Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Arcade Fire to score Box

On a happier note, some good news for Richard Kelly and for fans of Arcade Fire

While denouncing his involvement in the Darko sequel, Richard mentioned that he's editing together his next film, horror pic The Box, and that he's going
“to work with a very famous band who is honoring us with being the first filmmakers they’ve ever scored a film with”. While I think this news was supposed to have been announced at a later date, Pitchfork Media found out that that very famous band he was talking about is in fact Arcade Fire.

I like Arcade Fire and the prospect of a full film score from them is intriguing. The Box is a 70s-set horror/suspense concerning a married couple (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) who receive a small wooden box that gives them instant wealth when a button within is pressed. It's based on a short story by Richard Matheson called Button Button.

From the Bad Idea Dept.

I think I've probably mentioned this before, so just in case I'll reiterate: Donnie Darko is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love it, crazy time-traveling rabbits and all. So it comes as a huge let down that a sequel is in the works, without any input whatsoever from Rickard Kelly, the writer and director of the original.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a sequel hater by any stretch (see: Indy 4), but there's just no need to continue the story of the Darko family whatsoever. It's plain to see that it's just a sad way of extracting cash from a cow that doesn't need to be milked. ScreenDaily has reported that Chris Fisher (of Nightstalker fame... wait, did I say say "fame"?) will be directing the story of Donnie's sister Samantha (Daviegh Chase) as she embarks on a road trip with her friends at age 18 and are plagued by strange visions. The sequel will be entitled S. Darko.

Richard Kelly and Darko Entertainment have come out and stated that they are "150% not involved" and have tried to stop development on the pic. One of the producers of S. Darko, Adam Fields, was involved in the original and was rumored to have been ordered off set (or at least was told he was not welcome) and could possibly be organizing this as revenge.

Whatever the reasoning or the outcome, I'm not looking forward to this at all. Shooting begins on May 18th.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Iron Man: Over Hyped?

Here's my quick-fire review of Iron Man (which I got to see Weds last week thanks to It's good, enjoyable and tends towards the better end of the comic-book movie scale. I initially gave it 4 stars on, but am now in more of a 3 star state of mind. How come? Because I've realized that it's nothing more then 2 hours of setup for the next one.

Iron Man has never really had the same audience pre-notion as Superman or Batman. For it to work as a franchise it has to be introduced to the minds of the movie-going public. And that what the current film does. Sure, most other comic book films have had the obligitory origin-based story, but most tend to concentrate (at most) half the film on it and spend the rest giving us a proper film with a villain (or two) and heart thumping set pieces. Batman Begins and Spider Man are prime examples of this method, and Iron Man pales in comparison to them.

First off: there's no real villains in Iron Man. Yes, we have the Terrorists and a bald Jeff Bridges, but neither provide any real threat and only pop up, especially in Bridges case, towards the final few reels.
Second: The direction in Iron Man is very average. The final battle looks like a cut scene from Transformers and most other scenes are blocked like a TV show.
Finally: For all it's worth, the running time of Iron Man could have been cut to just Robert Downey Jr's last line: "I am Iron Man", which is really all that the movie says.

This is nothing but introduction. I admit that it is entertaining, but I find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that to gain all we can from this character we have to buy into sequels and a bigger story. I'm fairly certain that the sequel will be better then the initial encounter, and that it only because in his first outing Iron Man isn't given all that much to do.