MOV045: “It’s All In The Reflexes”

The boys hit up the classic John Carpenter flick “Big Trouble In Little China”. Can Kurt Russell hang in a kung fu flick these days? They head to the theater to check out “Red Riding Hood”. Should the village just have let the wolf eat her? Lastly, they look into the future at “Scream 4”. Is the franchise still relevant or should Syndey just die already? All this, movie news, and more Flickchart!

News:

  • Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79
  • National Velvet (12 Years Old)
  • Cleopatra
  • First Oscar In 1960 2nd in 1967
  • The Brothers Strause have a new movie
  • War of Ages
  • …an ancient artifact is uncovered, time is shattered and the seven greatest war leaders in history have to battle each other out. It’s sort of like The Lord of the Rings meets Gladiator. You have Napoleon vs. Julius Caesar vs. Attila the Hun vs. Genghis Khan vs. Alexander vs. Hannibal. So, there you go. It’s going to be in 3D and it’s a big sword-and-sandal epic.”
  • World War Z on the Ropes
  • Paramount can’t seem to find someone to share in the making of the $125 million dollar production
  • with an R rating that this production REQUIRES.- Paramount making it PG-13
  • produced by Brad Pitt who also stars in the film

Feedback: N/A

The Past: Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
Rotten Tomatoes: 82% Fresh, 78% Audience

Director: John Carpenter

Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong, Kate Burton, Donald Li

Trivia:

  • According to John Carpenter and Kurt Russell in the DVD Commentary, the story was originally written as a western but Carpenter decided to set it during modern times. They even mention that instead of Jack Burton’s truck being stolen, it was originally his horse.
  • The Brides of Lo Pan must have green eyes. Yet both Kim Cattrall and Suzee Pai had brown eyes in real life. Both wore green contacts for the movie. This is very obvious in the hi-def version of the movie.
  • According to John Carpenter on the audio commentary that the opening of the film with Egg Shen (Victor Wong) in the lawyer’s office was added in as a request from 20th Century Fox because to make Kurt Russell’s character Jack Burton to be more heroic
  • Both John Carpenter and Kurt Russell explain on the audio commentary that the test screening was so overwhelming positive that both of them expected it to be a big hit. However, 20th Century Fox put little into promoting the movie and it ended up being a box office bomb. However, it went on to be a huge cult hit through home video. Carpenter and Russell explained that the reason the studio did little to promote the film was because they didn’t know how to

Talking Points:

  • Kurt Russell channeling John Wayne?
  • Who knew this was a John Carpenter movie?
  • Did you have a favorite storm?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Chinese girls don’t come with green eyes
  • Green Eyes are like leather bucket seats
  • Pretending to be a repairman will get you past security every time
  • It’s all in the reflexes
  • John Carpenter shouldn’t be allowed to write songs

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Really enjoyed it, classic 80’s action movie.
Ray: Love it, when I watch this I turn into the 12 year old boy I was when it came out.
Steve: Have always loved this movie…can watch it constantly.

Intermission: Flickchart

The Present: Red Riding Hood (Released 3/11/11)
Rotten Tomatoes: 12% Rotten, 55% Audience

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, Julie Christie

Trivia:

  • Under Appian Way Productions, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Ireland, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Alex Mace and Julie Yorn produced the film.
  • Director Catherine Hardwicke had to persuade her Red Riding Hood star Amanda Seyfried to work with newcomer Shiloh Fernandez, “Amanda had met Shiloh before and did not like him, so when I told Amanda I was going to bring him in to audition, she made a face. But she tried it, and they hit it off.”
  • The film was filmed in Vancouver.
  • Early into production, the film was originally titled The Girl with the Red Riding Hood.
  • A novelisation of the film, written by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright, was released on 24 February 2011, prior to the film’s release. It debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.. However, the ending has received criticism for not including the story’s final chapter, which instead was only made available for download online following the release of the film.
  • The teaser trailer and the poster were released in November 2010, featuring “The Wolf”, a new song written exclusively for the film by Swedish act Fever Ray.

Talking Points:

  • Slow…slow…slow
  • The “Look” of the movie,,, made it feel like a syfi channel movie to me (ray)
  • (Steve) My major pet peeve – pick an accent people!
  • Did you figure it out?

What We Learned:

  • Werewolves can’t step on holy ground
  • Better the wolf takes the pig than you
  • All sorrows are less with bread

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It was alright, melodramatic, but alright. That’s about it though.
Ray: Snoozer – unless you have a hardon for the fairy tale, avoid like the plague
Steve: Melodramatic is a great word for it. But I didn’t hate it.

The Future: Scream 4 (04/15/11)

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anthony Anderson, Alison Brie

Trivia:

  • With four installments, this landmarks the Scream franchise as being one of the only horror franchises to have its main characters return for all its sequels.
  • Due for release almost 15 years after the original Scream (1996/I).
  • Wes Craven stated he was not going to return as director unless the script was as good as the first Scream (1996/I).

Talking Points:

  • Is this just milking a dead cow?
  • Who is the target audience for this?

Summary:
Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill and her Aunt Kate. Unfortunately, Sidney’s appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Really? I mean, really?
Ray: I loved the first scream.. the sequels have never done anything for me though.
Steve: Love that they’re coming up with new rules. And Sookie has a cameo! Rental.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV044: “Pathetic Earthlings, Who Can Save You Now?”

The boys go back in time to check out 1980’s “Flash Gordon”. Is it still an inspiration or just a old flash in the pan? Then they head to the present to check out “Battle: Los Angeles”. Will it get a “oorah” or “wah-wah”? In the future, the boys look at the trailer for “The Tree of Life”. Was anyone able to figure what the hell this film is about? All this, including movie news and much more in this 44th reel of COL Movies!

News:

The Past: Flash Gordon (1980)
Rotten Tomatoes: 82% Fresh, 63% Audience

Director: Mike Hodges

Starring: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol, Ornella Muti, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed

Trivia:

  • There is a rumor that the monitor behind Hans Zarkov (Topol) as he is having his memory dumped shows scenes from Topol’s previous movies.
  • Dino De Laurentiis originally hoped that Federico Fellini would direct this film. The director had actually contributed to the original Flash strip cartoon during WWII.
  • Kurt Russell auditioned to play Flash Gordon. According to an interview with Russel in Starlog magazine from August 1981, Dino De Laurentiis really wanted Russell for the part, but he ultimately turned it down because Russell thought the character was lacking in personality.
  • Sam J. Jones was cast in the role after being spotted by the mother-in-law of Dino De Laurentiis on an episode of “The Dating Game” (1965)
  • At one point Ming the Merciless says when he destroys a planet, he calls upon “the great god Daizan”. Daizan is Japanese for “great cruelty”.
  • Max von Sydow’s Ming costume weighed over 70 pounds and he could only stand in it for a few minutes at a time.
  • The psychedelic color effects throughout the Ming universe were accomplished by swirling multicolored dyes through creatively-lit tanks of water.
  • One of the feast items in the Hawkmen’s Kingdom was Twinkies colored with food dye.
  • Nicolas Roeg was originally going to direct, but didn’t due to creative difference. One of his proposals was to excise the trademark cliffhangers and melodrama, seeing Flash as more of “a metaphysical messiah.”
  • Dennis Hopper was considered for the role of Dr Zarkov.
  • Mike Hodges was the eighth director chosen.
  • Director Mike Hodges, referring to the numerous production problems that plagued the film, once called it “the only improvised $27-million movie ever made”.
  • The insignia on Klytus’s uniform is based on Masonic symbols.
  • Princess Aura’s “pet” is named Fellini. Production Designer Danilo Donati worked on a number of Federico Fellini films.
  • George Lucas had hoped to remake the original Flash Gordon (1936/I), but when he learned that Dino De Laurentiis had already bought the rights, he wrote Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) instead.
  • Mike Hodges considered commissioning Pink Floyd to compose the music.
  • First film of Jim Carter.
  • The backstory of Flash’s T-shirt was that it was a gift from an anonymous female fan. Flash wore it a lot in the hopes that he would eventually meet the woman.
  • In the original script, when Flash is sentenced to death by Ming, Dale bursts out that Ming is “absolutely merciless”. Ming is enthralled with the description, and immediately starts calling himself “Ming the Merciless”.
  • According to the original storyline, when Dale is entranced by Ming’s hypnotic ring, she is having a vision of being on an erotic picnic with Ming in a 1920’s setting.
  • Klytus and Kala, Ming’s two chief henchmen, were competitors for their ruler’s favor. Ming played them off against each other to keep them from teaming up against him. This was downplayed in the film to keep the storyline fluid.
  • In the original script, Flash and Dale first meet at a Canadian resort called Dark Harbor. Although they flirt with each other, they don’t become acquainted until they’re sharing the ill-fated plane ride to New York City. Dale later talks briefly about Dark Harbor during her tear-filled meeting with Flash before his execution.
  • Dr. Zarkov’s backstory was that he was a NASA scientist who was fired for his paranoid fantasies that Earth was going to be attacked from outer space. Sixty Minutes derided him as “A Poor Man’s Billy Mitchell”.
  • Ming’s attack on Earth was accomplished by bombarding the moon with force beams, knocking it out of orbit. The meteors which disrupt Flash’s airplane flight were burning chunks of lunar debris.
  • Sam J. Jones’ dark hair was bleached blonde for this role, and Melody Anderson’s blonde hair was dyed brown. Flash was also supposed to have blue eyes, but Sam could not wear the contact lenses.
  • Ming’s symbol (which Klytus also wears on his gauntlets) is borrowed from the Freemason’s square and compass. Ming also makes a Masonic gesture during the course of the movie.
  • The wristwatch Flash is wearing in the early scenes of the film is a Seiko automatic chronograph, model 6139-6002. The watch disappears when Flash gets to Mongo.
  • All the main actors were signed for multiple films but the sequels were never made since the first movie didn’t do as well as expected.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger was turned down for the lead role because of his impenetrable Austrian accent.
  • Most of Sam J. Jones’s dialog was dubbed. This was down to the fact that Jones had had a falling out with producer Dino De Laurentiis over lack of payment and refused to go into the recording studio to loop his lines.

Talking Points:

  • Production value? (just above Barbarella or Star Trek…with techniques from Wizard of Oz)
  • Lots of Wizard of Oz connections – short people, flying, people melting when dying, over the “rainbow”, meeting the wacky characters that help him defeat Ming, “If I only had a brain…but I had it all the time”
  • Were early 80s movies all this bad? Not that it was BAD, but meaning looking
  • Deliberate rip off of Star Wars elements?
  • Dale’s role = women’s lib?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Don’t forget your toothbrush as you get on a rocket to counterattack an attack from space.
  • Ming’s storm troopers yell like Ewoks when they are shot
  • Becoming a man on Arboria involves a lot of grunting, men beating their sticks in a circle and thrusting your extremities into a dark mysterious hole.
  • Imperial War-Rockets are great at spotting 5 people 400 mongo miles away, but they will miss that Rocket Jet Ski thats right next to them.
  • You know you have a cult movie when Riff Raff from Rocky Horror shows up

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: A classic old style serial film. Love it.
Ray:Classic, I think the production values perfectly match the tone of the movie! This one would be hard to remake!
Steve: Not the best production value in the world, but who doesn’t like a home town boy helping save the world from evil oppressors who are out to destroy it? Cult classic…so don’t expect Shakespeare.

The Present: Battle: Los Angeles (Released 3/11/11)
Rotton Tomatoes: 32% Rotten, 71% Audience

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ramon Rodriguez, Cory Hardrict, Gino Anthony Pesi, Ne-Yo, James Hiroyuki Liao, Noel Fisher, Adetokumboh M’Cormack, Bryce Cass, Michael Peña, Neil Brown Jr., Taylor Handley

Trivia:

  • The film is inspired by the real life incident known as the Battle of Los Angeles, during World War II. On the night of 24-25 February 1942, unidentified aircraft were allegedly spotted in the airspace above Los Angeles. Suspecting it to be the Japanese, a blackout of the city was ordered and over 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition was fired. Upon finding no evidence of the existence of any enemy aircraft, the incident was declared to be a “false alarm”. The event has since been chalked up to as being a result of “war nerves”, likely triggered by a lost weather balloon and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining anti-aircraft batteries.
  • Very little of the film was actually shot in Los Angeles. Tax incentives brought the production to Louisiana where sets of Los Angeles streets were constructed.
  • Marines from Camp Pendleton helped train the actors for their roles, educating them in the Marine lifestyle. A number of actual marines also appear as extras in the film. To thank them, a sneak preview of the film was shown at Camp Pendleton on March 3rd, 2011.
  • The movie was released on 03/11/11. 0311 is the Marine Corps Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for Infantry Riflemen.
  • Liebesman drew inspiration from YouTube videos of marines fighting in Fallujah for the look of the film. As a result the film was not shot in 3D as the director felt that combined with the handheld camera style of shooting would make the audience “throw up in two minutes.”
  • The film was shot for a PG-13 rating, as the director felt making the film overly gory did not suit the more suspenseful tone they were trying to achieve.
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment investigated the possibility of legal action against the filmmakers Greg and Colin Strause, who were hired to do visual effects work on Battle: Los Angeles through their special effects company Hydraulx. Sony Pictures suspected the Strause brothers had created their own Los Angeles-based alien invasion film Skyline, which would compete with the Battle: Los Angeles release, by using resources they had gained while working on Battle: Los Angeles without the consent of Sony Pictures. A spokesman for the Strauses responded by saying, “Any claims of impropriety are completely baseless. This is a blatant attempt by Sony to force these independent filmmakers to move a release date that has long been set by Universal and Relativity and is outside the filmmakers’ control.”

Talking Points:

  • Was this a 2 hour long commercial for joining the Marines? Or a timely/sympathetic reminder to show the world the hardships that our troops face? What do you think?
  • Michelle Rodriguez’s performance = is this her niche?
  • Elements of District 9, Cloverfield, and V, with better production value than Skyline
  • Would it have been better documentary style?
  • Shaky Cam! OMG

What We Learned:

  • Join the Marines! Hooah!
  • Veterinarians can autopsy aliens.
  • If you’re from Jersey, you can hotwire a bus.
  • If they are chasing and shooting at you.. they are probably not friendly.
  • Michelle Rodriguez is a bad ass.
  • Make sure that the exit is intact before you get on the freeway!
  • Marines don’t quit

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Not bad. Much better than Skyline, but sometimes got confusing on who was who.
Ray:This movie is ok, much better than Skyline which is seems to be compared to..if I had to give it a rating, 2 out of 4 stars.. but it gets an extra star for letting me watch LA burn.
Steve: I liked it. Saving Private Ryan with aliens. I just let go and went with it.

The Future: The Tree of Life (limited May 27, 2011)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain

Trivia:

  • Heath Ledger was originally slated to play Mr. O’Brien. Brad Pitt took over the role.
  • In 2005 Terrence Malick had talked to Colin Farrell about starring in the lead role.
  • Mel Gibson was considered for a role in this film.
  • The origin of this film goes back to the late 1970s, when after Days of Heaven (1978) director Terrence Malick was working on a project named “Q”, that would explore the origins of life on earth. He abandoned the project, but this film contains elements from it.
  • Production designer Jack Fisk drew inspiration from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • VFX supervisor Mike Fink described the film’s scenes of the birth/death of the universe as “not narratively connected, but thematically complementary pieces.”
  • The tree of life that appears in the film is a gargantuan 65000-pound live-oak tree situated at Smithville, Texas.

Talking Points:

  • WTF?

Summary:
The story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence

From the Director :

We trace the evolution of an eleven-year-old boy in the Midwest, Jack, one of three brothers. At first all seems marvelous to the child. He sees as his mother does with the eyes of his soul. She represents the way of love and mercy, where the father tries to teach his son the world’s way of putting oneself first. Each parent contends for his allegiance, and Jack must reconcile their claims. The picture darkens as he has his first glimpses of sickness, suffering and death. The world, once a thing of glory, becomes a labyrinth. From this story is that of adult Jack, a lost soul in a modern world, seeking to discover amid the changing scenes of time that which does not change: the eternal scheme of which we are a part. When he sees all that has gone into our world’s preparation, each thing appears a miracle—precious, incomparable. Jack, with his new understanding, is able to forgive his father and take his first steps on the path of life.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: The trailer has great imagery and is beautiful but still confused on what the movies is about.
Ray: The first time I saw this trailer, what immediately sucked me in was some of the awesome imagery I saw in the Trailer, and the content is just bizarre enough to make me want to see it.
Steve: I have absolutely no idea what this movie is about from the trailer.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV043: “I Liked Him After He Got Shot In The Face.”

The boys look at a wacky collection of films in this week’s episode. First, Steven Speilberg’s 1987 family-friendly alien invasion movie “*batteries not included”. Next, we wonder if even the aliens from the past movie could fix Nicholas Cage’s performance in “Drive Angry 3D”…that is, until he’s shot in the face! And lastly, we look into the future and discover “Hanna”, a film about a sweet little girl who could kick your ass and feed it to you for dinner. Scrumptious! All this and Gary Oldman talks Batman, Doom 2, and Bond in drag in movie news. You never know what you’re gonna get…and you know you love it!

News:

The Past: *batteries not included (1987)

Director: Matthew Robbins
Starring: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Peña, Michael Carmine, Dennis Boutsikaris
Rotten Tomatoes: 64% Fresh

Trivia:

  • Was originally to be a short story on TV’s “Amazing Stories” But Spielberg liked the story so much he wanted it made into a feature film
  • The building that housed Hume Cronyn’s lunch counter was a unique old building that was the only one on the block. Twenty-five years earlier it was used for the Judy Holliday musical Bells Are Ringing (1960) with the block in the same condition.
  • The opening montage shows pictures of Frank Riley in a Navy uniform circa World War 2. Later in the movie when his wife pulls out his pocket watch it has a leather fob attached with a gold anchor with a silver “USN” on it, signifying Frank achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer during his time in the service.
  • The guy who played Carlos died of heart failure 2 years later at the age of 30.

Talking Points:

  • Did anyone think the Mom and Dad robots resembled the ships from CEOTTK?
  • The gang guys – did they come of very West Side Story to anyone else?
  • Dark?
  • Lots of plot holes/brief info

What We’ve Learned:

  • Robots can have sex.
  • Plugs from outerspace can fit in American outlets, so why can’t ours fit in European outlets?
  • Use water balloons full of gasoline to hide signs of arson – not that we condone arson

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Sweet adorable family fun. I thought the effects held up IMHO
Ray: Great Family Film.. Effects are starting to show their age
Steve: Enjoyable. Has lots of holes in plot and not well strung together, but overall good family fun.

The Present: Drive Angry 3D

Director: Patrick Lussier

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke, David Morse
Rotten Tomatoes: 46% Rotten

Trivia:

  • The name of Nicolas Cage’s character is John Milton. This is likely a reference to Paradise Lost, an epic about Satan’s expulsion from Heaven and the creation of Hell, which was written by John Milton.

Talking Points:

  • Is a “Bad” film, a “Good” Grindhouse film?
  • 3D = worth it? Did the “obvious” 3D effects help?
  • Nicolas Cage = good actor?
  • Ke$ha was really good in the movie – no it wasn’t her, just kiddin’
  • Felt very Buffy to me…the last season, that is
  • Indiscriminate killing = equality in film?

What We Learned:

  • 2 days is a decade in horny fucker years
  • It’s amazing the way that car talk can give you a hard on.
  • No one ever reaches the end and says I wish I hadn’t fucked so much
  • Never be naked before a gun fight
  • It’s completely possible to have sex, and be involved in a shootout all at the same time
  • Jesus prefers short hair
  • Fire isn’t the worst part of hell it’s the videofeed
  • Fbi = federal bureau of get the fuck Out of my way
  • Satan is actually quiet and well read, sacrificing children annoys him.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: One badass 3D gimmicky action extravaganza. It’s awesome. I didn’t think the acting was too bad.
Ray: Blood, Bullets and Boobs! Oh MY! If I had one complaint.. it would be that there were not enough cars in this… This is a no holds barred Grindhouse flick, that knows exactly what it is, and doesn’t apologize for it… Loved it.
Steve: Went in expecting to hate it but I actually enjoyed it. Besides Cage being Cage, I liked him after he got shot in the face. It was worth it.

The Future: Hanna (4-8-2011)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana

Trivia:

  • Danny Boyle was developing Hanna with screenwriter Seth Lochhead in early 2009, but eventually left the project.
  • Alfonso Cuarón was rumored to be circling the project just weeks before Joe Wright signed on to direct.
  • The script was listed on both the 2006 and 2009 Black List, an annual list of the best unproduced screenplays of the year.
  • Seth Lochhead wrote the original story and script on spec in 2006. He returned for production work in 2010.
  • According to Joe Wright, Saoirse Ronan specifically requested that the studio bring him on-board to direct the film.

Talking Points:

  • Kick Ass meets The Bourne Identity?

Summary:
Hanna (Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father (Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Ms. Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Curious, but rental to me.
Ray: Sorta Interested.. but most likely a rental for me.
Steve: I like a good kick-ass girl movie. I’m likely to see…but rental.

Coming Attractions
The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV042: “Latrine!”

What’s the top Spoof movies of all time? Is going crazy a good storyline? Can Jeff stand Danny McBride? This, Oscar Talk, Top Secret and more on this episode of COL Movies.

News:

  • First real good look at the Red Skull? http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Witness-The-First-Real-Look-At-Captain-America-s-The-Red-Skull-23469.html
  • Blade Runner Reboot in the works http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Blade-Runner-Reboot-Close-To-Becoming-A-Reality-23453.html
  • Alcon Entertainment Quote “This is a major acquisition for our company, and a personal favorite film for both of us. We recognize the responsibility we have to do justice to the memory of the original with any prequel or sequel we produce. We have long-term goals for the franchise, and are exploring multi-platform concepts, not just limiting ourselves to one medium only.”
  • Help save “The Kings Speech” by not going to see it. http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Help-Save-The-King-s-Speech-By-Refusing-To-See-It-23385.html
  • Oscars talk.

The Past: Top Secret! (1984)

Director: (s) Jim Abrahams;David Zucker;Jerry Zucker
Starring: Val Kilmer, Peter Cushing, Lucy Gutteridge
Rotten Tomatoes: 76% Fresh

Trivia:

  • The Latin spoken by the priest at Fleurgendorf Prison on the way to the execution room is just random phrases, borrowed partly from the religious, medical and legal professions
  • After receiving an order, one of the German officers replies with, “Ich liebe Dich, mein Schatz,” which translates to “I love you, honey.”
  • The surfing sequences were filmed at Holywell Bay, Cornwall, UK (a few miles down the coast from Newquay, a popular surfing town). The palm trees were fake, and the surf shack was in fact the actual lifeguard’s hut (which is still there). The beach is recognizable by the two large rock formations located at the left of the beach, approx 100 meters out to sea.
  • German dub version uses next to no Yiddish, opting instead on either Saxonian accent or High German. Several jokes are rewritten to spoof the GDR to make up for the fact that the script did not excel in research of GDR specifics. It also dispenses with the film’s notion of portraying the East German (GDR) regime as “born-again Nazis”
  • Val Kilmer’s first feature film
  • Cows Hate having things on their feet so the bottoms were cut out of the wellington boots, and are attached to the cows legs
  • The scene in which Lucy Gutteridge looks down from the balcony onto the street to see hamsters and mice was in fact a miniature from Superman (1978). The Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams stated in their DVD commentary that they found it in the old Shepperton studios and thought it would be a great idea to use it in somewhere in the movie.

Talking Points:

  • I love how Peter Cushing gets top billing in this movie.. for being in one scene

What We’ve Learned:

  • Never order the Ripple
  • Swedish is essentially English backwards.
  • The East Germans Hated the Montgomery Wards Catalog
  • Never use the “Anal Intruder” unsupervised
  • Remember European power outlets have a different voltage.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: One of my favorite comedies. Subtle but silly, and absurd.
Ray: This is probably one of my least favorite spoofs… the movie just doesn’t work for me, I don’t find a lot of it funny, and I just don’t get the Nazi take on East Germany
Steve: Has it’s moments – like the East German women’s wrestling team – that just remind me of growing up in the 70s and 80s. Not the best, but not the worst.

Intermission: Top Spoof movies

 

The Present: Black Swan

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% Fresh

Trivia:

  • The script took around ten years to make it to the screen
  • Darren Aronofsky offered Mila Kunis the role of Lily over Skype, without an audition
  • The soundtrack, composed by Clint Mansell is a variation on Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” ballet, but played backwards and in a distorted manner.
  • Nina’s cell phone ring tone is the Theme of the Black Swan.
  • The overhead shot of Nina in the bathtub is an exact replica of a shot in the Japanese anime thriller Perfect Blue (1998). Prior to Requiem for a Dream (2000), Darren Aronofsky bought the remake rights to the film just to use that one sequence.

Talking Points:

  • Was there a point this movie was trying to get across?
  • Holy cow! That’s Mila Kunis!?
  • Ballerina Fight Club!
  • Wynona Rider’s character/performance?

What We Learned:

  • Natalie did a convincing job as a prima ballerina
  • These Bitches Be CRAZY
  • Always make sure your mother is not in the room before you start masturbating

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: A definite thinking film. With the one viewing, I didn’t like it but kept me thinking after the show, I feel like multiple viewings will get me to like it better. Well done.
Ray: A Darren Aronofsky film that deals with a person who has an obsession/addiction in their lives that 4slowly causes them to self destruct? Never seen THAT before!
Steve: I got lost…but enjoyed the movie for it’s visuals and the performances. Maybe I’m just not smart enough for this one. 🙁

The Future: Your Highness (4-8-2011)

Starring: Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel, James Franco, Natalie Portman

Trivia:

  • Although the film was written by writer Ben Best and actor Danny McBride, the dialogue is heavily improvised. Director David Gordon Green said there was never a script used on-set.
  • For the green band (appropriate audiences) trailer a shot of Natalie Portman’s back (that was also used unaltered in the red band trailer) was digitally altered to turn a thong into a more substantial and less revealing garment.

Talking Points:

  • I wouldn’t mind seeing Natalie Portman as Lara Croft after seeing this.
  • James Franco?

Summary:

  • When Prince Fabious’s bride is kidnapped, he goes on a quest to rescue her… accompanied by his lazy useless brother Thadeous.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Kill me.
Ray:Feels like “A Princess Bride” I’d go see it
Steve: Looks hokey, but enough interest for me to give it a shot on DVD.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

 

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MOV041: “More Human than Human”

Do androids dream of electric sheep? Can an identity be stolen completely in just a couple of days? Can you really solve a mystery by jumping back to the last 8 minutes of someone’s life? All this and news on this week’s COL Movies.

News:

The Past: Blade Runner (1982)

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Howard, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Trivia:

  • While the film is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, the title comes from a book by Alan Nourse called “The Bladerunner”. William S. Burroughs wrote a screenplay based on the Nourse book and a novella entitled “Blade Runner: A Movie.”Ridley Scott bought the rights to the title but not the screenplay or the book. The Burroughs composition defines a blade runner as “a person who sells illegal surgical instruments”
  • Although Philip K. Dick saw only the opening 20 minutes of footage prior to his death on March 2, 1982, he was extremely impressed, and has been quoted by Paul Sammon as saying, “It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly.” However neither Ridley Scott nor screenwriter David Webb Peoples actually read Dick’s novel.
  • Exasperated crews often referred to the film as “Blood Runner”.
  • Titles considered for the film include ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, ‘Android’, ‘Mechanismo’, ‘Dangerous Days’, and finally ‘Blade Runner’. After the film had changed its name from ‘Dangerous Days’ to ‘Blade Runner’, Ridley Scott decided he didn’t like the new name, and tried to call the film ‘Gotham City’, but Bob Kane (comic book creator of Batman) wouldn’t sell the rights to the name, so it returned to being called ‘Blade Runner’.
  • Originally, the novel (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) was set in 1992, although later editions brought the date forward to 2021. The film makers initially identified the date as 2020, but settled on 2019 because 2020 sounded too much like the common term for perfect vision, 20:20.
  • Ridley Scott cast Rutger Hauer in the role of Roy Batty without actually meeting the actor. He had watched his performances in Turkish Delight (1973), Keetje Tippel (1975) and Soldier of Orange (1977) and was so impressed, he cast him immediately. However, for their first meeting, Hauer decided to play a joke on Scott and he turned up wearing huge green sunglasses, pink satin pants and a white sweater with an image of a fox on the front. According to production executive Katherine Haber, when Scott saw Hauer, he literally turned white.
  • Ridley Scott actually turned down directorial duties on the project as he was about to begin work on another science fiction adaptation, Dune

Talking Points:

  • All the different versions, deleted scenes not withstanding do you feel the studio was right in insisting Ridley Scott put Harrison Ford’s voice over into the movie?
  • Theatrical Release
  • International Release
  • Directors Cut
  • Final Cut
  • Work-print
  • Was this the Inception of its day? (controversy wise, not popularity wise) Is Deckard a replicant or no? Even the cast doesn’t agree…. Scott says yes, Ford and Hauer say no.

What We’ve Learned:

  • In 8 years, Los Angeles will somehow merge into Detroit
  • In 8 years we will have flying cars
  • The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long
  • Nothing is worse than having an itch that you can never scratch
  • “It’s time to die!”
  • It sucks to only have 4 years to live.
  • Adama is good at Origami

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: A sci-fi classic. Must have for any geek.
Ray: A very cerebral sci-fi flick, I don’t think anyone has nailed sci-fi / noir quite as well as this movie. still holding up after almost 30 years!
Steve: Always an amazing movie. However…this particular cut leaves some WTF moments. All depends on which version you cherish.

The Present: Unknown

Director: Juame Collet-Serra

Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aiden Quinn

Trivia:

  • Principal photography took place in early 2010 in Berlin, Germany, and in the Studio Babelsberg film studios.
  • The bridge the taxi plunges from is the Oberbaumbrücke.
  • The Friedrichstraße was blocked for several nights for the shooting of a car chase.
  • Some of the shooting was done in the Hotel Adlon. Other locations include the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin Central Station, Berlin Friedrichstraße station, Pariser Platz, Museum Island, the Oranienburger Straße in Berlin, and the Leipzig/Halle Airport.
  • According to Andrew Rona, the budget was $40 million. Dark Castle Entertainment contributed $30 million and German public film funds supported the production with €4,65 million (more than $6 million).
  • The film has received mixed to positive reviews, scoring 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 5.8/10, with the general consensus being “Liam Neeson elevates the proceedings considerably, but Unknown is ultimately too derivative — and implausible — to take advantage of its intriguing premise”.
  • Considerable praise has been placed on Neeson in the lead role and the unique premise of the film, and has comparisons with Neeson’s 2008 film Taken.
    * Richard Roeper gave the film a B+, reflecting “At times, Unknown stretches plausibility to the near breaking point, but it’s so well paced and the performances are so strong and most of the questions are ultimately answered. This is a very solid thriller.”

Talking Points:

  • So.. we figured this one out a long time ago.. but there was still a twist.

What We Learned:

  • Ask enough questions and the man who is lying will change his story
  • Germans are good at forgetting
  • Sentiment is always the first thing to go.
  • Don’t get your cyanide mixed up with your afternoon tea
  • There are obviously no patrol cars anywhere in Berlin

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It’s a movie with a nice twist and resolution. Just wish it was better written.
Ray: Not Brilliant, Not Horrible, Once I got over the whole Total Recall thing and just relaxed.. it was entertaining. actors do a good job,… there is a twist at the end if you can stay entertained long enough to stay to the end.
Steve: I was a bad, bad movie reviewer. Life got in the way… I repent!

The Future: Source Code (4-1-2011)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farminga

Trivia:

  • Topher Grace was considered for lead

Talking Points:

  • A dark version of groundhog day?

Summary:
An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Interesting, feels like it might be a good movie, but feeling like it might go horribly wrong.
Ray: I think it looks entertaining, enough to go see.. which is why i put it on our list 😀
Steve: Very Groundhog’s Day meets Quantum Leap…but with a higher budget. Looks interesting and seems like something I’d enjoy.

Coming Attractions
The Past

The Present

The Future

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