Random Thread for June, 2017


Top Gun sequel. Way too late? Is anyone interested?


About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

23 responses »

  1. The timing is right in that Val Kilmer is back in shape, but wrong in every other sense. It hasn’t aged as well or have the fanbase of Jurassic Park or Star Wars or the other many-years-later hits. And The Mummy remake is looking to open poorly despite making itself look as much like Mission: Impossible as possible.

  2. I also wonder at the remake of Murder on the Orient Express. It looks great, but for those of us who saw the original and know who did it, what’s the motivation to see it?

  3. Well, there’s a bit of a difference between Top Gun and a literary classic. I’ve enjoyed multiple adaptations of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Dracula, Frankenstein, among many others. It’s the cast and director here that interests me. I don’t need this one set in a space train in the future to make it different enough. As to the audience they’re targeting – some will have seen the original, most probably haven’t, so it will be new to them.

  4. How does the Hollywood Reporter know how many moviegoers are male or female?
    Does someone go into the park and lift up the dinosaurs’ skirts?

  5. As someone who has not only seen the 1974 version but reviewed it on here, yes I would definitely be interested in seeing this.

    There’s some fascinating aspects about it. Firstly that I think it’s basically the first time since 1988’s ‘Appointment With Death’ (directed by Michael Winner?!?!) that an adaptation of any Agatha Christie work has made it to the big screen. In the 60s/70s Christie film versions were often very popular but they seemed to become passé in the 1980s and have been on television ever since (very successfully as well).

    Another fascinating aspect is that much of the online reaction I’ve seen in response to Branagh in the role of Poirot is along the lines of (can’t envisage anyone but Suchet and/or Ustinov in the role). The person who played Poirot in the 1974 version – Albert Finney – is completely forgotten even though I thought he was pretty good in it.

    Also, this is not the first time Branagh’s remade a literary/stage success from the 1970s. In the mid-2000s he did a remake of the Caine/Olivier film Sleuth which sank without trace. I was one of the few who saw it at the cinema and while I wanted to like it (Caine was playing the Olivier role) even having a script by Harold Pinter couldn’t really save it.

  6. I’m also psyched to see Depp in his role. I know people seem sick of him, but without spoiling anything I think it’s safe to say it’s unlike anything he’s played – unless I’m forgetting something.

  7. FYI, I’m going to incorporate a rundown of OPENINGS as part of each AGEBOC post in June and August unless someone objects.

  8. Sad news. Looked like she may become a major film star at the start of the 1990s but it never quite happened, but had a very successful career in anycase.

    A tragic coincidence that both she and Bill Paxton appeared in the recent Emma Watson film ‘The Circle’.

  9. The NY Times has put out an argument-inducing list: the best 25 films of the century (so far).. Of course I don’t agree with much of it, but I am heartened to realize I’ve seen 23 of the 25 films, and the other two are available on Netflix (those are The Gleaners and I and White Material). I don’t see a movie on the list that I hate, but I liked others better.

  10. Merging the AGEBOC and Openings into one thread is a good idea; can’t imagine why we didn’t think of it before.

    As for that NY Times list, ‘The 40 Year-Old Virgin’ being there reminds me of what James said a few years back about how sycophantic mainstream media publications are towards Apatow and his related works. That’s semi-embarrassing a film like that made it in there, especially when it’s not even a particularly well-made or directed film.

    There was also a reference there about how some critics believe America is going through a ‘golden age’ of comedy. If they’re talking about cinema I think it’s the complete opposite. I’ve never seen the standard and skill associated with comedies be worse.

  11. Still, I was pretty surprised to see The 40 Year OId Virgin on there. I watched a little of it a year or so ago and it hasn’t aged particularly well. It’s a directorial debut that features way too much improv and runs 20-30 minutes too long.

  12. If you read the article, it seems like they did consensus choosing, and went by categories–best action thriller, best Coen Brothers, best Spielberg, etc. I assume they think 40-Year-Old Virgin is the best comedy of the century, which doesn’t speak well for the century. I know Marco disagrees, but I’d go with Super Bad, just off the top of my head, or Adaptation (if one can consider that a comedy).

  13. Jennifer Lawrence just signed for more X-Men movies, which I don’t think anyone would have anticipated. I guess she needs a franchise, but still…that’s slumming.

    Angelina Jolie and Jessica Chastain are also in the mix for X-Men: Dark Phoenix although it’s not known if they’re in talks for two different roles or vying for one.

  14. Lawrence’s career has actually stagnated a bit in the 3-4 years. The Hunger Games series went from initially being seen as major events to rather ho-hum corporate moneymakers by the end of the series.

    While she got an Oscar nom for ‘Joy’ that wasn’t particularly well-received and Passengers was considered a critical and financial disappointment. And there was a 2014 film ‘Serena’ that despite reteaming her with Bradley Cooper, basically sunk without trace.

    Of course she’s got talent to burn and still only 26. But can understand her staying with the X-Men franchise as it keeps her in the public eye and gives her the opportunity to get quality projects between the films.

  15. Avildsen had such a patchy, odd career.

    I think this was driven by the fact that he aims to being a substantial director but basically his stock-in-trade was manipulative, audience-pleasing against the odds triumphs stories. Some of these were very good like Rocky but when he tried another genre he generally struggled. ‘The Formula’ is total wipeout and ‘Neighbors’ isn’t much better.

  16. Save the Tiger is quite good, and I hear good things about Joe, which I haven’t seen. I’ve always never seen any of The Karate Kid movies (he directed all three).

  17. Joe is pretty good but even that has some rather manipulative elements to it (especially the ending) which while effective, make it a lesser work in the long-run than it could’ve been.

  18. I know it’s unusual circumstances, but it’s pretty amazing Howard got such a plum gig considering his track record this decade. Especially when his direction of ‘Inferno’ was pretty dire.

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