Sunday, June 30, 2013
News this week came that Liam Neeson would be reprising his role as a man with a "particular set of skills" for a 3rd go-round in Taken 3. When the film releases in 2014 or 2015, Neeson will be the ripe young age of 62 or 63 playing an action powerhouse badass. Also this week, a trailer arrived for the new Sylvester Stallone/Arnold Swarzenegger team up Escape Plan. Both also had solo adventures this past winter with The Last Stand (see it!!!) and Bullet To The Head (have some beers while you watch it!).
The Devil's Backbone
Starring: Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi, Fernando Tielve, Inigo Garces
After an enormously crushing experience with Mimic, Guillermo del Toro returns to Mexico to make what he considers one of his most personal projects, The Devil's Backbone. He had thought his days as a big Hollywood director, and his chance to put his fingerprints on it, were likely over. Not that the opportunities weren't present, but that he himself was not willing to put all the weight of dealing with a big studio production and dealing with the suits on his shoulders again. Strangely enough, going back to Mexico would gain him more notoriety as a young and upcoming visionary master. The door to Hollywood would instantly open back up after this film became incredibly acclaimed by those viewing it in 2001.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Mimic (Director's Cut)
Starring: Mira Sorvino, Charles Dutton, Josh Brolin, Jeremy Northam, Giancarlo Giannini, F. Murray Abraham
Up until a few years ago, Guillermo del Toro seemed to refrain from wanting to talk about his first foray into big time Hollywood filmmaking. When Scott Mendelson and I saw him at a Q&A in 2008, one of his stipulations before questioning began was the he would not take any questions regarding Mimic, his 1997 monster thriller. Guillermo was always upset with this film and he almost never worked in Hollywood again. His experience was one that was a nightmare, but shared by many a director in the mid 1990s.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Starring: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Tamara Shanath, Cladio Brook, Margarita Isabel
And the retrospective fire keeps on burning! This one will be a little different. Previously, we would just follow a franchise's entire run. This time, we'll look in at a director's oeuvre. And I've decided on one of my absolute favorite working directors, Guillermo del Toro. del Toro is a man who's an incredible visionary and gives the utmost attention to every detail in every mechanism and monster he creates. He prefers to create monsters and try to crutch on practical effects whenever possible. If you have a film of his that has interviews or a commentary, you'll know how engaging and incredible it is to listen to this man talk film.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Hey guys. This has been going on for a little while now, but I never really made an announcement. And now I've got some material under my belt there. If you are friends with me on FaceBook or Twitter you already know anyway. But, I've been brought on to the prestigious team at Why So Blu? to do blu-ray reviews and probably some more down the road. Its an exciting venture for me and I'm having a blast.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Director: Zack Snyder
You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.
For theatrical releases on Naptown Nerd, I strive to keep things spoiler free. This will be no different. Though if this review seems off balance or the end result doesn't quite fit the billing, know that some of the things I take issue with in Man of Steel center around spoiler territory. Thanks.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Director: Simon Barret (Tape 49), Adam Wingard (Clinical Trials), Eduardo Sanchez & Gregg Hale (A Ride In The Park), Gareth Huw Evans & Timo Tjahjanto (Safe Haven), Jason Eisener (Alien Abduction Slumber Party)
CLICK HERE for my review of the first film, V/H/S
V/H/S 2 is surprisingly a response to the first film and outdoing the original in every way. I almost feel like the producers read my and others' reviews and tinkered accordingly. The anthology sequel is a much tighter and enhanced version of its predecessor.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Here we are, the end of another retrospective. And with this one came something I should have realized long ago. The film history of Superman is not that of a good one. Personal preference aside, there are far more "bad" movies in this lineup than good (seriously, the Fast & The Furious franchise has a much higher batting average). Will Man of Steel actually add a good entry or actually be the best? That's yet to be seen. And its always hard to welcome a new film to the top of the hill. It can take years for some to not be so stubborn and realize sometimes new films can be better than older ones.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
Director: Richard Donner
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Margot Kidder, Terrence Stamp
Look at me Kal-El... the Kryptonian prophecy will at last be fulfilled... the son becomes the father... the father becomes the son... farewell forever... Kal-El... remember me my son...
The most positive thing I can say about Superman Returns is that it gave us this. Released coinciding with the home video release of Superman Returns, finally came the legendary Donner cut of Superman II. During production of Superman Returns Warner Bros was able to purchase rights to Marlon Brando's footage in Superman II, making this possible.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Parker Posey, Frank Langella, Sam Huntington, Eva Marie Saint, Kal Penn
I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn't need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.
So, with the success of Batman Begins, Superman is brought back. But do they start fresh? Nah. Bryan Singer takes the Halloween: H20 route and cut the timeline off where they see fit and pretend they're the real part 3. The good news is, he did a better job than the ones he chose to ignore. That sounds like praise, but its no compliment.
Slated for release in the summer of 1998, in time for the 60th anniversary of Superman's first appearance, was the return of the last son of krypton in Superman Lives. In 1996, after seeing Mallrats, Warner Bros brought in Kevin Smith based on the presumption that he had a large knowledge of all things Superman because of a choice line of dialogue in the movie. Smith was commissioned to flesh out a script with producer Jon Peters. Things went kind of crazy with that whole process (and you can get more details below). Smith fleshed out a script using elements of the Doomsday storyline featuring the death of Superman. The script also featured villains Brainiac and The Eradicator. Smith's ideal casting were his usual crop of characters. However, things moved on and so did Smith.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Director: Kenneth Johnson
Starring: Shaquille O'Neil, Annabeth Gish, Richard Roundtree, Judd Nelson, Ray J
Well, dip me in shit and roll me in breadcrumbs.
I assure you, this is a Superman-related movie. Back when Superman was killed by Doomsday in the Death Of Superman series, it was followed by a resurrection of sorts. There were 4 incarnations of Supermen, each claiming to be the real deal. One of those, was John Henry Irons, and the only one who didn't claim to actually be Superman, but was honoring his legacy. He chose to go simply by Steel. Quincy Jones really liked this character and wanted to get a movie off the ground about him, and he did. While the character's makeup/background is very similar, during the story stage, it was decided to strip the character of all ties to the Superman universe and give him generic supporting characters.
You probably know the drill by now. Here's a bonus episode of Out Now with Aaron & Abe doing a feature length commentary for 1978's Superman: The Movie. In addition to Aaron & Abe, I am reteamed with Scott Mendelson for this one as well as Jordan Grout. It was a lot of fun and conversation was not limited to just the first Superman film.
Click Here To Listen
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Mariel Hemingway, Jon Cryer, Marc McClure, Jackie Cooper, Mark Pillow
The Dude of Steel! Boy are you gonna get it!
With the Salkinds removed from the equation, as rights were transferred to Canon Films, it was a much easier task to get everyone back for Superman IV. Christopher Reeve, who claimed he was hanging up the cape after III, was allowed to help create the story. With him fully on board other players like Hackman and Kidder (in full capacity this time) were easy to coax back. I’m guessing they wanted to wash away memories of III or possibly too many cooks in the kitchen with Superman’s love interests being the reason Lana Lang is nowhere to be found.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Starring: Faye Dunaway, Helen Slater, Peter O'Toole, Hart Bochner, Mia Farrow, Peter Cook, Marc McClure, Maureen Teefy
What the hell did I just watch?
What an absolutely bizarre film. Supergirl is the ill-attempted spin off from the Superman franchise to hopefully continue successes and keep films going since Christopher Reeve said Superman III was his last. This attempt proves how bug nuts and clueless the Salkind's are when it comes to making a movie. Supergirl is completely off the rails as a film. Completely, unlike the previous film that manages to have some sort of narrative and serious approach to its danger. However, Supergirl has plenty of moments of "is this really happening right now?" making it a fun kind of stupid in the end.
Fantastic news came yesterday in the revealing some of the assets Warner Bros gave up to Paramount in order to share the wealth on Christopher Nolan's next film, the sci-fi thriller Interstellar (starring Matthew McConaughey & Anne Hathaway). One of those items was giving Paramount a 5 year window to have full rights to the character Jason Voorhees and the Friday the 13th series. And one thinks that if they were willing to give up half of what is sure to a box office success, then they obviously plan to put SOMETHING out regarding a Jason Voorhees adventure.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Director: Richard Lester
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Annette O'Toole, Marc McClure, Robert Vaughn, Pamela Stephenson
Never underestimate the power of computers
To start off, this shouldn't be called Superman III. A more appropriate title would be Gus Gorman with tag line "You Will Believe A Computer Can Do Anything". This is a Richard Pryor movie with special guest, Superman. Pryor easily clocks in the most screen time and the plot really revolves around every move he makes. He's not even the main villain or some sort of hero. At best I can see, he's the bumbling henchman of the criminal mastermind. So, if we ever wanted a movie told from that angle, here you have it. It's a Superman movie, but Superman is pretty much shoehorned in and only swoops in to save the day.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Director: Richard Lester
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Terrence Stamp, Margot Kidder, Sarah Douglas, Jackie Cooper, Jack O’Halloran
So this is planet Houston.
Before we get started- I WILL indeed be covering the Richard Donner cut of Superman II. It won’t be discussed until later, as I’m doing everything in release order. Today, we are solely focusing on the Richard Lester interpretation and officially released and official cannon Superman II.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Director: Richard Donner
Starring: Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Ned Beatty
They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.
With a quote like that, you just kind of know the greatness and legend that comes with Superman. A movie that kept the big, epic movie fantasy precedent of going to the theater alive after Star Wars the year prior. Superman is a movie with some historic production troubles that are a fascinating point of research for any film fan and can be almost as entertaining as the film itself. I'm not here to give you a detailed rundown of it all, but I highly recommend taking the time to watch a documentary or read about it.