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Guilty Pleasure Movies of 2004

By Bert Ehrmann

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Fort Wayne Reader

2004-01-26


Every year movie studios release a group of movies that can best be described as “guilty-pleasures.” These are the sort of movies that serve no purpose other than to fill a few hours with (sometimes forgettable) enjoyment. Not all movies can be considered classics and the following movies don’t even pretend to be.

A Sound of Thunder — Based on Ray Bradbury’s classic story, this movie follows a big game hunter (Ed Burns) as he travels to the past hunting dinosaurs. During the hunt everything goes wrong and the big game hunter accidentally steps on a butterfly, subtly altering events. Upon returning to his present the hunter discovers that this small act has changed his present into an almost unrecognizable reality. The movie seems to be putting a new spin on this story, with the big game hunter discovering that someone’s taken a butterfly from the past to their present thereby disrupting the flow of time. The movie will continue on with the hunter going back to set things right. As long as the dinosaurs look cool I’m into this movie. Can there ever be too many dinosaur movies?

I, Robot — Another movie based off of a classic story, this one written by Isaac Asimov, I Robot follows a police detective (Will Smith) set in the future investigating a murder. This murder is a bit unique in that it appears as if it main suspect is a robot, breaking its deepest and most secure programming to not harm humans. And if one robot can break this programming what’s stopping the rest? Is this murder just a murder or the first shot in a rebellion?

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow — Sky Captain follows a pulp style action hero (Jude Law) and a inquisitive reporter (Gwyneth Paltrow) trying to uncover why the world’s most brilliant scientists are going missing in late 1930’s America. The trailer for the movie features giant robots attacking a New York City seemingly inspired by the paintings in old “Popular Science”. Reports from the set indicate that the movie’s already been created in the director’s computer and that the actors are shooting their scenes on a blue-screen to match completed special effects shots. Talk about the director controlling the performance!

Dawn of the Dead — The original Dawn of the Dead was shot in the late 1970’s by zombie maestro George Romero and is considered a classic horror movie on par with The Exorcist and Halloween. Some may question the need to remake such a classic. That reason is money.

Remakes haven been doing good at the box office of late and that’s reason enough for the movie studios. This remake follows the original in that the characters are trapped inside a mall while ravenous flesh eating zombies stalk outside. The remake differs from the original in that it will probably have none of the consumer culture undertones of the original while amping up the action and violence.

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