Thursday, December 21, 2006

The next Bond movie

So, did yo come up with some great titles and suggestions for leading ladies?

Just click on the comment button and let me know.

And don't forget those official cocktail napkins.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Rocky" fans, unite

I'd like to hear what people think about "Rocky Balboa," the fifth and hopefully final installment of Stallone's boxing saga.

Andy Wineke's review will run on the Wednesday Pop page. It's pretty fun, I think.

Most of the critics are giving positive, but unenthusiastic reviews of the new "Rocky."

An exception is Steve Persall at the St. Pete Times. He loved it! Here are some excerpts of his review ....

"Rocky Balboa is a triumphant conclusion to what should have been
a trilogy, if Sylvester Stallone hadn’t stretched one movie’s worth
of ideas across four sequels.
The sixth installment of Stallone’s underdog saga is better in
some ways than the first, an Oscar winner for best picture of 1976.

"Rocky Balboa is one of the best sequels ever made for any
franchise . Yet it could almost stand alone. Cynics must stash away
those Stallone jokes for another day. After all the million-dollar
babies and Cinderella men on screen since 1976, Rocky reclaims his
title as American cinema’s heavyweight champion."

Wow, "One of the best sequels ever"?


What do you think. Please leave you comments.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Is 'The Fountain' all wet?

Ignoring all the reviews, I found myself at Cinemark on Friday watching "The Fountain."
In fact, I took my kids.
During the credits, one of the dozen or so audience members asked, "Did anybody actually LIKE that movie?"
After a moment of silence, a man in the back answered, "I did."
I joined in, saying "I appreciated it as art. Slow, often boring art. But art."
My kids say they kept wanting to like the movie and appreciated the visuals. But they couldn't help but squirm in their seats waiting for something to happen.
This was made by the visionary director Darren Aronofsky, who made "Requiem for a Dream" and "Pi." He's been called the successor to Kubrick.
With "The Fountain," he's created what could have been his greatest masterpiece, a passionate science-fiction that jumps back and forth through time, in telling three stories set in different periods: a Spanish explorer (Hugh Jackman) sent by Queen Isabel (Rachel Weisz) to find the Tree of Life; a medical researcher (Jackman again) trying desparately to find a cure for his dying wife (Weisz again); and a bald future astronaut (Jackman) floating through through space with a tree looking for a dying star.
It may sound confusing, but the plot would have worked if the middle piece had developed Weisz's character as the dying wife. The film becomes about the doctor's obsession, his never-ending drive to keep his wife alive. What Aronofsky doesn't do is make US care about her fate. We simply don't know her.
Consequently, the movie falls apart, its stunning otherworldly images wasted.
"It was just boring," my youngest son declared.
Yeah. Sorry. Next time we'll listen to the damn critics.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sylvester Stallone explains "Rocky 6"

Slyvester Stallone was up in Denver today, promoting "Rocky Balboa" (the actual title) which comes out Dec. 20.

Yeah, another Rocky movie. I saw it, it's better than you'd expect, but it didn't really work for me. Full review to come.

Here's some highlights from the interview:

- They gave me like 25 minutes to talk to him -- that's a lot for a movie interview; the TV and radio guys were just getting 5 minutes. Must be my good looks and charming personality.
- Everybody asks if he's short. Not exceptionally -- he was about the same height as me (5-9), but he has this ginormous head and huge hands (and he's still pretty ripped), so he gives the impression of being bigger than he really is.
- He didn't want to end with "Rocky V" because it, well, sucked.
- He had a lot of trouble getting the studio to finance the film. The old head of MGM thought it was a terrible idea. The wife of the new studio head read the script and loved it.
- He's working on a script for "Rambo IV," but thinks it would be weird to do another Rocky and another Rambo back to back. Which it would be.
- A lot of "Rocky Balboa" is autobiographical -- him coming to terms with his own family and growing older.
- He says he didn't make the movie to reach out to new fans. He was more interested in ending the story for the people who have watched since the beginning.
- He auditioned other real fighters before settling on light heavyweight Antonio Tarver to play the fictional champ, Mason "The Line" Dixon. He needed a fighter who could speak his lines, but also someone who wasn't so physically overwhelming that Stallone would look ridiculous in the ring with him (although that was the entire plot of "Rocky IV").