While the track record of stellar Oz adaptations is quite low, if anyone knows how to capture magic on the big screen it is Disney. Enter the Disney produced, Sam Rami (Spider-Man) directed, and James Franco starring, Oz: The Great and Powerful. A prequel of sorts, Oz, chronicles how the legendary wizard ended up in the magic land with the yellow brick road. And somewhat surprisingly, it does it pretty well.
You’d be forgiven if you thought 21 and Over looked a bit like The Hangover: College Edition. It is after all the vibe marketing is going for. Written by the same people as The Hangover and focusing on the ridiculous exploits of three college kids over the course of a single night, it has all the pieces in place to be exactly what it wants to be. All the pieces except the constant hilarity that The Hangover actually had.
Based on classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant Slayer refines the story a touch. Jack still gets some magic beans and gets yelled at for being a fool, but that is where the similarities end. Singer’s version spruces up the tale with Kings and Princesses, knights, a pair of evil doers intent on destroying the kingdom, and more giants than you can shake a fist at. Oh and it is in 3D.
There are certain names that stand above the crowd when it comes to action films. Everyone knows Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis. These names transcend the genre and have become cultural icons. They are the kings of their craft, that still, to this day have not been surpassed by the new breed of younger actors. When it comes to action films, none have more clout than these three but if the box office receipts of Arnold and Sly’s last films are any indication, the days of them ruling the box office may be over. The only thing these guys have left to trade on is nostalgia and that is exactly where Bruce Willis dared to tread with A Good Day to Die Hard.
Ever since the astounding success of Twilight, Hollywood has been mining young adult fiction for the next big thing. Last spring they did better than they could have imagined with Jennifer Lawrence starring vehicle, The Hunger Games. This spring, Alcon Entertainment hopes they have picked the next blockbuster with their adaptation of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s hit novel, Beautiful Creatures. I hope they haven’t set their sights to high because Beautiful Creatures doesn’t reach the heights of quality of those other films.
What could be more horrible than having your identity stolen and being told no one will help you get it back? While I am tempted to answer that question with the response of watching the latest Jason Bateman vehicle, Identity Thief, I feel that may be going a bit overboard. Still, at least now you know where this is heading.
Arnold came first with the fun, but ultimately disappointing The Last Stand. Now, two weeks before the grand finale, that is Bruce Willis’ A Good Day to Die Hard, Stallone assaults us with Bullet to the Head. And assault us he does, with a film that desperately tries to capture the essence of the best action films of the 80s but fails at nearly every turn.
Statham’s latest endeavor, Parker, features a star studded cast including Nick Nolte, Jennifer Lopez, and Michael Chiklis and comes from the well respected director Taylor Hackford (Ray, Blood In, Blood Out). Yet despite these big names, Parker is pretty standard fare for Statham.
Jeremy Renner is a hot commodity right now, so it is no surprise that the long shelved Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has finally made it to theaters. Renner is probably wishing that it had stayed shelved though because it does nothing to enhance his star power, if anything it diminishes it and makes one question his choice in projects.
Once upon a time Arnold Schwarzenegger was the biggest movie star on the planet. Regardless of the quality of the film, his name alone opened a film to huge numbers. Schwarzenegger left the game at the top, having starred in the mediocre, yet financially successful Terminator 3. However, that film was ten years ago and the film landscape has changed drastically since then and a decade is a long time to be gone from the spotlight, moonlighting as a politician. Regardless, Arnold is back, headlining The Last Stand, and picking up exactly where he left off.