Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ten Random Thoughts on Oblivion!

 

1. Like sitting in a waiting room and flipping through Wired magazine, an issue of National Geographic, and an Ikea catalog.

2. I know it's hard to not drench your movie in Stanley Kubrick 2001 fan drool when making a serious science fiction flick, but I would love to see someone try.

3. I kept wondering if this movie had anything to do with Scientology. Like was this some disguised tract, like Cruise is handing them out at the mall or something. Who knows. I know nothing about Scientology. But that's what I kept thinking. It's a long movie.

4. His space suit looks like footy pjs.

5. I loved how everyone was just sitting around waiting for Tom Cruise to validate and or save them. Everybody just sits on their hands waiting for Tom to show up and get it done. I suppose he is Tom Cruise. 

6. Positive reinforcement time! Good job on all the industrial design stuff. Awesome detail and you could see all the inner workings. It was total gadget porn.

7. There are some twisteroos that I didn't see coming. If you take them to the logical conclusion, you could wind up with a giant mess, but we really don't want to mess with that right? This is heady sci-fi, but ya know, let's not get carried away.

8. I have never seen a post human earth like this. Really neat idea. Not just your typical ghost town with weeds growing in the street cracks.

9. Morgan Freeman looks great in goggles.

10. I want one of those swimming pools.

SHOW STOPPER! There's a shot that tracks a robotic drone through the set of Alien 3. It was neat. 

SHOW STOPPER 2!! That poster up there. Am I right? Come on. That is sexy.

How's the title sequence? It's all at the end and very pretty. But I was ready to leave.

Final Thought: This director is making the Black Hole remake. He keeps making movies that I want to see and this is strike two. I saw both his movies on opening weekend. He makes total geek bait. But both this and Tron 2 are pretty to look at but after 30 minutes you just want to go home and wash clothes or something.

PAIRS WELL WITH: American Beauty. I don't know why. Both are stories about everyday Joes caught in a rut and trying to buck the status quo to regain a feeling of belonging that they have lost. Just ruined the movie, didn't I.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Star Wars : Dream Fiction




Last night I dreamed of Star Wars. Maybe this was Episode VII anxiety manifesting, but here it goes. What I remember from the dream.

Luke was old, like Mark Hamill old, as was Han and Lea, so it must have been Ep. VII.

I am watching the movie in the dream, not participating, though it feels super 3D. I can smell the Gold Bond powder.

They have caught Han Solo, and they are going to dip him in a big vat of space evil to turn him into the ultimate killing space monster. He's all scared and worried and all the other cast are in these cages, like slaughter house cages.

This pit of evil, well, it looks like one of the vats of chocolate from Starbucks. Those can be nasty.

Somehow they escape and are running around the evil space station, and there I realize how low budget this one is because they shot it in the Mall of Georgia. They are running down Escalators and past Shoe Carnival and whatnot. I always hate when advance societies look like giant shopping malls.

In the end, they all get tired of running and fighting, because when does that ever solve anything. And so Luke makes everyone sit down to diner. Good Force and Dark Force all sit down around some hot space food and Luke wants everyone to talk about their feelings. Luke starts it up by looking Han in the face and saying that he feels that Han isn't ever there. like he is there, but his mind is always a million miles away. Luke needs Han to be there. Really there.

That makes the movie too awkward to continue and the end credits role, These are super cool end credits that look like the old Star Wars arcade game where everything was made of blue outlines.

Everyone in the theater is furious and dumbstruck by how terrible this was. It was Holiday Special bad. We can''t believe J.J. Abrams made such a terrible abomination and everyone reevaluates the prequels as not being that bad. Especially now that we have Episode VII: I Never Promised You A Space Station.

SD

ps - found this bit of awesome looking for  Star Wars Norman Rockwell.






Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ten Random Thoughts: Life of Pi (2012)

From the creators of Air Bud


1.
So who doesn't love 3D? Come one, you look at the screen and things just pop out at you! In Life of Pi, it was like the message was right there in my face!

2.
I don't like 3D. Does that make me the most boring person ever? Good! Now let me finish my soup.

3.
I really thought that was a real tiger. I told my wife, "Man I can't believe that tiger." She said, "I know." I said,"I would have never gotten in that boat with a tiger!" She said,"With a cartoon tiger?" I said, "whatthahuh?"

4.
Richard Servello worked on the VFX and did a freaking crazy great job. Who's he you ask? Well he was one of the awesome dudes that swung in out of a digital tree and saved my ass back in 06 when I was finishing my ode to chicken movie and had no visual effects. Seriously, it was ridiculous: people running around playing guns, going pew pew pew. He was in Fort Lauderdale, I was in Atlanta, this is pre Facebook, so it was all a series of emails that ended with a reel of rad effect shots that I cut into the flick. And as thanks for all his hard work Richard has been taking the flack for all the crappy effects that I did myself and cut into the movie as an after thought. Life of Pi may have had some cool effects, but it was the Servello Factor that gave it the edge needed to bring home Oscar. That's the truth, Ruth.

5.
Ang Lee makes a family film and fills it with crazy LSD imagery  It's like that drunk elephant scene in Dumbo. You never know what that Ang Lee is going to do. He's pretty tricky that Ang Lee. Though this is perfect for Ang. He likes to make movies where people sit and stare and think about stuff. A big kung fu movie? Sure, as long as the warriors can sit down and sip tea for half the movie. Hulk? Can we show him meditate in the desert, admiring the way the sediment creates designs in the rocks? Sure Ang, whatever you want to do. Here is his ultimate movie because it's just some guy on a boat thinking about deep important spiritual questions. Ya know, for kids!

6.
And they advertised as a family film? I wouldn't know what to call it myself. Had I taken my kids though they would have rioted and started eating the other families in the theater.

7.
Spirituality. Religion. The big tapestry of life. Is there a great plan in the universe? Why are we here? Why do we believe what we do? Truth? Is there such a thing? I think the movie is trying to say... Look! A CG Monkey!

8.
But seriously folks, the movie gives every side a voice so what could have been shameless soap boxing came out even headed and thoughtful. And they even through in some bumper sticker platitudes that you can rattle of at your next dinner party.

9.
I can see why James Cameron was all over this. A boat sinks and there is a lot of day-glow raver sea life everywhere.

10.
Being stranded at sea is the most terrifying thing I can think of. That and being trapped in a coal mine. Oh, and being tortured in a prison. Oh, and being in one of those rooms that fill up with water. Eaten by a shark? Not so much. I think the whole time you'd be so surprised that it was happening it'd be over before you could rap your head around it. Underneath all the screaming and flailing my mind would be going,"So this is it? I'm getting eaten by a shark. Never saw that coming."

Showstopper! - That lotus flour on the island. What? It's Ang Lee! What were you expecting?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Rash Ramblings - Antiviral!




Long live the new Cronenflesh!

Do you remember when eXsistenZ came out and that awesome scene happened when Jude Law ate the fish and then turned the fish bones into a gun? Remember that warm feeling you got and just sat back in your movie chair and grinned and stepped out side your body, looked around and felt peace, inner peace because all was right in the world. Cronenberg is being freaky and there is balance in the universe.

So now David has gotten all that bio-horror out of his system, and who can blame him. After Videodrome, there is nothing more you can do with it. I would have retired after Videodrome. That movie ruins all bio horror, everything is "kinda like Videodrome" after that. Cronenberg owns the market. Or he did. Now he makes SMART IMPORTANT movies for SMART IMPORTANT people. That's great. Go for it. But sometimes I just want to see someones face pop open and a bunch of rubber snakes jump out.

With all that out in the open, I am thrilled that Antiviral is getting a little release in theaters. Son of Cronenberg has taken the terrible childhood that came from being Son of Cronenberg and redirected all those embarrassing moments into a film career.

You think your childhood was rough? Can you imagine what being raised by David "look into my skin gap" Cronenberg must have been like? Never inviting friends over. Never getting too close to people. Talking about your home life and watching people's faces go grey and slack as they slowly slink away. And not to mention when you hit puberty and David Cronenberg is up to bat to tell you what sex is all about. Nightmares upon nightmares.

I am happy that Brandon Cronenberg was released from the mental institution long enough to make a movie. Maybe he will be allowed to make a few more before the voices and dream monsters crowd out his field of vision. Doing this stuff can be therapeutic. I hope making these movies gives him some peace.

I can't wait to see it.

One last thought, does he run up to Dad Cronenberg with a DVD and go, "Look what I made! It's all your fault! Look what you did to me!"

SD

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ten Random Thoughts on EVENT HORIZON '97




1. Remember when this movie was awesome? Me too! Saw this when it came out and there were high fives all around. Alas, some movies should just stay in your brain as a nostalgia.



2. Plaza Theater showed this 4/9/13 as part of their Splatter Cinema series. So it played to a theater of enthusiastic fans, maybe 35 people. 35 people for a 16 year old Paul WS Anderson movie? The reaction to the film was stifled laughter. I really had to bite my hand through out the flick to keep from being the big loud Max Cady in the room. But it was tough man. Really one of the funniest things I've ever seen.



3. Remember how awesome the beginning of Blade was? I know! Very cool. Yet! Last time I watched Blade all I could think about in that first scene was a) if you lived forever, wouldn't you eventually get sick of techno and b) look at that freaking leather beret that guy is wearing, Blade should let him die. What does that have to do with Event Horizon? This! Don't rewatch movies you liked in the '90s. For God's sake, never watch The Crow again. You will start recalculating your entire life.

4. I will say that Plaza puts on a good show and I met the GM, a guy named John who is a real 35mm nut, the Plaza being one of the few remaining 35mm Projector theaters left in the area. So I have found a good home for the boxes and boxes of 35mm trailers I pilfered from Riverdale Cinemas during my 5 year tenure as a projectionist BACK IN DA DAY!

5. The print for this movie was immaculate  It looked like a brand new strike, not something they found in someone's basement. So I like to talk about how much I love the new digital projectors. Nevermind all that. 35mm is better. So much better. A pristine 35 beats in the face of digital. Movies are dead. I'm not a snob, but movies are over. In between reels there was a contrast change and a emulsion difference  making the next reel more saturated and darker, and in that moment I realized how much I missed that, and then wept silent bitter tears that all that will be gone in another year or so. I know, go to bed old man.



6. So Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Black Hole, The Shining, and Hellraiser were tossed onto a butcher's block and hacked into bloody meaty chunks, and then shuffled and randomly reassembled into a Frankenmovie. That is Event Horizon. I can't hate it. What we have here is a big giant multi-million dollar fan film. It is wet with fanboy drool. Soaked. I know geek people hate on P.W.S. Anderson. But I "get him". He is a big kid, playing with the best toys, and making movies that are so high on geeking out all over themselves that being a good movie is an after thought. You got to be 14 years old while watching his movies, gorged out on comics and video games and sugar and horror movies. He is exactly the filmmaker we would have been at that age. He is living it. And he gets to wake up next to Mia Jovovich. Hate may be too light of a word.


7. I will say this, the production design and art direction of the Event Horizon ship is the star of the movie. Everything is dwarfed by that ship, no matter how loudly it tries to scream over it.

8. Every element is trying to scream over the other. The movie gets louder and bigger and wackier minute by minute. Every scene is trying so hard, throwing every trick in the book to make it dramatic and suspenseful  But instead of suspense  it becomes like a Schumacher Batman movie. Instead of atmosphere and dramatic weight we end up with disco on a pogo stick. If you can't be good, be loud.

9. Sparks + Fire + Everyone yelling + shaking the camera = awesome



10. Kathleen Quinlan acts circles around everyone in this. She is the only one that is a real person having a real experience. Everyone else is in comic book mode or on William Shatner overdrive.

SHOWSTOPPER - Fishburne's ridiculous big boy chair.

SHOWSTOPPER 2 - Neal's line, "Hell is but a word, the reality is much worse".


SHOWSTOPPER 3 - I need one of those spacesuits.

PAIR WELL WITH - Black Hole '79. Because that movie is awesome.



Saturday, April 06, 2013

10 Random Thoughts on Stoker (2013)




1. Chan-wook Park! Pound for pound the best guy making movies these days.

2. I would be very careful who I'd recommend this movie to. It's one of those friendship killing movies. I loved it, but would only recommend it to people in prison.

3. I forgot Nicole Kidman can act. Here she plays a long suffering lady who was trapped in a loveless marriage .. hey, wait a second!

4. Nicole Kidman has been 33 for the last 20 years.

5. I have never seen a movie with this look. Everything is starched and ironed, fresh from the cleaners. And powder blues, beige  and fresh white paint. I loved the art direction here, it almost was like animation how everything was of such a singular aesthetic. There is a lot to look at and it was all perfect.

6. Raise a glass to graphic match editing.

7. The uncle, Matthew Goode, has that wierd Heaven's Gate cult leader thing going on. His performance is incredible.

8. Mia Wasikowska, creepy girls will love her.

9. Nothing happens in this movie for 45 minutes, and you may start fidgeting thinking that this is Chan-wook Park's sterile, overly manored bid for Hollywood cash. But then the movie starts twisting it up, and doesn't stop, and I watched a lot of it through my fingers.

10. This movie has autism.

showstopper 1 - staircase and letters, I went woo-hoo!

showstopper 2 - a little speech on having kids

showstopper 3 - the stunned and dazed audiance staggering out of the theater