The Day of the Jackal

The Day of the Jackal
The Day of the Jackal

When French president Charles de Gaulle agreed to Algerian self-determination in 1961, his right-wing supporters were outraged. They had returned the general to power only three years earlier so he could put down the bloody uprising in France’s most prized colony. Some of the pieds-noirs, the Algerian French, and their sympathizers in the army banded together in the paramilitary Organisation de l’armée secrète (OAS) to stop the independence process with assassinations and bombings.

The Day of the Jackal, based on Frederick Forsyth’s novel of the same name, fictionalizes the group’s plots against De Gaulle. Continue reading “The Day of the Jackal”

Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May
Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May, based on the highly successful novel of the same name by Charles W. Bailey II and Fletcher Knebel, tells the story of an attempted military putsch in the United States.

It’s the early 1970s. An unpopular President Jordan Lyman (Fredric March) has signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union and is facing strong opposition from the military and the right. The charismatic Air Force General James Mattoon Scott (Burt Lancaster) has convinced all but one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to support him in a coup against the president. Colonel Jiggs Casey (Kirk Douglas), director of the Joint Staff, finds out about the plan and teams up with Lyman to stop it. Continue reading “Seven Days in May”

The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan
The Legend of Tarzan

There have been dozens and dozens adaptations of the famous books by Edgar Rice Burroughs of which The Legend of Tarzan is the latest in line.

This version is a bit of a mixed bag. They do take a good amount of parts from the books, such as Jane Porter being an accomplished adventuress in her own right and not a damsel in distress, and including the legendary city of Opar (without any of the actual literary backstory and with different characters) and couple it to some historic facts about the Belgian occupation of the Congo. With a lot of fiction added in, of course. Continue reading “The Legend of Tarzan”

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice Through the Looking Glass

Tim Burton’s sequel to his Alice in Wonderland adaptation from a few years ago is once again based on a book by Lewis Carroll, this time Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, published in 1871.

As far as adaptations go, this is very liberal. Burton doesn’t follow the book much at all, uses very little elements of it and weaves them into what is essentially a sequel to his previous Alice movie. If you haven’t seen that one, make sure you do before you see Alice Through the Looking Glass or you’ll be very confused. Continue reading “Alice Through the Looking Glass”

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Guy Ritchie — maker of the two recent steampunky Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr. — gives us a great spy-fi comedy adventure this summer that dieselpunk fans ought to be interested in.

Although the The Man from U.N.C.L.E., based on the 1960s television series of the same name, takes place in the post-dieselpunk era, it contains many of the genre’s tropes and themes: spies, unrepentant Nazis in a plot against the two superpowers, missing nuclear weapons, speedboats, helicopters, industrial decors reminiscent of Thunderbirds and dashing Space Age costumes. Continue reading “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 may seem like the umptieth Disney movie, especially the umptieth digitally animated one. Considering it’s by the team of Frozen, people may expect something along those lines. Nothing could be further from the truth. Big Hero 6 is one of the best things released by Disney since well, quite a while.

This Marvel/Disney collaboration is proof that both companies should work together more often. The film is not only a magnificent feat when it comes to animation, but also has the same kind of imaginative storytelling and feel of adventure that Marvel movies have become famous for in the last decade. Continue reading “Big Hero 6”

Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending
Jupiter Ascending

Imagine a space opera-style movie with both casual, practical and elaborate costumes, visually pleasing combat scenes, all kinds of alien, human and everything in-between species, interesting villains and bombastic space ships as well as magnificant scenery.

Well, you don’t have to imagine it any longer, because the creators of the Matrix trilogy are back with a new cyberpunk sci-fi epos: Jupiter Ascending. Continue reading “Jupiter Ascending”

Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin

Many of us have grown up watching the Samurai X/Kenshin cartoons (anime) on TV. Or read the classic manga. Kenshin is without doubt one of the best known Japanese fictional characters in the Western world, so it was a bit of a surprise that it took until 2012 for there to finally be a movie adaptation. A live-action movie that, when announced, both rejoiced fans and left them skeptical of the venture.

That skepticism turned out to be entirely unnecessary, as Rurouni Kenshin has become, without a doubt, one of the best anime/manga adaptations into a live-action movie ever made. Continue reading “Rurouni Kenshin”