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The Spring of '84: Firestarter (Article) - 5/13/2014 5:16:35 AM

King can be absolutely brilliant and also churn out schlock reusing ideas and characters from better books (including his own).  And the movie and television projects made from his works have the same range.

I've both read and seen Firestarter.  I remember the book as being engaging but not as good as some of his other books (noteably The Dead Zone which he wrote at about the same time).  I don't remember much about the movie at all, which tells you all you need to know.

I think the best filmed King is in the miniseries form.  Both The Stand and It are classics and I have seen them many times.  I also quite liked Storm of the Century which I turned on on Syfy a few years ago and ended up discarding my Saturday plans to spend all day watching. 

Avoid The Langoliers at all costs.

The ccurrent King project, Under the Dome, I have mixed feelings about.  I read the book and found it clichied, cannibalizing themes and ideas from The Mist which was much shorter, better and far more scary. 

The series is actually better, discarding some of Kings more silly ideas (dogs see ghosts?  really?).  But I still wouldn't call it great.  It's light summer entertainment at best.

Mania Box Office Report: AMAZING Spider-Man 2 (Article) - 5/5/2014 5:12:07 AM

I went to see Brick Mansions.  Lots of handsome and VERY athletic guys, nice action.  It was fun.  A nice, lightweight little action film to enjoy with popcorn and lemonade.  Enjoyable.

I really have no desire to see the Spiderman film.  It was too soon to reboot it after the Toby Mcguire version.

Justice League Movie Announced (Article) - 4/29/2014 4:16:30 AM

Basically what they need to do is concentrate on the script.  The Green Lantern film had a great concept but the script was bad.  You need interesting, believable characters or the rest doesn't matter.

I saw MoS and enjoyed it.  It was neither the best or worst movie I have seen and truth to tell I don't remember it that well.

I think there is a difference in perception between the movie departments of Marvel and DC.  Batman has been the exception.  But mostly DC has been content to make expensive, SFX laden movies with less attention paid to script and characters.  It's a comic book movie about super people punching eachother.  Plot holes and poor characterization don't matter.

Marvel has been making movies about characters.  Iron Man 1 had a pretty standard plot.  What made it so entertaining was Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark.  The Avengers succeeded because it was about these agressively individualistic people coming together to work as a team.  The Thor movies were about the relationship between Thor and Loki as brothers and the sibling rivalry it generated.  X-Men is about prejudice.  These movies were about more than finding a thin excuse for superfolks to punch eachother and tear up cities.

GAME OF THRONES: OATHKEEPER Review (Article) - 4/28/2014 6:02:59 PM

Tommen was the third of Cerci's children and was definitely prepubescent.  As with most of the children in the series, the actor they chose to play Tommen is older than he is portrayed in the books.

GAME OF THRONES: OATHKEEPER Review (Article) - 4/28/2014 3:53:59 PM

I have 2 bones to pick with the reviewer.  First, the people in Meereen that Danny was urging to revolt were slaves, not serfs.  There's a difference.

Secondly, the Crow mutineers didn't leave the baby in the woods because it's crying bothered them.  It had been Craster's practice to leave all his sons in the woods and keep the daughters (whom he would marry when they came of age).  The baby boys were a sacrifice to the White Walkers who therefore didn't attack Craster or his daughters/wives.  That was why Craster's wives insisted that the Crows continue this practice.  And that was why Gilly ran away with Sam.  She didn't want her baby son left in the woods.

The Geek Life Road Trekking (Article) - 4/22/2014 9:33:19 AM

If you're in NYC try Grand Central Station, even if you don't need to catch a train.  You'll recognize it from many many films and TV shows.

Blu-ray Shopping Bag: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Article) - 4/8/2014 4:53:43 AM

I'm enjoying The Hobbit films but they feel so padded to me.  With LoTR they put the story from 3 books into 3 movies.  Fair enough.  And they were able to trim some of the fat from the books to make the movies smoother (a little too much fat for the theatrical runs, some important stuff got left on the cutting room floor but was put back in the director's cuts).

The Hobbit was a shorter book than any of the 3 chapters of LoTR, yet they have stretched it to 3 movies.  In the first film they had the extended sequence (that went on and on and on) of the dwarves eating dinner in Bilbo's home with singing.  Yes, it was in the book.  But it should have been cut out of the movie or at least trimmed waaaay down.  When you start to check your watch during the film, something is wrong.

The second Hobbit film had extra elves.  It was nice to see Legolas again and, while he didn't make an appearance in the book, if he had been in a few scenes when the dwarves were being held captive by the elves it would have enhanced the movie.  But we have a new subplot about new character Tauriel getting a crush on one of the dwarves and following them to Laketown and Legolas follows her and there's tracking in the wilderness and long conversations about conformity vs independance.  It's all nice enough and interesting enough but it's just a big fluffy pillow tied around the movie to extend the running time.

And one of the dwarves is injured in the escape from the elves and there's lots of angst about that, another big fluffy pillow that wasn't in the book.

This epic trillogy could easily have been told in 2 movies or even in one.  And as much as I like Peter Jackson and his vision of Tolkien's work I just get the feeling that the decision to make this a trilogy is mainly a financial one, not an artistic one. 

I totally understand that movie studios have to make money in order to survive and to keep producing films for us to enjoy.  But it's not like the first 2 films haven't been profitable.  It's better to leave the audience wanting more than sick of the whole business.

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/4/2014 4:36:24 AM

As per the CDC's website...

Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930's. There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.

Since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines.

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/3/2014 8:36:18 PM

Is the Bible fair game to be loosely interpreted for a movie like any other source material?

I would say yes.

I've never read the Bible.  But what I know of the story of Noah is this.  God saw that the people of Earth were wicked.  There was one riteous man left named Noah.  God commanded him to build an ark and use it to preserve 2 of every animal in the world.  It rained for 40 days and nights.  A raven flew off but didn't find land.  A dove flew off and returned with an olive branch, indicating that it had found dry land with trees on it.  Noah landed his ark on that land which, after the water drained away, was the top of a mountain.

All of these things happened in the film.

But if you stuck to that synopsis your screenplay would be about 20 minutes long.  So they added some other stuff to make a more riviting human drama.  They gave the characters personalities and put in some conflict between them to give the actors something to do besides build a big boat.

I don't know a lot about Arnofsky who directed and co wrote the film.  I have no idea if he's a Christian or an Athiest or of some other religious persuasion (though I suspect a non Christian would find some subject other than the Bible to make a movie about).  I don't know what his motive is for choosing the story of Noah for his film.

Anybody who takes a big budget motion picture as a faithful adaptation of the Bible, historical event or any other source material is pretty gullible.  Perhaps some people will be inspired to find an actual Bible and read the story of Noah for themselves.  Then they can judge for themselves if they think the story is true or not.

King Kong vs. Godzilla Blu-ray Review (Article) - 4/3/2014 5:58:01 AM

Robert, you need to catch Destroy All Monsters wherein aliens put mind control devices on Godzilla and all the other monsters of Earth (and there were a lot of them) and sent them crashing through major cities all over the globe!  Now THAT was a fine monster flick!


Date Joined: October 3, 2006