TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES got nothing to worry about. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES doing quite well, thank you very much. Got the big-budget, Michael Bay treatment (he’s the producer on this one; Jonathan Liebesman directed); came in #1 at the box office this past weekend; has the almost inevitable sequel already in the works. Yup, life is good for TMNT. Unless, of course, the attending audience happened to see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY last week. In which case, there might have been quite a few people coming out of the theater thinking, Nice try, but it doesn’t quite cut it.
In two weeks, we’ve had two films that want nothing more than to entertain us with some adrenaline-packed, fantastic storytelling. How each goes about the task, and how successful each is, says a lot about the filmmakers, how they regard this genre, and what they think of their audience. I explore the issue a bit in my review of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES for Jim Freund’s HOUR OF THE WOLF. Click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the title to download.
In the curious ecology that is Hollywood, a film that’s best known as a poster child for what not to do when converting 2D to 3D and for a declarative that become something of a pop-culture punchline has to, of course, have a sequel. In WRATH OF THE TITANS, there’s no Kraken-releasing, but that doesn’t mean demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) doesn’t have his hands full, what with his brother Ares (Edgar Ramirez) teaming up with his uncle Hades (Ralph Fiennes) in order to sacrifice big daddy Zeus (Liam Neeson) in an attempt to resurrect Kronos, a big-ass lava guy who also happens to be father to Zeus and Hades. It’s a family thing, see?
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons get together to discuss how director Jonathan Liebesman (BATTLE LOS ANGELES) fares in tackling this new installment of the mythological franchise. Then Lawrence French joins them to give his reactions to two other releases: the fractured fairy tale, MIRROR MIRROR, and the ominous horror exercise INTRUDERS. Then Dan weighs in with his thoughts on the low-key cloning drama, WOMB. Plus: What’s coming in theaters.
Columbia Pictures unleashes this film about – yes – another alien invasion of Earth. (Didn’t that just happen in SKYLINE?) Aaron Eckhart stars as a marine sergeant on his last day in the service, who is sent to La-La-Land to lead his men in a battle against what turns out to be aliens storming the beach. Jonathan Liebesman directed, from a script by Christopher Bertolini. Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan co-star. Curiously, most of the action was shot in Louisiana; guess L.A. wasn’t ready for its close-up. We like the idea of a grunt’s-eye view of an alien invasion, but do we really need another skaky-cam movie right now? Rated PG-13.
Here’s the poster and a synopsis for BATTLE: LOS ANGELES.
“For years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world – Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany, China. But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces.
As people everywhere watch the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It’s up to a Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before.”
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (DARKNESS FALLS), BATTLE: LOS ANGELES opens March 11th, 2011 from Columbia Pictures. Via ComingSoon.net
Deadline reports that Warner Brothers / Legendary Pictures have made a deal to have Jonathan Liebesman (BATTLE: LOS ANGELES) to direct CLASH OF THE TITANS 2.
Although not a big hit with critics, the first film grossed over $490 Million. This time around the studio plans to shoot the film in 3-D, rather than relying on a post-production conversion.
CLASH OF THE TITANS’s director Louis Leterrier, while declining to direct, may still be involved as an executive producer. Earlier this year, Greg Berlanti (GREEN LANTERN) was brought in to write the film’s story, though it’s expected another writer will fine tune a screenplay with Liebesman.
Sam Worthington is said to be signed for the sequel, which will have to be done before AVATAR II begins production. As James Cameron has indicated there will be some time before he turns his full attention to that film, there should be no conflict.