Dan Stevens has had himself quite a year. He was the male lead in Beauty and the Beast, at time of writing, the highest grossing domestic film of 2017. His FX series Legion was critically lauded and renewed. He had a great supporting part in Anne Hathaway’s Colossal, and he’s finishing the year by inventing Christmas…..or at least the second most popular tale told ’round that time of year. Stevens is playing no less than Charles Dickens, on the brink of ruin, and looking for inspiration as the characters and iconic lines that make up A Christmas Carol come to him. No doubt less factual than Domhnall Gleeson’s turn as A.A. Milne in Good-bye Christopher Robin, it’s still a good looking trailer and Stevens is joined by Jonathan Pryce and Christopher Plummer. The Man Who Invented Christmas will open November 22, 2017.
Exciting news for Game of Thrones fans yesterday as Apple announced it has partnered with HBO to provide a streaming service for the premium cable channel. The service will run $14.99 a month, but if you only have cable to have HBO, that’s a nifty savings. PLUS it will be ready to go by the time Game of Thrones returns on April 12, 2015. I can only hope HBO has locked George RR Martin in a bunker somewhere forcing him at gunpoint to finish book six, because this show is not slowing down for anyone. Just over a month to go!
To sate some of our long, LONG wait until season 5 of Game of Thrones, HBO took mercy on us and released a slew of casting news for the season. The majority of the characters are from Dorne where Oberyn Martell, who had such an explosive impact on season 4, came from. I recognize Jonathan Pryce, Alexander Siddig from Deep Space 9 and Keisha Castle Hughes from Whale Rider forever ago, but these are mostly new names to me. Read and try to tell yourselves book six is coming soon (it’s not).
We really only have ourselves to blame. After handily winning this weekend’s box office with $51.7 million, Paramount is already planning GI JOE 3. I think I made my thoughts pretty clear in my review, but short of a complete reboot with a script written by someone who has even a tenuous grasp on this world and these characters, I shall not be suckered again. No matter how cool Snake Eyes is.
Which, for the record, is off-the-charts freaking awesome.
They did it to me again. I swore after sitting through the first GI Joe, which was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, they’d never get me into the second film. Then they went and showed that ninja fight on the cliffside and my inner 8-year old (who makes most of my decisions) decided I had to go.
Let’s start with what was good because it’s not going to take very long. Unlike last time, everyone looks true to their characters. There’s no lips on Snake Eyes’ mask. Cobra Commander does not look like a corpse in a diving helmet. Storm Shadow looks great. Firefly looks great. The only design and casting complaints I have are Zartan (so cool in the comics and series and yet so so so not here) and RZA some how heading the Arishnikage Ninja Clan. Whatever, we got Jinx and she was awesome too. In fact, I have no complaints about the F/X, costumes or cast (aside from effing Zartan).
None of those things earned this movie it’s 3.5 points (which is generous). The entirety of that is for the flat out 10 that is the sequence in the mountains where Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes have a fantastic duel that segues into a mind-bending cliffside chase/fight with Cobra ninjas. It is AWESOME! I’m sure when it’s out on blu ray, you can find it on You Tube. Do that. Because the rest of the movie is a 0.0.
The problem is simple and two-fold. John Chu is a horrible director and they spent absolutely no time on scripting a good film. The dialogue is just painful and awkward. The camera bounces so much all over the place that most of the time you don’t have any idea what’s going on and the first 25 minutes of the movie are spent trying to explain away or attempt to fix what the last movie screwed up.
This should have been a total reboot. Forget the last film. Start over. I’m not expecting an Oscar winning movie, but there’s a reason this franchise and these characters are still stuck firmly in the mind of a generation. They’re awesome. Snake Eyes is in the KT dictionary next to the definition of “motherfreaking awesome”. It’s a franchise that’s lasted 30 years now through several animated series, hundreds of comic books and three godawful movies. It deserves the kind of treatment that millions of kids gave it in their imaginations when it first came out. We’ve never let it go. Next time, get someone with that passion and spend a couple million on the script instead of an explosion and make a movie worth making. 3.5/10.0