Archive for the ‘What If…’ Category
Much has been talked about in recent months about the growing tensions between Hollywood studios and movie theaters, and no greater tension exists than the one over profits. The advent and popularity of 3-D technology has added to this issue, and nowhere is it being felt more than the pockets of patrons. The high prices of 3-D tickets is easy enough to understand, though many still fail to find them excusable, and it appears the “gimmick” is here to stay for at least the foreseeable future. With some audiences getting what they want with more movies being shown in 3-D and other audiences vexed about the higher ticket prices, what’s to be done? The answer may lie in film history. Read the rest of this entry »
In thinking of what kind of strange changes could be made to drastically alter the movie industry, I tried to think about how different things would be if we simply changed the time at which movie reviews were allowed to be published. Obviously most of them are written and published before the movies they judge are released into theaters, but some studios decide every so often to not hold critic screenings for some of their films. When this happens it is usually taken to be an indicator that the studio is not confident in its product and therefore wants to spare the film in question any bad publicity for as long as it can, which is up until the end of its first weekend.
What if, though, there were no preview screenings for critics period? Some might say this would completely change what most people take to be the function of a movie critic, which is to act as a sort of consumer reporter that evaluates the quality of a product and relays its findings and opinions to the public. No one wants to go to a “bad” movie for obvious reasons – it’s a waste of time and money. Right? So if there were no advanced critic screenings then how would people know which movies are worth their time and money, and which ones aren’t? Moviegoers would be forced to rely more on their friends, family, and general word of mouth. This may seem hugely inconvenient, but some studies show that people already put more stock into word of mouth than in movie reviews (this Variety article proves very enlightening on this topic). Read the rest of this entry »
Much has been made about James Cameron’s newest cinematic juggernaut Avatar. With the film’s production said to exceed a record-setting $400 million, it has made back roughly 75% of that cost just 5 days after its release (domestic + foreign). The vast majority of that price tag is due to the groundbreaking special effects and 3D presentation (as I’m sure you’ve all heard), which required the kind of technology and personnel that only the likes of a Hollywood studio can provide. Many like to deride Hollywood because of its “gross” financing for projects intended for mass consumption, however on occasion (such as with Avatar) we are reminded that Hollywood is capable of delivering us something truly striking and amazing. Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is another example that can be referenced from this decade. Big name studios love cashing in on such films, and audiences love paying to see them. When done right (unlike with, say, Waterworld) big budget extravaganzas have the ability, and by all accounts likelihood, to be very notable and even pivotal artifacts within the world of movies. So, then, what could all of this mean? What could the tremendous success of Avatar lead to? Read the rest of this entry »
A recent article on Rotten Tomatoes suggested Rachel McAdams might play Black Cat, a burglar/love interest for Peter Parker, in Spiderman 4. The article got me thinking about the original sexy cat burglar of the Batman comic books, Catwoman. The question of who would play the sultry seductress has plagued me for years. Who could beat Eartha Kitt’s sultry purr from the original television series? Who could look sexier than Michelle Pfeiffer in a leather body suit in Batman Returns? And most importantly, who could erase the lingering sting Halle Berry’s portrayal left on Batman fans?
The role isn’t easy to fill. The actress who plays Catwoman needs to have an obvious sexuality that a lecher like Bruce Wayne can barely resist. But she also has to have a hint of class so she will not seem out of place in his high-powered world. Finally, she needs to convincingly straddle the line between good guy and bad guy. Sure she’s ultimately a self-serving burglar who uses her sexuality to stun the guards, but she’s got to be just moral enough for Batman to believe she could be on his side one day.
While McAdams certainly seems capable of delivering the character’s class and questionable morality, she, no offense, just doesn’t have that mildly trashy sex appeal. Sex is really what Catwoman is about. Which brings me to the question posed in the title of this piece: how about Megan Fox? There is no question she has the sex appeal, as Cliff said in his What If… on Fox, she has made her career out of it. It’s the character’s other components that present a problem.
Fox’s previous roles haven’t given her much room to show off her acting chops, but what better time than in a role where she can rely on her appearance to do most of the work? Most comic book films are not noted for their acting, though director Christopher Nolan’s recent interpretations of Batman have certainly changed that, but Fox’s sexuality should at least make her somewhat capable of embodying the character. The real challenge for her will be playing the normal, Selina Kyle part of the role.
Perhaps Fox’s biggest obstacle would be her age. She is eight years younger than Christian Bale and still looks more like a juicy piece of jailbait than a mature, professional woman. A few years ago, Angelina Jolie might have been a shoe-in for the role, but now that she seems determined to be a serious actress, that’s out of the question. Still, with make-up and the right costuming, Fox could look like a woman in her late twenties. After the crushing disappointment of loosing Rachel Dawes in the last film, Megan Fox as Selina Kyle may be just the hot young thing to bring Bruce out of his depression.
Considering the popularity of a certain type of actress working in Hollywood, one would think that given this popularity they would be the top talent in town; the mold from which all aspiring actresses should try to shape themselves into. The type of actress to which I am referring is the young and exceptionally beautiful leading lady. However, many argue that some of these women (Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, Lindsay Lohan, etc.) get by solely based on their immense attractiveness and not because of their acting talent (or lack thereof). Such a criticism is certainly harsh, but given the high degree of subjectivity inherent in the interpretation of acting performances such a criticism is nevertheless valid. Let us take a moment and examine one particular star actress of this type – Megan Fox. Read the rest of this entry »
This idea was concocted by a few friends of mine, and I jumped up and down with excitement when they first told it to me. Most of you might recognize Jason Isaacs from his role as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, or the evil Colonel William Tavington in The Patriot (2000). And those who are more aware of his body of work might agree stronger with the notion that Isaacs is terrific at playing a smarmy bad guy.
The script for the next Batman movie is still in the works, but like everyone else we keep a close eye on all of the rumors that float around, one of which has been that director Chris Nolan is toying with the idea of including The Riddler as one of the next villains. Jim Carrey played The Riddler (aka Edward Nigma) in Joel Schumacher’s 1995 box office sensation Batman Forever, and it is pretty safe to say that Carrey is warmly remembered for his performance in that role. His cartoonish brand of comedy fit well with Schumacher’s vision, which attempted to capture the serial-comic flavor of the 1960s. However, being that Nolan sees the world of Gotham as a much darker, more mature place, goofy doesn’t seem likely to be the direction he’ll go if The Riddler is indeed destined to return to the screen. Enter Jason Isaacs. Read the rest of this entry »
In a Hollywood era that seems to favor making the remake as opposed to gambling on fresher projects, I would not put it past several production studios to consider remaking – yet again – the tale of Dracula. The popular Twilight series will get another financial boost once New Moon is released on November 20th, and HBO’s True Blood series has so far been very successful in finding a fairly large audience as well. Vampires are “in” right now it seems, however they don’t appear to be anywhere near as frightening or evil as they once were in the Bella Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Max Schreck, or even Frank Langella days. They have turned from being classic movie monsters epitomizing depravity to hopeless romantics who fall in love with humans and are more concerned with coven politics than feeding their animalistic hunger. Read the rest of this entry »
It is the opinion of many that director Michael Bay‘s films are by and large merely vessels for special effects experts to deploy their newest and brightest technological arsenals. To put a positive spin on this, Michael Bay can aptly be called a practitioner of the “cinema of the spectacle” interested in pushing the limits of film’s visual capabilities and providing canvases that allow such marvelous images to take center stage. The main gripe about this practice is of course that the stories and characters in these movies become like red-headed step children, suffering from too little attention.
So, to appease both Bay’s supporters and haters why could it not be possible for a compromise to be reached? If Bay were to sign on to a project as assistant director in charge of stunts and action scenes while a head director would take on all other directorial duties (such as, say, storytelling), a result might be a very worthwhile film that takes advantage of Bay’s strengths while circumventing his weaknesses. He would be able to demonstrate his knack for visual flare, all the while learning from working with someone with a knack for storytelling. Read the rest of this entry »