July 10, 2010 | 5:59 p.m.
Film critic Michael Phillips says “Predators” is a cinematic stab in the dark. “Predators,” plural, starts well and ends poorly, and in the middle it’s in the middle. The original 1987 “Predator,” featuring future politicians Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura, was an entertaining hybrid of the commando genre and “Alien“-inspired science fiction. The new one, directed by Nimród Antal (“Kontroll“), lifts its building blocks from an unproduced 1990s script by Robert Rodriguez, who ended up producing the revised screenplay by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch. For a while it’s a worthy successor, or remake, or whatever it is. Instead of the Central American jungle of the original, the action takes place somewhere “else,” let’s say (the reveal comes early, but who am I to spoil your day?). In the prologue a motley multinational crew of thugs drops from the […]
July 09, 2010 | 1:04 a.m.
Adrien Brody is on the hunt for a new career chapter with his action-hero duty in “Predators,” which hits theaters Friday. Amy Kaufman caught up with the Oscar winner to discuss aliens and alienation. This is a longer version of her story, which ran Thursday on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section. Adrien Brody isn’t kidding himself — he knows that when people hear his name, “action hero” isn’t the first description that comes to mind. “The comment is constantly like ‘skinny actor.’ I’m thin. I’m not skinny at all,” said Brody, 37, seeming slightly irritated as he reclined poolside at a Los Angeles hotel last month. “It’s that they harp on a physical thing, because I don’t think there’s a question about my ability as an actor.” He certainly has the hardware to back up that […]
June 30, 2010 | 3:14 p.m.
If there were truth in advertising, the new Fox Blu-ray release entitled “Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition“ might be called “Predator: The Camouflaged Commercial“ – a name that would prepare fans of the 1987 film for all the promos for the July 9 theatrical release of ”Predators,” which revives the franchise. First, there’s a trailer for the new film produced by Robert Rodriguez, then a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the new movie and then, in a mini-documentary about the original 1987 movie, it just so happens that Rodriguez and “Predators” director Nimród Antal are among the most prominent voices. There are other extras — there’s audio commentary from director John McTiernan and text commentary by historian Eric Lichtensfeld — but those were culled from the DVD release of the film. The good news is that “Predator” the film holds up splendidly after 23 years thanks to McTiernan’s fast-paced direction and, […]
March 14, 2010 | 12:48 a.m.
It’s a big weekend for “Predators,” the promising Fox film that began the ramp-up to its July 7 release with a sneak peek at South by Southwest in Austin. I just got off the phone with the film’s director, Nimród Antal, and he seemed to be pulsing with enthusiasm. “This is gasoline,” the filmmaker said using an appropriately petroleum-based description for the film’s building buzz at the Lone Star State gathering.”We’re very excited.” Antal is coming off the 2009 film “Armored” which did not go over well with critics although more than a few pointed out the filmmaker’s flair in the ultimately disappointing heist movie. If the L.A. native needed a mentor, he’s certainly got one with this revival of the well-known sci-fi franchise; “Predators” is a product of Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Texas and Rodriguez came up with the story. Antal said the property and the producer […]
Oct. 09, 2009 | 5:14 p.m.
Patrick Goldstein at our sister blog, The Big Picture, was deeply puzzled by the news that Oscar winner Adrien Brody is taking on the lead role in “Predators,” producer Robert Rodriguez’s revisiting of the alien-hunter franchise. Here’s an excerpt: The same Adrien Brody who won an Oscar as a frail musician in “The Pianist,” the same boho hustler who was in Wes Anderson’s “Darjeeling Limited” and Rian Johnson’s “The Brothers Bloom,” the same guy who played the village idiot in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village” and an oddball screenwriter in “King Kong” is now set to play much the same character that Arnold Schwarzenegger played in the 1987 “Predator” original. Does this sound like a miscasting of epic proportions or what? This is no knock on Brody, who is shaping up to be the Jeff Goldblum of his generation, a quirky guy who’s good in […]
July 08, 2009 | 5:36 p.m.
Fifteen years ago, a young-gun filmmaker named Robert Rodriguez was hired to write a new “Predator” film and now, looking back, he can chuckle at the final product he delivered. “It was this crazy, intense off-world story and there was just no way it could be made. The technology wasn’t there yet.” That was then, but this is now. “Predators,” as it will be called, is happening and Rodriguez is producing. I sat down with him for a pleasant lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel and, as our sons sat together munching French fries and drawing pictures, he explained his plans for the summer 2010 sci-fi release. “It’s the story from that script I had written way back then,” Rodriguez said. “They had hired me to write a ‘Predator’ story while I was waiting to do ‘Desperado’ back in 1994. It was crazy, this thing […]