In 2004 Joseph Kahn
directed the hyper-kinetic, poorly reviewed motorcycle action movie Torque
. It was Kahn's directorial debut, and though he was tapped for (one of many
) failed Neuromancer adaptations, he devoted the next six years to a largely self financed project: the horror-comedy farce Detention
. Noted cultural critic Steven Shaviro discusses in this essay
why Detention, despite also being reviewed negatively
, is one of his favorite movies of the decade. Shaviro's review contains major spoilers for the plot, and it's probably best to go into the movie blind. A brief non-spoiler synopsis is available below the jump. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla
on Sep 15, 2014 -
For generations both societies lived apart from humanity, united in their common experience as outcasts. But as so often happens when downcast but fanatical groups find themselves in the ascendancy, today their factionalism is exposed
and the rivalry has erupted into open conflict
. [more inside]
posted by GhostintheMachine
on Feb 28, 2013 -
Television Without Pity
re-capper Jacob Clifton
has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
posted by The Whelk
on Oct 2, 2012 -
"What is a cult film? A cult film is one that has a passionate following, but does not appeal to everyone. James Bond movies are not cult films, but chainsaw movies are. Just because a film has become a cult movie does not automatically guarantee quality. Some are very bad; others are very, very good. Some make an awful lot of money at the box office; others make no money at all. Some are considered quality films; others are exploitation movies. One thing cult movies do have in common is that they are all genre films - for example gangster films or westerns. They also have a tendency to slosh over from one genre into another, so that a science fiction film might also be a detective movie, or vice versa. They share common themes as well, themes that are found in all drama: love, murder and greed."
- of the British TV film slots accompanied by an introduction perhaps the most celebrated
, running between 1988 and 2000 and presented first by Repo Man director Alex Cox
and then film critic Mark Cousins
. [more inside]
posted by Artw
on Aug 3, 2012 -
To paraphrase a character in the film, The Black Hole walks "a tightrope;" if not between "genius" and "insanity," then certainly between "genius" and "banality". If you're looking at this movie as a Manichean exercise between darkness and light, then you can -- for at least a few hours -- entertain the "genius" part of that equation.
posted by Trurl
on Sep 25, 2011 -
The Edgewise Guide To Filmmaking.
Screenwriter Lisa Morton kept a diary while making the very, very strange 1989 movie Meet The Hollowheads
). The low-budget sci-fi/horror/social comment/sitcom takes place in a dystopian underground suburb whose entire infrastructure, operated by monopolist corporation United Umblicial, consists of flexible tubes which carry waste, energy, and slimy and sometimes still living comestibles. The movie, the one and only directorial effort of horror FX and make-up man Tom Burman
, inspires confusion
in most viewers. Hollowheads
stars John Glover
and features a 14-year-old Juliette Lewis, her big brother Lightfield, a musical instrument made out of a live chicken
, an eyeball attached to a large intestine that lives in a glass tank, and an uncredited Bobcat Goldthwait as a lascivious cop, whose few lines include "When will children learn to just say no to butt polish?"
posted by escabeche
on May 1, 2011 -
Finnish YouTube user Ishexan
has uploaded seven English subtitled movies in parts: Broken Blossoms
), The Gipsy Charmer
), The Tragedy of Elina
), The Activists
), The Wooden Pauper's Bride
), and Sampo
), which is based on the epic poem The Kalevala
. The films are mostly Finnish, though Aelita
is a silent Russian sci-fi film, and Sampo
was a joint Finnish and Soviet production. More film clips inside (mostly Finnish documentaries and "dorky musical numbers"). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 30, 2011 -
'Star Wars' Producer Gary Kurtz Reflects When George Lucas and I began planning the first film, we had no idea what it would become; the kind of devotion it would attract... So what was it that made Star Wars so different, so special? I can give you one small example of the kind of care we took when putting the film together...
posted by modernnomad
on Apr 19, 2011 -
Behind the opening scenes of Blade Runner.
“Doug and his Entertainment Effects Group team created thousands of acid-etched brass miniatures lit from below with hundreds of bundles of fiber-optic lights, shot in forced-perspective through layers of smoke to create layers of light refraction, creating depth.” The first of a three-part series on the making of Blade Runner
’s unforgettable opening sequence.
posted by spitefulcrow
on Sep 12, 2010 -
He invented or popularized
a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."
Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects
. [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 3, 2010 -
What's 51 years old and made of silicone with red food dye? The Blob
, best known for it's work in The Blob
, an independent film released in 1958, with Steve McQueen's second movie role (following Never Love a Stranger
, which was released earlier that same year). The movie has been considered the definitive '50s film about a town that won't listen to the kids until it's too late
(as noted in a review for the Criterion laserdisc release
), with a super-catchy theme song
(extended single version
and b-side Saturday Night in Tiajuana
) that was Burt Bacharach's third US hit song
. (See more: theatrical trailer
, full film on Veoh
, full film as YouTube playlist
) Times change, and so do monsters, and things got a bit wacky in the 1970s, with Beware! The Blob
(aka Son of Blob
, full film
). The sequel played more to the slapstick comedy than the sci-fi/horror spectrum of things. Thirty years after the original, The Blob was remade in 1988
, full film
), and is supposedly being re-created by Rob Zombie
, though his statement about reviving The Blob without "the big red blobby thing" has people asking, then why remake The Blob?
(previous blobby goodness
) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 3, 2009 -
Did you grow up anticipating sports where death would be likely, if not certain? Almost certainly played by convicts, possibly with robot limbs? And which would be even more likely to have chainsaws and flamethrowers not usually found in the sports of today? Those We Left Behind’s
look at Future-sports of the past, in videogames
is for you!
posted by Artw
on Sep 11, 2008 -
Imagine a world without lightsabers—where, instead, every big Star Wars finale consists of a 10-minute slap fight. Thank the maker we’ll never have to witness such a spectacle, because magical and impossibly high-tech weapons are staples of nearly all of our favorite entertainments! ToyFare Magazine presents the 50 Greatest Fictional Weapons of All Time
posted by cmgonzalez
on Nov 21, 2007 -
La Planète sauvage
- based on the novel Oms en Série
by Stefan Wul, and known to the English speaking world as Fantastic Planet
, is a wonderfully psychadelic animated Sci-Fi film from 1973. An international production between France and Czechoslovakia, the movie has a cult following, mostly from viewers who saw it on USA's Night Flight
in the 1980's. Although it has languished in obscurity for some time, Hollywood has decided it's time for a live action remake
. For those who haven't seen it, or for people who haven't seen it in twenty years, some kind soul has uploaded the entire film to Youtube
. You'll never look at your pets the same way again.
posted by smoothvirus
on Dec 11, 2006 -
Every year we seem to get a few horror or sci-fi movies featuring aliens. What happened this year? I may be missing some, but the only 2003 major release movies that had some aliens in them were Dreamcatcher
, Good Boy!
and Scary Movie 3
. One horror movie and two comedies. Just a coincidence or are aliens no longer cool?
posted by quirked
on Dec 30, 2003 -
"All democracies turn into dictatorships -- but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea... It isn't that the Empire conquered the Republic, it's that the Empire is
the Republic." George Lucas talks about the politics of his new Star Wars films
posted by tranquileye
on Apr 23, 2002 -
R2-D2 Beneath the Dome
is cute, funny, silly and the most despicable ploy to hype a movie ever in the history of cinema. Most importantly, it diminishes the stature of a great man
, by failing to mention Kenny Baker's contribution to the successful phenomenon. It's like talking about Indiana Jones "behind the scenes" without mentioning Harrison Ford.
posted by ZachsMind
on Nov 26, 2001 -
Tron returns with a vengeance.
With a theatrical sequel, a 20th anniversary DVD and a first-person PC shooter, you have to wonder why Disney is rollling out the red carpet all of a sudden.
posted by ed
on Jul 27, 2001 -