I finally saw the remake of Total Recall this weekend and it was a lot scarier than I expected. The original was all about Arnold Schwarzenegger pulling things out of his nose, trying to get his ass to Mars, and having his eyes bug out of his skull. The remake is much more harrowing.
Collin Ferrell plays Douglas Quaid (or does he?), an unskilled worker spending his days working on an assembly line creating
Storm Troopers synthetic police officers. The one thing this poor schmuck has going for him is that he is married to the most beautiful woman on the planet, Lori, played by Kate Beckinsale. Then after visiting Rekall, he learns that his life as he knows it is a fake implanted memory. He’s not really Douglas Quaid and, worse yet, he’s not really married to Lori.
This nightmare scenario is brought to us by director Len Wiseman, the real-life husband of Mrs. Beckinsale. With Total Recall, he plays out his deepest, darkest fear: that his marriage to Kate Beckinsale isn’t real. In the movie, when Lori comes clean about the deception, she taunts Quaid by saying “did you really think a loser like you would be married to someone like me?” Again, this is an idea that surely haunts Wiseman, an untalented director who is only allowed to make movies because he is able to easily cast his wife. Read more…
I don’t know if you noticed, but apparently a new Batman movie comes out tomorrow. It’s gotten hardly any media attention, so I understand if you didn’t know. For some reason, a lot of people will see it at midnight tonight, because that’s the earliest time the theaters can show the movie (aside from special screenings). Anyone going to a midnight screening is basically saying “I’ve waited four years for this movie already, but I cannot possibly wait one more day.” I think I’ve only been to a midnight screening once, but I can still predict what your experience will be like if you see The Dark Knight Rises tonight.
You arrive for the movie at 10:00. What? You didn’t think you’d show up close to midnight, did you? No way. You are seeing the movie with people that are so impatient that they can’t wait until a normal time on Friday, so there will be a line. A long line.
You stand in line. Hopefully enough of your friends showed up together so you have someone to talk to. If not, you’ll get to know the fanboy in front of you pretty well, as he tells you all of the spoilers that he read online. Yes, please. You’ve been waiting four years for this movie; by all means, ruin it hours beforehand with spoilers. Then you have two options: Read more…
Yesterday, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opened in theaters nationwide. The movie stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightley (in a rare non-period piece) as two people looking to make the most of their last days on Earth.
You see, an asteroid is going to hit Earth and destroy the planet, because for some reason NASA doesn’t have any oil drillers handy to blow it up (where the hell are you when we need you, Bruce Willis?). Carell, I imagine, is a 40-plus-year-old guy still trying to lose his virginity before the world ends. As for Knightley, she’s just glad she doesn’t have to spend her last few days wearing a corset.
If the title of the movie sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It is taken from a line in the Chris Cornell song “Preaching the End of the World,” off his criminally underrated solo debut Euphoria Morning. Here’s hoping the film is better than the last movie named after a Chris Cornell song. The 1996 romantic comedy Feeling Minnesota, starring Keanu Reeves and Cameron Diaz, was named after a line in the Soundgarden song “Outshined.”
Recently a photo of Catwoman from the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises was leaked onto the Internet. As expected, it caused an uproar, because Comic book fans don’t like costumes to be messed with. Even though I’m not a comic geek, I usually side with them on this issue. I mean, what’s the point of adapting material and not staying true to the source? Sure, you can say, it’s just a costume. What does it matter what they wear?
It does matter, though, because the costumes are iconic. Let’s stray outside of comics for perspective. What if they made a new Indiana Jones movie where Indy didn’t wear a leather jacket and fedora? People would be screaming bloody murder and I would be one of them. What if in the new James Bond movie, 007 walked around in shorts and a T-shirt? Sure, it’s just clothes, but it’s not Bond without the dapper tuxes and suits.
That brings us back to Catwoman. When I think of the character, I think of a woman in a sleek and sexy catsuit. As I understand it, the suit can be either black, purple or gray. Some sort of mask, hood or ears should be used to give a feline impression, but the important thing is that she is jaw-droppingly hot. The character doesn’t really have much to offer other than her smoldering sexuality, so if the sight of Catwoman slinking into a room doesn’t make Bruce Wayne pitch a Bat Tent, they’re doing something wrong. Read more…
Summer is the time of year when all of the terrible, mindless blockbusters come out. I’m sure somewhere out there Al Gore says that Global Warming is to blame. Perhaps it’s because the heat drains our energy so much that we don’t want to use the energy to think. Perhaps we’re so hot we’ll sit in an air conditioned theater and watch any movie, even one starring Ryan Reynolds. In any case, here’s your guide to the big movies for the end of July and August.
Still Playing for Some Reason
Green Lantern: The ever-annoying Ryan Reynolds stars as a guy who finds a ring, which gives him the ability to fly, wear a CGI jumpsuit, and fight Eric Stoltz’s character from The Mask. The ring has the power to do anything imaginable, including erase the pain of watching a Ryan Reynolds movie.
Captain America: A scrawny kid lets people inject him with a drug that makes him a super-strong badass. He goes on to become a cultural hero. I’m pretty sure this is an allegory for the life of Barry Bonds. In any case, it should inspire steroid users for years to come.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Here Michael Bay takes a real artistic leap by making a movie about giant robots that destroy architecture and blow stuff up. As a bonus, rumor has it that the movie perfectly syncs with a Pink Floyd album.
Zookeeper: Every indication is that this movie is as funny as your average Kevin James project. James plays a zookeeper who can communicate with animals. Like other humans, though, none have the heart to tell him she should give up acting.
Friends with Benefits: Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher star as two friends who decided to be casual sex partners, which has the unexpected consequence of them developing feelings. Wait, sorry. That was No Strings Attached. In this movie, instead of Natalie and Ashton having sex, you can watch Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. Of course, Mila uses a body double, so you’re not actually watching her. Better yet, in Black Swan you can watch Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis having sex with each other, so why don’t you just watch that again instead?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2: In the second part of the finale, Harry is finally able to throw the cursed wand into the fires of Mount Doom, preventing Voldemort from unleashing an army of vampires. Or I think that’s what happens.
Cowboys and Aliens: No one knows what this movie is about. It’s a mystery.
The Smurfs: Most critics agree that this movie is rather “smurfy.” Unfortunately, no one has a fucking clue what that means.
The Change-Up: In a refreshingly original comedy, a family man and a partying bachelor accidentally swap bodies in this uproarious adventure.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: We’re still not sure if this series is racist, promotes equality or is Darwinian propaganda. What we do know is that the Weta Workshop makes cool-looking apes, so do you really need more than that?
Conan the Barbarian: The target audience for this remake is a) people who like seeing half-naked men sword fight (i.e. 300 fans), b) people looking for a good Halloween costume and c) confused Team Coco fans.
Final Destination 5 (in 3-D!): Critics complained that this series didn’t have enough depth. The producers have listened, adding a whole third dimension to the formula of teens cheating death and then dying one by one.
Fright Night: This movie should satisfy your craving for a remake and your craving for vampires. Here, a high school student learns that his neighbor is a vampire, but instead of brooding and sparkling in the daylight, this one kills people and drinks their blood.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until November for…
Jack and Jill: This is the movie where Adam Sandler should finally earn that elusive Oscar. He plays not only the main character, Jack, but also his twin sister, Jill, which gives him the opportunity to dress in drag and talk in a girl’s voice. It’s comedy gold, folks. Also, I think both characters are mildly retarded (though it’s hard to tell with Sandler), which should impress Oscar voters.
Back in the day, nothing was expected of comic book movies except having people dress up in cool costumes and occasionally blow stuff up. Michael Bay probably loved them. It didn’t matter if the movie was trash, because Hollywood didn’t respect the audience. In recent years, however, the bar was raised by the first two Spider-Man movies and Christopher Nolan’s excellent Batman reboots. Now movies with superheroes have the same expectations as other movies: We expect them to be good.
Unfortunately, films portraying those mutants at Xavier’s School for the Gifted have rarely accomplished that. While X-Men 2 had strong character development and achieved great dramatic tension through its portrayal of Professor X as a Martin Luther King-like figure versus Magneto as a Malcolm X-like figure, the third movie failed in any way to achieve drama, character development or excitement. And then there’s that Wolverine movie, which somehow managed to make one badass character (Wolverine) boring and another badass character (Deadpool) ridiculously cheesy. For that reason, not much was expected of X-Men: First Class. To my surprise, it turned out to be a good film, and not just for a comic book movie. Read more…