Interesting links for May 28th:

  • IGN: Joss Whedon: Inside Dollhouse – Interview with Joss Whedon about his upcoming serie with Eliza Dushku, Dollhouse. I am looking forward to this new series, but so far I haven’t seen Whedon’s humour in the trailer. And that’s what’s gonna make or break it for me.
  • IGN: Joss Whedon’s Horrible Future – Another interview (well, I’m guessing it’s actually the same interview, but they split it) with Joss Whedon, this time about Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. I get a big stupid grin on my face every time I see that title. Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog :D
  • Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore Talks Football, Religion, and What He’s Up to Next – Another interview with Battlestar Galactica writer Ron Moore. No spoilers at all about upcoming episodes, but some interesting tidbits from the beginning of the series.
  • Pirate?s Booty – Funny little behind-the-scenes look at a guy playing the Jack Sparrow character at a Disneyland park.
  • Sex and The City Fans are Female Trekkies? – An interesting article discussing whether or not hardcore Sex and The City fans are geeks. They can quote entire episodes, knows weird trivia facts, recreate “costumes” from the show… isn’t this just like Trekkies or Star Wars fans?

Episode 63: “They drift for hundred’s of miles…”

I love Lee Pace ever since seeing him in Wonderfalls (a vastly underrated series, btw) and I’m so happy Pushing Daisies is giving him his great break. He starred last year in this short film (or is it a long ad?) calling attention to the plight of the polar bears:

Interesting links for May 25th:

After seeing Iron Man and the special tidbit after the end-credits, I decided to finally try and delve into the world of the comic book geek. One of the comics I picked up was The Ultimates: Volume 1 Super-Human, a re-imagining of the Marvel’s superhero team the Avengers. Why this comic? Because the Avengers movies coming out in 2010 and 2011 is rumoured to be based on it and for once I wanted to read the comic before seeing the movie.

The Ultimates: Superhuman

Since the announcement of these two movies a couple weeks ago, the rumours and fan speculations on the casting have began to increase. First, we heard Matthew McConaughey was in the running for Captain America. Then that Marvel wants Brad Pitt as Thor. The Empire Blog even has a list of potential Captain America candidates. On fan sites, the theories range from Paul Walker as Captain America and Maggie Q as Wasp to Dominic Purcell as Thor. The casting of this movie has got the geek crowd reeling and it’s fun watching everybody come up with their own ideas on who should play the parts.

The casting of three characters are set already: Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Edward Norton as Bruce Banner (the Hulk) and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. They haven’t actually confirmed yet that they will be in those movies, but I’m being the optimist here and believing they won’t pull out of it. By the way, I love that the artists used Sam Jac’s likeness in the comic (mind you, before the movie came out) and it’s perfect he agreed to playing the movie character.

Iron Man - Tony Stark

What nobody so far has mentioned though is that the characters in “The Ultimates” actually have a discussion about who should play them if there’s ever a movie! Here’s the dialogue:

Nick Fury: Hey, did you hear you’ve been optioned as a movie? Betty Ross was telling me they’re already in discussions with Brad Pitt about a three picture deal to play Captain America.

Captain America (Steve Rogers): Who’s Brad Pitt?

Giant-Man (Henry Pym): What, are you serious? My God. This might not be such a disaster after all, huh? Who do you think they could get to play you, Nick?

Nick Fury: Why, Mister Samuel L. Jackson, of course. That’s not even open to debate, Doctor Pym. And I’ll tell you the one guy who could do a convincing Tony Stark — From Hell’s Johnny Depp.

Wasp (Janet Pym): What? Depp’s too much of a pretty-boy. Stark’s a crazy kind of Howard Hughes character. I’d rather see someone with more of an eccentric range.

Nick Fury: Don’t underestimate Depp, Mrs. Pym. A lot of people tag him with that pretty-boy label, but he’s actually one of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood at the moment. Picture him doing Ed Wood in an Iron Man suit and you’ve got Tony Stark up there in celluloid, baby.

Giant-Man (Henry Pym): Yeah, I could see that. You know, you’ve actually got a real knack for this casting thing, Nick. Who do you think they could get to play me?

Nick Fury: Oh, that’s easy. Lantern-jawed Matthew McConoughey, of course.

Wasp (Janet Pym): What about me?

Nick Fury: Heck, who else but Miss Lucy Liu?

Wasp (Janet Pym): Oh, naturally. Even though she looks absolutely nothing like me, she’d be great because all Asian people are basically identical, right? Who’d be your back-up choice, General? Bruce Lee?

Captain America (Steve Rogers): Who’s Bruce Lee?

The characters then go on to make fun of Bruce Banner (the Hulk), claiming he could be played by “Woody Allen”, “the creepy, little kid from the Sixth Sense”, “Stuart Little” and “Steve Buscemi”. While I don’t think any of this casting will actually come to pass (besides the Samuel L. Jackson one of course), it’s still interesting to see this piece of dialogue.

Now a question for you, dear readers: who would you cast for these movies?

I’ve given some thought into how I want to review this movie. On the one side I want to give my normal spoiler-free review, but on the other hand I want to go a bit deeper into it, singing it’s praises and nitpicking it’s faults. So I’ve decided to actually do two reviews. One for the people who haven’t seen it yet, so without spoilers, but a quick “is it any good or not?”. And one where I don’t have to care about spoilers, where I can just speak my mind mind about certain scenes, characters, etc. The review you’re reading now is the spoiler-free one; you can expect the other one in the next couple of days.

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Indiana Jones

In Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (from now on I’m just calling it Indy 4) 20 years have past since the previous movie; the year is 1957 and the United States and the Soviet Union are approaching the height of the Cold War. The film opens at a military warehouse in the Nevada Desert, where Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is coerced into helping the Soviets find a mysterious artifact. Led by Colonel-Doctor Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), the Soviets believe the Crystal Skull could grant them the ultimate power and Indy does what he can to stop them.

The opinions on Indy 4 are so mixed and I can understand why: this is not a film everybody will love or hate. While some people may be on the extremes, I think most will be caught in the big wasteland between, not completely writing it off and hating it, but also not proclaiming it as the greatest movie ever made. It’s been 15 hours ago since I saw Indy 4 (including a good night’s sleep) and I’m still analyzing and going over the movie in my mind, trying to figure out how I precisely feel about it.

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Indy and Mac

The best part of the movie are the action seqeunces. Indy 4 has some fun, exciting scenes and nobody can deny the brilliance of those moments. The car chase (this is not a spoiler, it’s an Indiana Jones movie, you knew there would be a car chase) in particular is exhilarating, except for some minor monkeying around. The whole film is beautifully shot, in and outside those action scenes. Indy 4 cleverly makes use of reflections and shadows, creating a visually stunning movie.

Acting wise the film is solid. The cast are all comfortable in their roles and you can see the delight they must have had while filming this. Harrison Ford may look his age, but his Indy is still as charming and kicking ass as no other. Spielberg and Lucas weren’t lying when they said the character would stay true to its roots. Indiana Jones remains the same Indiana Jones, even though he’s now a little older and slightly slower. I was expecting the worst of Shia LaBeouf, but his character Mutt Williams fit into the movie. I’m warming up to his performances and I do think he could go on to do great things (as long as one of them isn’t an Indy spin-off). Karen Allen literally lit up the screen whenever she was on; mainly because of a big goofy grin I couldn’t fail to love (I can see though that some people might find it irritating). Cate Blanchett is lovely as the evil Soviet agent. Yeah, lovely, not really a compliment for an “evil” character. While there wasn’t anything wrong with her performance, her character missed the intensity of the “bad guy” you love to hate. But that’s got more to do with the script than anything else.

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Indy, Mutt and Marion

And that’s where the Indy 4 suffers: the script. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m not going to go into detail here, but the plot feels shaky at the best of times. Especially the last act is what withholds me from truly loving this movie. What I don’t understand is that the reason Spielberg and Lucas waited so long with making Indy 4 is that they were waiting for a “good” script. If this was a good script, how the hell did the bad ones look like?

I can’t say if you will enjoy Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. This is one movie everybody must see, just to determine their own opinion on it. It goes without saying you should see it in the cinema; visually the movie is outstanding and for that alone I would recommend it. It’s a great summer movie and a worthy Indiana Jones movie, but I can’t help but wonder how will we look back at Indy 4 in 20 years time?

Interesting links for May 21st through May 22nd:

Episode 62: “Time’s up”

A week ago I did a guest blog post about Apple Spotting and I came across this video showing the product placement used in Independence Day. It’s part of a series by YouTuber JediMoonShyne, featuring the product placements in all different movies.

Interesting links for May 20th:

Episode 61: “My name is Amy Walker”

I love the quirkiness of accents. Everyone has got one, although with some it may be more pronounced than others. After moving to London, I was surprised to hear that people could hear my accent. Well, not surprised in that they noticed I had an accent, but more amazed how exact some could pinpoint where I was from. I’ve had people recognize I’m from the Netherlands, others that recognize the Australian bit, and a couple that managed to hear both in my voice.

Anyhow, here’s a cool little video where one woman does 21 different accents:

The Incredible Hulk
I posted the teaser trailer of The Incredible Hulk a couple of weeks ago and I wasn’t that impressed by it. The more I see and hear about this movie though, the more it’s piquing my interest. I’m only wondering how many people actually realize this movie isn’t a sequel to the Hulk movie from a couple of years ago. I have a feeling not that many… [Trailer]

Babylon A.D.
Based on the novel Babylon Babies (Maurice Georges Dantec), this movie stars Vin Diesel as a mercenary escorting a woman from Russia to China. The woman, however, is carrying an organism (does this mean “a baby”?) that a cult wants to harvest to produce a genetically-modified Messiah. Vin Diesel + SF = entertaining movie, but don’t expect any intelligent dialogue. [Trailer]

Babylon: Vin Diesel

Baghead
I’ve heard some great reviews about this Sundance favorite, but this trailer just seems a mess. It’s a comedy/horror about four actor friends on holiday at a cabin in the middle of the woods and a guy with a bag on his head (hence the name Baghead). [Trailer]

The Escapist
Bunch of guys that hate each other’s guts, band together to escape prison. Been there, done that, you’d think, right? For most parts of the trailer those were my thoughts at least. Until the last scene. And then I read the description a bit more closely: an underground prison in London. *theorizing mode on* Hidden prison? Future? Ooh, or maybe it’s not a prison? We didn’t see any guards, right? But what about the women? Puzzle movie! [Trailer]

The Escapist

The Dark Knight
Regular readers here will have read the account of my blundering evening in search of this trailer. Now here’s a confession: besides the Jokerized version, I haven’t actually watched a good high-def version of it. Why? I’m going to see this movie no matter what, so why bother… [Trailer]

Twilight
Kind of unrelated, but in my teenage years I was completely addicted to the books from L.J. Smith. If they had made a movie of any of those, no matter how bad it was, I would have gone to see it (most probably multiple times). Now I haven’t read the books this movie is based on (from Stephenie Meyer), but I can imagine the hordes of teenage girls lining up to see this film. Oh yeah, before I forget: it’s about a teenage vampire in love with a mortal girl (of course). [Trailer]

Twilight

The Happening
I’m still undecided on this movie; I think it could go either way (but leaning more towards “bad” at the moment). After reading a script review more than a year ago, I know the “twist” of the movie, but I’m not actually sure if it even is a real “twist”. The original title of the movie kind of gave that away. I’m just wondering now if it’s being marketed the right way. [Trailer]

Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Worst. Movie. Ever. Okay, I shouldn’t say that before watching the actual movie, but seriously does anybody expect this to be good? Now, watch the trailer and tell me you didn’t have to cringe a little bit? It’s even more terrible than the poster made me imagine it would be. [Trailer]

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Igor
John Cusack voices Igor, a hunch-back lab assistant who wants to become a mad scientist and win the annual Evil Science Fair. The idea and all the actors involved (besides Cusack, there’s Molly Shannon, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Eddie Izzard, Sean Hayes) look great and I want to like this movie, but this trailer didn’t impress me at all. [Trailer]

Australia
I loved Moulin Rouge!, but hated Romeo + Juliet, so for me it could go either way with Baz Luhrman’s Australia. I was expecting to like it, not love it, but this new trailer struck a chord with me, leaving me quite excited for this movie. Set prior to World War II, it’s about an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a ranch in Australia and is forced to join forces with a rough cattle driver (Hugh Jackman). [Trailer]

Australia

Noise
Outside my apartment there’s one car whose alarm goes off way too often. Not often enough that it drives me crazy, but I can imagine the motive behind Noise’s main character. Tim Robbins plays David, a successful lawyer who can’t stand the noise of car alarms and decides to take action. Adopting the alter ego of “The Rectifier”, he makes it his mission to attack the wrongdoing cars. [Trailer]

The Rocker
I must admit I didn’t expect I would like this movie, but after seeing the trailer it doesn’t seem that half bad. While the jokes seem a bit cliched, the plot actually does seem entertaining. It stars Rainn Wilson (The Office) as a failed 80′s band drummer that joins the high school band of his nephew. [Trailer]

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