Skyfall (2012) vs. The Bourne Legacy (2012)

November 8, 2012 Eric Volkman

Two determined superspies, two venerable movie franchises. The more venerable one, James Bond – by some standards, the longest-running film series in history – fattens its library this weekend with the release of Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig, who plays the suave secret agent for only the third time. Fighting in the defending champ’s corner is The Bourne Legacy, featuring a lead character so new, he’s not even named Bourne. Jeremy Renner plays the genetically enhanced secret warrior Aaron Cross, outrunning various government creeps who are trying to assassinate their own man to protect their black-ops program. […]

Awake (NBC) -vs- Fringe (Fox)

April 30, 2012 Mark Sanchez

It’s the lucky ones among us who get the luxury of a “do over,” a chance to take the road less traveled. Poet Robert Frost isn’t the first person to actively wonder what lies on the other side of the life we’ve made. A pair of admired TV programs work that street of possibilities, although maybe not for long.

Let’s touch on the newer and more endangered series first. NBC announced Awake as a mid-season replacement for 2012. This is a cop show with a twist that marks it as a fresh entry in a tired, overplayed genre. Propelled by advance hosannas at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, the series premiered on March 1 to more than six million viewers, but despite the healthy start, low ratings may put Awake to sleep before it gets a shot at Season 2. […]

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) -vs- Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

February 9, 2012 Eric Volkman

You have to hand it to French science fiction writer Jules Verne. More than a century after his death, he not only continues to be a best-selling author, his books still provide ripe material for movie adaptations. 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth was a more or less straightforward adaptation of Verne’s adventure story aimed at kids, and while its similarly targeted sequel, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, drifts a little from its origins, much of Verne’s content is used in the movie. Essentially, both are old-fashioned, earnest, quest movies spiced up a bit with contemporary references for the target audience, with 3D added to give the kids some funky eye candy. […]