Saturday, August 10, 2013

Planes & Percy Jackson Sea Of Monsters

There isn't a post-credits scene, but there is an "announcement" at the very end of the credits that Dusty Crophopper will be returning in Planes Fire and Rescue, and by the end of this film, you're happy to hear that. Dusty isn't perfect, and he certainly has his flaws, however, the film does everything perfectly! I hope by now, dear reader, the importance of animated films and the message they convey to kids is upper-most in all our thoughts and, I have to say--along with Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University--I can't think of a better pro-America film to show your kids full of the virtues of hard-work, going after your dream and letting yourself be inspired by the greatness of others. There's quite a bit beneath the surface of this simple film, so I hope it does well! The hype in this weekend's box office is a "battle of the budgets," with Planes being made for a mere $50 million (pretty cheap for an animated film--but I can't say it shows up in the production work, a good, high-quality film like what you would expect) whereas Elysiumcost $115 million. It's expected that Planes and Elysium will be in a close-call for first and second place in box office turnout this weekend, opening around the $30 million mark for both films. Again, why is this important? It helps determine what kinds of films will be made. With animated films getting so much money--again, many families assume that because a film is animated, it's going to contain family values, and while there might not be foul language and sex in the film, that doesn't mean there won't be political messages and liberal values--the chances of a studio deciding to back an animated film over a science fiction film greatly increases because that's how capitalism works. On the other hand, if Elysium has a huge haul, it could guarantee contracts for Matt Damon and he could have a greater influence in his liberal films being made. 
Yesterday was a great day! I saw two wonderful films and could not have been happier with either one! Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea Of Monsters was a good film, great philosophy of identity going into the plot development and, compared to Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightening Thief (which I would grade at a B or B- level, the directing wasn't good enough for the script, so the kids' acting suffered) I would give Sea Of Monsters a B or a B+; most of all, however, this was a fun fun fun 3D film to watch! It's terrible when you pay the extra for the 3D and the film doesn't give you the 3D effects, but Sea Of Monsters certainly does, so that was enjoyable. I saw Planes only in 2D (the show times were strange for yesterday) but the theater was packed, so, if you are going to see it today, consider getting those tickets before you go or risk a sold-out film. I didn't see Elysium (it's harder to concentrate on getting a post done when I have seen too many movies at once) but I will see it probably tomorrow afternoon. Let's get caught up on a few film news tidbits,... 
Really, I am truly impressed with some of the aspects of this screenplay; now, you know I hark on details most people never even notice, however, Grover (Brandon T Jackson) telling Percy he needs to make sure his health insurance is paid up before they embark on their quest, reflects the reality of the Obamacare debates waging in the country; don't buy it? Tyson (Douglas Smith) sees the Capitol building in Washington DC and thinks it's Olympus and starts praying to Zeus to help them on their quest; Grover then drives the point home by saying the gods of Olympus are like politicians in that they only care about themselves. We who gather here in this little corner of cyber-space not need validation for our efforts to interpret and understand the values and morals that go into creating art, but it's nice when they throw us a bone supporting that their story is a metaphor for the larger issues taking place in society today. Stanley Tucci's character, Mr. D, didn't pan out the way I thought he would (it was because of the way the trailer was constructed, but that happens, no big deal) but he is a fascinating character. Having been punished by Zeus, the god of wine and revelry can't drink any wine: whenever he pours a glass the wine turns into water. He then says, the Christians have a God who can do this trick in reverse; now that's a God! Brilliant. That is one LOADED statement and we will explore that in the upcoming post I am working on now.
Bruce Willis will not be returning for Expendables 3: there has been a pay dispute, but Mel Gibson and Anotonio Banderas have confirmed they are villains in the film that will also feature Wesley Snipes. There is a sequel set for Now You See Me (Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo) set for 2014 (I haven't gotten that post up yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the film [I read the synopsis before going in so I knew what was going to happen] and getting that post up ASAP is a priority). Two Paranormal Activity films are slated for release in 2014 and, while a Batman and Superman film has been confirmed, (Henry Cavill returning as Clark Kent) who will play Batman has not been confirmed. I am currently working on Percy Jackson and Planes!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner