Minority Report

Minority Report Precog

First, they took our TV shows and made them into movies. Then, they took our movies and made them into TV shows. What fresh horror will come next in the adaptation world? Radio, probably. But we’re still in that second phase right now. Case in point: Steven Spielberg is crafting a TV show out of his 2002 film Minority Report. As reported by The Wrap, he will use Amblin Television to front the show, with Godzilla writer Max Borenstein handling script duties. The Wrap presumes (just like every other person who hears this news) that the series will focus around the PreCrime police force, a special group of cops that use mutants with visions of the future to predict crime and then preemptively de-crime it. Spielberg is likely to choose a big-name star for the lead, and 20th Century Fox (who distributed the movie) may or may not have dibs on distributing the series. There is but one major issue with a Minority Report TV show: it’s already been done. Not in name, but in premise.

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Rian Johnson’s new film, Looper, is a pretty awesome time travel flick, one with as many elements that are clever and original as there are purposefully derivative and influenced. It’s the kind of smart and stylish sci-fi cinema we expect every once in a while on the festival circuit, like Sound of My Voice (which hits DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday), rather than from a major Hollywood studio. Looper does fit the indie model, though, since Sony/Tristar picked it up for distribution only after it was done shooting, yet as Brian’s review of the film attests, we can still consider it a good sign for mainstream movies of this genre, and we can hope that Hollywood will see Johnson as the sort of directorial talent they need. But is it the best science fiction film since The Matrix? That’s a question posed in a headline from Time magazine yesterday, though its respective post doesn’t address such a discussion let alone attempt to answer the inquiry. Well, if we exclude superhero movies, animated features (Pixar, Miyazaki and The Iron Giant among them) and the Star Trek reboot, Looper is currently one of only two original studio films of its order to be battling for the status of best reviewed since the Wachowskis’ groundbreaking modern classic. The other is Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

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First Look: The Great Gatsby

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly thing about movies. No big deal. We begin tonight with a new image from The Great Gatsby featuring Leo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton looking quite dapper. One can only imagine how much more dapper this will all look when we see it for the first time in 3D. I like the word dapper.

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Culture Warrior

Buried deep within this sentence (Doritos are delicious) is an advertisement. Did you catch it? You probably didn’t because it was so subtly subliminal, but that’s exactly how product placement has worked for a century to varying degrees of success. After all, there’s a thin line between using real-life products in a film to create a sense of verisimilitude and using them to promote the product in question. Where that line is drawn is up to each person. One person might see a kid reading “National Geographic” in It’s a Wonderful Life and think it’s quaintly appropriate while another person might find it craven and conspicuous. To the same extent, different film productions have delivered brands with means ranging from the slyness of near-imperceptibility to almost Doritos-Scorchin’-Habanero-Flavor levels of obviousness. It’s far from new, and even though sold items have sneaked their way into movies for almost one hundred years, there’s been an explosion in recent decades, seeing a new revenue stream for studios and a new annoyance for film fans.

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When it comes to procedurals there’s no doubt that CBS is king. From the boys in Hawaii to the profilers in the F.B.I., over the last decade CBS has successfully taken the reigns of crime-of-the-week king from NBC. But this season they decided to have a little fun with the genre they know all too well. And that fun comes in the form of the latest program from the camp of J.J. Abrams, Person of Interest. The show follows former military man John Reese (Jim Caviezel) who is recruited by a very strange rich guy known only as Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson) who, through a machine he built for the government, is able to predict crime before it happens… Sort of… The machine can’t give out details without exposing Finch’s back door to the machine, so all he gets is the social security number of the titular person of interest, and that person could be the victim…or the culprit.

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A murder mystery, a sci-fi action movie, a family drama = Tom Cruise… in the future! Why We Love It There’s been a lot of shameful Phillip K. Dick adaptations. From John Woo’s comically bad Paycheck to the just plain bad Next, Dick’s prolific work does not always receive the best of treatments. However, Stephen Spielberg delivered one of those best treatments. In the vein of Blade Runner and Total Recall, I have no doubt that Minority Report will be regarded as a classic one day.

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After two straight weeks of very light action on This Week in Blu-ray, here we are. Another Tuesday has come and another round of releases are here seeking my approval. Which is why you’re here — so that you can fill out your after-work new release day shopping list.

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cultwarrior_decadeinreview

This week’s Culture Warrior gives an exhaustive review of the decade that you won’t find anywhere else on the Interwebs.

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HarveyStewart

Literally. The entire film will be Steven Spielberg wrestling an invisible rabbit in his living room.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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