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The Cinema Cynic:
2 Good 1 Bad By John Hutchins
Another week, another batch of DVDs. But which ones to buy? Thankfully, we have The Cinema Cynic, our resident know-it-all to tell you which releases are worth picking up, and which are worth tossing into the burning bush. All told with his patented harsh flair, of course. So read on.
2 Fast 2 Furious
2 GTA 2 Vice City. This is basically the film version of Rock Star videogame titles Midnight Club 2 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Not that that's a bad thing, I personally love both games. What I think sucks is that there are people enjoying the film who've never played the video games; essentially missing out on the fact they could be appreciating almost identical storylines in an interactive way.
Transplanted to Miami (the setting for VC) from LA, protagonist Brian Connor is tapped by federal agents to take down an international drug lord (Cole Hauser). One of the first "missions" given out by Hauser takes place in "Little Haiti" and involves retrieving contraband from a sportscar that's been impounded. Anyone seeing this in theatres who owns the game must have been itching to get home and start killing. Definitely enjoyable however, the DVD has a lot of bonus features including a short prelude film detailing officer Connor's transition from LA to Miami. Director John Singleton keeps the slow parts to a minimum and delivers a film as entertaining, if not derivative, as Shaft.
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The DVD's title menu features 3 buxom and topless young ladies laying on beach blankets passing suntan oil and giggling with one another. OK, this isn't going to be Snow Dogs I thought. In fact, this movie is so sub-Snow Dogs, it's no wonder Cuba Gooding, Jr. is taking out actors insurance by playing a retarded guy in his next movie. Perhaps the character is based on whoever wrote Boat Trip.
The wretchedness of this movie, even despite T & A cannot be overstated enough. SNL's normally funny Horatio Sanz co-stars in the trainwreck about two buddies who accidentally board a gay cruise line. What follows is 90 minutes of humorless scenes saturated in homosexual double entendres about as subtle as chainsaw juggling. The story also seeks contrast. In one scene amidst melancholy piano music, Sanz confesses to a passenger his past of prejudice and misconceptions toward the gay community. He feels like "a real jerk" about it. This scene is followed by one in which Gooding, after comparing fellatio technique with a girl and a banana, accidentally ejaculates on a male passenger. Providing a small amount of enjoyability to the story is the "Swedish Suntan Team" (led by Victoria Silvstedt) who are rescued by the ship in the second act. Apart from the comic relief in listening to a group of strippers attempt swedish accents, their scene doing topless "yumping yaks" is definitely the films most entertaining and intellectual moment. How anyone could make a film that was awkward for women audiences, unrelatable to male, straight out offensive to homosexuals, and entitled Boat Trip is beyond me. I could go on, but I mustn't. Instead I feel the urge to binge drink and watch Lawrence of Arabia until the taste of this turd is gone from my brain. Grade: F
Prototypical Stephen King. The man who can just as easily make a Saint Bernard or 57' Chevy into something horrific turns in perhaps the most frightful concept of all: that gooey aliens with sharp teeth will come spilling out of the collective anus's of society and eat us all. Damn he's good. Though I never read Dreamcatcher, the story is similar to Desperation (an excellent book now in production as TV miniseries) and has all the earmarks of vintage King; including an alternate ending featured on the DVD that's completely different from the theatrical version. It seems the endings to King's novels must, for some reason, be altered for benefit of film adaptation - i.e. Misery, The Shining - though rarely for the better.
There's an interview with King in the special features where he talks about wanting to cross "the taboo zone" and make a story that did for the toilet what Psycho did for the shower. While I haven't gone since watching the movie, I'm sure it's going to cross my mind the next time I do.