Sunday, February 26, 2006

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ultraviolet



I think Kurt Wimmer is a bit of a genius. Really. Okay, maybe the “G” word is a little strong but it does takes a certain kind of mind to see connections the rest of us don’t. The whole gun-kata thing in “Equilibrium”, kinda genius. We’ve been hit in the face with kung-fu and guys-with-guns movies for years but raise your hand if you thought about combining the two and coming up with a new kung-fu style? I didn’t think so. There wasn’t anything genius about the rehashed story line in “Equilibrium” but at least the action was fresh.

On "Equilibrium" DVD commentary, Wimmer hinted that another movie would feature gun-kata so I guess “Ultraviolet” is the one. But you know what’s the worst thing about the trailer? The PG-13 rating! I mean, come on. Don’t tease us with the promise of bloodshed and carnage then at the very last second, slap a PG-13 rating on the screen. My guess is that an unrated director’s cut DVD will pop up later this year.

It’s a pity “Ultraviolet” has nothing to do with the UK mini-series because would have been something. Instead, what we have here is another tough-chick-flick with more style than substance. It’s interesting the way the film has been marketed, depicting Violet as a one-woman wrecking crew challenging the oppressive powers that be...*cough* Aeon Flux *cough* Trinity from the “Matrix” *cough*. Maybe the story line has changed but when I originally heard about the film, Violet was protecting a child from the powers that be...no hint of a kid in the trailer.

I cringe when I see similarities between my screenplay in progress and the movies on screen. This “genre” is a tough nut to crack. If these guys can’t do it, what chance does my unsold butt I have? My guess is that “Ultraviolet” will probably do better than “Aeon Flux” because the action scenes will really deliver, in a bloodless PG-13 kind of way. Maybe 50-60 million total? “Underworld” type numbers. Finally, random observation: Ever notice that with these movies, the female protagonists are overwhelmingly brunette? Not that I’m complaining...I’m just saying...





Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mass Appeal

“The Island” grossed only 35 million dollars here in the States, but the foreign box office? A cool 125 million. How do you explain that one? Better marketing? Keanu Reeves' “Constantine” totaled 154 million in foreign box office but just 76 million at home. A little bit of "Matrix" afterglow? Weird.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

Finally got around to reading an early draft of "I, Robot". The big difference here is more drama and less over-the-top action extravaganza. The script gives a more reasonable explanation for Detective Spooner’s hatred of robots and Sonny doesn’t seem so childlike. When I think about it, the motivations of all the characters are just better than what made it to the screen. Then again, “I, Robot” did make over 180 million dollars (in the U.S. alone) so it’s not so much about writing a perfect script, but an entertaining one.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Grizzly Man

Last week, I caught the premiere on the Discovery Channel and I gotta say, how in the heck did “Grizzly Man” not get an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary!? It’s one of the most fascinating and disturbing films I’ve seen in a really long time. Scarier than “Hostel”, “Saw” or any of the recent horror porn flicks and yet... you can’t look away.

Now I’m not one of those people who yells at the screen when a character does something incredibly stupid (e.g. investigating a strange noise, clad only in their underwear and taking no weapon), but I defy you to keep quiet while Timothy Treadwell waxes poetic about nature and there’s this huge grizzly coming closer and closer in the background.

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