Kudos to YouTube’s keesvdijkhuizen who posted this awesome compilation. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they rock out to White Lies’ “Death.”
In the list of things we probably don’t need before Health Care reform, a Karate Kid remake set in Beijing with Jaden (son of Will) Smith as Ralph Macchio and Jackie Chan as Mr. Miagi is somewhere up there. Nevertheless…
I do think it’s better when you go into a movie having almost zero idea of the plot and the characters. Yeah, modern trailers give some of those secrets away, but I have zero idea what’s going on in here, in general. All I know is that it looks thrilling.
On my flight down to Houston Friday night, I carried my Audiovox personal DVD player and my Netflixed copy of the US adaptation of the BBC miniseries “State of Play.” Through being kicked by some French four year old sitting, sleeping and being a general pain next to me, I did my best to appreciate and not simply identify the ways in which this film fell short of the miniseries.
Ultimately, it’s hard to not compare the two because this is hardly a reimagining. It’s a near true copy (with Americanized characterizations) of the UK roles, plot lines and mannerism. The main differences are really quite simple:
- the black victim killed in the opening scene is an actual junkie, as opposed to a falsely accused innocent (hardly a spoiler there);
- there is less depth to Dominic Foy’s character;
- Della Frey and Cal McCaffery aren’t truly co-workers;
- Hellen Mirren‘s editor has no hotshot reporting son as was played by James McAvoy in the BBC version; and
- the corporation being investigated by Stephen Collins’ subcommittee, Pointcorp, is a thinly veiled version of Blackwater, whereas the BBC version condemned evil oil conglomerates, in general.
Oh, and another difference is that the miniseries is actually good.
There are some strong updates to the UK story. Most notably, the use of a Blackwater proxy proved topical and a more natural fit for misdirection and demonization. It was a solid update over the miniseries’ oil company.
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The producers of Zombieland were very pleased with the reception the film got in theaters. The problem they had was the amazingly strong reception the movie got on Bit Torrent. I’m going to ignore that second fact by noting that I plan on purchasing the DVD when it’s available on Amazon, so we’ll ignore exactly how I came across a copy for my return flight from Houston on Sunday.
This movie is fun. It’s no high art, but it has many of the elements that have made teen or buddy comedies a success and installed them in a quick and clever zombie genre adaptation.
The film succeeds mostly on the back of its excellent cast, the male half of which is amazingly typecast. Woody Harrelson plays zombie-killing bad-ass Tallahassee. He is pretty much drawn as a mix of his Mickey Knox from Natural Born Killers and Roy Munson from Kingpin. And it plays amazingly well. In a reflective scene, when asked by Columbus if he’s one of those guys who listens to a story and automatically has to one up it with one of his own, he says, “No, but I know a guy just like that.”
As Columbus, the sidekick, Jesse Eisenberg plays his patented neurotic, but oddly identifiable teen (think Michael Cera with less awkward quirks and more psychologist bills). He rocks this role out far more effectively than he did playing the exact same character in Adventureland. He’s a witty, believable if ironic survivor who serves also as the narrator of the movie.
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I was reminded of this movie recently and was explaining it to a coworker. It sounds quite ridiculous and even mocking, but A Day Without A Mexican is actually a very compelling, humorous and fun comedy with a strong message.
Released just as Lou Dobbs and the Minutemen elevated xenophobia to extraordinary levels, the movie tries to make light of what life would be like in California if you really did get rid of all the Mexicans (both those with and without papers). In doing so, it’s illuminating and can be appreciated by those who don’t already appreciate the contributions of immigrants of all stripes and all legal statuses.
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Last week, I linked the trailer for Dare, the Adam Salky movie that opens this weekend. Also in the last year, another high school buddy released a masterpiece of his own. Alex Olch’s The Windmill Movie delves into the autobiographical work of his mentor. Below is the trailer.
It’s now on DVD and has also appeared on the HBO family of networks.
Next weekend, Image Entertainment will be doing a limited release of the Adam Salky film Dare in New York and Los Angeles. It’s the second major motion picture to be released by a high school buddy of mine, the first being Alex Olch’s The Windmill Movie.
I encourage absolutely everyone to hit the theatres next Friday, Saturday or Sunday and check it out. It was a big hit at Sundance and is based on an award winning short, also directed by Adam.
Umm… Awesometown! While I will contend that any remake NEEDS to have the bronze, mechanical bird (which was the avian version of the Antikythera mechanism – AKA proof that my people were inventing computers while Steve Jobs’ ancestors were still climbing trees), this looks frigging bad-ass.
Bring it! The 2010 Clash of the Titans remake ==>
For the sake of posterity, I have linked the original Clash of the Titans trailer below.
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I’m still not quite sure what to think of James Cameron’s Avatar. I think it undoubtedly will knock socks off on IMAX in 3D. But I’m still having Jar-Jar flashbacks after the first sneak preview revealed our neon blue friends.
One way or another, this will be one of those hugely anticipated films that will certainly disappoint in some regard to a large portion of the viewing public, but may still totally rock.