“Are you tellin us that you’re gonna arrest a guy for bein a plumber? Get outta here!”
May 28, 1993
Okay, look. I’m not claiming to know a better way to make a live action movie based on a video game about an Italian plumber eating mushrooms, punching bricks and murdering hundreds and hundreds of turtles but also collecting coins while trying to rescue a princess. And seeing how directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel reimagine the world of the famous Nintendo game as a dystopic Manhattan in an alternate dimension where people evolved out of dinosaurs is the closest thing to fun this movie has to offer.
In the story of Snow White, if you remember, the huntsman is the guy who the evil queen sends to bring Snow White out into the woods and murder her. He’s gonna do it, ’cause work is work, but then he looks at her and falls in love with her beauty or is touched by her innocence or what have you and he just doesn’t have the stomach to, you know, cut open her stomach. (If she was ugly this would be a shorter tale). The Queen wants to know for sure the girl is dead but probly thinks it would be rude to make this guy haul back the whole body, so as a compromise she asks him to bring back some organs (lungs and liver in the original, heart in the Disney version) so he carves up a pig and brings her impostor parts.
In this new movie-fication of the story the huntsman (Chris THOR Hemsworth) has to go find Snow White (Kristen PANIC ROOM Stewart) in the woods and bring the heart back to the Queen (Charlize Theron) because she needs it to magically stay young forever. He doesn’t know who the girl is and there’s not much tension like he’s really gonna kill her, he just doesn’t do it and then they travel on one of those slow, boring fantasy journeys occasionally enlivened by monster appearances. No pigs are harmed. (read the rest of this shit…)
I guess I got a nuanced view on these Robert Zemeckis “mo-cap” movies. I think he’s kind of delusional if he really thinks this is the future of movies, and I was complaining about the creepiness of attempted realism in POLAR EXPRESS (and earlier in FINAL FANTASY) long before it was a common complaint with the name “uncanny valley.” When it comes to being creeped out by dead-eyed computer animation, I’m NWA and mainstream critics are Ja Rule or somebody.
On the other hand, I kind of love POLAR EXPRESS and BEOWULF and paid to see both of them twice in the theater. Never on DVD, but I’d gladly go back to see either if they were re-released in 3-D again. I love the strong atmosphere of these worlds that Zemeckis creates, and the way he moves the camera around them. I guess here he’s God and the only way He knows to show us things is through His perspective, so we can float through every crack or groove on a wall or hover high into the sky looking down on the settings and characters like they’re ants in our ant farm. (read the rest of this shit…)
This is just your typical martial arts vehicle where the star (in this case Jet Li) has been raised like an animal in a cage and wears a collar and he’s trained by Bob Hoskins so that when the collar comes off he goes ape shit and beats the holy living fuck out of people that owe Bob Hoskins money. But then obviously he meets a blind piano tuner played by a respected Oscar winning actor (in this case Morgan Freeman) who teaches him about music and then the piano tuner’s stepdaughter teaches him to eat ice cream and then she gets her braces taken off so he becomes non-violent and refuses to fight in high stakes death matches.
Actually come to think of it this is not a typical martial arts movie at all, it’s pretty fuckin weird and that’s what I liked about it. Despite HERO I’m still pretty skeptical of new Jet Li movies, especially when he’s speaking the english type language. This is a good not great movie, but it’s a great move for Mr. Li because he plays a distinct character, he really gets to act, he fights in a different style and he even gets to put a sincere anti-violence message in there. (read the rest of this shit…)
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