2013 was a great year for film. When so many are decrying the death of cinema, movies like these remind us that there are plenty of ideas and adventures left to explore. This year in particular we were treated to many films that break the traditional mold of Oscar fare. What was once a celebration of old, dry, period set dramas is now recognizing a younger and more diverse group of filmmakers. Here is the list of those films I believe will be honored this year at…
The 86th Annual Academy Awards
(P.S. – I didn’t include the nominees for short films because…well, nobody really cares about the short films.)
This week on the show lava puns abound as the topic de jour is Pompeii. Could we possibly like an overblown epic compressed to 104-minutes and directed by the man who gave the world not one, not two, but three Resident Evil movies (with a fourth on the way)? Let’s just say that stereotypes were left unshattered. But we’re at our best when we hate something.
All this plus the new parlor game for nerds that will soon be sweeping the nation. We give you – The Sixty Second Cyborg Challenge.
It’s Reel Spoilers #34 – Pompeii.
This week’s edition of Monday Night Raw was, in my mind, a pivotal episode for the WWE. Not only did the WWE deliver a solid show, they got fans excited for the granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania 30.
Raw kicked off with The Immortal, and leathery looking, Hulk Hogan making his way to the ring. The Hulkster still looks good for his age, 60, but he needs to drop the boa, it’s very unmanly. I was expecting Hogan to be a bigger part of the show then he was, unfortunately, all he did was pimp out the Network. So, the first 10 minutes of Raw was Hogan selling the Network and announcing he was named the host for WrestleMania 30. Not exactly what I expected from the Hulkster, but anytime the greatest professional wrestler alive can return to Raw, it’s a good thing and a ratings grabber.
The first match of the night was a rematch between Alberto Del Rio and Batista. Yes, a rematch from the Elimination Chamber pay per view, because the match was just so thrilling the first time around, right? The Animal is going to have to turn heel. The crowd absolutely hates Batista. They booed him the entire match. After Randy Orton came out to the stage, Batista was distracted and Del Rio rolled him up for the win. Following the upset, Batista let loose one of the funniest quotes of the night. “If they cheer me, I cheer them back. If they boo me, I boo them back.” Really? I guess it’s hard to come up with a good comeback when you have all that muscle. On a serious note, I am praying they change the main event of WrestleMania. It will be a nightmare if the WWE decides to go ahead with the main event without Daniel Bryan. Fans may riot if that happens.
So who doesn’t love football movies? More Communists.
Thankfully, here at ReviewSTL, we’re all about freedom, so in honor of the Super Bowl, we brought out some of our favorite (American) football movies.
We bring up some classics (“The Longest Yard,” “Brian’s Song”) and some more recent hits (“Any Given Sunday,” “Varsity Blues,” “The Waterboy,” “Friday Night Lights”). The Super Bowl may have ended as a blowout, but there are still plenty of football movies to tide you over until next season.
Mince a large cut “Titanic”, without the emotional resonance, tenderize a hunk of “Gladiator”, leaving out all that pesky action and visual pizazz, then season liberally with “Conan The Barbarian”, being sure to leave out most of the gore, throw them all together and bake. Ta-da, you have “Pompeii” – a movie that couldn’t be any cheesier if Vesuvius erupted and covered the ill-fated city in cheddar.
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, “Pompeii” attempts to build a story of ill-fated, star-crossed lovers amidst catastrophic tragedy in much the same way that James Cameron did with “Titanic”. Sadly, held up to “Titanic” – which does have some shortcomings in hindsight, like many of Cameron’s films – “Pompeii” is about as dramatic as pile of old hotel box springs in the city dump.
Super-buff and perpetually shiny Celt slave Milo (Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”) catches the eye of the beautiful and privileged Cassia (Emily Browning, “Sucker Punch”) after playing sympathetic horse whisperer to her injured animal and drama ensues. They stare at each other from across the room – or arena, as he’s a ruthless gladiator dripping in blood which, in turn, makes him even shinier and dreamier – while that fun spoiling Roman, Corvus (played by Kiefer Sutherland, testing out a revolving door of accents, and missing only a handlebar mustache to twirl) cuts in on the action. Rounding out the cast of wildly mismatched accents are Jared Harris (“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”), Carrie-Anne Moss (the Matrix trilogy) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Lost”). Oh, there’s also a giant-ass volcano that’s about to blow.