The Box Office Oracle You pick the writer, director, genre, actrons, budget, rating and month of release. You get projected box office receipts, chance of winning an Oscar and critics most likely to praise and pan your movie. There's even a BOO Hall of Fame. [via All Movie Guide reviewer Matthew Tobey]
Hulking out. I don't know what is more overwhelming, the sheer number of products tied in with the new Hulk movie, or the amount of detail kokogiak collected on the subject. I'm trying to remember another movie that had this variety of marketing tie ins (Slim Jim? Shot glasses? Jello?)
Seeing The Matrix yesterday (and just before it, the preview for the third Terminator movie) reminded me of this old David Foster Wallace essay"F/X Porn", in which he points out how Hollywood blockbusters have become the equivalent of your average "2 for $10.99!!" XXX rentals. [Google cached version here.]
"V" -- a science-fiction allegory for World War II -- may return to television. NBC has commissioned a three-hour movie script from writer-director Kenneth Johnson (who was responsible for the excellent first miniseries, but not the second miniseries or the dreadful series) that promises "a metaphor for the new millennium." Will Johnson might tackle unilateralism and WMD? And might a letter-writing campaign be in order to encourage production?
Here's a fine way to start a Thursday: pour a cup of joe, settle into your ergonomic chair, and enjoy 80s Ending, a funny little film by Douglas Jordan. Six minutes long, well worth the watch.
The Incredibles is what you get when you give Iron Giant director Brad Bird the keys to the Pixar machine.
When Vincent Gallo's "Brown Bunny" debuted at Cannes the fuvor over the sex scenes gave way to outright boos. In fact, the filmmaker later apologized for making the film. Or did he? Now, Gallo says the apology never happened and that Roger Ebert made it up. Ebert says he'll respond on-air on his next show.
Unused Audio Commentary By Dinesh D'Souza and Ann Coulter, Recorded Spring 2003, for Aliens Special Red-State Edition DVD, Part One and Part Two.
Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation. Harry Knowles reviews a shot-for-shot remake of Speilberg's classic movie done, over the span of seven years, by 10-11-12 year olds. Speilberg, upon seeing it, was "astonished" at its "ingenuity and imagination." There's even a preview.
Haifaa al-Mansour might be the only active female Saudi filmmaker in existence. Her film recently debuted at a festival in the United Arab Emirates, and although it didn't win, it did create quite a stir among the attendees. Her father, also a director, and her family helped her get the project off the ground in a country where some believe even owning a television set is a sin, and where women have very little opportunity outside the home. Using the web as a means of distribution, al-Mansour hopes to someday see her creations on the big screen all over the world.
Yes! Gulp Your Food Down! Feast your eyes on snackist salamanders and this future classic: not a salamander, but a very strange suction-feeding tadpole. [Quicktime required. ]
( Matrix Revolution ) in just a few months! Warning: Link contains possible spoiler for those who haven't seen it! Looks like we won't have to wait very long until the conclusion to the cliff hanger ending of the Matrix is revealed in the sequel. Matrix 3 (Matrix Revolution)
List of bests permits you to keep track of how much you've read, seen, or heard according to all of those fun "X Greatest X's" of all time. A recommendation feature may be soon to follow.
Operation Strangelove is orchestrating showings of Dr. Strangelove around the U.S. on Wednesday, May 14. There will be screenings in cinemas, living rooms, schools, offices and community centers, many of which will raise money for humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
50 Reasons to Boycott the Matrix. Lowbrow. Violent. Rascist. And with that Reloaded budget, they could have made millionaires out of every starving child in America. Shameful.
De Niro non disputandis est or, in English, don't fuck with Bobby De Niro. Which is what the English have been doing recently, naming Al Pacino as the greatest movie star of all time. Askmen.com is a little more appreciative but also brackets Pacino with De Niro. The American Film Institute [pdf format] will be giving De Niro their 31st Lifetime Achievement Award on June 12 but - there they go again - he's merely described as "widely regarded as one of the most skillful actors of the last three decades". Is nothing sacred anymore? Who's the man [read "of a certain age, experience and cojones"], after all? I mean, after Jack Nicholson, of course. Now I'm all confused!
Is there no spoon? The Warner Bros Matrix site is home to a series of scholarly essays inspired by the film (last updated 3/20/03). I mean, sure, the film offers some "whoa dude" moments regarding technology, perception, and vinyl pants, but I was surprised to find it an interesting launching point for discussions about freedom, heaven, and Plato's Cave as well. Being a philosophy layman, I can't vouch for their quality with any authority, but if you know the movies inside and out, as I apparently do (god help me) you might find the essays interesting.*
*for the next 15 agonizing days, anyway
*for the next 15 agonizing days, anyway
better luck tomorrow goes into wide release today. an unknown filmmaker funds his project on ten maxed out credits cards. then, it is chosen out of over 1,000 films to be featured at sundance. then, without an agent, it becomes the first *acquisition* ever for mtv films in conjunction with paramount. and it has an entirely asian-american cast who weren't cast into stereotypical roles. today, it goes into wide release. i'm excited to see how this film does.
Review on SF Site Here’s a question: what if the Wachowski brothers’ 1999 film The Matrix was not just an entertaining piece of sf-action-adventure hokum. What if, instead, it is all true? Imagine it as a message sent via the medium of the Matrix itself (Hollywood cinema) from someplace outside the Matrix, to wake us up to our human condition, to alert us all to the fact ‘that we are slaves’. If so, then we are not living the lives we thought we were living; we are instead inhabiting a virtual reality composed by oppressive machine-intelligences. What if this were literally true? How would it appear to us? Well, clearly, it would appear exactly as our lives presently appear to us. Unless we get ‘unplugged’, unless we become enlightened, we cannot see past the illusion that has been created for us. What should we do in this circumstance? Should we collaborate with the machines and not rock the boat? Or should we fight, free ourselves and eventually free everybody else? Clearly, says The Matrix Warrior, this latter. This is a book that proceeds from the assumption that the situation described in The Matrix is real, and tells you where to go from there.
Miguk - A film documentary on the life of an expat English teacher in Korea. If you've done it, this will bring back memories. If you're thinking of doing it, this is worth watching. If, like me, you're in Korea now, watching it on 'film' somehow dignifies the experience. Two thumbs up. [.wmv format, 16 segments]
"Once Upon A Classic." A Boston Globe article by Ty Burr (reprinted on the PT Anderson website) that lists the new "classic" film canon for the post-MTV generation. Here's the top five: 1. Pulp Fiction, 2. The Godfather, 3. Fight Club, 4. Run Lola Run 5. Amelie. Discuss!
The Parlor is worth watching again once you figure out what is going on [Some language nsfw]. From the 2002 Chrysler Film Fest, reg. required for the full versions of the 2003 films but you can see clips here.
New 'Matrix: Reloaded' Trailer. Best one yet, .zip, 94mb. Via /.
Michael Moore update. Judging from this column he is still alive. and is thriving after his Oscar rant. Bowling for Columbine and his book Stupid White Men continue to break new records.
Film Mogul is an online RPG that's "a simulation of what it is like to be a power player in the movie industry today." Take on the role of studio head, agent, producer, critic, or journalist and make virtual movies every bit as crappy as the ones that the real Hollywood churns out!
Warner removes peace symbol from What A Girl Wants ad. Terrified of the "political" content of a young lady flashing the peace symbol, Warner has removed it from their new ads. The movie, incidentally, was hardly agitprop. It was only a teen movie featuring a young lady goofing off on the poster. If this isn't overly cautious, then just how paranoid will movie studios and marketers get?
So how do you make an X-Men DVD without mentioning the comics? Fascinatingly candid interview with the producers of the new X-Men 1.5 DVD describing the bizarre issues involved with putting together special features on this and other DVDs, including the afformentioned anomally, a side effect of the current legal situation between FOX and Marvel Comics.
The return of the Movietone? "We fell on this idea of recreating films that looked like and were the length of the old Movietone forms of the 1940s," said Marine Lt. Col. Jim Kuhn, military producer for the undertaking called the Movietone Newsreel Project. Kuhn says the objective is to put together a short film that combines the commentary of real-life soldiers with the kind of footage civilian journalists would be unable to get. (more inside)
While the site most regrettably hasn't been updated for quite some time, Space Battles is still the only site I've found where you can download some very good (and some very bad) fan-made movies of ... space battles! Hey, where else are you gonna see the Dominion and the Shadows taking on the Federation and the Rebel Alliance on the same screen? Fanboys set phasers and blasters to fun!
The Pianist by Roman Polanski has been nominated for several Acadamy awards including best picture and best direction. The issue is that it's director Roman Polanski fled the US in 1977 when he was accused of sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl. (and after his wife Sharon Tate was killed by the Manson family). He fled because while he had worked out a deal with the prosecuter and the girls family, the judge in the case had set aside the plea bargain and Polanski faced up to a 50 year jail term. Now even the victim in the case Thinks Polanski should be allowed back into the states for the acadamy awards
It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it. Platoon. Full Metal Jacket. The opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan. It's surprising that anyone volunteers for the armed forces after a steady diet of Hollywood depictions of the horrors of war. In "Jarhead" Gulf War sniper Anthony Swafford contends that these"...Vietnam War films are all pro-war, regardless of what... Kubrick or Coppola or Stone intended. Filmic images of death and carnage are pornography for the military man." Does the terrible beauty of Apocalypse Now actually help military recruitment?
HULK SMASH!!! Now check out Hulk's wish list!! In advance of his upcoming summer movie, the Incredible Hulk has taken the time out of his busy smashing/crushing schedule to jump on the blog bandwagon. Note for the sarcasm impaired: Blog not actually written by The Incredible Hulk, who is, in fact, fictional.
What is Film Sampling? According to Mike Myers and Dreamworks Films, it's a revolutionary way to insert himself into old movies by using the wonders of technology. Have we created so much content in the past 50 years that it needs to be recycled before there is room for anything truly new? Will this work for films the way it's 'worked' in Music? Will the next generation of filmmakers be Puff Daddy clones reworking classic films, and are there films that should never, ever be touched?
If you like movies, and you like to watch them on DVD, and appreciate in-depth, thoughtful analysis of various features on a particular DVD, then you need The DVD Journal. And nothing else.
Rabbit Proof Fence is a movie about Australia's "stolen generation," the 100,000 Aboriginal and "half-caste" children kidnapped between 1910 and 1970 and raised in institutions, as part of a policy to "breed out" their Aboriginal blood and integrate them into white society. The movie is the true story of three girls who ran away and walked 1500 miles back home. Molly, the oldest one, walked it again years later when they captured her and her children. Here's a teacher's guide (pdf) based on the gov't report about the stolen generation. (book by Molly's daughter Doris Pilkington, movie soundtrack by Peter Gabriel. It's getting a lot of press despite its low profile -- go support your local indie theater)
"i am arogon, son of alfred." it's nothing shocking to hear that europe is being flooded with asian-made bootlegs of the two towers. but who would have thought the sub-titled translations would prove so hilariously incorrect and occasionally inappropriate?
Celebrity Nudity Database [via Anil] I'm not usually one to accredit websites to the whim of the Almighty, but in this case, one has to wonder. The site bills itself as "the most comprehensive reference for celebrity nudity on the Internet" with "reviews of over 12,000 nude scenes -- updated daily". This is work-safe; it's not porn.
1st Annual Alties - AlterNet, the champion of indie journalism, has entered the movie award business. This "celebration of film and film culture" is accepting nominations in 15 different categories (including "Reinvention of the Chick Flick," "The Doobie Award" and "Best "Feel Bad" Movie of the Year") until February 10 and voting begins on February 14. Could this really be "your chance to think about and discuss your favorite movies and what they really mean" or will Chicago end up snagging "Best Soundscape"?
Pinewood Dialogues Online from the American Museum of the Moving Image. In-depth conversations with movie actors and directors. Audio in RealAudio and Shockwave formats, with transcripts and a comprehensive index by topic. Sign-in required [more inside].
Calling all fanboys! Somewhere in the world there is a "Return of the King" calendar with publicity stills from the yet to be released film. Check 'em out before they fall into shadow.
Family photos of popular Iranian actress, Hedyeh Tehrani (filmography in Farsi), without Islamic Hijab, are so hot in Iran these days. Perhaps because they have always seen her wearing the official dress code for Iranian women, either on the screen or in the streets.
Do you know this scream? Originally labeled in studio reels in 1951 as Man Being Eaten by Alligator, the sound effect now known as the Wilhelm has turned up in dozens of films; sound designers have made a game out of sneaking it past the director's notice. This NPR feature (includes link to RealAudio file) tells much of the story of the Wilhelm Scream. Or you could just watch the best of Wilhelm, compliled in this (27MB) video compilation (read the making-of here). (By the way -- an orc in The Two Towers lets out a Wilhelm as he falls to his death.)
At the time of posting, Rotten Tomatoes has 1 'rotten' review and 76 'fresh' reviews for Peter Jackson's The Two Towers. I thought it was a superb film, but I hardly thought it would unite the critics like this. This has got to be one of the most universally praised films of all time!
Invisibles are scenes from films with the actors removed. Can you guess the film? Its pretty hard actually. I would imagine actually making the images is hard as well - clever colour matching in Photoshop, or is there another way?
The toughest Chelonia to every grace the media. Come on. Everyone had to love them at some point, with their pizzas and funny weapons. This page has some interesting sketch art. This one includes the complete cast of the cartoon and movies, with links to their career since said roles. This site, my favorite, has the entire "Coming out of our Shells" tape for download. Remember the classic, Cowabunga?