Okay, I missed last week, after promising I wouldn’t. But really, I was dead tired after my third consecutive day of running around Disney World, and really, we had not one but THREE 80s remakes to deal with. As much as I wanted to throw some snark at them, I really didn’t have time to come up with three different ways of saying, “Why don’t you just watch the original?” So Robocop, Endless Love and About Last Night? You all caught me on the right week. Count your blessings. As for this week’s movies, well, I have a whole extra batch of unused sarcasm waiting for you. Sorry.
Which is the word I’d use to describe the state of McG’s career right about now. He was a hot name coming off the first Charlie’s Angels, hot enough to be attached to a Superman movie at one point. Then he promptly set about dousing that fire with pretty much everything he’s done since then. He’s back now with 3 Days to Kill, which coincidentally feels like it’s some sort of companion film to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, since both feature Kevin Costner as an aging spy. It’ll probably end up sharing Shadow Recruit‘s box office fate as well, since people don’t seem all that interested in spies unless they’re name Bond or Bourne (and more so if he’s played by Matt Damon instead of Jeremy Renner). It looks like McG is going to have a lot more than three days to kill after this one, but that’s what he gets for having a name that sounds like a new menu item at McDonald’s.
Consider me stunned that Roland Emmerich isn’t responsible for Pompeii. I figured he’d gotten tired of destroying modern society in his films and had decided to go back and blow up an ancient one just for kicks. Instead, it’s Paul W.S. “Not the Boogie Nights/There Will Be Blood/The Master Guy” Anderson at the helm, which is actually a downgrade from Emmerich, if you can believe it. This guy hasn’t had a single one of his films break $100 million, and yet he still keeps getting work. It’s not like he’s been teasing decent returns out of small budget films either; he’s been either barely breaking even or landing in the red his entire career. But sure, let’s hand him the reins to a $100 million historical epic. Not that anyone is going to check this out on the strength of its director anyway. The appeal here is to watch Vesuvius do its thing, with some apparent 300-style hijinks thrown in for good measure. I really hope it somehow involves throwing spears and raising shields against a flow of lava, but I imagine that I, much like this film’s producers, will end up disappointed.
Looking ahead, it might have been a good thing I took a week off, because the upcoming schedule is downright bleak. Maybe I’m being punished. Maybe we’re all being punished. Maybe Hollywood is giving up good movies for Lent.