The Jungle Book Official Super Bowl Trailer

To be honest a live-action movie based Rudyard Kipling stories doesn’t particularly interest me, though seeing the trailer, it looks pretty awesome.

The action looks great, and the CGI seems convincing though there’s only one problem I can see, namely that the voice actors are so recognizable that I found myself trying to find out who was speaking, as opposed to just watching the trailer.

That being said, the movie will probably be a bit more immersive.

It’s good to see John Favreau back.  His last movie, Chef, was really good but on a much smaller scale.  The Jungle Book is apparently his move back into big-budget, effects-heavy fare.

(And I haven’t forgotten about the Captain America: Civil War, A-Men Apocalypse or Independence Day: Resurgence trailers, though they demand I get off my ass and cut a video).

Hellions – Review

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Few people watch movies to be preached to, though that’s not to imply that they can’t be a place to learn lessons of a moral nature.

And if that’s your goal, it helps immensely to have an engaging story and fully-realized characters.

Though what also as equally important is to not bludgeon viewers into submission with your ideas, as opposed to going on a journey with them.

And while there’s no guarantee either approach will work, the latter at least makes it more likely that viewers will stick around to watch.

Which brings me to Bruce McDonald’s Hellions, which has a  really fascinating story to tell.  The movie stars Chloe Rose as Dora Vogel, who learns she’s pregnant right before Halloween.

When All Hallow’s Eve rolls around, she’s dressed as an angel and is about to leave for a party, when there’s a nock on her door. She opens it to find a little boy, dressed like a creepier version of the Scarecrow from Batman Begins.

This is also when the movie begins to fall apart, as subtle scares are replaced by those of A Nightmare On Elm Street variety.

And that’s a pity because for awhile I though that I was watching what could be a horror classic.  Instead, what I got was an ultimately disposable movie with some interesting ideas, but not interesting enough to to make warrant a repeat viewing.

Hellions is currently on Netflix; and while Halloween may be many months distant, be careful when you open the door because the streets the children travel echo with the footsteps and furtive cries of the wicked.

Get A Job – Trailer

About a half hour ago I disassembled–then reassembled–my iMac.  Seeing that I am just not that intellectually curious, I had to have a very pressing reason for doing so.

And that reason is that I wasn’t going to pay anyone to do what I could do myself, with a little effort.

What interests me about Get A Job is that it’s apparently about a couple–Will Davis (Miles Teller) and Tanya (Alison Brie, who IMDB didn’t deem worth of a last name, apparently) who have recently finished college and are trying to make their way in the working world, with varying degrees of success.

Unemployment is a topic I’m way too familiar with as of late, though unlike this movie I just don’t see the humor.

Gods Of Egypt – Trailer 2

   
I meant to post the latest Gods Of Egypt trailer yesterday.  I didn’t because I haven’t gotten around to changing my iMac’s hard drive–I don’t own any Torx screwdrivers, though I intend to remedy that over the weekend. 

As a result this is my first post made entirely on an iPad.  From images to video, it’s all assembled with the (free) WordPress application. 

And while the controls don’t feel as precise as I am accustomed to dealing with, it does the job admirably. 

As I’ve said before, Alex Proyas is a talented director, but as far as I am concerned there’s nothing about this trailer that makes me want to see Gods Of Egypt

And that’s not to say that the visuals, though a bit gaudy at times, aren’t up to snuff because we’re talking about Alex Proyas here, who’s other movies (The Crow, Dark City, I Robot) also tended to be effects-heavy. 

Never mind white-washed Egypt (my intent is not to minimize diversity behind and in front of the camera, though there are far more knowledgable people writing about that very thing) more so than a narrative that  appears to be one we have seen before:  a young person faces near-insurmountable odds in an effort to stop an evil from taking over the world. 

It’s a story older than Star Wars because it works, though the key to using such a well-worn trope effectively is that people can’t immediately know that what you’re throwing at them they have seen–in one form or another–hundreds, if not thousands of times prior. 

And that’s where Gods Of Egypt falls short: Despite that it’s not yet been released in theaters, it already feels too familiar. 

Suicide Squad & Deadpool Sitting In A Tree…

k.i.l.l.i.n.g.  (though based on the tone of Deadpool‘s Valentine’s Day trailer, you’d be forgiven if you thought the latter).

Both Deadpool and Suicide Squad seem to be exploring the darker sides of their prospective universes though if you ask me I think DC Films should thank whatever deity they worship that Fox’s entry is coming out six months before because while both films promise a darker–and certainly more violent, if the former’s R rating is any indication–take on superhero movies only one of them seems to be really innovating in the space.

The trailers for Deadpool promise a sense of irrelevance and fun that would be a serious differentiator if the two films were competing against each other directly.

That’s a line of commentary that’s pretty much negated by both coming out months apart, though its an interesting thought exercise.

 

Triple 9 Official Trailers 1 & 2

Can I say that John Hillcoat’s Triple 9 looks awesome?  Heist/police thriller are a guilty pleasure of mine because when they’re done well, they’re a thing of beauty.

In particular I enjoyed Bruce Malmuth’s Nighthawks (a Sylvester Stallone vehicle about a terrorist on the loose in New York, and the cops in pursuit of said terrorists), Antoine Fuqua’s Training Day (David Ayer’s story is only kept aloft by Fuqua’s direction and Denzel Washington’s acting), Spike Lee’s Inside Man and Frank Oz’s The Score, to name a few.

And I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the reboot (what?) of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, directed by Jean-Francois Richet, which is a really entertaining movie and better in its way than the original.

The Punisher We Need

For some reason Marvel Comics’ Punisher has been a difficult nut to crack–despite the fact that the character is essentially Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) from 1974’s Death Wish, a movie that went on to do pretty well at the box office.

His first appearance was in New World Pictures 1984 movie The Punisher, and despite the criticism that surrounds that movie, wasn’t terrible–which isn’t to imply that it was great, though it was enjoyable in its own way–and Dolph Lindgren (and his ever-present Swedish accent) interpreted the material pretty well.

Unfortunately, not even the Punisher couldn’t get people into theaters, and the movie flopped.

The character was revisited again in LionsGate’s 2004 movie The Punisher, this time starring Thomas Jane.

Jane does pretty well in the role, despite not being as physically similar to the character as Lundgren.

And it once again underperforms–despite that if you move forward ten years to 2014 Denzel Washington starred in the successful movie interpretation of The Equalizer (based on a 1985 CBS television series) who essentially IS the Punisher.

Lionsgate tried again in 2008 with Punisher: War Zone which was similar in tone to the 1984 movie (with its violence intact and intensified, if nothing else).

And it too didn’t do that well, and since you’d be lucky to get one chance at success, never mind three, you’d be safe in assuming that the Punisher had killed his last opponent. Continue reading