House Logo
Explore categories +

Sam Worthington (#110 of 4)

15 Famous Movie Ledges

Comments Comments (...)

15 Famous Movie Ledges
15 Famous Movie Ledges

Hitting theaters this week is Man on a Ledge, a rather unsubtly titled thriller that stars Sam Worthington as a guy whose nowhere-left-to-turn predicament has him doing the old wave-down-at-the-masses bit. This isn’t the first time Worthington has flirted with dizzying precipices (his motion-captured doppelgänger braved the floating mountains of Pandora), and it certainly isn’t the first time Hollywood has tormented acrophobics. Movies have long been living on the edge, ever intent on serving up vicarious vertigo. For proof, here’s a list of 15 memorable movie ledges, from cliffs to rooftops to ominous subway platforms. Safety nets not included.

Im In Ur Planet Incitin Rebellion: Avatar

Comments Comments (...)

Im In Ur Planet Incitin Rebellion: <em>Avatar</em>
Im In Ur Planet Incitin Rebellion: <em>Avatar</em>

“Yousa people gonna die?”

In his introduction to Science Fiction Art: The Fantasies of SF, Brian Aldiss writes:

“Science Fiction is a romance with the near-possible. Fantasy is a flirtation with the near-impossible. But science fiction is a part of fantasy; and who knows any longer what is possible or impossible? We are left with romance. Here it is, in a riot of colour and imagination.”

Avatar, writer-director-übernerd James Cameron’s latest 300 million USD sci-fi/fantasy epic, is not just a riot; it’s a full scale uprising of color and imagination. It’s like staring at an “Astounding Science Fiction” cover for eight hours while somebody drips LSD on your eyeballs. It’s almost impossibly, illegally, blasphemously gorgeous to look at. Which is a shame, really, because the story is utter bollocks, and its central themes are confused at best, trite at worst.

Cameron has always been a filmmaker with grandstanding ideas and magnificent zeal, and here he outdoes himself by creating a numinous and oneiric universe, complete with its own mythology, evolutionary biology, and language. The problem is that the two most essential facets of film, story and character, have taken a back seat here—in fact, they seem to be riding on a different car altogether. I was reminded of Richard Attenborough’s eccentric billionaire in Jurassic Park, in complete awe of his creation even as things fall apart all around him, taking simple solace in his defensive mantra: “We’ve spared no expense.”

Review: Avatar

Comments Comments (...)

Review: <em>Avatar</em>
Review: <em>Avatar</em>

James Cameron’s Avatar is through and through his baby—it promises a lot and, though it has very little in the way of stamina, it initially delivers in a big way. In the first hour, Cameron lets loose a barrage of technical wizardry that makes the film’s world one of the most dazzling and consistently engrossing cinematic fantasy lands of recent memory. Avatar doesn’t try to break any new ground with its generic story of a group of corporate commandos who seek to steal an indigenous alien population’s natural resources. At its core, the film is a cookie-cutter story of a soldier who switches sides once he finds out, as a lanky nude smurf, how green the grass is. Cameron is all too happy to be so conventional. He has the technology and knows he only has to use it to build a better jungle world of noble alien savages. He’s not the genre messiah, but clearly it doesn’t hurt to hype him up as such.

Cameron knows the viewer will recognize Avatar’s story from elsewhere, whether as the love affair between John Smith and Pocahontas or almost all of Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (don’t judge me) and so tries to dazzle the viewer with “shock and awe,” as one scientist-cum-soldier puts it, laying bare both the film’s political context and aesthetic strategy. From there, once it’s successfully dazzled the viewer with enough technological firepower to keep Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay busy for several lifetimes, it’s mission should be, ahem, accomplished.

Not Our Future: Terminator Salvation

Comments Comments (...)

Not Our Future: <em>Terminator Salvation</em>
Not Our Future: <em>Terminator Salvation</em>

It’s almost redundant, but the opening of Terminator Salvation is a harsh reminder that we’re not under the watchful hand of James Cameron or even witness to Jonathan Mostow’s ham-fisted glory. Thematically, it should be the same: orchestral tones, the slow-burn title sequence and jolting futuristic action. Instead we’re given a computer code-inspired sequence littered with colons, dashes and brackets to remind us that we’re about to see something involving robots and lasers. Instead of focusing on the actors, like the original, the first thing we’re told as an audience: this is “A Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek production.” Two minutes later, as the familiar “DA-DA DA, NUH NUH” blares across the THX, it is confirmed: this is “[Directed by McG;]”