Monthly Archives: July 2012

Top Billing for Everyone!

In this day in age, superheroes are everywhere. You can’t get away from them no matter how hard you try. They are just there to save the day no matter what.  This week’s movie, makes me think along the lines of Mystery Men in which there was a superhero for everything, but no one had any really spectacular powers.

So what’s this week’s movie, you ask? Well, Super Friends, I’ll tell you: Cross starring Brian Austin Green and Michael Clark Duncan AND Vinnie Jones AND Jake Busey AND Danny Trejo AND C. Thomas Howell AND Tom Sizemore AND!!! David Carradine. Too many “ands?” We haven’t even started. But first, let’s approach the obvious:

Danny Trejo….Michael Clarke Duncan…Vinnie Jones: I think action film. I think things blowing up, and all sorts of awesomeness. Brian Austin Green (BAG)? Huh?  To me, he’s always David Silver from 90210. Has he been in anything since? I’m gonna go look this up and see. That’s a project for a rainy day.

The movie opens with a creative exposition montage that looks like a live-action comic book. Apparently, the world has been at war since it’s creation (cue a shot of Danny Trejo telling us we are “in the wrong place at the wrong time”). The gods forged amulets and gave them to those they deemed special. One such amulet, The Cross of the Isles, was considered the most powerful. I’d also consider it the most green. It’s very green and shiny. The amulets were passed down through the generations and so on and so forth.  There is also a magical Staff of Sekhmet which is powerful enough to kill everyone on the Earth! It requires blood from each of the twelve bloodlines of the gods in order to activate it. Busey’s character refers to it as Satan in a stick. Ha!

I also want to point out that the one line uttered by Danny Trejo is his only line and his only appearance in the film. Yet, he got top billing. It’s a waste, I tell you! Trejo makes any movie cool, but you have to have him in it long enough for the coolness to actually soak in! When will they learn?

Back to the movie. BAG plays Callan Cross. He’s the last in the line of Crosses and he possesses the Cross of the Isles which he always wears. It’s super power is that it creates a cool green force shield that appears around him as bullets strike and deflect. What’s funny is that during one particular shootout in which Callan’s team is trying to save a girl from some thugs, Callan shows up to the party late, and then just shuts down the opposing side. Why not get him there early and send him in first, I say? Or is this like not letting Voltron form the Blazing Sword right off the bat? That always bothered me about Voltron. You knew nothing else would work except for Blazing Sword, but no, we had to wait it out until it was a last resort. Frustrating…

Anyways, the movie continues with Tom Sizemore as Detective Nitti. He’s investigating that very same shootout I mentioned a paragraph ago. He’s after Callan and his team since he considers them to be vigilantes despite the fact that they go around with all their good-deed-doing. None of this matters because we don’t see Sizemore again until the very end in a stupid movie bookend ploy that doesn’t fly.

I need to point out something very important here. The opening credits to this film, after you get past the intro take like five minutes. This is because there are about 200 characters in the movie. This is not a Dickens novel. There is no reason for this many characters. If they were extras, no big deal. But no! Almost every person who has screen time has a name that appears next to a shot of them and their specialty. Also, everyone has a Matrix name. Allow me to introduce a few of the good guys:

Riot: He’s a polite guy who is head to toe in kevlar. Backfire: (Jake Busey) He’s an explosive expert. Also, everyone in the entire movie calls him “Fastball” so I’m thinking there was a change of name and no one corrected the captions. War is Riot’s brother. He has a short temper, and he’s also the director of this movie. There is no reference made to the whereabouts of Pestilence, Famine, or Death. Pity.  Shark is a dude with very cool hair. He like to wallop thugs with pool cues. But wait, there’s more!

Ranger: He’s a sniper. Saint: He’s an assassin who dresses like a priest. Juliane: A blond chick with straight hair who specializes in communications. Lucia: A blond chick with wavy hair who likes to shoot things. And let me point out that while I was taking notes, I got the 2 ladies mixed up I don’t know how many times. They look just alike!!!  Nuke: A guy who talks to Jake Busey in one scene and is never heard from again in the movie, but he gets a full into caption nonetheless. I mean, how many people are in the movie??!! Where’s Waldo?

Villains:  Michael Clarke Duncan is Erlik the Crime Boss. He’s actually pretty cool in this movie. The writer gave him really strange monologues about reading the sports pages and honesty at cards. I think he might have gotten the best deal out of this whole thing. Working for Erlik are English (who has the fakest of British accents) and Slag (who has a strange Boy George-type black streak on his shaved noggin). There is also The Viking (played by Vinnie Jones). Allow me to point out here that Vinnie Jones plays the standard short-tempered, slightly psycho Vinnie Jones character as seen in any film he’s ever been in. It’s useful and all, but just once I’d like to see him try his hand at someone a little clumsy, shy and maybe polite. Maybe have him do a comedy where he plays a butler for a zany family or where he’s a pastry chef. Something!

David Carradine plays a crazy doctor who is working for Erlik. I think, in all actuality, any scene with Carradine in it might have been shot for a different film. The camera angles go off-kilter, and the scenes just get weird.  Carradine’s taking his head Nerd status way over the top here. All the scenes come across as a campy late-nite film.

All the scenes with BAG, however, come across as a bad action flick where the hero has emotional baggage that he’s just not ready to deal with yet.  An example: We get a series of flashbacks with Callan and a chick named Zoey (sharpshooter) in an abandoned warehouse. Shots ring out, and since Callan can’t be killed, guess who ate the bullet? I have no idea how much time has passed, but Callan can’t move on beyond this girl’s death. He’s so upset, in fact, that he takes up a relationship with a chick he meets in the bar that night, and she’s immediately the replacement girlfriend. I guess she’s good for him. After all, they did meet during a bar fight with a couple drunk guys. Feisty Girl, as I referred to her in my notes, is conveniently, a self-defense guru. Her actual name is Sunshine. Yeah…..So I guess that whole emotional baggage storyline they introduced was POINTLESS as it seriously never comes into play ever again in the film.

Okay, let me explain the purpose of David Carradine’s whack-job doctor who does little else in the movie except laugh hysterically. Remember that all-powerful Egyptian staff? It comes into play here and now. The Viking is having Carradine collect and test blood from the twelve bloodlines descended from the gods. And that’s his whole role in the movie.

I hope you like reading all these captions, because each time one of Carradine’s henchmen (named Wire and Brute) show up to collect, we get info. The first victim is a girl captioned as “Descendent of Hera: Bloodline 1.” We see Wire and Brute approach her. Then the screen goes black and a caption appears as “Bloodline 1: Complete.” We get the same for the bloodlines of Cronos, Morpheus, Poseidon, and many other Greek gods. Question: How is it that the blood samples of the Greek gods activate the staff of an Egyptian god? Just wondering…

Anyways, Team Cross gets wind of all these people in the bloodlines disappearing, and so they attempt a search and rescue–in an abandoned warehouse. I love how everyone is dressed like a spy or assassin andJake Busey is wearing a bright blue jacket with flames on the sleeves. He’s the funny one in the group. You can just tell.

Our Gang finds the Blood of Hera girl passed out in the warehouse office. Everyone clears out except for Callan who looks around like he’s expecting trouble. He hears voices and someone ZOOMS right past him like the Flash. Cool. Is the Flash in this movie? Hope his amulet is safe. Hard to tell. He’s looking like it’s missing. The amulet is gone!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Flash stole it! Callan is understandably upset over this.  Now he’s the Weakest Link!

At this point, you might be wondering to yourself, Andrea mentioned C. Thomas Howell was in the movie, but she hasn’t said anything about his character yet. Hmmm. Well, there’s a reason for this. He plays a bartender in one scene, and one scene only. He has maybe three lines, and none of them offer sage wisdom or advice.

So okay, here’s the deal. Vinnie Jones, it turns out, stole the amulet from Callan. He’s fast like that and immortal which seems to negate the reason for his needing the amulet but whatever. My “This is Stupid” meter shot off the charts about 17 minutes into the thing, so at this point, I’m rolling with it.  The Viking wants to die. He’s had enough, and the only way he thinks he can get around to dying is if he activates the Staff of Sekhmet.

All this leads to yet another warehouse fight and a major showdown on the roof. By the way, I think the city in this movie must be called Warehouseville. With the exception of a few apartments, bars and a hospital, every single set is in an abandoned warehouse.

The showdown on the roof is definitely action-packed. Bad guys come out from the woodwork, and there are a lot of nifty gunfights and special effects. Will Vinnie Jones activate the staff and kill the world? Will Callan learn that true power comes from within and maybe he doesn’t need his missing amulet to fight evil? Will another hundred characters with nifty names be introduced? You have to watch to see.

Cross was not a good movie. It was fairly stupid and just odd. Characters are introduced and then never heard from again. What happens to David Carradine? I have no idea. The movie never says. Was C. Thomas Howell working that bar in real life or was he bored on a Wednesday evening? No clue. Also, whole scenes involving useless characters, plot-points and the like are played out and then never brought up again. Time wasters!!!

Here is what’s interesting. While not a good movie, Cross was really entertaining. Despite that fact that everyone with a pulse gets a name, you actually learn them pretty fast. The dialogue is campy and feels forced–maybe even a little made up on the spot. But it’s not shabby dialogue. Busey is hilarious in the movie. Any scene with him was a good scene. The action sequences were well-shot and fun to watch.

I think one major problem is that no one knew exactly which movie they were making. Any attempts at drama looked dumb. There’s one scene where Lucia (or is it Juliane?) was attempting to squeeze out a couple tears. Instead, she looked like she was passing a kidney stone.  Action sequences worked the best as I’ve already explained. The sci-fi/fantasy element was interesting, but because there was so much going on, it wasn’t as important as it could have been.  The comedy was okay, but sometimes the movie was funny when I don’t think it meant to be. David Carradine’s scenes (as I’ve already said) came from some other movie that I’m convinced they edited into the final cut.

Final Thoughts:  I honestly think this flick was made out of pocket by and for the director’s friends. I think that was the intended audience for this movie all along. You can tell everyone is having a great time, and I guess at the end of the day, that’s okay. But for those of us who don’t personally know anyone involved with the movie, it’s like trying to understand someone else’s inside joke.  I worry that the cast and filmmakers had such a good time doing this one, that they’ll all get together some summer and make a sequel. And of course, I’ll have to watch it. It’s what I do.


On a Serious Note

I’ll get to a new review very soon, but first…

In the early hours of this morning a guy (for reasons known only to him) walked into a movie theater in Colorado and opened fire on an unsuspecting crowd of moviegoers. Those innocent people were seeing a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. From the most recent report, 12 people were killed with many, many more injured and shaken up from the ordeal.

Why someone would do something like this is beyond me. It was a truly horrible thing to do, and I have thought about those people in the theater for most of today. I don’t write this entry to rehash the details of the shooting. I write this because of a question a friend asked me earlier this afternoon:

Are you still planning to go see Batman this weekend?

Answer: YES, of course. 

I’m not letting the actions of one deranged person change my behavior and ruin my movie-going experience. I won’t let the fear of something out of my control dictate my actions. As said in Frank Herbert’s Dune (a book everyone should read)  “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.”  And yes, it’s from a work of fiction, but I find it useful. 

Any time something bad happens, we most easily go on the defensive. We batten down the hatches and hide. And that’s a natural reaction, I guess. Tell me you weren’t a teensy bit nervous the first time you boarded a plane after the events of 9/11. It might have lasted 3 seconds, or maybe the entire flight. It was there—that doubt, that tiny fear that it could happen again, and this time to you. The first time I was in the driver’s seat of my car after I had been in a bad wreck, I was a pile of nerves. It took a few times in the car before I could drive without flinching any time someone pulled up behind me.

I predict something similar will happen when folks go into a movie theater. Maybe it’ll be a second-long thought or maybe it will be the whole film, but folks will understandably be a little nervous. Again, normal. A movie theater should be a place of escape—a safe zone, and now that feeling of security is fractured. But I’m not going to let the fear of an idea that another shooting stop me from going. Something like that could happen at any time any day in any place. We can’t hide at home. If we stop our lives, the crazy people win.

I’ve heard that theaters across the country are beefing up security, and I appreciate that.  I think that will be a comfort.  So yeah… I’ll be heading to the movies as planned this weekend. I hope you will too.

Cleansing the Palate

That horrible Snow White movie left a God-awful taste in my brain. It’s taken awhile to shake that experience off. I turned to alcohol which only dulled the sense of loss for the 90 minutes wasted. The electroshock therapy didn’t help much either. Any mention of fairy tales, elves, lizards, Shakespeare or hats just brought on nasty flashbacks that embarrassed family members and friends. I was going to have to get over this thing the hard way. For one week, I wasn’t going to watch a single “meh movie.”  

So here’s how I recovered: I watched good movies.  I’d like to highly recommend The Way Back. Directed by Peter Weir, and starring Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, and Ed Harris, this drama is about a group of prisoners who escape from a Siberian Gulag during World War II.  It’s based on a book that’s supposedly based on a true story. I loved it.

I watched 3.5 movies today because it’s Sunday, and I felt like relaxing. I’ll explain.  This morning, I enjoyed Seabiscuit. Everyone knows this movie, right? This was the story of the little horse who could. This was was also based on a true story. I cried my way though this one. The movie’s emotional to begin with seeing as it takes place during the Great Depression, and Seabiscuit was a sort of inspirational figure for the “little guy.” But really, I tend to sob during animal-centric films. I’m always worried the starring animal(s) will somehow be injured, killed or mistreated. This is why I refuse to see War Horse. It’s just not going to happen.

My next film was Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Do I need to go into more details? It’s just a seriously good film.

LOTR was followed by one of my favorite Hayley Mills movies: Summer Magic. This is one my mom and I like to watch together. In fact, just a week ago, we were quoting a few of the lines to each other. It’s a cute film about a family that moves to this little town in Maine where Burl Ives helps fix up their house and sings about unattractive bugs. There’s more to it than that, but it would take too long to explain. What does need explaining (and this was pointed out by my mom) is why the main siblings in the movie do not have the same hair color. Hayley Mills is blond. The guy who plays her brother has very red hair, and the youngest has very dark brown hair. Hmmm…… Anyways, it’s a fun, family movie, and I like it.

The 1/2 movie was the 2nd half of a film called TiMER. I don’t think it’s out on DVD. The first time I watched it was when I had free streaming on Netflix. Timer is sort of a sci-fi film in which this corporation (TiMER) has created the most perfect matchmaking device. It’s this little countdown timer that’s implanted on a person’s wrist. When their “one” or soulmate gets a timer, both timers activate and start to count down to the day they’ll actually meet. On that day, when the two are within so many feet of one another their timers will go off simultaneously. Seems odd, and how it works is never really explained, but most everyone has one. What is interesting, is that main character Oona (Emma Caulfield) has had her timer since she was a teenager, and hers has never activated. Her step-sister, meanwhile, has a timer that shows she won’t meet her special someone until she’s in her forties. Oona’s younger brother is like thirteen, and his timer activates as soon as he gets it—and he meets his one about a week later. Go figure. It’s one of those fate versus choice movies, and it’s kind of chick flick but not. I’ve really enjoyed it, so I was glad to catch the second half of it this afternoon.

I have to say that it’s been really nice to just enjoy a few movies for what they are and stories they tell. I know not all low-budget films are bad. I’ve enjoyed my share of a few. Also, some high budget films are complete crap. And even though I heckled that Robin Hood movie, I’ve actually seen it twice. Sometimes you need a bit of a mixed bag. Grimm’s Snow White, however; that goes in the Hefty sack.

And the Poisoned Apple Goes to….

***READ THE HUGE DISCLAIMER:  Remember how back at the beginning I said I would watch the bad movies so you wouldn’t have to? Case in point:  Grimm’s Snow White.  All of the movies I’ve previously reviewed have had some sort of redeeming quality about them. This movie however, has none. It certainly doesn’t deserve to have the Grimm name in front of it; that’s for sure! It was just awful. That said, I’ve decided to show how terrible it was by doing a recap review. I’m laying out the whole plot, folks. So if you are of a mind to actually watch this film and don’t want to know what happens, turn back. All others, follow me if you dare.  

 Abandon All Expectations Ye Who Enter Here. You are now entering…The Spoiler Zone

FYI:This ain’t regular Snow White. This involves humans and elves and some sort of war over a green flame. And holy freakout Batman! There’s a giant lizard in this movie! Like a dragon but not and really, really badly animated. What’s with dragons/lizards showing up in period films? It’s all in the intro. Have at it.

The movie opens with Jane March (who is some sort of actress who has been in a few things–none of them things I’ve seen) wearing what’s supposed to be a mourning ensemble boo-hooing repeatedly muttering “it can’t be true!”. Turns out she’s rehearsing probably for something bad that she’s been planning all along. Also, her hat looks like something Princess Beatrice would like. She’s the evil queen! It’s confirmed when she does the mirror, mirror chant. She’s after the Flame, and it is apparently on the Prince’s land. Wouldn’t it be cool if the singer/songwriter Prince was in the movie? He’s not, but it would be cool, and the movie would be much improved. BTW, I have no idea what this green flame does or why people want it.

Cut to the woods. A youngish guy with nice stubble and even better posture is questioning a poacher from the Queen’s kingdom. Apparently there’s hostilities between the kingdoms and the our young dude is down to his last penny. He’s the Prince. And he’s decided the only way to have peace with the Queen (and bring his kingdom back to  financial happiness) is a marriage.

On to the Queen’s castle! The Prince spies Snow White. She’s a blond Snow White which seems sort of wrong. Also she’s in a blue dress, so she looks more like an Alice. The Prince suggests a union of kingdoms to the Queen–not via Snow White, mind you. He’s proposing to the actual Queen. She acts all shocked at the presumption since the king is recently deceased. Very recently—his body is on display the throne room. Awkward.

The Prince also officially meets Snow and starts to give her the eye. Snow’s been at the convent for a long while, so she’s not getting the whole flirtatious eye thing. The Queen notices the interest of the Prince and gets all jealous. And then the mirror has to go open its big mouth and tell the Queen she’s now #2 on the hot list.

The Prince and Snow White run into each other in the garden later that evening. They chit-chat about the legend of the Mighty Luminary that can unite all creatures in harmony. Yes, all very strange. I know it’s important to the plot, but lord I am sooo boredand we aren’t even 15 minutes into this thing.

Snow and the Prince arrange a rendezvous at noon the next day. How unromantic. The Queen (wearing another crazy hat) tells Snow that she thinks she ought to go back to the convent as it’s for her own good. She then orders one of her men to kill Snow.

So into the woods we go, and there are 2 dudes with pointy ears (so they’re elves obviously) standing there. They don’t want to be seen and apparently have powers of invisibility…though to me it looks more like Scotty just beamed them up.  Snow sees one of them and he witnesses the soldier try to kill Snow.  Also, that giant Komodo dragon shows up and kills one of the soldiers. Did no one hear that thing as it tore through the forest? Did it tip-toe up to them?

One of the huntsmen survives the lizard attack and steals the heart out of one of his fallen comrades. He brings it back to the Queen who then feeds the heart to her bloodthirsty and obviously computer-animated hyena-dogs. Ew…

The Prince decides that he’ll now propose to Snow White. My how things change in just 24 hours!  And so of course, how sad it is when he finds out Snow is supposedly dead. He’s taking it kind of rough. I mean, he’s staggering all over the place. Is he crying? He’s crying.

Snow is okay though. Those Star Fleet elves take her to some gypsy woman. She’s some sort of healer and sets to work reviving Snow. Let’s call her Doc. We also get to meet Orlando the elf. He doesn’t want Snow White in his house because she’s human and therefore a threat. I’m going to call him Grumpy.

So now the Queen thinks she will marry the Prince after all because she’s now supposedly the prettiest girl in the kingdom, and the Prince happens to be right there and that green flame is on his land….Also, she’s just figured out that the heart the huntsman brought her is not the heart of Snow White. Huntsman knows he’s in trouble and sends his son to run to the forest to save his own skin. I hope there’s more of the son. That would be an interesting development with story and character. Otherwise, it’s just a way for us to see that the huntsman isn’t all bad. The Queen’s hyena dogs eat him, btw. Poor man.

The Queen then sends a new toady to look for Snow. Her first place to search? The homes of the elves. Grumpy and Doc leave to warn their friends. One is left behind to watch Snow. He’s very sweet and a little slow, so he’s Dopey.

Snow finally wakes up and asks if she’s in Wonderland perchance. Oops no, wrong story. Sorry. She and Dopey have a chat. Snow doesn’t remember how she ended up in the strange house. Despite the fact that he’s supposed to be watching her, Dopey totally loses Snow who wanders out into the forest for no given reason.

The toadies report in to the Queen. Snow White is nowhere to found. The Queen orders one of her servants to release the hounds. Great….hyena-dogs all over the forest. That’s going to be messy.

Meanwhile Prince Mopey-pants is wandering the forest, alone and forlorn. He hears the hyena-dogs and finally starts to pay attention to his surroundings. Snow, meanwhile, has just found three hyena-dogs. Or maybe they found her?? Good timing on the Prince’s part because he’s able to distract them away from Snow.  Now he’s cornered, but it’s okay because there’s a random earthquake that chases them off.

That’s no earthquake! That’s a gigantic Komodo dragon thing! Again, it wasn’t there just a second ago! Dopey finds Snow and they escape. The Prince is left to deal with the dragon. He manages to kill it which is pretty good for a day’s work. I hope there are more of those; otherwise, what’s the point?

The Prince finds the elves’ house and goes in thinking Snow is there. She is, but she’s hidden as the elves don’t know his motives.  The Prince, meanwhile, reports back to the Queen that he’s seen Snow in the forest. Stupid, trusting boy.

Grumpy decides it’s time for that inevitable war with the Queen and sets off to ask permission from some Keeper folks to do something or other. It’s not clear, but they seem to be in charge of the elves. Meanwhile, Snow is off on her own mission  which involves finding the Prince. Dopey volunteers to go with her.

The Keepers refuse Grumpy’s call to war—so that scene was pointless. Snow and Dopey sneak onto the castle grounds. She sees the Prince on a balcony but can’t get to him because the Queen is with him. The Queen’s guard chase Snow and Dopey through a hedge maze where the roses are white instead of red. Oops, sorry again.

Dopey gets caught, and the Queen gets him to spill the beans as to where Snow is hiding. Snow heads back to the elves’ house. They decide to go to the market the next day as the Queen’s lady’s maid (who is also an elf) will be there. They will try to make her a spy.

The Queen has her elf maid first create a poison ring and then transmogrify the Queen into a crone. Queen Crone approaches Snow at the market. She gives Snow the Ring of Power and down goes Snow. Really? No apple? Well this sucks.

The elves set Snow’s body out on some bales of hay. Another elf approaches with a torch. Cool, it’s a Jedi funeral. The Huntman’s son returns to the movie with something or other that belongs to Snow. I have no idea what it was. He gives the mystery item the Prince who realizes that Snow is indeed alive and needs his help. Maybe it was a note that said, “I’m not dead yet.”

The Prince arrives at the funeral just before the fire could get started. He goes to take the poison ring off of Snow and replaces it with the one he was going to give to her. She wakes up. No kiss either!?!! What kind of story is this?

No apple, no kiss, no glass coffin, no dwarves. But that’s okay because there are elves and pointless lizards and hyena-dogs. So it’s okay then. No, people, not okay! Never okay!

The Prince and the elves hatch a plan as people do in movies. Then he proposes to Snow who accepts and asks why a raven  is like a writing desk. There’s that kiss!

The Prince meets up with the Queen pretending to still be engaged to her. The Queen plays along for like 10 seconds and then tells the Prince that she knows all about his plans and more or less calls him rebel scum.

The Prince and Dopey are now roomies in the dungeon. The Queen uses her feminine dark magic whiles on the Prince and bewitches him into falling for her.  Meanwhile the Queen’s army of like twenty peoples is amassed. Twenty! Ha ha. This whole movie, people have spoken of this mighty army and it’s just twenty dudes. See the movie just for that one shot where she gazes upon her army and it’s twenty extras standing in the yard.

Orlando the Grumpy gives a St. Crispian’s Day speech and so the mighty few (seven or eight maybe?) elves and Snow march into battle. Is it really a battle with less than 30 people? Or is that more of a brawl?

Ha! It turns out the Queen hasn’t bewitched the Prince. He was just pretending so that while he was making out with her, he could steal the keys. Where was she keeping them? His hands were tied. Hmmm… The Prince then frees the rest of the dungeon (which as dungeons go, is very tidy and well-lit).

You know what? I kind of like Orlando. He’s my favorite character in the movie. He’s very hero-like and noble and cool, and he got to give a speech of sorts. Snow should totally marry him instead. BTW, I think I just saw a couple Ewoks sail through on vines. I bet they save the day. Okay, not Ewoks, but instead they are Dark Elves. Not sure what makes them Dark, but yeah, yeah. Too late go into that.

Prince and the Dungeon crew have shown up to do some damage. Remember that green flame everyone was fighting over back at the beginning of this thing? Yeah, me neither. Anyways, it’s back in the plot. The Queen has some folks making their way to steal it or put it out or something.

Also, the Prince has been potentially mortally wounded. It’s all done in slow motion with new age-type music playing, so we know this is serious and potentially detrimental to our band of heroes.

The rebels have to surrender because it’s written that way in the script. The Queen (crazy woman) is gonna marry the Prince by force. She really wants that green flame, but to get it, she has to marry him. This is stupid, but obviously, she’s going to still keep the whole thing nice and legal. Whatever.

Dopey was passed out during this time, and he comes to just in time to give Snow a sword.And it’s on! She cuts off the head of the Queen before the little wedding can be finalized. The Prince, meanwhile may or may not be dead. I think it’s safe to say he’s mostly dead.  The elves circle around him and more new age music plays as a green light comes out of Snow White who kisses the  Prince and HE’S ALIVE!!!

Now the sky is blue and everyone is happy and wearing white. That pesky green flame of which we never learned anything is still where it was. And they all lived happily ever after. The end…thank goodness!

Final thoughts: Bad, terrible, horrible, pointless movie. After all the cool things that have been done with the Snow White story be it Disney, Once Upon a Time, or even that Snow White: A Tale of Terror starring Sigourney Weaver, this version just missed the mark by many miles. Come on! This makes the dragon in the Robin Hood movie relevant. I’d say that if you absolutely must, just watch this movie with a bunch of friends and a few beers. You can all heckle it together and have a good time doing it. If you can find out the deal with the giant Komodo dragons, I’d like to know.  It just ain’t good, folks. Misguided filmdom if there ever was.

Wolverines and Spiders and Bats—Oh My!

So the new Spider-Man movie releases this week. If you’ve read any of the coverage on this film, you’d know that folks are a bit divided on it. Is it a wise move in rebooting a bankable franchise so soon? What does this say about our Batman prospects since the last installment of that franchise releases this summer?

Bruce is so cool.

I’m a little bit unsure about seeing The Amazing Spider-Man. I sort of feel it is too soon. But then again, the last movie was so bad that I haven’t seen it since that initial ill-fated trip to the theater. Not even Bruce Campbell’s shining beacon of a comedic cameo could save this film. While I enjoyed that scene, along with Topher Grace’s jangly teeth as Venom, and James Franco’s character development as Harry Osborn/ New Goblin, the rest of the movie was pretty much worthy of being in one of my reviews.

First of all, there were too many villains. What allowed the first two Spider-Man movies to work was the concentration on one villain. That’s what went wrong, in my opinion, with the Batman franchise once Joel Schumacher took over. His first foray, Batman Forever, introduced both The Riddler AND Two-Face. We could have done without Two-Face completely. I think it was more of a “how many Bat-villains can we fit into this movie” type thing. Schumacher did the same thing again with Batman & Robin. This time, we had to deal with Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze. The movies began to feel more like the Adam West TV-show, and a lot less than the darker storyline that Tim Burton had brought to the screen. I know there are a lot of Burton version naysayers out that, and that’s their opinion. But I think Burton saw the darkness in Batman and put his own spin on that.

Christopher Nolan has also seen the dark side of the Bat, and his versions while not phantasmagorical like Burton’s, are certainly not campy like Schumacher’s. Thank goodness. His movies have been gritty and dark, full of stressful situations and tough decisions. In his movies Batman never has it easy. Every obstacle is a test, and there are no correct answers. But more to that later. Back to the spider issue.

I love Sam Raimi. He’s just awesome. I love the Evil Dead movies, and so I was eagerly on board when the first Spider-Man was released back in 2002. The movie was really cool, and when Spider-Man 2  came out a couple years later, I was happy to go see it. I liked that one as well. But something happened around the time of the third film. I don’t know if it was the studio thinking “Bigger = Better= $$$$$$$$$” or issues with the script or what. But aside from the multiple villain mistake, this movie was all over the place. There was a musical dance number in the movie for Pete’s sake!!! I still cannot get over this. Also, Peter Parker had emo-hair and I swear I saw eyeliner on the boy.

And I’ll be honest here. I like Tobey Maguire, but I’ve never been a big fan of him as a superhero. He just seemed too docile. Now, I know Peter Parker is an every-guy and that’s part of the appeal to the character, but I never saw that drive in him. I never saw that need for revenge coupled with the need to defend people from criminals and ne’er-do-wells. This should have sprouted after the death of his uncle at the hands of a man Peter would have caught much earlier and giving us the whole “with great power comes great responsibility” thing. I know it was there, but maybe it was just too subtle. I just didn’t see it.

And that’s sort of why I’m onboard with Andrew Garfield as Peter/Spidey in the new version. Garfield looks gentle but at the same time, I can see a little edge to him. Did you see him in The Social Network? Most folks did. Now go rent the first Red Riding movie. Edge. Not super-sharp and dangerous, but edge nonetheless. I feel the drive might be there in this movie, with this Peter Parker.

I plan to rent The Amazing Spider-Man. I hope the movie does well, but Spider-Man isn’t my guy. My guy is Batman.

Maybe something isn’t wired quite right in my brain, but I love that man. Spider-Man is, above all else, a do-gooder. Superman, while really cool, is a boy scout. Batman….Batman is vengeance and Sherlock Holmes and obsession and all sorts of mysterious emotional baggage. He’s like a shadowy spy. He’s James Bond without the fanfare. He fights evil without having any kind of superhuman/alien powers. His superpower is his mind. That’s just Andrea-candy, that is.

What about the bad-boy thing? Could it be that? Maybe a little, but really who out there doesn’t find Wolverine to be the #1 pick over Cyclops? I dare you to bring that person to me, and when you do, I’ll call them a liar.

I’ve sort of digressed from my opening bit about the new Spider-Man movie. I’m not sure what point I was making. Oh yeah–is it a gamble? A little bit, but I think to the legions of Spider-Man fans, it’s a no-brainer. Like with me and my Bat, they’ll be in line for any incarnation of their hero. Me? I’m waiting for later this month when I can watch my hero. In the meantime, I’ve got Batman: The Animated Series on my Netflix queue. I hope my next disc gets here soon.