“Why is he splitting them up?”
“Why are they so long?”
“Why must he take something we love and ruin it?”
No these are not reviews for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. They were the assumed reaction of the tens of people who read Part 1 of my 2012 wrap up; where I dissected the year of Channing Tatum, had two Lincolns square off, and looked at one of the two live action Snow White adaptations. Part 2 will start with…
2 Films, 20 Dwarfs
Snow White and the Huntsman featured Chris Hemsworth as a hunter whose prey is apparently trees since his weapon of choice is an axe, and Kristen Stewart as a Snow White who went to the distinguished school of parted lip acting. There’s a love triangle that nobody cares about – and I’m not talking about director Rupert Sanders, K. Stew, and R. Patt – and Charlize Theron acting with as much subtly as a nuclear explosion. The dwarfs were entertaining but tragically underused.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was what I expected. It’s similar to The Lord of the Rings trilogy in a lot of ways but is not as good as any of them. Where we came to know and love every character in that series we only really get to know Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin in this. Meanwhile there are a mess of other dwarfs that are only distinguishable by variations of hair above the neck, and sometimes that doesn’t even do enough to make them stand out. Did it need to be a trilogy? No. Is the book being dragged through the mud? More like dropped in a puddle before quickly being grabbed and dried off quickly. As long as fans of The Lord of the Rings series don’t go into it expecting it to be world shattering they should enjoy themselves. I should mention I didn’t see it in 48fps but I heard mostly negative things about it.
And the Winner Is: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - even though Peter Jackson obviously thinks “dues ex machina” is Latin for giant eagles.
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 »
Indiana Jones, meet Jules Winnfield. One of them fights Nazis. The other takes out the garbage for kingpin Marsellus Wallace. One of them cracks a whip, while the other is known for his quips. Both fire pistols, and both are in some strange way the chosen ones of a higher power. Rough around the edges and not above killing a few bad guys, Indiana and Jules represent the stars of this week’s Reel Rumbles match-up: Pulp Fiction vs. Raiders of the Lost Ark.