Entries Tagged as 'Fantasy'

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1961)

Dbreakfast at Tiffany's (1961) Has anyone ever appraised this films as anything but a sunny Audrey Hepburn vehicle? It’s one hour and 55 minutes of dissonance. Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard play two characters who are, by all appearances middle class yuppies living in Manhattan during the early ’60s. But this would be a mistake.

In the eponymous Truman Capote novella it is clear that Holly is a high-end call girl and Paul a gigolo. Blake Edwards’ film supresses the gauche details by making Peppard and Hepburn squeaky clean.

The juxtaposition between who these two characters appear to be and how they earn their money percolates in and out of focus as the story proceeds: [Read more →]

‘Return of the Living Dead III’ (1993)

Zombie girlfriends, rebellious teens, fast cars, motorcycles and gunplay. To spell it out that way, it almost sounds like some other movie. Some other, equally improbable movie.

Of course, it’s just the 3nd sequel to George Romero and John Russo’s Night of the Living Dead (1968)  but this film belongs to the dramedy fork of the franchise that Russo took when he and Romero went their separate ways.

Of course, RothLD 3 was written, directed and produced by ’80s low-budget schlockmeister and H.P. Lovecraft aficionado, Brian Yuzna . Unlike it’s predecessors, it abandons the full-on campy excesses of predecessors Dan O’Bannon ( Alien, Lifeforce, Total Recall )  and Ken Wiederhorn to inject the tragic pathos of teenage romance into the mix, and somehow it works marvelously. [Read more →]

‘Tron: Legacy’ (2010) in IMAX 3D

There are a lot of cool and interesting things about ‘Tron: Legacy’: The visual updates on the conceptualization of the digital world first presented in the 1982 original; the sound design; the fact that a completely different production team got Jeff Bridges, who doesn’t normally do movies just for a pay check, to agree to appear in a sequel; the costume design; even the fact that a major movie studio (Disney) would take on a film that toys with something as box office toxic as moral themes. None of these things, however, are the coolest thing about ‘Tron: Legacy.’ [Read more →]

5 Upcoming Genre Features, 2010-12

via Squidoo.com

Captain America: The First Avenger ‘ (2011) • IMDb l ink Captain America:The First Avenger

This one’s a bit contentious — Joe Johnston, who directed The Rocketeer way, way back in 1991 should have been a good choice to direct a period piece about Marvel’s Captain America set during WWII. But then, Johnston turned in the pointless and unnecessary Wolfman remake this past year, and then cast Chris Evans ( Fantastic Four ‘s Johnny Storm) as Steve Rogers, rather than  Mark Valley , (‘Human Target’) an actor born for the role.

Understandably, Marvel and Disney are reaching for a younger actor for the role, but I really dobt that those 18-49 women should be the marketing department’s target. Rather, the target audience ought to be 4 generations of American men aged 7 to 70 that Marvel ought to be aiming for. That, and the fact that 25 year-old Evans will have to go up against 46 year old Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Samuel Jackson in ‘ The Avengers ‘ (2012) and make it somehow appear that they are peers. [Read more →]

Top Ten Lists: 2000-2010 – Sci-Fi

Just this past week, I stated seeing ‘Best of’ lists all over the place, specifically, the ‘Best’ science-fiction of the last decade. Typically, such all of the lists I found looked something like this:

1. ‘Children of Men’
2. ‘Moon’
3. ‘District 9′ [Read more →]

‘Shutter Island’ (2010)

[ WARNING :Uncharacteristically, this review is all SPOILERS, but this film is so well put together that you should consider my spoilers a feature, rather than a bug.]

Operation Paperclip Nazis working in criminal sanitariums off the coast of Washington State? Mind control? A WWII veteran and widower with PTSD? Visuals by David Lynch.

It’s 1951 in this film and the most unfortunate thing about Shutter Island is that Scorcese and writers Stephen Knight and Laeta Kalogridis decided that it’s okay not to make sense. They decide to just let go. Film is a visual experience and flourishes are flourishes, so why the fuck not? If your local cinemat can affor to spend $750k on a new 3D projection kit, you can sit and watch Martin Scorcese orchestrate some crazy in 2D. On Shutter Island, the Eater Eggs and Red Herrings run thick, wild and free. So wild, that you may want to pause and consider throwing a few back, before deciding which ones you want to take home to eat. [Read more →]

‘Watchmen’ (2009)

With the publication of Watchmen in 1985, comic books took a sudden, dark and grity turn, similar to police drama after Steven Bochco’s ‘Hill Street Blues’. Like Grant Morrison’s ‘Doom Patrol ‘, and later, ‘ The Authority ‘ and Marvel’s ‘ Ultimates ‘, ‘Watchmen’, the book is not about about capes and tights, but rather the misfits who choose to pursue auperheroics. In ‘Watchmen’, Alan Moore seizes upon the idea that great power might produce monsters — individuals devoid of values and restraint even as they fight the ‘good’ fight.

Terry Gilliam attempted to bring ‘Watchmen’ to life twice, once in 1989 and a decade later, in 1999. He gave up because he felt that the story couldn’t be adequately covered in 2 hours’ time and that the material might be better dealt with as a miniseries, Though there is no Gilliam ‘Watchmen’, I credit ‘Watchmen’ and it’s alternate-apocalyptic 1985 for the rich visual landscape of thr film that Gilliam went on to produce in the mid-’90′s, ’12 Monkeys’ (1995). [Read more →]

‘District 9′ (2009)

district_9 All the reports that I’ve read have said that director Neill Blomkamp and Wingnut Films elected to do ‘District 9′ while they were in a holding pattern while they were waiting on a green light from Microsoft to do a live-action adaptation of the Halo video-game.

Imagine a couple million dollars of filmmaking equipment, and empty studio and several tens of state-of-the-art technicians waiting on some Seattle lawyers, and you get the idea. though the film is a little more substantive than  that. [Read more →]

‘Up’* (2009)

up_poster1 Pixar’s tenth film in 15 years, ‘Up’ charms with its tale of Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner (voice)), an old man befuddled and disgusted by the changes around him, and Russell (Jordan Nagai (voice)), a wilderness scout bent on earning his last badge for “assisting the elderly.”

Threatened with the forcible removal from his house, the last remaining one in the midst of a high-rise construction zone, Carl takes the drastic step of attaching thousands of helium balloons to his house so he can fly off in search of the adventure he and his beloved departed wife Ellie never got to take, the journey to Paradise Falls [Read more →]

‘Star Trek’ (2009)

I’ve long since quit my enthusiasm for things Trek, but J.J. Abrams has made a much-needed and refreshing reboot of the franchise; however this renewal seems to owe as much to the original Star Wars trilogy as it does Trek.

Granted that Abrams and his writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman add a little time travel quirk that creates an alternate reality for this new Trek, it does come off with a bit more verve than the original series had some 40 years ago. Both the writing and the SFX have improved, just as Desilu Studios never gave Roddenberry $75M to shoot a single episode. [Read more →]