Showing posts with label Movie Trailers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie Trailers. Show all posts

Thursday, November 07, 2019

The New INVISIBLE MAN Trailer starring Elizabeth Moss Hits All the Right Notes


Universal Pictures has been trying to revive their Movie Monsters for a new audience for the past few decades to very mixed results. Their catalogue of creatures runs is a library of Classic Horror that includes: The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. That's a menagerie that should form the foundation for a media empire, and it did.

In the early 20th Century, Universal dominated the horror movie market with these characters, but they also contributed to their downfall. As the popularity of the characters dwindled as audiences had come to think of them as cliche, Universal began to parody the characters in order to keep them fresh. When Abbot and Costello met Frankenstein, it wasn't in a production from a rival company. No, it was Universal who produced the picture and to financial success. That success diluted the brand as a Universal brand, even as they held copyright and trademark over many of the characters.

The Hammer Studios revived many of these characters, and in the Gothic setting, and eventually did so with distribution agreements with Universal. In the documentary Flesh and Blood, Christopher Lee states that Hammer's Horror of Dracula saved Universal Pictures from bankruptcy. This information is repeated in The Encyclopedia of Hammer Films. Hammer's productions initially treated the characters seriously, but updated the gore and sexuality to match the times. They too eventually fell into the parody/irony trap with productions like Dracula A.D. 1972.

While viewers in the early 1980s saw the release of An American Werewolf in London, an excellent Wolfman story distributed by Universal, they also saw other compelling adaptations of the monster like Joe Dante's classic The Howling. As the characters moved into the public domain, the Monsters were set free and Columbia/Sony took advantage of that freedom with films like Wolf, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and Bram Stoker's Dracula.

By the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was clear that if Universal wanted to demonstrate that these characters were "truly theirs," they would have to do something special. Their first foray, 1999s The Mummy, stands out as an excellent film that combines Pulp action and Horror storytelling, but as that franchise wandered into cheesy sword and sorcery films (as much as I love them) like The Scorpion King or bizarre and confused films like Van Helsing (Frankenstein's monster as Duracell for Dracula's Incubator is a strange premise) the relaunch momentum faded as it became stylistically confused. Universal's other serious attempt, the underrated The Wolfman, got lost in the shuffle.

Enter the 2010s and a renewed effort to revitalize the brand with a focus on creating a "shared universe" for the characters. In this new model, inspired by superhero films, Universal produced the "superhero Dracula" film Dracula Untold where Dracula takes on the curse for noble reasons and it is suggested that Dracula will be one of a cast of monsters who will fight a greater evil "Creature Commandos style" in a future Team-Up film. The shared universe was expanded with a new The Mummy featuring Tom Cruise as the target of the Mummy's obsession, with a gender reversal on Mummy and beloved. The film also features Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. My own "headcanon" has Tom Cruise's character as Frankenstein's Monster "Adam," but that's a conversation for another time. The Tom Cruise film earned sufficient money that it didn't kill off the idea of continuing Classic Monster productions. As Scott Mendelson points out in his Forbes article discussing the new The Invisible Man trailer, it wasn't really a success either. In large part because the "Dark Universe" shared universe model seems to be off putting to many fans. I'm not among those fans. I'd love to see the shared universe Monsters vs. Satan film, but that's just the role playing gamer in me.

This leaves us with the new The Invisible Man trailer. Where does it lie? Well, it certainly doesn't seem to be a part of the "Dark Universe." What it does seem to be is a great updating of the original Horror tale. Universal Pictures seems to be on the verge of repeating their success with Hammer Films by teaming up with Blumhouse Productions for this latest Classic Monster movie. Blumhouse is the perfect production company to develop The Invisible Man. The story should be a commentary of the evil men would do if they possessed the Ring of Gyges that is accessible to a modern audience. By incorporating elements of Gaslight, a 1944 MGM film that is particularly salient today, with the traditional Invisible Man story, the potential is through the roof.

If the trailer for The Invisible Man is any sign. It will be a new classic and be further evidence of Blumhouse's ability to channel modern fears into classic tales.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Can H.P. Lovecraft, Nicolas Cage, and Modern Horror Tropes Mix? COLOR OUT OF SPACE Will Answer This Question

Film adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft's fiction have a record as mixed as Lovecraft's legacy. Some of them are very good (I'm looking at you Call of Cthulhu), some are fun (like Re-Animator), and some are best left to the dustbin of history (no, I'm not linking The Unnamable).

There's no doubt that there is rich potential in Lovecraft's fiction that can be exploited and adapted to a modern environment. Cosmic horror, the terror of knowing that in the end everything is meaningless, is a truly terrifying concept. We can fight that fear with nihilism or irony, but it still lingers in the backs of our minds. What if nothing matters? That is the question at the heart of much of Lovecraft's fiction and it is a question that digs deep into our subconscious.

Film makers like Guillermo Del Toro have discussed making a big budget adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, but derivative films like Prometheus present challenges to film makers who want to go straight to the source in the same way that Star Wars and Avatar present challenges to those who want to make Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom tales on the big screen. There is the risk that audiences will think that a film inspired by the original material is the derivative film.

Stepping into this challenging market is Color Out of Space. The film is written and directed by Richard Stanley, who directed 1990's Hardware. You remember Hardware right? No? I liked it, but you might not. It's in the "not everyone's bag" category of film. This leaves me thinking the film could be good, or it could be very bad. The cast includes Nicolas Cage, Tommy Chong, and Joely Richardson, a cast that leaves me feeling the same way as the choice of director. If Nicolas Cage goes full Nicolas Cage, or dials his Cage level to Zero, the film could be great. If Cage sets the Cage level to 5, it could be trouble. I cannot tell by the trailer which Cage we are getting, so I'm still on the fence.

This isn't the first time that The Colour Out of Space has been adapted to film. Die, Monster, Die! (1964) adapted the story, with some liberties, and Wil Wheaton starred in an adaptation called The Curse in 1987. Die, Monster, Die! is on my annual horror viewing list, but I've not seen The Curse or heard anything good about it.

The story itself is a classic Lovecraftian tale, that draws more than a little imagery from American Gothic fiction and in particular Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

Compare the introduction to "Colour":

"West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut. There are dark narrow glens where the trees slope fantastically, and where thin brooklets trickle without ever having caught the glint of sunlight. On the gentler slopes there are farms, ancient and rocky, with squat, moss-coated cottages brooding eternally over old New England secrets in the lee of great ledges; but these are all vacant now, the wide chimneys crumbling and the shingled sides bulging perilously beneath low gambrel roofs" -- H.P. Lovecraft, "The Colour out of Space" 1927.
 To the introduction to "Sleepy Hollow":

"In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley or rather lap of land among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail or tapping of a woodpecker is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity" -- Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" 1820.
The paragraphs are by no means identical, but both set the stage for bucolic New England farmlands that hide horrors in the shadows. Lovecraft's almost reads like a sequel to Irving.

Check out the trailer and let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

From a Gaming Perspective the MY LITTLE PONY MOVIE Adds a Lot of Material

The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic franchise is moving from the small screen to the big screen on October 6th and as a gamer dad I could not be more excited. A quick glimpse at the new film poster the production released for #SDCC gives one hint why. The Mane Six and Spike don't have aquatic features just because it's cute, they have them because the new movie is adding new mythological creatures to the Pony-verse. A look at the film's trailer gives even more context to the additions. Give it a quick view.

Earlier this year, River Horse publishing published an excellent role playing game based on the My Little Pony IP. In that game, players can make characters based on the three types of ponies that are featured in the series: Earth Ponies, Pegasi, and Unicorns. The Alicorn, a combination of Pegasus and Unicorn, is mentioned in the role playing game, but is not allowable in play. Just based on the trailer of the film, I see two things that I want to bring into my roleplaying games. The first is a new kind of pony, called "Sea Ponies," are featured in the book Under the Sparkling Sea. The second is the existence of a Unicorn with a broken horn, which inspires the question of "what happens when a Unicorn breaks its horn?"

Given my daughters' love of the Percy Jackson books, I'm particularly excited about Sea Ponies. Of all the characters and creatures of the Percy Jackson-verse, the hippocampus Rainbow was their absolute favorite. Now hippocampoi are cemented as a type of pony. If River Horse, who given the company's name should, doesn't publish guidelines and traits for hippocampoi in the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting some here, but I'll have to read Under the Sparkling Sea first in order to see what traits need to be created. The great thing about the My Little Pony RPG is that the the system is very adaptable while also being easy to learn and run.

In fact, I'm going to commit to it. I'm also going to stat up some Savage Worlds versions of the Mane Six based on the way they are defined in the River Horse game. Given the similarities between the systems, it will not only be easy but fun as well.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ghost House Pictures' 'Don't Breathe' Reunites Fede Alvarez and Jane Levy

In 2013, Ghost House Pictures rebooted the classic horror comedy series Evil Dead with a new director (Fede Alvarez) and a new star (Jane Levy). The film attempted to balance itself between the two horror/comedy extremes of the Evil Dead franchise. It was less creepy and haunting than the original film and focused less on humor than Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness. In attempting this balance, the film selected a talented comedic actress whose prior work included the short-lived and entertaining series Suburgatory.

The pairing was a success. Rotten Tomatoes ratings show that many critics and audience members found the Alvarez/Levy Evil Dead to be a worthy addition and the film is by a large margin the most successful theatrical release in the series. This success was in no small part due to the cult classic status the movies have attained as they have continued to build audience. The box office success of the 2013 Evil Dead film doesn't in itself answer whether audiences truly liked the new vision or whether the success was due primarily to the power of the brand. The film was polarizing among some of the fan base who thought the film was too gory and lacked sufficient humor. Ghost House Pictures has an opportunity to prove that Alvarez and Levy have appeal outside of a strong brand with this year's Don't Breathe. This film is an original story that features no supernatural elements and promises to focus on suspense rather than gore.

Don't Breathe opens with a premise similar to that of In Cold Blood, but turns the tables on the criminals in a fashion common in horror films like You're Next. The filmic twist in this case is that audiences are supposed to sympathize with one of the home invaders as she realizes that she and her friends have invaded the home of someone who, though blind, is freakishly good at killing people.

The film is slated for wide release on August 26th, right in time for the new school year and a good lead into Halloween.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

EVIL DEAD (1981) vs. EVIL DEAD (2013)

While it will be years until I will feel comfortable sharing my love of the EVIL DEAD series with History and Mystery, I am intrigued by the new Red Band trailer for the upcoming remake of the first EVIL DEAD film.

Raimi's first EVIL DEAD movie was more horror than horror/comedy, though the series itself is among the best horror/comedy, and it looks like the upcoming film is leaning more in that direction. The casting of young Jane Levy in the "Ash" role does hint that the film won't be completely absent of any humor.

Have a look at the 1981 trailer and the trailer for the new film and feel free to share your thoughts. My thoughts? The first trailer definitely shows its age, and the new trailer is of a film I'd like to see.

One thing is certain. I think I'm going to have to dig up my ARMY OF DARKNESS RPG.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Jackie Chan + Street Luge Suit + 101st Film = Win?

It looks like Jackie Chan's 101st film CHINESE ZODIAC is a return to classic Chan-esque action.  The trailer from the film features Jackie Chan performing a series of stunts wearing what can only be called a Street Luge Suit.  While the concept is interesting, and hearkens back to JC classics like ARMOR OF GOD, Chan does seem to be showing his age in the sequence.  I'm excited to see the film, but I think I'll be spending more time than usual worrying if Jackie Chan is going to be seriously injured than I did when he was younger.  Given that he fractured his skull in ARMOR OF GOD, maybe I should have worried more then too.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

[Movies] D&D 3 -- When Your Trailer is Less Exciting than a Board Game Trailer it's Pretty Bad

It is a shame that the new trailer for the Descent 2nd Edition Board Game is more engaging than the new D&D movie teaser.

Before anyone starts thinking that this is going to be a screed about how the new D&D movie looks terrible, is going to be terrible, and how lame Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro are, let me make it clear that this will not be that kind of post.  Instead, it will be a post about how the movie looks like it doesn't have a budget, that even "bad" fantasy films can be entertaining, and how this is yet another legacy of the pre-Wizards dying TSR.

Let me say that thing that leaped out at me the instant I hit the play button on the new D&D trailer was how low budget it looks.  The CGI dragon looks more CGI than the dragon in a Kickstarter project I funded, the actors stilted acting makes it clear that the budget for talent was pretty low, the make up isn't very good, and the visual effects on the spells...well...let's just say that I'm less than impressed.  By all appearances Joel Silver has closed all stops and plugged up the budget everywhere...which is to say that this film appears to be the D&D equivalent of the Roger Corman "Fantastic Four" film.  It looks like Silver and company are spending just enough money on the movie to maintain the license.

Setting that aside, some of my favorite fantasy movies were made with zero budget.  What really seems to matter in these cases is whether the people making the project are actively trying to entertain you.  From what I know, and though I know someone who worked on the project that is still remarkably little, many of the people on this project really want it to work.  One of the writers on the film is a regular D&D player, has worked on a number of good rpg products in the past, and is an all around nice guy.  My hope is that this film can rise to the quality of a "Hawk the Slayer," "Krull," "Beastmaster," "The Knights of Bloodsteel," or even the second D&D movie.  I don't have much hope that it will be as good as the "Midnight Chronicles" movie that Fantasy Flight Games made, as that is a pretty remarkable piece of work considering its budget.  I don't think it is too much to ask that if this film isn't going to feel epic, that it will at least feel fun.  My favorite "D&D" movie is Jet Li's classic "Swordsman II" -- my second is his amazing "Kung Fu Cult Master" -- and if one takes off their "Hong Kong films are awesome glasses" it becomes pretty clear that "Swordsman II" is kind of hokey.  But sword energy is still pretty awesome.

All of the problems with this D&D movie, and the earlier two, can be laid in the lap of one single transaction and that is the sale of the license to Courtney Solomon in the dying days of TSR.  Courtney was 19 at the time and eventually managed to bring the film to fruition by partnering with New Line Cinema for distribution who purchased the rights for $5 million.  This ensured Courtney a solid payday, and ensured that until someone buys the license away from Silver, we are unlikely to get the "D&D movie we want."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

[Trailer Review] Enthralled by Luhrmann's GATSBY

I find the trailer for Baz Luhrmann's upcoming film adaptation THE GREAT GATSBY to be entirely mesmerizing.  From the rich sense of imagery -- always a Luhrmann strength -- to the haunting quality of the score.  The early section of the score I find weaker than the haunting quality toward the end of the video.  I don't know that GATSBY should be a 3D film...the thought seems baffling...but then I see Luhrmann's Time's Square and think it might just be worth the extra $3.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why "The Brave" Trailer is Superior to "Wrath of the Titans" Trailer

Before I post the two trailers in question and critique the "Titans" trailer, I just want to state for the record that I am jazzed to see both of these movies. They both look like fun and appeal to my inner child.

Now take a minute to watch the trailer for "The Brave." It's only a couple of minutes long.

The trailer is essentially 2 minutes, or so, taken straight out of the film. Two minutes that encapsulate a story on their own, that hint at the stakes surrounding the situation, and that entertain. I now want to see the movie now more than ever, and have the sense that the film will make me weep as its twists are revealed.

Now take a minute to watch the trailer for "Wrath of the Titans."

From the opening BWAAAAAM -- straight out of "Inception" -- there is cut scene after cut scene of ever escalating action that reveals that our hero will have to battle many mythical beasts over the course of the film. Never mind that a releasing of the Titans, and their war against humanity, would make for an exciting series of films let alone a single picture. A fact that makes it appear as if this film will be trying to do too much in too little time, and at the expense of creating an actual narrative. The action scenes are compelling, and heighten my desire to see the spectacle of the film, but they do little to invest me emotionally in the film.

Both trailers make me want to watch the films, but one demonstrates that the film I will be watching will make me feel something emotionally while the other bludgeons me with spectacle.

I can't help but feel that the reliance on a spectacle oriented trailer, rather than an emotional one, for the upcoming "John Carter" film is a bad move. There is action in the John Carter series of tales, to be sure, but there is also a great romance. It is a mythic romance and the trailers have done little to convey that fact. I would even go so far as to say that the Super Bowl trailer made me want to watch the film less.

Compare the "John Carter: Virginia" clip to the Super Bowl ad. The Virginia clip makes me want to watch the movie, the Super Bowl ad makes me believe that Disney doesn't really believe in the story or that the characters are worth highlighting. Thankfully, the Virginia clip exists and lets me know that there will be character development -- even if it is apocryphal -- and not just spectacle.

I'll take Virginia over spectacle any day, and I'll take a short continual glimpse into the world over clips featuring the soundtrack of "Inception."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Second Battleship Preview Leaves Me Wishing They Made "Battleship Galaxies" Into Film

Yesterday I tweeted that I might be the only person in America who is excited to see the upcoming "Battleship" film directed by Peter Berg. I think that Berg has a talent for both the artistic and for the popcorn, and think that his "Battleship" film looks like pure popcorn. Ridiculous popcorn.

Like, doesn't make any sense popcorn.

Not only that, but popcorn that follows the typical invasion story formula.

  1. Earth encounters alien force
  2. Earth gets owned by alien force -- the "Footfall" moment
  3. Earth keeps fighting against hopeless odds
  4. Some change/shift occurs
  5. Earth wins/Aliens quit
In Footfall the aliens stop when they realize that humans are crazy and won't ever give up.  In "Independence Day,"  we create a "virus" to even the odds.  In War of the Worlds, the aliens catch a cold.  It's a common formula, tried and true.  A little staid perhaps, but I don't mind if the film is pure popcorn.  Heck, even "Skyline" followed this formula even though it ended just as the shift toward "human" victory begins.

Regardless, after seeing the alien designs in this film, and having played the "Battleship: Galaxies" board game, I personally wonder why they didn't just base the film on that game.  It would still have the transmedia marketing tie in, and it would make sense to include the aliens.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

[Film Trailer] Justice League: Doom -- Looks Interesting

DC's theatrical releases have been hit or miss -- I'll be posting my Green Lantern film review soon -- but their animated projects have tended to be excellent.  Everything from Batman: The Brave and the Bold to All-Star Superman has been entertaining.  By the looks of this official preview, that trend is continuing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

[Film Trailer] VIRAL FACTOR -- Forget CONTAGION, Give Me Gunfights and Amnesia

Thanks to for pointing me to Daniel Lam's latest science-fiction suspense actioner. It looks like a combination of Hard Boiled, The Bourne Idenity, and Outbreak. The folks at Beyond Hollywood recommend that you familiarize yourself with the plot before you watch the video:

A mission to escort a witness from Jordan to the Netherlands leaves International Security Affairs agent Jon severely scarred: a bullet is lodged in his brain, his fiancée and fellow agent Rita is dead and their traitorous colleague Sean has nabbed their witness. While contemplating leaving the force, he finds out that his father and brother, Wan Yang, are still alive. In his search for them, he discovers that his brother is working as a mercenary for Sean, who has evil plans to force scientist Rachel to cultivate a mutating virus to unleash on the world. The brothers unite to stop Sean but finds out that he has an even bigger plan for international blackmail. The battle heads to a showdown in Hong Kong where Sean has decided to release the strain of deadly virus.

I am currently wondering how I could translate this film into a Night's Black Agents campaign.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Adventures of Tintin -- Can Digitally Animated Fight Scenes and Stunts Satisfy?

The more I look at the advertising for the upcoming Adventures of Tintin animated film, the more it looks like the film will provide for a few hours of pleasant entertainment.  There is still one major question lurking in the back of my mind...How much more exciting would all of this be if it were a live action film?

The stunts look unbelievably exciting, check out the motorcycle stunt toward the end of the trailer, but I keep asking myself "what if Jackie Chan did the stunt coordination for a live action film?"  I understand that there are limits to what the human body can do, and there are very good safety reasons to use digital effects to supplement stunts, but this film seems so action packed and exciting that I want to see it as "real" and not animated.  It seems that the film makers would be pushing more of the medium's boundaries if they attempted to recreate some of these fight scenes and stunts with real people.

I hate video game to movie comparisons as much as the next guy, but isn't one of the major reasons people attend a Tomb Raider film, or desire to watch an Uncharted movie, specifically because they want to see exciting digital experiences translated into live action.

Isn't the fight scene between Donnie Yen and Collin Chou in Flashpoint  so amazing because it has real people and you can imagine the real physical effort required to create the action sequence?

But the new Tintin film uses "motion capture" so the actors are physically engaged you say?  Some stunts can only be created digitally?  I don't buy it, and can easily imagine Jackie Chan, Harold Lloyd, or Buster Keaton doing that final motorcycle stunt.

None of this takes away from the fact that the Tintin movie looks engaging and entertaining, I'm looking forward to it.  I'm just saying that it looks like it would be "AMAZING" if it were live action.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

1911: Revolution (2011) -- Jackie Chan's 100th Film in Theaters October 7th

Jackie Chan's 100th film releases in American theaters this Friday.  It also marks the 100th anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising, the topic of Jackie Chan's latest film 1911: Revolution.

Unlike a majority of Chan's work, this film is not a martial arts or action comedy but like much of Chan's work the film is a patriotic one.  For example in Drunken Master II, the viewer gets a sense of Chan's deep patriotism as Wong Fei-hung battles a ring of antiquities smugglers.  In that film, Fei-hung battles for the preservation of China's history.

In 1911: Revolution, Jackie Chan stars as Huang Xing  who is fighting for the soul of China.  Huang Xing was one of the founders of the Kuomintang and one of the revolutionary leaders who fought against the Qing Dynasty in a series of uprisings.  These uprisings finally culminated with the defeat of the Dynasty in the Wuchang Uprising and establishment of the Republic of China.

From the trailer, one can see that director Zhang Li has lost none of the aesthetic talent that made Red Cliff such a beautiful visual experience.  His camera work captures broad strokes in a way that doesn't overwhelm the view, and he is a master of highlighting an emotive figure in a chaotic environment. 

Filmgoers in the Los Angeles area will be able to see the film at the following locations:

Monrovia -- Krikorian 12
Los Angeles -- Rave 18
Los Angeles -- Mann Chinese 6

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin -- Should this really be in 3D?

As pretty as the new trailer for the upcoming Spielberg/Jackson "The Adventures of Tintin" looks -- weird motion capture movement and faces and all -- I find myself wondering if I wouldn't prefer to watch Tintin as a traditionally animated film. It is clear that the film attempts to capture some of the style of the original comic strips in the character design, but there is still some lingering tug at the back of my mind that would like to watch a film that looked less "spectacular" and allowed the spectacle of the story to tell itself. There also is something more impressive about the craftsmanship required to illustrate something like the maelstrom in "The Little Mermaid" that maintains a "tonal" verisimilitude to the overall animation of the film versus the craftsmanship required to create a similar effect digitally where the storm that looks "tonally" different from the characters of the film.

I think I just might prefer something that looked like this:

I'm still excited about the film, but the push for digital animation -- especially when unnecessary -- bothers me. I'll watch digitally animated Pooh on TV, and enjoy it, but I want to see hand drawn Pooh in the theaters. I think the same might just apply with Tintin.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do We Really Need Airships in Our Three Musketeers?

Today I asked my inner 12 year old the following question, "We aren't really so jaded that we need Eberron-esque Airship/Zeppelins and Clockwork Assassination Weapons in our Swashbuckling Adventures...are we?"

He responded, "No, but c'mon! How awesome is that?!"

I had to concede that the Micheal York, Oliver Reed, Christopher Lee, Richard Chamberlain film almost perfectly captured the spirit of the books -- save for a few moments of slapstick -- and that Airships are indeed awesome.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"X-Men: First Class" Trailer Has Been Released

With the exception of some missteps in the third film, the X-men movie franchise is one of the premier superhero film series. The acting has been consistently good, the stories compelling, and the effects impressive.

If the trailer is any hint, it looks like the upcoming "X-Men: First Class" is a return to the quality of the earlier entries. I'm looking forward to seeing what Matthew Vaughn ("Layer Cake," "Stardust") does with Marvel's Mutant Miracle.

Of the stills released for the film, I really like this one. It has a slight "Tomorrow People" quality, and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A 70s Chevy Van Mural Come to Life? Or...a Film Representation of a 70s D&D Campaign?

I just saw the Red Band trailer for Your Highness. The Danny McBride and James Franco fantasy follow up to Pineapple Express. Like Pineapple, Highness is a fusion of stoner jokes and genre film making -- in this case Fantasy.

I don't know what to think of this kind of movie. I've never been big on the Cheech and Chong style of comedy, even when well done. As amusing as parts of this film look, the pot joke in the film's title, like most stoner jokes, is as stale as hard tack left over from the Civil War. Get it? "Your Highness?" ahuh ahuh

I like comedy aimed at shock value a great deal, but I don't like stale comedy. After all of the anti-Prop 19 editorials published this year, I've had enough stale pot jokes. Hopefully this film will have something more to offer. There are glimpses that it might.

That said... I have a compulsion to watch every Fantasy film ever made and I have a crush on Zooey Deschanel.

I can say that this trailer reminds me of the gaming sessions that one of my best friend's older brothers used to have in the late 70s and early 80s. Those sessions were a gonzo fusion of Led Zeppelin, Tolkien, and Thongor.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Insert Quarter, Gets Rejected! -- LITERAL TRON: LEGACY Trailer

I know this was posted five months ago, and that everyone else knows about Tobuscus, but I found this amusing. Especially the quote, "Insert Quarter, Gets Rejected!"

I am so excited about TRON: LEGACY, even with all the mockitude.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Yogi Bear (2010) -- It will likely annoy me, but my daughters will love it.

Even by the sneak preview, I can tell that my daughters will be enraptured by the upcoming Yogi Bear movie. The animation on the bear looks pretty good, and it has just the right amount of slapstick to appeal to them.