Mappelboom reads the news – 20 April 2016 edition

Talking to you guys about recent movie news is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I don’t want to discuss all the news with you – you’ve already got a billion other sources for that I’m sure – but just the stuff that I personally think is interesting. The news that gets me excited, makes me angry, breaks my heart, or simply makes me laugh. I’m thinking one of these little articles every 1-2 weeks should be a good start. Here’s the first one.

Jason Statham to fight a giant prehistoric shark in MEG

Well, this caught me by surprise. They’ve been trying to make MEG into a movie for ages, the most recent attempt having Eli Roth (CABIN FEVER, HOSTEL) in the director’s chair. I wasn’t super comfortable with that choice, but I was happy the project was at least moving forward again. I read the book “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror” by Steve Alten when I was still in high school and immediately knew it would make a great film. It’s about a couple of scientists who go down into a trench and accidentally bring a prehistoric supershark back up with them, as you do. The monster wreaks havoc and eats an absolute shit-ton of people, until finally our hero Jonas (that’s not too on the nose, is it?) gets swallowed by the thing and destroys its fucking heart like he’s Kevin Sorbo or something. It ROCKS.

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Review: FURIOUS 7 (2015)

“This time it ain’t just about being fast… This time it’s about setting Jason Statham loose in the F&F universe and letting him kick ass for 137 minutes straight!”

Oh, if only. That little mid-credits scene at the end of FURIOUS 6 promised so much. Here was Jason Statham (whose every film I’ve seen and enjoyed to some degree, except all the ones where he does the voices of CGI garden gnomes), revealing himself as the villain of the next movie. He’s just killed Han and now he’s calling up our man Vin, letting him know he’s coming. We instantly know what that means: part 7 is gonna feature a Diesel/Statham showdown and probably a fight with The Rock as well.

Promises like that, they give me goosebumps. Sure, the film would no longer be directed by Justin Lin, but that guy was never holy in my eyes. He has a real gift for staging massive action scenes while keeping things clear enough to follow, but movies 5 and 6 did feel bloated and were excessively corny in places. I had faith in his replacement, James Wan, mostly based on my appreciation of DEATH SENTENCE. It helped that Wan was saying all the right things: “I’m looking at it like a gritty, ’70s revenge thriller, but one that still fits into the ‘Fast and Furious’ series.” It couldn’t have sounded any better to me. I imagined Statham rampaging through this movie, trying to get revenge on the people who put his little brother in a coma, while Diesel and his crew were doing the same for their lost brother Han.

Turns out that’s not what FURIOUS 7 is like. At all.

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