Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Disney Renassaince Part 8: Hercules

Do you remember Aladdin? Sure you do - fun Disney movie, critics loved it, big hit with the public, memorable comedy from famous movie stars. And it was notable in being a rare Disney film that was arguably a bigger hit with the younger male audience than the girl demographic that historically responded so well to princesses like Ariel, Belle, and Cinderella.

The House of Mouse never forgot Aladdin either, and if there's one thing they were obsessed with during the Disney Renaissance, it was trying to make lightning strike twice. So in 1997, they took the formula that had worked so well for the Arabian Nights and applied it to Greek mythology.

With varying degrees of success.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit: A Fun-But-Bloated Journey

Short version? It's good. Just make sure you approach it on its own terms - this isn't The Lord of the Rings (nor should it be) and luckily the film mostly remembers this. But even so, your mileage may vary.

Long version...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

PACIFIC RIM is the next "Big Thing."

I was pretty sure of this when the curtain was pulled back from this one prior to San Diego Comic-Con. Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labryinth) making a movie about giant robots built to fight giant monsters? Huge budget and marketing push from WB prior to a prime mid-July 2013 release? That got me excited on a level usually reserved for stuff like "Someone's making The Lord of the Rings as a live-action trilogy."

And now it's on the horizon, and IT. LOOKS. AMAZING.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Waiting for Superman

Warner Bros. has a bit of catch-up to do. With the help of director Christopher Nolan (a brilliant outside-the-box gamble they have yet to repeat), the Batman franchise wasn't just brought back form the cinematic graveyard, but the rebooted series became one of the most successful trilogies of all time. But their plans to do the same with their OTHER heavy hitter didn't turn out quite so well.

Admit it, when was the last time you thought about Superman Returns?

And now, in a post-Avengers world, WB is keen to get their own superhero team project out of the gate, but before that can happen, there's a question that seems to be at the forefront of their minds.

Is there still a place in the world for Superman?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

In Memoriam: Tony Scott's Man on Fire and beyond

Between 2004 and his untimely death in 2012, Tony Scott made five films, four of which were collaborations with Denzel Washington. The two had worked together before in 1995's Crimson Tide, but now began a streak of films that combined Scott's decades of experience as a studio blockbuster veteran with a much more kinetic and experimental visual style.

Here are three of those films, starting with. . .

Friday, December 7, 2012

Star Trek: Why So Serious?

One could make a solid case that - after Iron Man 3 - J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness is the most widely-anticipated release of Summer 2013. And for good reason. The 2009 Star Trek reboot was a smash hit with audiences and critics, raking in over $250 million at the US Box Office. And this success is mostly due to the fact that, while the movie lacked the philosophical undertones and narrative complexity of classic Trek, the cast had great chemistry and the director brought a great sense of fun and energy to the proceedings.

The result was a big, fun, colorful blockbuster, the sort of rollicking sci-fi adventure that led some to nickname it the best Star Wars movie in decades. I personally enjoyed it a lot, especially after the dreary slog that was 2002's Star Trek Nemesis.

Which is why I'm somewhat perplexed and a little worried that the sequel seems to be chasing the dragon of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight movies. . .