Top Gun 2: Bottom Gun?

Liked the action Tom Cruise of “Knight and Day,” but missed the homo-erotic tension? Well, Hollywood is apparently still kickin’ around the idea of a sequel to the film, hot on the heels of the 1986 blockbuster.

In a piece written in the MTV Movie Blog, “Top Gun” producer Jerry Bruckheimer admitted that the thought of a sequel has long since been a subject of conversation, even with Cruise taking a stab and pounding balls on the beach for another go-round.

Of course, aside from the ageless Cruise, many of the cast members have, um, not progressed quite as gracefully. Not to be so superficial, but shall we take a look at some of the photographic proof?

Ice Man (Val Kilmer):

Goose (Anthony Edwards):

‘Charlie’ Blackwood (Kelly McGillis):

Should the Highway to the Danger Zone soon expect traffic?

Go with what you know…

Two former box-office titans battled for relevancy doing what they are known best for in a market that has, at times, met their new releases with utter indifference. For Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups,” he herds up his usual suspects for a comedy about embracing (?) their ages. For Tom Cruise’s new vehicle, “Knight and Day,” he relies on his action hero roots, which have proved his bread and butter.

They both entered the race being bested by a gaggle of animated toys, but if either film were a clue as to what’s in store for their next chapters in their careers, they better look at some high-profile cameos on TV, pronto. Continue reading

I’ve got another Woody; is that wrong?

Damn you, Pixar!

How am I supposed to uphold my tough-guy image when you reduce me to such a mess with virtually every release.

Field of Dreams‘ used to be the benchmark in getting choked up for a film, then came Toy Story in 1995. After that, an endless parade of heart-in-the pictures followed that have literally left me with pumpkin-sized protrusions in the throat.

‘Toy Story 3’ is just the latest example of their ability to wring emotions in essentially every frame. Continue reading

World’s saddest IMDB page

Thank you, Reddit, for this Friday morning chuckle.

The world’s saddest IMDB page.

How long before this woman gets an agent  her SAG card renewed?

Super-zeros: Film’s worst caped crusaders

So there’s this film coming out this weekend based on a superhero that perhaps no one has ever heard of. “Jonah Hex,” which is based on a western-themed DC comic from the 70s following a scarred, surly gunslinger, stars Josh Brolin as the eponymous bounty hunter, Megan Fox as a gold-hearted hooker and John Malkovich as the heavy. It is the latest in a long line of comic-to-film releases to make it to the big screen. It has been sent back for extensive reshoots, was not available to critics for a test screening, and has changed directors – all never good signs for a big summer blockbuster.
But seriously, how bad can it be?
For some perspective into the matter, I’ve slipped on the spandex, strapped on the utility belt and went in search for the most heinous superheroic crimes committed to the big screen. Herein, a list of super-duds that somehow managed to use their powers to convince studios to let them see the light of day.

10) Barb Wire (1996): When you set out to remake “Casablanca” (always a great idea, mind you), who’s the first name that comes to mind to star? Pamela Anderson, of course. Somewhere between “Baywatch,” and “Dancing with the Stars,” Anderson took time from her busy sex-tape-strewn life to star in this film based on the Dark Horse comic series.

9) The Phantom (1996): In the very same year, Billy Zane thought that donning purple leotards would be an awesome career move. He took over as the lead in the adaptation of the long-running comic strip that was to be the first in a trilogy. But after the $45 million film grossed barely one third of that in its entire run, “The Phantom” vanished.

8) Steel (1997): Perhaps the only film that could cause one to long for the days of “Kazaam!”, Shaquille O’Neal took on the role of John Henry Irons, a character who first appeared in the “Superman” comic books in 1993. Think of it as “Iron Man” without the budget…or wit… or acting…or plot…or humor.. or…

7) Judge Dredd (1995):Based on the long-running 1970s comic, this film serves to answer the question: Can there be a worse pairing of Rob Schneider and Jean-Claude Van Damme in “Knock Off”? The answer was in every frame the comic shared with Sylvester Stallone in this film from the waning days of his box office draw. “Dredd” did make money, thanks to the international popularity of its star, but in U.S. Audiences ruled against it, and sent it away for a long, long time.

6) Daredevil/ Electra (2003/2004): It was the blind leading the bland in this sight-challenged superheroes attempt at box office bona fides and it’s spin-off. The latter film was made bearable only for the vision of seeing Jennifer Garner in leather for a long stretch of time.

5) Catwoman (2004) And speaking of leather, no one looked better than Halle Berrry when she squeezed into the skintight suit for this movie mistake. Armed with feline abilities and a $100 million budget, none of these elements could keep this flick from the litterbox.

4) Sheena (1984): Tanya Roberts must have longed for her “Beastmaster” loincloth, as she once again took to the wild in this take on the Marvel Comics character. And while she may have powers to summons the beasts of the wild at her command, she could not do the same for filmgoers who neglected this one like a Detroit safari.

3) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987): In this outing, Clark Kent’s newspaper “The Daily Planet” ran the headline “Is Superman Dead?” Yup. Almost everyone involved in this one has since admitted what a failure they knew it would be before its release. Even Christopher Reeve wrote a lengthy “apology” in his biography about this piece of kryptonite.

2) Meteor Man (1993): This may be a bit of a cheat on this list, since the comic and film were released simultaneously, but that did not make either suck any less. Director/star Robert Townsend, who managed to dry up any good will he had left over from his biting, hysterical “Hollywood Shuffle” just six years prior. Crashing along with this “Meteor” were costars Bill Cosby, Eddie Griffin, Luther Vandross, Don Cheadle and Big Daddy Kane.

1) The Spirit (2008): Will Eisner, perhaps one of the most influential cartoonists in the mainstream history of the medium, was perhaps best known for this series, which got its start in 1940, and has since survived its comic form through many different incarnations. Frank Miller, the “it boy”of comics to films of late (with both his “Sin City” and “300” making splashes on the big screen) decided he would be a great candidate to direct the live-action film based on Eisner’s work. I believe Roger Ebert summed up the result best when he said “to call the characters cardboard would be an insult to a useful packing material.”

Re-do or Re-don’t?: ‘The A-Team’

I am sure its the side effects of a soul-crushing summer box office (seriously, instead of ratings, these films should have come with prescription-bottle warning labels indicating their sleep-inducing effects), but leave it to a loud, obnoxious adaptation of an equally loud, simplistic television show to be the summer’s best offering thus far.

Even at its heyday, “The A Team” was considered high fructose entertainment. It’s fun now to wax nostalgic about the series, but if you have ever tried to suffer through more than two episodes at a time today, you can actually feel the IQ points trickle out of your ear onto the floor.

They were silly, repetitive and laughably trite, but the leads’ chemistry made the proceedings bearable. And while the film gets just a shade darker (contrary to what the A-Team show taught me, bullets and bombs actually KILL people!), it still relies heavily on the frat-boy sparring of mastermind Hannibal (played by Liam Neeson), pretty boy Face (played by Bradley Cooper), nutjob Murdock (played by “District 9’s” Sharlto Copley) and the iconic B.A. Baracus (here played by mixed martial artist Quinton “Rampage” Jackson).

Almost all of the actors involved in this go-round actually improve on the originals, making them feel just a tad more authentic: Neeson, the most notable of the bunch, seems to relish in the B-movie madness much the same way he amplified his performance for“Taken”; Cooper, as always just can’t help but be charming, regardless the role; and the real surprise is Copley, whose resume is the lightest of the bunch, but whose performance is one of the film’s most engaging as the resident loon.

Only when Jackson’s Baracus takes up the screen does the film skid to a halt. The reason the original B.A. was iconic was not the chains, the mohawk or the catchphrases, but the steely glare and the delivery of Mr. T. It’s a laser-eyed look that Jackson has yet to perfect (though, ironically, Jackson is most likely far more deadly than “T” ever was in his prime).

Regardless, the crew has such an easy rapport, it feels like a reunion of castaways from TBS’s old “Movies for Guys Who Like Movies,” except a lot more explode-y.

I’ve made ¾ of the way through this without mentioning plot, and, come to think of it, so did the film. Something about stolen plates for money laundering, Blackwater (oh, I’m sorry, Black Forest) and Jessica Biel’s phone number or something like that. I gotta be honest, I was far too busy being distracted by the numerous munition-infused money shots that dot the film (the flying tank scene is worth the price alone) to really care.

And the pacing of cheeseball action is just what director Joe Carnahan knows a little about. His first big outing was the critically lauded cop drama “Narc,” which was most likely a fluke. This is not meant as a knock to Carnahan, for he seems a more assured director when he allows things to fly off the handle a bit. His next film, “Smokin’ Aces” was a perfect example in this cartoonish excess.

With “The A-Team,” he’s given a much bigger sandbox.

Just like one of Hannibal’s famous “plans,” Carnahan stages the sequences with precision, never letting the audience linger too long over the countless laws of physics and gravity were just broken.

The doors are left open wide for a sequel, and while I enjoyed the time spent with this group of manly men and all the fun times with explosions that can be had, it would be best to let the “A-Team” ride off into their undisclosed location, emerging only once more to celebrate the DVD release.

That way, Carnahan and crew can get cracking on a big-screen treatment of “Airwolf,” “BJ and the Bear” or “Simon and Simon.”

Messing with Memories: The remakes of 2010 (so far)…

We are about halfway through the year and on the cusp of a film and television show remake (The Karate Kid and The A-Team, respectively), so let us pose a question: Which remake being released in 2010 will suck the least? The most?

Here’s a quick rundown of what has been released thus far (and in the very near future), their budgets and grosses, and trailers of the originals:

  • The Crazies (original 1973); budget: $20 mil, gross: $49 mil.
  • The Housemaid (original 1960); budget: ??, gross: $5.7 mil in Korea, released at Cannes 2010
  • Piranha 3-D (original 1978); budget $24 mil, gross: TBD (released in August)
  • Red Dawn (original 1984); budget $75 mil, gross TBD (released in November)

Sure, there are a couple of sequels in the works as well, but we wanted to give a wrap-up of the films that attempt to supplant memories of earlier works.

So, what say you?

-sources: wikipedia.org, imdb.com, flixster.com
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