Archive for January, 2012

Recently I viewed the trailer for the new upcoming superhero movie “Chronicle”; if you haven’t heard anything regarding this movie it’s not surprising. To start things off; 1) the director Josh Trank (The Kill Point) is relatively new to directing, with Chronicle only being his second project as the director. 2) The writer Max Landis is also a somewhat unheard of in regards to Hollywood, unless you count his small role in Blues Brothers 2000 as a block busting success. 3) The lead actors of the movie; Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly and Alex Russell are mostly un-heard of when it comes to starring in feature length Hollywood movies, minus Michael Kelly (Dawn of the Dead, The Changeling, The Adjustment Bureau). These facts culminate into one big clump of success-uncertainty: either this movie will be highly successful or it will be a dire failure.

Being that Chronicle has been in the movie news in one extent or the other since 2010 you would think that there would at least be some type of “promotional push” for the film starting in 2011. Well, you would be mistaken. I can tell you right now that with all the time I have spent scowering through the inter-web looking for juicy bits on knowledge regarding upcoming movies, or been at the theatre early just to catch the trailers, I haven’t  seen one trailer for it at all..Unless it wasn’t an interesting enough trailer to catch my at times dwindling attention span. The promotional team for the film (in my opinion) has dropped the proverbial soap on this occasion, especially since there are so many feature titles such as; Ghost Rider: Spirit of vengeance, Woman in black, Journey 2: The mysterious island and Safe House to contend with in February. For me these reasons alone raise concerns in the film’s success.

Storyline: Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

The storyline is basic enough, showing some creativity but also drawing from other film/filming ideas that have been overdone countless times (mutants, super powers, teen dramas, good vs. evil, shaky camera films). You basically get the gist of what is going to happen during the film just by watching the trailer: stupid teenagers stumble upon something in the woods (either aliens or failed government experiment), they get “cool” superpowers, teenagers screw with innocent bystanders as they learn powers, they abuse said powers, government agency learns of teenagers and most likely tries to catch/experiment on them, one or two teens become “evil” and a giant super power/ special effect battle ensues. There’s a strange feeling brewing in my mind, as if I too have gained a superpower… the power of determining the plot of a movie and ruining it before it comes to theatres, is it ESP? Will I have my own psychic hotline with a commercial that plays between the “girls gone wild” commercials and “Proactiv”?

No, I’ve just learned from past experience that more often than not, “action/sci-fi” are becoming more about the special effects then about character and story development. It’s a sad day when there’s more in-depth storylines in video games then there are in movies. As someone who enjoys superhero movies I am edging towards actually paying to see this movie in theatres but have the strange feeling I may or may not be disappointed, we’ll have to wait until February 3rd when Chronicle releases to theaters to figure that one out.

What are you thoughts on this movie and the trailer?

It’s common knowledge that throughout the many years of cinema there have always been a few key cities that have been the focal points for filming, whether it be for their tall skyscrapers, picturesque locations, weather, monuments or because of the truck loads of money the city government is willing to pay the film company to shoot there. New York City, Los Angeles. Of course you’ll have the occasional city of town outside of the state of New York or California, such as Seattle, Portland, Chicago and sometimes D.C. that will make the cut and earn the right to have a full-length movie filmed in their city, but more times than not it rarely happens…unfortunately.

In the last 2 years there have been over 40 movies filmed or take place in L.A. not including various T.V. shows. In New York City over 64 have been filmed or have taken place there. I do understand that New York City and L.A. are two of the most recognizable cities in the U.S. but I say we’re in need of a change of scenery. I challenge my readers to find someone not originally from this country and ask them about New York City or L.A., I guarantee they’ll tell you the state it’s in, street names, famous locations/ monuments and maybe where to go to get a good slice of NYC pizza or a hot dog from Pinks in L.A.. Now ask them where Portland is and I think you’ll get a couple blank stares and a confused look or two. That’s the issue with today’s film makers, there’s little to no creativity when it comes to most directors film locations. There have been so many locations in NYC and L.A. that have been over used/ over filmed that I’m sure you couldn’t walk down the street without tripping over a busted up stunt man or running into a “producer” taking location pictures for a future movie.

Imagine what aliens interested in visiting our world would think if they started picking up satellite frequencies from the U.S. and saw movies set in L.A. or NYC and mistook them for real life. They’d think that those cities are filled with zombies, Terminators, giant robots, super heroes and mutant lizards…which maybe is not too far from the truth. My point is there are numerous areas across the country that would; 1) benefit from having films done in their town or city (especially during this bad economy) and 2) have beautiful forests, parks, topographical features and historic buildings that blow NYC and L.A. out of the water. I’d rather have people look at today’s films and see the beauty of our ENTIRE country and not just a couple over-glamorized cities on the coast. So to the directors I say this: when picking a new location to do your new feature film, look a lot farther than your desk, internet or where you live because there’s thousands of possibilities out there, you just got to go and look for them.

Respecting Gonzo

Posted: January 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

“A word to the wise is infuriating” – Hunter S. Thompson

There is a scourge on this earth, and it leaves a trail of blasphemous adaptations in its wake: it calls itself Hollywood.  The industrialized machine that is American filmmaking is out of ideas, and has decided, in crisis, to look to the master story tellers for guidance.  They are digging old books out of their sacred resting places and burning their carcasses in effigy.

Point in case… Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary. There should be a high counsel of Thompson fans charged with the task of making sure nothing like this ever happens again.  They will arm themselves with mescaline and a fiery hatred of Ronald Reagan, and fight the good fight, doing whatever it takes to stop those Hollywood sickos.

The Rum Diary, the story of a journalist who, in the 1950’s, travels from New York to work for The Daily News in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was Thompson’s second novel, though it remained unpublished until 1998 (Prince Jellyfish, his first, is still unpublished).  It is fast-paced like a racehorse on blow, and violently sexy, like Nancy Spungen’s smeared lipstick.  It is a glimpse into Thompson as ingénue, his alcohol lust, his attitudes toward women, and the life-giving qualities he found in putting a pen to paper.  The Rum Diary was a treat for fans, its film adaptation was not… with ubiquitously fuckable lead Actress, ubiquitously quirky lead actor, plot lines we’ve seen so many times before the ‘zigs’ and ‘zags’ could be guessed with surprising accuracy, it left me annoyed and uninspired. 

Please, Hollywood, hear my plea. Even Gary Oldman couldn’t save The Scarlet Letter (1995), and the films I, Robot (2004) and Bicentennial Man (1999) would be a double feature to devastate any Asimov fan. And it hurts a book nerd’s heart to remember the infamously terrible production of The Bonfire of the Vanities. Enough is enough.

Article was written by Guest blogger Mary Heydron. For more articles regarding literature and libations find her blog ‘Wordbrew’ at wordbrew.wordpress.com

well its finally happened, they’ve made a new clash of the titans movie..and honestly i’m excited to see it. New story with the same actors from the previous film, this should be good. But i wont see it in 3-D. What about you? are you equally excited to see it?

Okay kids pack your bags, say your prayers and keep your boom sticks and chainsaws close, were heading back to the woods to our favorite gore filled and demon infested cabin. That’s right kids it looks like they are finally getting serious about doing the ‘Evil Dead’ remake in 2013. According to bloody-disgusting.com;

The Fede Alvarez directed and co-written film will be being production on location in New Zealand in March of this year. Fede Alvarez directs from his own screenplay co-written with Rodo Sayagues. Revisions were done by Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody.

As a fan of the original The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, I can’t help but be skeptical about remaking this movie. But it seems yet again that “Hollywood” has to go down to the basement and dust off the Necronomicon that they ‘believe’ needs to be re-done. I’m sure that I’m not the only film geek who feels this way. A couple small saviors to this unholy action are the facts that the director of the original 1981’s ‘The Evil Dead’ Sam Raimi was brought in to write the screenplay and be a producer and Bruce Campbell also (to produce not act unfortunately). If I were in Sam Raimi’s shoes and was asked to write a screenplay for a movie that I did over 30 years ago, I think it’s easy to say that I’d be well…pretty pissed off, It would be a big slap in the face for me. Director Fede Alvarez (Panic Attack!) and writer Rodo Sayagues (Panic Attack!) are claiming that their “remake” is based on a screenplay they wrote together, but here’s the small issue amigos your version pretty much sounds like Sam Raimi’s version (minus the drug addiction). I am sure they made some tweaks here and there to make their version more distinguishable than the original, but it will take a lot more than that to sway this writer’s heart.

To the director; even though I will NOT go and see this movie I do have some personal requests; please refrain from making it into some hokey, hip, trendy horror movie filled with needless  and ‘forced’ comedic lines and un-needed sex scenes. That’s not what the original movie was about. Sam Raimi didn’t have that in his film and it was highly successful, so take some pointers from the idiots guide to directing and make it dark, gory, entertaining and true to the original you’re remaking, not for my sake but for the ticket buyers who’ll be lining your pockets. For the future viewers of this movie I say this; Because of drug use being part of the story, don’t be surprised if there are some Fear and loathing in Las Vegas type moments in the movie. And lastly don’t put all of your hopes into this movie because I’m pretty sure that you’ll be disappointed and the Necronomicon may come and steal your souls if Hollywood hasn’t done it already.

Original Synopsis:  Mia, a young woman struggling with sobriety, heads to a remote cabin with her brother and a group of friends, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads to danger and horror.

It has been one of the most asked questions as of late that’s spread across the internet universe, it’s caused fierce arguments between bloggers and Alien movie fans, mass amounts of speculation and caused the breakup of numerous families (not really). The big question in discussion is whether or not Ridley Scott’s new movie Prometheus is a prequel to the first Alien movie or is it the start to an original Sci-Fi movie project? With the new Prometheus trailer released, it in my opinion has not reduced the amount of speculation regarding this film. As of now Ridley Scott has “danced” around the issue of whether or not his new film is a prequel or not, he has said that the movie takes place in the same world as Alien which would make sense namely because of a few clips you see during the trailer; 1) The ship you see in the trailer is the same type (if not the same one) you seen in the first and third Alien movies 2) In one of the scenes you see the skull or helmet of a “Space Jockey”( you also see a corpse of a Space Jockey in the first Alien movie 3) towards the end of the trailer you see the scene of the “Space Jockey Cannon” rising up from the platform (with a possible space jockey standing next to it?). These are a few of the things that I’ve noticed about the trailer and I’m sure since the movie doesn’t release to theaters until June 8th of this year, there will be more pictures and trailers released and there will be even more time for speculation.    

                For now Mr. Scott has done an excellent job of keeping us all mystified and in the dark as well as continually guessing as to what’s going to take place during this movie. There is enough shown during the trailer to catch our attention and to keep our wide eyed and drooling faces inches away from the screen, as we watch the trailer 20 times in slow motion just to catch a glimpse of anything that might give us more information about the upcoming movie. I for one hope that it would be a prequel to Alien, as someone who loves “back story” I would really like to know the answers to a couple of questions I have about the first Alien movie; 1) What caused the ship to land/crash or stay on that planet? 2) What happened to the alien that came out of the dead Space Jockey? 3) Who created the aliens and why were they on the ship? Ridley Scott I have a question that I would like answered; if Prometheus isn’t going to be a prequel would it instead be a start to an entirely new saga? If that is going to be the case I wouldn’t be disappointed if we saw a Xenomorph or two pop up every now and then.  There are so many unknowns regarding this movie so for now my barrage of questions will have to remain unanswered.  So to the readers out there; what are your “chest bursting” thoughts regarding Prometheus?

The newest Prometheus trailer once again jumpstarts my excitement about Ridley Scott movies, cannot wait for the newest trailers and screen shots yet to come. How about you?

It seems inevitable that we will never escape the ever-growing ‘fad’ of zombie movies, T.V. shows and zombie survival books. I for one cannot complain about some of the movies and T.V. shows that highlight zombies such as “Dawn of the Dead”, “The Walking Dead” and my all time favorite “Shaun of the dead”.  It was nice seeing these movies pop up every now and then, but now it seems that we cannot escape the zombie onslaught that approaches to devour our hopes of originality coming from Hollywood. In 2010-11 there have been over 65 zombie related films released; I know that’s hard to believe but its true…unfortunately. I could not believe how many films about zombies were made within the last two years and those numbers weren’t including the films done in the years before 2010, not to mention there are already a couple of zombie movies in the works for 2012, most notably “World War Z” featuring Brad Pitt. No matter what kind of title you dream up for a zombie movie it always contains the same obvious story and plots and just to prove just that I will give you the synopsis of every zombie movie ever made.

 There will some type of natural disaster, disease outbreak or nuclear war that revives people from the dead or mutates them into flesh-eating undead monsters, there will the hero(es) or survivors that before the zombie disaster were just ordinary people who band together to survive and of course there will be buckets of guts and gore.  Some of these people will survive and some people will die and/or be changed into (you guessed it) zombies! And of course one of my favorite notes about these films is that somehow these “every day Joes and Jane’s” who supposedly have never used a gun or done martial arts before, magically are getting head shots with their dual wielding Desert Eagles  and doing perfect Chuck Norris style round house kicks to zombies faces. I think that description really sums up any zombie movie ever made or being made.

Here is a great idea for a creative or original zombie movie, the movie will follow the life of the zombie from beginning to end, from when they were still human and had families and jobs,  then something happens they get bit or infected someway and the movie follows them while they live their zombie lives until they get killed. That is a simple and pretty original story in my opinion and most likely no one would ever use it because our movie culture is happy with monotony and un-original ideas, they would rather take something that’s already been done several times and put their ‘own’ personal spin on it and once again completing the ever continuous circle of crap. Whatever happened to only seeing zombie movies during Halloween? Have we reached the point of no return where we have to see unending blood and carnage in movies just to enjoy them? Is it possible to have a movie without all the unnecessary violence? I for one hope so. So Hollywood how about you let the zombies take a break for a little while and let them rest in peace for a couple of years.