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 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.