Filed under:Cool,Movies,Television,Tolkien — posted by Anwyn on April 14, 2011 @ 10:27 am

This has to be the ultimate (and, probably, only) crossover between Firefly and The Lord of the Rings. As a bonus, it’s a Jayne shirt.

Why is it a crossover? The Chinese says “Fighting Elves.”

Via Whedonesque.

Don’t Cross the Streams … of Awesome

Filed under:Cool,Movies,Music — posted by Anwyn on April 8, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

The high school musical gods meet Star Wars. It’s from 1996, and I’m unclear if the three writers were students or the adults involved (and there had to be some, right?), but here it is–a musical even a geekman from my generation can enjoy, unless of course that man is too culturally bereft even to have seen, say, Grease. The writers of Star Wars: The Musical took tunes from there, from Les Mis, from Beauty and the Beast, from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,from Phantom of the Opera … and those were just the ones I recognized in the first segment, or ones that my sister recognized for me after I sang her a few bars. (Joseph was never my favorite.) So no, it’s not really a musical for a musical-hatin’ man, because the extra kick comes from recognizing the songs, but nevertheless it is a thing of high school beauty and awesome. A taste, as posted at Neatorama (the whole thing is up in segments at the link above):

If I were this creative I never would have left music teaching. Godspeed, kids.

Wretched Hive

Filed under:Heh,Movies — posted by Anwyn on February 16, 2011 @ 8:23 am

The little bee is a nice touch.

This Is Awesome

Filed under:Cool,Heh,Movies — posted by Anwyn on March 14, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

Watch it now. That is all.

Via Hot Air.

Sherlock Holmes Sequel Apparently In Development

Filed under:Cool,Movies — posted by Anwyn on January 27, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

Joel Silver says “the studio” wants him and Guy Ritchie to focus on a new Sherlock Holmes movie instead of something called Lobo, which, judging by the picture at the link, is a comic-book adaptation that I, personally, will not bemoan the lack of. IMDb lists “Untitled Sherlock Holmes Sequel” as in development, in content not available to those of us as yet unwilling to pay for IMDb Pro.

Hooray for more Downey-as-Holmes! Dear Mssrs. Silver & Ritchie: I loved Sherlock Holmes. Please get some wittier screenwriting this time around. Dear Mssrs. Downey & Law: Please carry on full speed ahead. Love, Anwyn

The Proposal

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on January 25, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

Why did stars as big as Sandra Bullock and Mary Steenburgen do this movie? Heck, why did stars the size of Ryan Reynolds or Craig T. Nelson do it? Not even Betty White was able to perk it up. I don’t mind formulaic romantic comedies. I’m a girl. I mind formulaic romantic comedies that think they can get by on formula and star power while adding absolutely zero wit or character development.

Sandra Bullock’s character, Margaret Tate, is a bitch in four-inch heels who rules the office with an iron hand and her assistant (Reynolds’s Andrew Paxton) with a whip-hand. Though her manner is uncompromising and manipulative, interestingly–and it was almost the only interesting thing available in these characters–her actions, as demonstrated by the firing of a subordinate, are reasonable bordering on gracious. When she lets him go, she tells him exactly why, her reason makes sense, and she gives him “two months to find another job, and you can say you resigned.” Most people losing jobs nowadays should do so well.

The movie grinds through its “get married to avoid deportation” plot, takes Margaret home to Andrew’s Alaskan small-town mogul parents, runs through the usual physical and embarrassment comedy scenes, and winds up with Margaret leaving because she now likes Andrew too much to make him go through with the wedding. The only warm moment was The Kiss of True Love, and by that point I was thanking the Hollywood gods that they could get that much right, because they certainly didn’t show enough change in the thoughts, feelings, or manners of these characters to make us care otherwise. Andrew’s parents were ciphers with no depth, as was his Alaskan ex, and the movie followed the seemingly now-standard formula of “two endings”–the big, public denouement followed by the quieter “real” ending when the characters finally come together. But that routine has to be handled carefully to make it work; otherwise it just feels tacked on and deflated. And no part of this movie, including the ending, got very careful handling.

The direction was not altogether lacking; some interesting camera work tried hard to provide the depth that was missing from the script. And the idea certainly was solid–see also Green Card–but unlike Green Card, the comedy scenes were mainly mildly cringe-inducing and the characters just flat. They had chemistry, but it was all untapped. It could have been a good movie had it had a different script. Alas. But hey … Ryan and Sandy sure can kiss.

Leap Year

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on January 11, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

… was the cutest lame movie I’ve seen in a while.

Amy Adams and Matthew Goode are both absolutely charming, but their characters needed a lot of work. “Predictable” didn’t even make the running into a list of major problems with the film. “Predictable” is when a [snob, jerk, ass, obliviot, hateful cynic] of a [man, woman] and a [man, woman] who are nevertheless totally [hilarious, witty, insightful, devilishly charming, really soft and mushy inside if somebody would just SEE IT] eventually realize they are crazy about each other and live happily ever after, whatever other [men, women] might be in the picture to start with. While Amy Adams’s Anna at least has determination and with-it-ness to recommend her, Matthew Goode’s Declan pretty much has … his smile, beard, and Irish accent. There is very little indicator that either has much going on otherwise and very little development to go along with it. The dialogue is painfully lacking in wit and the physical comedy (which, I stipulate up front, is not my thing anyway) is just lacking.

More than anything, though, the whole thing, typified by the main characters, just lacks depth. But, as I say–still cute.

Remember When…

Filed under:Movies — posted by Anwyn on January 6, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

…VHS tapes were released, and you could only get them by rental for months and months and they cost a hell of a lot of money to buy them?

Yeah, those days are long gone. Now you can’t rent them right away in case the delay might make you twitchy enough to go ahead and buy them.

SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix Inc. will delay sending out Warner Bros.’ latest movies by nearly a month in a concession that the DVD-by-mail service made so it could gain rights to show its subscribers more movies over the Internet.

Damn, you mean I can’t Netflix The Invention of Lying for another month? Sob.

Sop to the deal reminiscent, but not quite the same as, tobacco companies telling people not to smoke:

“If this causes more of our subscribers to drive down to a store to buy a DVD, we think that will be good for the entertainment ecosystem,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer.

Sure, why not? It’s not like the $17 customers plunk down for the purchase is going to come out of their Netflix budget. And Netflix is used to dealing with complainers. At least this time they have a contract partner to point to as the bad guy.

By acquiescing, Netflix will get a steep discount on Warner Bros.’ discs — savings that the company intends to use to expand the selection of movies and TV shows available for instant viewing over the Internet.

Warner Bros. already has agreed to contribute hundreds of additional movies to that service — triple the current catalog. They will include many titles that have only been out on DVD for three to eight months.

H/t: Slublog.

Shorter Kyle, Shorter Me, Same Sherlock

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn @ 11:19 am

Kyle Smith boils down his argument against the new Holmes movie to objecting to the portrayal of Holmes as action man:

Must we filter every bit of popular literature through the wow-seeking now? … As for the badassery, please. Fencing (and, for that matter, boxing) were gentlemen’s pursuits. A gentleman is pretty much the opposite of a badass. If you want to show a guy beating up villains, why bother to call it Sherlock Holmes? Why not just call it “Die Hard with a Roommate”? The key to Holmes (and by the way, the fencing and the boxing were just character flourishes; he hardly ever solved problems using physical power) was his massive intelligence.

And I reply in a comment awaiting moderation that, no, he doesn’t use physical prowess to solve the problems, but a) that’s not what the movie shows him doing, and b) Doyle’s Holmes does use physical prowess to collar the guys perpetrating the problems, which is what the movie shows. I’ll grant that Doyle’s Holmes would not wade into the finale brawl on his own without Watson, Lestrade, and crew, which he does in the movie, but he definitely is prepared for, and triumphant in, physical confrontation. In A Study in Scarlet, just to take one example, Holmes tricks murderer Jefferson Hope into turning his back to him, snookers the handcuffs onto Hope, and then, joined by Lestrade, Gregson, and Watson, subdues Hope as he tries to throw himself out the window. One guy so ferocious it takes four, including Holmes, to wrestle him down and tie him up with towels. Yeah, no action there.

I think the main source of the disconnect is that while Doyle notes these things, he doesn’t dwell on them, doesn’t describe them in any detail, and thus doesn’t create anything approaching an atmosphere of danger and action. Holmes looks at clues, he sits and thinks, and at the end, he notes out loud the steps he took to reach his conclusion. But in between, there really is a lot of action. And Downey’s Holmes looks at clues, he sits and thinks, and he notes out loud the steps he takes to reach his conclusion. But in between, there really is a lot of action.

P.S.: Funny enough, in another theater in another decade, I probably would have been solidly on Kyle’s side of the question.

Previously: I Detected Some Holmes Under All That Sherlock

Every Night in My Dreams

Filed under:History,Movies,Sad — posted by Anwyn @ 10:51 am

James Cameron reportedly considering making a movie about the WW2 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Titanic was a good movie, let me stipulate up front, but these days I never watch it because it’s too sad. At the same time, it’s at least a little bit Disney-fying, for lack of a better term, of the wreck. I fear for the same treatment being applied to the WW2 bombings.

The double-bombing survivor Cameron spoke to passed away this week at the age of 93. RIP.

H/t: Lileks.

I Detected Some Holmes Under All That Sherlock

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on January 4, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

Warning: The following are the disjointed ramblings of somebody trying to return to blogging after a months-long absence. Read at your own peril. Spoilers are few, but this will likely only make sense if you’ve seen the movie and/or read some Sherlock Holmes.


Kyle Smith really, really didn’t like Sherlock Holmes. Despite a large and growing set of indications that his tastes and mine are quite dissimilar, I have every respect for his powers of analysis and rhetoric and thus almost let his opinion talk me out of seeing it. That would have been a huge mistake.

I must be getting soft in my old age, because at first glance, almost everything Kyle said about the differences between Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock and Conan Doyle’s seems true, and yet I found the movie to be great fun, brainy, and even very moving. Almost everything Kyle said about the banal one-liners is true too, but he apparently let them overshadow the real dialogue, of which there was plenty, and the clever pacing and excellent fight scenes, which took what what is by now a very old formula about the working of Holmes’s mind and gave it new life.

This movie is like Sherlock Holmes as the Illusionist Meets the Pirates of the Caribbean at Fight Club, but for all that, it’s a great movie in which the spirit of Holmes does, in fact, despite his seeming differences from his literary namesake, rise again.

When I saw the trailer I knew the movie would be radically unlike Doyle’s Holmes. I was originally prepared to like it in spite of that–Kurt Loder’s comment that they should have called it Robert Downey Junior instead of Sherlock Holmes was right on the money–but I was not prepared for both how much I did like it and how much of Holmes still lived in it. Ritchie and his screenwriters accomplished something I wouldn’t have believed possible if I’d anticipated it beforehand: They made a new Holmes true to the old one. People keep telling me J.J. Abrams has accomplished this with Star Trek, too, but I’ve yet to suspend my disbelief for a couple hours and watch it. The thing is, with this Holmes, the supposed differences from Doyle turn out to be mostly on the surface, and they’re mostly showed up only by other cinematic renderings of Holmes. They tend to sink in significance or disappear altogether when compared to Doyle’s actual stories. (more…)

Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes

Filed under:Movies — posted by Anwyn on May 19, 2009 @ 9:47 am

Looks like a travesty. But potentially a hell of a fun one.

H/t J.

Another Movie About a Another Kick-Butt Blonde That Should Not Be Made

Filed under:Movies — posted by Anwyn on April 5, 2009 @ 7:55 am

Sarah Michelle Gellar in talks for a Buffy movie?

In talks with whom? No mention of Joss Whedon in that article. What if they get her to commit but not, say, Alyson Hannigan or David Boreanaz? The loss of either of them, or Nicholas Brendan, James Marsters, or Anthony Head, would instantly start the movie off at a huge disadvantage.

Will the story take into account the stupid-sounding personal twists of the Buffy “Season 8” comics, or will it pick up threads left behind by the actual Season 7? Which was also kind of dumb–slayers all over the world, in case you’ve forgotten.

Most shudder-making of all, would a movie do what’s mentioned in that link–make Buffy a mother? Lest Joss forget how much we hated it when his team provided Buffy with the most annoying little sister in the history of television, a child thrown into the demon mix would be worse than Dawn Summers, even, which is saying something.

Very. Bad. Idea.

Via Whedonesque.

Update: “Not gonna happen,” sez The Joss. Whew. Also via The Black.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace