Archive for the ‘shyamalan’ Category
Filed Under robots, scifi, shyamalan, spies, wanted
Did a lot of catching up at the movies this week.
As promised in the trailers: very cute and sweet. I was hoping for more than cute or sweet though, like with Ratatouille, Toy Story 2 or Finding Nemo. All of those movies touched me. They made me re-feel things I’d forgotten about. The robots weren’t able to do that for me. I liked them all and wanted them to be okay, but they didn’t tell me anything about me, so I didn’t like it as much as some other Pixar stuff I’ve seen.
Also, I have serious questions about life on that spaceship.
Four out of five Fred Willards.
Not at all what I expected, but I still really liked it. I’ve never watched Get Smart, but I imagined it was sort of like Inspector Gadget or the Pink Panther movies. I figured Maxwell Smart was one of those incompetent heroes who managed to bumble and slapstick their way to successfully closing cases. Steve Carell’s Maxwell Smart actually knows what he’s doing most of the time, but things just don’t always go his way.
The funniest bits were in the trailer, so I was disappointed in it as a comedy. I was pleasantly surprised though about how well it worked as a straight – if lighthearted – spy movie. Everyone in it was awesome from Carell to the Rock to Alan Arkin (who had way more to do than I thought he would) to Anne Hathaway.
Four out of five swordfish.
I like the premise. This would’ve made an awesome B-movie in the tradition of Day of the Animals or The Day of the Triffids. Absolutely nothing wrong with the plot. What’s wrong with it is all in the execution.
Shyamalan takes the movie way too seriously and tries so hard to ground it in reality – to make us feel what it would be like if this really happened – that he achieves the opposite effect. The performances practically quiver with the strain of looking sincere in the ridiculousness of the situation. I wanted so much to lose myself in the story, but the dialogue and the acting were so forced and fake that I never could.
Two out of five killer plants.
After seeing Wanted, I truly believe that if you sling your gun just right while pulling the trigger, you can curve a bullet. Okay, maybe not, but my problem with Wanted has nothing to do with unbelievability. My suspension of disbelief is quite healthy and the movie did nothing to compromise it. The story stayed true to the internal logic it set up for itself and it was a darn fine story besides. There were plenty of surprises and everyone stayed in character, even when doing so wasn’t the easiest choice for the movie to make.
My complaint is about the main character. The movie goes to such great extents to portray Wesley as a loser in the first act that it succeeds too well. I didn’t feel sorry for him; I pretty much hated him and felt like he was getting exactly what he deserved out of life. He was such a pushover and let people walk all over him to the point that I finally figured, “If this guy doesn’t care about himself, why should I?”
The movie eventually overcomes that flaw by turning Wesley into someone I like and can root for, but then drops the ball at the end by having him go back and revisit his old life from his new perspective. I’d rather he have left that life behind completely, but he still cares enough about the jerks who’ve made his life miserable that he feels he has to go back and prove himself to them.
If Superman was created as wish-fulfillment fantasy for kids, Wanted is wish-fulfillment fantasy for the cubicle set. If I hated my life as much as Wesley does, I might like Wanted more. I might feel challenged by the final line of the movie instead of thinking it sounded hollow and stupid.
Still, lots of cool action sequences, a really smart plot, and the movie raises some interesting questions about things like faith and loyalty.
Four out of five super-bullets.
All in all, not a bad week at the movies.
Filed Under hulk, robots, shyamalan, spies, talking animals, wanted
Oops. I forgot to do this earlier. Here’s what looks good this month at the movies.
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan: The Michael May from early June was way looking forward to a movie with a laugh-out-loud trailer in which Adam Sandler plays a bullet-catching super-spy. That’s the only reason I’m listing it. The current Michael May is hearing that it’s even worse than Little Nicky. That’s impossible, but my interest in it is still severely diminished. Still, I’ll give it a look on DVD and find out for myself.
Mongol: (Limited release) I know precious little about Genghis Khan, but I’ve always been curious about him. Plus, the trailer for this looks amazing.
Kung Fu Panda: Already saw it. It was exactly what I expected: a fun movie about anthropomorphic animals kicking each others butts as only CGI martial artists can. The theater where we saw it lost sound for about ten minutes, but I liked it enough that I’m interested in sitting through it again to fill in what I missed.
The Incredible Hulk: Seen it. Liked it.
The Happening: This is another one that I’m less excited to see now that it’s been out and people aren’t saying very nice things about it. Then again, people tend not to say nice things about Shyamalan movies and I tend to like his stuff anyway. Still, I was hoping that the buzz would be more positive.
Get Smart: Everything about this looks hilarious. Steve Carrell and the Rock can do no wrong anyway, but even Anne Hathaway – whom I can usually take or leave – looks very, very takeable here.
WALL-E: I’m not as excited about this as I think I should be (too much emphasis on the Cute in the marketing probably), but it’s Pixar and I trust them.
Wanted: Now this I’m excited about. And only a little because it’s Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. Mainly it’s the level of energy I’ve seen in the trailers. I’m expecting great things.
What looks good to you?
Filed Under cyblade, guardians of the galaxy, hulk, josh fialkov, joshua ortega, man with no name, mr. t, necromancer, rocket raccoon, shyamalan, westerns, where the wild things are, yondu
Guardians of the Galaxy
I’ve never been fond of Marvel’s science fiction comics until this whole Annihilation thing. Their scifi stuff has always been too “cosmic” and mystical. Too caught up in exploring the Mysteries of the Universe. Annihilation though is all space opera and robot wars and infiltrating impenetrable fortresses and secret labs hidden in suns. It’s awesome.
So, I’m glad that it’s going to continue in an ongoing series. And that it’s going to include the “new,” steampunk Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon. I’d forgotten that the original Guardians of the Galaxy took place in an alternate future, so that doesn’t bode well for Yondu’s making an appearance in this version, but according to this interview, “during the first arc, we get two extra (and big surprise) additions to the mainstay.” And — just to tease me — they mention Yondu as a possibility. Of course, they also mention Mr. Rogers and Alf. Can’t wait to see who it really is.
What could be better than a new Mr. T comic?
One lettered in Comics Sans, that’s what!
Oscar night is almost here
Amaze your pool by having actually seen the nominees for Best Animated Short.
You win some; you lose some
I’m disappointed that Josh Ortega’s Necromancer isn’t one of the new series to come out of Top Cow’s “Pilot Season” event. But I’m very glad that Josh Fialkov’s Cyblade is. Josh turned a comic about a Psylocke rip-off into a very cool spy story.
Where the Wild Things Are
Catwoman writer Will Pfeifer’s day job is the movie critic for The Rockford Register Star. He’s got some concerns about the live-action version of Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are. That picture there makes me feel really good about the movie, so hopefully the rumors causing Pfeifer to worry are untrue.
Man with No Name comics
Dynamite’s series based on the classic Clint Eastwood character picks up where The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly left off.
I like reading The Comics Reporter for its thoughtful insights into the comics industry
But sometimes, Tom Spurgeon just makes me laugh.
M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening
I’ve enjoyed all of Shyamalan’s stuff more than the average person, but there’s a part of me that’s still wanting to recapture the experiences of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I’d love for this to be it.
Filed Under RASL, fantasy, fantasy crime squad, firefly, scifi, shyamalan, where the wild things are
Dark Horse has released information about their new Serenity mini-series co-written by Joss Whedon:
“Joss Whedon returns to the world of his blockbuster film Serenity with the three-issue comics series Better Days. Better Days revisits everyone’s favorite space cowboys in this thrilling, action-packed adventure, with Mal and his crew on a heist that promises a big payoff — what’s surprising is that this heist just might make good on that promise. Whedon reunites with Brett Matthews and Will Conrad, his collaborators on the best-selling 2005 series Those Left Behind. Adam Hughes joins the team for covers.”
The series takes place before the movie and will be on sale in comics stores on Mar 12.
(Also at that link, check out the Frankenstein’s Monster bust. Not half bad.)
Jeff Smith (Bone) has a 6-page preview of his new crime/adventure series RASL. I love Sims’ take on the series: “Of course, given that I can’t read the title without thinking of the word ‘wrestle,’ there probably won’t be quite as many steel chairs and/or ladder matches as I’d like. Still pretty exciting, though.”
Fantasy Crime Squad
Oh, wow. You gotta check out this image from Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos’ Fantasy Crime Squad. Ramos describes it as “soon to be in pre-production,” so I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it, but when it does eventually come out, it looks gooooooood.
Where the Wild Things Are, etc.
Heidi’s got stills from a bunch of upcoming WB movies, including the first I’ve seen from Where the Wild Things Are. There are also some from Speed Racer and The Dark Knight that have been making the Internet rounds.
M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening
I know it’s in vogue not to like Shyamalan anymore, but I’m still a believer. I don’t really like the title of The Happening, and the poster is pretentious, but I’ll look forward to seeing the movie.