good review, chuck. i'm a card-carrying seat-fanatic, too, so i feel your pain.
i've read the source material, which i found to be extraordinarily creative and deeply compelling (as well as disturbing), so i'm pretty sure i'm going to hate this show for what it could have been but isn't.
still, who knows? maybe the music and the cinematography will make me forget...
AJ is too skinny for my taste. But she does look good. They never really play up her looks, except the severity of her attractiveness.
jd, I read the Wanted trade, just based on your recommendation. I won't share my thoughts on the trade in here (it was...decent; the ending tried too hard, but that's Millar's specialty). I do want to say the film is extremely different, but has quite a few echoes. I prefer the concept of the trade, but the execution of the film. See it as it's own thing, and I think you'll really like it. Consider it a mere inspiration for the film, just like the movies the director liberally borrows from, and you'll like it more.
If you haven't seen them already, you can watch "Night Watch" and "Day Watch" on Netflix Instant View. I really enjoyed the visuals in both of these films and can't WAIT to see Wanted. 100% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.
I don't know how I am going to feel about this movie. I'm a fan of the trade but I do believe it tries to hard at some points and there is a bit in there that will not translate well to film I think. I'm also not happy that Angelina was chosen for this role, I would have liked to see someone of color play her character as was originally written so that is nagging at me but I do plan to give it a chance.
The film is more 'inspired by' issue #1 of the comic book, which was all that had been completed at the time the rights were purchased. Reviews are coming in from critics and most are VERY positive, which is rare for a R rated action flick.
I would argue the character being black in the novel served NO purpose to the story. The color was irrelevant. It does merely play to Millar's VERY worst tendency as a writer, which is to "cast" his characters with famous people (in the case of Wanted, it was Eminem, Halle Berry [who would've been terrible in this], and Tommy Lee Jones). He did the same thing in the Ultimates. Quit fantasy casting. I think it hinders the ability of the audience to suspend their disbelief.
And I liked the film, and look forward to seeing it again.
Chuck, let me say that on a few levels I agree completely with you. Her race made no difference to the story whatsoever and I don't even have any preconceived idea of what actress of color that I would have cast had I the power. For me, it was a "would have been nice" moment since i am a person of color it always delights me when a particular interesting or meaty role can go to one of "us". My dislike of Angelina probably came through a bit stronger than I intentended but thats more of a problem for me than her race in this particular role since for whatever reason she just doesn't "feel" right here. IN my opinion anyway, maybe the clarifies what I was trying to say or maybe it confuses it more in any case thats my story and I'm sticking to it.
Raasean, Yeah I was mostly just using your comment as an excuse to rant about Millar's penchant for casting. That said, I agree that I would also like seeing more actors of color (any color) in roles that AREN'T color-based. To be fair, it seems if "race" isn't a factor, it's usually a whitey in major films. That said, Freeman's role is color-blind as well, and he's great (as usual) in the film. So it's a wash in Wanted
AJ is actually pretty good casting for Fox in the film.
Let me first say I am no fan of Millar or of this series. His stories tend to start well with interesting ideas and quickly degenerate into crap. Luckily, the writers for this movie began writing it with only the first issue in their hands! So, the only thing they really pull from the series is the beginning and its great, nihilistic tone (and humor).
I DUG this movie. More than Iron Man. I can only hope Dark Knight entertains me as much as WANTED. Jolie couldn't have been paid enough for what she brought to this film. Her charisma, sexiness, confidence run rampant through the film. And, she doesn't even need to talk much. Nice to see her doing this sort of thing.
But, the real genius of the film is Bekmambetov. His visuals sell this hyper-realistic universe. Yes, he gets a little silly/excessive...
as with the 'loom of fate' (pretty lame, but visually cool) and the rats (if not for the 'squeak' I think I would have totally been lost on this idea...but, the 'squeak' is hilarious).
But, the chases and the super-fighting is done very well.
Great to see a small role for Anton Gorodetsky.
The score rocks - didn't even know it was Elfman until the end.
I'm really hoping the film does $25-$30m opening weekend. It deserves to break $100m for the summer. I'd love to see Bekmambetov doing more summer releases.
doubt we'll see a sequel of this since Jolie is dead
Chuck - did you have any problems with the above? I see you knocked the Viper CGI. I thought it was ok. Interesting to see the same stunt done later (with better CGI) on the Mustang. I thought the CGI on the train wreck was nicely done.
Why is there a meat locker/butcher room inside a textile mill? I have a feeling a LOT of little oddities are all Bekmambetov saying, "I want to film this - it will look cool!"
Quentin, regarding your spoiler...that's the zen moment I meant in my review. I loved that scene for what it said. Once the film is out and I can discuss it (it's a big spoiler...so don't click if you plan on seeing the film), I'll share some thoughts.
I didn't care about the Viper CGI because that scene didn't do a lot for me (but again, my seat SUCKED). The rest of the effects were well done, especially the super fighting So I am happy with the effects. I'll happily see this in theaters on Friday (before WALL*E, of course) for a comfortable viewing, and I'll keep an eye on Bekmambetov.
I had a good time with this movie but tend to think it opens stronger than it finishes (minus the final line, of course). The first portion of the film wherein our hero discovers his true self was funny stuff. It sagged a bit in the middle losing most of its sense of humor but the ending was bang up fun so what's not to love.
But the first thing I thought about at the end (and it was oddly echoed by someone else in my group who had the same thought) was that this movie gave a new lease on life to Mythbusters, who could now spend an entire show busting the Hollywood myths of exploding rats, bending bullets, shooting bullets in mid-air, flipping cars off the roofs one one another and so on.
I was curious why they ditched the superhero trappings of the comic books. A friend in my group suggested it was because the audience couldn't grasp the funny idea of supervillains ruling the world. Yet they could grasp exploding rats and looms that tell the future and bullets bending. Since this is the summer of the superhero movie with the most diverse group and largest group of comic book movies ever and so far they are all of good to great quality and Hellboy and the Bat don't look to disappoint, either. I half wonder if this movie came out two years from now based on how well people are receiving quality comic book movies if the capes and tights aspects of the original comic movie would still be intact.
Still, it was a fun take on this story with a great visual style and a good wink and nod to the audience throughout. Can't wait to see more from this director, one of the freshest new imports on the scene.
My one beef at the end was when they surround McAlvoys character in the library. And Morgan Freeman tells the others that it was their time to be killed. And they all believed him. Nobody questioned whether it was BS?? I mean he lied about himself and others. So maybe he was lying about them having to die.
I don't think he was lying. If "Fate" says someone has to die to prevent many more from dying, then it would pick Sloan and his compadres who spent many of the recent years just blasting people for dollars (and in doing so, not preventing the deaths of the "right" people). Maybe they didn't need to die if he was gone but since one already muttered that he would rather have his money than the honor, well...it ended as it should. Actually, that last shot of Jolie out of focus in the background was great. Far more interesting than a more gratuitous shot would have been.
i really liked this movie. it had my attention the entire time throughout. regardless of the cgi, the action scenes, the funny humor and the gratuitous violence what spoke to me most in this movie was when fox was whoopin wesley's ass and he had an epiphany moment to her question of "why are you here?"
his response of "I don't know who I am," spoke to me on so many levels. not that I don't know who I am but the fact that so many people don't. I consider this movie required watching for some of the people that I know. stop being a victim in life and get off your ass and do something. excellent movie.
my favorite line in the movie was when sloan said, "somebody kill this motherfucker....," lol. he said it so plain as day and the timing was on point. i damn near choked of laughter and the rest of the theater fell out too.