The Green Hornet film was in development hell for years, possibly decades (I didn’t follow it that far back), before a studio finally got serious about making a film. Sony finally got the ball rolling when a serviceable script was introduced and…it was co-written by and starring Seth Rogen. Mind you the immediate reaction of all (myself included in that “all”) was “how is he going to play a superhero?” Rogen slimmed down significantly for the role and while he wasn’t showing off any sculpted abs, he didn’t look like a slobby slouch that you could write off as someone who couldn’t get a few good punches in. While the film failed to impress just about everyone, it’s overall ticket sales were bolstered by the overseas intake which pushed the $120 million dollar film to over $220 in tickets—not bad for a film that ranks rotten on Rotten Tomatoes.
The conversion of book to cinema has never ceased to be a difficult feat for filmmakers ranging from problems to whittling down the story into something that appeases the average audience member’s attention span, to replicating the imagery that the author invokes on the reader. Some of the most difficult ones are the books that have an entire series rather than serving as a standalone story, and a lot that have been converted into movies find themselves unfortunately unable to continue due to lack of interest. The Chronicles of Narnia, a series rich with over a half dozen books, has been one of the few franchises that has thrived in its movie adaptations; this being the third in the series.
Catch Ray Liotta and Shawn Hatosy in the action packed thriller, STREET KINGS 2: MOTOR CITY. Your heart will be racing as this compelling story about the ultimate struggle for justice comes to Blu-ray and DVD April 19 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Helen Whitney’s FORGIVENESS explores the act of forgiveness through a wide range of stories, from adultery and personal betrayal to the post-genocidal reconciliation of nations. In focusing on specific instances of affliction—one family torn apart by abandonment, the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation hearings in South Africa or the memories of ’60s radicals coping with their violent acts of protest—FORGIVENESS studies the psychological impetus and impacts of this crucial sentiment, illuminating its power, its limitations and, in some cases, its dangers. Giving voice to the stories of nations and individuals who have suffered and struggled to forgive, FORGIVENESS provides a moving and much-needed chronicle of reconciliation.
Living in a present in which most political leaders’ messages go vastly ignored by a cynical public, it’s hard to imagine an era in which a leader’s effectiveness actually hinged on his speaking ability. The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, takes us back to an uncertain time with inner turmoil among England’s Royal family while political distress with some of history’s most despicable leaders brewed elsewhere. Certainly a unique take on the genre by focusing on a single character’s strive to overcome a specific flaw in a particular span of their life rather than serving as a chronology of their complete life, which most films that depict the Royal family tend to do. This is perhaps one of the reasons as to why this film found such a wide audience, given that whether or not you’re fascinated by England’s Royals, chances are you will find a reason a reason to watch this film.
The live-action directorial debut of Rob Letterman, previously having dabbled in directing the less than favored CG-animated “Shark Tale” and “Monsters vs. Aliens,” brings the cinematic audiences yet another rendition of the Jonathon Swift classic, Gulliver’s Travels. It’s a story, or rather the most common portion, that’s been manifested on the big and small screens over the last century. Of course, this time around it’s been adapted to present day, starring Jack Black and more or less Jason Segal. The movie is wrought with some of the most blatant drops of pop culture references that are only a mere iota of creativity above painfully awful creations such as those of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. However, if your life philosophy is that lazy plagiarism is the way to succeed in life, then you should appreciate this movie’s ultimate message.
Catch Kevin Spacey in his Golden Globe-nominated performance as a megalomaniacal lobbyist in CASINO JACK, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD April 5th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The critically acclaimed film based on a true story tells the tale of one of DC’s most lucrative lobbyists, who used his power and influence to create an extravagant lifestyle that included private jets, exotic cars, and even an offshore gambling business.
When acclaimed documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker (Monterey Pop, The War Room) filmed Bob Dylan during a three-week concert tour of England in the Spring of 1965, he had no idea he was about to create one of the most intimate glimpses of the rock legend ever put on film. Wanting to make more than just a concert film, Pennebaker decided to seek out both the public and private Bob Dylan. With unobtrusive equipment and rare access to the elusive performer, he achieved a fly-on-the-wall glimpse of one of the most influential musicians of all time—and redefined filmmaking along the way.
When you do a cartoon series based on some of the biggest characters in the Marvel Universe, you want to do it right. The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, to put it very simply, gets it right. Remember that terrible The Avengers: United They Stand cartoon, where the only good thing was the fact that it ended after thirteen episodes (though there was the awesome spin-off comic handled by Ty Templeton, but that’s for another time)? Well, this latest adventure series from Marvel Animation makes up for it in spades. Full of great writing, solid animation and exciting action, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes puts Marvel’s big guns out there and does them justice. Suffice it to say, this is the cartoon that countless Marvel fans have been waiting for!
It’s safe to say that this is the cartoon Marvel fans have been waiting for. The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes brings it all out there, so much of what makes the Marvel Universe such a unique place, and pretty much lays it all out on the table. And, for those having flashbacks of the old The Avengers: United They Stand Fox Kids cartoon, fear not, they hit it out of the park. Yeah, there are just a handful of teensy-tiny issues but, overall, this is a very strong showing for some of Marvel’s best heroes, and simply a great new series from Marvel Animation.
The poignant yet humor filled story about a single mother of a teenager severely impacted by autism, forced to reckon with her daughter’s future. As her child becomes an adult, what used to work, no longer does. What will sustain her daughter, and herself? A parent-child love story, when love means letting go.