With the new Superman movie now in theaters, it’s time to dig out all those Superman-themed songs that we know and love.
You know the ones … “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” by the Spin Doctors, “Superman’s Song” by Crash Test Dummies, “Superman” by R.E.M., “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down, etc. etc.
Want ‘em all in one place? You’re in luck: To celebrate the release of Man of Steel, I’ve put together a Spotify playlist of Superman music. It includes the obvious candidates, plus one or two that reference Superman, and a few that were new to me but still worth including. Continue reading
These days, it seems you can go one of two directions with your superhero movies.
There’s the Jon Favreau/Joss Whedon route, where the film reflects a comic book sensibility and there’s a healthy mix of action, pathos, and humor — as there was in Whedon’s The Avengers and the three Iron Man films.
Then there’s the Christopher Nolan route, where the stakes are greater than in a typical comic book movie and the drama takes place at an epic pitch, as in The Dark Knight Rises.
(Basically, it’s the Marvel way vs the DC way.)
Director Zack Snyder has taken the latter route with his Superman reboot, Man of Steel. (No surprise, given that Nolan is a producer of the film.) Following Nolan’s lead wasn’t a bad decision, but in doing so, Snyder makes us ask the same question the Joker asked in The Dark Knight: “Why so serious?” Continue reading
There’s no reason why This Is the End should be as good as it is.
The film is a goof on end-of-the-world disaster movies, made by and starring the guys from such films as Pineapple Express, Superbad, Knocked Up, and nearly every other Judd Apatow–produced comedy of the past decade.
All the guys play themselves — that is, they play over-the-top, exaggerated versions of themselves — and the film is filled with enough filthy trash talk and bad behavior to fill an entire season’s worth of dumb comedies.
And yet … God bless whatever studio executive green-lighted this movie — he must have been high at the time — because This Is the End turns out to be one of the smartest inside-joke riffs and one of the funniest movies in recent years. Continue reading
In 1995, writer/director Richard Linklater made a small film called Before Sunrise, which told the story of Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy), an American man and French woman, who meet on a train, disembark in Vienna, and wander the city all night long, getting to know each other.
Nine years later, in Before Sunset, the action shifted to Paris, where the now married Jesse is promoting a book he’d written inspired by his one night with Celine. As the two wander the city all day and catch up, it’s clear the spark lit all those years earlier is still very much alive.
Fast forward another nine years, and the three have reunited once again to check in with Jesse and Celine. In Before Midnight, we find the pair — now living together and with twin daughters of their own — in Greece, where they’ve spent the summer. But unlike in the past, when love for these two was an ideal, a dream, a possibility, now it’s reality, and it’s not so dreamy. Before Midnight tackles that shift head-on.
“Where does the time go when it’s not around here?”
Barenaked Ladies asked that thought-provoking question back in 1994 in their song “Great Provider.”
It’s a question I ask a lot. Too often, really. Today, as I turn 39, I’m asking it again.
Where did the last year go? It seems like only yesterday that I turned 38. And yet, not much has changed.
It’s hard to judge The Internship solely as a movie.
That’s because it’s more an advertorial for Google than it is a movie — as anyone who’s seen even the smallest shred of the film’s marketing campaign can attest.
I mean, holy product pimping, Batman! This film shills harder for the search engine and all its auxiliary tools than American Idol does for Coke and Ford.
It’s more in the tank for Google than You’ve Got Mail was for AOL back in 1998.
More than The Wizard was for Nintendo back in 1989.
And yes, even more than Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle was for the burger chain in 2004.
Hell, I’m surprised the film’s not called Google: The Movie.
But alright, now that we’ve got that out of the way, can we move on?
Gentlemen, start your engines.
Fast & Furious 6 — yes, there’s a SIXTH Fast & Furious movie — hits theaters this weekend, bringing with it a now-trademark mix of testosterone, hot women, cool cars, ridiculous action scenes, and far-fetched plot twists.
This time out, the gang, still ably led by Vin Diesel’s Dom and Paul Walker’s Brian, teams up with the Rock’s federal agent Hobbs to bring down a British terrorist whose own team includes the love of Dom’s life, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Wait, didn’t she die two movies ago? Surprise!
So yeah, that’s the big difference between this film and the others: Our “heroes,” who usually fall on the wrong side of the law — including in the last movie, where they pulled off an Ocean’s Eleven/Italian Job–style heist in Rio — here are on the side of the good guys.
Like that really makes a difference.