Point Break (2015) – Trailer

The trailer for the upcoming Point Break. like Poltergeist, illustrates the problem with seemingly pointless remakes.  It actually looks pretty interesting, but as someone who’s seen the original, on some level I will always be comparing it, as opposed to just enjoying it for what it is.

And i don’t want that to be interpreted in ay way as saying that the original movie was such a cinema landmark, because it wasn’t; which reinforces why copying it is such a dubious exercise.

And while I have no idea who Luke Bracey is, he comes off–in this trailer, at any rate–as charisma-bereft as Keanu Reeves, so there’s at least that.

Something Wicked This Way Comes Comes Again!

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

“By the pricking of my thumb, something wicked this way comes.”

–Macbeth

A few hours ago I was re-linking my movies in iTunes (for some reason iTunes linkages break sometime, though I have suspicions why it happens) when I noticed Jack Clayton’s movie of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.

There’s talk about it being rebooted, and if any movie warranted such treatment, it’s this one.  Jack Clayton’s version wasn’t in any way bad, but Bradbury’s novel–it’s been quite awhile since I last read it–was about innocence, loss and young people longing to become adults, without understanding all that such a transition entails.

Which isn’t to say that the movie didn’t touch on those themes, though it did so hesitantly, instead of going for the jugular, so to speak.

Like The Black Hole, Something Wicked This Way Comes was caught in the odd space Disney occupied for quite awhile, when as a viewer you weren’t quite sure who they were making them for.  They were oddly schizophrenic, playing a bit too intense for children, yet not serious enough for older viewers.

And speaking of older viewers, Jack Clayton was not the first choice to direct.  For awhile there was talk of Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, The Osterman Weekend, The Killer Elite, Convoy, etc) helming, which would have been a very, very interesting choice mainly because he was accustomed to dealing with violence, more so than Clayton.

Though that doesn’t mean that Jack Clayton’s movie was pretty entertaining, though the idealized world depicted in the movie wasn’t one that I was terribly familiar with.

Hopefully the reboot will have a greater sense of universality about it (and hopefully take place in times closer to our own) though that might have a lot to do with the nature of the novel itself, in that anytime you’re working with a medium based upon imagination, how you envision things is very much a partnership between the reader and the writer.

Pixels – Trailer 2

I’ve got to admit that despite the presence of Adam Sandler in a movie virtually guaranteeing that it’s going to appeal to the lowest possible denominator, I am hoping for Pixels.

Maybe it’s the presence of Chris Columbus (the director of Home Alone, Adventures in Babysitting, two Harry Potter movies, etc) and actors like Josh Gad, Sean Bean and Peter Dinkage that, working their hardest, they’ll will be able to generate enough comic energy to escape the blackhole-like pull that is Sander’s mediocrity.

I doubt it, but I can dream.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – Trailer

I haven’t read any of the books that The Maze Runner was based on, but I really, really disliked the movie.  Maybe it would have went over better if I had, but should you have to read the book to make sense of the movie?

(The answer is: Of course not!)

The setup behind the entire enterprise was so convoluted, so needlessly elaborate that I found myself laughing at some pretty odd moments.

Which is a good thing if you’re talking about a comedy, not so good if you’re talking about a drama and the scenes in question happen to be deadly serious.

With Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones, The Wire) joining the cast it should add a significant shot of gravitas, though is that really what the series needs?

Even more than just a cleaner, more logical screenplay?

Steve Jobs – Teaser Trailer

When the news came out that David Fincher was no longer directing the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, and that Danny Boyle was, people on various forums were complaining about what a terrible choice that was (especially compared to Fincher).

I wasn’t amongst them because I have always thought that Boyle was a very talented director.  Everything he’s done may not be perfect–then again, what director, acclaimed or otherwise, has ever reached such a lofty goal?–but most of it is undeniably interesting.

As is the casting of Michael Fassbender, in that he looks nothing like Jobs; though judging from what you can see here, his mannerisms and speech are very evocative of Apple’s famously mercurial leader.

It looks like it could be a winner; though I wonder if Aaron Sorkin’s script was authorized by Apple or the Jobs estate?  I haven’t heard any protests from either, so I assume so.

Crossbones From Captain America: Civil War!

CrossbonesVarious movie sites have posted an image of Crossbones from the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and unlike most of the cast of Suicide Squad, he looks pretty awesome.

For those of you that don’t recall, at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier you see Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) in a hospital bed after almost being killed by the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier that crashed into the Triskelion.

He’s clearly much, much better.

(And can someone tell Chris Evans to take a break already!  He’s just finished Age of Ultron a few months ago, and he’s already segueing into another major production).

Deadshot

And here’s Will Smith from the upcoming Suicide Squad.  Crossbones looks like he’d eat his lunch.

A Case For Lesser Known Directors

Some people are critical of Marvel using lesser known directors for the superhero properties–the main one being that they’re cheaper than better known talent.  This relates directly to rumors that they’re considering  Rick Famuyiwa and Ava DuVernay, for upcoming Marvel projects.

And while their relative inexpensiveness is undeniably a factor, I don’t think it’s nearly as important as some make it out to be.

What’s more interesting is that Marvel has a history of allowing relatively inexperienced (in the terms of handling massive productions that require huge special effects budgets) directors to build multi-million dollar franchises.

Which isn’t to say that it always works out.  After all, Edgar Wright left the upcoming Ant-Man because his vision (and screenplay) didn’t quite mesh with what Marvel Studios wanted, and Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) was a bit put out because Marvel demanded certain changes during filming that he was not particularly happy about.

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