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Archive for June, 2009

inglourious-basterds-3

You know I couldn’t go too long without an obligatory Inglourious Basterds post. I actually calmed the jets the other day when a quote from Harvey Weinstein reiterated that there’s to be no cuts made to Quentin Tarantino’s WWII wild-out—-news that made me smile, almost enough to string together a brief post here highlighting the good announcement. I resisted, though. Figured that I shouldn’t comment on every little Basterds thing out there. Leave some alone. Not come off as some pseudo-Basterds-stalker. 

Inglourious BasterdsWhen a new trailer shows up online, however, I’m pretty much powerless. A little bitch for the preview to manipulate and excite. Especially when said trailer is as dynamite as this new international one for Tarantino’s flick. The first domestic trailer caused some concern, giving the film too heavy of a dark/sort-of-horror tone, far from your typically free-spirited Tarantino fare. I loved it, but understood the cautious sentiment. Then came the second domestic trailer a couple of weeks ago, which was unquestionably better—-showed much more of the Tarantino tone, full of wit, energy, and awkward laughs.

Well, if that second trailer impressed you, then wait ’til you get a load of this international one. If there’s been any doubt as to how much fun Inglourious Basterds could potentially be, get ready to have your perceptions flipped. Switched from “Off” to “On.” Ignited, now the world’s excited. There’s more of Melanie Laurent’s pivotal “Shoshanna” character, including one climactic shot that I’m clamoring to see go from script page to the big screen (though I won’t divulge which, for spoiler-avoiding purposes). The best bit here, though, is the last moment—–Christoph Waltz’s evil “Col. Landa,” the “Jew Hunter,” botching simple American slang. I don’t recall that dialogue exchange from the script, but I’m glad it’s here. [After the jump, the Inglourious Basterds international trailer]: (more…)

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Please excuse the lack of updates recently—I’ve started a new fulltime look, and it’s been busy-season at the workplace. All for good reason, but still, you know….I feel like I’ve been neglecting this side of my game. It’ll take some adjusting and conditioning to keep this blog updated and fresh-to-death on a daily click, but that’s an objective that I choose to embrace.

foxseyfriedjennifersbody

Earlier today, while shoulders-deep in Michael Jackson-related writing anarachy from morning ’til sun-fall, I made my regular rounds within the film site circuit. Not much of interest went down on this quiet Monday, only one story really soothed my cinephile itch—–that being, new stills from Jennifer’s Body surfaced this morning. Jennifer’s Body, for those unaware, is the next screenplay-turned-into-a-feature-flick from Diablo Cody, the overnight celeb responsible for all of the snappy diction heard in 2007’s awards season darling Juno. The fellas will be intrigued by Jennifer’s Body’s casting, led by Transformers eye candy-bar Megan Fox and hottie-on-the-come-up Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls, Alpha Dog, Mamma Mia!).

As for myself, I’m more enticed by Seyfried than Fox. Sure, Fox is hot and all, but she’s verging on overkill, and her actual body frame is way thinner than those Esquire and GQ photo spreads, with their tactical angles, will lead you to believe. Seyfriend, on the other hand, is all sparkly-eyed cuteness, the rare blond that gives me the butterflies within.

I’m not just some shallow chauvinist, though; Jennifer’s Body’s most compelling characteristic is its tongue-in-mouth horror aesthetic. Cody, coming off of an Oscar victory, could’ve gone a more conventional, stone-faced route with her Juno follow-up; instead, though, much to the respect of weirdos such as myself, she moved ahead with an alleged “1980s horror homage” that centers on a demon-possessed high school hottie (Fox) who eats her male classmates in order to keep breathing. Gore, laughs, and sexiness are all but promised.

jen2

Jennifer’s Body is either going to be a Night of the Demons-caliber funfest, or one of the worst sophomore fall-offs in recent cinematic history. Yes, Cody’s Showtime series The United States of Tara was received well, but that was the small screen; Jennifer’s Body is her true big screen litmus test for durability. Staying power femme, or one-hit wonder woman. The answer won’t come until September 18, but, for now, allow the above-posted images to either entice or repel you. I, for one, am ready for more. [Bigger, hi-res versions of these pics after the jump]

Pics initially spotted over at: /Film 

Pics officially attributed to: Empire Online

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daybreakers-posterJust when I was about bitch and moan over this endless, Twilight-triggered obsession with vampires in Hollywood, along comes this impressive new trailer for Daybreakers to shut my ass up and leave me happy. Directed by brothers Michael and Peter Sperig (the duo behind the way-overboard zombie-comedy Undead), Daybreakers mixes the “vamps integrated into society” aesthetic of True Blood with a more sci-fi, Gattaca tone, putting vampires in charge and humans on the lower end of society’s totem pole. The problem is, mortal mankind is near extinction, which sucks (no pun meant) for the vamps since no more humans means no more fresh blood supply. 

The credibility factor is high, thankfully (this is no Blood & Chocolate bullshit), with stars Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, and there’s some pretty wicked creature effects and violence to be seen from this trailer. The film won’t be out until January 2010, but check the preview now, after the jump. (more…)

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Frank Darabont

Frank Darabont

Need any proof that the flapjacks who run Hollywood studios are all soulless drones that should play in traffic? Read this quote from the great director Frank Darabont, who was interviewed briefly while on the red carpet for the 35th annual Saturn Awards. Darabont was on hand to accept an award for Best DVD Special Release for his vastly-amazing The Mist, which can also be referred to as “The Best American-Made Genre Film of the Last Decade.” Fuck it, that’s what I just said. Anyway, Darabont (who also directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile) was asked to give an update on his long-chased-after adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451. Turns out, unsurprisingly, the hold-up is an issue of the script being too good:

 

Shock: You’ve also been circling a remake of “Fahrenheit 451.” What’s the status on that one?

Darabont: That’s my other great priority, to try and get the greenlight on that and that’s been a bit of a struggle. Hollywood doesn’t trust smart material. If you show them a really smart script. I actually had a studio head read that script and say: “Wow, that’s the best and smartest script that I’ve read since running this studio but I can’t possibly greenlight it.” I asked why and he says “How am I going to get 13-year-olds to show up at the theater?” And I said “Well, lets make a good movie and I bet that will take care of itself.” But that argument cut absolutely no ice. The movie was basically too smart for this person, too metaphorical, etc., etc. It’s a bit of a battle you’ve got to fight. When you’re faced with it, how do you overcome that prejudice?

This comes as no shock, of course, but to hear an actual filmmaker say it so forthright is a kick to the gut. I don’t have much to add, though—–that speaks for itself. Now excuse me as I try to stop my film-loving soul from evaporating slowly by celebrating some more foreign films. When it comes to wackness such as this, fuck a Hollywood.

News/quotes spotted over at: Shock Til You Drop

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thoo-shut

How lazy is that? Just run with that early teaser poster, instead. Leaps and bounds better. Not even sure if it’s real or slickly fan-made, but it’s a winner. Forget about this above snoozer and check the first poster after the jump: (more…)

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DeadofNightHow about some more Richard Matheson-related goodness? Fuck it, why not? The difference this time, however, is that I’m pointing the spotlight toward 1977’s made-for-TV anthology Dead of Night, stringed together with three 25-minute, Matheson-written shorts all directed by Dan Curtis.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it until I one day scribe one of my own—-I’m absolutely gaga for horror/genre anthologies, whether it be Night Gallery-like television programs or Creepshow-esque movies. I’ve seen them all, and even the inferior ones still keep me pleased enough. Dead of Night falls on the bottom spectrum, unfortunately. The first two tales, the time-traveling melodrama “Second Chance” and revenge yarn “No Such Things as Vampires,” aren’t terrible, but they’re ultimately forgettable. Dead of Night‘s final entry, however, is a closes the curtains with an evil game-changer—–it’s called “Bobby,” and it’s about a grieving mother who uses dark forces to bring her son back from his watery grave, only to find out that her precious Bobby isn’t the innocent kid he once was anymore. Confined to the walls of their oceanside home, “Bobby” becomes a hide-and-seek game between scared mother and psychotic reanimated son.

“Bobby” isn’t in the same league as Matheson’s best work, but it’s still quite memorable. Particularly the story’s final shot, which, Spoilers Abound, can be watched after the jump. Back in ’77, this must’ve caused soiled-pants nationwide; today, the makeup effects and goofy small-man approach will probably make you giggle. Regardless, this is one mean endgame twist: (more…)

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TheBox_Movie_poster-thumb-550x816-15947Here’s one that I’ve yet to discuss within this site, but that I’ve been damn eager to see for what feels like two years now. The Box, the third film from young head-turning director Richard Kelly, the eccentric mind behind 2001’s modern-day cult classic Donnie Darko. His second project, the long-delayed and heavily convoluted Southland Tales, was a complete mess, but still showed that Kelly thinks from the backend of left-field. The Box, a frequent victim of the dreaded “release date pushback,” is finally set for an October 30 release, just in time for Halloween.

With pretty girl and boy Cameron Diaz and James Marsden in starring roles, The Box sounds like a romantic comedy concerning a heart-shaped cardboard object, but that’s not the case. Rather, it’s a heebie-jeebie thriller based on a short story (“Button, Button”) written by one of my writing heroes, Richard Matheson. As if his celebrated I Am Legend novel isn’t amazing enough, Matheson is also known for his stockpile of The Twilight Zone scripts, having shared head writer duties with my other scribe idol, Rod Serling. Two of my most-prized possessions are books that include handfuls of Matheson’s T-Zone screenplays. The man is a literary titan, folks.

Richard Kelly

Richard Kelly

Richard Kelly adapting a Richard Matheson work……in theory, it doesn’t get much more promising than that. Fortunately, this first trailer for The Box doesn’t disappoint, though it’s tone feels a bit too horror-y—-if the film is honoring “Button, Button,” it should be more of a psychological thriller than full-on scareshow. Time will reveal. For now, though, sit back and enjoy the trailer, which gives off a nice The Shining vibe that I wasn’t expecting. Seems like Richard Kelly is back on track: (more…)

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