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).

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.

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

Fantastic Four – Review

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I have to say that I didn’t hate this movie.  It’s not the Fantastic Four movie I would have made if given the chance, but it’s not terrible; though it is needlessly grim–pardon the pun–but that’s not necessarily the same thing as bad.

And you might also be wondering what took me so long to actually see it, and I’d answer that Josh Trank’s movie was one of the worse reviewed movies of last year, so I wasn’t in any particular hurry to catch it.

The fact that I rented it via iTunes for $5.99–as opposed to $10 or more for a movie ticket–may have a little to do with my feelings as well.  (What also might is that Josh Trank was demonized in various media ways few people who haven’t been accused of either peodphilia or poisoning the water of their constituents have been).

Dr. Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) is the goverment man who intends to use the intrepid team as weapons, though the thing is, he makes a lot of sense.  Not only is the government financing the Baxter Institute, but he had the audacity to suggest that NASA be brought in to explore the new world the transporter opens up. 

The thing is, that’s what NASA does!  Yet because of a little Dutch courage, our four intrepid voyagers decide to journey into mystery.  

The movie makes little sense, in that why would the inventors of a teleportation device, knowing that it opens a door into an alternate world–the word ‘dimension’ isn’t interchangeable with ‘world’–even want to be the first humans to use it?

That’s like the people who invented the first atomic bomb actually flew aboard the planes that dropped them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which is dumb for all sorts of reasons. 

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Dirty Grandpa – Red Band Trailer

I haven’t seen Dan Mazer’s Dirty Grandpa–though looking at the trailer I get the feeling that I have.  Uptight man goes with his grandfather on a trip–the grandpa, who doesn’t know his son very well, and is probably dying–bonds with him.

Which brings the question:  What is Robert De Niro doing?  At this point it can’t be about the money, and while I admire actors like him and Samuel Jackson–who, if he’s not in every other movie, he’s in none at all–De Niro has the distinction of seeming to appear in virtually any movie that’ll have him.

This guy was in Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, The Godfather, Raging Bull, among many other really remarkable movies.

Which isn’t to imply that Dirty Grandpa will be a bad movie–remember, I haven’t see it–but it also looks like something he doesn’t need to do.

*To be fair, this is the first time I have seen the Red Band trailer, and that Werther’s Original joke was pretty good.


The Revenant – Review

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“”The Revenant” is perhaps one of the most harrowing adventure movies that I have ever seen.”

When l learned that Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant was nominated for Best Picture, as well as Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio on top of ten other categories, my interest in seeing the movie began to ebb because if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that the mysterious cabal that chooses which movies are worthy of a nomination are a bunch of pretentious sods that seemingly care less about whether or not a movie is actually entertaining.

That, combined with the dreaded ‘Inspired By True Events’ label, which typically is a guarantee that everything that you see on screen is barely even a close approximation of what actually happened, you’d think that The Revenant would be doomed.

So, going into the movie expecting an overpriced, pretentious art film, imagine my surprise to learn that it’s really entertaining–despite DiCaprio not being raped by a bear.

What González Iñárritu has done is make perhaps one of the most realistic adventure films that I have ever seen, in that he–as well as his cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki–have created a beautiful as well as expansive world that despite being in 2D is remarkably immersive.

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Postmortem: Catwoman (2004)

If you’re expecting me to say something to the effect that Pitof’s 2004 super hero movie Catwoman is some sort of lost classic then you’re definitely barking up the wrong tree…because it’s not.

And while the buck usually stops with the director, I don’t think that that’s entirely fair in this case, mainly because the writing is so bad that not even Orson Welles could have saved it. Theresa Rebeck, Michael Brancato and Michael Ferris (the latter two are quite prolific writers for movies and television, though it’s telling that they also wrote Surrogates, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and Terminator: Salvation.  And as not-so-good as those three movies are, they also wrote The Game, which is awesome).

That being said, the pseudo-mystical angle the writers took is sort of clever in that it doesn’t necessarily invalidate other versions of the character, though it’s a perfect illustration of what happens when you don’t have knowledgable people overseeing development of a property.

That’s exactly why, no matter how much flak Kevin Feige gets from various quarters, no matter what you think about Marvel Studios or superheroes in general, having a unified voice as far as your characters go is pretty useful.
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