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.
Hayao Miyazakio is truly one of the greatest animation directors of all time. I still remember watching KiKi’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro as kid for the first time. The stories and characters that he creates captures the audience’s attention and allows them to escape reality for a little while. Some of his recent films are Spirited Away, Ponyo, and Castle in the Sky. The Wind Rises is nominated for an Oscar for best animated feature; this puts him up against Frozen, Despicable Me 2, and The Croods that were also nominated (I really believe Frozen has a lock on the award but it is great to be nominated).
The Wind Rises takes place in the early 1900’s Japan following a young boy named Jiro Horikoshi (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The young boy dreams of someday flying airplanes. He is inspired by an Italian aeronautical engineer Caproni (Stanley Tucci). Due to his nearsightedness, he decides to design airplanes after waking from a dream with Caproni. He then sets on his journey to change airplanes in Japan forever.
Throughout a given year there will be an ample amount of action movies. The categories in which they fall could consist of growing chest hair after watching it (probably a sign you liked it a lot), making a serious effort to rent it after somehow missing it at the theater, it holds your attention (at least for a little while) when it airs on television despite commercials, and then there is the dubious honor of an action movie that with one viewing makes you seriously question the decision making capabilities of all parties involved. This begs the question of what category of action movie does 3 Days to Kill fall under? Well….
In this tale of espionage, we’re looking through the eyes of Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner), a grizzled CIA operative who has a penchant for…..wait for it…. killing. Nobody would have ever guessed that with the title. Anyway, Ethan is sent on a mission to take out the dastardly villains known as The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis). Yes, you read that correctly, a villain named The Albino. Someone, somewhere is offended. The mission is looked on by afar from CIA agent ViVi Delay (Amber Heard) as to evaluate what Ethan is capable of. As it goes, wiping The Wolf and The Albino off of the face of the Earth is not checked off of Ethan’s to-do list as he suffers from a malignant brain tumor. Deciding to return to his home in France to visit his estranged wife, Christine (Connie Nielsen), and daughter, Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), he clearly does not receive the warm and loving homecoming most would hope to receive. With his days numbered, he had the intention of leaving the clandestine service for good and live it out with his family. As fate would have it, ViVi shows up offering up the task of finishing the task he started with The Wolf and The Albino, in exchange for an experimental drug that could at least stall the effects of the brain tumor.
There’s been all kinds of Marvel movie in the last week. With the release of the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer coupled with the announcement of the cast for the Fantastic Four reboot, one must ask, what else could Marvel Films have up their sleeves? Why not start pre-production work on the long talked about Dr. Strange feature film?
It was Valentine’s Day Weekend and love was in the air. So, of course, this week on the show we tackle Robocop. Well, ok, nobody “tackles” Robocop. Although…ED-209? No, they don’t really “tackle” things.
They just shoot them. So, um, anyway…this week’s podcast is about Robocop. Did it recapture the dark-comedy heights of the original? Did the PG13 rating rob it of impact? Would anyone buy it for a dollar?
All this and more will be revealed in this week’s episode.
Plus, Tom tells us why Endless Love is even worse than it looks and Dan has a video recovery that sounds like a porn but, sadly, is not.
It’s Reel Spoilers #33 – Robocop.
Dead or alive…you’re listening to us.