Hello, everyone! It’s One Of Us’ weekly article series, “The Weekly Wrap-Up.” Covering everything from film announcements to comic books, “The Weekly Wrap-Up” ensures that the biggest stories of the week are analyzed and discussed by our team of writers. This week we cover the first trailer for Adam Sandler’s Pixels, the Scarface reboot and Kevin Smith’s announcement that he will direct a sequel to Mallrats. Be sure to read what else you might have missed this week!
Adam Sandler is taking his “charms” to the arcade this summer with the new release Pixels, a sci-fi comedy from Happy Madison Productions and Columbia Pictures. The film centers on the invasion of a race of aliens who use their technology to recreate the video game characters they saw in a time capsule shot into space. With cities being attacked by the likes of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, it’s up to a group consisting of a former video game champion (Sandler), his best friend the President of the United States (Kevin James), his former video game champion rival (Peter Dinklage), a genius computer programmer (Josh Gad) and a weapons developer (Michelle Monaghan) to save us all from destruction via our arcade favorites.
There definitely are conflicting feelings to attach to a film like Pixels. On the one hand, the idea of an alien invasion based around arcade characters sounds like a lot of fun for an action comedy and people like Josh Gad or Peter Dinklage could add some charming presence to the proceedings. Then, the fact that it’s a Happy Madison Production sinks in. Being written by the writers of Just Go With It and Grown Ups 2, it feels like another potential giant disappointment for Sandler to continue sliding on as he brings along the upcoming star of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and a Monaghan to waste on another bland love interest character just to add even more of a sting. It all smells of such potential doom, not helped by Chris Columbus (formerly of Home Alone and the first two Harry Potter films, recently of I Love You Beth Cooper and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief) to direct. It’s a shame, especially since it was based on a short film that really could have been developed into an enthralling nostalgic action comedy. They could have easily given it to maybe a Phil Lord & Chris Miller or anyone else besides Sandler, who will likely add more fart jokes, random celebrity cameos and more than a few washed up SNL cast members to the proceedings. Here’s hope for at least a bit of Steve Buscemi and Q*bert together.
Kevin Smith Announces Mallrats 2
Despite diminishing economic value and the absolute lack of needs for a follow up, the Eden Prairie Mall seems to be ready for business once again as writer/director Kevin Smith announces a sequel to Mallrats, his second film that bombed in theaters in 1995, but reached a solid cult audience over the years. The sequel to the light hearted romantic comedy was announced by Kevin Smith via Twitter before eventually being confirmed on his podcast Hollywood Babble-On and eventually taking this picture with Mallrats stars Jason Mewes, Michael Rooker and Stan Lee while shooting an Audi commercial for Lee.
The idea of Smith doing another sequel to one of his most beloved films feels very unnecessary, especially after Smith already announced his intentions to make Clerks III. Plus, what do you do with a sequel to Mallrats of all things? Do we want to see those characters in a world where malls are slowly dying? Is Brody going to be nostalgic for the Orange Julius? Will Jay and Silent Bob put on the fat Batsuit again? Is Rooker going to get stink palmed again after a twenty year lapse? I personally don’t care to see, especially after the disappointing attempt at horror comedy that was his last film Tusk. It seems like Smith is really grasping at his older pieces of some glory or at the very least is continuing a trend that I honestly have no real interest in seeing, despite being a fan of the flawed, but charming 90s comedy. I really just hope Jeremy London doesn’t comes back, for the sake of all our stomachs.
Avengers: Age of Ultron TV Spot
Those who might have been concerned about the previous trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron having an over serious tone need not worry. In the latest TV spot for the film, which so happens to feature some new footage, Earth’s mightiest heroes are still cracking jokes while battling the forces of Hydra and the robotic Ultron. Robert Downey Jr.’s Ironman delivers the majority of the snarky lines, saying that while Captain America is in charge of the team, he “makes everyone look cool.” You also have Cap throwing a motorcycle at some Hydra flunkies and Thor batting around Cap’s shield with Mjolnir. Aaron Taylor Johnson finally speaks in the trailer as well, revealing that he has a thick Eastern European accent.
In the end, like every trailer before it, the TV spot only further builds excitement for what it sure to be one of 2015’s biggest blockbusters.
Universal’s Scarface Remake
Universal Studios has confirmed that they will be moving forward with a cinematic remake of the 1983 film, Scarface. The film will supposedly be set in Los Angeles and follow an immigrant’s rise to power in the criminal underworld. Pablo Larraín (No) will direct, while Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) will pen the screenplay.
Those who may be unfamiliar with Brian De Palma’s 1983 film, Scarface starred Al Pacino as Cuban refugee, Tony Montana. Arriving in Miami in the early 1980s, Montana slowly rose through the criminal ranks to become Miami’s leading drug kingpin. Though initially successful, Montana’s life spirals out of control due to cocaine addiction, paranoia and his increasingly psychotic behavior. De Palma’s film was in fact a remake of the 1932 Howard Hughes produced film of the same name, which was loosely based off of the life of infamous Chicago gangster, Al Capone.
De Palma’s Scarface is a classic to some and an over-dramatic shlock fest to others. Though certainly over-the-top in tone, I count myself a fan of the movie. Pacino brings so much chaotic energy to the character of Tony Montana, and he has frequently stated it’s one of his favorite roles he’s ever played. This announcement of a remake/reboot comes as mixed bag. Do we need a remake of Scarface? Not really, but there’s no denying there’s some notable talent involved, especially in regard to Herman on screenwriting duties. For now, it’s better to wait and see before we all dust off of pitchforks and reignite our torches.
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