The worst thing in the world for a writer is “the start”; staring at that blank page and wondering how you’ll ever fill it all with words. Never mind how you’ll fill it all with good words. So imagine trying to adapt something like “The Great Gatsby”, one of the great American novels, for the big screen. Sure it’s been done before (Francis Ford Coppola wrote the screenplay in 1974) with so-so results, but how do you tackle something that big and make it good? Well, Warner Bros. might have figured it out: put Baz Luhrmann, the visionary behind the ultra-stylized, hyper-kinetic “Moulin Rouge!” in charge. Read more
Tag Archive for Film
A franchise is only as good as its last installment. “G.I. Joe” nearly died at the gate with a lackluster premier and “Batman & Robin” actually killed off what had been a particularly healthy brand of films until Christopher Nolan swooped in to save the day. Thus far, Marvel has managed to be the Pixar of superhero franchises with each film bringing in big box office and converging into the mega-hit “Avengers”. So, that could be the reason why “Iron Man 3″ is so important: it’s the first post-”Avengers” film released by the studio and what very well may be the final installment of the popular series. Expectations are sure to be higher than any one film can deliver, but if anyone can beat the odds it’s Robert Downey Jr., right? Read more
Anyone familiar with weight lifting scenes in movies has no doubt heard the mantra “No pain, no gain!” Some might argue this could be Michael Bay’s personal mission statement as he’s gained quite a bit for himself by inflicting pain on the intelligence of moviegoers everywhere for nearly two decades. Personally, I don’t mind his films with their hyper-active visuals and no-brainer storylines, as they’ve set the standard for what has become the modern American popcorn movie. This weekend, his latest Summer blockbuster, “Pain & Gain” opens… one week before the Summer movie season actually begins. Maybe Paramount wants to see men pumping iron before Iron Man pumps all the cash out of next week’s box office? Read more
Some people love Tom Cruise. Others… not so much. I fall into the first camp, thinking that pretty much anything the guy touches will be (at least) entertaining. My guess is that studio heads may fall into the second camp, or think the majority of people do, anyway. How else could you explain “Oblivion”, the big-budget, sci-fi Summer blockbuster that was released in mid-April? Helmed by “Tron: Legacy” director Joseph Kosinsky, the picture has a sleek, futuristic visual style that would’ve wowed Steve Jobs and has the biggest movie star in the world fighting space aliens. What happened? Why isn’t Cruise’s Jack Harper going toe-to-toe with the likes of Tony Stark, Dominic Toretto and Jay Gatsby? Maybe because ”Oblivion” isn’t the movie you think it is. Read more
Cinema Judgement Day contributor, Schnookems, just came back from “The Place Beyond the Pines”. I’ve heard a lot about this film in recent weeks and am looking forward to seeing it myself. Also remember, if you’ve seen a movie that you’re feeling passionate about and would like to review it for the site, feel free to email us here. Now without further ado… Schnookems!
I just saw Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines; an interesting film divided into three stories that are all interwoven with each other over a couple decades. The picture isn’t yet in wide release, but it will be on April 12th and it’s not like anything you’ve seen in theaters lately.
Channing Tatum won me over with his performances in “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike”… or at least the Directors and Editors did. If you want to see the blind leading the blind, go no further than 2009′s “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”. In that film, Hollywood’s worst director, Stephen Sommers, succeeds in getting a performance from Tatum that’s as plastic as the toys it was based upon. Throw on top of that a script full of plot holes, bargain basement VFX and Marlon Wayans and you’ve got yourself a war on good taste. Fortunately, Paramount Pictures 86′d Sommers and brought in the next wave of Joes. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” should’ve instead been titled “Resuscitation”, because that’s exactly what it does: breathes life into a franchise that all but had its dog tags sent home. Read more
The mission of this site is to review not just “good” movies, but “so bad they’re good” movies. So when I heard that “The Host”, a film adapted from the Stephanie Meyers book, I knew I was in for either a horrible treat or the most excruciating two hours and five minutes of my life. As you know, Ms. Meyers wrote the “Twilight” series and it’s obvious that Open Road Films was hoping for something of equal quality. Of course, that could have been achieved by filming an adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” with “Octomom” Nadia Suleman starring as Juliet. What they ended up with was something so subpar it actually had me longing for two hours of Playstation 2 looking wolves, vapid dialogue and Robert Pattinson’s blue-ribbon-winning-pumpkin-sized noggin. Read more
I don’t get clowns. They’re supposed to be happy and make you laugh, but so many people find them terrifying. My friend Steve actually yells “Yikes!” in his husky smoker’s voice whenever he sees one. It’s pretty funny (if a bit over-dramatic), yet he illustrates how clowns are a legitimate fear of many. How else could you explain the successes of “It”, “Killjoy” or the appropriately titled “Killer Clowns from Outer Space”? Even “Seinfeld” explored the phenomenon with the episode “The Opera” where “Crazy” Joe Davola dresses as a clown and scares the shit out of everyone. Now, Irish filmmaker Conor McMahon (Dead Meat) takes his turn scaring you with a circus psycho in “Stitches”, coming to DVD and Blu-Ray April 2 from MPI/Dark Sky Films.
No outside help.
Alone in an impenetrable location.
Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, “Die Hard”, “Under Siege”, and I guess “First Blood” to an extent (if you count the Pacific northwest forest as an impenetrable location). That’s the gist of “Olympus Has Fallen”, which isn’t to say it’s a bad thing because that’s always a fun plot to watch. Read more
It’s not too often that I’m wowed by a cartoon. Gone are the days of the Pixar “slam dunk” (in my opinion). More often than not, I find myself annoyed by an animated film – like say, Shrek that uses some catchy pop song and then has the characters dancing around like assholes almost as a concession for not having them sing a la OG Disney films. To quote Mike “Green Ogre Slob” Myers: It’s craaaaap! Which is exactly the reason I was DREADING “The Croods”, Dreamworks’ latest computer generated feature. After seeing countless bus shelters, mass transit wraparounds and AMC policy bumpers all featuring the cave-clan, I wanted to smash my head in with a rock (which was probably used as both a pillow and a dental tool in their day). But after seeing the film in glorious 3D, I have to say that I haven’t been this happy to spend time with cartoon cavemen since “The Flintstones”. Read more