I hear that when work began on The Prisoner, the intention was not to remake the original, but rather to re-imagine it.  I think they have succeeded in doing just that.

First, I should say that the act of condensing the (god, I feel stupid using this word) epic comic series into a three-hour movie must have been a daunting one.  Nevertheless, Zack Snyder managed it admirably.  The action scenes are masterfully done.  The acting, with a few exceptions, was great.  The attention to detail helped bring the world to life.

 

The movie hits all the key points of the comic.  In fact, it treats the source material with extreme reverence.  Now many, if not all, of the reviews that I have seen and heard have treated this as a negative thing.  Let me be clear, they are not wrong.  For the uninitiated, this rigidity must seem odd.  For one thing, the comic was set in a fictional 1985.  This is understandable, as it was published in an actual 1986.  The movie might have attempted to create an alternate 2009, in order to make it more accessible.  There is a real danger in making a movie set more than twenty years ago that is further influenced by events another decade earlier.  For many people, especially younger viewers, the references and jokes might be lost.  Furthermore, the film cut many of the scenes that help set the stage for much of the later action.  This is understandable, as the prospect of an eighteen hour Watchmen might have been a bit intimidating.  

 

Sorry for the slight ruse, Rocky Horror Fans (of which I am one), but this post will not be about a young Susan Sarandon getting it six ways from Sunday by everyone except the dude in the wheel chair. That post may be coming soon though.

No, this post is about that great American institution known far and wide as the Drive-In. These bastions of celluloid hearken back to days-gone-by, when teens would pile into a car, have an orgy during a B-rated horror film, and then go to a malt shoppe - all for under a nickel! Drive-Ins took a big hit in the '80s and '90s with the advent of VCRs and DVD players, but they are making a come back; partly because of the kitsch factor and cheap prices and partly because if you wanna see someone going at it, by themselves or with a partner live,  chat roulette is a pale comparison to the Americana that is the drive-in theater.

It’s almost here!  Thor opens this Friday, May 6th (Pacific Standard Time) and we, here at Sam’s Wednesday Slog Corporation International, couldn’t be more excited.  Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at Thor, his family, and his enemies, and now it’s time to learn about his Asgardian warrior pals, The Warriors Three!  After all, what would a Norse thunder god be without a little bromance in his life?  These colorful gents fight alongside Thor and are willing to die in the name of Thor and Asgard!  They have journeyed with him to the furthest realms dispatching foes and bravely facing evil for their friend and master!!  They are even there for him when he needs to just vent about work or whatever!!!


Fandral, played by Josh Dallas

Fandral the Dashing, as he persistently refers to himself, is a brave swordsman who accompanies Thor on many of his adventures and is one third of the trifecta that is The Warriors Three!  Based on the persona of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, Fandral’s bravery and nobility are matched only by his relentless optimism, whimsy, and super sweet facial hair.  No matter what the odds or how many foes Fandral faces, he unfailingly fights fearlessly and never flees (this sentence was brought to you by the letter “F”).  His skills with edged weapons are unmatched even when compared to other Asgardians, and Thor refers to him as “the best of us with a blade,” thus explaining the killer facial hair.

So, I am sitting down to write a review of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, and I don't know where to begin. I could start with the script (fairly strong, but not very Doyle-ish) or the acting (almost universally great), but I think I will begin with Ritchie's direction.

 

From the beginning, the direction was impressive. Ritchie managed to show Holmes' intellect and keen faculties of observation in a unique and economical manner. The audience is occasionally allowed to see Holmes' thought process in the moment, but generally, as with Doyle's stories, the explanation comes later.

 

One of the things that Ritchie is known for is his too-cool-for-school camera work and flashy editing. Both of these were toned down a lot. In fact, the direction never seemed to upstage the story or characters, which, as far as I can tell, is a first for Ritchie. I should confess that I have only seen Lock Stock, Snatch, and the horrible Revolver. In this movie Ritchie adapting himself admirably to the story he is telling, rather than adapting the story to his style. So overall, high marks for direction.

 

So this weekend, I sat down for some quality time with the new hotnesses: G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. RC is proud to offer the following review of these blockbusters.

 

They are both crap.

 

Seriously, they suck a lot. Don't waste your time or money. There are one or two specks of decent in each of these movies, but neither one is worth a second glance in the video store. Terrible plots, one demensional characters, and horrible horrible writing drag two of my favorite franchises down.

 

Let me preface this by saying that I did not spend the extra money to see Avatar in 3D. Sorry, but I just don’t feel that I need glasses to appreciate a movie. If, however, you disagree and feel that I haven’t truly “experienced” this movie until I’ve seen it in 3D, and, therefore, I am not in a position to write an informed review of it, I would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss Avatar’s failings with something large, heavy, and blunt.

 

I’m utterly unsure as to what I expected from Avatar. It’s hard for a movie to be over-hyped when the hype is all about how over-hyped it is. (Did you follow that?) Still, I think I went in excited. I came out a little angry.

 

Several weeks ago game maker Konami decided to jump on the Zombie bandwagon by creating a downloadable arcade game for PS3 and 360 called Zombie Apocalypse. The most I can say for their choice is that I respect them for not making a game called Vampire Apocalypse, which, if we go by the standard set by all recent Vampire media, would be a game in which you are a fourteen-year-old girl who has to fend off the endless advances of two-hundred-year-old pedophile vampires. When looked at from this perspective, Konami really hit it out of the park with the choice of Zombies. Still, the game they actually decided to place on the market has some serious flaws.

 

As with all downloadable arcade games, you won’t get any plot from Z.A. Instead, you’ll get level after level of hoards of Zombies, which quite literally come up from the ground in an attempt to rip you apart. Also, you won’t find any tutorial to tell you how to play, so stick with it for about 15-30 minutes until you figure out how not to die like a bitch. The other serious drawback to this game is in the glitches, which seem to frequent it. Beware losing lives to falling through the ground.

 

If, however, you truly want to have a lot of fun playing this game, you can follow these simple instructions and have a really great night.

It would give me indescribable happiness to learn that the readers of this article had any notion whatsoever about what I am about to discuss. Granted, I’m banking on a few people to read enough Marvel comics to get the gist of it, but I’d like to start off by giving just a little background before committing any reader to lengthy diatribes of intense geekdom.

 

Within Marvel Comics, there are two universes which have coexisted (peacefully) since the year 2000. The original is now called the 616 universe and is what most people are directly, or indirectly, aware of. The 616 series consists of Spider-Man, The X-Men, Iron Man, and The Avengers; they have existed continuously since their conception decades ago. In an effort to draw a larger audience in 2000, Marvel launched several classics books in an entirely new universe called the Ultimate. This isn’t entirely unheard of for Marvel, as they tried a 2099 series, a 1603 series, and Universe X. Still, the Ultimate line did remarkably well, particularly the Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spider-Man comics. All of the recent comic movies that you have seen are generally considered to be based on the storylines of 616; however, several events and even direct excerpts of dialogue have been lifted from the Ultimate.

 

There is a careful balance that all marketing strategists must perform in terms of building up their product (in the case of this review, I’m referring to a movie), so that people will see it and not over-hype it to the point where people feel seriously let down. Many movies suffer from the latter, must notably in my mind, being the abysmal Spider-Man 3, which had great publicity, trailers, and billboards all leading one to believe that you might get some kind of product which wouldn’t leave you wanting to ingest battery acid, whilst simultaneously throwing yourself onto a burning pyre. Still, I digress. Somewhere amongst my ramblings, I meant to say that the ad campaign for the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats was tastefully done, as was the movie.

 

I’ve known about this film for almost eight months preceding its release in theatres this past Friday. I’m not completely sure how I discovered it; the details are lost amongst the twisted wreckage of my fractured memory (and psyche!), but I’ve been looking forward to the film since then. The cast line-up is exceptional, featuring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges. This alone should tell you something, given that Kevin Spacey for one, doesn’t do films that he doesn’t like; his tastes being fairly decent [with the exception of Superman (go kill yourself, Bryan Singer)], I was pretty damn excited about this. Still, you should be aware that this movie is not going to win an Academy Award. It isn’t mind blowing, and it isn’t earth shaking. This is exactly my point, really.

 

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