Not too long following my time at Awesome Con, I was given the opportunity to attend a Press Junket for CBS‘ summer shows. Among the shows on tap for the junket were American Gothic, Braindead, Zoo, along with many others. Seeing that the first two shows mentioned had yet to see their respective series premieres on television, many of the folks on hand (i.e. actors, creators, etc.) at the junket were relatively hush-hush on details. However, what they DID reveal about each show and its characters, was still intriguing nevertheless. You can check out the respective junkets for American Gothic and Braindead below. Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE: CBS Summer Press Junket – AMERICAN GOTHIC & BRAINDEAD”
For better or worse, Bruce Willis is back as John McClane in the fifth installment of the Die Hard series. A Good Day To Die Hard follows the only real rule of Die Hard films: be bigger than the last one. It is. Seemingly the first third of the movie is a car chase. Visually watching a Mercedes Benz SUV do a monster truck impression is cool; that doesn’t guarantee a successful sequel. Die Hard 2: Die Harder was a thing that happened. It’s definitely my least favourite movie in the series. After a twelve year break between Die Hard With A Vengeance and the moderately enjoyable Live Free Or Die Hard, where does John McClane go from there?
In 1979, author Roderick Thorp released a novel titled Nothing Lasts Forever, a story about ex-NYPD detective Joe Leland visiting his daughter in her high-rise office building during her Christmas party. The party is interrupted by terrorists with a heavy political agenda, and Leland uses his military and police training to eliminate the terrorist threat and save his daughter. Nine years later, this book was made into a fairly faithful film adaptation called Die Hard, renaming Leland as John McClane (Bruce Willis in his career-defining role), and changing the daughter of the novel into his wife. The claustrophobic pressures of the building and the tight, limited spaces keeping both McClane and the terrorists together kept Die Hard from being a rote action movie; instead, it was a wonderful, masterful suspense film – not quite Hitchcockian, but close enough for ‘80s movies. There was actual danger and a sense of dread, with the audience hanging on for dear life as McClane navigated his way through what must have been the most horrific night of his life. We felt for him when he had to walk across broken glass to escape a firefight, when he got shot, or when he had to confess that he hasn’t been the best person in the world to his wife. He was an underdog hero in the unlikeliest of situations, and audiences ate it up, with Die Hard becoming a beloved staple of American cinema.
Continue reading “MOVIE REVIEW: A Good Day to Die Hard”
How do you destroy a great man? Well, you let Hollywood get their hands on the history of a great man and warp and twist it so much that you change him from a man of the people, into a man who was driven by vengeance and a man who was a master at killing vampires. No, not the pretty glowing kind that the Twilight movies have come to make us believe they are, but the hideous and disgusting ones that are out to kill and dominate our country. Pathetic right?
I can picture the meeting with the Universal Studios executives in which one of them threw out the idea that â€œevery successful film deserves a prequel and a reboot.â€ Let’s be honest about one thing.. Hollywood is about making money. Some criticize the lack of originality that comes out of Hollywood these days. In a way I’ll agree. There are too many sequels and reboots of franchises in which we see the same story retold and envisioned. But, in this case, the idea of creating a prequel that will directly lead into the original that was filmed 19 years earlier is an intriguing one.
The audience at a recent screening of Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s The Thing (hereafter referred to as The Thing 2011) sounded a little like this:
(raucous chatter) (cackling and heckling) (several voices saying stuff like â€œOh, why’d you do that?â€) (more cackling and heckling) (screams)
(audience gets quieter)
(repeat cycle of silence and screams for a little while)
You see, there seems to be no difference to some people these days between going to see a movie in a theater or watching it on your couch. People talk, text, offer their own critiques on the movie as it’s happening, tell you what’s going to happen next, and all other manner of rudeness. In horror movies, where the audience is populated by people looking for a thrill ride with gory parts to make them squirm, the audience noise can be louder than the film itself sometimes. When a movie shuts down a rowdy audience, there’s something good about what’s being thrown onto the screen. However, The Thing 2011 may only be good for its fright scenes and not much more.