With THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Disney succeeded in extending the holiday film season from the beginning of November to the end of the year. Now, DreamWorks has upped the ante with RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, a CG animated, 3D fantasy that not only has a burly, Slavic Santa (Alec Baldwin) heading up a team of dedicated fantasy icons charged with protecting the innocence and wonder of children, but also extends the market into spring by adding the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) to the corps, and then covers the gaps with Jack Frost (Chris Pine), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and a mute, but adorable, Sandman.
The film has an impressive pedigree, with Guillermo del Toro as producer and a scenario loosely based on William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood chapter books. To discover how loosely, we invited beabetterbooktalker.com‘s Andrea Lipinski to give us background on the movie’s literary roots, and to join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons in determining if RISE rises (see what we did there?) to its self-imposed mission as champion of all that’s wonderful in genre film.
Then: Steve delivers his capsule review of the the-Commies-are-coming, domestic warfare fantasy RED DAWN; plus, what’s coming to theaters next week.
Film District releases this remake of John Milius’s Cold War wet-dream, which has been sitting on a shelf for two years, thanks to financial problems at MGM. America is invaded by foreigners who hate our freedom, but a bunch of freedom-loving young men and women teach those freedom-hating foreigners a thing or two, combating superior military force with guerrilla tactics.
Dan Bradley directed from a screenplay by Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore, based on the 1984 film written by Kevin Reynolds and John Milius, from a story by Reynolds. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, son of Odin) leads a cast that includes Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The plot seems slightly odd, coming from the world’s only remaining super power – i.e., the only country capable of projecting its strength around the world, which just spent the better part of a decade occupying another country, which used guerrilla tactics to fight back. Perhaps some “shoe on the other foot irony” is intended? Or perhaps not.
U.S. Theatrical Release: November 21, 2012.