others with no imagination.

I just don't understand it. Hollywood's idea of "scaring" up the vampiric image is to add 3 to 6 hours of make-up on someone and adding some teeth and red contacts. Sure they're dreadful creatures of the night, but the one main thing that's scary about them is that they're human looking which successfully lures in their prey. Again, the realism! The ONLY vampire to EVER successfully pull off the creepiest vampire look without excessive make-up was 1922's Nosferatu. Max Schreck's lanky body and that oversized head with the pointy ears, the blank eyes, the fangs and the long skinny fingers tipped with sharp nails was about the scariest depiction of a vampire ever put on camera. Still, to this day, 87 years later, it still holds as the most frightening creature in cinema.

In conclusion, just an advice to any filmmakers (like my opinion matters to you guys and anybody else that's reading this), lay off the exaggerated demon look. Even Twilight doesn't do that to its characters and I hated that movie. Stop sucking Hollywood, and try to instill eternal life into our beloved vampire movies.

P.S. Don't worry folks, if you're bored with the whole vampire thing, just you wait and see what's coming out next: WEREWOLVES (or wolf related creatures)! It began with Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. It's gonna kick off again with New Moon and then The Wolf Man (starring Benicio Del Toro). And who knows after that! Maybe Marley and Me 2: Return of the Living Dead Marley Dog Thing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Hollywood Edition

In the past, I don't know, sayyyy 10 years? There's been a growing trend in Hollywood. I think you know what I'm talking about. Movie makers have been clamoring to get these old beasts on celluloid. No no, I'm not talking about celebrity vagina. I'm talking about the "reboot". Big time studios have been trying to think of the next best thing they can reboot, rehash, remake, refuck, redo and retune. Some of them are great! And then some of them, well, they deserve to be forgotten. But is this a reflection of where we're at as a creative society? More importantly, does a "reboot" successfully showcase a director/producer's visionary ability?


A lot of you might disagree. That's perfectly fine, you ingrates. But hear me out. Sure, doing a remake of a movie doesn't involve much thinking. I mean, the story's already there. As a director, you already know how certain scenes are played out and what goes where and what does what. Sure, that doesn't take much of a toll on the creative process. But this is how, as they say, they "seperate the men from the Gods".

Now, to argue this point, let me pose this question: What's better to choose from (if you're a movie maker)? A brand new screenplay that could be kind of iffy meaning you're gonna be taking a gamble by trying to transform it into a full length film? OR, choose a film that you KNOW was either good or bad and depending on the size of your cajones, challenge yourself?

Let's use two examples. Tim Burton made his Batman franchise in the late 80's early 90's. The first movie grossed over $40 million in its opening weeekend. They were well received. They went in a particular direction. Joel Schumacher decided to drive and crash into the Batman house and destroy everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. Children's bodies were mangled, the parents were slaughtered. And the opening weekend for Batman & Robin was around $40 million. So that was that. Then, Christopher Nolan (thank God) came in and with a little fairy dust and a great writing staff, laid waste to all the previous movies by coming out with a darker, meaner Batman machine. Everybody went bat shit crazy (no pun intended) over it and The Dark Knight grossed over $158 million in its opening weekend and even got some Oscar nominations. Now, let's take a look at The Hulk, directed by Ang Lee and released in 2003. Apparently, nobody liked it. They thought it was a big green piece of turd. Its opening weekend (which wasn't that bad) grossed over $62 million. "A talented director wasted on a poorly plotted and weakly acted film. Not even the visual effects are salvageable," critic Wesley Lovell stated. So yeah, apparently it was bad. But someone (Louis Leterrier) decided he could remake it and blow people's minds. He figured he had the cajones to do it. Despite the fact that the movie was ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, he thought he can regain the people's faith in this massive green colored beast (as if anybody originally cared). The studios marketed it as "not a sequel, but a reboot". They even figured if they plugged in the respectable Hulk title of "Incredible", the people would finally get what they've been dying to see. They wanted everybody to disregard Lee's original Hulk movie and take this one as the OFFICIAL movie to best represent our angry super-hero. Guess how much it did at the box office it's opening weekend? Go on, take a guess? $55 million. That's $7 million less than Lee's version.

Now, aside from the financial points, WAS it a better movie? In my opinion? No. The movie did not need to be made! Leterrier's Hulk wasn't THAT bad. But it wasn't THAT much better either. I would've just written off Lee's version as mediocre, but that would be about it. The fact that Hollywood hyped up Leterrier's Hulk as a "much needed reboot" led me to believe that it was going to be 100 x's better! But it wasn't. What a huge waste of greens (pun intended).

So, there you have it. Two fine examples of franchise reboots. Everybody knows that Christopher Nolan now has a place in Heaven for him because of his amazingly re-imagined Batman movies. And because of that, you begin to look through your DVD racks for his other movies and realize, "Whoa, this guy is unbelievable." He's like Mr. Miyagi who took a snivelling little Jersey brat and turned him into a killing machine (well, maybe I'm exaggerating, but hey, if he swept the leg any harder he could've busted a main artery and caused internal bleeding which in turn would kill his opponent). Now, Nolan's Batman is a prolific example of what ALL directors need to do when rebooting something. And Leterrier's Hulk is a prime example of Tinseltown's premature ejaculation. I must point out again, LEE'S VERSION WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD.

Like Capt. Pike said to James Kirk in Abrams extraordinarly impressive reboot of Star Trek, "Your father was captain of a starship for twelve minutes. He saved 800 lives, including your mothers and yours. I dare you to do better."

Here are some upcoming reboot rumors and happenings you might want to look out for:
  • Predators (Robert Rodriguez)
  • Ghostbusters III (no director yet, but the writers for The Office have taken over screenplay duties)
  • Clash of the Titans (fuck, it's Louis Leterrier! But hey, it's got Sam Worthington.)
  • 21 Jump Street (Jonah Hill's got his dirty hands all over this one)
  • Rambo V (even though it's more of a sequel to the last reboot Rambo IV)
  • Robocop (Darren Aronofsky's still iffy on doing it)
  • Aliens (apparently it's a prequel with Ridley Scott's little brother, Tony, taking over)
  • The Warriors (Again, Tony Scott)
  • Conan The Destroyer (Just confirmed, Marcus Nispel is directing)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stick a Cork In It, Rourke!

You might be asking yourself, "What do you have against Mickey Rourke?" Well...after seeing the new photo of him in his new role as "Whiplash" (Iron Man 2's new villain), I just felt like I had to give my brief opinion (just like everybody else that blogs in this world).
The only background I know about "Whiplash" is that he hails from Muzzah Russia and that, well, he fights with whips. Judging by the photo, all I can imagine is that Rourke, despite the fact of researching this role by visiting Butyrka prison, will just be the same ol' muttering burnout he always is. Maybe my only gripe is that he's chosen for these character driven roles but is always Mickey Rourke (with the exception of Sin City, but under all the prosthetic make-up, he was still a good ol' muttering burnout).

Sure he was great in The Wrestler. And yeah, he's good in all his other roles. But look at the roles themselves. The reason he's good at them is because they're practically made for him. Okay, I know, what's wrong with that right? I don't know, as much as he's a burnout, I myself feel burnt out on him. Maybe it's due to the fact that he probably has a shady guido pimp as a stylist. Or maybe it's that scumbag smirk he always puts on his face. Or could it be that lame pencil thin mustache that he dons in hopes of personifying some edgy actor. Could it possibly be those greasy locks he refuses to cut regardless of what movie he's in? I don't know. But I'm pretty much over him.

I mean, doesn't Hollywood have enough roid abusing has-beens running around their sets?