Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions

FACT: 20th Century Fox has closed deals with director Matthew Vaughn and the cast of last year’s X-MEN FIRST CLASS to return for a sequel. Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence are all expected to return, along with producer Bryan Singer.

OPINION: X-MEN FIRST (CL)ASS was one of the best reviewed films of the 2011 summer, despite its weak plot, lame villain, and penchant for talking way too much. The film was also divisive amongst X fans thanks to its continuity break with (ahem) Bryan Singer’s first two successful X-MEN films. What makes this sequel to the prequel interesting is where the series can go next, as the finale of FIRST ASS had major characters reaching their arcs way too quickly. Vaughn has proven that he can bring the goods (STARDUST, anyone?), so here’s hoping he can find a way to channel Singer’s X2 (the absolute king of the mutants) vibes into this.

FACT: Several websites have been reporting that Steven Spielberg will step onboard to direct the Moses epic GODS AND KINGS for Warner Bros. pictures. The film will cover the entire story of Moses’ life; from his birth to his freeing of the Hebrew slaves to the Ten Commandments and the decades wandering the desert. The tone is expected to be different from Cecile B. DeMille’s THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) and be more like BRAVEHEART with Moses portrayed as one of history’s great warriors.

OPINION: Right away, Spielberg knows that he has a tough mountain (Sinai?) to climb in doing a Moses movie, for everyone will automatically compare it to the classic and beloved COMMANDMENTS. Clearly, he has to take steps to make his film different so the comparisons can’t be drawn. What makes it interesting is the angle of Moses being portrayed as a great warrior in history; if this is an historical piece, then will the religious themes still be present (like COMMANDMENTS), or absent (like TROY)? Fumbling away spiritual themes is not something Spielberg has been known to do, so Moses seems like he is in good hands. It will also be interesting to see who he will cast as Moses (coughdanieldaylewiscough), or the all-important role of the (villain) pharaoh. And the thought of a Biblical John Williams score is also exciting.

And one more thing; if Spielberg is doing a film involving a certain set of stone tablets, then he has to feature a certain artifact that he has dealt with before…


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