Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Good Day To.....SKIP Die Hard

   We all love nostalgia. The Expendables made us love seeing classic 80's action heroes together. The timing would be right for action films to make a comeback right? Apparently not. Arnold and Sly both gave new solo films an attempt and both failed. Now it's Bruce Willis' turn to bring John Mclane back for another ride. Big explosions, one liners, and impossible odds are all staples in this classic franchise. So how does the latest installment deliver?

   If I am being honest, It simply doesn't. John McClane is a long way from home. He is still a cop and now heads to Russia to find his wayward son Jack played by Jai Courtney of Spartacus:Blood and Sand fame.
McClane quickly discovers his son is a C.I.A. agent and gets caught up in international espionage mission. The McClane boys must team up so save the free world.

   John Moore is the new director and this time out, it's a very small movie. The trailers and plot summary would lead you to believe it is big, but it never feels like it. Willis plays a different McClane and quite frankly it doesn't play. The riff between he and his son is never really explained and John McClane seems to really be phoning this one in. Jai Courtney isn't bad, but this movie feels like a separate story that someone decided to throw, "the cop from Die Hard," into. The early chase seen is pretty cool and might be the closest thing to Die Hard that this movie gets. I say this because it borders on impossible and Die Hard was always good at that. The big problem is, after the chase is over you have to sit through the rest of the film.

   There are two great things about the Die Hard Franchise. One of them is the villains. Alan Rickman, William Sadler, Jeremy Irons, and Timothy Olyphant all gave us great villians. They were the perfect compliment to Willis over powering sarcasm and wit. The latest installment fails miserably in this department. Twists you can see coming from the beginning, the evil daughter, and the talk to much terrorist are all we get.It's not clearly enough and is the biggest disappointment of the film. I have said it before, the hero is only as good as his villain. John McClane is working with nothing here.

  The other thing Die Hard was good for, was making you root and feel for McClane. It doesn't happen here. It doesn't even feel like the same guy. John was better with a good supporting cast. He needed a Samuel L. Jackson, Justin Long, or anyone from the previous films. Courtney does what he can, but it just falls flat.

   The special effects in the end are B-Grade, the plot is sub-par, and John McClane deserves better. I enjoyed the fourth installment and this should clearly have been skipped. The movie is short and that is it's only saving grace. Greg Walton always said to never trust a big action film in February and he couldn't be more accurate here. I hope Die Hard 6 is made if for no other reason than to give John McClane a proper send off. He doesn't get it here. See a different or re-watch the previous films, but skip this.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why It's Time For A Jusice League Movie?


   Comic Book entertainment is the new thing. Movies, television, and cartoons are big money makers in most cases. Hollywood is constantly trying to adapt the latest property. DC Comics seems to have a mixed bag of success when it comes to their characters. Superman and Batman being their biggest.

  The social media world we live in allows us all to have an opinion, but I feel like people spew hate just for the sake of being negative. Criticism is good, but hating simply to hate is counter productive. I decided to take a look at DC's offerings as a whole and offer up my own take.  This all comes from a comment I read from a writer named Mark Millar, he is very credible, but I took this particular comment as a bit insulting. We'll get to that later. Let's start with Green Lantern.

   Easily one of the biggest let downs for fans everywhere. Studios seem to not know when to leave their hands off of things. They have millions of dollars riding on the success of these films, but the suits are too stupid to realize when they've become too involved. The bottom line is, plot matters. Green Lantern was doomed from day one. Anyone could've seen that. Ryan Reynolds was the wrong choice and an all C.G.I. costume was a mistake. The movie had it's moments, but Reynolds never seems to take things seriously and that is the problem. Hal Jordan is not Van Wilder with a magic ring. The story was about 90 percent wrong and could never be salvaged. The setting should have stayed in space and the other Lanterns should've had a bigger role. The scene with Sinestro putting on the yellow ring for no reason was just stupid. The character isn't broken, he was just never given a proper try. You cannot ground a magic ring in realism. So don't bother trying.

    Superman is easily they most well known hero. The best of them all. The boyscout. He is arguably the toughest to bring to any screen. Christopher Reeve is the iconic version of the Last Son Of Krypton, but let's be honest, Superman 3 and 4 are nothing short of crap.  Bryan Singer was chosen to re launch the franchise and again I think story got in the way. Brandon Routh was not a bad Superman, but the story didn't help him. I liked the possibility of Clark having a son, but the lifting of the island of kryptonite was just stupid. That being said, the scene of him saving the plane is one of the greatest in any comic book film. Catching jets that fall from the sky is pure Superman. We all look forward to the next outing in this summer's Man Of Steel. I am worried, but hoping for the best. Superman isn't a dark and brooding character. Taking him dark is a HUGE mistake.

   There is no polarizing series than Smallville. Fan boys are ridiculously hard on the show and are quick to blast it at every opportunity. Let me honestly say that I love this show. I was disappointed with the finale and truth be told the entire last season. Darkseid should never been attempted on television. Smallville was entertaining. It gave us ten years of Superman. It wasn't completely faithful to the comics, but it was close and had more good moments than bad. DC has had success with their other tent pole character. The Batman.

    Batman had his rough spots. The Shumacher years were not kind, but Chis Nolan got it right didn't he? In a lot of ways, absolutely. The Dark Knight is the best comic book movie yet. Nolan captured the essence of who the character was, but some how managed to lose that in The Dark Knight Rises. Anybody cannot be Batman. Bruce Wayne is Batman. John "Robin" Blake is not. It's an OK movie, but Bruce would never just stop being Batman. He is driven. He is borderline psychotic. He is also too smart to lose all of his money. Alfred would never walk away either. Bruce is his life. Nolan got 2/3 of the trilogy dead on. DC will reboot Batman and please spare us yet another origin story. Even casual fans know how and why he becomes Batman. Give us a great story and move on.

  Marvel hit a home run with The Avengers. They let Whedon do it the right way. It had everything an ensemble movie needed. Your move DC.

  Mark Milllar said something to the extent of Justice League characters being dated. I couldn't disagree more. The story needs to be simple. A threat that is too big for one hero to handle alone. Marvel used it's individual heroes to launch The Avengers. DC needs to go the opposite direction in the case of Justice League. These are characters who are loved. JL Unlimited was one of the most entertaining cartoons in recent years. Martian Manhunter and Flash may be a bit more obscure, but so were Hawkeye and Black Widow. The Avengers introduced them to a whole new audience. I don't think they could carry their own movies, but it would be cool to see them along with Superman and Batman. It's also a great way to relaunch Green Lantern and Batman. The problem is two fold. The studios stray too far from the source material and fan boys are far too critical.

  The Justice League isn't too dated. It just needs to be given the right story. Producers and studios, when it comes to comic book movies seem to forget that plot matters. Marvel has done a great job with the ensemble superhero flick. Your move DC. Don't mess it up.