Amy Ryan

goosebumps featured

These days, it seems every old TV show, movie, and book series is getting the Hollywood “let’s throw some CGI at it and make a movie out of it” treatment.  It seems especially easy for movie-makers and the studio powers-that-be, because no matter how much fans complain about the “bastardization” of the classic properties that we know and love… people still go see the new stuff.  They still toss money at it, which in turn lets said movie-makers make a profit, which validates their decision to remake/reboot an old property, which gives them the gumption to go remake/reboot another old series.  It is, quite frankly, a vicious cycle.

One of the side effects, of course, is that new movies “based on the original [insert media type here]!” usually get the “this probably won’t be that great” mentality from the audience.  Is that unfair?  Tough to say for sure; for every “good” reboot we’re given (the newer Star Trek films, to use a popular example) there seems to be an equal number of, shall we say it politely, “not-so-good” products (who on the good green Earth was asking for a Karate Kid remake, really?!).  So, it was with more than a little trepidation that I went to my advance screening of the latest old-product-turned-new movie offering, Goosebumps.  While it didn’t exactly blow me away, I was pleasantly surprised and largely entertained, and I suspect kids and twentysomethings that grew up with the books will find even more to enjoy.

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Birdman

My love for Michael Keaton borders on obsession. And, no, I’m not a huge fan of him just because he played Batman. Keaton’s comedic skills and intensity and overall character work is unlike anyone else out there. Often mimicked but never duplicated, Keaton is in a class of his own.

That’s why it’s such a bummer that he’s been below the radar for so long. However, when he does re-emerge in something (even the iffy RoboCop remake) people always say, “Hey, why isn’t Michael Keaton in more stuff? And why isn’t he a bigger star?”

With his new film, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, Keaton might be getting that comeback he so rightly deserves. (more…)