If the new film Man of Steel is any indicator, then it’s true: DC doesn’t really get Superman anymore. At one point, they did. When Superman first appeared in 1938, he was a quintessential crime-fighter. He replaced the beat cops and detectives of classic crime comics with something new and exciting, an outsized and morally superior force for truth and justice. On the brink of an impossibly ugly world war, Superman was simple, beautiful. DC had it on lock back then. But now DC has no idea what to do with this guy.
So I won’t bury the lead. This is the End is the kind of thing you do when you’ve grown so successful, you stop worrying about what you shouldn’t do. In the case of this movie, permanent collaborators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan think they can make an action movie. But they can’t. (more…)
One answer might be that it’s supposed to just be a fun action story. Another might be that it’s necessary set-up for the bigger events unfolding in later films. Either way, the film doesn’t quite get there, instead being too big to be pure fun, and too pointless to be epic. (more…)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the tale of an ape, given the gift of hyper-intelligence, at the tipping point between evolving and maintaining his animal nature, caught between something bold and new and something simple. It’s oddly apt that the film itself also teeters between bold and simple. It’s got the simple appeal of a nostalgia-fueled action film, but it’s also reaching for something more complex and lasting. Let’s see where it comes out…
Remember that classic scene in E.T. where the government agents violently interrogate and then kill Elliot’s school teacher? Or remember that scene in The Goonies where Chunk’s dad and Mikey’s dad expose their history of mutual hatred? How about that scene in Close Encounters where the aliens eat human flesh?
Yeah. Neither do I. But apparently J.J. Abrams does. (more…)
I guess the first question people usually ask when discussing a film is, “what is it about?” Well I’m here to tell you that Meek’s Cutoff, the new film directed by Kelly Reichardt, is not really about anything. Or at least, not anything interesting. But I’m also here to tell you that, in this case, that might not matter. (more…)
The most obvious thematic thread in Joe Wright’s new film Hanna is that of Hanna’s discovery of the world. Early on, Hanna’s father reads her an encyclopedia entry about music, and we realize she’s never actually heard music before. But she wants to. She wants to discover the secrets of a world she has never known. She wants to feel music.
Turns out that maybe the best way to demonstrate that tumultuous beauty and propulsive joy of music to Hanna would be to show her this film.