Peter M. Lenkov’s Rest In Peace Department oozes with really fantastic ideas, and that’s probably why Universal Pictures wanted to make it into a blockbuster franchise. The problem with the adaptation is that is misfires at almost every plot turn, and never seems to decide if it’s going to be dark, funny, or just plain weird. That’s also why it’s very unlikely we’ll see a sequel to R.I.P.D.
Movie marketing has to go a step beyond what you saw 20 years ago. It’s not enough to plaster your posters for that big upcoming blockbuster all over town–now you need to reach people in new ways. How else can you ensure that your expensive remake of Brian De Palma’s classic horror film has any shot of box office gold, especially when it looks so bloody awful?
At first glance, Black Rock looks like a blend of Deliverance, mixed with the female-powered revenge horror of I Spit on Your Grave. While Black Rock earnestly tries to balance the two, it comes across as overly ambitious and never really finds the right tone while simultaneously falling prey to predictable horror tropes (hot girls in horror films are contractually obligated to run around naked at least some point during the movie).
Fan Expo was packed on Saturday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and for any serious comic book or toy fans, one of the big highlights was the free signing by comic book artist and creator Todd McFarlane, who was on hand at Ubisoft’s booth, where figures, statues and toys were on display for his Assassin’s Creed and Raving Rabbids line of toys.
Aram Rappaport grew up in the hills of Los Angeles. His father was a screenwriter. Talking to him you get the impression that he could care less about celebrity or fame. He didn’t grow up in that LA. He grew up in a world of artists who made movies because they loved it.
Director Roland Emmerich seems to be taking a break from blowing up the world and focusing on more intimate targets, like the centre of the American government, but whatever scale you’re talking about, White House Down is exactly what we have come to expect from the bombastic filmmaker.
R.I.P.D. exists at the point where Men in Black meets The Frighteners, but leaning heavily towards the MIB side of things. Somewhere in that mix, there is probably a winning combination, but R.I.P.D. only gets it about half right, with a storyline that is more than likely to bomb until it rises again in a few months on Blu-ray.
Last week, leading in to the massive debut of Marvel’s Iron Man 3 in North America, actor Don Cheadle made one of his near-final stops on the film’s worldwide publicity tour to chat with press in Toronto, and I was lucky enough to ask him a few questions about his return as Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes.
Writer and director Jeff Renfroe’s The Colony is one of the best-looking action films Canada has ever produced, but it has the kind of script and concept that you might expect from a direct-to-DVD Hollywood prequel. Where the film manages to surprise is in the casting, and some of the hell-bent villains that bring much-needed action to the second half of the story.
Whether it’s the African family happily reuniting over Tim Horton’s coffee or the glossy magazine rankings of successful émigrés, narratives about the immigrant experience permeate Canadian media and popular culture. But, though ubiquitous, these scripts rarely speak to the nuances of immigration, and hardly ever touch on its quiet trauma.