Hello again, my geeky friends. For most of the local readers of this article, next week if the last full week before School starts and Hollywood is responding with a trio of releases that, though I can’t speak to their quality, could not look more different on paper.
First up we have what may be one of the most unlikely sequels in recent memory and next a film with a couple of major league stars that I hadn’t even heard of until a month ago and finally a film that is not the silent film from 1916.
On April 16th, 2010, the original Kick Ass opened with huge expectations behind it. I remember that fact very clearly, but for the very life of me, I can’t explain why. I remember it was all over the internet. I remember watching the Red band Trailer on what seemed like a loop. Every blog I read daily were all talking about it and calling it either the second coming or the end of all things. It turned out to be neither.
It opened modestly for what it was: a very hard R rated comedy/satire/ultra-violent film that felt like something Paul Verhoeven would have made with glee a decade before. I will go on record as saying I loved it. I loved the concept and the execution. I thought it was subversive, edgy and stepped over the line of good taste so many times I lost count.
The problem was, it didn’t really make money. It did okay. Where the film really found its audience was on DVD and Blu-Ray. Much like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, the audience it was built for eventually found it and the film actually turned a profit for the Studio.
Now, three and a half years later, we are getting the sequel we all secretly hoped for (okay…I did. What? Don’t judge me) as the film no one ever thought would exist opens : Kick-Ass 2.
I am not going to spend hundreds of words describing the plot of this film to you. The way I figure it is this. Kick-Ass was one of those films that people either really loved or they really hated it. There wasn’t a lot of people in the middle of the road on this one. It was, without a doubt, very violent. Almost over the top violent. But let’s be honest. Let’s just cut right straight to the heart of the divide between the fans and non-fans of this film. Almost all of the love and adoration and all of the hate and disgust for this film rest on the small shoulders of one Mindy Macready, AKA Hit Girl.
The title of the comic and the film is Kick-Ass, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson is very good in the role. He is the narrative glue that holds the film(s) together, there is no denying that the crowd pleaser is Hit-Girl, played again by Chloe Grace Moretz.
There was just something about watching an 11 year-old girl take on guys twice her size and take them apart one by one. That scene towards the end where she makes her way down the hallway filled with bad-guys just makes me smile every single time.
All of the surviving cast members from the original are returning for the sequel with Jim Carrey stepping to take the adult role vacated by Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) due to him being dead.
There has been certain chatter about the fact that Jim Carrey seemed to have shot the entire film without ever having seen the first film or reading the script for the sequel and when he saw a rough-cut, he was horrified that there was violence in the film. I’m not going to bash Carrey for changing his views on things, but I’m not going to praise him either. He’s been around too long to be that unaware of how the business works.
Original director Mathew Vaughn has stepped aside for series-newcomer Jeff Wadlow, who also co-wrote the screen-play with comic creator and writer, Mark Millar. Mathew Vaughn is taking a producer role this time, though it is unknown how deep his involvement was beyond initial pre-production.
At least it isn’t in 3D, right? That in itself is a blessing.
SPECIAL SHOWINGS BEGIN TONIGHT AT 8PM, OPENS FRIDAY EVERYWHERE.
PARANOIA (PG-13 105 Minutes)
Thor’s little brother top-lines a film that someone somewhere in a studio back room made a mistake on a computer and a film that was destined to be a direct to dvd paycheck for Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman is getting a major theatrical release.
Based on what I’ve been able to piece together from trailers that literally appeared a month ago, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman used to be in business together and somewhere down the line, had a falling out. Now they are both very rich and some how, Miley Cyrus’s fiance is playing a low-rent double agent who is playing both sides against the other until he can make his move and buy himself freedom.
It could be a great film. A good time-passer or a complete waste of time. I don’t know and I doubt I ever will. This kind of film just doesn’t hold my attention through the length of a 2 1/2 minute trailer, so the odds of me sitting through it all are pretty small.
If it seems like your thing, check it out and drop me a line and let me know your thoughts one way or the other.
OPENS FRIDAY AT THEATERS EVERYWHERE.
The fact that I had to type all those extra words above is a clear example of why people in Hollywood are nuts.
This is a docudrama about a real man. An African-American butler who served in the White House for many of the most turbulent years of the 20th Century.
It has Oscar written all over it, and that is fine. I haven’t seen the film, though I plan too. It seems like a very serious and sombre look at a very painful part of our National past. I don’t know if the film lives up to the weight that rests on its shoulders, but it could be a masterpiece for all I know.
The sad part is, for right now, the film itself is over-shadowed by the stupid and pointless controversy about the title of the film,
The film is being put out by Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company. For some reason that only a select few people know, Warner Brothers objected to the title of the film being The Butler. Do they have another film about to come out with that title? You ask? The answer in no. They had a film, a silent short film called The Butler that came out in 1916.
For a few weeks it was up in the air as to whether of not they would have to change the title. The filmmakers and studio’s agreed to let the MPAA arbitrate the situation and after a couple of days of chattering the decision was made to change the title (sort of) to Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
That way there will be no confusion when your 117 year-old grandmother and grandfather try to buy a ticket to the 1916 film and wind up with a drama about civil rights.
The only bright spot for me on this, is that the film was written by Danny Strong. He is an actor turned writer who has done some amazing work including Recount, about the 2000 election, Game Change about Sarah Palin’s run for VP and he is also writing the screen-plays for Mockingjay part 1 and 2, which as any fan of the Hunger Games books know, does go to some dark political places.
SPECIAL MIDNIGHT SHOWING TONIGHT, OPENS TOMORROW EVERYWHERE.
Well, that just about does it for this week. I hope to have a full review for Kick-Ass 2 up next week and I am looking into starting a once in a while article in defense of bad movies that hold a special place in our hearts, so please submit your favorite.
Next week brings us the final film in the Blood and Ice-Cream trilogy, with Edgar Wright’s The Worlds End.
Until next time, Keep the Projector Threaded.