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Posts Tagged ‘Shameik Moore’

Samaritan

Thursday, September 1st, 2022

It seems to me like Sylvester Stallone has been talking up this retired super hero movie SAMARITAN (not to be confused with THE SAMARITAN) for ridiculously long. That’s because, I’m reading now, it was intended for a theatrical release in November of 2020. A pandemic happened, it got delayed, Amazon bought MGM, now it’s finally out, but released straight to Amazon Prime. I can see why they’d do that – it doesn’t have the scope people expect from theatrical movies, but it’s also not a serious indie movie, or a cheapie where he shot all his stuff over a weekend and green-screened him in with the other actors. I think it’s a mid-budget movie! Like they used to make!

In my opinion SAMARITAN doesn’t go the distance to completely working, but honestly it’s much better than the bullshit I always pictured. Off brand super heroes aren’t all that appealing to me, and Stallone playing one kinda seemed like a concession. He’s keenly aware that super heroes have replaced his style of action hero in the popular imagination, so playing one sounded like a sad “Okay, kids, I guess this is what you want then” surrender. What I didn’t really consider is that Stallone already played super heroes in JUDGE DREDD and DEMOLITION MAN. It turns out SAMARITAN is sort of like that type of movie for the Old Man Stallone era – scaled down, grittier, with some melancholy to it. And, admittedly, without the satirical elements that have helped those survive in our memories. But it’s more interesting than I expected. (read the rest of this shit…)

Cut Throat City

Monday, February 1st, 2021

CUT THROAT CITY may be the capital of CUTTHROAT ISLAND, I’m not sure, but the one I’m here to write about is the crime film set in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina, and it’s the latest directorial effort of The RZA.

As you may know I’m a fan of RZA’s music (Wu-Tang Clan, GHOST DOG score), acting (THE PROTECTOR 2, BRICK MANSIONS, THE DEAD DON’T DIE) and film scholarship (the commentary track on THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN, his 36films.com livestreams). I’m also a big fan of his first film as a director (and writer and star and composer), THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS. I have some issues with the way he shot the fights, but I absolutely love the old school kung fu fantasy world he created and the many characters, clans and weapons within it. So I take him seriously as a filmmaker. (read the rest of this shit…)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE is the 7th motion picture starring Spider-Man (not counting unauthorized Turkish ones), the second Sony In Association With Marvel movie of 2018, and probly only the third biggest Marvel Comics movie of its year. But I honestly think it’s revolutionary. Not necessarily for super heroes – its story of colliding alternate dimensions is clever, but built on familiar comic book traditions – but for animated features. Somehow Sony, who had been considered so clueless about what to do with Spider-Man that they had to farm him out to Marvel, found people who knew how to celebrate the vast history, meaning and potential of the character in a completely new cinematic way.

So much has been done in computer animation since TOY STORY. There have been many great achievements in the form, including two funny super hero movies in the INCREDIBLES series. But the kineticism and print-inspired graphic playfulness of SPIDER-VERSE feels completely new. The Spider-men-and-women run and flip and swing and glide in exaggerated splash page poses true to the history of cartooning but rarely possible in computer models. They’re (mostly) rendered in three dimensions, but with line art details and outlines and Zip-a-Tone dot shading. Some shots or characters are done in traditional hand drawn animation. Backgrounds sometimes have spray paint coloring in honor of the movie’s graffiti writer protagonist. Comic book description boxes, sound effects and motion lines – most importantly Spidey-Sense wiggle lines – appear on screen. The filmatism includes split screens, pseudo time lapse, jump cuts and hotshot flying camera moves that seem more at home in this cartoony animation than in the special effects movies where they have to pass for live action. (read the rest of this shit…)