SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW 2011
paul cooney, john cribbs & eric pfriender
<< click here for Summer Movie Preview 2011 Part I: MAY >>
<< click here for Summer Movie Preview 2011 Part II: JUNE >>
<<click here for Summer Movie Preview 2011 Part III: JULY>>
FRIGHT NIGHT (Craig Gillespie, Walt Disney Studios)
Teenager Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (David Tennant), the opportunistic host of his favorite TV show, to help him take down Jerry and his guardian.
PAUL: Colin's off the sauce and on the vampire train...what a sad sad state of affairs...the little Irishman who shot to stardom out of nowhere, after only a half dozen or so bombs, until America finally woke up and said "umm ok...this guy's a movie star? I guess? You're going to keep giving him starring roles whether we like it or not? Fine. I guess at some point he's going to stumble into a hit...and then make a bunch more bombs...whatever." The classic Hollywood success story! But then he kind of faded away...but now he's back! And he's a vampire! Which only serves to remind me just how unattractive that Pattinson guy actually is. Come on, teenage girls! I'm your biggest champion, but your taste in hearthrobs is really fucking weak. Pasty and gross do not a dreamboat make!
ERIC: I'm supposed to think this is funny, right? Because I do.
JOHN: See? Here we go again: first they reboot the Ape sequels, which all starred Roddy McDowall, and now they're bringing out a new version of Fright Night in the same month. My "remake by actor" theory is starting to seem eerily spot-on.
You know, I got nothing against this movie. Of all the horror "classics" they can (and will) reboot, this is one that could actually be improved upon - no offense to Poughkeepsie's own Tom Holland. For one thing, the girlfriend in the 80's version was Amanda Bearse...that's right, Marcy D'Arcy herself! She hadn't officially come out of the closet yet, but Ms. Bearse was already sporting her trademark "anti-boy" look, mainly by being very plain and unappealing. And I like Chris Sarandon enough (by the way, not Susan Sarandon's brother - her first husband! She kept the name! Only learned that juicy detail recently), but he made for a fairly hokey monster. These are problems that could be fixed in a new version, although I can't remember exactly what I liked about the first movie. Mainly I remember enjoying the makeup work on "Evil Ed" and the performance of At Close Range's Stephen Geoffreys (later the star of such classics as Mechanics bi Day, Lube Job bi Night and Guys Who Crave Big Cocks - why don't they reboot that one?) Smarmy Colin Farrell seems like a good replacement for Sarandon and potentially whacked-out Chris Mintz-Plasse a suitable substitute for Geoffreys (will he end up in porno too? Gross.)
Obviously the big draw for me is retired Doctor Who David Tennant in the Roddy McDowall role. The character has been reimagined as a magician, which is kind of disappointing since something I do remember liking was the "washed up B-actor hosting late night horror movie program" angle of the original, but get this - his assistant is played by Sofia Vergara's sister! This combination is more than enough to excite the nerd/dude in me.
It is odd that they settled on the director of Mr. Woodcock to helm the new Fright Night. I guess they both have a common "evil adult bully mom thinks is a cool guy" theme to them. And again, whether this one is good or not really doesn't matter to me. I was never really a fan of vampire movies even before the Twilight Saga insured that the subgenre would never be taken seriously again (if it ever was in the first place.)
CONAN THE BARBARIAN (Marcus Nispel, Lionsgate)
Muscle-bound warrior Conan the Cimmerian (Jason Momoa) seeks to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village.
PAUL: In the original, young Conan was played by the rascal who went on to star in Belle Epoque, a role which required him to plow through four Spanish sisters! I am sure every 10 year old in the land is going to be vying for this role of roles, knowing that in a decade's time they will be elbows deep in sangria scented poontang. Godspeed boys, godspeed.
ERIC: I've had my entire life to see the original, and I've never gotten around to it. I've also never seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Lawrence of Arabia, or Barry Lyndon. Try to imagine where that places this on the list of things I have an interest in getting around to seeing.
JOHN: Jeez, is the end of August where they bury all the remakes and sequels past part three now? Maybe that's always been the way it is and I just never noticed. If so, August is kind of depressing.
I only like my Conans starring future philandering Austrian-American politicians and directed by Zen anarchist right wing gun nuts who act like John Goodman in The Big Lebowski. Not starring some tv actor and directed by the assface who remade Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Although I have to give this Platinum Dune dunce credit: he tries to trick me by stunt casting character actors. First he put Clancy Brown in Pathfinder (there ya go Pfriender, did you think of that one?), now he casts Ron Perlman as Conan's daddy. But since we know Conan's dad gets killed at the beginning, that tactic is not going to work on me this time. Plus I'm bitter - I still remember a few years ago they were supposed to do a sequel called King Conan with Schwarzenegger and The Rock as his son/sidekick/protégé - it would have been Rock's breakout film instead of The Rundown, and I can't help but think his career might have benefited from that alternate timeline. It's not really fair to fault this film for that turn of events any more than it is to dismiss The Mummy for not being the version written by John Sayles and directed by Joe Dante...but then again, I don't have anything good to say. This movie should thank me for thinking about it at all.
ONE DAY (Lone Scherfig, Focus)
Emma (Anne Hathaway) meets Dexter (Jim Sturgess) on their night of their college graduation: July 15th, 1989. And for the next two decades, every July 15th reveals how the two are faring in life and love.
PAUL: I love gimmick movies with unappealing leads. Oh what's that? I detest such things? My mistake! I give One Day one week! Ha ha...zing!
One minute with Anne Hathaway is one minute too many, so I'm sure as shit not prepared to spend a whole day with that gangly broad. The plot device of this mammy jam is actually cute, although I'm sure the book was poorly written trash, but when you cast a goofy pale girl I don't have any interest in defiling I'm certainly not going to sit through 90 minutes of her trials and romantic tribulations, much less follow her days over decades. Now, if Dilshad Vadsaria was spending a languid day doing laundry and lounging about a veranda reading a book I would gladly watch that for as long as she and the local law enforcement would let me. Does anyone know where I can get a pair of high-powered binoculars?
ERIC: I think I would like to see a movie about a really complicated 20-year friendship between a man and a woman that acknowledges how complicated love can be. I just don't think I want to see this one.
JOHN: Look out, it's ol' "One Day" Hathaway, looking for a quick shag and then tally-ho 'til next year, guv! I really couldn't tell what accent she was going for in the preview, but although I liked her in Rachel Getting Married and Ella Enchanted is a secret guilty pleasure (oh shit, guess it's not a secret anymore!), ever since her co-hosting gig with one fried Franco at the Oscars it's been impossible for me not to see her as the popular girl in high school who does everything she can to guarantee that everybody in the room (read, world) is in love with her. I know that's not really fair - I wish I could just erase that entire terrible night from my memory - but even without her trying her darndest to perform for us, this just reeks of sentimental garbage. The choices we should have made! The ones we'll always regret! Patricia Clarkson's got cancer! (but she's still a Milf trying to letch her daughter's bo-hunk b/f!) Slap a crappy Florence and the Machine song on the end credits and we're done.
SPY KIDS 4: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD (Robert Rodriguez, Dimension Films)
A former spy (Jessica Alba) returns to her old profession in order to stop a villain known as the Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) and his nefarious plan for world domination. Also starring Joel McHale.
PAUL: They made 3 of these already? Wow. I'm thankful I've remained blissfully unaware of their collective pointless existences. It's good to see Alba's taking on the world's oldest profession - prostitution - in order to take down Jeremy Piven - the Piv - who, if he has one known weakness, it's whores. And shellfish. I wonder if she smuggles a crabcake inside her abundant cleavage in an attempt to foil his plot for world dominance. I don't cotton to spy kids, cuz I doubt children have the mental wherewithal or physical strength needed to undertake actual spywork, unlike Maggie Q, who, although she possesses a girlish frame, really is a convincing spook.
ERIC: I haven't seen any of the Spy Kids movies, and I probably won't start here.
JOHN: It's in 4D! Aromascope! You can smell the excitement!
Because I've seen all three Spy Kid adventures in the theater, I'm always surprised to learn that most people I know are largely ignorant of them. And here I thought you guys were just going to be concerned that Carmen and Juni wouldn't be back (don't worry, they are!) I feel a close attachment to those two, and enjoyed watching them grow up on screen more than the Harry Potter kids, so it's gonna be bittersweet to see two new crumbcrushers utilizing the various gadgets 'n gizmos.
These movies are genuinely fun, and have proven to be Robby Rodriguez's most reliably enjoyable output. I think that's because his typical overindulgence and lack of restraint works best in the venue of kid's movies where things like that should be encouraged as opposed to subdued, as with most of his "adult" material. I don't think it's pushing it too much to point out that the spirit of these movies are firmly on par with Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. Although I never did get around to seeing Shark Boy and Larva Girl or Shorts, the last Spy Kids was the best time I've ever had at a 3D screening (sorry, Piranha 3D) and featured Sly Stallone's most charming non-Rocky performance (sorry, The Expendables.) It's easy to be cynical and criticize Rodriguez for milking his kid's stupid ideas for movies and making millions off green-screened action sequences, but it would be dishonest of me not to say I appreciate the occasional guiltless pleasure of watching dogs doing kung fu and speeding cars with wheels that can extend to avoid collisions. Better this than Transformers, right?
I just hope, based on the subtitle, that it doesn't have a tragic ending like On Her Majesty's Secret Service...that would be a bummer!
On a side note, is Alba sticking with Rodriguez just cuz she knows he's a pussy and won't pressure her into performing nude scenes? (Actually she showed some side boob in Machete - maybe she'll go the full monty in this Spy Kids sequel?) [Retraction! Alba faked her semi-nude shower scene in Machete: she wore a body suit that was CG'd out of the shot! Blasphemy! She owes an apology to the Shannon Tweeds of the world.]
FINAL DESTINATION 5 (Steven Quale, Warner Brothers)
Teen survivors of a suspension-bridge collapse soon begin to fear that there's no way you can cheat Death.
PAUL: I'm fascinated by the life of Devon Sawa...cuz it's not about the destination, it's the journey. Has he been to Detroit? God knows I hope not, but at a tender age he got to paw Jessica Alba's body and has since journeyed through a series of craptastic projects until winding up as a "Cleaner," hitman extraordinaire, on a WB show off all places. Will his travels lead him on a rampage through the rest of that sorry network's array of frilly silly soap operas? How fantastic would it be if he infiltrated every other show in character and set about shooting up the ditzy denizens of 90210 and Gossip Girl town and set One Tree Hill ablaze? Ratings would soar and his final destination would be in my heart! Go Devon Sawa go!
ERIC: The good people at Final Destination, Inc. continue doing the work that needs to be done, killing batches of the conventionally attractive young people that keep moving to Los Angeles trying to be "actors." If it weren't for the Final Destination Corporation, the infestation would be even worse. Keep up the good work.
JOHN: I owe Harlan Ellison a lot. Probably more than any living person in the world I don't actually know. I was introduced to his writing at the exact correct time in my life, as I was turning a hard corner from a miserable and confusing sophomore year of high school into the oncoming traffic of a whirlwind junior year during which I firmly established what until then had been a vague set of priorities: seeing as many movies as I could, reading as many books as I could, and construing what I watched and read into some form of understanding that could help me become a better writer. His work informed not only the kind of things I wanted to write, but the kind of things I wanted to read and the way I wanted to see the world. Which was of course impossible, since Ellison thinks and writes and sees things like no one else ever could.
I think it's important to get that out of the way before I talk about the most embarrassingly bad thing he's ever written. Not that the piece itself is poorly written - it's as fun to read as any of his essays. It just reflects the sort of self-righteous, mean-spirited, out of touch vitroil that, unfortunately, one has to deal with if one plans on reading just about any of Harlan's rants.
Here's the gist of it: Harlan's in a bad mindset. His mother has just died, he's just divorced his third or fourth wife...it's been a bad year. So one night he decides he needs to escape by checking himself into the local cinema. The random movie he happens to choose is Richard Donner's The Omen. When it comes to the somewhat-famous scene (at least to me: I still remember my mom explaining it to me in detail long before I actually saw the movie) in which David Warner has his head removed from the rest of his body by a sheet of glass that shoots off the back of a flatbed truck. Harlan is aghast - if that's a strong enough word - to find the audience hooting and hollering at the screen in response to this gruesome spectacle. Somehow, this experience convinces him that we humans were, as a species, doomed.
As I said, it's as well-written as anything Ellison's ever done. He uses lots of fun syntax and expletives to relate this mortifying experience, especially when it comes to criticizing the body odor of an unsuspecting white trash couple seated beside him who didn't realize when they purchased their tickets and popcorn that they'd signed up to be the subjects of an anthropological study by a surly science fiction writer. And certainly there's a hint of exaggeration as Harlan condemns the human race as one concentrated bloodythirsty crowd at the Roman colosseum cheering for blood (my phrasing, not his.) But there's no ambiguity as to his disgust at the sight of a bunch of yokels enjoying a horror movie: to hear him describe it, he had just witnessed an audience cheering for a live al-Qaeda decapitation. What he seemed to miss, that would elude no one in their right mind, is that this was a harmless case of a crowd of kids being entertained by a movie - a movie about characters who are trying to escape death, and not doing a very good job of it.
I'm not going to break the typical horror movie viewer down psychologically or talk about morbid fascination and the avoidance (I don't say evasion, I say avoidance!) of death being something everyone can related to. We all know we're going to die, so we fight against it. Ellison has written several times about giving death the finger (most notably "The Day I Die"), which makes it all the more bizarre that he couldn't see a theater full of people taken in by the suspense milked from the anticipation of something horrible happening, the tension relieved by a convoluted set piece which allowed the viewers to laugh at death. Ellison knows full well that David Warner wasn't really beheaded - it's a movie, man. The people were delighted by the film's use of effects and demonstrated their approval of a well-executed set piece by whooping and shouting at the screen. Hardly call enough to seriously contemplate "what black pools of emotion had been tapped to draw such a response?" as an appalled Ellison rhetorically inquires.
What's really disappointing is that Ellison used his shagrin at this particular screening as a flimsy pretext to launch a series of essays condemning "knife-kill" movies (a smug academic term he credits to Mick Garris - as if that asshole hadn't already done enough damage to the horror genre with his own terrible films.) He names some forgettable slashers, but goes on to list among those artless films such great ones as The Howling, Mother's Day and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The main target of his ire is Brian De Palma, whose excellent films Dressed to Kill and Blow Out Ellison singles out as "the twisted dreams from the darkest pit in each of us, the stuff against which we fight to maintain ourselves as decent human beings." The real shame is that Ellison then includes one of his most wonderfully-written passages for the purpose of dismissing current popular horror films using as an example of true greatness the classic scene from Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur's The Leopard Man in which a young girl pleads with her mother to open their front door before she's set upon by an escaped leopard. Reading Ellison's description is almost as breathtaking as watching the sequence itself...unfortunately, he uses it as a cheap shot against filmmakers he doesn't feel an iota of respect for.
I'm bringing up this 30-year-old article (literally, it's dated July 1981) because I feel like a lot of peoples' reactions to recent thrillers and horror movies mirror Harlan's diatribe. First there was the obnoxious "torture porn" debate, if you want to call it that, where the more gruesome of movies were accused of being made only for sadists who lock themselves in the closet and masturbate to their favorite scenes of disemboweling and dismemberment. It never occurred to critics of these films that just maybe they were designed so that we emphasize with the victim rather than the tormenter, and root for them to survive even as we giddily witness their karo syrup-sponsored demises. Same with the newly-anointed "death porn" of the Final Destination movies: the characters may not be the best developed or most memorable, but they share with the viewers of their messy ends a profound realization - you can't escape death, but there's no reason not to keep trying.
The Omen isn't a knife-kill (or slasher or splatter) movie because its slayer is abstract: it's not a serial killer but a "series" killer, employing a deceptively incidental Rube Goldberg-esque chain of events set off by the gross hand of fate to annihilate a specific target. The Final Destination films are clearly inspired by The Omen - an unlatched parking brake that seals Warner's fate has evolved into a small puddle of flowing water that runs down the crack of a hard wood floor until it slithers its way to an electronic device which causes a small explosion and sends a knife flying across the room into some poor bastard's chest. The mechanics are the same - Part 3 even acknowledged the Omen influence specifically by having pictures that foreshadowed the way people would die later in the movie (although confusingly, the pictures are taken prior to the tragedy they all manage to avoid and successfully "cheat"...oh well) - but on an even more complex scale employing the very elements leading to an unnatural death (timing, coincidence, geography etc.) The more aware the people become of their harbingers of doom, the higher the anticipation of what horror will befall them. Like the little girl who watched in shock as the leopard moved forward to claim her (I'm not concocting that influence - there's a character in the first movie named Val Lewton - in part 4 there's a dog named Browning), dread is the ubiquitious presence that keeps the audience wondering what piece of The Everyday will deliever the coup de grâce. The fireworks? The nail gun?? The barb wire???
Even more than their excellent manipulation of audience anticipation, the series just understands people and what makes them wince. Part 4 includes the unsettling cutting/scraping of nails scene that Aronofsky borrowed in the Oscar-winning Black Swan. Fears largely considered overzealous in everyday life - a trip to the dentist's office, a ride on a roller coaster, shoelaces caught in the escalator, laser eye surgery in the new movie - are brilliantly incorporated into the characters' flippant attitude towards death that could literally be waiting on the floor of a swimming pool (in a scene which becomes even scarier given the recent recall of pool drains that have been sucking kids underwater.) Admittedly, the people trying to survive are kind of generic. The series has as much respect for character background as Renny Harlin when he had Sam Jackson snatched up in the jaws of a smart shark. But when you consider what each of them is - a would-be facelss statistic from a plane crash or freak accident - their blandness actually adds a new level to the films. Have these people done enough with their lives to warrant second chances? Or do their racists (part 4), alcoholics (parts 1 and 4) and shallow jocks (parts 1, 2, 3 and 4) get what's coming to them in a warped sequence of natural selection?
I do remember enjoying the last Final Destination in the theater but then feeling underwhelmed in retrospect, so I watched it again the other day. Immediately I realized, Ah - here's the problem: the race track opening is simply not as epic or griping an opening set piece as the freeway crash from 2 or the roller coaster in 3. It's not, but it is the perfect way to open this movie because it seems to address these same issues I have with detractors who claim the only people interested in seeing these movies are those who fetishize the gory kills and wallow in their tastlessness (I'd hate to read what Harlan had to say about them.) The main characters at the track chide their friend for only attending because he wants to see a crash, although they're clearly not being honest about the callousness of their own morbid fascination - for one of the two females, it's just a "study break" to witness any potential destruction and loss of life on the motorway. In a few moments, all spectactors, like those at a 3D movie* later in the film, will be punished. I'm not saying director David R. Ellis was making a Haneke-style comment on the Final Destination audience; far from it. He's just pointing out that sensationalism and violence are things that human beings are naturally drawn to: a combination of wanting to witness death without falling prey to it and disrespecting its design (and, by hat, the sanctity of life) as a way of renouncing it. What makes the movies of this series fun to watch is what the characters do once death's hand is on their shoulder. Some try to evade their fates, others deny that death is in store for them, and there's always someone who thinks the whole thing is too ridiculous to take seriously...a surrogate for those despisable audience members at the screening of The Omen attended by Harlan Ellison: scared of death like any of us, they make light of the grave situation.
So there are skull icons you use to flip chapters on part 4's dvd. So the visual references to 9/11 and the James Byrd murder are a little uncomfortable. So there's an amazing x-ray title sequence in that movie highlighting the famous death sequences from the first 3 films that may seem irreverent to anyone who's ever lost somebody to a terrible accident. Are these things really evidence against the Final Destination franchise's sense of humanity? Why don't these well-crafted, fun films get any respect? Entertainment Weekly's so unfamiliar with the series, in their blurb for the new one they talk about Tony Todd being in the movie like he wasn't in the first two (and had a voice cameo at the end of 3 - there's a cryptic bum in part 4 that feels like it was written for him.) I just don't get it...it's just the people out there who, like Harlan Ellison, only find it possible to distinguish real life from cinema when the movie includes no gory scenes. I don't want to feel like one of the sick weirdoes from Cronenberg's Crash when I tell folks I'm really excited for part 5.
I do hope they play with the formula just a little bit, change up the way characters try to manipulate death's design. I'm intrigued, for example, by how one character in part 4 tries to kill himself but can't do it because it's not his turn to die. What if a character in the new movie figured this out early and exploited the loophole to become invincible? I wouldn't mind them explaining why the lead characters in the last four films had these preminitions that initially saved their lives and the lives of their companions. They could bring back Frankie Cheeks, who was spared in the "Choose Their Fate" option of the dvd** and could continue to charm the ladies away. Or I hope they end Part 5 with a Cube Zero-esque twist ending (I guess it would technically be called "the prequel twist") that brings everything back to Flight 180. Since the characters always end up not cheating death after all in the epilogue, it would just be so fitting for the Part 5 survivors to board the plane and cut to black. That's the beauty of a series like this that goes on as long as it has - at this point, it can play with the plot without hurting the integrity of the original trilogy. And I want the series to prosper, well into the DTV stage and beyond...I have my scenario for part 12, which is a prequel set at the beginning of the 20th century and involves frustrated magicians, Native American shamen and the origin of Tony Todd's Billy Bludworth, typed up and ready to go into production.
* I can't say enough about the genius of having a 3D movie within a 3D movie, and having a 3D explosion be an actual explosion that kills the audience. Compare this to Inglorious Basterds - who's the real morally bankrupt filmmaker here? Are we honestly supposed to be excited about a movie theater explosion that kills everyone in the audience who, through whatever complicated reasons, is involved with the occupying Nazi force? Are you telling me there's really no grey area there at all?
** "Choose Their Fate!" This series is in the giddy tradition of William Castle - I absolutely love it.
OUR IDIOT BROTHER (Jesse Peretz, Weinstein Company)
A pot bust sends nice-guy Ned (Paul Rudd) to jail, and though he's released early on good behavior, he returns home to discover that his girlfriend has left and taken his dog with her. Homeless and unemployed, he divides his time by couch-surfing at the homes of his three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer) - and causing chaos in each of their lives.
PAUL: The Rudd returns, surrounded by three ladies as usual, but this time, they're related! Ho ho! The summer romcom gets a real twist with incest. The film festivals were abuzz with talk of the family reunion turned orgy scene. Will such debauchery play in the sticks? I've never bet against Rudd's charm before, and I'm sure as fuck not going to start now, you cunts!
ERIC: Rudd! Good. Coogan! Good. "From the people who brought you Little Miss Sunshine."
JOHN: Looks like a slightly less spaced version of Rudd's Sarah Marshall character plugged into You Me and Dupree. I know I keep comparing these summer movies to ones that have come before, but I feel like that must be the studio head mentality: "Well, Dupree underperformed but that was a winning formula. Let's try it again with whatisname from that big successful comedy set in Hawaii." I love the Rudd, I support the Rudd, so me seeing this uninspired dreck from the director of The Ex (that romcom with Zach Braff, Amanda Peet, Jason Bateman, Donal Logue, Amy Adams and probably some other people I'd like to see set on a sail barge and cast away to the open sea) is not out of the question. The real question is, why can't Rudd get the fuck away from Elizabeth Banks? Somehow she's been riding the Rudd wave from the beginning, and has manged to keep clinging on. She's like a leach.
As for Zooey Deschanel, the awkward girl I fell in love with watching All the Real Girls who has since come to respresent the worst in indie-hipster nihilism and is now on a goddamn sitcom...let me put it this way, I'm not peeping on her anymore.
COLOMBIANA (Olivier Megaton, Stage 6 Films)
Cataleya Restrepo (Zoe Saldana), who was raised in the U.S. by her uncle to be a top-tier assassin, looks to settle with the Colombian drug lord who executed her parents when she was 10 years old.
PAUL: From the land of coffee and curves we get a string bean Star Trek reject? Now I don't mind Miss Saldana, and I do appreciate a tall chick, but for the love of Juan Valdez was it too much to ask for a pair of boobies? Shakira, Sofia, Saldana...which of those three doesn't fit? And don't bring up the Losers...they cast Chris Evans as a dweeb for chrissakes, and Saldana was also in a movie that featured both Luke Wilson and Martin Lawrence and somehow it wasn't good! She's film poison in other words. I like the plot of this film however and it is my hope that the folks who made it had the good sense to populate the drug lord's harem with many many Colombian lovelies from the various telenovelas I find myself drawn to, when taking a break from my herculean humanitarian efforts. That Echevarria chick for instance, or that other one with the bosom, and then there is that chick with the nice belly...you know the one I'm talking about...
ERIC: Nothing like a good old-fashioned Female Assassin flick to close out the summer.
JOHN: Luc Besson wants to go down in history as the auteur whose visual motif is rail thin chicks who can shoot giant guns and kick the shit out of guys 3 to 5 times their size. He started off good with Nikita and The Professional, but over the years it's gotten harder and harder to accept that 90-pound-soaking-wet international model-cum-movie stars like Milla and Katie Nauta could physically harm anybody, let alone lift a huge machine gun. Not that I'm not for girl power and all that, it's just so fucking played that it actually feels refreshing to see an action movie with a young lady shrieking helplessly in the background while the men (or large women) punch and shoot it out. Am I alone in wishing screenwriters were a little less lazy and could maybe have an action heroine use her brain (and maybe other under-utilized parts of her body) to defeat the physically-imposing bad guys? Cuz "get this: they think she's frail and helpless but actually she's a badass!" has just become such an obvious short cut to developing a cool female action character. And if you have to produce a script like that, at least cast Michelle Yeoh. I'm tired of the Uma Thurmans, Kate Beckinsales and Zoe Saldanas of the world unconvincingly portraying tough chicks. What we need are more Pamela Reeds ("Not so tough withoutcher car, are ya?")
Saldana is also just such an unappealing actress for Hollywood to be pushing. I'll be staying home the day this one gets released, repeating to myself: "Only one week 'til Shark Night 3D, only one week 'til Shark Night 3D, only one week til Shark Night 3D..."
<<Previous Page 1 2 Next Page>>
home about contact us featured writings years in review film productions
All rights reserved The Pink Smoke © 2011