One is the first chapter in an epic trilogy based on the first of three massive novels set in Middle-earth, the fictional world created by author J.R.R. Tolkien. The other is the first chapter in an epic trilogy based on a 100-page children’s book set in that same world (with additional material plundered from Tolkien’s appendices to his work, and from the screenwriters’ imaginations). Ultimately, they are epic films about high adventure, fantastical creatures, magic, swordplay, camaraderie, and magnificent New Zealand landscapes. Eleven years separate their theatrical releases; did that time allow Peter Jackson to craft a superior new adventure, or just continue to prove that the first movie in a franchise is often the best? Step into the Reel Rumbles ring and find out as we pit The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring vs. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Though Michael G. Wilson wants Daniel Craig to set the record for most appearances as James Bond, as of right now the two most prolific actors to inhabit the role are Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Connery starred in the first five Bond movies for Eon from 1962 through 1967, then returning in 1971 for Diamonds Are Forever. Twelve years later, he starred in and co-produced the non-canonical remake of Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, in 1983. He also later reprised the role for EA Games’ video game version of From Russia with Love in 2004, but for all intents and purposes, Diamonds Are Forever was his official farewell. Moore starred in seven official movies for Eon, taking over from Connery in 1973’s Live and Let Die through 1985’s A View to a Kill. In this Reel Rumbles, we take a look at their respective official Eon swan songs.
What makes Diamonds Are Forever an interesting film is that it’s removed from the storytelling aesthetics of the Connery era. Many fans tease that, despite starring Connery, it was really the first of the Moore era, with its emphasis on stunt pieces and Bond as more of a superhero than a spy. At one point, Bond passes off his own Playboy Diner’s Club card to a felled adversary in order to maintain his cover. Tiffany Case freaks out, clearly knowing who James Bond is. That kind of global reputation would not be appropriate for a real spy, but that’s part of the Moore era conceits. In this manner, then, this Reel Rumbles is as much about the beginning and ending of an era as it is about contrasting the final bows from Connery and Moore. Read the rest of this entry »
Everybody wants to make sure they remain on Santa’s “Nice” list, to ensure a lack of charcoal in the stocking on the big day. But let’s face it: Sometimes being Naughty can just be a lot more fun. Spend some time this holiday season with some of cinema’s naughtiest Christmas creations as Reel Rumbles presents: Gremlins vs. Bad Santa. Read the rest of this entry »
Sometimes good people do evil things.
Sometimes, it arises from a false sense of security, the mistaken idea of a victimless crime. Sometimes, it’s just part of the job. In this episode of Reel Rumbles, two films face off that feature decent characters performing heinous acts. The circumstances are different, but the results are the same: The lives of Hank Mitchell and Paul Edgecombe are forever altered by the very bad things they are forced – or choose – to do.