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Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

mortal_instruments_city_of_bones_movie_poster_1As The Mortal Instrument series has progressed I have become more and more angry with the books.  As you can see in two of my reviews on this website.  I have even blogged about my gut reaction of “they casted WHO???!!!”  But I was still holding out hope that perhaps – just perhaps- I would be pleasantly surprised when the first trailer rolled around.  My friend informed me of the joyful news this morning and as I finished watching the final few seconds all ideas of a fantastic movie accompanying an awesome book series were shattered.

Maybe I’m being too harsh, maybe I’m being a bitter fangirl full of wrath.  It happens, I know we all have at least one friend that is so obsessed with something you tip-toe around the subject so not to poke their ire.  And I will admit that I tend to get a little hot headed about all things young adult; but I have a blog about it so it’s kind of my hobby and business to know.  I know that I’m spoiled from Harry Potter.  It’s not everyday that you get a 90% satisfaction feeling from a movie franchise that was based on the books (I still can’t watch Deathly Hallows Part 2 all the way because I don’t want it to be over!)  But surely we have seen, as a society and as directors and producers, what good casting and script writing can give you!  Holy hell even good casting and mediocre screen writing can get you *coughTwilightcough*.  WHY oh WHY do we keep getting these awful attempts at awesome books?

mortal-instruments-city-of-bones-lily-collinsAll the pieces are there: up and coming lead actress, recognizable and rising lead actor, director coming off a success, screenwriter that has a history of success, even the supporting cast looks incredibly promising.  Yet here we are with the first trailer and I am still completely underwhelmed.  Maybe it was bad editing of the trailer, there was a lot of ‘flashes’.  But what I really think is happening is this – Hollywood wants it cash.  The Mortal Instruments series has been a great success on paper so naturally any producer in Hollywood looks at it and thinks TWILIGHT.  Can we all stop comparing everything to Twilight now.  That ship has sailed, the cash cow is over, the teen book/movie bubble has popped.  The only way you are going to ensure that you have success with a book to movie adaptation is if you at least attempt to stay true to the novels.

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From panarmenian.net

I think my problem is I just don’t believe in the casting.  For all I know this is a page by page adaptation that was meticulously overseen by Claire herself.  It could possibly be the best adaptation ever and I’m just stabbing it in heart before it can make it out of the coffin.  But this is the main reason why I think it’s going to sizzle and then snuff out quickly in the box office – Jace.  You don’t read The Mortal Instruments series for Clary…you don’t.  While her casting is spot on and I am actually interested to see what Lily Collins will bring to the table that’s not the reason you slog through 600 pages every book.  You do it for Jace Wayland.  If I can’t look at the actor playing Jace and believe that he is Jace then you have no movie.  It might be personal preference but a guy that is known for being the snooty Volturi and jumping out a window in a Harry Potter movie just isn’t going to cut it for me.

There…fangirl wrath extinguished.  Here’s hoping I can find a babysitter to catch the matinée before it limps out of theaters.

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I know I am not alone in this thought – Hollywood has stopped trying.  It would be one thing if they were gun shy, it would be another thing if they were filled with nothing but idiots, but that is not the case.  Hollywood (as in the film and television industry) is full of nothing but gun shy idiots that are refusing to even try and hell bent on ruining anything they touch.  There I said it.  Now here’s my evidence to back it up…

A month ago I read an article on one of my favorite websites, Cracked, that made me take intellectual notice.  Cracked isn’t really known for being a crusader for social change – it’s a comedy website, and they are very, very good at what they do.  But, since it’s an internet comedy website that isn’t afraid to wave it’s geek flag high you’ll get an article every once in a while that has little to do with dick and fart jokes and edges more toward Nerd Rage.  The article that struck my interest:

5 Urgent Questions About the Live Action ‘Akira’ Remake

I know nothing about Akira – honestly I really don’t.  I think I might have heard the name in passing from one of my friends that are into anime.  I do know that it was usually uttered in reverence.  Much like I would utter that Fringe is lucky the X-Files came first.  It’s a classic, an untouchable classic that was standard setting for all anime after it.  Corporate types would annoyingly call it a ‘game changer’.  The title of the article grabbed me, but it was the content that kept me reading.  By the end of it I was as convinced as the author, Robert Brockway, that Hollywood was making a huge mistake, and – remember – I knew nothing about Akira.

Case in point – Justin Timberlake and Robert Pattinson are the front runners for the two male leads.  Have we really gotten to a point where we’ll give Robert Pattinson ANY job?  Does he even have to audition anymore?  Does he just throw darts at a wall covered in scripts to pick what he wants to do?  How – in God’ green earth – could that D-Bag possibly be casted for this?  He can’t act!!  I don’t care if he’s spewing his horrible face scrunching and mumbling all over a Twilight film – it’s Twilight!  But he is steadily getting work and for the life of me I can’t figure out why.  But when I read the article and saw his ugly mug associated with one of the leads it hit me – Hollywood doesn’t care anymore.  I could see the thought process the producers went through – we need to make sure everyone see this movie – grandma’s, parents, kids, adults…and teens!  Teen boys will be easy, they like this kind of crap, but teen girls…hmmm…You know who will bring teen girls into an audience – Rpatz.  Let’s give that guy a call.  And Justin Timberlake!  Make sure he gets to sing in it too!

Here’s a quick rundown on what I think Akira is about based on what I’ve read – two teenage friends, involved in some kind of motorcycle gang, living in Tokyo in a sort of post-apocalyptic type scenario.  The friends go through the ups and downs of adolescences all while having some kind of horrible radiation thing that causes them to mutate into throbbing organs of some kind.  But the major themes are of adolescences, puberty, isolation, not trusting authority, and the idea that nothing lasts forever – especially cities.  Like I said, I don’t really know much about this movie, but that still doesn’t change the reasons that I’m worried in general about it.  We are taking a genre standard, that has stood the test of time since its release, despite being animation and entirely Japanese and crapping all over it because…why exactly?  As the article states there are several urgent questions that need to be asked about this ‘remake’ –

1) Why is the movie in New York now?

2) Why is it filled with nothing but white people?

3) Why, in a post-Avatar world, would we switch to live action?

4) Why would we take a story that at its root is about teenagers and make everyone much, much older?

5) How could you possibly encapsulate all the brutal violence and imagery, as well as the adult themes with a PG-13 rating?

6) Why would you ever think breaking it into two movies was a good idea?

7) How could you, with a clean conscious, make a movie with all the above mentioned changes and still call it Akira?

Answer – because Hollywood is full of gun shy idiots that are refusing to even try and hell bent on ruining anything they touch.

About a month later, after posting his first article, someone sent the author, Robert Brockway, a script from the upcoming Akira remake.  It was fantastically bad.  The validity of this script could be up for interpretation, but I believe it.  I believe it because the excerpts that he posted were so bad it has to be true.  Suddenly for me, what had started as a seemingly normal fanboy rant about the bastardization of a possible upcoming movie, quickly turned into a shining example of everything that is wrong with Hollywood.

Here’s some fun stats for you:

The Top One-Hundred Movies of All Time Adjusted for Inflation:

http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm

The Top Box Office Release Since 1980:

http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/

A Extraordinary Graphic Representation of Sequels:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/2011/01/lame_sequels_vi.html

Are you starting to see a pattern here?  Because I sure did.  When did we become a society that was comfortable with paying money for adaptations, sequels, prequels, trilogies, remakes, reboots, scripts ripped off from other movies and scripts ripped off from bad books?  What happened to Hollywood?  Are the studios afraid to put money into something that hasn’t created a groundswell of financial success in another medium yet?  Are the studios convinced that making a horrible sequel is better than creating an original?  If you are nodding as much as I am while typing you know the answer to these questions is a resounding yes.  From Cardinal&Cream:

“Theaters will reach record-breaking numbers with 27 movie sequels to be released throughout 2011, breaking 2003’s record of 23. This is not including films that are adaptations of books, television shows or games.”

TWENTY SEVEN SEQUELS?!  27?!  Are you kidding me?  This doesn’t even include adaptations?!  What a sad, scary year for the entertainment industry.  The age of new ideas and imagination is over it would seem.  The last year that was considered a golden year for cinema was 2001, and even that year the best selling movie was based on a fricking Tolkin book!  This point is only further illustrated by an article I found about the nature of Hollywood now.  Basically the article is saying that despite trying to continue the tradition of being creative and innovative films and movies are big business, and nothing speaks more to big business than money.  Sequels make money, maybe not enough as the first movie, but enough to justify making a sequel in the first place, or a trilogy, or a fourth or fifth or sixth movie in a franchise.  From Investopedia:

“Before the film industry became a corporate entity with bottom-line responsibilities similar to other major corporations, movies audiences were drawn to films due to their unique plots, rather than clever marketing campaigns.”

How does all my crazy rambling come together?  The eventual adaptation of Akira is the perfect example of all that is wrong with Hollywood.  Studios are unwilling to take a chance on anything but a sure bet.  They are willing to bastardize the original content in order to make it more market friendly.  Their eyes are only on the bottom line and will hire and use anything they can *coughRPatzcough* in order to bring in that bottom line.  The age of creativity is dead within Hollywood.

Bottom line here – Hollywood will continue to make horrible reboots and sequels because it is making them money, and they think you are too stupid know the difference.  Come on America, we’re better than that, we deserve better than that, we’re starting to look bad on the international film stage, it’s time to take back the movies!  It’s now or never, this is the year to strike.  Let’s make this be the last year we’re forced to sit through a horrible adaptation of our childhood memories.  I don’t think anyone wants to see the Care Bears shooting heroine on the side streets of the Kingdom of Caring.

Damn it, now I’ve given them an idea.

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Uh oh…looks like some one is getting fired over at Summit this morning.  If you’ve been living under a rock for all of this lovely April Fool’s Day then you might not have heard that the motherload of photos were released online today of the last two Twilight movies – Breaking Dawn Parts 1 &2.  And no, this did not appear to be some elaborate joke.

Often times when there are leaks of a highly anticipated movie or book they are tiny, a picture here, a glimpse of a script there, but not this leak.  Or there are times when a production company will purposely leak some pictures or bits of script out to the public to ensure continued interest in their project.  Neither of these scenarios happened with Breaking Dawn today.  It basically has photos from every major component of the two scripts, and I’m here to break some of that down for ya’ll.

SPOILERS AHEAD – Take heed!

There were over twenty pictures to look at, including a 13 second clip of RPatz shoulders rocking as he de-flowers his new bride.  But I’m on a more need to know basis when it comes to Twilight, and there are the pictures that I felt like I needed to know to ensure I was fully informed about the leak.  Also, you have to take into account that they are going to keep these movies PG-13 to ensure the entire fan-base will be able to pay overpriced tickets to see it again and again.  So I’ll be keeping track of the rating as the pictures…progress.

All from the fabulous source of Perez Hilton

#1 – Obviously a duplicate that was then swapped on the bottom, but the important part of this picture is the lap dance/striptease that Bella seems to be giving Edward.  Interestingly she seems to be wearing some kind of magic shirt that can be taken off from the back.  Either way, that takes us from a G rating toward a borderline PG.

#2 – HELLO headboard!  So it appears we are skipping PG-13 altogether and jumping straight to R.  According to the MPAA, “sexually-oriented nudity” is totally what is happening right here.  Makes me wonder if this is the point where he bites the pillow or perhaps the next screenshot.

#3 – Yep.  Probably this one.  Poor Bella, but honestly she should have known better.  She looks like she’s thinking, ‘oh god don’t scream in pain, don’t scream’.  And my I remind you this is keeping us at a very even R, “intense or persistent violence” – I kid, I kid.  😉

#4 – Everyone say hello to hard R rating!  We’re so glad to have him here, and who would have thought he would be gracing us with his presence in a Twilight movie.  I know – I know.  You don’t even get to read about this in the books.  Why yes, of course, my thank you note is already in the mail to Summit.

#5 – I know this is supposed to be a wonderful little moment, a husband and his wife, satisfied on their honeymoon, basking in the wake of their love.  But all I could think was – where did her bling go?  She has a HUGE right? Yet now only a silver band?

#6 – Switch it up a bit here, this was my stream of consciousness while seeing these three images: love that shot, something about a mother putting her hand on her prego stomach just does it for me; ALRIGHT!  Clearly not enough blood for the absolute horror scene that was played out in the book but….oh god, oh GOD what is that hell demon blood monster doing in his hands?!  Kill it!  Kill it!

#7 – EPIC.  WIN.  How could that possibly be KStew?!

#8 – Stream of consciousness about this single picture: Green screen crazy. WTF?! Is that supposed to be JAKE?! He’s the only person that gets attacked in BD from the list of main characters. Once she hears that he imprinted she kicks his ass. Why is RPatz stunt double flying through the air? Why is Lautner’s stunt double look like a ghost? So many questions on this one.

Fun little side bar on this one – I know from a reliable source that it is NOT Jake that Bella seems to be strangling and Edward dropkicking.  So if it isn’t Jake, and absolutely no fighting occurs in Breaking Dawn…I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on that one…

#9 – Now for an actual review and break down of the last picture I picked.  This was one of the BEST pictures from the group  I believe and here are my reasons why:

Snow – so this is obviously during the final battle.

Nessy – doesn’t have curls…interesting. She looks more like Bella than Edward in that aspect, which is not canon.

The grouping – they way they are standing is very telling. It appears like Jake has brought Nessy, she is close next to him, as if he pushed her into the scene. And yet Bella’s back is to us but she is looking over her shoulder. It’s a protective stance and also one where she could possibly be talking. So this could be the actual part where they reveal Nessy and she tries to explain.

Look on their faces – it’s pretty grave. The kid is looking down so that would be an indication of threat or trouble or danger, kids make eye contact most of the time otherwise. Lautner is looking straight on, which is confrontational. KStew has a kind of pleading look on her face which would fit in with the stance of this being the scene were things start to escalate in terms of the final battle.

Like I said – very telling. Best pic of the bunch if you ask me.

In case you were keeping score, we’re still at a hard R.  Bring it on Breaking Dawn – if anything this leak has made me want to see the movie MORE.  Now that’s a feat in and of itself!

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