Watch the whole thing HERE!
Posts Tagged ‘Kick-Ass’
Eighteen-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz played a young vampire in Let Me In, a would-be superhero in Kick Ass and cinema’s most famous telekinetic, Carrie. It’s a diverse group of roles, but Moretz says she can draw a straight line from character to character.
“They’re linear,” she says, “in the sense that they’re all strong characters. A lot of them are like me, the basis of them. They all have a big mountain in front of them but they are going to climb it and fight as hard as they can.”
This weekend she stars in The 5th Wave, a world-under-attack sci-fi flick based on Rick Yancey’s young adult novel of the same name. Moretz plays Cassie and her “big mountain” is an alien invasion that devastates the planet, separating her from her younger brother. Can she find her sibling before the deadly 5th wave hits?
You’ll have to buy a ticket to find out. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that it is another spunky performance from the actress.
Over the course of a short but eventful career spirited characters have become her stock in trade. She has made a habit of playing people with rich lives swirling around them. For instance, she’s a sparkplug teenage prostitute in The Equalizer, a confused best friend to Keira Knightley in Laggies and a movie star with a scandalous life in Clouds of Sils Maria.
Here are her top three career defining roles:
Spunky: In If I Stay Moretz plays Mia, a gifted teenage cellist from a family of musicians. When a catastrophic accident throws her into a coma she has an out-of-body experience. The rest of the story is told from the perspective of her memories before the accident and in the present, as she observes, ghostlike, the aftermath of the car crash.
Here she delivers what may be her best performance yet. As Mia she is a talented teen just discovering a life beyond the cello that has been her constant companion since she was young. It’s a simple and uncluttered performance with a lot going on behind the eyes.
Spunkier: In the 2013 remake of Carrie she put her own spin on Stephen King’s most famous character, originally played by Sissy Spacek in 1976. Where Spacek was a true outsider, an abused, naïve girl, Moretz plays her with a bit more pluck. Both are Ugly Ducklings transformed into swans and then monsters, unwitting and undeserving victims of horrible abuse, but Moretz gives Carrie more backbone than her predecessor.
Spunkiest: Undoubtedly her signature spunky performance came in 2010’s Kick-Ass. If Quentin Tarantino made a kid’s coming-of-age movie it might look something like Kick-Ass. It has most of his trademarks — clever dialogue, good soundtrack and some high octane violence — but there’s a twist. The bloodiest, most cutthroat purveyor of ultra violence in the film is an 11-year-old girl.
The action scenes are plentiful and frenetic and once you get past the question, “Why would Chloë Moretz’s parents allow her to do this?” they’re really fun. It’s a little unsettling to see a young girl wielding a switchblade, gunning down dozens of bad guys and going hand-to-hand with a full grown man, but not since Natalie Portman in Léon has the screen seen such a sweet-faced assassin.
On screen eighteen-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz has moved things with her mind, played a hundred-year-old vampire trapped in the body of a twelve-year-old and as a teenage assassin used words so naughty they’d make a sailor blush. She’s done it all—even guided loved ones from beyond the grave—but her new movie sees her in her most precarious situation yet.
“The 5th Wave” is a world-under-attack sci fi flick based on Rick Yancey’s young adult novel of the same name. Moretz plays Cassie, a teenaged survivor of four waves of an alien invasion—or “galactic party crashers” as she calls them—that have devastated earth. “When you’re in high school everything feels like the end of the world,” she says. “Curfews, exams. Turns out what we thought was the end of the world wasn’t.”
The actual end of the world comes when “the others” invade looking for a new planet to call their own. Their first wave knocked out all of earth’s electricity, the second brought floods and quakes, the third wiped out hundreds of thousands of people with bird flu while the fourth saw the aliens get off their ship.
When Cassie becomes separated from her five-year-old brother Sam (Zackary Arthur) she reluctantly teams with Evan (Alex Roe), a hunky he-man cut from leftover Hemsworth cloth, to rescue her sib from a training camp run by the military. Wily but wary of everyone, Cassie must rely on Evan to help find her sibling before the deadly 5th and final wave hits.
Being that “The 5th Wave” is packed with millennial stars and is rather po-faced about itself I guess it can be categorized as a young adult drama but I’m shying away from adding any other descriptive labels to it. It’s not exactly a science fiction story even though it contains aliens—although we never get much of a look at them—and it can’t rightly be called a romance even though there are moony-eyed stares and a brief make-out scene. It certainly isn’t an action film even though we witness some of the world’s landmarks get destroyed and Moretz runs and carries a gun at the same time. Also, don’t look to “The 5th Wave” for pulse racing fight scenes as much of the carnage is off screen, perhaps to protect a teen-friendly rating.
It is a hodge podge of ideas and genres.
It starts off strong with a dark vision of what the end of the world might look like then changes into a portrait of a teenage melodrama with dystopian overtones. The blossoming romance offers up some unintentionally funny scenes, although I wouldn’t call this a comedy either.
Moretz has a way with action roles—think Hit Girl in “Kick-Ass”—so her return to a more physical role is welcome, but as a young adult vehicle it will leave you hungry for another episode of “The Hunger Games.”
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Like a violent “My Fair Lady,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service” takes a guy from the wrong side of the tracks and transforms him into a Kingsman Tailor. They are a super spy organization with manners that would make Henry Higgins proud and gadgets that James Bond would envy.
Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is a Kingman, codename Galahad. He’s a dapper Dan and a dangerous man who takes rebellious teenager Eggsy (Taron Egerton) under his wing, in part to repay a debt owed to the boy’s father, in part to groom him to join the organization.
The Kingsman are the modern day knights; their finely tailored suits are their armour. If Eggsy makes it through “the most dangerous job interview in the world” he will adopt the name Lancelot and take his place in a glamorous and dangerous 007ish world of intrigue.
While Eggsy is in training Galahad is investigating the interesting case of internet billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson)—imagine a more malevolent Bill Gates or Steve Jobs with aspirations of world domination… oh wait….—and his evil plot to save the world by destroying it and starting again.
At one point Galahad says, “Give me a farfetched theatrical plot any day,” and director Matthew “Kick-Ass” Vaughn grants that wish. Working from a 2012 spy comic book series written by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, the director has embraced the story’s absurdity, delivering a demented movie that is at once an homage to James Bond and his ilk and a satire of spy movies.
Then idea of the gentleman spy is played out to the nth degree—a proper Kingsman even has his own martini, gin, stirred for ten seconds while glancing at an unopened bottle of vermouth—but this isn’t a genteel movie. Ultraviolent—one frenetic fight scene makes the shooting, stabbing, punching and impaling of the bloody “Walking Dead” look like “My Fair Lady”—and raunchy—a smirky sex joke at the end would make even James Bond raise an eyebrow—“Kingsman: The Secret Service” pushes the limits, and is as extreme as it is entertaining.
Vaughn clearly has franchise hopes here and lays a good foundation despite some lapses in taste, but it is difficult to see how much more he can push the envelope before even the not-easily-shocked Galahad might think it was too farfetched.
Seventeen-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz has played a young vampire in Let Me In, a would-be superhero in Kick Ass and cinema’s most famous telekinetic, Carrie. It’s a diverse group of roles, but Moretz says she can draw a straight line from character to character.
“They’re linear,” she says, “in the sense that they’re all strong characters. A lot of them are like me, the basis of them. They all have a big mountain in front of them but they are going to climb it and fight as hard as they can. The weakest character, but also the strongest character, I’ve played is Carrie. She is two different characters in one, so diverse and so dark. There is so much to learn from her.”
In her new film If I Stay, she plays Mia, a gifted teenage cellist from a family of musicians. When a catastrophic accident throws her into a coma, she has an out-of-body experience.
The rest of the story is told from the perspective of her memories before the accident and in the present, as she observes, ghostlike, the aftermath of the car crash.
The character appealed to her because she saw some of herself in Mia.
“She’s an introvert until she plays the cello and the cello brings her alive. It’s how I am. I’m pretty shy, unless I’m speaking about my job. I’m really shy around teenagers my age. Sometimes it’s because they judge me and it kind of scares me. Crowds scare me, teenagers scare me, new people. I get really quiet and awkward.”
With that insight, she hoped to make Mia true to the character created by author Gayle Forman in the bestselling book that inspired the movie.
“My biggest thing was making her honest to the book,” she says.
“I have been a fan of book series, and then I’ll see the movie and think, ‘That was such a let-down.’ I hate that feeling because for me, I want to be able to be a fan of my own work.”
The movie is a tear jerker, but Moretz says she doesn’t like it “when people chalk up a movie to being all about crying. I like to walk out of a movie feeling like I have learned something, that something’s changed.”
After seeing If I Stay, she hopes audiences “leave feeling they felt something. It is a really beautiful movie about life and death and happiness and sadness and music.
“It is a beautiful story — a moment in time that doesn’t really have any boundaries.”
If Quentin Tarantino made a kid’s coming-of-age movie it might look something like “Kick-Ass”. It has most of his trademarks—clever dialogue, good soundtrack and some high octane violence—but there’s a twist. The bloodiest, most cut throat purveyor of ultra violence in the film is an eleven year old girl.
Based on a wild indie comic of the same name by Mark Millar “Kick-Ass” tells a couple of intertwining stories. First up is Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a fanboy who creates a superhero alter ego called Kick-Ass as a way to boost his self esteem. In life he says his only superpower is being invisible to girls, but when he dons the suit he becomes… only marginally more super. His exploits, however, grab the attention of Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloë Moretz), a slightly psychotic father and daughter team of masked (and in Hit Girl’s case, wigged) avengers who admire Ass’s style and moxy. For the caped crusaders in “Kiss-Ass” all roads lead to drug lord Frank D’Amico (a suitably evil Mark Strong) a ruthless tough guy who is unafraid to go all medieval—his men even use a giant microwave as a torture device—on his enemies.
The action scenes are plentiful and frenetic and once you get past the question, “Why would Chloë Moretz’s parents allow her to do this?” they’re really fun. It’s a little unsettling to see a young girl wielding a switchblade, gunning down dozens of bad guys and going hand-to-hand with a full grown man, but for superhero starved audiences—“Iron Man” won’t be out until next month!—Hit Girl could become a guilty pleasure. It’s not right, and the character will likely be controversial, but it is cool. Not since Natalie Portman in “Léon” has the screen seen such a sweet faced assassin.
But Chloë Moretz’s performance isn’t all high flying action. She makes the best of the darkly comic script, playing both sides of the Mindy / Hit Girl character. Out of costume she has a sweet playful side that pretty much evaporates when she puts on the wig and the weapons.
She plays well off Cage, who once again scores with a very loopy performance, but it is her ability to bring some exuberant fun to her scenes that is “Kick-Ass’s” strongest suit.
“Kick-Ass” is an unusual coming of age story in all respects except one, and that is the film’s weakness. The love story between Dave and Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca) is typical teen fare and is soon forgotten when the action kicks in.
Apart from the mushy teen stuff, however, “Kick-Ass” is one movie that lives up to its title.
Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Iron Man are the gold standard for comic book characters on the big screen. Between them, they have grossed a heroic amount of money, literally adding billions of dollars to box office tallies. They are the bigwigs, the VIPs of the superhero world, but there are dozens of other, lesser known, comic book characters that have made the leap from the page to the stage.
Hit Girl, the ruthless eleven-year-old vigilante played by Chloë Grace Moretz in this weekend’s Kick-Ass, might not be a match for Batman’s bat-shaped shurikens or his box office pull, but Jeff Moss, the proprietor of Montreal’s coolest comic book shop, The 4th Wall, says her story has all the makings of a great movie adaptation.
“For a comic to make a good movie it must have, first and foremost, good characters,” he says. “Also, if the story’s not there, it’s not going to make a good movie. Next up, it’s got to have good visuals and decent ‘Whoa’ moments.”
The 1999 superhero comedy Mystery Men—based on Flaming Carrot Comics by Bob Burden—works because of the mix of story and offbeat characters. Paul Reubens, for instance, plays The Spleen, a crime fighter who uses turbo flatulence to level his enemies and Leader of the Disco Boys, as played by Eddie Izzard, neutralizes his adversaries with a can of highly flammable hairspray. It doesn’t have the all-American heroics of Superman, but Mystery Men has become a cult classic.
Bulletproof Monk, loosely based on Michael Avon Oeming’s comic book, delivers on Moss’s “whoa” moments. Chow Yun-Fat, hot off of the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, starred as a Tibetan monk who trains a street kid to protect a sacred scroll. Its combination of martial arts and humor didn’t score at the box office, but it makes for a good rental.
While it may seem that every comic ever written has been turned into movies—an IMDB search for based-on-comic-book returned 607 titles—not all necessarily lend themselves to the Hollywood treatment.
“Some of my favorite comics that have yet to be made into movies include Preacher, Transmetropolitan, Nextwave, and Bone,” says Moss. “All of these books have rich characters, and amazing storylines, but the sheer size of them (Bone clocks in at 1300 pages, and Preacher runs nine volumes) would require either a series of movies, or a supreme dumbing down of the stories.”