It’s interesting how solid the “Darkman” series ended up being. While “Darkman III” is by no means on par with Raimi’s original, it’s still a very entertaining exit for such a unique superhero. Director Bradford McKay pushes Darkman toward the Phantom of the Opera style super heroics rather than the grisly monster in the shadows this time around, and Arnold Vosloo returns to really provide a passionate turn as Peyton Westlake, once more. While Liam Neeson gets credit for the role, Vosloo really is a great successor in his own right.
I was worried that Steven McKay’s follow up to Sam Raimi’s original pulp tribute would stink, but thankfully it’s a very good sequel. It not only keeps to much of the formula from the first film, but increases the pulp aspects of the story. There’s the return of an old villain, a mad scientist, a super secret weapon, underground lairs, intrepid reporters, and our dark anti-hero who mainly keeps to himself. Arnold Vosloo takes over for Liam Neeson as the character of Peyton Westlake, who is now living in a large underground subway.
Leave it to Sam Raimi to take lemons and make batshit crazy insane lemonade. Pulling a George Lucas, “Darkman” was once the efforts from Raimi to adapt “The Shadow” on the big screen. When that fell through, he created his own superhero, a demented horror oriented avenger named Darkman. And he’s about what you’d expect from the man who gave us Ashley Williams. Liam Neeson gives a very entertaining turn as Peyton Westlake, a scientist who becomes the unwitting victim of a mob scheme. After Peyton’s fiance Julie discovers a document that can incriminate her boss in his efforts to develop land over the deserted docks, Peyton is tortured by local mob boss Robert Durant’s gang and murdered.
I’m not too sure how I feel about this sequel just yet. Granted, the original film was a fantastic adaptation that cut out some scenes and included some fun new elements, but it was fully developed from the books. “A Dame to Kill For” features two of the adapted tales with two original sub-plots, so I’m hesitant to get excited. Granted Frank Miller and original director Robert Rodriguez are back together combing forces, but who knows if lightning will strike twice. I remain cautiously optimistic for now.
One thing I keep wondering is when the survivors are going to learn never to get too comfortable. Comfort breeds complacency, and complacency gets you killed. Granted, the scene in the funeral home was terrifying, but you just don’t open a door to a safe haven. Even if you have the chance to lure in a cute little dog from out of danger. “Alone” is now less focused on the one set of characters and scattering its narrative more and more. With only three episodes left, there are bound to be a lot more questions. All in all, “Alone” is a fine if flawed episode, and much more cohesive than last week.
I loved the original Chris Weitz dramedy “About A Boy.” It’s easily one of my favorite comedies of all time and one of the rare Hugh Grant performances I can stomach. It’s not a surprise that the US would seek to adapt it in to a television show, I’m just saddened it’s on NBC in America. I mean, could you have picked a more incompetent channel with no idea how to handle new series’? In either case, “About a Boy,” granted it lasts more than one season, is a decent adaptation of the movie, but doesn’t do anything with the concept at all. For some reason the writers have completely side stepped the narration, and have eliminated a ton of interesting supporting characters from the series.
“Heroes” definitely wasn’t worth the hype, and I say that as someone who invested a lot of time in the show. I loved it from minute one, and eventually dropped it like a bad habit mid-season two. I do that to most shows I watch on TV, but rarely with a show centered on people with super powers and mired in comic book mythos.
I sat through four seasons of “Smallville,” three seasons of “Lois & Clark,” I watched the whole of “Mantis,” “Night Man,” “Mutant X,” “My Secret Identity,” “Swamp Thing,” and most of “The Cape.” As for “Alphas”? It had a great concept and that’s about it. I’ve been very forgiving when it comes to series about super powered people and superheroes. So don’t lecture me on being loyal.
“Still” is filler, but really good filler. It essentially feels in place this season to give Daryl more to do, while also focusing more on Beth. If you suspected Beth is nothing but a spoiled little shit since season two, than you’d be correct. Granted, she’s sweet, kind, and strong, but she’s also a sheltered little girl who’d rather do nothing than have a drink, than survive. She’ll go through walkers, and risk being eaten just to have her first drink. But then after spending the night in the trunk of a car in the middle of a herd, who can blame Beth for wanting to have her first drink before she croaks?
The Oscars Selfie that helped crash Twitter, and the funniest moment of the Oscars 2014. Ellen did a wonderful job, by the way. Kudos to her.
Stephen Frears’ drama about a woman touching down on her roots and seeking some sense of purpose is a sweet and simple dramedy that really reaches emotional lengths beyond its quaint story. Based on a true event, Steve Coogan is fantastic as a jaded and somewhat disgraced political journalist Martin Sixsmith who decides to leave his world in exchange for writing about Russian history. He’s approached by Jane, a waitress, at a party who offers him a chance to help her mother Philomena search for her long lost son. At first he’s put off by the idea of the search but soon sees it as his opportunity for a best seller.
One of the main aspects about “The Wolf of Wall Street” that I loved is that through and through Jordan Belfort is an unapologetic amoral hedonist. When we see him in the opening, right until the final moments of the film, he’s barely apologetic and really misses the days when he swam in money, women, and recreational drugs. Because deep down he felt be earned what he sewed, and right until his downfall, he loves the man he was. Deep down no matter how much he changes, he’s still the same Jordan Belfort, a man who is addicted to satisfying his base pleasures no matter who he hurts.
There’s nothing more annoying than books and lists that promise movie fans movies they’ve never seen or should see, only for you to find a list of the same old titles. The good thing about “Hidden Horror” is that it promises 101 movies you likely never saw, and surely enough as someone whose seen it all, I found some interesting gems in this book. To make things better, the underrated films really are some of the most under appreciated films I’ve seen in a long time.