Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scientific Accuracy in Sci-Fi

Found this over at Slashfilm. I don't like it when such bad light is shed on some of my favorite movie institutions... particularly in comparison to Apollo 13, which clearly falls outside the realm of sci-fi and therefore should be held to a different standard. Still, I do like the visualization.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Impressive Body Counts

Ive not yet seen The Expendables. This poster is getting me more excited about it. Initial thoughts?

Expendables Count
Via: Term Life Insurance

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Sad Keanu Cutout to Brighten Your Day

This hilarious and awesome picture of a sad Keanu Reeves has been bouncing around on reddit.com for awhile, ultimately resulting in this awesome cutout, which is now sitting on my work computer. Feel free to download at your leisure.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Review: Predators

Robert Rodriguez's Predators has been in the Action Direct cross-hairs for quite some time now. I personally have been quite apprehensive about the newest installment to the Predator franchise after having been brutally let down by AVP in the summer of 2004. Read on for a review of Predators (spoilers ensue, so beware).

There are far fewer examples of successful reboots in recent history than failed ones. And I for one am happy to say that Predators falls on the successful side of that all too hazy line.

Predators succeeds by transparently and unabashedly riding the coattails of the original film. Set in an alien jungle which is more than reminiscent of the Guatemalan selva of the original, the cast of this story is literally dropped into the film with little to no introduction. But who needs one? The audience, who by the way just paid $11 to watch a movie called "Predators", is presented with a squad of misfits carrying guns (one of which is a mini-gun) and walking through the forest. We immediately know exactly what to expect from this movie, and I for one was more than pleased when it delivered. Homages abound in this film; from Arnie style deadfalls and booby-traps to the lone guatemalan woman in the movie supplying folklore about el diablo que hace trofeos del hombre. It was like coming home.

Furthermore, Predators goes ahead and delivers us a couple of twists (but not so many as to deviate from what we are already comfortable with). I thought that hinting at a feud between different predator tribes was excellent. Not only that, it was genius to have the original predator species (ie the "ugly mother-fucker" from Predator) be the one dangling from a ceremonial predator obelisk. An unseasoned Predator fan might not realize that this is actually the predator of old, and that the ones hunting Adrien Brody et al are something different. Those of us in the audience who spent their formative years watching and re-watching two of our would-be and one of our wannabe American governors trek through the jungle felt like we were part of a little secret, and smiled inwardly for having been let in on it.

Lastly, I have to say (and I've spoked to a few who strongly agree) that the fight between the Yakuza gangster and the predator peon was epic. How many of you would have ever guessed that a predator would respect the laws of kinjitsu? I will say little more except that I never would in a million years have expected this fight scene to work. On paper it sounds absurd, but on the silver screen.... classic.

Okay, okay. I know that some of you are not the ardent action-fans and loyal subjects to the B-film throne as I am. And I will admit that there are a couple of flaws here. A buddy of mine noted that since Batman Begins, there have been a couple of actors who have (unsuccessfully) tried to replicate Bale's raspy, yet badass, tone. Adrien Brody has sadly joined these ranks. And some might say that Predators was a little too much like the original, and this may very well be the case. But one needs to remember something when watching a movie like Predators: this is a movie about an alien species that hunts humans for sport and that originally starred a former body-builder who is now the governor of California. View it through this lens and you will assuredly enjoy yourself...

Post-Script: I should have mentioned in here that Rodriguez did not actually direct this movie, although he did write the script. Predators was directed by Nimrod Antal of Armored fame

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Let Me In...

Im not sure how many of you got the chance to watch the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In, directed by Tomas Alfredson since its release in 2008. Really creepy and really good (available for streaming on Netflix for those interested). It was sufficiently badass that the USA movie making machine has decided to remake it. This usually leads to a film which is inferior to the original in story and character development and far superior in special effects. You be the judge of which is more important. In any case, here is the trailer for the Let the Right One In remake, Let Me In, starring Chloe Moretz of Kickass fame. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Predators: 'Nuff Said

The SXSW Film Festival is going on, and I am once again not there. However, it is not surprising that such greats (and Austin regulars) like Robert Rodriguez are in attendance and have decided to give sneak previews of their latest projects. Have a look below at 2 glorious minutes of the latest Predator franchise installment, Predators. Let us hope and pray that this movie undoes the damage of AVP and AVP: Requiem.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Holy smokes! The new Tron Legacy trailer is now available for your viewing pleasure! And it looks sweet!

It has been a while since we made mention of the new Tron movie, coming soon to theaters near you. But for some time there has been deep rumblings on the blogs about this second installment of the now classic sci-fi. I'd suggest that you hold onto your butts in the coming months, as Disney is bound to rev up the advertisement as we near the release date (not until December of this year).

Thanks to Brandon for bringing this trailer release to my attention! Check out both the trailer for the original Tron and the latest release for Tron Legacy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

When Sci-Fi Let's You Down: Runaway (1984)

My faithful readers know that I am a man who loves sci-fi action, particularly of the 80s and 90s. Tonight, I decided to have a go with the film Runaway (1984) starring Tom Selleck and Cynthia Rhodes. This movie had all the promise of being a solid sci-fi action movie; kind of a Bladerunner or an I, Robot type. The Netflix synopsis goes something like:

Sgt. Jack Ramsey (Tom Selleck) is the police robotics expert on the case when evil genius Dr. Charles Luthor (Kiss front man Gene Simmons) unleashes his reprogrammed androids.

In the end, Runaway was a bit of a let down, despite Netflix's predicted 3.3 stars rating based on my personal preferences. Seeing Gene Simmons as Luthor, criminal mastermind and murderer, opposite Selleck was reasonably entertaining. But other than that, not a whole lot of note to mention...

...that is, aside from the epically un-scary robots which are supposed to comprise the impartial hand of said criminal mastermind. Now, I don't normally like to get down on older movies for having crappy "futuristic" technology, but I can't help myself with this one. Runaway seems to go to great lengths to show its audience that toaster ovens with 357 magnums are assuredly not scary.

The fact of the matter is, well-before Runaway's release, Ridley Scott and James Cameron were doing a hell of a job creating sci-fi films which have definitively passed the test of time (think Alien and Terminator). Director Michael Crighton has no excuse for creating this refuse. Have a look at the clip below to see just what I mean...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Movies I'm Looking Forward to Seeing: Splice

Sundance is going on right now, and, as one might expect, there is chatter abound about lots of different films on the blogs. One of these is the film Splice, directed by Vincenzo Natali (director of Cube and a number of Earth: Final Conflict episodes, for those interested). I heard about this movie a while back when they released a short clip (below) online, and remember thinking that it looked good. Of course, keeping track of potentially awesome sci-fi movies is only a hobby (sigh), and thus the movie almost instantaneously fell off of my radar.

But now it has aired at Sundance, and the reviews are coming back that it is both awesome and a bit disturbing... Splice hits theaters February 24th, and I can't wait. Check out the clip below and give me your impressions when you get a chance.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Your Dad's Captain America

I just read on /film that Albert Pyun's Captain America (1990) is available to watch in full on Hulu. Hulu's description of this movie is as follows:

Superhero foils Red Skull and saves the president.

That sounds about right.

Although this version of Captain America doesn't have the best reputation among superhero-action film aficionados, it nevertheless played a pivotal role in my early perception of America's most patriotic of masked vigilantes. I remember watching this old movie with Keanu as a child and thinking that it was awesome. Of course, I may not think so now if I watched it again (which I will tonight). But I think it's important to remember that comic books have undergone a huge transformation in the past century. This film is a but a landmark on this long road.

You can watch Captain America in full below.


Thanks to Albert Pyun, the man himself, for directing me to this interview about Captain America... where can I sign the petition?