In what looks like arguably his most insane movie ever, Jackie Chan battles an insane science experiment gone wrong in future Australia in Bleeding Steel. Chan plays Lin, a police officer who was involved in trying to stop Andre, the subject of an experiment that gave him enhanced abilities but also drove him into psychotic evil. Andre is looking for a mechanical heart that his creator transplanted into his daughter, who Lin now needs to protect because if Andre gets the heart, he’ll be unstoppable and immortal. The setting and sci-fi trappings are much crazier than pretty much anything Jackie has done before but hopefully there’s still room for some old school stunts. The movie will be in theaters and On Demand on July 6th and you can check out the trailer below.
Luc Besson has had a ton of projects since The Fifth Element but next year’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is the first one that seems to harken back to that awesome brand of sci-fi madness. Based on a critically acclaimed, long running French comic series, Dane DeHaan stars as Valerian, a future agent for humanity’s government that expands across the galaxy and he and his partner, Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are sent to the city of Alpha, where 17 million members of thousands of alien races live in unity but there’s a group working in the background to overthrow all that. VIsually it looks amazing and it definitely feels like the guy who made The Fifth Element now has access to way more technology. Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock(?!) and Kris Wu co-star and the movie is out on July 21, 2017. Check out the trailer below.
The Wachowski Siblings are back after last year’s insanely ambitious, gender and race swapping, eon spanning Cloud Atlas with Jupiter Ascending. Mila Kunis stars as Jupiter Jones, who finds out that she has an intergalactic price on her head but a protector arrives in the form of the alien, Caine (Channing Tatum) and the duo goes on the run across Earth and beyond. Sean Bean c0-stars. The visuals look absolutely stunning but reading the plot summary and going off the trailer, it’s not clear if it’s going to gel into anything coherent but they managed to juggle the six or seven stories of Cloud Atlas without little issues, so I’m definitely excited. The movie is out in July next year and you can check out the trailer below.
After seeing the amazingly edited trailers and the prospect of Zack Snyder’s first foray into an original movie, everyone was excited to see just what the hell Sucker Punch was going to be. Disappointingly, it turned into a movie with amazing action sequences but in every other respect, it’s pretty terrible.
The “plot”, ostensibly, is that “Babydoll” is committed to an insane asylum by her evil stepfather after she accidentally kills her sister trying to kill him. Stepdad pays off one of the orderlies to forge some signatures so that Babydoll will get a lobotomy in five days when the brain surgeon comes. Babydoll meets some of the other girls and plans an escape which requires four items they will have to steal from around the hospital. However, the plot is muddled by the fact that Babydoll imagines the hospital as a burlesque club and further imagines that whenever she dances, she goes to these fantastical battlegrounds. Unlike say, Inception, which was brilliantly edited so that you could easily keep track of where the characters were, Sucker Punch is incoherent and inconsistant about what’s real and what’s not (obviously the crazy battlegrounds aren’t real).
Speaking of the battlegrounds, the real positive aspect of the movie is the action sequences. Babydoll and crew fight their way through a WWI battlefield where the Germans have reanimated their dead soldiers into steampunk cyborgs, a siege of a medieval castle which houses a pair of dragons and a futuristic train that is carrying a bomb guarded by robots. The special effects during these sequences are amazing and the detail of the battlefields is incredible. These sequences are a crazy mish mash of what seems like every video game, anime and comic book that Zack Snyder has read and crammed into this movie. You’ll see a giant mech fight in the aforementioned steampunk cyborgs, A dragon chase a B-12 bomber and giant samurai wielding mini guns, it’s insane but awesome. The action also features plenty of Zack Snyder’s trademark slow motion, which I enjoy because it makes certain things seem more visceral, but I can also see if you are annoyed by it. The battle field sequences are far too short however and they also feel like video game levels, the only thing they’re missing is an announcer or pop saying “Stage 1 Complete”.
When the girls aren’t engaging in insane commando missions however, the movie comes to a screeching halt as the lack of acting talent, plot or even characterization leads to excruciatingly long scenes of girls crying while terrible cover versions of cult rock songs play. Snyder seems to think that to have emotional depth, you have to have your characters constantly breaking down at the slightest things, which also undermines the “girls kicking ass” empowerment that Snyder says he was trying to provide with the movie. All the girls are pretty much there to look hot and/or be a stereotype with the only exception possibly being Abbie Cornish as Sweet Pea, who is the only character is who is given a shred of character development and history. I did enjoy a brief cameo from Jon Hamm and also Scott Glenn as the girls sort of “dream commander/mentor”
I think the main problem with Sucker Punch though, is that, in it’s efforts to be a clever, alternate reality mind bender, it renders all it’s crazy burlesque drama and fantastical fantasy action completely worthless when you stop and realize that this is a) happening all in Babydoll’s head and b) is to pick pocket a few common objects for the girls escape. For instance, the girls are attacking a train to get a bomb code named “Kitchen Knife” which is in reality, an actual kitchen knife that the girls are trying to steal from the disgusting hospital cook who is distracting by Babydoll’s dancing. I don’t even know if Babydoll actually dances to distract people in “reality” since the whole dancing thing is like level 2 of her dream world. Basically, the whole thing kind of falls apart if you stop and think about it and it has a fairly standard “twist” at the end that was original when the Twilight Zone did it 50 years ago.
I think what happened is, with no restraints, Zack Snyder just want crazy with all the visual aspects of the movie and things like plot and characters sort of became an afterthought. It’s definitely my least favorite Zack Snyder movie (Well I haven’t seen Legend of the Guardians), even behind the extremely flawed Watchmen, but hopefully he’s able to learn from this and come back better than ever with Superman and whatever else comes down the pipe.
Screen Gems has officially released the trailer for next summer’s Priest. Starring Paul Bettany (who is like the religious action hero du jour) as a priest who sets out to fight vampires. The movie is such a weird mish mash of genres; It’s the future but there’s vampires and there’s also lots of wild west elements and the priests seem sort of medieval. I don’t know if it will all work but then again I effing love Doomsday so we’ll see. Check out the trailer below and the movie comes out next May.