The 2008 comic book adaptation Kick-Ass was a wildly uneven, tonally scattershot whiff of a movie, redeemed considerably by one successful element: the subplot of Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), the father-daughter crime-fighting team of real bravery and skill, in contrast to the clumsy and frequently ineffective title character. It doesn’t seem like this was a solitary reaction; the trailers and clips were heavy on the Hit Girl, and when you hear people talk fondly about that movie now, they’re very seldom talking about how great Aaron Johnson is. Hit Girl was a classic case of a supporting character stealing the show — a supporting character who, by all rights, should have been the star. And now they’ve made a sequel, Kick-Ass 2, in which they made the same damn mistake again. She’s the crowd pleaser; by this point, the title seems like a joke. … Read More
Joe Wright’s Hanna, hitting theaters tomorrow, is the tale of a tough, ruthless teenage girl (played by Wright’s Atonement star Saoirse Ronan), trained as an assassin by her ex-CIA agent father (Eric Bana) in the Finnish wilds and sent on a killer mission. (If you haven’t seen the certifiably bad-ass trailer, do yourself the favor of setting aside three minutes to watch it.) Though the cold-hearted young female killer is a fairly novel heroine, it’s not a completely new cinematic creation, either; join us after the jump for a look at some of our favorites from films past. … Read More
David Fincher’s critically acclaimed (and financially successful) The Social Network hit DVD and Blu-ray yesterday, riding a wave of year-end top-10 list placement and Oscar buzz. But, lest we forget in all of the warm goodwill surrounding the picture, that it was far from a sure thing; the notion of “the Facebook movie” was mocked and snarked pretty widely while the film was in production (Will audiences “like” it? Har har).
But “the Facebook movie” had two saving graces. First, the cultural object on which it centered was still in vogue by the time the film hit screens — in fact, it had only grown in popularity. This is key, since the long lead-time of motion picture production (averaging at least a year from conception to delivery) often puts exploitative spin-off films into theaters long after audiences have lost interest in the phenomenon at hand. Second, it was scripted by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, neither of whom were interested in creating a disposable entertainment for a quick buck; when you’ve got real filmmakers in the mix, chances are pretty good that you’re going to get a real movie out of it.
Not every “fad film,” however, has been so lucky. After the jump, a look at a few less fortunate moments when the trivial and the cinema didn’t intersect quite so skillfully. … Read More
With the polarizing reception of Matthew Vaughn’s foul-mouthed Kick-Ass, the superhero genre is in full swing this year. There’s the highly anticipated sequel to Iron Man and Seth Rogen donning green tights for Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet. On top of that, this is also when shooting ends for Thor and most likely starts for Captain America. So what’s the big deal? And who else is jumping on the superhero bandwagon?… Read More
Everyone we know is currently preoccupied with superheroes. And with the onslaught of comic book based films currently being developed and released (Iron Man 2, Thor, The Green Hornet, The Avengers, Silver Surfer), we don’t blame them. While we agree that superhero films are fun, they tend to exalt the male as hero, while the female counterparts are typically campy sidekicks, love interests, or have no powers aside from their oh-so-charming feminine wiles.
However, with this weekend’s release of Kick-Ass, we think things will be changing because of underage badass Hit-Girl (played by Chloe Moretz). Thanks to a red band trailer and Roger Ebert’s moral objection, the character is already the major draw to the film due to her intense potty mouth, seriously sassy attitude, and impressive gun slinging/knife throwing skills. But this diminutive super-heroine isn’t the first female to impress us with her film-stealing abilities. … Read More
1. Matthew Vaughn’s comedy about superhero-obsessed teens, Kick-Ass, will open this year’s SXSW Film Festival on March 12. [via Variety]
2. Sam Mendes — who already worked with Daniel Craig on Road to Perdition — is rumored to be directing the next James Bond film. Wethinks this doesn’t bode well for the Bond… Read More
1. The kick-ass trailer for Kick-Ass is up; the movie, which is based on the comic book series of the same name, is due in theaters next April. [MySpace via Pop Candy]
2. Vampire Weekend reveals the inspiration behind the title of their upcoming album, Contra. [via NME]
3. 600,000 gamers may have been cut off from Microsoft’s Xbox Live for modifying their consoles to play pirated games. [via BBC]
4. Playgirl is really trying to do its nude shoot with Levi Johnston on a budget. [via NYP]
5. Denzel Washington will return to Broadway this spring in a revival of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winner, Fences. [via Variety]
Bonus link: Best American Short Stories: By the… Read More
The Kick-Ass movie posters were released earlier today, and most of the blogger world is salivating over Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic book series of the same name. We’ll show you the posters after the jump, but what’s really interesting is the critical buzz generated by Lionsgate’s recent test screenings in London and LA. Readers wrote in to Ain’t It Cool and Slashfilm with their reviews, with one comparing it to a cross between Matrix and Shaun of the Dead. That bodes… Read More