Posts Tagged ‘samuel l jackson

20
Jan
09

Movie News and Views January 20, 2009 Inaugural Poster Edition

killshot

 

 

All the movie news fit to blog!

 

         Good news for Zack Snyder/ “Watchmen” fans. Warner Bros. and Fox have reached a settlement over the movie. For those who don’t know the backstory Warner Bros. gave the go-ahead to do a “Watchmen” movie. Late in the game a contract was found dating back to the Nineties which showed that Fox had distribution rights on the graphic novel. Fox threatened to halt distribution while the WB was too far into production to stop the movie (i.e. it was almost in post). The settlement is reportedly $5-$10 mil from WB upfront to Fox, then an additional 5-8% of the theatrical gross.

         A new prequel for “The Thing” will involve what happened to the Norwegian scientists (who were dead at the beginning of John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”)

         Keanu Reeves has been confirmed for the “Cowboy Bebop” movie.

         Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke will be in “Iron Man 2.”

         Joaquin Phoenix has officially left acting to be a rap star. Chronicling his adventures on video is his best friend Casey Affleck.

         J.K. Simmons will reprise his role as J.J. Jameson in “Spidey 4.”

         Reshooting on the upcoming “Wolverine” movie DOES NOT mean previous shooting went bad. Several actors’ schedules couldn’t clear until now.

         Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow”) is slated to direct Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy.

         Pioneer will stop making Laserdisc players after 3000 for the year. This is surprising since I didn’t realize the players were still being made, and a movie hasn’t been pressed on LD since 2000.

         Samuel L. Jackson may not play Nick Fury in the upcoming “Nick Fury” and “Avengers” movie. Apparently, contract negotiations have broken down due to the paycheck Jackson was requesting.

         Jackie Chan will play “Mr. Miyagi” in the “Karate Kid” remake starring Jayden Smith (Will Smith’s son).

         “Transformers 2” info: The Decepticons will use Devastator (from the Constructicons) and the Autobots will use Superion (constructed from the Aerialbots).

         Warner Bros. has put DC Comics movies on hold.

         The next Superman movie will have a new villain.

         Relative Media has purchased Rogue Pictures from Universal.

         A homeless man was cast in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” movie.

         Bollywood is set to remake “Back to the Future.”

         “The Terminator” has now been submitted for preservation in the US Film Registry.

         Jay Mohr changes his name to Jay Ferguson Cox Mohr, due to his wife Nikki Cox.

         Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges will return for the next “Tron” movie.

         VHS is done. The last movie to be released on it was “A History of Violence.”

 

 

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01
Jan
09

Movie Review: The Spirit

spirit

 

 

My movie screens and I am her reviewer.

 

Starring Gabriel Macht, Jaime King, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson. Directed by Frank Miller. Based on the graphic novel by Will Eisner.

 

I expected it to be stylized, but didn’t expect it to get boring.

 

Story: It’s Central City. Think Basin City from “Sin City,” but with no anima. Denny Colt (Macht) is a cop who is shot in the chest and dies, only to be miraculously resurrected and take the form of masked crime-fighter “The Spirit.” His arch-nemesis is “The Octopus” (Jackson), a former coroner turned mad scientist/ criminal mastermind. When a cop is all but murdered “The Spirit” is on the case: a case of switched cases. He soon runs into old flame-turned-jewel heist queen Sand Seref who got the box containing a vase holding blood of Heracles (or Hercules, if you will) when she wanted the case with the “bling”: Jason’s Golden Fleece. Eventually this all gets sorted out. Eventually.

 

I wasn’t expecting much from this movie, but even with lowered expectations this movie slips under the bar. For what it’s worth the movie isn’t so much bad as it is boring. We’re treated to an alternate-now detective story where the characters act as if they were plucked straight from a 1940’s film noir. Or maybe it IS the 1940’s and some dimensional portal gave them cellphones, copiers, assault rifles, and helicopters. Either way, “The Spirit” takes place in this world and apparently people are few and far between. Aside from cops and crooks, very few people seem to exist in the sprawling mecca of Central City.

 

“Spirit” himself comes off as Clint Eastwood when he narrates but when he’s doing his job is basically no more than what he was when he died: a rookie cop. Only now he can get shot, hit, hurt, etc. and heal from the wounds. How is this possible especially when every time he thinks back, every time he blacks out, death/ Lorelei (King) is waiting to claim him? Well, that’s all due to the Octopus.

 

And The Octopus is busy finding the key to immortality (the blood of Heracles). With the help of his assistant Silken Floss (Johansson) and always-replenishing clones Pathos, Logos, etc. (Louis Lombardi) he plans on achieving it. Problem is that his henchmen are morons that he keeps killing off only to create more. Oh yeah, and believability.

 

This is the type of movie that I wonder if the actors involved even bothered watching it. There’s one point in the film where The Spirit is tied-up and The Octopus and Silken Floss are marching around in Nazi uniforms. And The Octopus’ ensemble is complete with a monocle. Seriously. Jackson has done worse I suppose but I wonder if Johansson watched it and thought, “maybe ‘Eight-Legged Freaks’ wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

 

Note: The above scene also contains a line where the Spirit asks, “I can be bored, can’t I?” Well yes you can. But I paid $9 and it wasn’t expecting to be.

 

For the most part, Miller did a good job on the “look” of the film. Yes, it does feel a little like “Sin City.” Yes, you made the actors and CG look nearly seamless. Yes, Eva Mendes is hot while she is scantily clad when everyone else in the scene is dressed for below-zero temperatures.

 

My grade: C