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Feeling super

The OLD Fantastic Four cast... really.

I’d be a liar if I told you I didn’t love comic books. I still collect a few, actually, though not nearly at the break-neck, wallet-deflating pace I used to in my teenage years. Of course, that reduction in the collection was simply due to the local comic shop closing when I was younger, and the cost of comics skyrocketing until I needed a full-time job just to support the habit.

Nowadays, I’m not quite so quick to drop my money on the counter. I’m not picking up comics to collect them with hopes they will fund my retirement in the future. Nor does a scantily-clad lady on the cover even get my attention anymore. Now I am mostly about storyline, and characters I really like. Doctor Who gets purchased for the lovely Kimberly, while I have a standing order for any and all Moon Knight comics.

But, what does get my attention these days isn’t on the paper inside those comic covers, but rather on the big screen. Super hero movies are coming out in droves, and I’m there buying tickets to each and every one of them. Some aren’t as good as others, but some are really great. So why do I go to all of them? Because I want them to keep making them. More and more, please. Read more…

Marquette-area theaters fail to Kick Ass…

April 18, 2010 3 comments

Don't bother clicking on any of the buttons on this picture... they don't work as it's just a screen capture. Oooooh! What a rascal, hey?

I munched on popcorn. I ate some Reese’s Pieces. I had some Diet Pepsi. And I was entertained the entire time I watched the just-released “Kick Ass.”

Unfortunately, I did all of that in Escanaba. For those of you who don’t know, that’s just over an hour away from where I live. No, I don’t live in the sticks (well, not compared to the sticks around these parts). I don’t have a lack of theaters in my neighborhood. In fact, between Marquette and near-by Ishpeming, I have three theaters.

Instead, I have a group of theaters that have taken it upon themselves to protect me from behavior and subject matter that, apparently, is going to have an adverse effect on my life.

Carmichael Cinemas, and whoever owns Ishpeming’s Country Cinema V, decided that they are not, and will not, be showing the movie “Kick Ass” around these parts. The reason? It wasn’t declared when I called and asked today about the lack of the show’s listing locally.

“We’re not showing it,” says the woman on the other end of the line.

“Ever?” I ask.

“I don’t think so,” she responds.

Ummmmm… OK?

So I figured instantly that there was a homosexual theme or moment to the movie. That’s Carmichael’s usual MO when it comes to their decision to not show a movie. I was right, though it was subtle and more funny than anything else. I won’t go into detail because unlike some websites out there, I don’t want to ruin it for you.

I will say this: “Kick Ass” is a kick-ass movie. It’s funny, it’s intelligent and it’s full of great moments. It’s not going to win an Oscar, unless, of course, they make a category for entertaining movies… and they’re not likely to do that with so many boring movies to vote for.

I recommend anyone who enjoys comics or superhero movies to definitely go to this show. It’s also fitting for action fans, underdog fans, comedy fans and… well, everyone. Don’t, however, bring impressionable kids. It’s violent. There are boobies. And masturbation. Oh, and a dad shoots his daughter square in the chest. But it’s a rocking moment.

I digress, however, and will get back on track regarding my rant.

It’s unfortunate that Carmichael (which owns two theaters locally) and Ishpeming’s moving-picture palace have neglected to bring this movie to Marquette-area movie-goers. I’m an adult and I should be able to decide if I want to see a movie with homosexual tendencies in it. Really, I see it all the time on television, and it’s no big deal (Note to freaks: don’t worry, everyone know it’s a crime against nature and God hates it, so don’t bother sending me emails or commenting with either bulls*** idea in mind as I don’t want to waste any brain cells on your bigotry).

I hope these theaters will overcome their homophobia and allow adults to be adults and (gasp!) make adult decisions. That way people like me (us homogay supporters, you know) don’t have to drive to Esky to see a damn good and greatly entertaining flick. I just don’t have an interest in watching “Avatar” again… sorry.

But I promise (PROMISE!) the homophobic decision makers who shunned “Kick Ass” that just because it’s a topic mentioned or played out in a movie that I’m not likely to turn and kiss my friend Shane on the lips because I watched it on the big screen (sorry, Shane… you’re sexy, but I’m more of a bear-on-bear guy).

Give it a shot. Not only will you sell tickets (gasp!) and concessions (gasp!), but you’ll entertain (gasp!) people (gasp!) and be showing a quality (gasp!) movie (gasp!) when you do.

Clash of the Titans

April 1, 2010 Leave a comment
Mads Mikkelsen, 2009
Image via Wikipedia

It’s becoming a familiar story on the big screen lately: Demigod Perseus defeating evil uncle Hades and saving the world and the gods in one swoop. (What’s the opposite of fell?) We just saw a modern take on the old story with Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. (Really hope you picked up on that one, cause no trouble was spared to spell it out for modern viewers illiterate in the classics) But I digress.

It’s Perseus again in the remake of Clash of the Titans, bigger, better, and more 3D. I never saw the original Clash of the Titans movie, although it’s been sitting in the Netflix queue for months. But the story is familiar from long ago, and it’s been one to look forward to for the sheer scale and quality.

Clash of the Titans didn’t disappoint; we saw it in plain old 2D and there were still plenty of moments where you press back into your seat or jump out of your skin. Or, in my case, squeeze your fiance’s arm so hard you cut off the circulation. (I’m really fun to watch movies with!) The CG was beautiful, but not show-offy, and the acting was solid all around.

A highlight for me was spotting Mads Mikkelsen, an understated and solid Danish actor who I had quite a crush on back when he was in King Arthur (I know, he’s going gray. Don’t make me explain it, it’s just a crush.) For those who avoided that flick, you may have seen him as the villain in the more recent Casino Royale.You don’t see him a lot in U.S. films, but when you do, it’s usually impressive. The rest of the cast of Clash of the Titans lived up to their roles as well as you can when you’re playing gods and demigods who have been portrayed so many times before, and have set-in-stone histories to consider.

I’m guessing that the movie would be even more impressive with the 3D option, but either way I’d certainly recommend Clash of the Titans as good entertainment for this weekend, with scope and scale worthy of the film’s namesakes.

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An open email from the desk of Sam Eggleston

April 1, 2010 1 comment

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” you probably have a good idea whereabouts my humor often strays. It’s a hilariously funny movie that brought me hours and hours of enjoyment in my younger years.

The writer behind that project is none other than a fellow named J.D. Shapiro. If you don’t recognize the name, well, shame on you. He has been involved in many other projects over the years. One of those, unfortunately, was “Battlefield Earth.” No, not the book. That was L. Ron Hubbard (the guy who gave Tom Cruise a reason to live).

The poster for one of Shapiro's best works, which is a million times better than his worst...

Not too long ago, at the same time the Oscars were taking place, the Razzie Awards named “Battlefield Earth” the worst movie of the decade. I’m not entirely sure that’s true. If you’ve seen “10,000 B.C.” you’ll probably understand where I’m coming from.

To give Shapiro credit, he accepted the Razzie and got a standing ovation for his speech. If that weren’t enough, he really kicked it into high gear with an open letter to the New York Post apologizing for the movie. It’s hilarious and you can read that here.

In response, I decided to sit down and write Shapiro an email asking for a refund for the date I had the night that “Battlefield Earth” was released. I figured, at the very least, he owed me that after getting paid to write that movie and me paying to go see it.

Shapiro took the email in stride, like he does everything else (even a piece of wood through his house window from Ozzy Osbourne during the filming of his reality television show in an episode titled “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.”). He responded to me, we exchanged a few pleasant notes and he asked if it would be OK to reprint the email on his new movie’s website, www.524ad.com. I, of course, said “no way!” and then he had some kindergarteners come over my house and threaten me so I changed my mind.

You can see that email by going to www.524ad.com, and going to the news section. While you’re there, take a look around at Shapiro’s new project. It takes place in the time of King Arthur and looks to have a ton of potential. If you’d like, read the script, which is posted there, too.

The site is unique for the fact that it’s an entire journey of movie making. This is the beginning, picking up funding (which you can be a part of) and even offering out guest spots for a price. The journey will only move forward from here, and you can be along for the ride.

I am hoping this is in the same line of thought as “Men in Tights” for the fact that I could really use some decent entertainment. Of course, “Battlefield Earth” is in the “Please Take For Free” bin at the local box store and playing practically 24 hours a day on cable stations across the globe. I hear if you lay on your back with your head hanging off the edge of the couch and watch it while it’s being played with German dubbing, it looks just like the “Wizard of Oz.”

Give it a try and let me know, OK?

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The Pianist versus the Predator

March 19, 2010 4 comments

I’m flabbergasted on several levels this morning.

First, there are some brilliant minds who have been sitting around a table somewhere in Hollywood, sipping at bottled sparkling water and admiring each other’s fake tans and shimmering bleached teeth that have come up with the great idea of making yet another Predator movie. While it should come as no surprise to me that such genius exists in that corner of the universe, I just don’t understand how they convinced anyone to financially back a franchise that has made two, gigantic, steaming turd movies as their third and fourth installments.

I’m the first to say that I loved the original Predator flick. Arnold was the prototypical action hero who had bulging muscles and a tenacity for survival. The Predator was a bad-ass from another planet who got his jollies hunting people just like that. It was a match made in heaven and even had that beautiful “You’re one ugly mother fu%#er!” moment. If you’ve never seen Predator but don’t feel as though you have the time to watch it, you can see it in 60 seconds here.

The second Predator movie wasn’t nearly as memorable. While Danny Glover is always classic, the story and the action just wasn’t up to snuff with the first. During that time period in particular, it was a given a sequel just couldn’t hold water compared to the original (a few exceptions, I’ll admit). This was just kind of expected.

And then along came the craptastic Aliens vs. Predator. This movies was everything you hoped it wouldn’t be, retarded being one of them. The only way they could have made this movie suck anymore than it did would be to either set it in a courtroom and have it be a movie about Aliens suing the Predator, or make the viewer eat Rocky Mountain Oysters while a child-abusing priest whispers in their ear about the fact that they’re not oysters at all.

And as though to show you that making money will never be as important as making bad movies, Hollywood came out with a SEQUEL to AvP. I’ll admit that this one, called Requiem, wasn’t nearly as horrific as the first one–but that wasn’t hard to accomplish. In fact, I watched a YouTube video with a dung beetle pushing a giant piece of feces and it was better than the first AvP. True story.

So while the horse lay dead on the side of the entertainment highway, a bunch of people got together and started kicking at some point last year. They came up with the idea to make yet ANOTHER movie based on the Predator franchise. This one, called Predators, is slated for a July release this year. Read more…