Is Jesse Eisenberg Miscast as Lex Luthor?

A picture has turned up of Jesse Eisenberg, who’s going to be playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he looks pretty “meh.”

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

The main problem is that Luthor has traditionally been cast by actors like Gene Hackman (who played the character in 1978’s Superman) and Kevin Spacey (who played him in 2006’s Superman Returns) and I think there’s a very good reason that older, more experienced actors were cast.

Namely they bring a level of experience, of gravitas and maturity that Eisenberg doesn’t have, mainly because it comes with age.

And traditionally it’s not something that you can act your way around.

Eisenberg is a smart and capable actor, but he doesn’t look like Lex Luthor to me.  in my mind’s eye I can already see him running about, like a bald version of the character he played in 2010’s The Social Network and know that whomever that chararcter is, it won’t be Lex Luthor.

By the way, does Zach Snyder have something against older people?  The reason I ask is that most of his films–casting wise–seem to skew toward attractive, relatively speaking, younger people.

The (Un)necessary Remake Dept: The Nun (La Monja)

The Nun movie posterLuis de la Madrid‘s 2005 ghost story The Nun (La Monja) isn’t a terrible movie by any stretch, though that’s not to imply that it’s particularly good, because it isn’t.

Though the greater crime is that there are stirrings of greatness not too far below the surface, which are never given a chance to bloom into horrific life.

First off, the movie shows its ghost with the most way too much, though I think I understand why.

Whenever the ghost appears it’s accompanied by an interesting visual effect: water flowing backward and in slow motion, filling the air like a curtain of light.  The problem is that, once you have seen the bogeyman, it–if not loses all power to frighten certainly suffers diminished potency–and you begin to see it for what it is, namely an interesting visual effect and little else.

Often, particularly in the case of horror films which by their very nature depend upon the suspension of belief, less is more.  If the film had–instead of showing their monster at seemingly every available opportunity–had instead showed some restraint, the movie would have benefitted immensely.

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Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation – Teaser Trailer

As someone who’s enjoyed the television show that the Mission Impossible movies are based on it has always bothered me that the movies are essentially the Tom Cruise Show.  Sure, there’s a supporting cast, but unlike in the series, they’re there entirely to support Cruise’s Ethan Hunt.

I understand that he’s a big star–though by no means as huge as he was when this series began–but the ensemble nature of the series is what made it so interesting.

As it stands, I enjoy the movies, but it’s Mission Impossible in name only.

I was also reading an article somewhere that implied that the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue may have ta name change because it’s already taken.

I am not sure that I buy that, if only because–if the fifth Mission Impossible is successful, which is highly likely–then another movie with ‘Rogue’ in the title won’t make a whit of difference.

Now, if they were going to put ‘Mars’ in the title, I could see why the producers of the upcoming Star Wars movie might want to consider a title change because from Mars Needs Moms to John Carpenter’Ghosts of Mars, it’s the kiss of death.

And let’s not forget John Carter, which was based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars.

Animal – Review

Animal movie poster

“”Animal” doesn’t break any new ground, but it is attractive to look at, and has some great pratical creature effects.”

Anyone who’s read this blog knows that I don’t particularly enjoy features from The Asylum.  For those unfamiliar with the company they produced movies like Sharknado, all those Mega Shark movies, as well as ZNation.

My problem isn’t that they are blatantly low-budget, it’s that they don’t seem to accept it–relying on cheap-looking digital elects way more often than they should–and also don’t seem to understand that using fewer special effects would work out better than lots of cheesy digital ones.

Most of their output turns up on the Syfy Channel, which isn’t a bad thing because I am not sure anyone else would want it.

Though Syfy isn’t the only channel that caters to genre-based entertainment.  There’s also Chiller, which is more focused on horror.  From what I have seen of their original productions–while they’re not Asylum bad–they’re generally pretty mediocre.

Then I saw Animal and have to admit that it was pretty good.  

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The Avengers: Age Of Ultron – TV Spot 2

I honestly think that this latest The Avengers: Age Of Ultron (wanted to type ‘Luton‘ for some reason) trailer is the most cohesive yet.

Unlike past trailers each character gets an introduction, as well as a bit of the spotlight.  We see a bit more of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and they look pretty awesome.

We also get a hint that somehow Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) has some sort of bond with the Twins, because in an earlier trailer we see them both side by side with Ultron, while here we see him telling them “If you step out that door, you’re an Avenger.” which implies that it takes place later than the scene when they’re with Ultron.

I wonder if they’re going to have Quicksilver be homosexual, as he is in the comics.  I mention it because Taylor-Johnson did some serious guy kissing in 2010’s Chatroom, so I suspect that if that were the direction the narrative takes, he’d probably have little problem with it.

Besides, I’ve seen the entire season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, and it would be cool to see a gay person that’s not a huge bucket of stereotypes–Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) is hilarious,but also uber-gay in the sense that it’s almost akin to a super power as opposed to a personality type.

And I know that at this point we’ve pretty much seen most variation of stunt there is, but at the same time what Captain America does with a motorcycle in this trailer is literally the first time I have ever seen it.

Which reminds me why I HATE trailers (though I am by no means strong enough to stop watching them) because while I don’t think Cap throwing the motorcycle–which as second earlier he was RIDING, which pretty much shows he’s significantly stronger than Batman, fyi–is a moment probably not as cathartic as the Hulk catching Iron Man from the trailer from the first movie, though it looks cool enough that I wish a trailer wasn’t the first place that I encountered it.

Postmortem: Robocop (2014)

RoboCopI caught the reboot of Robocop in theaters, and recall at the time thinking that it was a bit weak, especially compared to the original film. That being said, having watched it again my first impression was confirmed, namely that it’s not as as engaging or as fun as the1987 Paul Verhoeven movie.  And speaking of Verhoeven’s film, a lot of the credit goes to its rating, which was a well-deserved R. While Robocop’s most recent build is PG-13, which means that it can’t be seen by anyone under 13 years of age without a parent or guardian. So it should go without saying that none of the delightfully gratuitous violence that graced the original will be anywhere near the reboot. And it suffers for it, though it also lacks the gonzo tone of the first movie.  Luckily, some of the central themes (the privatization of public utilities, such as the police, where the man begins, and machine ends, etc) remain intact, though often not quite as clearly defined as in the first movie (the heads of Omnicorp–as opposed to Omni Consumer Products in the original–in the reboot aren’t necessarily evil more than greedy, while their counterparts in the original film gave the phrase ‘severance package’ an entirely new meaning). That being said, the reboot does have some advantages that the first film doesn’t.

One being that the reboot looks more cinematic, somehow bigger and more ambitious–considering that the original cost $13 million to produce, while the reboot cost $100 million, it aught to look better (even in 1980’s dollars).  Considering how attractive the movie is, it looks like money well-spent.  It also takes advantage of the latest in CGI and motion capture technologies, techniques which weren’t available when the original film was made. Another thing is that the chemistry between the main actors is significantly better this time around.  In reference to the original the relationship between Murphy (Peter Weller) and Officer Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) was serviceable, but never particularly convincing, while that between 2014’s Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) and Jack Lewis (Michael B. Williams) has much more in the way of camaraderie and comfort with each other, which is apparent on screen.

So if you go into Robocop (2014) and expecting the excesses of the original film–as I did when I first saw it–you’re going to be Robocop (1987)disappointed because there’re not too many directors that can beat Paul Verhoeven when it comes to over-the-top, subversive filmmaking. But if you haven’t seen the original film then José Padilha’s more conservative interpretation is actually pretty enjoyable. Robocop (1984) is currenty on Netflix

Knock, Knock – Trailer 1

Knock, Knock is the latest from Eli Roth and Keanu Reeves, and while I haven’t the movie, I already have a few misgivings.  The first being that Reeves doesn’t tend to do well in roles that call for any sort of romantic/emotional involvement with another human being, which might be at the core of this movie.

What immediately comes to mind is A Walk In The Clouds, the 1995 movie by Alfonso Arau which was almost painful to watch at times, particularly when Reeves, as Sgt. Paul Sutton, moved about so awkwardly in a scene when he was waving some fans about in a field (it was awhile ago, and all I recall were the romantic overtones of the scene, who fell very flat).

Or in The Devil’s Advocate, where Reeves was involved in a pretty unconvincing sex scene.

As long as he’s doing things that don’t require him to emote too much, he tends to be pretty reliable; though if the role does, then all bets are off.