Sunday, August 02, 2009

Some miscellaneous God-talk & movie tidbits

1. There's some more info on the Riddick series leaking out. ComingSoon points to a Shock Til You Drop interview with director David Twohy and his ongoing conversations with Vin Diesel about a third installment in the franchise (following Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick). Twohy says, at this point, if a third film gets made it will be more "focused" than Chronicles and feel more like Pitch Black. He also had some interesting musings on what made Pitch Black a good flick:
"...the hallmark of a good movie, and I think 'Pitch Black' is a good movie, is that even if you took the creatures out of the picture, you'd still have some pretty interesting character dynamics going on within that group, and it's almost like you can tell the same story without the creature or substitute some other external pressure on the group, because there were internal pressures as well that were interesting. So was it really a creature feature? It had the hallmarks of it, the trappings of a creature movie, but it also had pretty good characters."
Of course, I have my own opinion about the two flicks and you can read about them here and here.

2. In the same interview, Twohy mentions Crying Havoc: "It is about an FBI Agent who uses technology to track a spy around the world, only to learn that the spy is more demon than human, and that demon leads him into the lower circles of Hell, psychologically speaking. That's a cool one, and it hopefully has the same visual prowess of a movie like 'Constantine' but a hopefully more coherent script." Heh, that'd be a good start. Now if they could just get a bit more of a coherent theology than Constantine . . . .

3. Speaking of incoherent theology, Peter Chattaway does an excellent write up at Christianity Today's Movie Blog on the upcoming Legion, which (according to Variety) "casts [Paul] Bettany as the archangel Michael, the only one standing between mankind and an apocalypse, after God loses faith in humanity. Man's lone hope rests with a group of strangers who must deliver a baby they realize is Christ in his second coming." Urm. I tend to be really generous when it comes to films (maybe too much so), but I get a little irked and frustrated by films that depart so drastically from a biblical God yet use a plethora of biblical components. Now, lots of the angel films depart from the text in some form or another. On one half of the scale are films like City of Angels, The Prophecy and even Fallen (which I also actually even enjoyed); these films don't stay true to biblical text and some of them even invent alternate or additional texts to support their stories, but they also seem to have enough tendrils or ties to biblical theology that they can provide some interesting reflections or God-talk. But then comes those films like Constantine, and the scale tips--for me, at least. Heh, but then we each have our tipping points, don't we.

4. CT Movie Blog also reports on Magdalena:
...the comics-based action flick about a modern-day superhero descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalene, now has a writer and a director. The writer is Holly Brix, whose credits include The Butterly Effect 3: Revelations; and the director is Ryƻhei Kitamura, whose last film was Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train (2008).
Chattaway aptly muses, "Hmm." Heh.

5. ComingSoon reports that Universal, buoyed by the success of Mama Mia! wants to do another musical--Andrew Lloyd Weber's Jesus Christ Superstar.

6. Due to this blogger's recent musing on vampires, I've been somewhat intrigued by the upcoming film adaptation of Priest, a comicbook about a priest who "disobeys church law to track down the vampires who kidnapped his niece." In another interview at Shock Til You Drop, director Scott Stewart calls it "a cross between The Searchers and Blade Runner" (for what it's worth, those are two films I happen to really appreciate). Apparently, unlike Being Human and Twilight, the vampires in this universe don't have any redeeming qualities: "It's a scary vampire movie. They don't look like people...." Hmm. (Hat tip ComingSoon.)

7. Finally, here's the trailer for Denzel Washington's upcoming post-apocalyptic Book of Eli, in which he plays "a lone hero" who "guards the Book of Eli, which provides knowledge that could redeem society." For more info, go here.

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