Posts tagged ‘Tom Cruise’

04/24/2013

Still is the story told, / How well Horatius kept the bridge / In the brave days of old.

by wfgodbold

Macaulay may be no Kipling, but Horatius at the Bridge is still amazing.

Oblivion makes great use of a stanza from Horatius (not, obviously, the lines quoted in this post’s title). Much like The Dude’s rug, it really ties the film together.

Yes, it does star Tom Cruise. Yes, it is in a bleak, blue-filtered post-apocalyptic future.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great story.

02/13/2013

Jack Reacher, or the exception to the rule that adaptations are worse than the novel source material

by wfgodbold

The Jack Reacher novels suck.

The action is okay, but the plots are predictable, and Lee Child’s ignorance of firearms is staggering.

If you’re reading a Reacher novel, prepare to be lectured about shotgun cones of death, how a .22 to the back of the head will take a person’s face off, and how FBI special agents are issued long-barreled revolvers.

You can’t escape the ignorance–Reacher was an Army MP, and any time someone is shot or he handles a gun, he inflicts on the reader his munificent experience (as distorted by the British author). Especially glaring is the constant reference to 12 bore shotguns (here in the US, we say gauge, not bore).

The Jack Reacher movie, on the other hand, focuses on the action and plot, and Tom Cruise does not narrate incorrect firearm information.

I wouldn’t have read the first Reacher book if I hadn’t seen the movie first; if I had read the book first, I wouldn’t have seen the movie, and it wouldn’t have been because Cruise doesn’t match Child’s description of Reacher.

It would have been because no book that bad could have been adapted into a movie of any worth at all.

As it is, the Jack Reacher film is a solid action movie, and the books are suitable for leveling that table that has one uneven length leg.

03/10/2012

John Carter of Earth?

by wfgodbold

No. John Carter of Mars!

For an adaptation of a pulp adventure novel first published in 1912, Disney’s John Carter (adapted from A Princess of Mars) holds up very well. The reviewers don’t know WTF they’re talking about (though I suppose it is kind of a hit or miss movie, so maybe 50% is about right. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys movies like this, this is a movie you’ll enjoy).

The actors all do a good job, and get into their roles without going Large Ham on us (even Willem Dafoe manages to rein it in!). I did like that while they used a bunch of recognizable actors, there weren’t any huge stars to ruin it by doing their shtick (e.g., Tom Cruise running, Nic Cage with a weird haircut and a flashlight losing his mind).

The action is great, the setting is great (though it could have been a bit redder), and the effects are great. The 3D was understated (surprising in a Disney flick).

And the movie does its job; for two hours, John Carter isn’t the only one transported to the savage world of Barsoom.

The audience is as well.

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