Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yes, I really did go see Piranha 3D

And I even kind of liked it too. Far from anything approaching high or even low art, Alexandre Aja's movie is what so many others just claim to be: A genuine B movie, chock full of gore, nudity and, best of all, humor.

It's no surprise to me, then, that the movie not only did fairly well at the box office ($10 million in week one), but also that Dimension has already announced a follow-up. In spite of its many excesses (just as a word of warning, I'm certain I didn't have to see a robotic piranha belch up a severed penis - yes, it's often that silly and gross, too), it's a really fun ride, and I'm almost certain I'll climb on board again, especially since the ending leaves open the possibility of something really wild (I won't spoil it for you.)

I have, however, and probably shouldn't admit this, committed my first bit of thievery since I was 8 years old or so. Instead of "recycling" the 3D glasses this time, I just kept them, and plan to, the next time I give in and watch a movie in 3D, simply buy a ticket for a 2D release showing at nearly the same time, then just slip in to the 3D movie. Juvenile and crooked? Sure, but charging a $3.50 or so surcharge for each 3D movie is at least as criminal, and I'd argue much more so.

But enough about my latest petty scheme, since there's some other actual good movie news out there this week, starting with easily one of my favorite directors, the Japanese animation giant Hayao Miyazaki, who, thankfully, doesn't seem ready to slow down any time soon.

In an interview with the Japanese magazine Cut, thankfully translated by the Miyazaki-obsessed portal Nausicaa.net, he hinted that though he doesn't have any directing options in the immediate future, he does plan to hopefully produce a sequel of sorts to one of my favorite of his flicks, "Porco Rosso."

If you haven't seen that magical movie about a fighter pilot who's cursed to live his life as a pig (yes, really), it really is a delight, and here's some of what Miyazaki had to say about a sequel:

"So I want to escape to "Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie". I have all its materials."
"It should be interesting."
"It is set for Spanish Civil War."
"If next two films succeed and [studio president Toshio] Suzuki-san lets me make it (Porco) while saying, 'It cannot be helped because it's a hobby of the old man', I'm happy. It's my hobby."

The most beautiful animated movies around simply the "hobby of an old man"? You gotta love that, and a "Porco Rosso" sequel set in the Spanish Civil War? Sounds like its not yet a done deal, but I can only say bring it on.

And finally today, does anyone remember the original "Spy Kids" movie? Though Robert Rodriguez's movies lost more and more of the fun in its sequels, the first movie (starring Reel Fanatic fave Carla Gugino, among others) was a perfect little bit of escapist entertainment.

Well, Rodriguez, never one to tire of an idea quickly, has now decided to launch a reboot of sorts of the "Spy Kids" franchise, this time with Jessica Alba sort of in the role started by Gugino.

This time out, Alba will play a retired spy who has been reactivated. Her character is the mother of a baby and two preteen stepchildren. This will, of course, mean casting new "Spy Kids," since the originals, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara, are surely too old by now. The only other thing that's known so far is that the villain is known as the Time Keeper, whose goal it is to stop time.

That last bit, at least, gives me hope that this will return the series to its roots, which would be a fun turn. And Alba, of course, stars in Rodriguez's "Machete," which will cut a bloody swath through theaters beginning Sept. 3.

It's just about time for me to go to the job that still pays my bills, but I'll leave you with a clip from another movie opening that week, Anton Corbijn's "The American," starring one George Clooney. With its retro look and feel, the tale of a hitman trying to retire is one I'm certainly excited to see. Enjoy the clip, and have a perfectly passable Tuesday. Peace out.


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Jonathan said...

I wonder if the 3D was part of the reason "Piranha" didn't make as much money. When you have surcharges like that I think people are being a little pickier about what they go see and when it's not a family type film maybe it's a harder sell. Just a thought.

I enjoyed the film just fine. Like you said, it is what it is, and you know whether or not that's something you're in the mood for. Can't say I'm stoked about a sequel, but that doesn't mean I won't be there if it happens. And has there ever been a funnier climatic line than "Wet T-Shirts; Wet T-Shirts."?

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm with you on that, Jonathan ... I would have seen it in 2D, but the only good theater we have in town was only showing it in 3D .. Here's hoping that, if they feel the need to make the sequel in 3D, they at least shoot it that way instead of just doing the crappy conversion afterward

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