Category Archives: Film

Devil’s Double

I have certain habits when I am on the computer. One is that I always have the TV on. it has become one of the better ways for me to discern how good/bad a movie/tv show is. If it can grab my attention and keep it while the wonders of the Web lay before me, then its pretty good.

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The First film in my reactivated Netflix queue is The Devil’s Double, based on an autobiography of a body double for Saddam Huessein’s eldest son- Uday. Dominic Cooper, who came to my notice as Howard Stark in Captain America plays the 2 roles of Uday, and Latif the double.

Sadistically evil is the only way to describe Uday. Dominic Cooper has shot forward in my estimation as one of the best actors out there. He is on a tear right now, with this, Captain American, and My week with Marilyn (review forthcoming) all out this year. Mark my words- he is an actor to watch.

The lovely Ludivine Sangnier, who blew me away 8 years ago in The Swimming Pool, finally returns to my film viewing as Sarrab, one of Uday’s girlfriends.

If you have not seen this movie yet, I encourage you to do so. Lee Tamahori has finally redeemed himself after Die Another Day with this amazing film. I expect this to be among the “Best Picture” nominees come Oscar Sunday.

Am I am Muppet, or a Man???

Hi-ho there everybody! Michael the Ponte here with another entry in Das Blog!

Comics: The haul 2 week ago was great- best was Fantastic Four #600! Human torch lives! Last week was the rare “5th week” and the haul was small. best of the bunch was Uncanny X-Men 2 just for having a San Francisco populated by Mr Sinister clones…who get shot in the head. 🙂

I ventured out to the local cinema for the first time in a while to see The Muppets!

This movie had to really perform to impress me…and it did. The marketing campaign (now legendary) was a series of trailers spoofing EVERY major film that opened this year. It was genius, and it worked. It also opened up a potential problem for the finished product- Could it be better than the trailers? The answer is a resounding yes.

Jason Segel wrote, and starred in, the best Muppet Film since their heyday of the late 70’s early 80’s. Their treasure Island and Christmas Carol offerings were ok, Muppets from Space needed some work, but overall the Muppets have been out of sight, out of mind for nearly 20 years. This film addresses that, with the Muppets trying to get the act back together. Its got catchy songs (written by Brett McKensie and others) and a lot of heart. The Muppet “Vibe” is back, and I am really glad I saw this on the big screen, as it was intended to be seen.

Jack Black…was awesome in his Cameos, which makes sense as he is practically a Muppet himself.

Go see it, revisit your childhoods.

 

What is best in life? … not this.

I love Conan the Barbarian. The original Robert E. Howard stories are required reading in my home. The comics are superb and the Arnold Schwarzenegger film (first one at least) is one of my favorite films.

Arnold became a superstar thanks to this great film by John Milius. Everyone can quote it, and most of us love it. In recent years, I have come to be a huge Jason Momoa fan. I first saw him Stargate: Atlantis, and he absolutely rocked my socks as Khal Drogo in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

When I heard that Momoa would be cast as Conan, I was very happy. Physically he is a very good match for the literary Conan, and based on his Drogo performance, we knew he could pull of the role. Sadly, the finished product was nowhere near the quality that he could deliver.

Right from the start, this movie was bad…and I literally mean the start. The opening scene devolved into utter nonsense as Conan is born on a battlefield as his father cuts him from his mother’s stomach. He then hefts the infant above his head and lets loose a battle scream. I nearly turned off the dvd player at this point. I thought twice, and continued.

The biggest problem with this film is that there is no barbarism. Conan and his cohorts are far too trusting and honorable. Conan is supposed to be a thief at this point in his life…a lying cheating, whoring, barbarian. Here he is the noble savage, who stays true to his friends. There is nothing wrong with that, and Conan has certainly done this before, but he is literally giving his full trust to people he just meets in this film. The “Mcguffin” is not used at all. A magical mask that can raise the dead and control demons….which really does none of that in the course of the film.

Steven Lang is not a bad villain, but honestly it should have been his daughter Rose McGowan. In the end, she dies and he fights Conan to the death. She should have killed her father and used these awesome demonic powers to make a REAL threat to Conan in this. Instead, we bumble from one action set piece to another, with absolutely no gravitas or substance on screen.

I really hope that Momoa gets another shot at Conan, but they need to write a film that is worthy of the name Conan.