When it comes to straight-ahead likeable action stars, few have done it better than Jackie Chan. He built up an incredible body of work before breaking through in the U.S. which meant that, for many of us, we could start off with something like Rumble In The Bronx and then go on to discover the Armor of God or Police Story movies. He’s even carried his unique brand of humor and still-impressive action into more recent films like the incredible Chinese Zodiac. However, thanks to a review Blu-ray of The Foreigner, I now see him in a very different light.
Sites like Deadline are reporting that Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake has been pushed back from its original release date of October 25th to November 27th.
Have you guys read about McAfee Anti Virus creator John McAfee’s real life adventures as chronicled in Wired? They’re pretty insane and very movie-ready. It makes sense, then, that Deadline‘s reporting a film in the works with Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to write and John Requa and Glenn Ficarra to direct.
The Warner Archives just announced that they’ve got The Carey Treatment for sale. This Blake Edwards directed film stars James Coburn as a shrink investigating a colleague’s supposed crime. The film’s based on a book by Michael Crichton called A Case Of Needs.
According to TheWrap, Casino Royale director Martin Campbell is in talks with Paramount to direct Alpha, a film about “a Navy Seal sent to South America to train dogs for combat service.”
Scott C. has a killer art blog called The Great Showdowns where he draws adversaries from various movies. Today’s installment features Jesse Ventura as Blain from Predator with his gigantic gun going up against a jungle camouflaged Predator. Awesome.
The six year gap between License To Kill and GoldenEye must have been unbearable for longtime Bond fans. Up until that point, there had been a new installment every two or three years since the series debuted with 1962’s Dr. No. A combination of legal problems, unfortunate passings and illness, this expanse of time lead Timothy Dalton to opt out of playing Bond again, so the role went to Pierce Brosnon who was actually favored to replace Roger Moore a few times and was even offered the part but couldn’t do it because of Remington Steele contracts. Other changes this time around are the wonderful Judy Dench as M, Famke Jansson as henchwoman Xenia Onatopp, Joe Don Baker in his first good guy role Jack Wade and Alan Cummings as a computer geek who falls in with the bad guys.
Continuing where Dalton left off as Bond, Brosnon’s version keeps things a little more dark and realistic. Well, for the most part. Some folks might have a problem with the opening sequence’s getaway on a physics level, but if you can’t enjoy all that I feel bad for you. Not only does Bond bungee jump to a secret facility, team up with fellow Double Oh agent Sean Bean (forgot to mention him above), shoot and fight a bunch of guys and then ride a motorcycle off a cliff to soar down, get into a plane and fly it to safety. It was AWESOME. The over the top action sequences (there’s also the tank chase which is pretty epic), Famke’s wonderfully crazy Xenia and another wonderfully light appearance by Desmond Llewelyn as Q bring things up a bit but overall the movie has a pretty serious tone.
Even with the somewhat darker tone, I still had a lot of fun with this movie. In addition to all the elements I’ve already mentioned, the idea of a Double Oh going rogue and returning to face off against Bond is super interesting and I’m kind of surprised hadn’t been used before. It’s also interesting that this is the first of the Bond flicks to be completely original and not have any references to Ian Fleming’s books or short stories. It comes across in the story which has a lot to do with computers and EMPs and giant satellites and the like. Like every movie involving computers from the mid 90s, though, anything having to do with them seems cute and quaint now. When the beautiful on-the-run code monkey and soon-to-be Bond Girl Natalya Simonova (played by Izabella Scorupco) tells some guy the kind of computer she needs, I chuckled to myself. Phones can do what that computer could do.
It was interesting going back and watching this movie for probably only the second time. I was 12 when this movie came out. I don’t have specific memories of going to see it in theaters, but I think I did. Even though I’ve talked about my love of the Bond series, it always tended towards the older movies because those are the ones I watched with my dad on tape or TV. I remember liking Brosnon’s Bond movies for the most part, but there wasn’t any nostalgia there because they were modern. Looking back now, there’s definitely some nostalgia now because these are the Bonds of my teenage years and I saw most of them in theaters with friends throughout high school and possibly college (I’ll have to check out some dates and get back to you with the specifics).
Leave it to fate to present me with one of the few movies written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci that I haven’t seen after writing a post about them.
Usually I don’t like to watch movies I haven’t seen before on TV, but I’m guessing there weren’t a lot of scenes cut out of The Legend of Zorror for TBS on Saturday. I did have to suffer through two hosts who annoyed the crap out of me. Why do networks find it necesarry to put people like this on as hosts of a movie? Even if the movie is sponsored by someone specific (in this case San Diego’s Sea World), just show a bunch of extra commercials or videos of Shamoo launching people through the air. If they’re not going to add anything to the movie (like Dave Holmes does), then skip it.
Anyway, rant aside, I remember liking the original 1998 Mask of Zorro quite a bit, especially the legacy aspect of the hero (I’m a sucker for that). The funny thing is that I don’t even remember this movie coming out. Ah well. We catch up with Zorro who’s been married to Catherine Zeta-Jones for 10 years and they have a kid, so he gave up being Zorro (or maybe just for a short time, I’m not completely clear on that as I missed the first 10-15 minutes). Anyway, he gets pushed to far and finally gets to Zorro some dudes and it’s awesome.
The sword fights are cool, there’s explosions and fireworks, Antonio Banderas is awesome as always, Catherine Zeta-Jones is super pretty and also kicks some ass, the kid is pretty good at kicking ass himself AND Michael Emerson (that’s right, Ben from Lost), is in it. This is the only thing I know that I’ve seen him in after seeing him on Lost and he’s good in this too. The movie’s directed by Marin Campbell who also did Goldeneye and Casino Royale and is, as of now, slated to direct the Green Lantern movie I am really looking forward to. Like Rush Hour 3, it’s a great popcorn movie and I will make a point of watching it again if I stumble across it on TV again. Once again, well done Kurtzman and Orci, your record remains untarnished (I should really give Mission Impossible III another watch, it’s just so hard buying Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a villain!).