The Green Hornet

Columbia Pictures

There’s much to be mocked about sidekicks, one of the easier targets in film. We’re set up to picture a simultaneously meek and booming catchphrase-machine clad in a matching uniform, seemingly created solely to follow our protagonist around and hype them up on their journeys. While plenty of that variety exist, there’s a different and far more interesting breed of sidekicks who prove to be so much more — valuable assets who, really, are so much better than the leads in the first place. Here are seven sidekicks who are smarter and more capable than the heroes they’re supporting.

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the-blues-brothers

Movies that are able to effectively blend action and comedy tend to be real crowd pleasers. Large segments of the moviegoing public go to the cinema specifically to escape, and, really, what’s more escapist than laughing and being thrilled at the same time? From The General to Big Trouble in Little China to Shaun of the Dead, the best action comedies tend to become cult favorites that stand the test of time and get re-watched constantly. There’s one action comedy that has a giant cult following I’ve never found an inroad to appreciate though—John Landis’ 1980 hit, The Blues Brothers. It’s not hard to see why many find it memorable. It’s set in an exaggerated version of lower class Chicago that’s easy to romanticize, it gets to ride the coattails of John Belushi’s gone-too-soon legacy, and it features so many legendary musicians that you almost feel like you have to respect it by proxy. Putting all that aside though, the movie is really long and slow, it doesn’t contain many big laughs, and quite frankly I have a hard time finishing it without falling asleep. One recent action comedy that doesn’t get any respect is 2011’s The Green Hornet, and seeing as its writers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, released the impressive and seemingly well-liked This is the End over the weekend, it feels like an appropriate time to revisit it and ask why that is. The Green Hornet made a decent amount of coin, and was successful enough on […]

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There were some supposed protagonists I loathed this year — everyone in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, that asshole narcissist Hal Jordan, the annoying Jack Sparrow — but there were plenty who showed honorable and, yes, badass traits. 2011 brought a few real American heroes (and from parts elsewhere), both in personality and actions. One doesn’t need superpowers or a gun to be a hero, but, as shown by a few choices I made, those simple good traits. And, even if one’s not the greatest of people, you can still be a great hero, as shown by the a*hole category that kicks off the list…

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While enduring the mild pain caused by Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I thought to myself, “Man, this Sam character is a real prick. What type of people actually like this person? This is the best savior we could get?” I then realized that I often find myself thinking this nowadays. We rarely get great, likable heroes or genuine badasses on film anymore. Most are either mopey, passive, or do morally questionable acts. I’m not referring to anti-heroes — although, I do include one on the list — but, rather, the unintentionally lame mainstream characters that aren’t the most compelling or charming. A few of these not-so-heroic characters aren’t due to bad acting. As you’ll notice, Leonardo DiCaprio made the list for Inception, where he gave a solid performance. While I wouldn’t say that most of the actors featured here impressed anyone, DiCaprio and a few others certainly did. Here are ten mainstream characters that exhibit very little heroics:

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Kees van Dijkhuizen’s work is kinda great. While most fan edited montages of films you see online feel stilted and blandly cut together, Dijkhuizen’s don’t. Just watch the “this year in film” tribute videos he cut together for 2008 and 2009. They’re excellent. And for the past few months he’s been releasing love letters to some of the most praised directors working today. Dijkhuizen has covered David Fincher, Sofia Coppola, Danny Boyle, Wes Anderson, Baz Luhrmann, and now with his best one yet, Michel Gondry. They’re all worth a watch, especially since they’re all directors known first and foremost for their style. Side note: This video is also a nice reminder that The Green Hornet is better than it’s given credit for. I’ll take Gondry’s anti-superhero pic any day over Green Lantern and — yes, I’m going to say it — Thor.

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Boiling Point

Pointing out the flaws in Hollywood is easy – there are hundreds of them. Unfortunately for the entertainment system, I’m a fan of taking the low road and always pointing those flaws out. After all, it’s not easy to be mad every week without taking a few cheap shots. A child of the 80s, I’m a big fan of action. Guns, knives, swords, bullets, punches, jump kicks, Van Damme, you name it, I dig it. Hell, I’ll watch the shitty UFC/WWE vehicle movies that go straight to DVD just to see somewhere get punched in the eye socket. You’d think action movies would be easy to make and send to theaters. Toss in some fireballs, some blood, some roundhouse kicks – easy, right? Apparently not. I mean, sure, we get good action films every now and then, maybe even once a month – but how many more just fall flat? What’s wrong with Hollywood and action movies when one of the best, if not the best, action movies so far is the animated Kung Fu Panda 2?

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This Week in Blu-ray

It’s been a long time since the world has held gaze upon This Week in Blu-ray, that much is true. But it’s back for a Saturday run in a big way — tons of Blu-rays, many of which are worth a rent or better, and a guest appearance by Rob Hunter. Since we’ve been away for the last two weeks, I’m including a few of the notable releases from both weeks. So prepare yourself (and your wallet) for an onslaught of awesome. Get through it this week, as next week appears to be just as good. And that’s where we’ll meet again, but on Tuesday this time. I Saw the Devil A South Korean government agent (Lee Byung-hun) is devastated when his fiance is murdered and dismembered by a madman (Choi Min-sik), but after a brief mourning period he sets out for a twisted and very unorthodox revenge. As in he catches the killer, hurts him severely, then lets him go… only to repeat the cycle over and over again. It’s a brutal game that sees the supposed hero bypass catharsis in favor of the dangerously unthinkable. Director Kim Jee-woon’s latest is easily the darkest, saddest, and most violent of his career but still every bit as fantastic as The Good the Bad the Weird and A Tale Of Two Sisters. Scenes of heart-pumping thrills exist side by side with stretches of excruciating dread. Magnet’s Blu-ray offers a crisp and beautiful transfer as well as an audio track that does […]

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This Week in DVD

It’s a light week on the DVD front but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing good being released today. One of our festival favorites (A Somewhat Gentle Man) from last year’s Fantastic Fest is finally getting a release, and it’s well worth a blind buy for fans of strong acting, humorous Fargo-esque stories, and Stellan Skarsgard. The somewhat maligned Green Hornet is also hitting shelves, and if you missed it in theaters it’s worth a rental as a lightweight but fun action romp. But they’re not all winners this week… Ron Howard’s tone-deaf comedy(?) The Dilemma comes out too. Identity This new series from the UK follows a specialized police unit in London that handles cases involving identity thieves and their unhappy (or occasionally dead) victims. Once again the UK comes through with another cop/criminal series that manages to be both entertaining and interesting as well as featuring an engaging, charismatic, and extremely troubled lead. Aidan Gillen’s DI John Bloom is an “ends justify the means” kind of cop (the best kind), and his past life working undercover with the Turkish mob offers an equally fascinating side storyline. Great stuff.

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The Green Hornet is coming to homes near you on May 3rd, but you can win your DVD copy today, and it’ll be delivered alongside a couple of action figures. Sadly, the prize pack does not include Kato Vision. So what is in the prize pack and how do you win? I’m glad you asked:

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The Reject Report

Not really. However, this week does see the release of concert footage from the Bieb (along with his life-long struggle to become famous and have Ellen Degeneres’ haircut). Plus, Adam Sandler adds to his tally of generic romantic comedies and Ed Helms finally makes it out of the house. The big question – which one of these masterpieces will take the top spot?

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The Reject Report

Good for Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, and all the other oddly named people involved in The Roommate. Not only did it come out #1 on this Super Bowl weekend, not only was it able to beat out the James Cameron-backed Sanctum, but it was the only film this weekend to even get into double digits. I’m not sure if that says a lot for The Roommate, the current slate of movies available for the masses, or the power of the Super Bowl draw away from the movie theaters. You can’t really put much of the blame for the weekend’s weak numbers. The past three years have had films open in the $20 or $30-million area. In 2009, Taken opened on Super Bowl weekend with $24.7 million, and that can’t even be considered counter-programming to the big game. Not like last year or 2007 when Dear John and Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour opened to a $30.4 and $31.1 million, respectively. So the Super Bowl was a draw away from the movies.

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The Reject Report

A year ago last week, James Cameron’s groundbreaking Avatar beat out Titanic to be the highest domestic grossing film of all time. Cameron just happened to be the director on the monstrously successful Titanic, too. You all know this. What you might not have known is that Cameron is back, and this time, he’s going spelunking. Sanctum is sure to be Cameron’s next grand excursion into box office glory and could very well beat even Avatar’s record breaking numbers. What’s that? Cameron didn’t direct Sanctum? He just produced it? But the trailers…oh, never mind. Tank.

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The Reject Report

That wacky Anthony Hopkins sure knows how to turn ‘em in. With his broad hijinx and penchant for silly string gimmicks. The devil might have had something to do with it, too, as The Rite opened to number one this weekend. It’s opening wasn’t as big as you might expect, but it did a decent job. With a reported budget of $37 million, it should be fine with its mid-teen debut. That is unless you’re going by Kevin Smith math, in which case, the film is a serious dud. That’s a digression for another time, though. The Rite will do just fine, and Hopkins is sure to make many more stinkers films before his days in films have come to a close. His Hannibal days have long since passed, and you aren’t likely to see many more $100-million films from him beyond any franchise work.

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The Reject Report

Sometimes timing really is everything. Blue Monday (it’s a real date) came and went, and moviegoers were looking for something to make them laugh. Something that didn’t include Kato vision and Christoph Waltz shooting people in the face. Add into that the love Natalie Portman is raking in for her own downer performance in Black Swan, and you’ve got a formula for success in No Strings Attached. The romantic comedy was anything but a monster success. It claims the biggest opening for an Ivan Reitman film besides Ghostbusters II. It’s a long ways from being the biggest opening for either Portman or her co-star Ashton Kutcher. You do have to remember she was in the Star Wars prequels, each of which made more in their opening day than what No Strings Attached pulled in the last three days. Nonetheless, the R-rated rom-com succeeded in opening in the #1 slot and pulling in a bit more than what was expected. With a reported budget of only $25 million, the film is already well on its way to being a decent success. Because Kutcher needs more success in his life. Poor guy.

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The Reject Report

Yeah. Now get that song out of your head. Good luck with that. When you’re done, head on out to see a movie. There isn’t much new to partake in this weekend, but, if you’re a big fan of Natalie Portman, Bruce Willis’ son, or Olivia Thirlby (we can just assume on that last one), then you might want to check out the lone candidate for new releases. You enjoy the rest of the report. I’m gonna continue to sing Pinocchio songs to myself.

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The Green Hornet hasn’t been treated all too kindly on the interwebs for a while now. Ever since the announcement of Seth Rogen starring in the film, overly sensitive message board regulars have been crying foul. There’s been less-than-flattering rumors regarding the film, most of which were untrue, but what does writer Evan Goldberg think of this? Well, he doesn’t spend a whole lot of time online, but he recognizes and knows the unfair buzz. Goldberg even name dropped an IMDB message board regular who he spent a lot of time antagonizing. Now that the film is out, perhaps those skeptics will give the film a fair shake. The one thing about The Green Hornet that most will take notice to is how much Goldberg and Rogen did the opposite of standard superhero tropes. The lead, Britt Reid, isn’t your usual superhero and is a completely dislikable moron. The love interest isn’t even a love interest. The villain is more sympathetic than the idiotic hero. Britt Reid makes Tony Stark seem like a total boy scout in comparison. Rogen and Goldberg, without a doubt, have created one of the most unconventional and (lovably) unlikable superhero leads ever to grace the screen.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Mark Walters stops by to discuss the host of Big Fan Boy news and the future (or lack thereof) of the comic book movie. Of course, one night after discussing the need for originality and the weariness of even looking out on seeing yet another Spider-Man origin story…news breaks that a famous director wants his shot at Batman. Of course. Plus, we manage to find time to grow beards and review The Green Hornet. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Yeah. You read that right. It’s got sting. Like a bee. Like a bee that stings. And all the other movies just got stung. That’s right. The Green Hornet didn’t beat out Cloverfield’s record-setting opening for January, but it did succeed in having the biggest opening for any Seth Rogen film that isn’t animated. It also had a bigger opening this weekend than all of Michel Gondry’s other openings combined. I guess that says something. I can’t help but think The Green Hornet would have had an even bigger opening had it released in Summer where it truly belongs. It’s a fun, Summer, blockbuster that got unjustifiably dumped here in January. That knocked its opening numbers down by at least $10 million, a complete guesstimate on my part. It didn’t help that the film was being shot down by critics and moviegoers alike before anyone had even seen it. It’s hard to get past that type of prejudgment, and this opening isn’t necessarily a clear indicator of hit or bomb in any capacity.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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The Week That Was

It’s been another awesome week here at Film School Rejects. We launched several new columns, including our first action-centric weekly romp (Bullet Points), a feature focused on Cole Abaius and Landon Palmer’s IM conversations (Talking Heads) and our two new dailies (Vintage Trailer and News After Dark) are going strong. The hard work is happening, and hopefully you’ve noticed. If not, that’s okay. You will soon. For now, lets focus on the best articles of the week as we explore The Week That Was.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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