Screen Junkies » william fichtner http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:33:46 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Review: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:00:38 +0000 bgoldstein http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263852 Despite all the fanboy hand-wringing, TMNT is not the childhood-defiling catastrophe that so many people predicted it would be. It’s also not a very good movie.

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By Dan Murrell

The Ninja Turtles franchise reminds me of my old high school: it’s very close to my heart and I had a lot of fun with it when I was young, but clinging to it would be a discouraging sign that I’m still living in the past.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seeks to update the franchise for a new generation, and it succeeds, in that it’s the same loud, dumb action film that we’ve come to expect from summer blockbusters. This film marks the first time that the Turtles have been on-screen in a live-action feature in over 20 years. While the three previous live-action films hold sentimental value to a generation of adults, the truth of the matter is that they aren’t very good. Some things never change.

I would say that the origin of the Ninja Turtles needs no explanation, but this film disagrees with me, as it spends a good chunk of its first hour retelling how our heroes came to be. I will give the movie credit for taking the story in a new direction. It’s a head-scratching new direction, but at least it’s original. It also adheres to Article 1 of the Modern Law of Reboots, which states that every character has to have known each other for their entire lives. At this point, I’m expecting Batman v Superman to open with a young Bruce Wayne cradling his dead parents’ bodies under the wreckage of baby Kal-El’s crashed spaceship.

The rest of the plot swings wildly between overly simplistic and needlessly complicated. I pine for the days when radioactive goo falling into a sewer grate passed as an acceptable superhero origin. It mainly boils down to the Turtles versus the Shredder, who may or may not be played by William Fichtner, who may or may not be a bad guy pretending to be good. The marketing has decided to be coy about it, so I’ll play along.

One plot point that does surface, for the second time this summer, is the villain’s quest for the heroes’ blood and the substances within. This is the third blockbuster movie in two years (after Star Trek Into Darkness and The Amazing Spider-Man 2) to use magic blood as a McGuffin, making it the strangest Hollywood trend since the rise of Liam Neeson as an action star. It does, however, lead to my favorite line in the movie: “I want you to drain every ounce of their blood. Even if it kills them.” I’m no molecular biologist, but I’ll go ahead and say that, yes, draining every ounce of any living being’s blood would definitely kill it.

Shockingly, the thing the film gets absolutely right is also the thing it has been most criticized for: the Turtles themselves. Despite the uproar over their new design (and they do still look slightly creepy), I bought these Ninja Turtles as a fun band of brothers out to do good. The voice work is solid, though Alan Ritchson’s Raphael sounds like a guy doing a bad Mark Wahlberg impression — much like Mark Wahlberg himself in Transformers: Age of Extinction. The biggest misstep is the casting of Tony Shalhoub as Splinter. Shalhoub is a fine actor, but his soft tones just don’t sound right coming out of a five-foot-tall anthropomorphized rat. When the action kicks in, though, the characters really shine and I felt some of that old magic kick back in.

The human side of the movie is more of a mixed bag. Megan Fox dominates the movie’s running time as April O’Neil, giving the exact performance that we’ve all come to expect from her. I think we’ve seen all the shades of Megan Fox that we’re going to see at this point. Will Arnett, as April’s cameraman Vern, is on-hand for comic relief, which succeeds mainly because Will Arnett is an inherently funny person. Abby Elliott gets a couple of nice moments as April’s roommate. William Fichtner does the best he can do with the character he’s given, though he often has to do the film’s heavy-lifting with a bunch of ridiculous exposition. And the rest of the actors, including Whoopi Goldberg and Taran Killam, are on-screen briefly in roles that could generously be described as thankless.

Despite all the fanboy hand-wringing, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is not the childhood-defiling catastrophe that so many people predicted it would be. It’s also not a very good movie. It’s too dumb, too underwritten and too uneven to call a success. It’s certainly not meant for the adults who grew up with the Turtles; even the callbacks to the original series seem forced and halfhearted. I’m also not sure it will land with kids, who might find the first hour too dark and tedious. But if the movie does succeed, it has laid the groundwork for what could be a fun series of movies with this group of Turtles. With the right story and the right balance of action and humor, I could see a sequel to this film being a lot of fun; and, much like my old high school, I might find myself dropping by for a little while to enjoy the memories.

Grade: C-

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Why, Yes, Shredder Does Look 100% Ridiculous In Official ‘TMNT’ Image http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/why-yes-shredder-does-look-100-ridiculous-in-official-tmnt-image/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/why-yes-shredder-does-look-100-ridiculous-in-official-tmnt-image/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:46:34 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262353 He's pretty much a walking knife.

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Although he’s not in the directing chair, producer Michael Bay couldn’t help but make Shredder look insane in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We’ve caught glimpses of his helmet, and cape made of swords in earlier trailers but now we’ve got our first good look.

"Hug it out, bitch."

He’s pretty much one big walking knife. It’s like the Michael Bay asked that a Transformer be crossed with The Expendables logo. There’s no way he’s getting through airport security with that armor.

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William Fichtner To Play An ‘Iconic’ Role In ‘Ninja Turtles’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/william-fichtner-to-play-an-iconic-role-in-ninja-turtles/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/william-fichtner-to-play-an-iconic-role-in-ninja-turtles/#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 20:51:18 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=254801 Usagi Yojimbo?

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Deadline reports that William Fichtner has signed on for the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. No word on who he will portray beyond “a lead with iconic stature in the Turtles’ mythology.” This has lead many to posit he’ll play the film version of the Turtles’ greatest foe, Shredder. However, Shredder is meant to be Japanese and seeing a white guy do a stereotypical Japanese impression would be jarring — even in a Michael Bay movie.

So, we’re left to wait to hear whether or not Fichtner will wear knife shoulder pads or a warthog, rhinoceros, or samurai rabbit costume. Keep in mind, he does have reasonable experience in dressing ridiculously.

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Take A First Gander At ‘Rubber’ Follow-Up, ‘Wrong’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/take-a-first-gander-at-rubber-follow-up-wrong/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/take-a-first-gander-at-rubber-follow-up-wrong/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 12:05:44 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=207670 Whoa! Stevie Janowski can grow a beard!!

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This morning we have a first look at Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong, his second feature after exploding heads with the head-exploding telekinetic tire movie, Rubber. Starring William Fichtner and Jack Plotnick, the film is only described as a movie about a man and his missing dog.

In the above still, we see Steve Little (aka”Eastbound and Down‘s” Stevie Janowski), who I’m surprised to see can grow a beard. Here he presents a plain white ball. Is it a clue? A missing piece to a larger puzzle that will return the man to his canine? Or is it a ruthless, cold-blooded killer ball? One that can bounce around a room of its on free will, breaking windows and necks and leaving a pile of bodies a mile-high?

Meh, probably just a normal, old ball. (Quentin Dupieux’s Twitter)

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William Fichtner To Make ‘Elysium’ More Awesomer http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/william-fichtner-to-make-elyisium-more-awesomer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/william-fichtner-to-make-elyisium-more-awesomer/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2011 22:20:01 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=205709 Wanna see how excited William Fichtner is about this news? Click and find out.

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I’m making a declaration that Fichtner is the new Walken. He can’t carry a movie on his own, but he’s like a great spice added to a dish. And today, the dish that gets a dash of Fichtner is Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium. Spicy!

Fichtner seems to best thrive in intense adult situations, so it’s probably no coincidence that his commercial roles tend to be in R-rated fare (or hard PG-13 in the case of The Dark Knight). Fichtner’s brand of sleaze makes any film 13% better. Without him, The Dark Knight would have just been “very good.”

Fichtner joins the established cast of Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster and Wagner Moura. Elysium starts shooting in Canada in July, then moves down to Mexico in the fall until it wraps. Which can’t happen soon enough, as this promising film just got 13% better. (Variety)

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Antonio Banderas On The Hunt For World’s Best Stripper http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/antonio-banderas-on-the-hunt-for-worlds-best-stripper/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/antonio-banderas-on-the-hunt-for-worlds-best-stripper/#comments Fri, 25 Mar 2011 12:37:24 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=203623 Sienna Guillory looks really good with her clothes off.

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Antonio Banderas is on the hunt for a stripper. And not in the Charlie Sheen Most Dangerous Game kind of way.

In The Big Bang, he plays a private investigator hired by a giant to find his missing stripper girlfriend, Sienna Guillory, and the $30 million worth of diamonds she’s carrying. Along the way he encounters danger, Snoop Dogg on a porn set, James Van Der Beek, Autumn Reeser‘s horny waitress, and Sam Elliott as a gazillionaire visionary trying to re-create the Big Bang beneath the desert.

Sounds all well and good, but just show more of the stripper, guys. Seriously.

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Review: Drive Angry 3D http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-drive-angry-3d/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-drive-angry-3d/#comments Fri, 25 Feb 2011 18:40:52 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=29716 It’s like a whole movie of the bear suit scene from Wicker Man.

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Drive Angry is sleazy, vulgar and crass. The execution is seriously misguided, but I like the idea of it enough to carry me through. I’m like that, I’d rather see a cool idea fail than see something typical succeed technically. Offensive is better than mediocre.

Milton (Nicolas Cage) blasts some bad guys on the road in graphically 3D shots, so immediately you know it’s that kind of movie. Cage owns the screen with his Elvis-y swagger and hints of his Peggy Sue Got Married voice. When he sips coffee in between kisses he stole from a stranger, that’s action hero cool. He gets a wound to his eye, just wears sunglasses over it.

However, I would say that even in an exploitation movie, beating up a naked woman and throwing her onto the street is not okay. Even when the person delivering the beating is also a woman, that’s not okay. I’m all for outrageous, but you can just sense the tone is malicious there. And making the female lead a tough girl doesn’t make it feminist. It’s still just a male fantasy of the tough cookie.

Milton hooks up with the tough cookie Piper (Amber Heard), another waitress from that vulgar diner who’s leaving her cheating fiancé in his car. (The mistress is the recipient of above beating.) The Accountant (William Fichtner) is following Milton and you quickly get the hint that neither Milton nor the Accountant are from an earthly plane.

Between Milton and The Accountant you have spiritual characters talking shop. The film may not be mature enough to give them anything worthwhile to do, but I like the idea of having them in the movie. The script does a good job of discussing their business vaguely, and both actors bring a certain unreality to their body movements.

I was offended on behalf of Michael Davis when the film threw in a sex scene shootout, but it’ll be okay. Anyone who Googles “naked sex gunfight” will find the scene from Shoot ‘Em Up and see it’s way better. The difference is Davis clearly loves women and protects her in that scene. Drive Angry director Patrick Lussier uses her as a prop.

Drive Angry make Paul Verhoeven look like a feminist. There are lots more naked women but the film manages to make nudity ugly with the cultists jiggling in the background and the lover grinding on a fully clothed Milton. All the dialogue is tits, dick, balls in a gross, trailer park-y tone. Even the soundtrack sings about pussy in “Fuck the Pain Away.”

The pursuit is simple. Jonah King (Billy Burke) killed Milton’s daughter and wants to sacrifice his baby granddaughter to Satan. Yet the plot can’t handle it. The Accountant enlists two cops for absolutely no reason and they serve no purpose in the story. The action provides no fast-paced thrills. It’s all slow motion violence for 3D. Cage sells the gun poses but there’s no flow.

Just keep telling yourself, “Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage, Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage.” It’s like a whole movie of the bear suit scene from Wicker Man.

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‘Drive Angry 3D’ Trailer Makes Good On Its Title http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/drive-angry-3d-trailer-makes-good-on-its-title/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/drive-angry-3d-trailer-makes-good-on-its-title/#comments Fri, 15 Oct 2010 00:02:05 +0000 Reza F. How you gonna mess with Nic Cage‘s hair like that?! Summit has dropped the trailer for Drive Angry 3D. Patrick Lussier directs Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, and David...

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How you gonna mess with Nic Cage‘s hair like that?!

Summit has dropped the trailer for Drive Angry 3D. Patrick Lussier directs Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, and David Morse in what looks like another Ghost Rider with a car standing in for a chopper.

Cage plays a guy who breaks out of hell (what? how? what?) to get revenge against the cult that killed his daughter and took her baby. William Fichtner is the Devil‘s right-hand-man sent to bring him back. I gotta say, it’s perfect casting with Fichtner. There’s something always twitchy with that guy. I could totally see him doing Satan’s bidding.

Drive Angry 3D crashes into theaters February 11, 2011.

Check out the trailer after the jump…


Drive Angry: Trailer – Watch more Movie Trailers

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