Archive for April, 2010

The Losers
Not a Winner

The Losers is loosely based on a comic book, but watching it you’d think it was inspired by the television action serials of the 1980s. That makes it a good fit in a year that will also see the release of a big screen A-Team and the “MacGyver”-inspired Macgruber. Director Sylvain White and his screenwriters do their best to provide plenty of macho banter, stunts and explosion and the results are somewhat mixed.

The Back-up Plan
What's Plan C?

It was not that long ago when it felt like Jennifer Lopez was everywhere. She was the movie star of the moment, a pop star and a paparazzi favorite. Over the past few years, though, she managed to stay out of the spotlight and play the role of wife and mother. The Back-up Plan is her first movie since her pet project in 2006, El cantante. Her comeback actually began with a guest spot on How I Met Your Mother a few weeks ago which was both sexy and humorous. Unfortunately, The Back-up Plan is anything but.

Death at a Funeral
Funerals Can Be Funny, Too

I shared my opinion of remakes when I reviewed the new Clash of the Titans a few weeks ago, but the new version of Death at a Funeral is something of a rarity. Most remakes are either of older movies—29 years in the case of Titans—or English-language versions of foreign films. I suppose the original Death at a Funeral is technically a foreign film in terms of Hollywood, but that foreign country was Great Britain and the movie was in English. It’s also not very old, being released only three years ago in 2007. But the question of whether it is too soon to remake an English-language film is the subject for another day. Right now, the question is, was it worth it?

Bloody Cool

Kick-Ass is truly a modern comic book adaptation. The comic book on which it is based is only a couple of years old itself and takes advantage of the modern superhero craze, along with the current obsession with reality television and YouTube-infused celebrity. Director Matthew Vaughn infuses the film version with a witty, often tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and a surprising amount of violence and bloodshed for a film about teenager superhero wannabes. Some points lag and some of its better points seem to have been forgotten about in the film’s second half. Nevertheless, Kick-Ass is a cool, original, and thoroughly entertaining movie.

Clash of the Titans
Modern Effects Lack Original's Charm

Here’s my opinion on remakes: If there’s no obvious way that a movie can be improved, let it be. It’s for that reason that I haven’t made any kind of effort to see Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, and why I’m wary of the upcoming Karate Kid remake. On the other hand, if a movie has a glaring weakness—say, some very out-of-date special effects—then by all means, Hollywood, go to town. I consider the original Clash of the Titans to be a personal favorite, but I’m the first to admit that many of its effects are just plain awful. Therefore, I was excited for the CGI-laced remake, even if the end result just left me longing for original.