This is July 4th weekend
used to be owned by Will Smith (whose MIB3 did okay business)
now owned by tentpole super flicks. Like Hulk, Spiderman was remade less than a decade after they (in many eyes) got it right and for no real reason. But here is the trailer (side note: I hate noble superheroes, they are so dull).
from this is London
Shame. We finally get a British superhero, and he’s a bit boring. London-born Andrew Garfield has stepped into the spandex Spidey-suit for this premature reboot of the Marvel franchise.
Director Marc Webb aims for a new realism, stripping away the brio of Sam Raimi’s 2002 version with Tobey Maguire.
He also dispenses with much of the character and sass that always made this character fun. It’s not Garfield’s fault: he is a convincingly troubled, inarticulate Peter Parker, a springily athletic Spider-Man, and has awesome hair. His greatest enemy is the script. That, and the rather wearisome 3D.
Realism is a relative term, of course. Peter the nerd is still given great powers by a mutant spider’s bite, but this time it’s the tool of geneticists, not an atomic scientist’s mistake. And it was the involvement of Peter’s missing father in genetics that first drew him into this, um, web. That, and the charms of classmate Gwen Stacy (reliably husky Emma Stone), who like Peter is a whizzo science nerd.
Peter and Gwen, 17, are given remarkable freedom to run around the lab owned by desperate, dying plutocrat Norman Osborn, and run by Rhys Ifans’s deeply suspect Dr Curt Connors. The doctor wants to regrow his missing arm using lizard DNA. Predictably, there are side effects. Ifans plays Connors in tragic-villain default mode when he’s human, channelling Peter O’Toole at his most offhand. When he turns monster, there’s a lot of roaring.
Webb’s film is slow on plot, skimpy on character development. It takes 45 minutes for Peter’s Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) to be murdered, an hour till we see the spider suit. Then Peter goes from dorky to cocky without passing charm on the way. Brittle Gwen turns gooey the moment he turns up at school battered from fighting crime. So, chicks dig scars, right?
The “RealD 3D” is fine for the flying sequences, confusing in the fights, and gives that awful cardboard-cutout look to narrative scenes. Webb saves up most of the emotional punch for a downbeat, wet-eyed ending in which Garfield and Stone are superb. Then there’s a completely nonsensical scene cueing up the inevitable sequel.
Oliver Stone has made a macho action film that could turn out odd like U Turn or amazing like NBK. This is the first Stone film I have looked forward to since Nixon. He has a handful of 5 star films so cannot discount him yet. Hope Travolta is so good in this we all discount the gay pilot story for a couple years anyway
Katy Perry in 3D and I can barely stomach her in 2D. Her image reminds me of that Barbie Girl song from decades back. Any one who thinks California is the greatest place on Earth does not deserve a movie (I say that as a California resident). Plus I tend to side with Russell Brand.
For the 4th of July weekend, I think I’ll be catching up on movies that have been out for a while. I saw The Amazing Spider-Man several months ago and while it’s definitely better than the Sam Raimi films, it still seems unnecessary and the story a bit dated. With movies like The Dark Knight and Iron Man, superhero movies have been elevated since the first Spider-Man came out and unless you completely revamp the series and approach it from a completely different angle (like with what Nolan did with Batman Begins), it’s going to fall flat. Such is the case with The Amazing Spider-Man. I like Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield is a much more natural fit to play Peter Parker but I don’t know, I’m burned out on superhero movies. Enough is enough.
Speaking of burned out, how is Oliver Stone still making movies?
Savages looks like it could be a mess. Hopefully, Stone has his act together.
I’m still waiting for the first film of this superhero knock off:
Though I’m not sure James Spader is going to fit into that suit anymore.
Katy Perry has a movie??? What’s it even about?
I hope my fiancee doesn’t find out about this…….
It’s about Katy Perry being Katy Perry. Seriously.
Actually, I don’t think I would mind seeing that… I hate California Girls, but most of Katy Perry’s other songs are pretty good, IMO, and the still for the trailer looks pretty ridiculous.
It looks better than the Justin Beiber movie.
“Like Hulk, Spiderman was remade less than a decade after they (in many eyes) got it right and for no real reason.”
Reason = $. If you guys had kids you’d realize that 5 years is an eternity in this context and there’s a whole new set of 7-13 year-olds to sell this sort of film to since Spider-Man 3 came out in 2007.
Going on vacation the weekend of July 6, so I’m not sure I’ll get out to see anything. If I can, I’ll try and see “The Amazing Spider-Man.” As far as “Savages,” I have little to no interest. And Bijoux hit the nail on the head with “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D.” It’s about her being her in a needless third dimension…but I still kind of want to see it just to review it. And honestly, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” wasn’t awful.
I love you…
The main thing I remember about the Justin Bieber Movie trailer was somebody after what I guess was a test screening saying “I can’t believe he plays his own instruments!” lol
If Savages ends up being awful, I won’t be surprised. But I would like to be surprised.
The Amazing Spiderman has been my most anticipated film of the summer for close to a year now… Looking forward to it!
No offense to fans of Spidey or KP, but these 4th of July offerings seem pretty craptastic (can I add that to my anti-4th list, DFFOO??) . I guess it’s good that each film appeals to a different audience and the KP film is kind of a different idea for this holiday although I’m sure there will be plenty of fireworks in it :p
I do like Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield but I’ll wait until the weekend after opening to see it. I think I’ll do what Santino is doing and take this week to catch up on other films.
I want to see The Amazing Spider-Man because I find the casting of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone appealing. Plus, I love Spidey. I don’t expect a masterpiece or anything but summer fun. That being said…is anyone else suffering from Super Hero Fatigue Syndrome at this point? I think I am.
I have no interest in Savages…I lost interest in Stone years ago…..even when he had something to say his films were so biased and preachy that, in the end, I ended up disliking most of them….the exception is Platoon which I find holds up as a very solid Vietnam war film.
Don’t understand why its not Spider-Man 4!
(Actually, I do. I just think it’s short sighted.)
I’m pretty excited about Horner’s score. Any opinions?
Beyond all snark and irony, I cannot help but be compelled by the Spiderman trailer. I think it may actually be good, and in saying that I don’t disagree with anyone one bit when they say: 1) Too soon (others may forget but I haven’t), 2) Why so serious? (Spiderman is supposed to be a fun character, Batman is supposed to be bitchy; I have the same complaint about Superman revamp ‘Returns’), and 3) I would still actually enjoying seeing some new high concept film (high concept in the Hollywood, not conceptual, definition of the term).
I have such mixed feelings about Oliver Stone that ultimately I end up never seeing his movies, regardless of whether they are acclaimed or not.
Who’s Katy Perry?(#)
^ Actually I will say this, re: Katy Perry, the movie not the person.
I suppose this comes to show that personalities like these are making decent enough 3D event movies since they keep making them. The whole Jonas Brothers in 3D sort of thing had both that, “WHY?!” factor but also that, “Is this a ‘WHY?!’ that will be inevitably answered with box office returns, or do even Jonas Brothers fans have a bit of a, ‘But music videos are already on the television and this isn’t a live concert….’?” factor behind it. So in terms of Brian’s intentions behind these threads, to sort of track the successes and failures of mainstream cinema from a distance and comment on it, I will in fact be interested to see in how Katy Perry does — simply because unlike the Jonas Brothers, I don’t know who she is so it doesn’t feel as richly inevitable that people will go regardless. But maybe they will.
Why so serious?? Except for that part in the trailer where Spidey drops down and says, oh no you found my weakness …small knives. Suuuuuuuuuuuper cheese-ola.
But I think that was meant to come across as sarcastic and bitter like Batman’s, “I’m not the one wearing a hockey mask.”
You think?? Hmmmmm. I dunno. I complained about that part to my bf and he said that’s the kind of cheesy lines Spiderman is known for. I found it goofy more than sarcastic but I can see your point.
I think it’s a little of both. They’re turning his goofy cheesiness into snarky bitterness.
‘Cause it’s dark and gritty and thus realistic.
Katy Perry is Lady Gaga with all American looks and a sense of manufactored fun,
Everyone seems the same these days but Katy like Gaga at least has enough oddness about her to make a film of her potentially interesting (kind of like Madonna tho this is probably rated PG)
would like to see another R rated singer expose one of these days (like Truth or Dare)
I’m gonna see The Amazing Spider-Man tomorrow, yeahhhhhh! (the perks of being in another country)
Savages looks good too.
Katy Perry is an idiot.
The disreputable Oliver Stone of old makes a largely welcome reappearance with “Savages.” Pungent, nasty and teeming with colorful crooked types, the writer-director’s most vibrant (and violent) work in some time is a bracingly sordid saga of two young hash growers, the Orange County princess they love and the vicious Mexican cartel they get entangled with; imagine “Jules and Jim” with bombs and beheadings and you’re halfway there. Even when it softens the impact of Don Winslow’s scorching novel, this R-rated Universal release bristles with tension, and will likely enjoy a brief B.O. high that should last longer in ancillary.
An acidly funny chronicle of sex, drugs, murder and corruption of every stripe, Winslow’s attention-grabbing 2010 novel seemed so tailor-made for Stone that it was fast-tracked into his hands shortly after publication. Following a string of films that found the director playing uncharacteristically nice with sometimes politically loaded material (“World Trade Center,” “W.” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”), “Savages” offers nothing more nor less than a rude blast of cinematic energy, invigorating in its foulness and refreshing in its lack of self-importance.
Populated by wasted beauties and ruthless thugs, and shot through with moments of black humor and hair-trigger intensity, this bloody, scuzzy cocktail of a movie assuredly won’t be to every taste. Something similar could be said of the Afghanistan-derived super-cannabis harvested and distributed by peace-loving, environment-friendly Ben (Aaron Johnson) and his more volatile partner, Chon (Taylor Kitsch), an ex-Navy SEAL who’s not afraid to get nasty when their clients do the same.
These Laguna Beach layabouts share not only a successful business but also a lover, Ophelia, aka O (Blake Lively), a blonde babe whose interests include shopping, smoking pot and keeping her boys happy. “For me, they are one big man,” O murmurs in hazy voiceover, one of several lines that may leave the viewer unsure whether to laugh or toke up. Even still, the tonally tricky script (by Shane Salerno, Stone and Winslow) seems inclined to take these characters at least somewhat seriously, jettisoning much of the satirical distance and scalding humor that made the novel a merciless evisceration of affluent O.C. culture.
Dan Mindel’s gorgeous beachfront cinematography lends the early scenes an idyllic, dreamlike beauty that quickly fades when Ben and Chon turn down representatives of the Baja California cartel, who want to mass-market the duo’s extremely potent product. Soon O is kidnapped (from the mall, natch), taken to Mexico and locked up in a grungy Mexican compound run by ball-breaking cartel queen Elena (Salma Hayek) and her vile deputy, Lado (Benicio Del Toro). Rounding out this human circus are Lado’s dapper colleague (Demian Bichir) and a dirty-dealing DEA agent (John Travolta, proudly displaying a receding hairline), both of whom, in keeping with the story’s topsy-turvy moral logic, turn out to be more sympathetic than expected.
Preposterous as much of it is, the tale nonetheless generates a certain cross-cultural fascination as these narcissistic, nihilistic but highly resourceful kids find themselves down Mexico way. Indeed, the rest of the plot, propelled by shootings, stabbings and a few well-placed explosives, plays out like a contest to see which of these two warring factions can best live up to the description of the title.
For all its moment-to-moment ferocity, the film becomes a kinder, gentler thing than its source material, defanged by O’s wispy, philosophizing narration and a twisty cop-out of an ending. Yet if “Savages” never quite captures the novel’s diamond-hard sarcasm, it offers other satisfactions in its visceral immediacy, its overriding sense of danger and a clutch of performances that, whatever one’s reservations about the characters, can’t help but court the viewer’s emotional investment.
Because Ben, Chon and O are written to seem so vacuous from the outset, their occasional flashes of pluck and intelligence register as virtual epiphanies. Admittedly, Kitsch doesn’t have much more to do than play a slightly screw-loose killing machine, while Lively tends to stay in damsel-in-distress mode before gradually asserting herself in the final stretch. That leaves Johnson (“Kick-Ass”) to do most of the dramatic heavy lifting, as desperate circumstances push Ben from gormless pacifist to fierce man of action.
Holding the screen to far more galvanizing effect is Del Toro’s loathsome Lado, looking murderously unstable even when he’s not shooting guys in the kneecaps. And Hayek, wearing a long Cleopatra wig, sinks her teeth into her meatiest role in some time as a formidable yet not invulnerable crime boss who has made enormous sacrifices to build authority in her domain.
Up-to-the-minute technology provides a key storytelling assist, as both sides use TV and computer screens to negotiate with, threaten and spy on each other. Video footage, including some grisly evidence of the cartel’s more unspeakable crimes, is deftly interwoven by a trio of editors who maintain an electric pace throughout.
Stylistically, the picture isn’t quite as unhinged as one might expect or want, though the intense color palette sometimes fades to monochrome in an attempt to convey a sort of druggy poetry. Shooting widescreen on 35mm with anamorphic lenses, Mindel achieves a hot, sizzling look that suits the locations (Malibu, Los Angeles and Orange County) as well as Tomas Voth’s production design, capturing lives of upper-class privilege and south-of-the-border squalor.
Tommy, tell your boy, JB, I appreciate the love.
But the film wasn’t that bad. A little unimportant and conventional, but overall, not a dreck-fest.
Santino, you were wrong. The Amazing Spider-Man sucked ass! Why riff on the Raimi movies? They were the best superhero movies since Donner’s Superman (except Spider-Man 3, of course).
Katy Perry.is sesxy. wouldnt bother seeing her in anything though.
Im warming up to The Savages. looks better than the last 4-5 Stone films
REGARDING NEXT WEEK
I AM GOING TO WAIT TIL FRIDAY TO DO 7/13 THREAD
I WILL ALSO BE DOING THE 7/20 THREAD WITH IT SINCE ONLY ONE FILM COMES OUT ON THE 13TH (ICE AGE 4) AND ONLY NEW FILM ON THE 20TH (DARK KNIGHT 3)
THAT IS ALL
Is the Katy Perry movie actually about her or is it just marketing for her stage persona?
Honestly I wouldn’t hate Justin Bieber that much if it weren’t for the way he’s marketed. They make him out like a fucking Jesus figure.
‘Never say never’. A JB movie was a fucking obvious marketing decision, who the fuck said never?