The Matrix directors Andy and Lana Wachowski have added some gravitas to their next sci-fi project by casting Sean Bean. Known for adding a touch of class to genre roles in projects like The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and HBO’s Game of Thrones, Bean could be a great choice for the role of Stinger, who is being described as “a Han Solo-type” character, in the Wachowskis’ upcoming Jupiter Ascending.
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.
There are a ton of smaller movies on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Take a look…
|Rank it amongst the best thriller movies of all time.
Flickchart Ranking: #1562
Ryan Reynolds gets buried alive.
|Rank it amongst the best crime thriller movies of all time.
Flickchart Ranking: #2151
Look at that win percentage! From what I hear, imagine if Scorsese was Australian and this is what you’d end up with. This movie also furthers my theory that Guy Pearce is incapable of making a bad movie.
His career as a director spanned seven decades, starting in the Forties with a small job on an early religious program and ending in 2000 with the action-mystery Reindeer Games. With such meager and lifeless bookends, one might question the abilities of director John Frankenheimer, who passed away shortly after his final film at the age of 93. But as poet laureate for Generation Z Miley Cyrus so eloquently sings, “It’s the climb,” and Frankenheimer’s climb was one populated with a tense body of expertly crafted films that brought action and suspense to breathless new heights. His last great work paired him with a tight script and three brilliant actors for some of the most dizzying and fun car chases this side of The French Connection. But in this week’s Reel Rumbles, Ronin has some fierce competition out of Michael Mann, another talented director, with a film that many consider to be his finest hour. A loose remake of his previous made-for-TV effort L.A. Takedown (1989), Heat won the praise of critics and audiences alike, and built a bridge between an overlooked cadre of masterpieces and a prominent career for the director that continues today. Study the blueprints, sync your watches, and get ready for the big score. It’s time for Heat vs. Ronin.