Maybe Bruce Willis was on to something when he wanted to get paid a million dollars for every day he would be on set for The Expendables 3. Sure it may have sounded greedy at first, but his recent comments on the action film genre hints at how fatigued he may be with starring in so many action films.
While he may have starred in G.I. Joe: Retaliation and A Good Day To Die Hard, both of which did modestly well at the box office, RED 2 has yet to gross $100 million worldwide.
When all is said and done Tron: Legacy is going to be the movie of the year for me, regardless of whether or not it lives up to its boundless potential or the exciting previews that have been trickling out of the Mouse House’s mighty marketing division.
The original 1982 Tron is one of my personal favorite films of all time; I love just about everything about it, from the performances to the snappy writing to the musical score by Wendy Carlos (with awesome contributions from Journey) to the spectacular visual effects which gave the film a look that has and always be ahead of its time.
There’s a timeless, ethereal beauty to the computerized world of Tron that could never be dated in my mind and only grows as a cinematic work of art with each passing year as most video game-based and influenced films seem to embrace a grittier look deprived of any sense of wonder or imagination. It’s an absolutely perfect film to me so the idea of a sequel emerging nearly three decades after the release of the original both excites me and fills me with dread.
Be sure to click over to get a little taste of Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score!
Gamer Directed by Neveldine/Taylor
Starring Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Amber Valletta, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Kyra Sedgwick
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date: January, 19, 2010
You know things are bad when the best part of a film based on ultra-violent video games is the dance sequence. However, such is the case with Gamer, which really only gives the viewer what they should expect from a Grand Theft Auto game: an unbelievable plot, half-naked women, and lots of people getting shot. It’s all very generic and blurs together, which is probably why villain Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) lip-syncing and dancing with soldiers he has under mind control is the only scene that stands out in any significant way.
What passes for the plot of Gamer is simple: In the near future, computer genius Castle creates a type of nanomachine that allows someone to remotely control another human being. Why not just use it to take over world? Well, he’s working on it, but first he decides to use his invention to create a real life version of Second Life, when people can pay to control other real humans, who are in turn paid to be “actors” in the game environment. After amassing the largest fortune in the world, Castle creates a second game, “Slayers,” where the players control death row inmates in a Call of Duty-like shooter. The inmates sign up with the promise of freedom… if they win 30 games.
The Hunt for Red October Blu-Ray Edition
Directed by: John McTiernan
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Sam Neill
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: July 29, 2008
The Hunt for Red October is hands-down the best film in the Jack Ryan series for a number of reasons, but first and foremost is the lack of a major villain. Instead the conflict is provided by the cryptic world of international politics and tense foreign relations that are all too real. Obviously there are villainous characters, but their roles are minor and are often interjected to give the plot a single push when needed.
A young Alec Baldwin plays a Jack Ryan who believes in others more than he believes in himself, but whose dedication to doing the right thing is unwavering.
Sean Connery play the mysterious submarine Captain Marko Ramius, whose internal conflict creates an international crisis. Ramius is perhaps the most interesting character in any of the Ryan films. His own dreams surpass any nationalism that may be ingrained into him through years of military service. Despite the fact that we see him commit treason, desertion, murder and conspiracy, viewers will find it near impossible not to sympathize with Ramius’ cause.
When the Tarantino/Rodriguez double-feature Grindhouse hit theaters last year, the sudden “popularity” of the term unleashed a fury of bargain basement DVD releases of forgotten films, including a few gems but mostly titles which should have remain forgotten, by companies looking to make a fast buck. Would-be filmmakers across the nation took to their backyard to create their own faux trailers to emulate those created for the intermission of Grindhouse. Plans sputtered along to turn Don’t, Werewolf Women Of The SS, and Thanksgiving into full-length movies, Eli Roth threatened to make a movie of nothing but fake trailers, and Machete was put on the fast track to become a full-length movie.
But while watching Grindhouse, which is an absolutely fantastic ride, there is this little irritating voice in the back of the mind which can’t help but notice that for all the added on scratches, sound pops, and jump cuts to recreate a bygone era of moviemaking, both films still look incredibly modern. Now, prepare yourself for Scott Sanders who has thrown down the gauntlet with Black Dynamite!