Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Lang’

Flashes of inspiration can’t brighten ‘Conan’

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
Jason Momoa and Rachel Nichols in "Conan the Barbarian" Conan the Cimmerian (Jason Momoa) defends a “pure blood” woman (Rachel Nichols) from assault in Marcus Nispel’s 3-D remake of John Milius’ “Conan the Barbarian.”

In the early days of the ancient Hyborian Age, everyone apparently had access to excellent dental care, because the poor peasants in Marcus Nispel’s remake of “Conan the Barbarian” possess perfect sets of choppers.

However, the unfortunate warriors under the command of the warlord Khalar Zym obviously went with a cheaper health plan, because their teeth look terrible.

I only bring this up because teeth are supposed to be one of those things you don’t pay much attention to while watching an R-rated, action-packed tale of violence and vengeance.

But after about 40 minutes of numbing nonstop 3-D slashing and bashing, lopping and chopping, slicing and dicing, torment and torture, my mind began wandering.

I started to notice the anachronistic perfect smiles, the cheap-looking, digitally created blood spurts, the unreal, computer-generated landscapes, and Rachel Nichols’ ridiculously flat, mechanical line readings as a female warrior named Tamara.

These issues could be overlooked in a sword-and-sorcery movie if it sweeps us along with a riveting story and has well-wrought characters we can invest our emotions in.

“Conan the Barbarian” is not that movie. (Read more…)

Visually absorbing ‘Avatar’ takes technology to new heights

Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington in "Avatar" Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) cautions fellow Na’vi warrior Jake (Sam Worthington) in James Cameron’s daring adventure “Avatar.”

James Cameron’s science-fiction adventure “Avatar” runs for an insanely long two hours and 43 minutes, yet, there’s not a single slack moment in it.

This feature has been edited down to the narrative nubs.

That’s not all.

“Avatar” is also a visually dense 3-D feast stuffed with lots and lots of stuff, and then more stuff. It throws so many elements into a scene that it’s impossible to observe and absorb all the fascinating touches and intricate details in a single viewing.

Ever since Cameron announced his $300 million production of “Avatar” – based on an idea he reportedly developed 15 years ago – the movie world has been waiting with cautious hope that it would be a worthy follow-up to his last critical and commercial smash, 1997’s “Titanic.”

It certainly is, And then some.

“Avatar” is an action film, an intergalactic Romeo & Juliet romance, a pro-Green Movement movie and a fiercely anti-imperialistic essay all wrapped into a state-of-the-art special effects experience. It contains its own original alien language, too.

Cameron’s bold and risky venture represents a historic achievement in movie animation. (Read more…)