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Fireside Chats: Cinemablend’s Eric Eisenberg Part 2

May 21, 2010 Leave a comment

We pick up with Cinemablend’s Eric Eisenberg for a summer movie blowout. Part 1 is here.
Note: There are very minor spoilers for Iron Man 2 discussed, if you haven’t seen that yet feel free to skip down to the picture of Terrence Howard.


TFTB
: Before we jump into this summer’s slate of blockbusters, I want to spend a minute on Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood for anyone who hasn’t seen those yet. I’ll start with Robin Hood actually. Why would anyone decide that making a prequel that excludes all the good stuff is at all interesting? I’m truly at a loss.

Eric: The tragedy of it is that it appears to be an attempt at creativity that just got out of hand. The Robin Hood story has been told a thousand times and I understand Ridley Scott not wanting to tell it again, but it doesn’t work if you make it as slow as molasses.

TFTB: I was so much more interested when this story was Nottingham and they were focusing on the Sheriff’s perspective. It’s the same type of ego-driven star rewrites that plagued Terminator: Salvation. Still, I suppose they do deserve some points for scope of vision if not execution.

Eric: Agreed, particularly with Russell Crowe in both roles. It would be interesting to map a timeline of where that movie went wrong. I just hope it doesn’t discourage studios or other writers to be creative. There is just way too much “same” in movies these days. I still hold the Disney movie in high regard though.

TFTB: Speaking of, what is your opinion on Iron Man 2, and particularly the criticisms that it sacrificed story in favor of setting up its larger Avengers storyline.

Eric: It’s weird to say, but I feel as though I have a bias in favor of the Avengers stuff. Most people went to go see Iron Man 2 to see just that: more Iron Man, but I went in to watch it as a bridge to the bigger picture and I think most comic fans/regular Marvel movie-goers are doing the same thing. I can totally understand the criticism.

TFTB: I think that’s the biggest problem. If you’re selling it as Tony Stark: Bigger, Badder and Uncut, then that’s what people want to see. From a personal level, I was able to appreciate a lot of the subtler touches they put in expanding the film’s larger universe, but as a stand-alone film the product that was on screen did suffer from those issues, particularly in the first half.

Eric: What they are doing is unprecedented in film, and it needs to be done. I also don’t think that the series has done itself any favors by sticking the fun stuff at the end of the credits. There were plenty of people I talked to in the theater that still had no idea that Samuel L. Jackson was in the first movie, so when he showed up, I would bet that thousands of people went “huh?”. This includes people who own the film on DVD mind you, but there really is no remedy for that unless they start putting it in the promotional materials.

TFTB: It’s just interesting that these films have done so much towards making comic books accessible to a larger public, but at the same time, the divisions in some ways are stronger than ever.

Eric: Exactly. Marvel knows its key audience, but doesn’t seem to know the people it needs to reach out to. Iron Man 2 is a lot more enjoyable if you are willing to put the time in. There’s only so many times that I can explain what a Skrull is.

TFTB: So that explains why War Machine looked different in this one!

Eric: Skrulls?

TFTB: Got to be.

Eric: Congrats, you just lost a huge chunk of your audience.

TFTB: Well that seemed to be more of a problem for Kick-Ass.

Eric: I still don’t understand what happened with Kick-Ass, and I don’t think I ever will.

TFTB: Just looking at this summer, there seem to be a lot of hit or miss projects this year.

Eric: This may put you off, but I think I have to put Inception in that category. I love Christopher Nolan’s films to death, but is everyone going to get that movie?

TFTB: I can’t disagree because I still couldn’t tell you what that movie is about, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to after it’s over, but I have faith in Nolan that it will be a great film even if it doesn’t live up to expectations financially.

Eric: And that comes even after the trailer that supposedly told us what it is about. They just need to put the words “dark” and “knight” in each tv trailer about 70 times  then maybe he can get people hooked.

TFTB: You mean like The Karate Kid? They’re just short of dragging Ralph Macchio out to China and letting him get kicked in the face by Jaden Smith.

Eric: I just hate the idea of Jackie Chan getting old; and I want a Billy Zabka cameo.

TFTB: That’s a must, that and cheesy 80s montage music.

Eric: That’s actually a nice segue into my true feelings about the film. You know an 80s movie when you see it, and The Karate Kid is most certainly an 80s movie, and that is a huge part of its charm. I don’t get any charm out of the new movie.

TFTB: And what about The A-Team? Read more…

Fireside Chats: Cinemablend’s Eric Eisenberg

May 20, 2010 Leave a comment

I am joined today by a degenerate Mets’ fan, my former co-writer at Geek on Film, and lover of all things film, Cinemablend‘s Eric Eisenberg to discuss everything from the Summer movie schedule to Ghostbusters 3, and argue over Inglorious Basterds‘ Oscar snub.

Amani (Truth From The Basement): We might as well start with the news story of the day; Megan Fox being dropped from Transformers 3. Should we have any hope that this means the sequel will try to redeem itself?

Eric Eisenberg (Cinemablend): Considering Michael Bay’s notorious ego, I’m still not 100% certain he sees anything wrong with Transformers 2 in the first place. Add that to the fact that news is now coming out that Fox left on her own accord, and it kind of looks like they really couldn’t care less about the quality of the movie.

TFTB: I’m sure he’s using the Brett Ratner logic; it made more money than the first so it’s a huge cinematic achievement.

Eric: Transformers 3 will make money, and a lot of it. People didn’t seem to care that the second one was cinematic garbage and it probably won’t stop them from revisiting it. And it’s not as though Megan Fox’s presence was what was driving up the box office. If there is a loser in this whole deal, it’s Fox, which makes her decision to leave all the more questionable.

TFTB: Well I don’t know about that, I know quite a few people that ONLY saw it for Megan Fox’s presence. Not her acting ability to be sure, but we’ll say screen presence. And I definitely don’t believe the spin that she chose to left.

Eric: But what about Jennifer’s Body? That film was sold exclusively by Megan Fox’s chest and it was a bomb. She should be praying that Jonah Hex takes off. Girls that look like her are arriving in Hollywood everyday, hence why it took a grand total of 20 minutes for Gemma Arterton’s name to be thrown in to the mix.

TFTB: Well Jennifer’s Body proved there are limits people aren’t willing to cross even to see Megan Fox, and a Diablo Cody script is one of them. It looks like machine gun horses may be another. As for Arterton, I thought it was just because she’s contractually obligated to be in every terrible summer action movie.

Eric: On that note, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for Prince of Persia.

TFTB: I have a feeling we’ll get to a summer movie review in a little, but since we’re on the topic of horrible movies; which are you more excited for the Magic 8-ball movie or Rubber?

Eric: How can you go wrong with a killer tire? It’s too easy to make a generic movie about a magic 8-ball, a killer tire actually requires some creativity.

TFTB: Especially one named Robert. I’ve been saying for years the Michelin man would be the doom of us all. He’s far too close to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and we all know what happened to him.

Eric: Frankly, I don’t understand why we’ve never seen a copyright lawsuit between them, or at least a Ghostbusters parody commercial from Michelin.

TFTB: It’s coming, what do you think the plot of Ghostbusters 3 is going to be about?

Eric: I don’t believe in Ghostbusters 3. Much in the same way I don’t believe in ghosts.

TFTB: Speaking of Ghostbusters, you interviewed Bill Murray at the Tribeca Film Festival for Cinemablend; your thoughts on how close -if at all- that project is to reality?

Eric: There is no movie. Well, I should actually rephrase that Read more…