Thursday, July 31, 2008

The New Wolfman

The Wolfman Trailer was online. Anthony Hopkins, Benicio DelToro, Hugo Weaving and more. Universal is still going through the crates and bringing back their old classics. This didn't look like the old, "Larry Talbot went to the wrong gypsy camp" storyline either. It looked like it might be a gore-fest too. Is it going to outdo An American Werewolf in London in presence and FX?
Actually, I should give you some details. I logged on this AM as the fingers of the Dawn worked the horizon and found this trailer. I proceeded to link it to the Mediasaurs site. All was good. I went to my other job and hustled for a bit. Then, this afternoon, I went to Ain't it Cool News and saw that they had the same link. As I patted myself on the back for besting Harry at his own game, I clicked the link. GONE. Universal has put a cap on the cellphone footage.
However, you don't need to fret, let me tell you about it.
The opening scene is one where these Victorian folk are looking at a body and musing at how thrashed it is. Then you get a camera shot, and yes, you get a pretty good eyeful of guts. Of course, it is nothing like the Lance Henrikson milk scene in Aliens, but it is up there. The rest of the trailer is Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving doing a lot of posing. Apparently Benicio DelToro has come back to visit his family from his travels abroad. The trailer made no attempt to cloak the fact that Benicio is the werewolf. He even yells, "I WILL KILL YOU ALL!" at one point.
Was I scared? Was I moved, inspired, thoughtful, excited or flabberghasted? The answer is no. The answer is hell no. There is nothing about this trailer that makes me want to see the full movie. Lon Chaney did it justice almost a hundred years ago, and that is where it needs to stay. If I want a modern lycanthropy story, I turn to one of two films: An American Werewolf in London or Dog Soldiers. Some people want to argue Ginger Snaps, but come on...Ginger Snaps was basically financed by the Canadian government and it is too much talk and not enough mayhem. To all of the Canadians out there who I just offended, let me tell you that I haven't seen part 2, so maybe there is some redemption. Neither AWIL or DS are scary, but they do bring it to the table. They bring it to the table better than what Universal is planning in 2009.
The last film where the wolfman really had teeth was Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein. Have you seen it? You should, so you can know what kind of beast the wolfman is supposed to be. When he goes out the window and falls into the moat, he claws the air all the way down. I know this well because it really scared me as a kid. If I was a kid today watching what was presented at the San Diego comicon, I would be slightly disturbed by the guts scene, but ultimately, I would sleep with sugar plums dancing through my head. Why? That trailer was BENIGN. It was a BENIGN CANCER on the lung of pop culture. The wolfman is supposed to scare me. He is the boogeyman. He is supposed to grab either my heart or my testicles and make me wish I were dead.
Universal! I shake my fist at you and your Van Helsing and your eternal Mummy sequels! Scare me! Scare me like you are supposed to!
Here is what I know: We see this shot of a wolfman running along a hillside a few times in the trailer. We also see his knobby, satyr-like legs and his knobby, Halloween suit hands. He does not look formidable. A shovel to the head and he is done. I am going to need more than a person in a suit that looks like they work out their upper body more than their lower.
The wolfman is over. The whole thing would have to be re-worked and finessed harder than what this trailer shows. Benicio DelToro, Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving have all made crappy movies. This isn't a thing where they are going to shock us by stooping so low. If Christopher Nolan were directing this, I would have more faith. However, the director in question is some fool named Joe Johnson. I say, "fool" because this man is just as guilty as his cast of putting out garbage. Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III, October Sky, Jumanji, The Rocketeer and Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Be honest with me folks, there isn't a movie in that mix you want to see again. I feel that the Wolfman will have that same sort of vibe.
Sorry I can't link you the trailer at this point, but trust me, you aren't missing a damn thing.
-Mediasaurus Rex

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Resident Evil: Degeneration

The Mediasaurs know that the previous 3 sucked. They sucked bad. But we wanted to like them. Now here comes the next installment in CGI? This could be what we all need. And the prayer is that they take a page from SQUARE and do right.

However, when I watch the CGI it looks like an intro cut-scene.

Resident Evil has so much potential it is staggering, and they keep on pumping out the mediocrity. Part 1 had some fun money in it. When those lasers diced the guy into a pile of kibbles and bits, I was amused. So amused in fact that I ripped that scene of the movie and loaded it onto my cellphone. Part 2 had Nemesis. Nemesis was this ridiculously overpowered foe that looked just like he did in the video game. It is unfortunate that he was totally cornball. He was one of those big bad guys you see in the end of any 80s action film. You know, the guy that the Governor of California has to tell to let off some steam while a pipe in his chest blows steam. Nemesis was nothing special. We needed special. Part 3 was fine until there were a bazillion clones at the end. Inna-Gadda Da Vida in the desert was kind of cool. The failed Alice clones were touching in a way. To attain consciousness and see a bunch of dead yous lying around is bound to make you want to go light some fools up. But then again, with Alice completely cloned up and overpowered, it smacked of that episode of Alien where Ripley came back based on a nail clipping. Yes, Ripley could swish a basket by throwing the ball over her shoulder, but she was de-humanized and as a result, impossible to really feel for. Alice went down the same road.

Bottom line? the movies have a lot to be desired. Another sub-floor bottom line is that there was nowhere else for the live action films to go. They had a million overpowered Alices last time I checked, and that was that.

I think that the idea of a completely CG movie about the resident Evil story could be great. It will be fun to look at and there will be some fantastic action sequences. But the issue here is that they did that with the three live-action films. What we need here is PLOT.

I hope Degeneration can do us that simple favor. The trailer really looks like the beginning of a new installment of the game. This is looking like a gimmick, not a film. Final Fantasy Advent Children was a gimmick, but it was a film too. I don't have that same feeling about this one.

Check the trailer:

-Mediasaurus Rex

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SAW V. The Mediasaurs love this movie poster. Unfortunately, it is a blatant ripoff of Hannibal's maneuver in SOTL. Whatever the case may be, it is going to happen this Halloween again. The trailer just dropped. The trailer tells us nothing that we don't already know.

However, I like the messianic message behind the trailer. I have always liked the idea that Jigsaw forces his victims to live and make moral choices. In the end, it always seems that if they had just done what was right and not bought into the pain, anger and torment that Jigsaw brings, that they would have walked away; for the most part at least.

That being said, I am having a hard time getting behind SAW 5. How many steps ahead of the living was this guy? Are humans that easy to second guess? I will admit that it is some great, riveting horror. I will admit that I tend to get caught up in the energy of it all when I watch these movies year after year, but I have to admit that it is getting tiresome. The twist in part IV was pretty much the last straw for me. The fact that this is a cop now pulling all of the strings was a total irritant. The fact that he was basically no one until the fourth installment was irksome as well. I did enjoy the fact that Donnie Wahlberg's character came back long enough to have his head smashed by blocks of ice, but come on...where can we go from here?

I am going to cite again the Hannibal rip-off that the movie poster is. It is a nod to a serious serial killer, but it is also an admission that these people are really running out of creative steam.

The trailer:

The Official Site:

-Mediasaurus Rex



Liev Schreiber is Sabretooth. We didn't see that one coming AT ALL. It looks like the showdown is going to happen between the two. It looks like a lot is going to happen, and most of all, it looks really, really good.

Here is the only issue that I have ever had with this whole thing: Hugh Jackman. Is he really a Wolverine? I have to hand it to the man that he is acting like he is. I have to acknowledge the fact that he is working out, but he has always missed in my book. The Wolverine that I remember is from the Wolverine 4-issue Frank Miller mini-series wayyyy back in the 80s. Wolverine is about 2 feet shorter than Hugh Jackman. He is also burlier. He is a little pit-bull and not a great dane.

And while I am at it, I have to question Liev Schreiber in general. I have never seen him in a role where he had any physical presence whatsoever. Sure he has played his share of punks on the wrong side of the law...but to be Sabretooth? What are these people smoking? I will be very, very impressed if he rips off his shirt and looks anything different than a soggy pillow. The only think that I can think that works is his jawline. Other than that, Sabretooth is supposed to be grand and huge. Are they going to get into the aspect of Sabretooth being Wolverine's father? How is Hollywood going to handle this stuff? Based on what Singer did in groundwork for the series, I have a lot of faith. Based on what Brett Ratner did to the series in part 3, I have fear. Who is Gavin Hood? He seems to be some refugee from the Stargate SG-1 Series that I never got into. He directed and acted in that show. He also has directorial credits for RENDITION. Other than that? This jury is out...and the potential for screw-up might be close to monumental.

What am I saying? We have two actors here who don't really look like the comic book heroes that they are supposed to emulate. But the good thing is that they both KNOW HOW TO ACT. This might be the saving grace of it all. In all honesty, I am getting used to the Jackman Wolverine. I do think that the man is a goof, and built funny, but I am getting used to it. He can act though. He put me in check with THE PRESTIGE.

Here is the other thing that I am looking forward to: The backstory. The Wolverine story was always cloaked in some X-Files sort of secrecy back when I was reading comics. In all honesty, I don't really know what happened between Wolverine and the Mounties. I have heard people break down the Weapon X story, but I have yet to stare at those specific comics.

May 9th 2009 is a Long time from now. Based on this trailer, it seems that the film is in the can and they have a year to get their CG straight. Yes, this trailer looks good, but I have fear. I am not ready to give into the hype machine yet.

-Mediasaurus Rex