URBAN LEGEND (1998) is, to my mind, one of the most “obviously we’re making this because of the success of SCREAM” horror movies that exists. It’s another young-people-whodunit-slasher, with a similarly constituted cast of pretty young movie and TV stars, but instead of killings inspired by horror movie tropes, these ones are based on popular urban myths. At the time I think I took it as dumb but pretty enjoyable, which is also how I feel about it now, and about many non-classic slasher movies. Like most of them it benefits from age – it’s a time capsule now rather than the latest the genre has to offer, so we have different expectations for it. (read the rest of this shit…)
Posts Tagged ‘Jared Leto’
MORBIUS is a movie I have been semi-anticipating. Not because I expected it to be particularly good, but because I have an interest in these sort of misbegotten wannabe blockbusters that seem already rejected by the public by the time it’s too late for the studio to turn back. I’m talking about movies that are the kind of pulpy lowbrow crap I enjoy, but seem somewhat misguided or clueless about what the public wants in such a movie, and therefore might do something kind of interesting. I think of them as big budget b-movies, as discussed in my review for SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS. Although I waited for video on that one I tend to see them at sparsely attended matinees – that’s what I did for STEALTH, KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, HERCULES, ROBIN HOOD and THE LAST WITCH HUNTER.
I did kind of enjoy this thing, but I think I got more out of all of the above mentioned movies. This one’s officially a part of Sony’s In Association With Marvel Cinematic Universe with VENOM and VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE, and I think it’s a little less clunky than those on a narrative level, but not as good because it lacks the magic of Tom Hardy having a blast playing two bickering characters inhabiting one shapeshifting body. It does have the novelty of an Academy Award winning weirdo serious actor (Jared Leto, URBAN LEGEND) who’s usually in a supporting role trying to carry a questionable mainstream franchise on his shoulders. (read the rest of this shit…)
Well, it really happened. When last we saw the movie JUSTICE LEAGUE, it was credited to director Zack Snyder – who had left the movie unfinished due to a family tragedy, and amid creative battles with the studio – but was known to have been heavily rewritten and reshot by SPEED script doctor Joss Whedon. Although I called it a “perfectly watchable, okay super hero romp” it was poorly reviewed and did not do the gangbusters business Warner Brothers had hoped for. The studio continued with related characters in AQUAMAN, BIRDS OF PREY and WONDER WOMAN 1984, but seemed to abandon hopes for their own AVENGERS.
Meanwhile, a group of Snyder Riders petitioned, hash-tagged, billboarded and sky-wrote for the company to “release the Snyder Cut,” the fabled vastly different pre-reshoots director’s cut of the film. As time went on, the movement seemed increasingly pestering and delusional, but it persisted until somebody at AT&T or somewhere got the notion that the corporation could promote their new streaming service HBOMax by releasing this Snyder Cut thing on it.
One small complication: it didn’t exist. Snyder had left before he was able to finish the movie, as had been reported all along. So they invested a reported $70 million (more than the entire budget of Marvel’s THE NEW MUTANTS) for Snyder to complete the FX and the edit, add a couple new things and a new score. And since who gives a fuck anymore they let him pretty much do what he wanted this time, and what he wanted was to make it 4 hours long (about 14 minutes longer than LAWRENCE OF ARABIA) and in a 4:3 aspect ratio as an homage to MID90S and MEEK’S CUTOFF. (read the rest of this shit…)
I don’t know about you, but for me it’s hard to imagine a better sequel to BLADE RUNNER than BLADE RUNNER 2049, especially after seeing Ridley Scott’s two interesting but sloppy prequels to ALIEN. Here Scott acts as producer, wisely handing the reins over to Denis Villeneuve (PRISONERS, ENEMY, SICARIO, ARRIVAL), so we get the gorgeous visuals and elliptical philosophizing, but with a stronger narrative and more coherent ideas than Scott prefers these days. It couldn’t exist without building on the 1982 film’s world and style and feel, of course, so I’m not saying it’s better, but to me this detective lead and the mystery he’s solving are much more absorbing than the earlier version.
Not that it’s trying to be accessible. Doesn’t seem too long to me, but it’s 2 hours and 43 minutes, or one DAWN OF THE DEAD plus a sitcom including commercials plus 6 more minutes. It’s mostly slow and quiet, though Benjamin Wallfisch (IT) and Hans Zimmer (BROKEN ARROW)’s Vangelis-inspired score sometimes builds to a tempest, and a few great action beats spring up among its handfuls of violence. What excites me most, though, are the simple atmospheric touches, like the gentle burble of a pot of garlic boiling on the stove as fugitive replicant Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN) is ambushed by an intruder sitting quietly in the dark, confronting him calmly.
It’s K (Ryan Gosling, ONLY GOD FORGIVES), an LAPD detective who is (opening scene spoiler) himself a “skin job,” but working to track down all remaining replicants that aren’t programmed to die. His powers of observation on this case lead him to a shocking discovery that “breaks the world” according to his boss Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright, BEOWULF), so she assigns him to cover it up. To maintain order. (read the rest of this shit…)
For many years, Warner Brothers had pretty good luck making Batman and Superman movies. With SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE they pretty much invented the comic book movie. With BATMAN they reinvigorated it. Sure, there were those Joel Schumacher movies that put the whole venture in peril, but then they took the genre to the next level when they let Christopher Nolan start over and do his very successful and influential trilogy. They’ve had more hits than misses, I think.
But now the rival Marvel Comics company has their whole interconnected movie universe thing, and everybody’s gonna be jealous of their neighbor’s sports car, I guess, so WB is trying to do one of those for DC Comics. So far this has caused excitement followed by disappointment.
But the upside is that because they’re desperate to show off all these characters they own they went for the cool idea of SUICIDE SQUAD, a comic where a bunch of the villains from other comics are taken out of prison and forced on dangerous missions for the government, DIRTY DOZEN or Snake Plissken style. Popular bad guy characters are able to be enjoyed as anti-heroes, and get some amount of redemption for that time when they tried to rob a bank but the Flash caught them or whatever. The movie version is written and directed by David Ayer. That’s the guy who used to be known for writing TRAINING DAY, but more recently he’s come into his own as a writer/director with END OF WATCH, SABOTAGE and FURY. He can also brag that he has a writing credit on THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS. (read the rest of this shit…)
I saw all the best picture nominees this year, an old family tradition. I actually completed the check list a while back. It was easier than usual because I only had two I hadn’t seen at the time of the nominations, and only one of those I hadn’t been planning to see already. There was also one nominee I watched a long time ago but didn’t review. So for the sake of completism I’ll write a few words about those last three before tomorrow/tonight’s Oscar rituals are performed. (read the rest of this shit…)
Here’s a great idea for a movie: a comedy about gun running. A movie that asks what kind of a soul-less, inhuman bastard gets rich supplying weapons to warlords and “freedom fighters” they damn well know are gonna use them to massacre innocent people. A movie that is not shy about pointing out the US government’s participation in this horrible industry. But remember I said a comedy, not some depressing documentary or self righteous oscar bait picture. A dark satire with serious bite, so it gets to you, but you don’t feel like you’re drinking castor oil. It’s more like Flinstones vitamins.
Great idea, but not a great movie. And maybe I’m losing my touch, but like THE BROTHERS GRIMM, this is one where I couldn’t always put my finger on what exactly wasn’t working. It’s much more involving than BROTHERS GRIMM and doesn’t feel as muddled or sloppy. But it was another one that didn’t quite connect with me. It seemed like it should work, but it didn’t. (read the rest of this shit…)
As you all know Mr. David Fincher is one of the best young filmatists we have. Somehow he made a giant leap from being a madonna video director and the guy who did Alien Part 3, to being DAVID FUCKING FINCHER. This is his followup to 1999 Outlaw Award Winner for Best Fuckin Picture FIGHT CLUB which in itself was the followup to THE GAME which you must admit is one of the best american thrillers of the past ten years if not the past 100 years of Cinema. thanks for agreeing.
PANIC ROOM is a lesser work from Mr. Fincher but still a worthy one. It won’t be the NORTH BY NORTHWEST in his filmography but you’ll still want to pull it out every once in a while like you do ROPE. Which come to think of it I watch more than NORTH BY NORTHWEST anyway. What’s the deal with that man.
It’s a simple set up for a taut thriller type deal. Jodie Foster and young daughter buy new house, in house is reinforced concrete bunker with video cameras in case of home invasion, that night there is home invasion, Jodie and daughter are in panic room, but home invaders want in because money is in there. what will happen? nobody knows. Suspense! (read the rest of this shit…)
As I have mentioned before I live in Seattle. We are famous for a couple of different people. First of all we got Bruce Lee. When he left China he came here, he went to the University of Washington, he opened up a Jeet Kune Do school. The movie about his life, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, largely took place here although they didn’t film here because the University of Washington wouldn’t give them permission because they wouldn’t remove the part about the football team calling him a gook. He and his son Brandon, star of Laserblast, are both buried here.
Then we got Jimi. Jimi grew up here and he’s buried here too, although he hated it here and probaly woulda wanted to be buried in London if he had lived long enough to think about that kind of shit. (read the rest of this shit…)
This week friends ol’ Vern has a few things he has to get off his chest. A little bitchin and moanin is what I gotta do. So let me run through a few of these points about how, you know, everything is all a bunch of horse shit, etc.
First off, last Tuesday was Halloween. And I want to know why you motherfuckers decided it was cancelled. I’m driving along at 7:45 pm, it’s been dark for more than hour and I don’t see a jack o’lantern, I don’t see a trick or treater. I don’t even see those little fuckers smashing my pumpkins. All I see is churches and schools with signs that say “Harvest Festival. Games and Food. October 31st.” (read the rest of this shit…)