Posts Tagged ‘Ed Norton’

Review: Stone

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Of all the post-70’s TV show Hulk movies, Stone may be the most intense. Ed Norton returns for what we know to be his final stint as the Green Goliath/skinny scientist guy, and this time he really hits it out of the park. From what I understand, the difference-maker was research. After reading hundreds of Hulk comic books from the 70’s and 80’s, Norton was somehow able to teach himself how to actually BECOME the Hulk. This saved the studio millions of special effects dollars that they were able to put to better use. For one thing, I hear the catering on the set was top notch. Sushi was served at every meal, sometimes up to 5 times a day. Also, gold-plated oranges were served. It’s a pity that everyone threw out the peels, but you can bet there were some happy hobos gathered around the dumpsters outside the lot!

Anyway, part of what makes Stone the definitive Hulk movie is the decision to replace General “Thunderbolt” Ross as the main antagonist. Those fans of the old Bill Bixby show will be delighted to see that the new menace is none other than nosy reporter Jack McGee, played here by the great Robert De Niro. The McGee character made an appearance in the 2008 Hulk, but really, who even remembers that? De Niro’s interpretation of the nasty newsman is so sinister that its impossible to imagine him at a desk in an office talking about Dancing With the Stars with his coworkers. What newpaper could possibly have hired this twisted sonofabitch? What editor would have the balls to keep him in line?

Eventually, we see just how far McGee is willing to take things. In trying to get the big scoop on the Hulk, he throws Bruce Banner into a volcano to see if he changes. When the Hulk does not emerge from the lava, McGee is forced to go to jail for murder. It turns out Banner did change into the Hulk in time to survive, but enjoyed swimming around in the lava so much that he stayed down there for a while. Banner soon starts feeling guilty that his former adversary is constantly being sodomized by convicts, and decides to spring him from jail. Actually, the movie pretty much ends with the Hulk breaking McGee out of prison. The reporter is so touched by this act of kindness that he decides not to pursue the story any more, and leaves Banner and the Hulk in peace.

I guess the movie is called Stone because the Hulk has to smash through some brick walls to get into the jail. Neat stuff.

Review: Ghost (Remake)

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

The behind-the-scenes drama that occurred during the production of the Ghost remake is much more interesting than the movie itself. If the studio is willing to absorb the humiliation, they should release a documentary chronicling these misadventures. In fact, I am so sure this is what the studio should do that I almost hesitate to describe what happened. Fortunately, documentaries are rarely ruined by spoilers.

The story of the remaking of Ghost starts with executive producer Whoopi Goldberg. It was Whoopi who outlined the slightly updated script, it was Whoopi who sold it to the studio, and it was Whoopi who convinced them that she could summon Patrick Swayze’s real ghost to play the lead. It’s hard to belief that the execs really thought she could commune with the dead, but then again, it’s hard to believe that anyone would let Whoopi Goldberg into their office in the first place. I’m told she’s extremely flatulent and sometimes enjoys lighting her farts on fire while in the middle of making a pitch. Not only is this smelly and dangerous, but it’s also really distracting. It’s possible that the only reason they green-lit Ghost in the first place was to get her out of the room faster.

If someone has actual footage of Whoopi’s seances to bring back Patrick Swayze, that documentary I mentioned earlier will win an Oscar. All that has been leaked to the press so far is that she suffered nervous breakdowns and was often seen around town crying, drinking, and talking to herself. She even started a fight in a bar one night. When questioned, she said she was trying to recreate a scene from Roadhouse, hoping Swayze would show up to stop the brawl. He never appeared, and Whoopi ended up spending a night in jail. That’s where the studio execs stepped in to take back control of their movie. They signed Ed Norton to play the lead, Queen Latifa to replace Goldberg, and Jessica Alba to play the Demi Moore role. Rumor has it that Norton was reluctant to join the cast without Goldberg’s approval, siting a deep respect for her original choices. This explains why he claimed to be possessed by Swayze’s ghost when he was signing his contract. In fact, Norton never broke character in Goldberg’s presence during the entire production. This included both the premiere screening and wrap party. It’s hard to say whether or not Whoopi believed him, but she clearly appreciated the effort.

Of course it will all be for nothing, as this movie is going to TANK! Seriously, who has the patience to watch Jessica Alba on screen when she so stubbornly refuses to show her boobs? I know there was no topless scenes in the original movie, but that was one of the “updates” I was expecting in the remake. If she wants people to stop asking her to take off her top, she should become a better actress so that her acting will be good enough distract us from the lack of nudity. Unfortunately for the rest of the hard-working cast, Alba single-handedly destroyed the Ghost remake. For the sake of Patrick Swayze’s legacy, we should all forget this ever happened. If you want to see a pottery love scene, watch the original. If you want to see a pottery love scene featuring boobs, then splice in scenes of nude Demi Moore from Striptease.