And here’s the original…
And here’s the original…
Now, they certainly have some challenges in making this film. For this film to be consistent with the other then everyone has to die by the end. That would be a deal-breaker for me if they weasel out and let someone escape. So, I would really expect a sense of inescapable doom hanging over this whole thing.
Also, the reason the 1982 movie stands up so well over time is that it isn’t really a movie about monsters or gore. Rather, John Carpenter really mastered the sense of paranoia and claustrophobia. If the new film is a simple gore fest it’ll be doomed to obscurity.
Finally, if you want to go really old school, you can check out the original 1951 version of the film from google video:
Another Halloween season is down and I tried to delve into the season with mixed results. Here are my findings.
Trick or treating was rather tepid. We had some kids come by but nothing spectacular. I can’t blame them however. The community set Trick or Treating hours from 1-4pm on the 30th! It’s like they sat down to try to figure out how to suck all the fun out of the day.
We started our way through the Twilight Zone catalog. I thought I’d seen all of them but apparently not. What a brilliant show. Rod Serling was a particularly interesting guy and I highly recommend you check out this interview (parts 2 and 3 are on YouTube as well) with him circa 1959. You could see the struggles between ‘selling out’ and commercial success being fought out even in TV’s early days. I found his bluntness surprising and inviting. Could you imagine a producer today alienating so many potential demographics on the eve of launching a new show?
We watched a couple of movies. The first was titled Moon and the second was a Spanish movie called Timecrimes. Both movies had promise and weren’t bad but I think both suffered from spending too much time with their central idea. Both would have been much better had they been shorter (45 minutes or so…definitely less than an hour). It’s kind of a shame there isn’t much of a market for shorter films like there is for short stories or novellas. I’m not sure I could recommend these films but I wouldn’t actively dissuade someone from seeing them either. If you find yourself on a barren asteroid with lots of free time on your hands, go check them out.
But, something I most definitely can recommend is The Passage by Justin Cronin. The book has a number of similarities to Stephen King’s The Stand but without some of it’s flaws (primary among them the fact that Stephen King was the author). At 845 pages it’s just about a massive as the King book (and since it’s only the first of a proposed trilogy the final project will dwarf The Stand) but without the long descriptions King is famous for that convince you the guy is getting paid by the word. It also avoids the incredibly lame ending of the Stand (although to be fair, since this is only the first installment of the series comparing the end of the first book to the end of King’s entire project may not be appropriate). It’s got something for everyone: out of control military test projects, vampires, the apocalypse and cross country travel. What more could you want? There are some nice twists to the story, namely the way Cronin plays with the vampire mythology and adapts it to his universe. There was some interesting imagery used in the story and it might deserve a second read to see if there’s more than just a entertaining post apocalyptic yarn in there.
Mrs. TwShiloh and myself got to catch up on the new season of Dexter and we continue to be flummoxed at how this show manages to avoid jumping the shark. Every time we’re convinced the writers are going to have to go for the easy and predictable contrivances, they surprise us yet again.
And finally, I saw the pilot episode of The Walking Dead on AMC. As much as I enjoy the comic I have to admit I envy those who haven’t read it since the whole storyline will come as a surprise. Still, the series has a great deal of promise. The actors they’ve shown so far are quite good as are the effects and if they can keep the quality up this promises to be a great, plot heavy series.
I’m finally able to catch up on some movies that have been in my queue for awhile…
The first was the Spanish movie [Rec] which was quite enjoyable. Think Alien except instead of occurring in space it takes place in a Barcelona apartment building. And instead of an Alien, it’s zombies (kinda sorta). There’s not much in the way of character development but you don’t really need that for this kind of movie which is really more about conveying a sense of dread and claustrophobia. There isn’t an excessive amount of gore, relying instead on good old fashioned suspense to deliver thrills and I found the subtitles to actually enhance the atmosphere of the film by adding an extra layer of anxiety. Not only do you not understand what’s going on within the plot of the movie but you don’t understand what people are saying either. I don’t think it’ll make ‘classic’ status but it’s a nice, solid movie that’s worth your time.
The next movie was Sunshine which had some interesting ideas but ended up being a mess. It really does look like they had two movies and just mashed them up which resulted in having two incomplete (and unsatisfactory movies). Even though the movie had some nice visuals I just can’t recommend it as the plot completely fell apart and made no sense.
Finally, Monsters is about an invasion of Northern Mexico by giant cephalopod sort of creatures. Yeah, I know that sounds lame but it was actually pretty good. The filmmakers appear to have had a rather limited budget so that had to go for a story rather than an effects driven film but that actually forced them to have a plot, which was a nice change of pace. Almost all of the ‘action’ is in the first five minutes (but it is a pretty cool way to open up the movie) and the rest focuses on two people trying to get back to the U.S. In that regard, it’s probably better to think of this as a relationship movie with a sci-fi backdrop. It won’t keep you up at night but if you enjoyed the near future realism look of District 9, the visuals should appeal to you.
Tony Curtis just died…I was going to say that it’s a shame but at 85 he had a pretty phenomenal career, tons of kids (I guess that happens when you have six wives) and it sounds like it was a life well lived. So, here are a couple of clips of the guy…if you haven’t checked out these films, do yourself a favor and open some time up in your weekend schedule…
The original was quite good and the American version is not supposed to be an exact remake so do go and see the original. That being said, I’m pretty excited to see this one given that it’s getting positive reviews. Here’s the trailer:
So, I see they’ve greenlighted a film based on Paradise Lost. I suppose it might be pretty good but (and I’m ashamed to admit it), I was never able to work my way through Milton’s work and worry that given they’ve decided for it to be”crafted as an action vehicle that will include aerial warfare, possibly shot in 3D.” the heavenly hosts might, in fact, demonstrate their wrath upon the human race.
If you’re going to go that route, I’d recommend a film adaptation of Steven Brust‘s To Reign in Hell. It’s a clever update of the story of the Battle for Heaven with lots of room for action and (if the film makers decide to go totally edgy) a good plot with interesting characters. Since they won’t do that, check out the book, it’s a lot of fun.
With a recommendation from the Armchair Generalist, the TwShiloh team checked out ‘Der Baader Meinhof Komplex‘ this weekend and were mightily impressed. I remember the ‘wanted’ posters back when I was stationed in (West) Germany back in the late ’80s but by that time the group’s glory days were behind it.
The movie depicts a group that lacks any sort of cohesive raison d’etre other than a obsession other then their next tactical move. It’s not a perfect movie but given the rather weak field of films dealing with terrorism, it’s definitely worth a watch.
I just watched Kick Ass and thought it was quite good. In fact, I found it similar in tone and theme to Zombieland in a complementary rather than derivative way. The story line which really focuses on passing into adulthood of the teenage antagonists (or childhood in the case of hit-girl) made me think of the John Hughes movies of the ’80s and wonder if these may be the modern equivalent.
If so, let’s hope there’s more to mine from this theme because I’m digging it.
But, that aside, check out the movie. It’s a great deal of fun and there’s something about a 12 year old girl wielding some sort of Japanese polearm while slicing and dicing all sorts of bad guys while cursing them out like a sailor that simply did not get old. So, while I may have posted this clip before, it gives me another chance to watch it in all its ass-kicking glory…
Unfortunately, the Brits lead with way the Four Lions, a comedy (?!) about some Jihadi wanna-be’s and their struggle to launch a terrorist attack. One wonders when we’ll be able to get over ourselves, stop being outraged at the drop of a hat and be able to engage difficult issues on a variety of fronts, including humor.
(h/t Best Defense)