If we, in fact, live in the darkest timeline, we’d be faced with not one, not two, but maybe three or four sequels to Tim Burton’s ill-conceived, poorly-received Planet of the Apes remake. But 20th Century Fox – or rather the executives who ran Fox 16 years ago – decided against continuing the series and went for a new, fresh start that took the better part of a decade to realize. But when Rise of the Planet of the Apes arrived in multiplexes seven years ago, it was not just the exception to the Hollywood rule (all remakes are bad, all reboots are questionable, at best), but it was truly exceptional too. (more…)
It’s nice when everything comes together. Earlier in the day on Sunday, I was talking with someone about Twin Peaks and where we left things off two weeks ago. After the journey through symbolism and 1950s New Mexico in episode 8, this person I was talking to theorized that episode 9 would be more direct, and dig back into the main story, whatever it is. I’m through trying to guess what David Lynch is going to do, but it turns out my friend was correct. In part 9, Lynch was going to try and start unravelling these mysteries he’s laid out. For this week anyway. (more…)
It would be inappropriate for a site called “Nerd Bastards” to allow for the tenth season of Doctor Who to come to an end and pass without commenting, and the season finale Saturday night left a pretty definitive end for the Time Lord, his friends, and his enemies while opening an intriguing door to the Twelfth Doctor’s last stand coming this Christmas. In the meantime, Twelve’s second last adventure probably epitomized all the things we love and hate about the Steven Moffat era of Who: big ideas, touching camaraderie, and more than a little timey-whimey sleight of hand to get to the end game. (more…)
To reboot or not to reboot. That was the question facing Sony Studios just three years ago. After The Amazing Spider-Man 2 left almost no one excited for a third go-round with Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield’s bumming brooder, Sony had little choice except to continue down the same road, with diminishing returns and eventually reboot the series with a new director and actor or reboot now (or rather then), teaming up, superhero style, with Marvel, bringing everyone’s favorite web slinger to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), where Spider-Man has belonged since Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created him more than five decades ago. There was a risk too, of course, of miscasting, of hiring the wrong director or writers, of playing up too much fan service, both to Spider-Man’s comic-book roots, or too story-dragging world building to connect the new, latest, and greatest Spider-Man to the ongoing MCU and its increasingly complex mythology. All those risks? More than worth taking, especially when the result, Spider-Man: Homecoming, doesn’t just succeed in making moviegoers forget about the last two, disappointing missteps, but delivers arguably the best, true-to-his-comic-book roots Spider-Man on film. (more…)
So what did you think of this week’s Twin Peaks? The good news is you’ve got two weeks to figure out what just happened, the bad news is that two weeks is only about 25 per cent of the time you’ll need to even begin to try and decode everything. If you thought David Lynch was being purposefully obstinate and aloof thus far, you were not prepared for whatever the hell just happened in episode 8. Perhaps Lynch thought he and Mark Frost were being too direct last week by actually moving the narrative forward, but only Lynch can dedicate an hour of cable TV to a master thesis in media art. (more…)
Michael Bay (Armageddon, The Rock, Bad Boys) has spent the last decade spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $1b to bring Hasbro’s toy line to CGI life. Worldwide, moviegoers have embraced Bay’s emphasis on slo-mo, explosives-heavy action, robot-on-robot action, and crude, low-grade humor. Of course, those same moviegoers have proven time and time again that story, character, and dialogue mean next to nothing to them. Here’s the thing: They have a point. Mute the dialogue in Bay’s latest contribution to another “Summer of Sequels, Prequels, and Reboots,” Transformers: The Last Knight, and it’s almost a tolerable experience. Bay’s special set of skills put him in unique company. He can deliver massive, massively scaled controlled chaos like few other directors can. But he’s also a limited moviemaker, incapable of finding or developing scripts with recognizably human characters, believable dialogue, or humor above the second- or third-grade level.
SOME SPOILERS BELOW
Here we are at Twin Peaks episode 7. It’s the beginning of the second act (if we are to split the series into three groups of six episodes), and let’s consider the idea that the number 7 itself has been a significant number in the world of Twin Peaks. So what would the seventh episode of the revival give us? Clarity, I think was the hope. Lord knows that despite how much we’ve been enjoying the zaniness and the weirdness we would really like to see some sign that the series is out to tell a story and is not being used as a dumping ground for every odd thought that David Lynch has had in the last quarter century… (more…)
Last week’s episode of American Gods was one of the weakest of the season. As stated before, it didn’t really feel like a penultimate episode and probably should have switched around with the previous week. Learning about Essie McGowan (who looked eerily similar to Laura Moon) and her devotion to Mad Sweeny didn’t add much overall, but it did deliver fine performances by Pablo Schreiber and Emily Browning as they were the central characters that episode. However, we still have the Cold War between the Old Gods and the New Gods. Thank goodness for this week!
With Episode 6, Twin Peaks proves that even though you may not know where it’s going, it can still give you an emotional reaction whether that’s humour, horror, or grief, and you got all three in this week’s edition. I don’t know if this new Twin Peaks is David Lynch dumping every idea he’s had for the last 27 years into one narrative, or whether he’s punking TV recappers and fans that like to turn over every rock on set for every little clue, but I do know that the developments on this week’s episode had me hypnotically transfixed from one hilarious moment to the next utterly shocking moment. (more…)
Throw An American Werewolf in London, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lifeforce, the ’99 Mummy remake, and Dawn of the Dead: Zack Snyder Edition, into a figurative blender. Subtract everything you love about those movies and the misshapen, shambling, stitched-together mess that results would look a lot like Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, Universal’s desperate attempt to kickstart their own interconnected cinematic universe to rival Marvel or DC and their multi-billion dollar grosses. Without any superheroes of their own, Universal did what any major studio with Fast & Furious money would do: They dug deep into their century-old back catalog and came up with the so-called “Dark Universe,” a shared universe starring Universal’s “famous monsters.” If the stillborn The Mummy is any indication, though, the “Dark Universe” has failure written all over it. And Tom “Mr. 120%” Cruise isn’t to blame, at least not completely. A badly underwritten script pieced together from the work of six credited writers deserves most of the blame. (more…)