Archive for June, 2009

Must Reads

I may have turned into being all about the movies here, but this is a real world where real things happen.  Here’s some important pieces I’ve read lately…

America’s Christless Christianity – Evangelical Outpost
Violence Flares Again in Tehran – CNN 
A Parting of the Ways – Evangelical Outpost


When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 6 The Dark Knight

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”  There is no better statement that captures the mad remorseless villainy of terrorism. 

Ah, you thought I was going to say The Joker, didn’t you. 

The Dark Knight dared enter a realm most filmmakers lately will circle with wary sensitivity.  Many things elevate this film above its comic book peers, but dir. Christopher Nolan’s best choice was to create a contemporary parable that speaks to a very real threat looming over the world. 

The reality of The Joker is not a costumed psychopath, it’s the belief that a world without rules only leads to one inevitable end, and it takes a certain kind of hero to stop that speeding locomotive. 

“He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him, because he can take it.  Because he’s not our hero.  He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector.  A dark knight.”

24 minutes of James Cameron’s Avatar have been seen.

Ain’t It Cool News has the scoop (with art). Cameron apparently showed a portion of the film at CineExpo in Amsterdam.

When I know enough to write more, you’ll have it.

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 5 The Incredibles

Pixar had its game on from the beginning, but to stay fresh, John Lasseter brought in someone to shake up the status quo: Brad Bird. 

Like most Pixar teasers, the trailer only hints at what the film will deliver:

The first Pixar film not created by one of its founding members achieved a successful combination of humor and action, plus a weighty look at heroism, and a scathing indictment against the culture of entitlement.   

Every inch of the film works, from thematic development, voice characterization, pacing and editing (not to mention turning decades of comic book mythos on its ear) and remains on the top tier of Pixar’s strongest efforts.  Throw in Michael Giaccino’s bombastic score, and this film is pure magic.

The Last Airbender Teaser

(via AICN)

Since we’re on the subject of trailers, here plays what we hope will be the return of M. Night Shyamalan:

For what little the teaser reveals, it hints at the kind of scope Night has tended to avoid in his films.  Both Signs and The Happening dealt with wide-spread cataclysm, and kept their narrative focus tight on a mere handful of characters. 

For the first time since The Sixth Sense, Night has taken on the adaptation of someone else’s creation (he previously penned the script to 1999’s Stuart Little).  Based on the series Avatar: The Last Airbender, producers dropped the title to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s Avatar, coming this December (which still hasn’t received a trailer). 

The Last Airbender premieres Summer 2010.

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 4 Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator had already achieved a solid place at the cultural water-cooler, and this trailer merely plays on it. Amid all the sparks, techno cues, and Schwarzenegger’s red eyes, there lies not a hint of plot. But James Cameron delivered a sequel that not only left its predecessor in the parabolic ash heap, it achieved something rare for an action movie: thematic meaning.

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 3 Unbreakable

M. Night Shyamalan followed up the breakout success of The Sixth Sense with a strange pick–a superhero movie. But, he did one thing that no one had ever done with any real success at that point: he grounded it in grimy reality. This early precursor to Heroes serves as a meditative character drama with one hell of a hook, which the trailer uses to perfect effect.

Unfortunately, a few years later, Night gave us The Happening. Wherefore art thou, fair Shyamalan? We sure do miss the old you.