Yes, please. And right now.
Don Winslow is the real deal, as great a crime writer as we have working, and his books are a rich vein of material that Hollywood seems to be slowly but surely developing. "Savages," directed by Oliver Stone, looks to be the highest profile Winslow adaptation to make it to the screen so far, and based on this morning's trailer, I think Winslow's about to get a whooooole lot hotter.
Ben and Chon, played by Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch, are in the drug business, and they make a spectacular living at it. Ben's the expert, the guy who can grow the very best marijuana, and Chon is the guy who will destroy anyone who messes with Ben. They get rich fast, and they seem to have the perfect set-up. They even share their girlfriend, the uber-lovely O (Blake Lively), and it looks like the recipe for a perfect, happy life.
The trouble is that any time you're that successful, you're going to draw attention from people who want some piece of that success. You might catch the attention of a corrupt federal agent (John Travolta), or you might catch the attention of a Mexican drug cartel headed by a ruthless killer (Salma Heyek), and once you do, those people aren't just going to step back out of your life because that's what you want.
Yes, please. And right now.
I've seen this pop up in several places over the last few days, and it was actually one of my followers on Twitter who first referred me to it, so I can't claim any special curatorship over this. Even so, I am fascinated by this, and it's worth some discussion.
There are any number of ways people express their fandom and their admiration of things online, and for the most part, it's about telling other fans how much they love something and it's about reaching out to those fans to try to create some sort of community. On rare occasion, though, people come up with a way to make you take a step back from a work of art that you know well and see it in a new way.
That's exactly what Jeff Desom's done to one of my very favorite Alfred Hitchcock films, and watching this repeatedly, I'm really impressed by just how this one works. Desome basically exploded the film into individual pieces, then reassembled in such a way that you can look at the entire film at the same time, a remarkable way of stepping into the movie.
The "American Pie" films are an unlikely franchise, and I'm surprised to actually see us reach this place with it 13 years down the road, a moment when "American Reunion" actually earns some emotional resonance because of the real passage of time it signifies.
The first film in the series was a charming little teen sex comedy, distinguished by an eager puppy-dog glee about how dirty it was. It was to "Porky's" what "Scream" was to "Halloween," an introduction to one of the mainstay genres of the '80s, dressed up and freshly scrubbed. The young cast was appealing, well-chosen, and they embraced the material whole-heartedly. In addition, the adult cast like Jennifer Coolidge and Eugene Levy were such exceptionally smart and funny performers that they helped set a tone that the younger cast absolutely embraced.
With the way Hollywood churns through material these days, we thought it was worth taking a look at the various sources they're pulling from and discussing what they might make from these books, games, TV shows, or whatever else they use. For today's column, we're looking forward to the summer of 2013, when Steven Spielberg is set to release "Robopocalypse," which is certainly an attention-grabbing title.
Daniel H. Wilson's novel tells the story of what happens when an artificial intelligence named Archos becomes sentient and instigates a full-blown robot versus human war. The book begins with what seem to be random incidents of machines turning on users, and then it follows the loose structure of something like "World War Z," telling the story of the war from several perspectives, returning to them over the course of the book. It's sort of cut from the Michael Crichton cloth, ad Wilson is a computer engineer by training, with a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon. He's the real deal, and his educational background informs his writing in terms of general authenticity. He definitely followed the career track of Max Brooks, who preceded "Word War Z" with "The Zombie Survival Guide." For Wilson, his first book, "How To Survive A Robot Uprising," sold to Paramount, and they had Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant write a few drafts.
I spend more time disappointed by movie posters these days than not. Sure, I love the sort of secondary posters that Mondo is doing, but those aren't the actual theatrical release one-sheets for the most part.
No, instead, we are treated to an endless sea of photoshopped images and movie star faces, unimaginative art that seems to all look like it was made by the same marketing intern. It's a real drag, especially for a movie fan who grew up in an age where movie posters became just as much of an art as the films they advertised.
It's always nice when I see a poster that stands out, but to see three posters in the span of 24 hours that all seem to be strong graphic treatments of upcoming movies… well, that's rare like a Bigfoot sighting, and worth a mention.
One thing's for sure… Kim Pierce appears to be very excited about her upcoming remake of "Carrie."
I don't think I ever wrote a review of "Titanic."
I'm not sure, though. I know I was already contributing reviews to Ain't It Cool in 1997. I'm pretty sure I sent material to Ain't It Cool as early as 1996. I know I was writing reviews for newsgroups as early as 1995. But for some reason, I don't think I ever wrote a review of James Cameron's massive cultural event, which seems strange to me now.
After all, I've been a James Cameron fan since the moment my first screening of "The Terminator" ended in 1984. And working in Los Angeles, it was impossible not to be aware of and fascinated by the stories of what was happening on the set of "Titanic". What I found most interesting was that Cameron was getting a reputation as the guy who made the most expensive film of all time every time out, and each time, those big bets seemed to be paying off. "Terminator 2." "True Lies." Giant expensive gambles that managed to shrug off the reports of trouble that plagued them during production. But at a time when $100 million was still considered a lot of money to spend on a movie, "Titanic" was at least twice that, delayed, a nightmare, the moment he was bound to fail.
I'm not 100% sure the people who released the DVD version of Donald Glover's one-hour stand-up special "Weirdo" actually watched the special. When you watch the disc, all the previews are for black-themed entertainment of the Tyler Perry school, very specifically targeted, and none of them remotely similar to the work that Glover does.
I first became aware of Donald and his work when I saw "Mystery Team" at Sundance a few years ago, and it's amazing how quickly things have blown up for him. Little wonder, though. He is a prodigiously talented guy, and in many ways, he represents the ideal for how you have to be willing to work these days, doing any number of different things. He was a staff writer for "30 Rock," he's a star on "Community," he's releasing albums as Childish Gambino, and, yes, he's got his own comedy material that he does.
One of the great traditions of Hammer Studios is that when you have a hit, you make a follow-up. As a result, I'm not shocked to hear that they announced today that Hammer is going to begin development on "The Woman In Black: Angels Of Death," the next installment in the story begun in their hit spring movie, "The Woman In Black."
Daniel Radcliffe's first major post-"Harry Potter" performance may have had something to do with the film's international success, but before there was a film, there was a book, and then there was a stage show, both of which were also very successful. There was meat on the bones to begin with, and this wasn't just some cheap cash-in horror film. Hammer's approach to film series has never been to just make the typical sequels, either, so it makes sense that they'd push the definition with this series as well.
For horror fans, the return of Hammer to the world of international production is a welcome event, and even if they did release the risible "The Resident," they also were part of the very well-made "Let Me In" and "Wake Wood," which both signaled that there were people involved in this new version of the veteran British company that were determined to try harder, who respected the legacy that their company represents.
I would not call myself Seth Macfarlane's biggest fan.
I'm not going to waste time beating up on "Family Guy," because at this point, either you like its scattershot approach to pop culture comedy, or you don't, and there's not really much of a chance someone's going to convince you to laugh or convince you not to laugh. I think the show has settled into its own weird, icky groove, and I think it's a little funnier now than it was in the early days. Part of that is that Seth Macfarlane has become more and more comfortable with the voice of the show, and at this point, it's carved out its own weird corner of the comedy world.
My favorite moment of his so far is his work in "Hellboy: The Golden Army," where I think he gives a genuinely great vocal performance. His choices there make me laugh out loud, and I think he also finds some great strange notes to play in the film that are unexpected and wonderful. That was the moment that convinced me not to underestimate Macfarlane, and over time, I think he's proven himself to be a very sharp wit when he's appearing as himself.
Also, he could buy and sell me a zillion times over. So he's got that going for him.
I am often surprised at the loyalty people display towards the 1990 "Total Recall."
It is a film with some great ideas embedded in it, many of which were either lifted from the Philip K. Dick short story, and some of which were created by Gary Goldman and Paul Verhoeven during the film's lengthy development process.
It is also a film that is bogged down by the baggage of its star, and there is no one on Earth who is ever going to convince me that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the right guy to play that part. And as much as I adore the Verhoeven of "Robocop," I sort of hate the Verhoeven of "Recall." I think it is one of the flat-out ugliest blockbusters of the '90s, fake and garish and dated the second it was released.
Looking at the trailer for the new "Total Recall," it's obvious that they started with the movie when building this remake. This is not a new adaptation of the same story, no matter what they say, because so many of the elements that we see here were created for the film. That's fine. Even the title is a nod to the fact that they are directly remaking the film.