Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Just one Cornetto. Give it to me . . .

Caught the conclusion to Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's "Cornetto Trilogy" today. For the most part, I enjoyed The World's End a lot. It's probably not as funny as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but the plot (and the underlying message of the movie) is pretty solid. I liked how Pegg and Nick Frost reversed their typical roles, with the former playing the immature party animal (actually an annoying wanker for most of the movie) and Frost being the sensible straight man.
The Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Stepford Wives story has some surprisingly emotional parts, mainly centered around the regrets the protagonist has over his unfulfilled life. The ending, which could be seen as the typical "technology bad, free will good" apocalyptic sci-fi message is actually the perfect way to end the film, and this trilogy. The right scenes with the robots (sorry, I mean "simulants") are well staged, though they break apart a little too easily making them not much of a threat. The supporting cast is ace, especially Martin Freeman and the voice of Bill Nighy. James Bond fans even get to see Pierce Brosnan in a small role. This is another directorial triumph for Wright, and I can't wait to see what he does with Ant-Man.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Robocop . . . or Roboflop?

So this new Robocop trailer illustrates everything that's wrong with Hollywood's obsession with remakes/reboots. If the film's too close to the original, then what's the point? If it's radically different, then you piss off all the fans of the first one. Robocop 2014 seems to be going the latter route. Despite the impressive cast (Michael Keaton, Sam Jackson and Gary Oldman . . . in the same movie?!) it seems to lack everything that made the original unique. There's no satire, no ultra-violence (Murphy gets mortally wounded by a car bomb instead of being brutally shot to pieces . . . yawn) and the action looks generic. Maybe the final film will turn out better than the trailer, but I doubt it. Maybe it's time for an Occupy Hollywood where hungry young writers demand that producers start filming their original ideas instead of recycling old ones. Somebody should make a movie about that . . .

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Dreddfully Good!

So I finally got around to seeing Dredd (thank you Netflix streaming!). For the most part it was huge improvement on Stallone's 1995 "epic". No Rob Schneider and Judge Dredd keeping his helmet on the whole time were the two main things in its favour. Karl Urban makes a badass Judge and the supporting cast was good, even if none of the characters were really developed. Olivia Thirlby is likeable as PSI Judge Anderson and Lena Headey makes a good villain as always. The violence is satifyingly brutal and there's some nice one-liners (though I would have liked more satire about the fascist future society a la Robocop).
The only real disappointment I had was that the film was a little too small scale (understandable considering it was rebooting a failed franchise). With a few minor changes the story could have taken place in any present day crime-ridden city. Mega City One seemed more futuristic and spectacular in the 1995 movie, whatever its flaws. But this Dredd is more true to the spirit of the comics and that's the important thing.
Even though it wasn't a hit, I hope they somehow find a way to make a sequel. I would love to finally see Judge Death on screen, and there's a lot more to explore in this world.