Red Riding Hood is a movie of a sort that I would very much like to see if anyone could make it, which is another way of saying that it is not that sort of movie at all. A real Hollywood fairy tale is the rarest thing in the world. Hollywood is more comfortable with myth and legend. Partly, I think, it’s a matter of scale: Mythology provides the sort of sweeping, epic scope that lends itself to big-screen Hollywood feature filmmaking. Fairy tales are smaller and more intimate, and require a lighter touch.
It’s hard to imagine any filmmaker making the final, and probably the most perverse, of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books into a good movie—let alone two movies, which is the plan. But Summit Entertainment is giving it their best shot: After discussions with a list of respected directors including Sofia Coppola, Steven Daldry and Gus Van Sant, Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey) has reportedly emerged as the front-runner, according to Deadline.com.
The Wolfman retells the classic werewolf story, but has little to add besides volume and gore. Jump moments pile up to the point that you stop jumping and merely feel annoyed at the obvious, heavy-handed manipulation. Alone in the dark in his ancestral home, Lawrence Talbot seems to hear a creepy whisper, but it turns out he’s just remembering something from his youth. Then a minute later it happens again. Later on there’s a gotcha dream, with a menacing figure rising from the shadows and leaping at Lawrence in his bed — but then he wakes up. Or so it seems, but then it happens again — but it’s a dream again. It’s like a haunted house where they never stop jumping out and saying “Boo!”
Twilight and New Moon are essentially uncritical celebrations of that overwrought, obsessive passion that is the hallmark of immaturity — passion that wholly subordinates all sense of one’s own identity and elevates the beloved to summum bonum, or even the sole good; passion that leaps as readily to suicidal impulses and fantasies as to longing for union.
Stop-motion animation cult heroes Wallace & Gromit, the brainchildren of British animator Nick Park of Aardman Animations, may not be unchanged in the transition from their charmingly dotty, wildly funny shorts to their first feature-length film, but they’re still recognizably themselves.
(Written by Jimmy Akin) Scooby-Doo was born in 1969. He was reborn almost thirty years later, in 1998.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.