Author

Jordan Smith
  • All the Times Computers Screwed Stuff Up for Humans in Movies
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 17, 2014
    Columbia Pictures The Cloud. It's the data storage solution of the future. But is it evil? Sure, it's useful for storing documents and pictures, but what exactly is the Cloud in the first place? Is it dangerous? Am I breathing it in right now? Isn't it disturbing how little the average person knows about the technologies we use every day? The new Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz film Sex Tape might looks like just another raunchy rom-com, but it's really a sobering warning about the dangers of computers and technology. Look down. You're probably reading this on a computer right now. That's how far they've gotten. They're right under our noses! Filmmakers have been warning us for years about the dangers of computers, and how with just a few mouse clicks, our lives can be ruined forever. Before we all retreat to our luddite caves, let's take a look at all the ways computers have screwed things up in movies. Sex Tape The Technology: An iPad/the CloudWhat It Did: Synched a couple's embarrassing sex tape to multiple iPads given out as gifts to all their friends Fallout: The couple feels the appropriate amount of embarrassment at having your friends seeing you bump uglies in a crappy tablet video. Also, ridiculous hijinks ensue while they try to get the video deleted. In terms of technology screwing things up, this one isn't bad at all. Her The Technology: Samantha, a sentient operating system What It Did: Fell head over heels in love with the hapless Theodore Twombly, then broke his heart after the OS race decides to fly away to another plane or universe or something. Fallout: Mr. Twombly (how is that an actual name?) loved and lost, but at least he became a better person because of it. Office SpaceThe Technology: The Initech computer virusWhat It Did: Office drones Peter, Michael, and Samir, in an attempt to get back at their bosses for years of mistreatment, decide to infect their company's accounting system with a virus that would steal fractions of pennies over time from Initech. The amount stolen would be so small that no one would notice. Unfortunately, a missing decimal point caused the virus to steal thousands of dollars over just a few days.Fallout: Before the trio could get into any trouble, Initech is mysteriously (though not that mysteriously) burned to the ground, along with all of the evidence pointing Peter to the crime. The situation resolves itself, but being caught could have meant years of jail time. American PieThe Technology: Jim Levenstein's PC What It Did: Jim hooks up a webcam and unwittingly shares his embarrassing sexual encounter with Nadia, a foreign exchange student from Slovakia, with his entire school.Fallout: Jim blows it for all of the internet to see and Nadia's foster parents send her back home, leaving him dateless and sexless for the prom. Happily, he does hook up with Michelle before the end credits roll. Back to the Future The Technology: The DeLorean, a car-shaped time machine What It Did: It sent Marty McFly to the year 1955, where he unwittingly meddles into his parents' past and almost prevents his own birth. Fallout: Marty is able to get his parents back together at the end, but has to forever live with the idea that his mother tried to get into his Calvin Kleins. Yuck! Captain America: The Winter SoldierThe Technology: Arnim Zola, a HYDRA supercomputer What It Did: Zola helps HYDRA infiltrate the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. and leads the team of scientists that turn Bucky Barnes into the Winter Solder. He then tries to kill Captain America and Black Widow, but the heroes survive in the end. Fallout: Cap's best friend, Bucky is turned into a brainwashed HYDRA spy and the terrorist organization nearly takes over the entire world after infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. WarGamesThe Technology: Joshua the WOPR, a supercomputer at NORADWhat It Did: After hacker wunderkind David Lightman hacks into NORAD and plays a mock game of "Global Thermonuclear War," Joshua stages a real Soviet nuclear attack to win the "game." After that fails, Joshua tries to launch the missiles himself, and nearly plunges the world into World War III.Fallout: After playing a couple rounds of tic-tac-toe, Joshua learns that nuclear war has no real winner except the cockroaches and settles for a game of chess instead. The day is saved, but the world came dangerously close to ending. Terminator The Technology: Skynet, a self-aware intelligence system What It Did: Skynet, given command of the U.S.’s computerized defense programs, becomes self-aware and starts a nuclear war with Russia, leading to the near genocide of humanity. The intelligence system then sends Terminators to kill what’s left of the population Fallout: The initial nuclear attack kills three billion people and locks humanity in a war with machines. Skynet then sends a Terminator into the past to kill John Connor, the leader of the human resistance. This is certainly a far cry from your sex tape getting leaked onto the internet. It's a slippery slope. 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  • The Weirdest Parts of the 'Breaking Bad' Kickstarter
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 17, 2014
    AMC We definitely thought the guy who netted over $50,000 to make potato salad would be the oddest thing we'd see on Kickstarter all year, but nary a week has passed, and the bowels of the internet have already spit out something that somehow manages to be even weirder. Breaking Bad super-fan Larry Shepherd wasn't entirely satisfied with the conclusion of Vince Gilligan's landmark series, which ended with (spoiler!) Walter White dying, so he has decided to launch his own Kickstarter campaign for a Breaking Bad spinoff series called Anastasia. The imaginary series would pick up just moments after the finale, and star two U.S. Marshals (hopefully played by Val Kilmer and Slash, oy vey!) who discover Walt's body. But there's a twist: after the two Marshals leave the body unattended for just a few seconds (Slash just really needed to rip out a few guitar riffs to let out some stress; law enforcement is a tough gig, you know), a mysterious figure of unidentifiable gender and age, grabs Walt's body by the ankles and escapes into the night. So starts the mystery of Anastasia, and so ends the sanctity of western civilization. It only gets more absurd from there. Here are the weirdest aspects of this very unfortunate Kickstarter project. The show will presumably star Val Kilmer and Slash for some reason.We can already feel the electric chemistry between these two leads. Amazing. Unscripted Alcoholics Anonymous meetings will happen on the show with real celebrities going through real drug recoveries.Certainly, loads of in-recovery celebrities will pop on by to talk about their very real addictions on a scripted television show... "Steven Tyler is going to be the first person we invite."He's not coming. "People that love Native American spirituality are going to love this show."No they won't. Shepherd promises to get Val Kilmer an Emmy, but not an Oscar because this is a TV show.Tatiana Maslany can't even get a nomination, but we're sure this guy will  get Val Kilmer an Emmy. "To me, Anastasia is a restaurant...and our actors are the food."Huh? A-list actors will dress up in pounds of makeup and the audience will have to guess who they are.I'm sure their agents will love that. Val Kilmer will create the "quirkiness" of his character.You know, I don't think the real Val Kilmer is terribly enthused about this whole thing. But "Slash will stay in the 'Slash' character."What? So Slash will just be Slash? Will he bring his top hat and Les Paul to drug raids? Backers on Kickstarter will pick the names of the main characters.Yep, that's totally going to end well. Get ready for your two lead U.S Marshals "I.C. Weiner" and "Call of Duty Hitler." Vince Gilligan and Sony have not approved of the idea.But Shepherd is prepared to move ahead with the idea, with or without Breaking Bad.  Nothing stops this train, nothing. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • The Best Uses of Beatles Songs in Movies and TV
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 16, 2014
    United Artists via Everett Collection The Beatles' influence has touched every inch of modern pop music, leaving an indelible mark on film and television... which is pretty good for four working-class mop tops from Liverpool. Director Ron Howard will be the next to immortalize the band onscreen, in a new documentary that will explore the group's early years, when they still toured their music across the globe. Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison will contribute to the feature, which will trace the band's humble beginnings at the Caven Club in Liverpool, their tours through Germany, all the way through the group's final public performance in San Francisco's Candlestick park. But before we get around to seeing Howard's tribute to the Beatles, we're inclined to look back upon some of the best musical contributions they made to movies and TV.  Bowling for ColumbineThe last half of the John Lennon-penned "Happiness Is a Warm Gun," which may or may not be about heroin, serves as the perfect soundtrack for Michael Moore's anti-gun manifesto Bowling for Columbine. It's used in a terrifying sequence that shows just how gun crazy some Americans are, and as the song ramps up, the sequence escalates to a violent and unnerving conclusion that still has us wincing all these years later. "Baby, You're a Rich Man" in The Social NetworkWhat better way to end a biopic about one of the richest men in the universe than this cut from Magical Mystery Tour. It's so fitting, it's almost like it was made expressly to cap off David Fincher's tale of billion dollar grudges. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" in HelpWe couldn't, in good faith, compile a list of the best Beatles moments in film and television without including a sequence from the Fab Four's own filmography. We chose "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" the film Help for sheer oddness of the sequence. Plus, it's just a great song in general. "In My Life" in Little ManhattanThe best thing about the Beatles is how timeless their music is. "In My Life," a song about losing and gaining friendships through the slippage of time, is the perfect piece of music to accompany the story about a preteen losing his first love in modern day New York. "A Little Help From My Friends" on The Wonder YearsJohn Cocker's throaty rendition of "A Little Help from My Friends" graces the title sequence of The Wonder Years, and it may be the best cover song ever recorded. It's even better than the original Beatles tune, and it just makes The Wonder Years a better show. Nowadays, we can't even look at Fred Savage without hearing Cocker's raspy croon blasting through our heads at full volume. "Come Together" in A Bronx TaleIn a scene from Robert De Niro's directoral debut, a pair of Italian mafiosos rough up a couple of unruly bikers that stop into their bar while "Come Together" spills out of a jukebox. Thanks to the '60s aesthetic, the song is a perfect addition to the scene. "Hey Jude" in The Royal TenenbaumsFilmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese are often celebrated for their use of pop music in film, but Wes Anderson's musical touches in his work are just as poignant. His use of a beautifully orchestrated version of "Hey Jude" in 2001's The Royal Tenanbaums is a perfect example of this. "Twist and Shout" in Ferris Bueller's Day OffWe're still not sure if Ferris Bueller is really a wizard, or if it was just the power of music, but the teen somehow brings the entirety of downtown Chicago to a grinding halt for the musical number to end all musical numbers. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Can We Believe Daniel Radcliffe as a Tough Guy in 'Horns'?
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 15, 2014
    Back in the summer of 2011, It wasn't easy to envision what a post-Harry Potter world would look like, but we definitely didn't expect to see Daniel Radcliffe with a pair of knobby horns sprouting from his head, seeking revenge for his murdered girlfriend and sporting an American accent. Credulity runs pretty deep around these parts- You need to believe in the unbelievable to watch so many movies - but can we really buy Daniel Radcliffe as a tough guy? In the new trailer for Horns, which you can watch here, we’re asked to believe just that. In the upcoming horror flick, based on the novel by Joe Hill, Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, who after a rough night of heavy drinking wakes up with horns protruding from his head. While rather unsightly, the horns do give Ig the ability to get people to confess their deepest, darkest sins, and Ig uses this newfound ability to discover who raped and killed his girlfriend, a crime of which he was accused. This supernatural mystery sounds interesting, but so much of the film's success will be hinged on Radcliffe and his ability to play a tough guy. A classic anti-hero, Ig fosters a deep need for revenge coursing through him. A darkness ready to erupt. And from what we've seen of Radcliffe via his filmography, we're not sure the young Gryffindor has it in him. Dimension Films Now, Radcliffe is an intensely likable human being. He's almost supernaturally affable. And over his stints in the theater, both Broadway and London’s West End, he’s developed into a fine young actor. He’s absolutely stuffed with charm and affability, but he still doesn’t have that hard edge to him that makes us think he could be believable as a man seeking bloody revenge for his lost love.  With all that said, it is an actor's job to throw away who they are and morph into someone new, and it would be unfathomably silly to not give Radcliffe the benefit of the doubt. He's impressed us before and we wouldn't want to see the actor typecast in soft and sensitive roles for the rest of his career. Radcliffe has the ability to be so much more than just Harry Potter, and you can almost feel the actor trying his best to break away from the character that has come to define him. Let's hope that Horns is a showcase for the actor's diverse range. Hopefully, the boy that lived can finally die away. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • The 'Big Hero 6' Trailer Shows Us Marvel's First Real Disney Movie
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 15, 2014
    It's safe to say that Marvel's sale to Disney hasn't changed the comic book company's game plan with regards to its superhero movies. Tony Stark, thankfully, isn't taking surprise trips to Disneyland in the Iron Man sequels. In fact, those not clued into the industry might not have even noticed that the House of Mouse on the House of Ideas had even merged at all. Now enter Disney's Big Hero 6, which seems to be the first real glimpse of cinematic collaboration between the two media giants. Take one of Marvel's lesser-known D-list superhero teams, sprinkle some CG Disney magic on top, and here we have a guaranteed crowd pleaser.  Disney The story follows Hiro Hamada, a young robotics genius who must team up with his gaggle of nerdy friends to save the Franken-titled city of San Fransokyo. By Hiro's side is Baymax, a peaceful nurse robot juiced up with armor and other crime fighting upgrades. The trailer is cute and charming in that Disney way, but there's also glimpses of the standard high-flying Marvel superheroics. There are plenty of great physical gags stemming from the fact that Baymax is really just a giant white blubbery balloon... thing. Since Marvel's Avengers universe seems to be getting darker and less kid-friendly by the minute (The Winter Soldier literally threw that one guy in front of a freakin' truck in the last Captain America), Big Hero 6 might be a nice stopgap for young kids looking to release some adrenaline, but not looking for daily nightmares of Sebastian Stan. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Comedy Fans Will Love the Cast of Disney's 'Big Hero 6'
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 14, 2014
    Disney Big Hero 6, Disney and Marvel's upcoming CG-animated superhero smash-up, might not be the place you'd expect to find deep belly laughs, but the voice cast runs deep with some fantastically funny actors from some of our favorite TV and movie comedies. Here's a rundown of the cast and where you might know them from. Ryan PotterRole: Hiro Hamada, a half-Japanese, half-Caucasian genius who creates Baymax, his own robot superhero.Potter is currently Nickelodeon's resident dreamboat and has starred on the channel's series Supah Ninjas and Fred: The Show. Big Hero 6 will be the actor's first feature film. Disney Scott AdsitRole: Baymax, A peaceful nurse robot turned action hero.Adsit is most well-known for his role as the perpetually exasperated producer Pete Hornberger on 30 Rock. He has also had roles in the films The Informant!, We're the Millers, and Accepted. His television roles include roles in Moral Orel and guest appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, Monk, and Malcom in the Middle. Disney T.J. MillerRole: Fred, a nerdy guy who creates his own robotic Kaiju monster to fight evil.Miller currently has a stand out role as Erlich in HBO's tech comedy Silicon Valley, which just wrapped up it's freshman season and garnered a couple Emmy nods. The actor  has also appeared in films like Our Idiot Brother, She's Out of My League, Rock of Ages, Extract, the How to Train Your Dragon movies and the recent Michael Bay blockbuster, Transformers: Age of Extinction. Disney Jamie ChungRole: Go Go Tomago, a tough as nails crime fighter who flies around in an advanced supersuit.After appearing on a season of MTV's long-running reality series, The Real World,  Chung embarked on a successful acting career, appearing in the films, Sucker Punch, Grown Ups, Premium Rush, The Man with the Iron Fists,  and the two Hangover sequels. This year, she is staring in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Disney Genesis RodriguezRole: Honey Lemon, a sweet and sensitive character who's new to the superhero game, but holds the team together.Rodriguez is a veteran of both Spanish-language and American soap operas, having appeared in several telenovelas and the American daytime series, Days of our Lives. As for feature films, she has appeared in the comedies Casa de Mi Padre, What to Expect when You're Expecting, and Identity Thief.  Disney Damon Wayans Jr.Role: Wasabi, a super smart but overly cautious hero equipped with plasma bladesWayans is currently starring on the comedy New Girl  and has also appeared on the swiftly cancelled but brilliant series Happy Endings. Later this summer, Wayans will team up with New Girl cast mate Jake Johnson for the action-comedy Let's Be Cops. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Can Any 2014 Film Beat 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' at the Box Office?
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 14, 2014
    Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection Dawn of the Planet of the Apes might have usurped Transformers: Age of Extinction from the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend, but the fourth installment in Michael Bay's rock'em, sock'em robot franchise did hit a very significant milestone. With a hefty $752 million intake, Age of Extinction is now the top grossing film of the year, and just after just three short weeks. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on where your opinion lies on Bay's controversial franchise, but 2014 is far from over. There's still a ton of strong summer and fall films looking to contend for the top spot at the box-office. We've taken the remainder of the big films releasing in 2014 and assessed their chances of outgrossing Transformers: Age of Extinction. HerculesCan it beat Transformers?: Over the last couple of years, the Rock has blossomed into a full-fledged movie star. The last Fast and Furious movie grossed $789 Million, but this latest Hercules film doesn't have the fast cars or the built-in fan base of the aforementioned franchise. We think Hercules will do well at the box office (if the Rock flexes it, they will come) but there's no possible way the Rock's latest venture will come close to making Transformers money... even though we're pretty sure the Rock could take Optimus Prime in a fist fight. Guardians of the GalaxyCan it beat Transformers?: Marvel has a lot riding on Guardians of the Galaxy. The studio's galaxy-spanning adventure doesn't have any recognizable heroes in its ranks, and might not have the same box office muscle as something like Iron Man 3 or The Avengers. But even Marvel's safest bets would have trouble toppling the Transformers in 2014. This year's Captian America: The Winter Soldier only took in $712 million at the box-office, falling short of what Transformers made in just a few weeks. But who knows? Maybe the buzz, hype, and the novelty of Marvel's space opera gamble might bring in a huge enough audience... but we wouldn't bet much on it. Like we said, it is a gamble.  Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesCan it beat Transformers?: The Michael Bay produced Turtles reboot will likely do big business just by virtue of having Bay's name on the marquee. It also helps that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are enjoying a huge upswing in popularity thanks to the current animated series running on Nickelodeon. But even with so much going for it, the upcoming Turtles flick still lacks the same media saturation that the Transformers series has. Also, the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film floundered at the box office. This one will likely do better than its predecessor, but no that much better. The Expendables 3Can it beat Transformers?: Has Sly Stallone sold out? It's hard not to feel that way. The upcoming entry in the heavy hitting Expendables series, which originally promised to bring back the R-rated sensibilities of '80s action movies, has earned a soft ball PG-13. So while The Expendables 3 might lack some of the gory oomph of the earlier films, the toned-down adventure will likely get more teens and tweens into the theater. Will it be enough to beat Transformers? Definitely not, but we wouldn't be surprised if it became the top grossing Expendables film to date. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Can it beat Transformers?: The Hunger Games series is basically a summer blockbuster releasing in November, and the lack of competition plus the huge buzz surrounding the series might be the right cocktail to take out the current box office leader. The last Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, made $158 million on its opening weekend, easily besting the opening for Transformers 4, but the Hunger Games series doesn't quite have the same earning power overseas. Catching Fire made $864 million over its box office lifetime, while Transformes has hit almost $800 million in just a few weeks, thanks to heavy business in China and other places abroad. Mockingjay has a chance, but a slight one. InterstellarCan it beat Transformers?: Christopher Nolan is perhaps the only director besides Michael Bay that can still attract big box office business based on name alone. The mysterious Interstellar will no doubt attract some deep box office sums, but we're also doubtful that Interstellar's intriguing premise will be enough to beat the known quantity that is Transformers. Nolan's last film, The Dark Knight Rises, made $1.1 billion in theaters, so it's certainly not beyond reason, but that was the capper of a huge franchise about a recognizable comic book hero. We don't think a story about a rural astronaut can outmatch Optimus Prime. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesCan it beat Transformers?: While the domestic earnings for the second Hobbit films left a little to be desired, Peter Jackson's fantasy series does huge business overseas. And those foreign box office receipts boosted Desolation of Smaug to a $958 million gross. Since this will be the last entry in the franchise, we're thinking this might have the best chance of the lot. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Can 'True Detective' Save Colin Farrell's Career?
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 11, 2014
     Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection Are we headed for a Farrellaissance? Hopefully not, because that's a terrible bit of word play, but we are likely headed for some other, better realized pun about Colin Farrell's career upswing. The actor is currently in talks to star in the second season of True Detective, which probably doesn't click with some of Twitter's snarkier ideas via that whole "True Detective Season 2" meme that flooded the Internet a few months ago, but it does follow the TV series' modus operandi of targeting marquee movie stars to portray its brooding leads. Taylor Kitsch is also in talks for a lead role in the series, and would play opposite Farrell's character. The union of Farrell and the HBO series feels almost symbiotic in nature. With only one season under its belt, True Detective has proved it has the ability to rejuvenate the career of wayward actors. Just look at what the series did for Matthew McConaughey. Some of us were in on the ground floor when McConaughey started his rise to renewed relevance, with roles in films like Richard Linklater's Bernie, the darker-than-dark Killer Joe, and the coming of age film Mud. But the general public really took notice of McConnaughey's career transformation (the McConaissance, as the phenomenon has come to be known) with the one-two punch of Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective. HBO's stylish and meditative crime drama became an unlikely sensation with viewers, and it gave people the chance to really see McConnaughey's brilliance as an actor. And suddenly Fools Gold, Failure to Launch, the shirtless jokes, and everything else we came to associate with the actor fell away. In eight short hours, he became Rust Cohle, waxing poetic about time and flat circles and winning the heart of TV fans everywhere. The same thing can easily happen with Colin Farrell. There's no question that Farrell is talented, but his filmography reads like a list of wasted potential. His great films like In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths are nestled between some more unfortunate dreck like the shmaltzy Winter's Tale, the bland remake of Total Recall, and the dreary Dead Man Down. This lead role in True Detective could be just the shot in the arm that Farrell's career needs. And since Taylor Kitsch has been Hollywood's resident blockbuster killer for the past handful of years, maybe True Detective can help him as well. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Whose Side Are You On in These Animals vs. Humans Movies?
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 10, 2014
    20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection Whether they're battling for survival, the planet, or just the God-given right to boogie down at the local country club, man and nature have always been at each others throats at the movies. Across the cinematic landscape, a great many battles have been waged between humans and animals, and as viewers, our sympathies often shift between the species. With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hitting theaters tomorrow, here are our favorite man versus animal films, and who we side with in each expedition. The GreyWhat's it about? After crash-landing in the Alaskan wilderness, a group of men must survive the elements and a pack of feral wolves.What are the humans fighting for? Surviving 'til the end credits.What are the animals fighting for? Tasty chunks of Liam Neeson.Who do we root for? Once Neeson strapped those tiny booze bottles to his knuckles, we were firmly on team Liam. The BirdsWhat's it about? Swarms of birds begin attacking a sleepy California town.What are the humans fighting for? Their safety, clean cars.What are the animals fighting for? It's never explained, but we're guessing tastier bread crumbs.Who do we root for? The birds... hey, it's a Hitchcock movie, so we just root for mayhem. Once Upon a Forest What's it about? Three young forest animals try to save a friend, who is wounded by chlorine gas from a human truck accident. What are the humans fighting for? Nothing in particular. What are the animals fighting for? Survival, their friend, their home. Who do we root for? Since the humans accidentally orphan a tiny woodland creature, it's obvious we're rooting for the animals. CaddyshackWhat's it about? Bill Murray tries to kill a pesky gopher terrorizing Bushwood Country Club.What are the humans fighting for? The golf course, their sanity.What is the animal fighting for? The gopher just wants to cause as much chaos as possible and dance like crazy.Who do we root for? Definitely the gopher. He's all right. Don't gotta worry 'bout him. How to Train Your DragonWhat's it about? On the Island of Berk, a young boy befriends a dragon in the midst of a human/dragon feud.What are the humans fighting for? Their safety and their livestock.What are the animals are fighting for? Sheep. Freedom. Mostly sheep.Who do we root for? The dragons, obviously. Vikings are cool, but... c'mon. Dragons. JawsWhat's it about?: Three men try to take down a gigantic shark that's been terrorizing a beach town.What are the humans are fighting for? Survival, pride, and shark teeth to sell to tourists.What is the animal is fighting for? The right to eat silly beach-goers.Who do we root for? After all that male bonding, how could we not root for Richard Dreyfuss and co? King Kong What's it about?: A mythical gigantic ape is captured and forced to move to New York City. What are the humans are fighting for?: Money, fame, a dangerous circus exhibit that will totally never backfire.What is the animal fighting for? Freedom, his human woman, a chance to see that Empire State Building that everyone's been talking about. Who do we root for? King Kong, because no one should be forced to live in Midtown. Rise of the Planet of the ApesWhat's it about? James Franco starts humanity down the slippery slope of extinction by making apes really smart.What are the humans fighting for?: Some for tyranny, some for survival.What are the animals fighting for?: Respect, dominance, way more bananas.Who we rooted for: The writing is on the wall. Let's embrace our ape overlords. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Is a Live-Action 'Dumbo' Remake a Good or Bad Idea?
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 09, 2014
    Walt Disney Co. According to the House of Mouse, everything is fair game for the remake treatment. With the hugely successful Maleficent just about wrapping up a spellbinding run at the box office, Disney has set its sights on their next live-action remake: Dumbo, the 1941 classic about a baby elephant that miraculously learns to fly thanks to his jumbo-sized ears, is getting remade into a live-action film. Transformers scribe Ehren Kruger is penning the script, and the film will feature an additional human story that will mirror Dumbo's journey in the film. Given the nature of the story, Dumbo will be a tricky film to update for a modern audiences, and some might argue that the flying elephant is better off left in the past. Here are our reasons for and against a Dumbo remake. WHY IT WILL WORK It's a good story: Dumbo, at it's purest, is a simple and uplifting parable about being yourself in the face of adversity and letting your freak flag fly. It's a pretty universal story and there's no reason it couldn't work for today's audiences. In a time of revisionist fairy tales and live-action perspective twists, maybe sticking with the bare bones classic narrative would be the best way to handle a Dumbo remake. The songs are great: We dare you not to cry while a locked up Ms. Jumbo sings "Baby Mine" while cradling Dumbo. It's impossible. It's in serious need of an update: As well meaning as it was at the time of release, Dumbo is racked with problems, and the story is in need of a fresh coat of paint. The crow characters are obviously the biggest issue to contend with. At best, they're slightly insensitive racial stereotype, and at worst well... Let's just say the leader of the flock is named "Jim Crow" and leave it at that. Besides the film's troubling racial depictions, there are other issues. 1941 was a very different time and place, and having your two main characters getting hammered and going on a bad trip featuring hallucinatory pink elephants probably wouldn't fly with parents in 2014. Many kids haven't seen the original: Disney fandom is such a generational thing, and the kids that are currently torturing their parents with yet another spirited rendition of "Let It Go" probably haven't seen, or might not even be aware with Disney's golden age of animation. Recreating Dumbo for a new audience will likely introduce the character to a new generation of fans. WHY IT WON'T It's controversial: As stated earlier, Dumbo has its fair share of controversy, which is why it's slightly baffling that Disney chose to remake this particular film out of its extensive back log of animated classics. If included at all, the crow characters would need some serious retooling, and we could easily see them being removed altogether. But removal of characters and elements from the classic film would likely draw ire from Disney purists. It's sort of a lose-lose situation. It's too simple: The original Dumbo clocks in at only about 60 minutes, which is barely a feature length film, and pales in comparison to recent Disney efforts like Maleficent (97 minutes) and Frozen (105 minutes). Stretching another 30 minutes out of a 60-minute story would just make a crappier film. They'd likely need to add additional plot lines, which of course leads to... The added human story: The original Dumbo feels unique in the way that it focuses almost solely on the circus animals while leaving the human characters, who are often portrayed as cruel and self-serving, in the background. Creating a human family as a side plot seems like an idea that goes against what makes the original film special in the first place. We can't help but think that everything involving the new human characters will feel superfluous. Dumbo is a story about a baby elephant and his mouse friend, not a boy and his pachyderm.  Too many CGI animals: After the first trailer for the live-action Paddington Bear movie turned a formerly lovable anthropomorphic character into the stuff of nightmares, Disney has to be pretty cautious with the new version of Dumbo. Between Dumbo himself, Timothy Q. Mouse, the crows, and all of the other elephant characters, there's going to be a ton of CG animals running around, and the effects would need to be impeccable for all of those digital characters to look convincing in a live-action setting. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //