“Suggested By” Indeed

I saw a number of movies this weekend most notably True Legend for Far West inspirado.

I also saw On Stranger Tides. Wait… actually, no I didn’t. I didn’t see Tim Powers’ masterful book On Stranger Tides put on the big screen, the book that made me want to write Skull & Bones. No, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides a movie that was, as this post’s title notes, “suggested by” Tim’s book.

I hope Tim got a big wad of money for loaning them his title, his bad-guy (one of them… sort of), and kinda his plot, I guess. It wasn’t even that bad of a movie, really… I mean, it wasn’t particularly good either, but it wasn’t atrocious.

Look, do both of us a favor… go read On Stranger Tides, brand new paper copies are now readily available due to the release of the movie (which make a point of saying on them in very small print “suggested the movie picture”) and certainly an electronic copy is a few keystrokes away.

Then you can regret along with me that the existence of this tepid movie means no real adaptation of Tim’s book for another 20 years, if ever.

Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Fate is… Vaguely kind?

I saw The Adjustment Bureau this weekend. Light spoilers follow:

Acting? Superb. Everyone was well cast.

Plot premise? Excellent.

Execution? Horribly disappointing. My biggest problem with the movie (and its a doozie) there are no bad guys. The movie goes out of its way to make the Agents of Fate likable. Just doing a tough job, nothing personal.

Nothing interesting, either. What could have been an amazing movie falls short due to an obvious unwillingness on the part of the film’s makers to take any real chances or piss anybody off by following through on the many implications the plot throws out, but then leaves by the wayside.


Conclusion: Flawed, enjoyable enough, but flawed.

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 5:38 PM  Leave a Comment  

Gives Us Buckets of Blood

I saw the new Jason Statham flick, The Mechanic, this weekend. I’ve liked Statham since Snatch though some of his movies are definitely hit or miss.

Mechanic wasn’t the greatest modern action flick I’ve seen, but the fact that it was a straight-up ballsy R with some serious ultra-violence along with a touch of sex made it quite charming… well, from my point of view at any rate.

How I curse the rise of the PG-13 action flick. Admittedly, Nolan showed the new way with Dark Knight but still, I like proper weapon play. One of my favorite action films of the last decade (and believe it or not inspirado for you budding Far West fans) is John Singleton’s Four Brothers. Four Brothers is basically a classic revenge western set in modern Detroit and yeah, it is definitely an R. Greatly underrated, it helped continue to establish Mark Wahlberg as a contender, showed Tyrese Gibson to a wider audience, and introduced Garrett Hedlund (who just played Sam Flynn in Tron: Legacy).

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 8:05 PM  Leave a Comment  

Let it Rain…

…for this is the year (2011 that is) of the superhero flood. We have, let’s see, the Green Hornet, Priest, Thor, the Green Lantern, and Captain America. Technically we also have Kung Fu Panda 2 and for all I know, the Spiderman reboot. I think Nolan’s third Batman is slated for 2012, but seriously, lot o’ freaking superhero films.

I’ve been thinking about it because my friends at Green Ronin are soon to bust out their greatly anticipated Mutant & Masterminds 3rd edition, complementing their DC Heroes book, and Adamant has the glorious Icons in full swing.

Anywho, knowing the circles I run in lots of folks have been asking me what I think about all the superhero movies coming up this year. So am I looking forward to all of the above? Well, yes and no. I have mixed feelings on most of them, save one. I think Thor is going to kick ass, mainly because I’ve always liked Kenneth Branagh as both an actor and a director. Some of his Shakespeare adaptations have been a little self-indulgent, but in general I think he does good cinema. The fact that he has been a Thor fan since childhood is big icing on the cake. The newest Thor trailer looks amazing (I don’t give two shits that Heimdal is black – I literally didn’t even notice until it was directly pointed out to me) and Chris Hemsworth looks to be a knock-it-out-of-the-park casting decision for Thor.

And Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin? Fucking A.

I go back and forth on the others – though Captain America’s direction, as homage more in the Indiana Jones style of movie – is a great choice and could really make that one stand out – as could Green Lantern’s decision to flat-out embrace the alien nature of the GL Corps.

We shall all get to see eventually…





Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 7:46 PM  Leave a Comment  

Where Are Ideas Born?

“Within Dreams” used to be my answer. I’ll have to come up with a new one, ’cause everybody will think I’m cribbing from Inception from now on.

That’s okay though. Inception leapt to my personal top 3 movies of this life in one viewing, which is pretty damn remarkable, as I’m an old and jaded cinema goer. That Nolan fella has got him some leet skills.

Review? Nope. Reviewing perfection is like unto personal blasphemy.


Alright, one line review: Lacuna with a Neuromancer chaser.


Published in: on July 19, 2010 at 5:21 PM  Leave a Comment  

My Toy Story Story

So we turn the way-back machine to the summer of ’95. My friend Patrick and I went to see an early Saturday matinee of the film from a relatively new little studio called Pixar. We had both seen the short of the bouncing light along with “Tin Toy” before. It was the first weekend and the theatre was absolutely packed with children.

I think we were about 30 minutes in when a sense that something was off in the theatre struck me… I couldn’t put my finger on what it might be for another 20 minutes or so until I suddenly realized what it was. I’m a big fan of all forms of animation, be it Miyazaki or Disney or what-have-you I see it in the theatre, often at a matinee and kids, even the best behaved kids, make a lot of noise at the movies…

There was no sound from the audience; no sound at all. I mean, there was popcorn munching, and frequent laughter at appropriate moments, but otherwise, no sound from the kids. I turned and looked back into the darkened theatre and all I could see was little faces staring up in rapture, eyes wide open, mouths agape. The whole theatre was soundless, speechless, utterly captivated. I caught the eye of a few Moms and Dads and grinned. They grinned right back.

It was magical.

I’ll be damned if it didn’t happen again last Saturday afternoon.

Soundless, mouths agape.


I love you, Pixar – thanks for my Father’s Day present.

Published in: on June 20, 2010 at 4:33 PM  Leave a Comment  

There Is No Plan B

So, like many scions of the 80s, I loved me some A-Team. I can’t say I was obsessive, but I did know the Intro by heart and secretly hoped that one day, maybe, I could hire the A-Team. To do what, I have no idea. Probably eliminate corrupt administrators at my school… not that the A-Team ever actually, you know, “eliminated” anybody…

So it is reasonable, I’ll go out on a limb here and say not very spoilery at all, to tell you that the A-Team does a 100% more eliminating in their new film than they did in their previous TV incarnation. The critics have been pretty squarely mixed, presently sporting a 52% at Rottentomatoes. Screw ’em. I had no expectations whatsoever – correspondingly, it was an absolute blast. Lots of them, in fact. Big damn explosions every 10 minutes or so like clockwork.

It was fun and I got my money’s worth.

Standout performance: Sharlto Copley. I thought he was awesome in District 9, but Holy S@#@! Keep an eye on that one, I predict a long and character-filled career for that man. He was absolutely flawless as Howling Mad Murdock, smoothly striding along the edge of Crazy-Like-A-Fox and believably genuinely having lost-the-plot.

Published in: on June 13, 2010 at 7:53 PM  Leave a Comment