By my count, Sherlock Holmes appeared in no less than 69 films before this latest Robert Downey Jr. â€“ Guy Ritchie incarnation. Even movie mainstays Godzilla (52 films) and James Bond (25 films) donâ€™t come close to the sheer proliferation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyleâ€™s famous super-sleuth throughout cinema history. […]
Tintin felt like a real missed opportunity.
When you create a world inside a computer, isnâ€™t one of the advantages that you can do things that you canâ€™t do with brick-and-mortar sets and flesh-and-blood actors? Tintin only really comes alive during a couple of gigantic set piecesâ€”a chase through an Arab village, a duel with cargo cranesâ€”that would have been prohibitively expensive to do pre-CGI. The rest of the time, itâ€™s like weâ€™re watching actors wearing too much foundation.
The plot itself is creaky, starting with a ridiculous coincidence, and lurching forward from there. But the real disappointment is that despite the intricate motion-capture used to create them on screen, the characters are all lifeless. What makes Indiana Jones so wonderful is the emotion that Harrison Ford illuminates him withâ€”his delight, when he feels it (his reunion with Marion in Crystal Skull) is glowing and childlike, but most of the time he seems to face the world with something like resigned annoyance (â€œSnakes. Whyâ€™d it have to be snakes?â€). Itâ€™s that personality that locks us into the character and the movie. […]
Walt Disney and Martin Scorsese â€” two names that stand out in the pantheon of cinema legends. Both have made indelible contributions both to the world of film and to popular culture. Now, for the first time ever, theyâ€™re in the same weight class, so weâ€™re bringing them together for whatâ€™s sure to be a classic Smackdown. […]
Being a vampire used to be a heck of a lot easier. Dracula would suck his victims bone-dry, lure a beautiful woman to his castle, where he would turn her into a creature of the night to live with him forever, and that was that. No worries, no angst, no regrets. Nowadays, vampires have souls. They struggle to control their inner urges to feed on human flesh, while they cling to whateverâ€™s left of their humanity. One thing remains the same, though. Vampires have always been and continue to be smoking hot. […]
It’s the Harrison Comparison â€“ two big-budget, high-energy, studio-produced, action adventure yarns starring a Ford with enough miles on him to qualify not only for Triple-A, but AARP as well. I don’t know about you, but I love being taken for a ride (unless it involves a Mexican cartel), and this summer the silver screen is besotted with a plethora of eye-popping, CGI-infested mega-movies starring comic book heroes and video icons. But only one has its roots firmly planted in the wild, wild West â€“ the two-genres-in-a-blender contender, Cowboys & Aliens.
And who better than Mr. Harrison Ford to lead the way? After all, with the Indiana Jones franchise, Ford has proven himself over and over again to be Americaâ€™s reigning cinema swashbuckler. The fourth and most recent edition of that series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, serves as our Champion for the purpose of this Smackdown by virtue of its own alien storyline..
Two Harrison Ford genre-mashing period pieces, bothvfeaturing an other-worldly presence. They say the hat makes the man, so which one of Ford’s fedoras will prevail in this head-to-head duel? The 10-gallon Stetson? Or the wool felt homburg? […]
One finale to rule them all! Two beloved (not to mention lucrative) film franchises come to an end with these offerings and, more momentously, face each other in a Movie Smackdown of truly epic proportions.
The stakes in the two stories are similarly high, with heroes whoâ€™ve had the odds gradually stacked against them to the point of near-impossibility for success. In The Return of the King, the spirit of the evil sorcerer Sauron — in the form of a fiery, all-seeing Eye — lives and schemes for total victory against our vulnerable protagonists. Meanwhile, in Potter-land, Team Harry has to mount a quick and effective defense against Voldemort and his army, who are on the brink of completely taking over the magic world, destroying Hogwarts and killing its good students and faculty.
The sword-wielding, ring-bearing humans, hobbits and elves of Peter Jacksonâ€™s ultimate Rings face off against the spells and talismans of Harry and his young wizard pals. Which side will prevail? […]
The â€œSummer of Smackdownâ€ continues! Last week we took a look at the superhero movies vying to be this summerâ€™s big blockbuster. Forget about beefy gods in capes or super soldiers slinging shields. Weâ€™re moving from the land of comic books to the realm of full-on fantasy & adventure.
For me, this is what summer is all about. I love a good blockbuster adventure, be it of the Indiana Jones or Flash Gordon variety. A good action-adventure film can transport us to new worlds, different times, and show us unimaginable things made real.
Unfortunately, Hollywood has recently begun transferring films in this genre to 3D in post-production, creating a cheesy effect at greater expense to the viewer. Each of these films has been given the 3D treatment, but only Pirates was filmed in 3D. […]
The Smackdown For years, everyone knew the Big Three of Classic Horror: Dracula, The Wolf Man, and Frankenstein.Â That other Undead Dude, The Mummy was second-tier, a guy with a few flicks but not the […]