Trailer Time: Jonah Hex opens June 18, 2010

Hi there…

Yes, I like comic book movies. There’s escapism typically built in. But sometimes things just don’t work out.

Jonah Hex stars Josh Brolin as Hex, a scarred bounty hunter with a taste for revenge and a few supernatural tricks up his sleeve. The trailer makes this look more like the horrible Wild, Wild West with Will Smith and Kevin Kline from the late 1990s.

Now, I don’t know if it’s the fact that Megan Fox is playing a prostitute or that Hex somehow got miniguns mounted on his horse, but this looks like a train wreck to me.

Anyone else getting bad vibes?

Here’s some additional information… And for more, check out their website at Jonah-Hex.com.

JONAH HEX
In theatres on June 18

(Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures)

Director: Jimmy Hayward
Writers: Screenplay by Neveldine & Taylor
Story by William Farmer and Neveldine & Taylor
Based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.
Producers: Akiva Goldsman, Andrew Lazar
Executive Producers: Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, William Fay, Matt Le Blanc, John Goldstone, Ravi Mehta

Cast: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon

Adventure Thriller. Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is a scarred drifter and bounty hunter of last resort, a tough and stoic gunslinger who can track down anyone…and anything. Having survived death, Jonahs violent history is steeped in myth and legend, and has left him with one foot in the natural world and one on the “other side.” His only human connection is with Lila (Megan Fox), whose life in a brothel has left her with scars of her own. Jonahs past is about to catch up with him when the U.S. military makes him an offer he cant refuse: in exchange for his freedom from the warrants on his head, he must track down and stop the dangerous terrorist Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). But Turnbull, who is gathering an army and preparing to unleash Hell, is also Jonahs oldest enemy and will stop at nothing until Jonah is dead. Based on the legendary character from the graphic novels, “Jonah Hex” is an epic adventure thriller about one mans personal quest for redemption against the vast canvas of the battle between good and evil.

–Fitz

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DVD Review: Seven Pounds

Hey all…

When the movie Seven Pounds was released to theaters in December 2008, I was intrigued by the premise and Will Smith (who in my opinion has come a long way as an actor since his Fresh Prince of Bel-aire days). But it never really hit me as a Christmas movie. Neither did Marley & Me which was released about the same time or The Alamo which came out around Christmas in 2004… So we never got to the theater to see it. (We did see Marley & Me, but that was more because my wife’s a veterinarian than anything else.)

Rating: ★★★½

So when I heard Seven Pounds was being released on DVD, I knew I needed to see it. It looked like a powerful story and didn’t disappoint.

The story revolves around Ben Thomas (Will Smith), an IRS agent who seems to be behaving oddly. The stereotypical IRS agent is someone who relies on facts and figures, not feelings and heart. Ben did his homework, but relied on how he felt about particular people to render judgments. Through the course of the film, we see Ben find seven different people who deserved to have their lives changed. But he didn’t plan on falling in love with one of the seven. Would that derail his plans? Would he change his mind?

Acting alongside Smith in the movie are several other great actors. But the trio of Smith’s Ben, Rosario Dawson‘s Emily, and Woody Harrelson’s Ezra really hold the center of the movie together.

Is this a love story? Yes, but not quite in the way you might think. Is it a drama? Definitely. Is it a thriller? Yes and no. There are aspects of other thrillers, such as waiting for the big reveal until the last third of the movie. But you get the sense from the very beginning that there’s something inherently sad or broken about Ben and that he’s trying to do something about that.

I’ve seen negative reviews about Seven Pounds on other parts of the web. Rotten Tomatoes only gave it 28%. ScreenRant gave it 3 out of 5. And Entertainment Weekly gave it a D calling it an “unintentionally ludicrous drama of repentance.”

I watched it with my wife and we both loved the story. A powerful, romantic movie of redeeming one’s self in the face of unimaginable sorrow. Like all movies, you take from them what you will. We give it a solid 3.5 out of 4. 

In addition to the movie itself, the DVD includes numerous extras.

“Seven Views on Seven Pounds” provides seven different perspectives on the movie, from the director and the writer, to the producers involved, designers, editors, and so on. Each person brings something different to the table. What was most telling for me was listening to how the writer, Grant Nieporte, came up with the idea after seeing someone at a party with the same deep sorrow that Ben experienced. This just proves once again that life presents opportunities for art if you keep your eye open.

“Creating the Perfect Ensemble” focused on Denise Chamian, Casting Director, talking about the challenges of bringing together the cast for this unique, emotional film. Finding actors to convey real emotions in a very short amount of time was tricky. Director Gabriele Muccino spoke about getting the relationship right between Emily and Ben’s characters. The efforts of Chamian and Muccino bring these characters to life on the screen.

“The Box Jellyfish: World’s Deadliest Co-star” describes just how deadly the Box Jellyfish actually is. It quietly sits in the background in a tank until you learn what Ben has planned for it. Mike Schaadt, the Director of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, speaks about the jellyfish and the challenges that it brings to the beaches of Northern Australia.

In “Emily’s Passion: The Art of the Printing Press,” we learn a little more about how Rosario prepared for the role as Emily. She went to the International Printing Museum in Carson, California, to explore the history of the printing press. You can find everything there from plates to movable type and beyond. This feature lets Mark Barbour, the Director and Curator of the museum, describe some of the many presses that can be seen in the museum. His passion for the printing process is easy to see.

There are four Deleted Scenes available, including “Ben Leaves Message for Dan,” “Dr. Gatsinaris Confronts Ben,” “Ben Gets Duke,” and “Ben Watches Ezra at the Mall #2.” The first two, I can definitely see why they cut. “Ben Gets Duke” would have added a bit of levity in the middle of a movie that could have used some lightening up in spots. And “Ben Watches Ezra at the Mall #2″ didn’t really add anything that the scene they left in didn’t already cover.

The previews on the DVD include a few for upcoming movies, including Angels & Demons and The Accidental Husband, a trailer for the DVD of Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, of which Rosario Dawson was a cast member, and two trailers for DVDs of other Will Smith Movies – Hancock and The Pursuit of Happyness.

If you didn’t get a chance to see Seven Pounds at the theater, I highly recommend that you take some time and watch it to form your own opinion. It’s worth your time.

–Fitz

p.s. Check out Seven Pounds at your local rental store or pick it up at Amazon:

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Continuing the “Why remake that?!” theme: The Karate Kid

Hi all…

So Columbia Pictures is remaking The Karate Kid, and it’s going to star Jaden Smith as the kid and Jackie Chan as the “Mr. Miagi”-like role. (Announced last night at Variety.)

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 3:  Honoree Will Smith (C)...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Why do we continue to see remakes for movies that don’t really need to be remade? Because it’ll make money of course. Will Smith‘s son plus Jackie Chan = $$$$ in the eyes of producers I guess.

But I have to wonder what they’re going to do. It’s the same story as before. A kid is bullied by kids at school and learns to fight his own battles (physically and philosophically) with the help of an eccentric older mentor.

What kills me in this one is that Jerry Weintraub, who launched the original 1984 movie (dang I feel old), is producing the new one. The 1984 version starred a young Ralph Macchio (who’s not looking great in his older years – he’s appearing in the weird movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead set to come out later this year and time has not been kind) and Pat Morita (a classy older asian dude who unfortunately passed away in 2005). Why Weintraub sees the need to trash the 1984 version (which in my demented mind was a great movie as seen by me at age 14) by redoing it is beyond me.

But the remake bandwagon rolls on… This isn’t one I’ll be lining up to see.

–Fitz

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