Image: Universal Pictures
It seems at least once a year, a new movie reminds me of a line from Michael Keaton’s Multiplicity: “You know how when you make a copy of a copy, it’s not quite as sharp as, well, the original?”
When the Boris Karloff-starring The Mummy was remade in 1999, it succeeded by being a riff not just on the 1932 Mummy but also on Indiana Jones and his ilk, which gave it just enough of a distinct flavour, even if none of the ingredients were anything new.
The new Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, is built on the 1932 original, plus Raiders of the Lost Ark, plus the 1999 version, plus Generic Tom Cruise Action Movies. It’s just all too much, preventing the new version from truly coming to life.
Photo: Warner Bros.
“Spiritual sequels” are a peculiar lot. They don’t directly follow or necessarily have anything narratively to do with their predecessors, but are usually constructed by the same people, creating a similar tone or style, to such an extent that they elicit all the same feelings in audiences (ideally), even though they’re a brand new story. Such is the case with The Nice Guys. Continue reading
Photo: Paramount Pictures
(I preface this review by admitting I have only an elementary knowledge of the Biblical tale of Noah and his ark. My primary concern is not with how literal, inaccurate, religious, or blasphemous the new Noah is, but solely with how strong or weak a movie I felt it to be.)
There is a long history of religious movies, dating nearly a hundred years. And for nearly as long as there have been religious movies, there have been movies that tackle religion controversially, from The Last Temptation of Christ and Water to Monty Python’s The Life of Brian and Dogma. Noah, directed by the polarizing Darren Aronofsky, seems destined to join such lightning rods, though the liberties it takes in its adaptation threaten to alienate it from both the religious and the secular. Continue reading