Please enable javascript to view this site.

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
RT @EW: Al Gore announces #AnInconvenientTruth sequel that will premiere at @SundanceFest: https://t.co/zmWLsrzieR 😱 https://t.co/TpPqWQjhEz

David Koepp Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

David Koepp Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Jack Rico

By

2012/08/24 at 12:00am

Premium Rush

08.24.2012 | By |

Premium Rush

A bicycle action film? Really? That was the same thing I said when I saw the initial trailer from “Premium Rush“. Whoever made the pitch to the studios must have some amazing verbiage skills because the film, even though it offers plenty of action, it is not persuasive enough to be credible or enthralling.

The absurd premise has New York as background, where a messenger named Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is chased throughout the city by a dirty cop (Michael Shannon) before Wilee delivers a mysterious envelope to Chinatown by 7pm.

The film has some problematic tangents. The first is the concept of bicycle messengers. There are few cities that can offer such a business, such as New York, but Los Angeles nor London can. The infrastructure of their streets does not allow it. Will residents of provinces or suburbs be interested or connect with the storyline? If we who live in the Big Apple don’t care at all, I can’t see middle America doing so either.

Secondly, it seems silly to think that a film about bicycles can develop suspense, tension and excitement. If you think about it, the worst that can happen if a bike hits me at full speed is a break a bone. I’ll survive. It’s very similar to what happened to filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan in “The Happening“. Was I supposed to have nightmares about a few trees?! The gaul.

If I have to compliment something from “Rush” is the action. It is relentless. The escape sequences are very swift and can even entertain to a degree, but after the first hour it becomes monotonous because there is only so much juice one can squeeze from cycling? Director David Koepp, who is a very technical director, has yet to learn how to inject emotion into these scenes. The chase sequences are visually appealing, but they fail to make us give a hoot. You want to know what great chase scenes are? Watch “The French Connection” or even “We Own the Night“. Those two really are memorable.

In terms of performances, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, star of the film and an actor who has had an excellent streak of wonderful and memorable movies with the likes of “Inception”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, “(500) Days of Summer”, “50/50” and the future releases of “Looper” and “Lincoln” by Steven Spielberg, does not connect here. It isn’t because he is a bad actor, it is that director Koepp’s script does not allow him nor the rest of the cast to showcase their skills. The star in truth is the action.

Michael Shannon, the antagonist to Gordon-Levitt, is a very peculiar actor. The man seems crazy, but you can always count on him to delivers memorable performances. Just watch his scenes in “Revolutionary Road” with Leonardo DiCaprio. The Dominican actress Dania Ramirez, who is always compared with Zoe Saldana, has plenty of screen time, but does little for one to remember her performance, then again what do you expect from a “cycling action movie”? I am sure that her persistence will lead to a role where she can shine.

In short, I give “Premium Rush” an A for effort and creativity, but perhaps Koepp was the wrong guy to direct. The film felt forced and manufactured. Does it deserve to be seen you might ask? Perhaps out of curiosity, but not for its entertainment value.

Karen Posada

By

2012/05/21 at 12:00am

Men In Black 3

05.21.2012 | By |

Men In Black 3

Men in Black III’ comes a decade later after ‘Men in Black II’, despite of the amount of time that separate them and it being part of the franchise, it stands well on its on. Clearly director Barry Sonnenfeld still knows what works for Men in Black and its audience. The special effects are phenomenal; the detail given to every alien character is outstanding, so much so that the realness of it can easily gross one out. The screening I went to was in 3D and I can say that the 3D is pretty good; the shots taken off the ledge of New York City’s Chrysler building made me a bit dizzy. The film does a good job at encompassing its predecessors without making a person unfamiliar with them feel lost. This is definitely a family film to watch during Memorial Day Weekend.

 

In this chapter of the Men in Black, Agent J (Will Smith) is forced to travel to the early years of the agency in 1969, to prevent an alien known as Boris the Animal (Jermaine Clement) from killing his partner K (Tommy Lee Jones) and at the same time saving the world from a future invasion and destruction. Agent J has 24 hours to prevent history from changing; he gets to meet and deal with the younger version of Agent K (Josh Brolin), and also discovers other secrets about the agency.

 

There are many cameos in the film, but some of the most talked about such as Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber are barely noticeable. Although Smith still has the same smart mouth as in the past two films, here he’s lost his childish comedy, which means a lot of funny moments the others delivered have been lost. The emotional ties are stronger than the comedy, which perhaps won’t work much for its target audience as the film begins to feel a bit long, the beginning of the film is too fast paced and then it seems to go in slow motion for a while.  

 

The best part about time traveling were the incorporations of Coney Island during the 60’s and Bill Hader as Andy Warhol, there’s many clever historic references here. As mentioned above the special effects were worth the $215 million dollars spent in making the film. We can see this on Boris The Animal, the villain’s presence and voice are perfectly horrific. My favorite character was young Agent K; Brolin is a flawless impersonator and he picked up the mannerisms and everything else from the older version of his character as if they were his own.

 

PG-13 is a perfect rating for this film, as it might get too convoluted and fast paced for a younger audience anyway. As a sequel this film adds on to the story and doesn’t damage it in any way, which very few sequels manage to do. Since there’s consideration of perhaps a ‘Men in Black 4’, which is not a surprise seeing that there’s still plenty of material to work from, other actors should be considered since both of the main charters seemed a bit tired in their roles. This will be a fun film for parents who enjoyed the past films and teens that might be enjoying their first ‘Men in Black’ adventure.

Alejandro Arbona

By

2008/10/14 at 12:00am

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

10.14.2008 | By |

Rating: 2.0

Rated: PG-13 for adventure action and violence.
Release Date: 2008-05-22
Starring: David Koepp, George Lucas
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country:USA
Official Website: http://www.indianajones.com/intl/es/teaser/

 Go to our film page

Finally, people will stop saying “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was the bad one. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” opens in the thick of the cold war, with Soviet agents forcing Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) to retrieve a mysterious artifact of great power. This early sequence and the few that follow it are when the cold war theme and anti-communist paranoia are most evident.

But shortly after, the story circles back to an extraterrestrial theme, which comes off extremely leaden here. The film briefly mentions Indy’s years of service as a colonel in World War Two, and his turn as a double agent in Berlin. I for one would have MUCH preferred to watch a movie called something like “The Treacherous Colonel Indiana Jones and the Valkyries of the Führer.” It’s not that the alien theme of this movie disappointed me, not in the least; it’s that once “Crystal Skull” sinks into that mystery, it loses the spirit of the 1950s suspense and horror movies it should be aping.

All those 50s genre movies were charged with the public’s fears: the cold war, nuclear weapons, communist subversion (or satire on the unfounded fear of that subversion), etc. Spielberg placed touches of that on the surface, but not the slightest hint of the subtext that can be explored so eloquently with that era. When only “Crystal Skull” flirts with these themes is when the Soviet Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) describes the power of the titular skull: mind control. I was reminded of one of the classics of cold war paranoia, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” albeit without the slightest subtlety. And aside from that description, we never again identify what exactly the skull’s power is – we never get to really see it in action. Spielberg breaks the first rule of the very adventure storytelling he perfected into an art form: show, don’t tell.

Mack Chico

By

2008/09/19 at 12:00am

Ghost Town

09.19.2008 | By |

Rated: PG-13 for for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references.
Release Date: 2008-09-19
Starring: David Koepp, John Kamps
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country: USA
Official Website: http://www.ghosttownmovie.com/

Go to our film page

Ghost Town

Ghost Town is one of those romantic comedies that never quite clicks. At times, its humor is effective, provoking chuckles and laughs. At other times, the comedy feels forced and awkward. The romantic element is equally hit-and-miss. The chemistry that emerges between the leads during the film’s second half is largely absent from the first 45 minutes. And the premise, rich with promise and pregnant with possibilities, is reduced to a plot device that allows Ghost Town to turn into a low-rent, modern-day version of A Christmas Carol.

The movie’s opening scene is a winner, with philanderer Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear) having a phone conversation with his wife, Gwen (Téa Leoni), who has just discovered he’s having an affair. Frank wraps up the call just as the curtain falls on his time on Earth. Director David Koepp orchestrates his end brilliantly, with a sleight-of-hand that is both funny and surprising. However, instead of making his way to the next life, Frank finds himself stuck in Manhattan as a ghost. He can see and hear everything, but is invisible and unable to do more than observe. Enter Bertram Pincus, D.D.S. (Ricky Gervais), the most unpleasant dentist in the city.

Ghost Town’s comedy is maddeningly inconsistent. Masterful sequences such as the opening one in which Frank meets his demise are interspersed with episodes that not only don’t work on a comedic level, but run on for too long. Consider, for example, an interchange between Bertram and his doctor (played by Kristen Wiig) in which both continuously interrupt each other. Like a bad, unfunny segment of Saturday Night Live, this drags on seemingly without end, becoming increasingly frustrating with every new interruption. Comedy is supposed to be funny, not annoying.

Those who take a glass half-full approach to Ghost Town will probably enjoy it the most. There is romance, there is comedy, and there is a feel-good ending. For some, those things will be enough, and the fact that they’re not as well developed or effectively nurtured as they might be will not be a significant detraction. Ultimately, however, the movie cries out for an offbeat approach such as the one Marc Forster utilized in Stranger than Fiction. Ghost Town’s unwillingness to escape from a safe orbit keeps the movie trapped in mediocrity.

Alejandro Arbona

By

2008/05/22 at 12:00am

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

05.22.2008 | By |

Rated: PG-13 for adventure action and violence.
Release Date: 2008-05-22
Starring: David Koepp, George Lucas
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country: USA
Official Website: http://www.indianajones.com/intl/es/teaser/

Go to our film page

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Select a Page