Postmortem: The Core (2003)

Jon Amiel’s The Core wasn’t a success at the time, which is a pity because it’s pretty engaging. It plays very much in Irwin Allen wheelhouse, except on a greater scale.

What’s also important is that Amiel brings a humanity to his characters typically missing from such movies, so despite a pretty ample amount of CGI–it gets heavy about a third of the way through–it’s not at the cost of the performances.

And what a cast!  Actors like Delroy Lindo, Hillary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, Stanley Tucci and Tchéky Karyo elevate material that would under most circumstances come off a bit schlocky.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (another way of saying that due to the United States military meddling with things they shouldn’t causes the problem in the first place) the molten metal that surrounds the Earth’s core has stopped rotating, which according to the logic of the movie–which may or may not be true, I have no idea–is creating all sorts of freak weather occurrences, such as lightning storms beyond anything seen before, and issues for animals that rely upon the planet’s electromagnetic field for navigation, like birds, whales and dolphins.

I forgot to mention that the electromagnetic field that protects the planet from lethal solar radiation is also powered by the rotation of the molten mantle, so if it stops, the protective envelope will eventually dissipate as well.

So the Military finances the creation of a submersible named the Virgil that, instead of water, is designed to penetrate the Earth’s crust.

The mission ends up greater than any member of the craft, and I understand that; though the movie is particularly quick to sacrifice certain crew members when the script requires it–though Lindo isn’t the first to do so, which is something, I guess.

As I implied, there’s a logic, but that doesn’t make it any less irritating though overall The Core is a pretty fascinating movie.



I, Frankenstein – Review

I, Frankenstein movie poster

I, Frankenstein.  At Least It’s Not Van Helsing.”

That’s pretty weak praise, then again I, Frankenstein isn’t the strongest of movies.

No one through virtually the entire running time is at all certain if the Monster (Aaron Eckhart) has a soul–spoiler alert:  He does–though I wish the same could be said for the movie itself, because underneath the often snazzy special effects, it’s pretty soulless.

I, Frankenstein comic cover

Call me “Frankencastle” and someone gets hurt

I, Frankenstein is based on a graphic novel written by Kevin Grevioux–who also had a hand in writing Underworld as well, and if you swapped out the werewolves with gargoyles, and the demons with vampires, that’s the movie you’d end up with.

Still, it’s not terrible more than just uninspired.  The movie revolves around Frankenstein’s Monster, who calls himself Adam–making his way in the world.  He’s discovered by some gargoyles(?) that are empowered by angels though they’re somewhat morally ambiguous–at least toward Frankenstein–unlike their opponents, the demons, who happen to be hatching a scheme to use the knowledge that enabled Frankenstein to become animate (Knowledge that’s available in Dr. Frankenstein’s diary, which Adam conveniently carries with him everywhere.  The movie never says that he couldn’t read, which I mention because he’s lived for over two hundred years, by which time he could have memorized the entire book without even trying) to enable the dead to become receptacles for fallen demons, a plot device eerily reminiscent of the process Dracula was using in Van Helsing bring his children to life (Huh?  Since when can vampires reproduce?  Kind of defeats the whole “biting on the neck thing,” doesn’t it?  I know, I know.  Focus).

Speaking of which, I, Frankenstein is better than that movie, though not by a lot.  Luckily, it moves briskly and Eckhart does his job in an efficient, workman-like fashion, so at least there aren’t too many regrets.

I, Frankenstein is currently on Netflix.

Has Marvel Found Its Punisher?

Punisher skullWith Marvel Studios’ Guardians Of The Galaxy coming August 1st, there’s a lot of speculation as to what other characters they will bring to the big screen.

That combined with Marvel being interested in working with Aaron Eckhart on an unnamed project, I wonder if it’s a relaunch of the Punisher.  It’s important to notice that the article was written 11 months ago, before Marvel had regained the rights to the character.

There were three movies based on him, with Dolph Lundgren in 1989, Thomas Jane in 2004 (who also starred in a short film, The Punisher: Dirty Laundry in 2012) and most recently, Ray Stevenson in Punisher: War Zone in 2008).

Lundgren’s portrayal was actually pretty decent, but also tends to be the most maligned in terms of public perception (it didn’t help that he lacked certain characteristics that the Punisher is known for, like the skull insignia on his chest).

Aaron Eckhart certainly has the physical chops for the role, so if that’s Marvel’s plan, he’d be great for it.  Another important point to mention is that there are numerous fan films based on the Punisher, two of which I featured here.

They’re a tribute to the popularity and longevity of the character, and I hope that Marvel can see that people want to see more of Frank Castle.

The Punisher: Dead Of Night

The Punisher: No Mercy



‘I, Frankenstein’ Trailer

What the heck?  I haven’t read Mary Shelly’s original novel, but if this trailer is any indicator, Stuart Beattie’s “I’ Frankenstein” is going far afield of the source material (or perhaps using it as a starting point).  Aaron Eckhart is Frankenstein’s Monster, and all the flying beings (Angels?  Gargoyles?) look to be remnants from Scott Stewart’s “Legion.”

The film was written by Kevin Grevioux, who also worked on the ‘Underworld’ films.