411 Fact or Fiction Movies/TV 7.04.14: Week 440
Posted by Ben Piper on 07.04.2014
Is Jason Momoa a good choice to play Aquaman? Are we interested in another Rambo movie? Will Deliver Us From Evil be a good horror film? Mike Powers and 411's Terry Lewis debate this and more!
For all of us Americans out there, happy Fourth of July! I hope that you all got enough tasty BBQ, didn't get too sunburned or heavens forbid, had your house catch fire due to some douche setting off illegal fireworks in your neighborhood. For everyone else in the rest of the world, I hope you have wonderful Friday.
This week in the Fact or Fiction front, we've got Terry Lewis and an eager volunteer, Mike Powers on hand. Let's see how they respond to the subjects I throw at ‘em…
1. Deliver Us From Evil will be a better than average horror movie.
Terry Lewis:Fact. Since the typical average horror movie bar is set rather low with pretty much every new cinematic release being yet another found footage type, Deliver Us From Evil has more than enough going for it to stand out from the pack. The big draw for me is it's got Scott Derrickson from Sinister and the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Doctor Strange movie helming it. He always manages to make a nice looking and memorable movie at the very least and Evil looks no different. Erica Bana is a watchable leading man and the film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer in his first horror film I believe. The themes of the extremes of possession and devil cults are barely explored and this looks to take it to the limits with some frightening looking home invasion scenes. In balance, I almost want to advise you to skip the trailer and see it blind because it is rather spoiler-y in terms of plot and scares and where's the fun in that? Thinking about it, I actually have fairly high hopes for this - Terry's stamp of pre-approved approval if you will.
Mike Powers:Fact. I was ready to dismiss this question with a big 'ole fiction, having never seen an ad for it, and having a generally poor opinion of modern horror movies. Full disclosure, I am much more of a schlocky, 80's era, slasher horror fan. But then I went to YouTube and watched the trailer. Much to my surprise, Deliver Us From Evil looks like it will be not only be high on the creep factor, but it actually looks like it'll be a quality movie to boot! The trailer showcases great cinematography, and Eric Bana providing just the right amount of skepticism, edging on belief. I also enjoy the fact that the protagonist is a police officer, adding a different element than we generally see in these films. From not caring about this movie, to being excited to see it....thanks Fact or Fiction!
Score: 1 for 1
2. Jason Momoa is a good choice to play Aquaman in the upcoming Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
Terry Lewis:Fact. I feel a more appropriate word would be 'interesting' rather than 'good' but given Momoa has me actually intrigued to see what he can do in the role I'm up for anything he can do. I know he is slightly typecast as a big man/savage but you know what? Aquaman kinda sucks. Compare Arthur Curry to say any of the three main Avengers or Batman & Superman even and he just doesn't stand out, hook hand and orange vest or not. The Protector King Of The Seas/Atlantis/Mariana Trench character has been done before relatively straight so you need to go do something out there to make him comparable to the Dark Knight and essentially a God. If they're going the route of Aquaman being his savage king in a Gengis Khan mould, wrecking shop, proclaiming himself King Of The World since 75% of Earth's surface is covered by water and not taking any sass, I am all in and Momoa is the best pick to bring that character to life. I know it sounds like that certain Prince of Atlantis across the road at the other company but more fool Marvel for not doing it quicker.
Mike Powers:Fact. I guess DC is going all-in on the "copy Marvel" blueprint. Or trying to anyway. Marvel hires a controversial choice (at the time) to play Ironman; DC hires a controversial Batman. Marvel gathers all their heroes into one film; DC is in the process of doing so. Marvel hires a beefcake with questionable acting chops to play Thor; DC just found theirs. All that being said, I agree with the esteemed Mr. Lewis when he says "Aquaman kinda sucks". There is a reason that they chose Aquaman to be the movie that Vincent Chase made in Entourage a few years ago. They were looking for the lamest superhero they could find. Aquaman fits that mold quite nicely, if I do say so myself. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice has my money regardless of who puts on the Aquaman suit....or scales...or whatever. It'll either turn out great like The Avengers, or it'll be the hot mess everyone seems to think it will be. Either way, I gotta see it for myself.
Score: 2 for 2
3. Cameron Crowe developing a TV show about rock roadies on tour is a fantastic idea.
Terry Lewis:Fact. This has a surprising amount of stuff going for it. Crowe is a former contributing editor of Rolling Stone and not only has interviewed some of the biggest names in the music industry in the past but also focused on the lesser seen sides of the music touring business like roadies themselves. Despite falling out of love awhile ago with music journalism, this still seems to be a passion project for him. He's got priors with his semi-autobiographical work Almost Famous about his time as a music writer, he's made a couple of notable music documentaries and the original book of Fast Times At Ridgemont High was about him going undercover at a high school and focus on the various cliques and stereotypes there. He is a man who can recognize the humour in our favourite bunch of rock band supporting people and to help adapt it for TV, he's got in J.J. Abrams. The man has some clout of course with Lost and Winnie Holzman as showrunner isn't a bad choice at all with her experience with My So-Called Life. Clearly Crowe is a guy who COULD pull this off and fulfill it's potential. Roadies are always a cool type of guys to make media about because they're just so out there, seen it all and done it all too. A comedy series done right which focuses on the backstage production side of rock n' roll could be an instant classic. I have faith with this.
Mike Powers:Fiction. I wouldn't call it a fantastic idea. It's mildly interesting, I'll give it that much. Didn't Cameron Crowe already get as much mileage as he can out if this concept with Almost Famous? I enjoyed that movie when I first saw it, but it isn't anything that I can see myself watching again. Let alone an entire series based on it. If you ask me (and let's face it - Ben Piper did ask me!), the more interesting characters in that concept are the rock band members themselves, not the leeches on the side living off their scraps. Center a show around the band itself. Hell, set that in the decade of excess (the 80's), and you've got yourself a show! VH1 had Behind The Music centered on the bands, not the roadies. There's a reason for that.
Score: 2 for 3
4. Tammy unfortunately won't be very funny.
Mike Powers:Fact. Fact, fact, fact, a million times fact! I am most certainly not a fan of Melissa McCarthy. It's not that I don't understand her appeal, because I do. She's the female version of Chris Farley. Unfortunately, she hasn't found her version of David Spade to play her straight man. I'm not a fan of Mike & Molly, nor do I hold Bridesmaids or The Heat in high regard. As a 42 year old man, I'm not exactly in the target demographic for her movies, I understand that. That said, while I don't enjoy her previous efforts, I can at least understand why others do. Looking at Tammy, I'm at a loss as to who the target demo for this movie is. Plain and simply, it looks stupid. And not stupid in a good way either. If this movie comes in any higher than 4th this weekend, it should be considered a success.
Terry Lewis:Fiction. Wow. Bit harsh from Mike there I feel. As a quiet fan of comedy movies, I do like the exploits of Melissa McCarthy very much so. Her portfolio is a bit hit and miss, but I feel the good far out weighs the bad (although Identity Thief is pretty rotten). I feel she does so much for actresses as female comedy is grossly under represented. For course, I feel a tad too much of her appeal is because of her size, but she does a lot more than just relying on that like actresses such as Rebel Wilson. I feel her charisma gets her a long way and she will carry Tammy into a good, watchable comedy to add to a vintage year. Given that it's 4th July weekend and the new Transformers may have been a tad front loaded last weekend, I have hope for this to make some mad bank this weekend.
Score: 2 for 4
5. You'd be interested in Rambo 5 getting made.
Mike Powers:Fact. As I said before, I'm 42 years old. My prime teenage movie going years were in the 80's, when over the top action movies were King. From Commando to Cobra, I've seen them all. And I loved them. I was first in line to see each of The Expendables movies, and I thought those were an amazingly fun ride. I do find it an odd choice that Sylvester Stallone would choose to simultaneously lampoon 80's action movies, while at the same time making a straight up, balls out action movie. But, at this stage of his career, he can do whatever he wants I suppose. I enjoyed Rambo 4, but didn't feel the same sense of closure that I felt with Rocky Balboa. If Sly can make a kick ass action flick, while simultaneously giving a satisfying and fitting end to a classic character, then count me in.
Terry Lewis:Fact. YYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!! Massive capitals Yes. Whilst I have problems with the second and third outing, the classic and deep qualities of the original Rambo is complemented very well by it's all out hard R rated action in the fourth edition. I'll echo Mike, it seems odd for Sly to pastiche his bread and butter in a loving superteam tribute to 80's action movies whilst still actively taking part himself in making them. The thought does occur what story there is to tell with John Rambo. Whilst Rocky Balboa worked for providing closure to the titular character, unless there's a big death for Rambo, I just don't see what interesting plot Sly has in his back pocket to pull out. Still, the goodwill he earned with me for the fourth one means I'm than happy to give him a chance.
Score: 3 for 5
6. Earth To Echo will turn out better than the commercials and trailers make it out to be.
Mike Powers:Fiction. Earth to Echo was developed and shot by Disney, but once it was finished they decided to sell the rights to Relativity Media. I think that speaks volumes to what to expect from this film. Reading the synopsis of this movie makes it sound like a mashup of The Goonies (the kids are losing their homes to greedy developers!) and ET (there's a cute alien!), but the trailers do not indicate that Earth to Echo possesses any of the "magic" that those films have in spades. Add to the mix that I've never heard of any of the stars, or the director...let's just say, I'm not holding my breath that this movie will be anything special. If you have kids, a better choice this weekend is likely going to see How to Train Your Dragon 2, for the third time.
Terry Lewis:Fact. Whilst I don't think it'll be a financially successful hit, Earth To Echo I boldly think will be a creative success. It's tapping into that genre of kids cinema we don't see anymore with films like the ones like Mike mentioned. The found footage aspect of that is something we haven't seen before in this genre so it's kinda new in that respect. I think it'll gain some goodwill on that front and to be honest I've seen a lot worse CGI-wise from bigger movies this summer. Don't get me wrong - I'm not expecting this to kick off a revival and we get Short Circuit 3 but for a live action family adventure movie it should fill a gap.
Final Score: 3 for 6
Terry and Mike end up splitting the difference. Thanks to them both for helping out, and see you again next week!