Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
So it wasn't a plot hole after all. An upcoming comic that fills us in on Nero's activities during that vague 25 year period. Honestly, I don't get the whole comic-book-as-a-blockbuster-movie-marketing-tool thing. The audience is so niche that you could probably grab a larger and more diverse set of eyeballs on youtube with a blooper reel. In the olden days, comics were more readily available to kids -- and cheaper. Now it's a narrow group of mostly males in their 20s keeping the industry alive. Maybe the small buzz is worth it. I do like the idea of storytelling on multiple mediums though -- for the smaller genre films that really need it. I guess it comes down to low cost, low risk.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Kind of late, but I liked the legend behind this 2002 supernatural thriller. A group of souls forced to witness horrific events for all eternity -- punishment for hanging out at the crucifixion. Think a low budget version of "The Knowing".
Christina Ricci plays a young woman -- after being in a car accident -- who starts having strange visions while passing through a quaint English town. While folks puzzle over the images uncovered in a long forgotten church, a troubled man is about to snap and Ricci is the only person who seems concerned. Ioan "Mr. Fantastic" Gruffudd shows up for moral support -- and as a love interest in the 13 minute extended version not shown in the U.S.
The twists aren't that surprising, but I found it watchable. I can see where the third act might have turned some people off though. It threatens to break one of those unwritten movie rules in graphic fashion. Even if you don't break the rule, it's hard not come across as cheap and manipulative in the eyes of some.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Classic flick from the 80s -- okay, "classic" might be a little strong, but a fun romp nevertheless. "Fright Night" is sorta like "Disturbia" with a vampire as the creepy next door neighbor. A rare mix of horror and humor that actually works. Decent special effects for its time. Between this and "A Princess Bride", I've always wondered why villain Chris Sarandon didn't get juicier roles. The film is a lot better than the cheesy trailer would lead you to believe. Plans for a remake taking place at an amusement park (!?!) were scrapped not too long ago.
Michael Dougherty's "Trick R Treat" finally gets to see the light of day on DVD. I've read all sorts of good stuff about this horror anthology, but it supposedly sat on the shelf for over a year because nobody could figure out how to market the thing. Anyways, here's a 9 minute preview...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
It's always hard to judge pilots, but there's a considerable amount of cheese wafting off the pages. Equal parts angsty teen soap and paranormal romance, "Vampire Diaries" disappoints at both. Starts off with a double-murder by supernatural means. Enter mysterious new (stud)ent with an obvious attraction to our female protagonist -- still mourning the loss of her parents. Throw in a jackass kid brother, annoying friends/frenemies, another attack and I guess we're supposed to be enthralled by it all. Did I mention the mind-numbing voice-overs when the two leads scribble in their journals?
We all know what the CW is trying to do here, but "Vampire Diaries" only succedes at making "Twilight" look like Romeo and Juliet. Not an interesting character in sight. Cringe-worthy dialogue at times -- surprising since Kevin Williamson is credited as a co-writer. With so many clichés coming at you left and right, you'll start to feel psychic. "Buffy" had the good sense to turn clichés on their heads, "Diaries" just hopes you're too young to know them.
Now I'm not the target audience, so maybe Tween girls will eat it up with a spoon -- casting did an excellent job. The books were enough of a success for someone to try and turn them into a series, which is all that seems to matter these days.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Who could forget this B-movie classic from the 90s? Natasha Henstridge -- who naturally looks like a perfect uber babe created in a lab -- totally owned this role as a horny but deadly alien/human hybrid, Sil. Sequels never lived up to the original...
Creepy Asian horror flim from 2006. It's about a malevolent spirit that haunts the office of a plastic surgeon and her teen daughter. Even without the standard supernatural stuff, there's some great horror here. The subject matter would really click with Western audiences. I'm sure it's already on remake pipeline.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Probably one of the best examples of cinematic lightning in a bottle. Far better known properties have come and gone over the years, but this quirky sword and fantasy franchise going back to 1986 has stood the test of time -- buckled on more than a few occasions. Immortal beings of obscure origin swordfight across the ages for an even more obscure Prize. That generic premise -- along with the help of some rockin' Queen songs -- spawned conventions, books, TV shows, cartoons, merchandise, etc. Every couple of years, there's a story in the news about some sword-wielding lunatic mouthing off about, 'There can only be one'.
So a reboot is in the works -- seriously this time, because there's always talk about another "Highlander" flick. I was intrigued by the lukewarm/negative script review that hit the net a few days ago, so I did a little digging and found a copy.... It's a decent action/fantasy that tries hard to satisfy the tastes of today's audiences. Think a less flashier version of "Wanted" with swords *and* guns.
Hard to say if it will work. I'm pretty sure fans of the original will be pissed at the changes -- especially characterization. Some of the charm is gone, but the thing is, we tend to remember our youth being sweeter than it actually was -- can't believe I paraphrased Michael Bay of all people. Like the original, the reboot will depend on casting -- I predict oodles of cameos for rappers and MMA fighters -- action and the soundtrack.