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Tag Archive: first look


47 Ronin movie poster

The legend of the 47 Ronin has been told and retold and numerous books and at least seven movies.  This includes a Dark Horse comic book titled 47 Ronin which just wrapped up its five-issue series last month.  The unrelated Universal Pictures movie 47 Ronin was originally scheduled for release November 21, 2013, then it got bumped to this February and now to December 25, 2013.  Usually that kind of movement signals a potential bomb.  The trailer for the film has some surprisingly good elements, however, despite some obvious quirks.

The first questionable element is star Keanu Reeves, who in past performances never seems to play anyone other than the same Keanu Reeves character we’ve seen over and over again.  Maybe beyond the goofy teen in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but not far off the characters he played in Parenthood, Point Break, Dracula, Much Ado About Nothing, Speed, The Devil’s Advocate, The Matrix Trilogy, Constantine, The Day the Earth Stood Still.  You could almost say he is like John Wayne or Arnold Schwarzenegger in this regard, but he’s not remotely as iconic and has yet to have a standout performance despite heading up some big films.

Keanu Reeves 47 Ronin

The trailer shares a lot in common with the preview we showed here at borg.com of The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, released just last week–both centering around a fish-out-of-water white man in Japan.  Was 47 Ronin pushed because the studio didn’t want it to compete with The Wolverine?  Reeves has his fan base, but his popularity wouldn’t seem to stack up against the multi-faceted Jackman.

The new film also seems to echo elements of Tom Cruise’s character and story in The Last Samurai.  The creators had to have contemplated audiences making this comparison.  Again, fish-out-of-water white guy in Japan with ancient cultural themes.  It begs the question of whether Hollywood only thinks American audiences can get sucked into Japanese warrior-themes films without an American or Australian (for Jackman) as designated film tour guide.  The long-term success with American audiences of Akira Kurosawa films such as Seven Samurai, which needs no Anglo character hook, should at some point lead us to create a big-budget picture without the hook.

Check out the trailer for 47 Ronin:

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Free Birds preview

Four new previews for animated movies coming out in the next 8 months are out this week.  Each has genre actors that might get you to go to the theater for your animated viewing fix.

First up is Free Birds, which is about a Thanksgiving turkey pardoned by the president (who appears to be President Clinton) who partners with another bird to use the White House time machine to go back and prevent the first turkey from being the subject of Thanksgiving–thereby saving all turkeys from a Thanksgiving fate from then on.  The story looks good and the cast and animation do, too.

Check out the trailer for Free Birds:

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Worlds End cast

Shaun of the Dead’s comedy team of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Martin Freeman are back this summer with a new zombie-esque flick called World’s End.  Not just a zombie apocalypse movie, World’s End is a British pub in the home town of five friends who return to complete a town-wide pub crawl.  But they soon realize there is something strange about the townspeople, and only Pegg’s character’s girlfriend, played by Die Another Day, Surrogates, and Jack Reacher’s Rosamund Pike, doesn’t realize their town has turned into Stepford–where robots have taken over.

It’s a story that could only be pulled off by Spaced, Paul and Hot Fuzz’s comedy duo of Pegg and Frost.

World's End banner

It’s great to see Martin Freeman in a role in between his stints as John Watson on Sherlock and as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit movies, and Simon Pegg outside his successful Star Trek and Mission Impossible franchise roles.  Spaced’s Brian Topp, Mark Heap, and Hot Fuzz’s Paddy Considine are back, too.  World’s End also features Harry Potter’s Argus Filch, David Bradley, and stars the Sherlock Holmes movies’ Inspector Lestrade, Eddie Marsan.

Enjoy these two trailers for World’s End.  First up, the international trailer:

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