May 6, 2004 |
To hear Stephen Sommers tell it, all he wanted to do after cavorting through Egyptian tombs with the digital undead for "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" was make a small, personal film about two people chatting on a beach. And most who knew the 42-year-old director responded: "Suuuuuure." What Sommers actually did was plunge headlong into writing and directing "Van Helsing," an epic horror adventure shot in Prague, Rome, Paris, New Zealand and L.A.
May 14, 1999 |
When Stephen Sommers' expensive monster movie "Deep Rising" bombed at the box office last year, his phone didn't ring for a week. This week, the director's phone hasn't stopped ringing. Nor has his agent's. Producers and studio executives are now clamoring to be in business with the 40-year-old writer-director. It's no wonder. Sommers' ambitious $82-million remake of "The Mummy" for Universal Pictures debuted last weekend as the nation's highest-grossing film. It took in a whopping $43.
December 23, 1994 |
Though aimed at younger audiences, "Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book" makes its case for the nobility of the "wild child" in a manner more entertaining and far less condescending than the recent Jodie Foster vehicle, "Nell." This is Hollywood's third pass on Kipling's adventures of Mowgli, the young Indian raised by wild animals. In Zoltan Korda's 1942 adaptation, Mowgli simply wandered from his family before encountering his bestial tutors.
February 4, 1994 |
"Gunmen" (selected theaters) is the kind of picture people are talking about when they express concern over excessive screen violence. Murky in plot, sketchy in characterization, routinely crafted--except for Hiro Narita's fine noirish camerawork--it exists only as an excuse to depict the piling up of bullet-riddled corpses. Considering its relentless mediocrity, it is amazing that it was actually previewed for critics rather than opening cold.
April 19, 2002 |
Someone's gone to the trouble of making a comic-book version of "The Scorpion King," but it's not clear why they bothered. The movie itself is a live-action cartoon, a fast-moving and cheerfully simplistic 88 minutes of exaggerated action put together with the preteen boy in mind.
January 30, 1998 |
With the Titanic, it was a plain old iceberg that did it in. But with "Deep Rising's" brand-new $487.6-million pleasure ship the Argonautica, it's immense sea serpents lurking in the depths of the South China Sea, surfacing to feast on its guests and wrecking the vessel in the process. Imagine a giant octopus, at least as big as a mansion with many more tentacles than eight. Each tentacle is like the hose of a vacuum cleaner, its opening like a Venus' flytrap surrounded by pincers.