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"The Green Hornet" is Appropriately the Anti-"The Dark Knight"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 13, 2011 6:03 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Regardless of whether you like Christopher Nolan's take on the Batman franchise (and there are only a few I know who don't), you'll find that Michel Gondry, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's version of "The Green Hornet" is quite the opposite of "The Dark Knight." This doesn't mean that if you do like "The Dark Knight" that you'll necessarily dislike "The Green Hornet," or vice versa. And there are certainly some similarities between the two, including some very badly directed action scenes and an over-the-top villain portrayed by an actor who is too good for the movie he's in.

Is James Cameron the Right Person to Criticize "Battleship"?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 11, 2011 5:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Bloggers love to call out Hollywood hypocrisy, especially if it involves someone as egocentric as James Cameron and can be used as another excuse to slam the unoriginality of "Avatar." Even if I was one of the people to jump on that film early on, I think people give it too little credit, especially since its borrowing from other works is not that worse than the majority of movies being made today. Including the critic and fanboy darlings "Black Swan" and "Inception."

The Originals: "The Green Hornet" Serials

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 10, 2011 7:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I've been watching the old "Green Hornet" serial films from 1940 and am quite addicted midway through, though in time I could see myself getting tired of the basic formula repeated in each episode. Good thing there are only 13 chapters to the first run, I guess. The dialogue was initially way too expository, horrible yet understandable coming from a radio serial source, in which verbal exposition is more necessary than it is in cinema. But as is the case with any serial, good or bad, "The Green Hornet" easily hooks you as long as you stick with each part until the explosive cliffhanger. However, this is why even at only 20-21 minutes, the films also have to keep you interested in the middle as much as at the end.

What Harvey Comics Character Should Get a Movie After the "Casper" Reboot?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 3, 2011 5:06 AM
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  • 0 Comments
As far as audience awareness is concerned, "Casper, the Friendly Ghost" does make sense as the first priority for Classic Media, which is hoping to adapt many of the Harvey Comics properties they own for the big screen. Never mind that phantom kids weren't that popular in 2010 (at least not in dramas like "Charlie St. Cloud" and "Hereafter"). I think a movie solely starring "Wendy the Good Little Witch" could also be popular, especially since the magic world is losing a lot of representation with the "Harry Potter" franchise ending this year. She should at least feature into the proposed 3-D "Casper" reboot, after allegedly being shafted by a rights-related rewrite on the 1995 movie, in which Christina Ricci's character became a mere hint of Wendy -- named Kat instead. Later Hilary Duff, in her film debut, portrayed the little witch in Fox's direct-to-video release "Casper Meets Wendy."
More: Remakes

Remake, Sequel or Leave Alone - What to Do With These 1980s Walt Disney Movies

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • December 16, 2010 6:44 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Disney has done the unusual in its choice to produce "TRON: Legacy." While most films of its kind and time would be looked at for a remake, the Mouse House decided to give its 1982 cult classic "TRON" a sequel, 28 years after the original's release. In some ways the new movie is like a remake. Structurally it follows many of the same exact steps. But its story couldn't exist without the events of the first film. It clearly means to update and modernize this story, though, particularly with better effects but also in terms of where the tech and software industries are at almost 30 years later.

The Originals: "Anthony Zimmer" is Lighter-Than-Light Hitchcock - Hopefully "The Tourist" is Better

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • December 8, 2010 6:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It's not very easy to find a copy of "Anthony Zimmer," the 2005 French film that's been remade by Hollywood as "The Tourist." Yes, there was a Region 1 disc, apparently, but it's not available through either Netflix or Blockbuster, and Amazon only sells it now through outside vendors. After the hubbub about the original "TRON" allegedly being withheld from consumers by a worried Disney, I couldn't help wondering if Sony similarly had something to do with this film's obscurity. The fact that "Anthony Zimmer" isn't very good lends some weight to my suspicions -- though I don't actually believe there's any truth to them.
More: Remakes

In Theaters: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1," "The Next Three Days," "Heartless"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 19, 2010 9:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I'm attempting a new approach to movie discussions on Fridays so as to cover more of the new releases readers want to talk about, regardless of whether or not I've seen them all (yet). For instance, of this week's major openers I've only seen "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1," and of course that's the obvious frontrunner for both box office and chatter. But what about the little Faustian art-house horror flick "Heartless," which opens in New York today? It's getting some pretty good reviews, it apparently has something to say in terms of social commentary, yet it hadn't been on my radar at all. I'm intrigued. Meanwhile, there's Paul Haggis' "The Next Three Days," which is getting relatively poor notices but which is "good enough" and redeemed by a "zippy climax" involving a "supremely exciting chase sequence," all according to indieWIRE's Eric Kohn. Again, I'm intrigued.

Video: "The Social Network" As Directed by Wes Anderson, Michael Bay, Guilermo del Toro and Others

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 17, 2010 3:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Bring out the usual suspects, as in the only few directors that parodists seem to have a handle on for their film spoofs. And when I say "a handle," I mean they don't actually get them at all. CollegeHumor has a new video meant to show what "The Social Network" would have been like had other well-known filmmakers gotten the gig instead of David Fincher. As we saw earlier this year in a Slate satire presenting the Super Bowl as made by famous directors, Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino are favorite auteurs to try and mimic. Anderson has also been the butt of other similar gags, including one involving Spider-Man, and Michael Bay has always been an easy target. These three directors are joined in spirit here by Frank Capra, Christopher Guest and Guillermo del Toro, all of whose imagined visions of the Facebook origin are laid out for laughs.
More: Remakes

Martin Sheen Cast in "Spider-Man" Reboot - Let's Recall His Last Comic Book Movie, "Spawn"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 5, 2010 2:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Martin Sheen and Sally Field are likely to be cast as Uncle Ben and Aunt May in Marc Webb's "Spider-Man" reboot, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While this likely means Field won't end up, to fans' chagrin, Ma Kent or Ellen Lane in the next "Superman" film (and to original Lois Noel Neill's disappointment, she won't be the new Lois Lane either), it does mean this would be -- I'm pretty sure -- her first comic book movie. Sheen, on the other hand was in at least one major superhero movie, one that most of us would rather forget. But there it was popping back into my brain when I heard the news. So I might as well ruin everyone's day with shared recall.

5 Not-So-Thinly Veiled Remakes

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 3, 2010 5:03 AM
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  • 11 Comments
Based on the trailer alone, the new road trip comedy "Due Date" has enough similarities to John Hughes' sentimental 1987 hit "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" to have had the majority of the blogosphere immediately calling out its apparent unoriginality. Some critics also mentioned the rehash of certain elements from director Todd Phillips' prior release, "The Hangover," but it's the classic Steve Martin and John Candy team-up that comes to mind most with this pairing of Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis as an odd couple forced to travel cross-country together, the fat guy annoying the skinny guy every step of the way. This time around, though, the paternal commitment motivating the skinny guy's rushed arrangements is much greater than a desire to make it home for Thanksgiving dinner.
More: Remakes

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