博客存档 - GeekStreetMedia
 
Picture
Director John Favreau
  Director John Favreau recently mentioned in an interview that a third Iron Man movie is just about a sure thing, albeit years down the road. Early reviews of Iron Man 2 would suggest that this is great news for fans...except for the part where he mentions that his involvement with another installment is up in the air. Take a look at an excerpt from Favreau's interview with SuperHeroHype:

[Marvel] has asked me to be an Executive Producer on 'The Avengers' so I'll be there to help as much the director would want me to. Iron Man 3 is years down the road, and that has to reflect the reality of what's been established, not just in 'Iron Man 1 and 2', but in movie time, between this film and that film, is 'The Incredible Hulk,' 'Thor,' 'Captain America' and 'The Avengers.' I haven't had to inherit anybody else's back story yet—it's just simply what we chose to use or not use from the comic books—so I'm feeling like I'm passing the baton and after all those movies are done, it's time to sit down and discuss if there's something I can bring to it, if it's something we want to do together, but that's way down the road.

This sounds like bad news for the future.

I understand what Favreau is doing here; he doesn't want to commit to another Iron Man years down the road if the Marvel film universe becomes too convoluted. With so many different tie-ins to other movies, he might be backed into a creative corner by the material he has to work with. It's a responsible move on his part as a filmmaker to avoid being creatively restricted by outside influences. When that type of thing happens, you end up with a disappointing product like Spider-man 3, which was caused by Sony pressuring director, Sam Raimi, to include well known villains, rather than ones that he could have worked well with creatively. But, you can't blame Sony for emo Spidey and the dancing... that's on you, Raimi.

The thought of someone else taking over the franchise from Favreau doesn't sit well with me. Remember the first Mission Impossible, directed by Brian De Palma? It was pretty good, right? It had a cool gadgety spy feel to it. Now try and remember how cheesy and weird John Woo's Mission Impossible II was in comparison. Doves were flying around everywhere while Tom Cruise ran in slow motion and performed ridiculously impractical spinning jump kicks. It wasn't terrible, per se, but it wasn't as good as the first.

I think Marvel got lucky in pairing Favreau with Iron Man, and I don't think that anyone that is willing to take over the franchise will be able to deliver the same quality combination of fun, action, and humor that he's been able to. John Favreau knows how to work well with these particular actors now, and he knows how to use them. Throwing a new director into the mix has a good chance of messing up the whole on-set dynamic.

The silver lining here is that by not committing to another Iron Man yet, he has more time to dip his toes into some of the other Marvel projects that are in the works at the moment. Devoting more time to The Avengers can't be a bad thing.

What do you think?  Will Favreau direct Iron Man 3? Is there a director out there capable of taking over the reigns from him?  Did you enjoy emo Spider-man? Let me know!

-Andrew

 
Picture
Maybe you had a high school sweetheart in, say, 1984.  It was great.  You guys met by chance while doing one of those strange, arm-flailing, 80s dances during Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” Later, things got serious after you guys went “all the way” at a drive-in showing of The Karate Kid, which, by the way, was nothing short of magical (both the movie and the backseat shenanigans). 

Then all of the sudden she starts saying crazy things like “This is getting too serious. Girls just wanna have fun, you know?”  So, you two broke up.  The school years went by; you saw her in the hallway, Time After Time. Then, in 1989 you guys tried getting back together for a sequel to your first relationship. Of course, it wasn’t as sweet as the first time around, and you were leaving for college anyway, so again, you went your separate ways.   Now let’s flash forward twenty years.  One of your fantasy football buddies helps you create a Facebook page and says that “it’s great for keeping in touch with old high school friends,” by which he obviously means finding old girlfriends. Sure enough, the next day, there it is:

“Ally Ringwald Wants to Be Your Friend.”

You guys spark up a conversation of remember- whens via private message (neither of you want to give your spouses the wrong idea).   You, of course, completely misinterpret her intentions and confess that you’ve wanted her back since you parted ways decades ago and you want to see her again.  She responds with “that’s nice of you to say, but I’m cool, thanks.”

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the story of the Ghostbusters franchise. 

Despite the fact that it’s been over twenty years since the last installment and that Bill Murray obviously does not want to return for another, people are still hounding him to do the second sequel.

As much as I enjoyed both Ghostbusters films (even Ghostbusters II), I’m really not interested in seeing another one.  The cast is just too old to come back.  Not that there is anything wrong with being old, but I don’t want to experience that same depressed feeling I had seeing Grandpa Ford during Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The supposed premise of the film is a recipe for future failures as well.  As it now stands, the plan is to bring back the old cast and include some “new blood” that the original team will be able to pass on the torch to.  So maybe we’ll get to see comedy greats like Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray share the screen with Shia Labeouf, or Taylor Lautner, or maybe even Robert Pattinson! 

The thought makes me sincerely sad.

Why can’t movie studios just let classics go unmarred by the stench of sub-par sequels?  Not every good movie needs to be built into franchise.  I’m on Bill Murray’s side on this one.  Hold out forever, Dr. Venkmen.  Don’t soil your reputation.

Feel free to disagree with me. I can take it.Do you think we need another Ghostbusters?

-Andrew

 
Picture
Like most people, I have a complicated relationship with the board game Monopoly.  I start out playing every game excited at the prospect of becoming a real estate tycoon, making stacks of multicolored cash and watching my friends go bankrupt.  But, as any Monoplist knows, it takes a significant portion of your day to make it to the top of the faux-business world.  Competition is tough; that dog and the little top hat won’t lay down without a fight. I have to think to myself as the game approaches its fifth hour, “Do I have what it takes to see this thing through to the end?”

And that’s when the montage begins. Just me buying up all sorts of real estate and passing “Go” like fifteen times, all while Rihanna sings the chorus of “Run This Town.”  Then maybe I pick up a “Go Directly to Jail” card when ANOTHER montage starts, except this time I’m collecting money from my properties while I’m in jail as “Hustlin’” by Rick Ross play in the background.

This is the kind of drama that the upcoming Monopoly movie needs.

That’s right. There is going to be a movie based on the board game Monopoly.  The project currently in development by Ridley Scott (Alien, American Gangster) is going to be yet another addition to the genre of movies based on the properties of toy companies. We can now add it to a list that includes Transformers, G.I. Joe, Stretch Armstrong, Candyland, and Battleship.  

This might be the strangest current Hollywood trend.  I understand Transformers and G.I. Joe; they at least had cartoons with stories to draw upon, but board games?  This is taking product placement too far.  Here is an excerpt from MTVnews in which Ridley Scott describes his interaction with Hasbro: 

"Do I have to show the game, with people running around on a board, with the large houses and funny top hats and that sort of thing?" But when Scott asked that question of Brian Goldner — CEO of Hasbro, the company that puts out the classic board game — he was told that the company only wanted him to use the game as a jumping-off point. "They said no. We just want a movie," Scott explained. "And that makes it a lot easier.

So basically, these movies are created as an excuse to use the titles as advertisements for kiddy products.  Maybe next we can get a Sidewalk Chalk movie, or a Super Soaker trilogy! Personally, product placement in movies contributes to the slow death of my soul and the thought of movies being advertisements in themselves is almost too much to bear.

Let’s hope the actual content of the films is more exciting than a board game.  I wouldn’t count on it, though.

 What about you? Are you as upset and confused about this trend as I am?

-Andrew

 
Picture
Have you ever made a purchase, maybe off of craigslist or eBay, and realized once you received the goods that you’d been duped? That the item in question wasn’t what it was advertised to be?  It blows. A lot. You wind up wishing that you would have just paid for the brand new box-set of the first season of Blossom instead of accidentally buying a set of risqué home videos for “$1!”

C’est la vie, I suppose...

Well lately, just about every time you pay for a movie in 3D, you are getting scammed in the same way.  This 3D movie trend that has exploded since Avatar made over $2.5 billion at the box office is essentially just a scam to get you to pay more for your movie ticket.

Avatar was filmed in 3D. From the beginning, it was intended to be a crazy, near-hallucinatory, three-dimensional safari on another planet, hence the film’s awesomeness.  That is how it’s supposed to be done. Don’t ask me how James Cameron’s 3D film technology works; I looked it up once, but I was beaten into submission by technical jargon before the explanation was finished.  All I know is that it has something to do with using multiple cameras at different depths and angles.

However, that is not the only way to make a 3D film.  What we are being force fed now is a cheap knockoff of the real technique that is of much lower quality.  These poor quality imitations are converted into “3D” in post-production, meaning that the film wasn’t intended to be in that format.  The result is a bad illusion of depth, inexplicable floating images, and an experience that distracts from the overall film. 

But, who could blame the production companies for doing it?  Despite the poor quality of the product, moviegoers still flock to theaters to dish out the extra four bucks. Converting a film to 3D is relatively cheap and it's a sure fire way to increase the film’s hype, as well its revenue. Some recent less-than high quality examples have been Clash of the Titans and Alice in Wonderland. 

If you are thinking of going to see a movie in 3D, you should consider finding out if it was converted post-production.  If that’s the case, save yourself a few bucks and go see it in regular format.

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

-Andrew

Picture
 
Picture

By now, I'm sure most of us have been caught in the indecisive limbo that comes during the closing credits of a movie. We decide whether or not it's worth sitting through a list of unrecognizable names for an indefinite amount of time to see if there might be an extra scene at the end. Most of the time, it's pretty easy to predict if there will be a post-credits easter egg, but occasionally...occasionally you will sit through what feels like a wait in line at the DMV with nothing but the name of the key grip to show for it. By the end, you are left sitting there whispering the question, “Are you shitting me?” to yourself.

I get the principle behind the post-credit scene. People work hard on these films and they deserve to have their names recognized. But still...

Say you watch two movies a week; that's 104 movies a year. The average credit roll lasts, say, about five minutes. Now, imagine you are forced to watch the credits to every movie you see because they all promise an easter egg scene. You just spent close to nine hours of your year watching credits. And worse, if you watched two movies a week for sixty years, you would spend twenty-one days of of your short life watching names ooze down a black screen. Fun fact of the day.

It scares me to think about how much time I spend watching commercials on TV.


Fortunately, Marvel movies pretty consistently have something waiting for you at the end of that long dark tunnel, especially if there is a sequel in the works or the movie is related in some way to the upcoming Avengers project.

Consider the following a Public Service Announcement:
Justin Theroux, screenwriter for soon-to-be released Iron Man 2, confirmed that there WILL be an easter egg scene at the end of the credits. If you care enough to sit through the credits you will be rewarded with a scene that is rumored to be related in some way to the Thor and Captain America films. That rumor has yet to be confirmed, but the scene does apparently exist.

What do you think, are these scenes worth sitting through the credits?


Iron Man 2
hits theaters on May 7th, so get ready to memorize the names of some on-set assistants.

-Andrew

 
Picture
There are some things in life that are great by themselves, but when you put them together, the result is even better.  Chocolate and strawberries, for instance, or rap music and bedazzled teeth.  One of the ultimate manifestations of this principle is Ridley Scott’s Alien, a seamless mixture of the horror and sci-fi movie genres.

So, Alien by itself is awesome.  You know what else is awesome?  The Predator.  In theory, mixing these two extraterrestrial killers together is one of the best ideas to ever grace the mind of a writer.  So why, then, did I throw up in my mouth during Alien vs. Predator: Requiem?  Maybe because the directors call themselves “the Brothers Strause.” Or maybe it’s because the movie was worse than having a catheter removed.  It was likely a combination of both.

It’s lucky for fans of both the Alien and Predator franchises that they are being pried apart and returning to their respective sides of the universe. 

It’s even luckier that the man responsible for bringing us the original sci-fi/horror classic, Ridley Scott, is back at the helm for the upcoming Alien-prequel. Scott has been reported saying that “It’s [the unnamed prequel] a work in progress, but we’re not dreaming it up anymore.  We know what the story is.  We’re now actually trying to improve the three acts and make the characters better, build it up to something [we can shoot].  It’s a work in progress, but we’re actually making the film. There’s no question about it, we’re going to make the film.”

That’s good news to me.  I don’t want the last association people make with a concept as cool as Alien to be the ridiculous half alien-half predator joke from AVP: Requiem.  Sadly though, the story is set to take place three years before the the events of Alien, so we probably won't be seeing Sigourney Weaver reprise her role as Ellen Ripley

Look for new Aliens to burst out of chests and into theaters some time in 2011.
Predators is set to be released July 7th, 2010.

-Andrew

 
Picture
It seemed to be going so well for Clark Kent on Friday nights. The 9th season of Smallville, despite being moved to the time slot where TV shows go to die, surprised many by starting out hot, averaging 2.5 million viewers before the mid-season break. Sadly though, the move to the death slot is apparently catching up to the super powered action/drama. As of last weeks return of Metallo, viewership has dropped to around 1.8 million.

Well...that sucks.

The CW has already ordered a tenth season of the show, but who knows what could happen if the sub-par ratings continue. The quality of the episodes is higher than it has been for the past, say, two seasons, so what's the problem? Why have things gone so wrong when they started out so right?

Smallville's hardcore viewers are some of the most avid fans of any TV show. I have no doubt that they followed the show from Thursday to Friday without question (other than “why Friday? Is it getting canceled?”) But keep in mind that Smallville is on the CW, a network for people who...aren't old. Friday night at 8 o'clock is prefunk time on college campuses and it's also right about the time when teenagers sneak the family station wagon out of the garage to go shoulder tap outside liquor stores. People in Smallville's age demographic simply have stuff to do on Friday nights.

Once the mid-season break hit, even the most loyal Smallville fans got in the habit of living their lives on Friday nights, so when Clark Kent returned, everyone had already went drinking without him.

I'm torn. I don't want the show to continue for so long that it becomes complete garbage, which some argue it already has (F them), but I also want Smallville to come to a full conclusion, a satisfying series finale.

If the quality of the episodes holds up, maybe Smallville will be able to limp through the ratings long enough to make it to the end of a tenth season, where Clark can fly off into the distance, allowing the show's loyal and weary fan base to finally exhale.

-Andrew

 
Picture
Overlord Christopher Nolan
Anyone who saw The Dark Knight and immediately pissed themselves as a result of the film's magnificence was probably giddy when they heard that director Christopher Nolan would be involved with the upcoming reboot of the Superman film franchise.

“Involved” is such a vague word.

I'm just a tad skeptical of the level of his involvement with the project. From what I've seen, the gritty reality that he was able to convey in his two Batman installments doesn't mesh well with the heavily fantasy-centered world of Superman. He was forced to take certain liberties with Batman canon just to make Gotham City believable.

He has been labeled the “godfather” of the project, who will function as a producer and an overseer type figure, but for some reason that just seems suspect to me. I would not be at all surprised if this was just a move by Warner Bros. to be able to drop his name in the trailer: “From producer Christopher Nolan, critically acclaimed director of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight...” After all, who wouldn't want their film associated with that kind of genius. I just want to know exactly what his responsibilities will be, and “making sure it doesn't suck” probably won't do the trick for me.

Don't misunderstand me. If he is involved in a legitimate way, I would be okay with that. I'm sure he would have valid creative input to contribute, but input is where it should stop. He knows how to make a superior dark thriller, but is that what we really want the Superman reboot to be? Batman is a black, brooding, vengeful type of character who necessitated that same style of film. Superman has almost the opposite vibe; he is a brighter character all about hope and all those other feel-goods. Granted that there are some possibly dark aspects to the story that could be perverted into being gritty, i.e. him being the last son of a dead planet Krypton, but brooding just isn't what Superman is about.

And he's an alien! Aliens have no place in the Nolanverse as it currently exists. That's why I don't see the crossover ever happening with Nolan's Batman and Superman that many so desperately hope for. The fantastical world of The Man of Steel is just too...let's say fictional, to mesh with the shadowy realism of Christopher Nolan's vision of Gotham City.

Sorry for being such a downer, but that's just how it all smells to me.

-Andrew

 
Picture
As I handed over a crisp Hamilton to the scrawny mop-top in the ticket booth, I said a silent prayer to myself. It went something like this: “Please, oh lordy lord, let Kick-Ass be as awesome as its been hyped up to be, for I could have stayed home and Netflix'd it up for a considerably smaller dollar amount.

Well, I can safely say to you that my prayer did not go unheard. In a phrase, Kick-Ass was Ki.... Kick-Ass was K... I'm sorry I can't say it. I have too much shame. I'll just say that Kick-Ass was F'n nuts.


Disclaimer: I'm not familiar with the Kick-Ass comic created by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., so I am incapable of griping about any disparities between the movie and comic.

However, I can tell you that Kick-Ass is one of those movies that shows you how important a unique and diverse cast of characters is to a story. Every character had their own quirks that made them all feel...fun, for lack of a better word. You'll leave the theater hard-pressed to think one you didn't like.

The action sequences were some of the most entertaining I've seen since 300. The gore in the film may seem gratuitous to some, but it nicely underscores the theme of “realism.” It doesn't become tedious either. Rather than being your average bullet-filled explosion orgy, every action sequence had its own unique flavor—Hit-Girl might make you afraid of the dark. The ironic musical score that plays while Hit-Girl goes to work is inspired. You'll be laughing as she slices and dices her way through various groups of thugs.

Speaking of Hit-Girl...holy shit. She steals the show. I remember when the red-band trailer for Hit-Girl came out. The comment boards over at Screenrant went crazy arguing over whether or not it was kosher to make a little girl say “c***” in a movie. But, now we can be sure that the equation, (Little Kids + Talking Like Sailors = Hilarious + Awesome), is completely accurate.

The only real thing to complain about was that the titular character did not do as much ass kicking as you would expect, which for all I know could be one of the characteristics of the comic. The plot is more centered around Hit-Girl and Big Daddy than it is around Kick-Ass. But, to me this is a minor gripe when compared to the overall entertainment value of the film.
Kick-Ass is a must-see.

-Andrew

 
Picture
 Since the announcement that Spider-man 4 was getting trashed in favor of a Marvel Ultimates style reboot, there has been tons of speculation on who will play the new, younger Peter Parker. The speculative choices range everywhere from Taylor Lautner to Shia Labeouf, and what choices those are... It seems that if you are young, relatively short, with adverbless brown hair, and look like you might make a Twilight fan soil her underoos, you might have a shot at being the next wall-crawler. A couple of guys that have supposedly had a real shot at the role include Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Meet Bill), Jospeph Gordon Levitt (500 Days of Summer), and most recently, Josh Hutcherson who is set to star in the upcoming remake of Red Dawn.

I don't have any particular beef with those candidates, other than the fact that they may be too pretty, but what can you do—its Hollywood. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is probably a little too old for the high school setting of the new story, and seeing as his name hasn't popped up in a while in the news concerning the project, who knows if he's still in the running.

I don't care who they get, as long as he is capable of playing the part. Tobey Maguire was a good Peter Parker in the sense that he has such plain features; it was easy to believe he could be a nerdy kid (I'll use the word “kid” loosely here). But, what he had in looks, he lacked in what I can only label “moxie.” One of Spider-man's most entertaining characteristics is his ability to drop a witty one-liner in the midst of a superhuman showdown. Maguire did okay, but it sounded so unnatural for him to make jokes, the only exception being the line delivered to Bonesaw McGraw in the first installment:“Nice outfit. Did your husband give it to you?” But, at least he could emote...

That's where I see the plus side to these younger guys; maybe they'll exude some more energy and be able to bring that smart ass vibe that a teenage web-head should have. Maybe I'm just being a nostalgic child of the 90s, but they should force whichever one of these guys they wrangle to watch Spider-man: The Animated Series. I always thought Christopher Daniel Barnes perfected the delivery of the mid battle corny quip.

The most important thing, at least to the purist geek, is that the new guy has the right vibe that fans have come to associate with the character. And say no to Twilightization.

-Andrew