A possibly biased Greek Myth Buff’s Review of Immortals

My review of Tarsem Singh’s Immortals will be spoiler free. My love of Greek mythology may have biased me positively (I loved Ninja Assassin because I still want to be a ninja despite being 30 years old).

The Olympians were depicted as young (and attractive) people instead middle aged folks, especially since the ancient Greek culture was so fixated physical perfection forms. These gods showed their prowess in combat and got their hands dirty instead fighting by proxy (Poseidon’s tidal waves and sea monsters, Zeus’ lightning bolt, Apollo’s arrows, and Dionysus’ murderous band of drunk women) as in most media productions.

Luke Evans provided a fresh interpretation of Zeus. He wasn’t the typical rash and violence prone elderly king with the libido of a frat boy, he displayed the same level of fatherly compassion as Anthony Quinn’s Zeus (y’all remember Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules series). He generally cared about humanity and looked at them as something more than notches on his belt like the previous Zeus. He even showed compassion for his children (male and female) unlike the mythical Zeus who only seemed to care about his sons in varying levels.

Found several things interesting:

  1. Theseus’ demigod status and divine paternity was seemingly replaced by a more tragic upbringing.
  2. The bovine suit that Daedalus made for Pasiphaë was transformed into a cruel torture device.
  3. The suit was still linked to the result of Pasiphaë and Mino’s prized bull.
  4. The war between the Olympians and the Titans was similar to the war between the Aesir and Vanir of Norse mythology.
  5. The lack of Hades and the other major 12 Olympians.
  6. Apollo’s weapon of choice was changed from a bow to a hammer.
  7. The racial diversity of the background cast (there were only Caucasian actors and actresses in these types of film).
  8. The religious ideologies of a believer, an atheist and an agnostic played out in the film.
  9. The removal of mere mortals dying when they behold a god’s divinity.
  10. Zeus and Athena using disguises to interact with mortals.

Images courtesy of  IGN’s Immortals review

6 Trailers To Make You Go “Yay!” Or “Bleh!”

Hi out there.  As I sit here typing this, I am so freaking sick, it is not even funny!  Seriously.  I’m congested, I’m running a fever, and I’m taking way too many naps while everyone else in the world is having a lot of fun playing outside and going to the new Twilight film.  However, despite feeling all bleh, nothing will stop me from sharing another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers.  NOTHING!

1) A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

One of the classic “old school” horror trailers.  The bit with the stairs always freaks me out.

2) Alone in the Dark (1982)

Not to be confused with the later film from Uwe Boll.

3) Without Warning (1980)

Martin Landau was apparently busy in the early 80s.

4) Deadtime Stories (1986)

This film appears to be an alternative take on beloved bedtime stories and…wait.  Bedtime.  Deadtime.  Hey, I just got that!  Neat.

5) Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 (1987)

Apparently, this film has next to nothing to do with the original Prom Night and you have to ask yourself: if there’s no elaborate disco dance-off, then what’s the point?  Still, I own this one on DVD and I’ll be watching it soon if I don’t start to feel better.

6) Pet Sematary 2 (1992)

I remember that I saw this movie on TV one late night when I was like ten or eleven and oh my God, it scared the Hell out of me!  I mean, literally everyone dies in it!  Even kids!  Trust me, that’s a really scary thing to see when you’re still just a kid yourself.  But anyway, I rewatched it last year and was mostly bored. 

The Toadsuckers Have Spoken: 15 Semi-Finalists for Best Documentary And Still No Room for Werner Herzog

Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the titles of the 15 semi-finalists for the Best Feature Length Documentary Oscar.  This list will, of course, be narrowed down to the 5 final nominees.

Without further ado, here’s the 15 semi-finalists:

  • Battle for Brooklyn(RUMER Inc.)
  • Bill Cunningham New York(First Thought Films)
  • Buck(Cedar Creek Productions)
  • Hell and Back Again(Roast Beef Productions Limited)
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front(Marshall Curry Productions, LLC)
  • Jane’s Journey(NEOS Film GmbH & Co. KG)
  • The Loving Story(Augusta Films)
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory(@radical.media)
  • Pina(Neue Road Movies GmbH)
  • Project Nim(Red Box Films)
  • Semper Fi: Always Faithful(Tied to the Tracks Films, Inc.)
  • Sing Your Song(S2BN Belafonte Productions, LLC)
  • Undefeated(Spitfire Pictures)
  • Under Fire: Journalists in Combat(JUF Pictures, Inc.)
  • We Were Here (Weissman Projects, LLC)

My response as I look at this list is: “Huh?”  Which is to be expected because I live in Flyover country and, as a result, our local theaters don’t get sent all that many documentaries.  Still, I have to say that, as someone who tries her darndest to keep up with these things, I’m not familiar with a lot of these films.  I saw Buck in the theaters and I watched Bill Cunningham New York via OnDemand after my sister recommended it to me.  I meant to see Project Nin when it briefly played at the Dallas Angelika but, for whatever reason, I missed it.  (I may have been burned out on movies about chimpanzees after seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes.)  I’ll definitely see Paradise Lost 3 if it ever manages to get down to my part of the world.

If anything surprises and disappoints me, it’s that Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams isn’t on the semi-finalist list.  Neither are two other documentaries that I loved — Jig and Resurrect Dead.  (I have to admit that I’m not sure if those two films were submitted for consideration or if they would have even been eligible to be considered.  I just know that I enjoyed them when I saw them OnDemand.)  I’m also surprised that The Paper isn’t on the list of semi-finalists.  I haven’t actually seen The Paper but just judging from the trailer and the subject matter (The New York Times struggling to remain relevent), it seemed like the type of documentary that traditionally seems to get nominated.

Finally, despite the fact that I haven’t seen it, I would kinda like to see Paradise Lost 3 win the award if just to honor the entire Paradise Lost series.  After all, if not for those films, the West Memphis 3 would still be sitting in prison.  Every year, during the Academy Awards ceremony, we have to sit through some pompous speech about how documentaries can change the course of history.  Well, the Paradise Lost films actually did and, again taking into consideration that I haven’t seen the actual film yet, it seems like that deserves to be honored, no?

(And before any of you excitable types start bitching and whining — and you know who you are — Undefeated is a documentary about a high school football team and should not be mistaken for The Undefeated, the documentary about Sarah Palin that also came out this year.)