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Friday, March 21, 2008

REVIEW - "10,000 B.C." (2008)

The suspension of disbelief is something audiences must accept for a great deal of movies. It is often the very reason we go see movies—To get away from reality. We enjoy accepting the idea that a nerd bitten by a radioactive spider can swing through New York City. Perhaps the Ark of the Covenant can, in fact, zap a hundred Nazis to oblivion. We don’t know for sure I suppose. And certainly it’s enjoyable to assume there’s a whole civilization of wizards hiding from the general public, government, CIA, FBI, Interpol, BSS and high advances in technology to live their own fantastical lives without a care in the world. Some movies, however, stretch the suspension of disbelief so far that we no longer are in suspension of disbelief, we simply just don’t believe. “10,000 B.C.” is one those movies I speak of.

Roland Emmerich, the “mastermind” behind movies like “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Universal Soldier,” the American “Godzilla,” and, of course, “Independence Day,” has finally made a movie far worse than any of the above mentioned. “10,000 B.C.” tried to be “Apocaylpto” meets “300,” but turned out to be this year’s “Pathfinder.” Maybe worse.

“10,000 B.C.” follows the story of D’Leh, a hunter with a reputation ruined due to the supposed cowardice of his father. Of course, despite his reputation, he goes beyond all odds to rescue his bride-to-be from a powerful, decidedly overdeveloped Egyptian society, and fulfill a legend. Many tribes believe he is the one to bring all tribes together, defeat the powerful villains and return balance to the force—I mean, become the “first hero.”

I swear if any of this did happen historians would be rethinking everything, and anthropologists would be reevaluating the evolutionary chain. The movie makes the Neolithic Age look more advanced than the Spartans of 480 B.C. That’s quite impressive! Of course the tribe D’Leh is from all have perfect, beautiful white teeth, speak perfect English and don’t look like they need to evolve a day more in order to figure out how to build an airplane.

Emmerich treats “10,000 B.C.” with the knowledge of an imaginative elementary school student. There is nothing in the movie that respects the audience enough to admit these events are hysterically impossible. If the Egyptians had already built that many huge structures by 10,000 B.C. I expected them to go to the moon by the time they actually enslaved the Hebrews. Other things I learned from this movie was that the power of wind had been fully utilized through sailboats at this time, saber-tooth tigers were quite friendly and the size of small houses, and Neolithic women are better looking than most modern women.

Absurd inaccuracy aside, how could anyone let Harold Kloser write this thing? The man is a film composer and he can barely pull that off. What made Emmerich think he could write words any better than music? The answer is simply, he’s Roland Emmerich. As a result the two come up with the worst dialogue I’ve heard in awhile. There’s a hysterical scene where D’Leh makes an inspirational speech to the many tribes whom have followed him. Clearly Emmerich was trying to pull off another “Independence Day” speech, but it comes off far more laughable. The only inspiration that speech gave me was to walk out of the movie.

Alas, I didn’t leave the film. It was almost over and the movie had more scenes from “300” to rip off of. After an exhaustingly funny, under-dramatic battle between the mesh of tribes and pre-Egyptians, accompanied by the poor CGI the movie had flaunted for the previous 90 minutes, the movie ended. After the story reached its conclusion I was left thinking about how happy I was that summer was on the way. Summer blockbusters are hardly Shakespeare, but the quality of “Iron Man,” “The Dark Knight” and “Indiana Jones” looks far more impressive than this.

Is it so hard to make a good pre-summer season movie? I guess it is. “10,000 B.C.” perfectly represents the kind of emotionless, lackluster trite that is common for the month of March. Then again Roland Emmerich can make this crap any day of the year.

½ out of ****

DiCaprio and Scott Take Two

Currently, Leonardo DiCaprio is wrapping up Ridley Scott's new political film, "Body of Lies," but the partnership won't end there. After "Body of Lies" finishes up, DiCaprio and Scott will reunite for a thriller titled "The Low Dweller."

Set in the 1980s, "The Low Dweller" will center on a character (DiCaprio) just freed from jail and stalked by another man from his past.

This movie will be probably be filmed next year as DiCaprio will be reteaming with Martin Scorsese this spring to film "Shutter Island." Meanwhile, Ridley Scott will be preparing for his next film, "Nottingham." (Do I need to elaborate on that one?)

I still say DiCaprio is one busy bee.

Jeepers Creepers No!

Ever thought a movie was scary because it was just plain bad? The "Jeepers Creepers" movies are a couple that fit that category. Apparently the previous film's survivor, Gina Philips, is in negotiations to reprise her character for a third outing. Director Victor Salva has stated many times that he wants to take the story "full circle." Whatever that means. Perhaps ending it for good?

The thing is, a third movie has been rumored since 2005. Many claimed 2006 was the year of the third film with good sources to back it up, but it never happened. So why make it now? Well there is speculation that the third chapter will be a straight-to-DVD release, so that would explain a lot.

Me? I'm hoping this is just a repeat of 2005. Jeepers these movies suck. There is a possibility, however, that 2009 will be the year of the movie's release. Fans of bad horror movies rejoice.

"Dirty Harry" Part Six

It seems that Eastwood is dropping the Oscar act this year and giving the character, affectionately known as "Dirty Harry," one last spin in a film in a film entitled "Grand Torino." At least that's what the word is on the street. Eastwood is slowly slinking his way in to his 80s and it's hard to believe Harry Callahan would still be working on anything. Is this a nostalgic movie strictly for fans like "Rocky Balboa," "Rambo" and "Indiana Jones" is? Or is the fan boy banter headquarters making this stuff up? Can Harry Callahan feel lucky one more time? Would it be better if I did all of this as a voice over?

I don't normally put rumors up here, but this project is getting such a loud buzz it's hard to pass up. If Eastwood is returning to Harry, how will it play out? What can a man at his age do?

"Grand Torino" starts filming soon and will be rushed in to theaters for a December release. Hopefully we'll find out soon what this movie is.

"G.I. Joe's" Snake Eyes

The character Snake Eyes has been revealed for those excited about the "G,I. Joe" movie coming up. Click to enlarge:

Ray Park ("X-Men," "Star Wars - Episode 1") is playing Snake Eyes, so obviously this character will have a lot physical scenes. I've never been a "G.I. Joe" fan. I've never enjoyed the cartoon and I'm not interested in the movie. (Hence the lack of updates on it, though I do realize I should have put it on the poll for next year...sorry.) Snake Eyes looks pretty cool, but I can't really compliment the production beyond that. When more information surfaces about the movie, I'll pull it up.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Rambo V" Locations Being Set Up

After a few interviews of Stallone dancing back and forth between the possibility and impossibility of a "Rambo V," it seems the movie may become a reality. Sounds stages are currently being built in Sofia, Bulgaria and "Rambo V" is the production slated to use the area. Is it true, or is this banter that needs some rumor control?

Producer Harvey Weinstein was excited about the prospect of another, and at one point Stallone even said he would like to continue the series. (Only to confuse everyone by saying otherwise after the fourth movie was released.)

As for me, "Rambo" was simply a small blip on the radar. I've said before, it was inappropriate with its action and thoughtless with its characters. Not a horrid movie, but it didn't compare to the first two Rambo flicks. I'd rather not see a "Rambo V." Let it be.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Avi Arad to Produce "Maximum Ride"

James Patterson, author of the blockbuster book series "Maximum Ride," has teamed up with producer Avi Arad for the "Maximum Ride" movie. Patterson and Arad have announced they will be working with a very famous director for the movie, but wouldn't say who.

Famous director? Should that sound promising? Michael Bay is a famous director, but he's not someone I'd put in the category of all-time greats. And while Arad has watched over some fun movies, others under his belt aren't to good. (The "Fantastic Four" flicks, "X-Men: The Last Stand.") Not that all of it was his fault, but did anyone notice "Galactus" in the "Fantastic Four" sequel? That was his decision. Not that it was a good movie anyway. And of course he was the one who forced Sam Raimi to stuff Venom in the already packed "Spider-Man 3."

I certainly hope for the best as far as a "Maximum Ride" movie goes. It's my favorite book series; despite the glaring flaws and plot holes in the last two books, the books know how to engage readers and non-readers alike. I hope a film does the book(s) justice.

Patterson recently released the fourth book in the series, "The Final Warning."

New "Speed" Posters

Pretty standard character posters overall, but each one has pretty cool custom themes set to them. Again, Matthew Fox as Racer X looks badass. Click to enlarge:

The race at the box office starts May 9th.

"The Wolfman" Revealed

The updated Wolfman, from the film of the same title coming out next year, has been revealed. Somehow, Benecio Del Toro looks even more frightening than ever. As uninterested as I am in this production right now, I must admit that I'm very impressed with the make-up work. (Though I didn't expect these photos to be released this early.) It looks very similar to the 1940s design, but obviously modern day make-up has enhanced a few things about it. Very cool. Click to enlarge:

I don't know how Johnston's "Wolfman" is going to turn out-- I'm rather indifferent about the film right now. The visuals should be pretty cool as long as they stay away from an overabundance of CGI though.

HP-6 Photo

It's nothing really and it's very poor quality, but for all the Harry Potter-ites out there, here you go. Click to enlarge.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," November, 2008.

Sam Raimi and Jack Ryan

After his supernatural horror flick, "Drag Me To Hell" is finished, director Sam Raimi ("Evil Dead," "Spider-Man") plans on giving Tom Clancy's character Jack Ryan a shot. We're not just talking about one film, but a new series of films featuring a new, younger Jack Ryan set in modern times. No word if Paramount will be using source material from one of Clancy's books to create a story, or if it will be an original script.

As much as I want to see a new Jack Ryan movie, I think giving it to Raimi is a bad idea. He's talented and classy, but only in certain genres. (Like sci-fi, fantasy and horror-- All of which can easily run together at times.) Raimi throwing Jack Ryan at modern political agendas just seems like something out of his realm. Furthermore, a younger Jack Ryan sounds like anything but a decent revival. "The Sum of All Fears" not only proved that Ben Affleck is a poor actor, but that a young Jack Ryan just doesn't work. What about when Jack Ryan becomes president? What about his later career after "The Red October," and "Clear and Present Danger?" The source material is there and it's very interesting. Lets stop trying to make a young, hip Jack Ryan, and start making the Jack Ryan found in Clancy's books. Wouldn't that be a novel idea?

Yelchin Plays Post-Apocalyptic Legend in T4

The now untitled "Terminator 4" will see the return of a pivotal character in the Terminator mythology. Anton Yelchin (recently known for his role in "Charlie Bartlett") is in talks to play a teenage version of the character Kyle Reese.

Kyle Reese is the man sent back in time to save Sarah Conner from a Terminator sent to kill her in the first movie. Reese also ends up impregnating Conner who gives birth to John Conner, the future savior of the world. John Conner will be played Christian Bale in the fourth film. Kyle Reese was played by Michael Biehn.

While I'm not too happy about the coming of another Terminator film, especially one without Arnold, I can't say I actually hate the ideas that are being put on the table. What they're making out of it sounds pretty cool so far. But with director McG at the bat... Lets just say I'm less than enthusiastic.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Boondock Saints 2" a Go?

"Boondock Saints" is an interesting movie in the world of cinema. It made next to nothing in theaters. Critics generally hate it. Yet it made millions on DVD and has an enormous cult following. Being a fan of the film myself I can see why some may dislike it, but don't really understand how or why it's any worse of a movie than Tarantino's catalog of films. In fact, I'd place it a bit higher than some of his work.

Today, appropriately St. Patrick's Day, Troy Duffy, director of the first "Boondock Saints," has announced that the second film has been green lit and he plans on going in to production this summer. Sony will be backing the film.

Now, it's no secret that Troy Duffy has been trying to get this film off the ground for awhile now. Since 2002 actually. There's been a lot of legal issues with the film that have finally been settled. Furthermore, it's also no secret that Troy Duffy is a cranky, self-destructive jackass. (I'm being nice.) I have not seen "Overnight," the doc. that shows Troy Duffy during the filming of the first "Boondock Saints." But I've heard stories. The man's ego could very well be what breaks this whole production.

On the other hand, could "Boondock Saints 2" be return of a fallen filmmaker? Or will this simply be another project shelved for good? Duffy seems pretty optimistic. I'm crossing my fingers. Time will tell. I hope to release news this summer that "Boondock Saints 2" has gone in production. Stay tuned.

"Cloverfield" DVD Specs.

As miserable as the first three months of the year are for movies (and they especially have been this year), one has stood out. Being the best of the year, thus far, "Cloverfield" is a movie that deserves an abundance of special features with its DVD release. And it seems that it will have plenty. Below are confirmed features, including the front and back DVD artwork. Click to enlarge:

Special Features:
Commentary by Director Matt Reeves
The Making of Cloverfield
Cloverfield Visual Effects
I Saw It! It's Alive! It's Huge - Featurette
Clover Fun - Featurette
Deleted Scenes:
- Congrats Rob
- When You're in Japan
- I Call That a Date
- It's Going to Hurt
- Alternate Ending #1
- Alternate Ending #2

The DVD will also contain some easter eggs. Though I'm not sure what they are or where you can find them on the DVD, the confirmed eggs are as follows:
- Slusho!
- Person of Interest - JLVD Video 2
- Person of Interest - JLVD Video 5
- Person of Interest - JLVD Video 9
- Person of Interest - JLVD Video 11
- Rack 'Em & Pack 'Em
- Fighting the X

Well, it looks like Paramount will be getting more of my money.