Hope you have more fun at your party than Lana.
Go, Clark, go!
Hope you have more fun at your party than Lana.
Go, Clark, go!
One Missed Call: This plot’s been done to death, but I haven’t seen any of the previous versions because frankly they looked like they sucked. The trailer for this one actually looks creepy though.
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale: Oh, it’s gonna suck. It’s gonna suck hard. And yet, knowing that, I feel compelled to look. I know I’m gonna hate myself, but I just can’t look away.
27 Dresses: Even though I like the occasional romantic comedy, there’s no reason for me to think this’ll be one of them except for Katherine Heigl and James Marsden. Especially Marsden. Heigl reminds me of Grey’s Anatomy, which always brings me joy, but Cyclops is becoming one of my favorite actors.
The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie: This sounds like the biggest sell-out in the world, but we’re a Veggie Tales-loving family (it’s all about Larry and the French peas) and, hey, it’s the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.
Cloverfield: I’m still not really excited about the hand-held camera concept, but it’s a giant monster movie. How could I not go?
Be Kind Rewind: (limited release) The poster for this did nothing for me because frankly I’d like to pretend that VHS never existed, but the trailer sold me with all the no-budget remakes of classic movies.
Rambo: I don’t care if it sucks. If they made a new Commando movie, I’d go see it too. But after Rocky Balboa’s good reception (I still haven’t seen it, but I heard nothing bad), my hopes are up for this.
I have mixed feelings about Chloe’s joining the supporting cast of Superman comics. On the one hand, it’s something I’ve been hoping to see since about the second season of Smallville. On the other hand, the whole reason I love the character so much was because of her unrelenting loyalty to Clark even though he didn’t return her feelings, and that’s exactly the thing they’re taking away from her comics version.
It’s probably not a coincidence that I’ve become less and less interested in Smallville since Chloe moved on from Clark and started dating Jimmy Olsen either.
Gettin’ some Action
Here’s another one I’ve got mixed feelings about, but this time for purely selfish reasons. I pitched Moonstone on their new Captain Action license and lost out to Fabian Nicieza. Which is no reason to be embarrassed, for sure. But part of me is curious to see what Nicieza came up with, and the other part is naturally thinking that there’s no way it could be as cool as mine. Either way though, I’m really curious to check out the #0 issue in April.
After the first AvP, I remember thinking that except for a couple of glitches it made for a pretty good Predator movie. The girl running around Antarctica in a tank top was ridiculous and I wish they hadn’t bleeped The Line to get the PG-13 rating, but whatever. The Predators kicked ass and I enjoyed myself.
Requiem is just the opposite. In this one, the Predators get the shaft and the Aliens are the stars. It picks up right where the last one left off with the Alien-Predator hybrid attacking the ship and causing it to crash near a small town in Colorado. Across the galaxy, an alarm goes off and a single Predator rushes off to his space ship to… Well, I’m not really sure what he’s trying to do.
Is he damage control? Does he just see a great hunting opportunity? Either way, I’m not really sure why he goes by himself. He certainly ends up needing the help, but then, he also shows that he’s not the brightest Predator on the block. As soon as he’s on Earth he gets snuck up on by a cop, and later on he’s walking on a mesh catwalk and can’t see the Alien hanging from the underside directly beneath him. Actually, it all kind of makes sense if he’s sort of the Snapper Carr of the Predators, stuck on monitor duty when the alarm comes in and stupidly rushing off by himself with the deluded notion that he can handle it. But it doesn’t make for a very cool Predator movie. They don’t even say The Line. It’s rated “R,” so they could’ve, but they didn’t. Very disappointing.
As an Alien movie though, it’s pretty good. There’s a great ensemble cast of small town citizens, including Michelle from 24 as a soldier who’s just returned from Iraq. Michelle was one of three reasons I stuck with 24 as long as I did, so it was very cool watching her again, even if her military skills were put to use mostly as a driver and pilot rather than the machine-gun toting Alien-killer she should have been.
As in any good Alien movie, characters start getting face-hugged, bit, impaled, and burned by acid blood pretty quickly, leaving the rest of them to try to escape town alive. That’s all I’ll say about the plot, except that it’s a great formula that works. The Alien movies are all best when they stick to it.
There are some huge plot holes that keep Requiem from being as good as Alien or Aliens, but it’s a much more exciting movie than Alien 3 and doesn’t meander off into complete stupidity like Alien Resurrection.
Three out of five chest bursts.
Yet another image from Golden Age Comic Book Stories.
Okay, this reminds me a little of when Ross claimed that he came up with the “Got Milk?” campaign, but the villain from Hellboy 2 looks exactly like an old D&D character of mine. I’ve always wanted to use that character in a fantasy novel, but now it’ll look like I ripped him off from Hellboy.
Still… way looking forward to seeing him on the big screen though.
It had been a while since I watched my copy of the Douglas Fairbanks version of The Three Musketeers, so when The Iron Mask showed up from Netflix I decided to watch it again. It’s also been a while since I read Dumas’ Three Musketeers, but I think I remember enough of it to compare.
Fairbanks is a brilliant D’Artagnan, who’s never been one of my favorite heroes. The literary D’Artagnan eventually grows into a character I don’t mind, but as he begins the book, he’s cocky, unduly arrogant, and quick-tempered. He also chases married women, but Dumas doesn’t portray that so much as D’Artagnan’s particular fault as it is a general failing in seventeenth century French morals. But regardless, D’Artagnan’s rather a lout and Fairbanks plays him perfectly as one.
The movie’s pretty faithful to what it includes of Dumas’ story. It leaves out a bunch of Milady de Winter’s backstory and focuses primarily on the intrigue of Richelieu and King Louis’s trying to catch Queen Anne in adultery with England’s Duke of Buckingham. Anne is portrayed as being loyal to her vows, but interested enough in Buckingham that she gives him a jeweled brooch as a remembrance. When Richelieu finds out, he has Louis demand that Anne wear the piece to an upcoming ball. Constance, Anne’s seamstress, happens to be D’Artagnan’s love interest and asks D’Artagnan to travel to England to retrieve the brooch in time for the ball. When Richelieu learns of Constance’s plan, he sends soldiers to hunt down D’Artagnan and the musketeers while Milady de Winter races to England to try to secure the brooch first.
Which is all more or less how the book goes except for — like I said — a lot of extra details and backstory. And Constance’s husband from the book becomes her uncle in the movie in order to make D’Artagnan not completely irredeemable. Nigel De Brulier is a perfect Richelieu, who manages to come off as simultaneously commanding and weaselly. Barbara La Marr is also suitably charming and dangerous as Milady, and Boyd Irwin is a wonderfully sinister Comte de Rochefort.
The action is all great, and like most of the really physical silent movies, you don’t appreciate how amazing the stunts and fights are unless you stop to think about what you’ve just seen. On the Iron Mask DVD are some outtakes of Fairbanks trying several times to make a particularly difficult jump. It’s a very cool scene in the movie, but the outtakes really drive home how fantastic it was.
My only complaint about the movie is that the ending is anti-climactic. I’m going to say why, so SPOILER WARNING for the rest of this paragraph. My recollection of the book is that Richelieu is thwarted by D’Artagnan and the musketeers, but through a combination of their own cunning and Louis’ protection, Richelieu can’t harm them or their co-conspirators. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that, but it doesn’t affect what I didn’t like about the movie, which is that Richelieu pretty much just concedes defeat and congratulates the good guys for outwitting him. The End. It actually sets up Richelieu’s characterization in The Iron Mask rather well, but it makes for a pretty lame ending to the first movie.
Four out of five scandalous affairs.
The first half of The Iron Mask pretty much picks up where the previous movie leaves off and fills in some of the backstory and completes some of the details from the novel that had been left out, especially the end of the novel and the resolution to the Milady storyline. At the same time, we get some setup for events that are going to take place in the last half of the movie, which is the Man in the Iron Mask plot.
I haven’t read Dumas’ version of the story, so all I have to compare it to is the 1998 version, which I love. I don’t know which is most faithful to the novel, but I like the ‘98 version better because of how it handles the twin brothers and their relationships with D’Artagnan. Also, the ‘98 version tells you a lot more about what Athos, Porthos, and Aramis have been up to since their military days. In The Iron Mask, they’re disbanded by Richelieu (played again by Nigel De Brulier) and inexplicably stay disbanded, even after Richelieu’s death, until D’Artagnan needs them, sends for them, and they show up for one last fight together.
SPOILER WARNING. The Iron Mask ends with the death of all four musketeers, which you’d think would be sad, but is done in a really uplifting, exciting way. D’Artagnan is the last to go and as everyone gathers around his body, his spirit joins those of the three musketeers as they encourage him to join them in continuing adventures in the afterlife. “The Beginning,” the end title says. And we believe it. END OF SPOILER.
I mentioned above that Richelieu’s character is played a bit differently in the second movie , so I’ll finish by explaining that. In Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and pretty much every movie version I’ve seen, Richelieu is a slimy and conniving, but dangerous enemy. His motivation is that he wants to rule France from behind the king. He wants to be in charge and we aren’t told that that’s for any other reason than that he’s a megalomaniac.
I don’t know if he changes through the course of Dumas’ novels, but I really like that The Iron Mask adds another dimension to him. According to this movie, he’s motivated not by his love for power, but by his love for France and his realization that Louis isn’t strong enough to rule adequately on his own. Louis’ bound to be influenced by someone and Richelieu wants it to be by a patriot rather than a foreigner like Anne. Every ruthless thing Richelieu does is for the good of the country and we suspect that even D’Artagnan starts to see that in his later years. It also explains why Richelieu didn’t take revenge on D’Artagnan and Company at the end of the first movie: it wouldn’t have benefited France to lose four such capable men, who were patriots in their own right.
Oh, one more thing. The music in the Kino DVD of The Iron Mask is amazing. The Three Musketeers soundtrack is okay, but it feels a bit generic. The Iron Mask soundtrack was obviously scored particularly for the film and enhances the emotions of the film like you’d expect any good soundtrack to do. It even includes cymbal crashes when D’Artagnan breaks through windows.
Four out of five secret entrances to hidden castle prisons.
Filed Under lord of the rings
I’m taking a post-Christmas chill day, so enjoy a singing elf and some dancing hobbits. Real posting resumes tomorrow.