Look, all of the Fast & Furious movies have stolen their best bits from better movies, but when the new double-ampersand sidebar flick Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw actually had its cyborg villain, Brixton Lorr (Idris Elba) get orders from an unseen superior to try to turn heroes Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) over to the Dark Side, I still managed to be surprised. My NPR review is here.
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The thrice-delayed, not-screened-for-critics thriller No Good Deed opened at No. 1 this weekend. Box Office Mojo reports its audience was 60 percent female and 59 percent over age 30. I'm an over-30 straight white dude, so WTF do I know, but to me the film -- which was written by a white woman and directed by a white guy -- felt incredibly insulting to its target audience of black women. In my Village Voice review, I tried to unpack the cynical, unkind assumptions it makes about the primary demographic paying to see it. Without making the piece as much of a drag to read as the movie was to watch.
Making-of documentary The Furious Gods reveals the people who actually made Prometheus had no idea WTF, either.
Because I routinely make awful decisions about how to spend my time, I paid $24.99 (50% of MSRP) for the four-disc, 3D Blu-Ray edition of Prometheus, a film I'd harbored huge hopes for but ultimately found disappointing. A Ridley Scott film, in other words.
I don't have the gear or the inclination to watch a 3D movie at home, but the deluxe set that includes the 3D version of Prometheus (along with the plain-Jane 2D in three different formats, because what price piece of mind?) is the only way to get The Furious Gods, a three-hour, 40 minute (!) making-of documentary by Charles de Lauzirika, a nonfiction filmmaker whose substantive, well-edited making-ofs for similarly lavish reissues of Scott's only two great films -- say their names with me now, everybody, Alien and Blade Runner -- have already claimed many irreplaceable hours of my life.
The Furious Gods is long, sure, but actually it's longer, because I've been watching in "enhanced mode," meaning that when an icon appears at the top of the screen I can press a button on my remote and watch an "enhancement pod" -- a video footnote, basically -- containing even more nerdily trivial information about whatever specific aspect of the film's conception and production is being discussed at that moment.
When Scott talks about casting original Dragon Tattoo Girl Noomi Rapace in the movie, you can watch her screen test. When production designer Arthur Max talks about creating the movie's titular spacecraft (which was still called the Magellan for a long time, did you know, even after the Untitled Alien Prequel acquired the name Prometheus), you can click through dozens of drawings and schematics of the ship -- which I think that all of us, regardless of our political affiliation, can agree is fucking rad. You can even watch an enhancement pod about the film's many rejected titles. Alien: Tomb of the Gods, anyone?Read More