TOP 5: THE EXPENDABLES 3, The Problem with Superhero Sagas, Guillermo del Toro Involved in New SILENT HILL Game, THE GIVER, THE BABADOOK

     August 16, 2014


There’s nothing I can write in the space allotted here that will do justice to the life and career of Robin Williams. His talent was enormous and just as we’re all the better for the work he did, his loss robs us of the things he might still have done. When I was a kid, Williams and Francis Ford Coppola‘s Jack was the first film that ever made me cry. I can remember being 10-years-old and dumbfounded by his ability to make me smile and sob within the context of a single scene. In spite of knowing that it would break my heart, I couldn’t wait to rewatch it as soon as it ended so I could laugh and cry all over again. In the grand scheme of things, his turn in Jack isn’t anywhere near his most beloved work. Given the film’s 17% RT score, I seem to be among the few who have any endearing memories of the film. We should all be so gifted that even our misses leave a lifelong impression on others.

In an impossible segue, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of The Expendables 3, Adam’s editorial on why he believes that treating movies like television is a bad idea, the news that Guillermo del Toro is involved in the next Silent Hill game, interviews for and Adam’s review of The Giver, and the new trailer for writer/director Jennifer Kent‘s horror pic The Babadook. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

1. THE EXPENDABLES 3 Interviews and Review


I’ve said here before that I defend The Expendables franchise’s right to be a fun, silly action spectacle whose sole purpose is to cram as many action stars (both past and present) into the same place at the same time. Still yet, the fact that a film with this much gunplay receives a PG-13 rating is proof positive that the MPAA is a joke. That gripe aside, I’m sure I’ll check out The Expendables 3 at some point and enjoy it for it what is, as tired as the conceit may be. In the meantime, I’ll just recommend that all those interested check out Matt’s review of the film and Steve’s video interviews with director Patrick Hughes; stars Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz, and Glen Powell; Ronda Rousey & Wesley Snipes; his text interviews with Antonio Banderas & Wesley Snipes and Victor Ortiz; and his press conference transcript with Sly Stallone, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Jason Statham, Kelsey Grammer, Ronda Rousey, and Patrick Hughes.

2. Editorial: The Problem with Superhero Sagas


Although I enjoy most of the films Marvel Studios puts out, my colleague Adam Chitwood did an excellent job putting his finger on my own biggest gripes with the MCU in this editorial which discusses why treating movies like television episodes may not be the best approach from the perspective of overall quality. Whether or not you agree with every point, I think you have to at least concede that every installment being a “To Be Continued” for a seemingly infinite number of sequels and spin-offs can be a bit tiresome.

3. Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus Involved in New SILENT HILL Game


To this day, no game franchise has scared me more than Konami’s Silent Hill series. As a kid, I refused to play the first two entries in the dark and, even now, I’ll watch the occasional gameplay video on YouTube just to be scared all over again (the Silent Hill 2 dog ending may be the most maniacal thing I’ve ever witnessed). With Gamescom 2014 currently being held in Germany, this week brought the announcement that Guillermo del Toro, Norman Reedus, and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima are all involved in the latest installment which looks to be titled Silent Hills. If this teaser is any indication, my old “never play in the dark” rule still seems applicable.

4. THE GIVER Interviews and Review


Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver blew my mind when I read it in the 5th grade. It was my first encounter with dystopian ideas and, in being so, set the stage for my eventual interest in works like George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. While I’m unsure how well director Phillip Noyce’s adaptation captures the spirit of Lowry’s work, if the film can have a similar impact on pre-teen and early teens that the book had on me then I’ll consider it a success. For more, check out Adam’s review and Tommy’s video interviews with Jeff Bridges, Cameron Monaghan, and Brenton Thwaites & Odeya Rush.

5. New Trailer for THE BABADOOK


Last week I wrote that writer/director Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook was my most anticipated film amongst Fantastic Fest 2014’s first wave of programming. This week a new trailer for the film debuted and it does absolutely nothing temper my anticipation. The film looks terrifying and I’d love if I somehow stumbled upon a screening of it while I’m in Austin for Mondo-Con next month.