Entries Tagged 'fantasy' ↓

Thoughts on Franklyn

Been busy doing (attempting) screenwritery stuff, but I found time to throw up a few thoughts on one of the most challenging films ever to cross the path of marketing department, Franklyn. It's not hard to see why this wasn't released theatrically in the States. A weird hybrid with many masters: fantasy, quirky indie romance, psychological thriller, etc. I'm not even going to try explaining the plot. I will say that the one sheets play up fantasy element far too much. They look cool, but totally misrepresent the film. Nice character-driven, low-budget story. Don't pop in the DVD and expect to see a Stardust meets Edward Scissorhands fantasy/romance with elaborate sets and flashy effects.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Going in, I knew this was more romance than fantasy flick, but I still wasn't prepared for the extreme fluffiness that assaulted my senses. Based on the popular novel by the same name, "The Time Traveler's Wife" is about a guy with a genetic quirk that causes him to involuntarily jump around in time -- conveniently in places that he's been or going to be -- and the woman who loves him. Kinda sounds like a topic for Dr. Phil. BTW, did I forget to mention that he time travels in the nude? Clothes fall right off. Hilarious, I know. Maybe that's a better topic for Maury, "Time Traveling Husband Paternity Tests!"

So our (nude) time traveler meets a little girl that he'll eventually marry and blah, blah. I just can't do it. This is just not a very interesting story. Not that strong of a romance either. The film does have two very appealing leads in Rachel McAdams and Erica Bana. They're very good together, but the story...meh. No real conflict. No outside obstacles keeping the two apart. They bicker and make up like couples do. Cue romantic music. He disappears at the most inopportune times. Sad music plays. Repeat and rinse. Sure, there are a few bumps along the road -- two to be exact, but you never get the sense that things won't work out. You can't change the future -- except when it comes to the lottery. A pleasant, but mostly forgettable film. For the life of me, I don't know why ABC thinks it has potential as a TV series. "Journeyman" already covered this territory quite well and went nowhere in the ratings. Box office has been solid though. At some point, I'll have to read the script -- I miss the old days, when produced scripts were hard to find. My "read pile" is huge...

Personally, I think "Somewhere In Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour is a much better time-travel romance film. Surprised they haven't attempted to remake that one yet, but give 'em time...

Legion Trailer

I tweeted about this earlier, but I'd like to expand a bit further than a hundred and forty characters. One of the loooongest trailers I've seen in a while -- talk about blowing your load! You really have to wonder if the film has anything left, other than a lot of standing around and talking. For a B-movie action/fantasy, "Legion" certainly has an above average cast: Dennis Quaid, Kate Walsh (WTF?), Paul Bettany, Tyrese Gibson, Charles S. Dutton, etc. A film like this would usually get one or two recognizable faces. Sometimes we forget that even actors have bills to pay. Can't hurt to shoot a query letter to the manager/agent of a pie in the sky actor on your dream cast list.

The best I could dig up on the production budget was 40 million. Say what you want about the humdrum plot, renegade angel and a handful of strangers defend a pregnant waitress from a legion of angels, but it's a good-looking 40 million dollar flick. Still, I can't seem to shake the been-there-done-that feeling while watching the trailer. The January release isn't exactly a vote of confidence from the studio either.


Probably one of the best examples of cinematic lightning in a bottle. Far better known properties have come and gone over the years, but this quirky sword and fantasy franchise going back to 1986 has stood the test of time -- buckled on more than a few occasions. Immortal beings of obscure origin swordfight across the ages for an even more obscure Prize. That generic premise -- along with the help of some rockin' Queen songs -- spawned conventions, books, TV shows, cartoons, merchandise, etc. Every couple of years, there's a story in the news about some sword-wielding lunatic mouthing off about, 'There can only be one'.

So a reboot is in the works -- seriously this time, because there's always talk about another "Highlander" flick. I was intrigued by the lukewarm/negative script review that hit the net a few days ago, so I did a little digging and found a copy.... It's a decent action/fantasy that tries hard to satisfy the tastes of today's audiences. Think a less flashier version of "Wanted" with swords *and* guns.

Hard to say if it will work. I'm pretty sure fans of the original will be pissed at the changes -- especially characterization. Some of the charm is gone, but the thing is, we tend to remember our youth being sweeter than it actually was -- can't believe I paraphrased Michael Bay of all people. Like the original, the reboot will depend on casting -- I predict oodles of cameos for rappers and MMA fighters -- action and the soundtrack.


That's the eye-catching trailer for the fantasy flick, "Franklyn". It has a bit of a "Dark City" meets "V for Vendetta" vibe going on there. The cast includes Eva Green and Ryan Phillippe, but I don't think it's being released in the States.

Legend of the Seeker

It’s been a long time since “Xena” and “Hercules” ruled the syndicated airwaves. This new fantasy series “seeks” to regain the crown. The production values were pretty decent, cast likeable and New Zealand always makes a great fantasy locale. Action wasn’t that bad, but the slow-mo stuff might start to grate after a while. I thought the dialogue was weakest aspect -- that and the main villain, all he lacked was a long mustache to twirl.

As far as the plot goes, there’s a reason why folks keep going back to the same well, bringing up Arthurian elements: it works! Some ideas just resonate with the masses -- it’s important to keep that in mind. Dunno if “Legend on the Seeker” will last, but its heart seems to be in the right place.


I dig Amanda Tapping as a brunette with a British accent -- kinda schoolmarm sexy -- but I’m not entirely sold on this. The story could have been stronger. The subplot with the mutant boy was a little weak. Some of the twists/reveals were completely telegraphed -- John killing the prostitute, the identity of Ashley’s father, etc. And what was up with Dr. Zimmerman swagger jacking Daniel Jackson? It was like they cut and pasted his character from an old “Stargate” episode. The green screen stuff was okay. Didn’t get in the way. All in all, the whole thing felt *really* familiar, borrowing here and there from sci-fi shows past. Not great, but light-years ahead of stuff like “Flash Gordon” and “Painkiller Jane”.

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The Fountain

I might be going out on a limb here, but “The Fountain” wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was surprisingly watchable. The whole “sci-fi” angle -- if you can call it that -- probably scared off a bunch of folks and confused others, but at the core, it’s a simple story about a husband coming to terms with the impending death of his terminal wife. I don’t get the hate that it caught from some critics. Is it the most straightforward story ever told? Hardly. Might it be a little too artsy for its own good? Definitely. We often bash films for being too cookie-cutter and safe, but the minute someone ventures off the beaten path... WHAMMO!