by D.W. Lundberg

Monday, July 26, 2010


For those of you paying attention, Salt opened in theaters this past weekend, starring Angelina Jolie. Here's the poster: 

Notice anything prominent in there? Right: Angelina Jolie. If the goal of any given poster is to advertise the movie at hand, then Angelina's patented "I'm-Pissed-And-If-You-Even-Think-About-Standing-In-My-Way-I'll-Be-Sure-To-Wipe-The-Floor-With-You" glare as featured above should tell you everything Salt is about. They might as well have called it Angelina, Ready To Kick Your Butt.

Monday, July 12, 2010


We finally got around to catching the remake of The Karate Kid this week, starring Jaden Smith (son of Will) and Jackie Chan. I was pleasantly surprised by it. The initial story beats are more or less the same, with alterations - some major (mainland China stands in for a substantially less exotic Los Angeles), some minor (here "Mr. Miyagi" becomes "Mr. Han," "Daniel LaRusso" becomes "Dre Parker" and so forth). Then, at some point, this updated Kid takes on a life all its own, and for a good while, the "re-imagining" seems warranted. It helps, for one thing, that the karate's improved; the choreography as featured in the 1984 movie always seemed a little too stagy for my taste, even if it got the point across. For another, Chan's given a little more room to play - I liked how the tragedy in his past closed him off from communication with the rest of the world, and how his time spent with the kid helps bring him out of his shell. The only thing lacking is the tournament climax, which is treated more like an afterthought to all the drama that precedes it (again, it reverts to the exact same beats as the original, and lacks surprise). All in all, though, I'd say it's an improvement on the original.

Which, of course, got me to thinking: What about the cinema's other high-profile remakes? Usually when filmmakers get it in their heads to put a new "spin" on some beloved property, the results are never pretty. Either they miss the point of the earlier film completely, or they flat-out fail to bring any new ideas to the table, and who wants that? I like my originals exactly the way they are, thank you very much.

Monday, July 5, 2010


A short one today. This week Warner Bros. debuted the first trailer for their upcoming Harry Potter two-fer, The Deathly Hallows. It doesn't disappoint. Here you go:

As you might have read in last week's post, I've been a fan of the Potter movie series ever since Prisoner Of Azkaban opened in June 2004. This newest trailer teases a great deal of the characters' ultimate fates (I especially like the overwhelming sense of dread that runs throughout), but that "Presented in 2 Parts" bit's galled me ever since I heard they were doing it.