It’s 85th reel of COL Movies, and Carlos joins the boys in on the fun! They start in the past with the non-traditional Christmas classic, “Gremlins”. From one Spielberg film to another, they head to the theater to check out his first animated film “The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn”. For the future, they review the new trailer for “The Dark Knight Rises”. Along with some updated movie news, it’s the 85th reel of COL Movies…”How much for that Mogwai in the window?”
The Past: Gremlins (1984)
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% Fresh, 70% Audience
Director: Joe Dante
Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Howie Mandell (VO-Gizmo), Frank Welker (VO-Stripe)
- Originally planned and scheduled for a Christmas release, the film was rushed into production shortly after Warner Bros. found out that it had no major competition against Paramount’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or Columbia’s Ghost Busters for the summer movie season
- Generally credited (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) to influence the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating, as many felt the scenes of violence in both movies were too much for a PG rating, but not enough for an R rating.
- This was the first movie in years to use Warner Bros’ “shield” logo
- In Cantonese Chinese, mogwai means devil, demon or gremlin. The Mandarin pronunciation is mogui
- The set for Kingston Falls is the same one used for Back to the Future. Both movies were filmed in the Universal Studios backlot.
- Though he followed the basic outline of the script, Hoyt Axton is said to have improvised nearly all his lines.
- After watching his earlier short films, Steven Spielberg considered Tim Burton to direct the film. But decided against it because at the time Burton had never directed a full feature length film.
- Jon Pertwee and Mako were both seriously considered for the role of Mr. Wing.
- According to Joe Dante and Michael Finnell, the original rough cut of the film ran 2 hours and 40 minutes.
- In this film, the Amblin Entertainment logo makes its first on-screen appearance.
- Within the story, Gizmo was capable of singing or humming. Jerry Goldsmith wrote Gizmo’s song as well, but Howie Mandel never sang it. A girl member of Goldsmith’s congregation was hired to sing Gizmo’s song, although she had never worked in films before.
- The time machine prop from Time after Time can be seen behind Rand Peltzer when he’s on the phone with his wife, while attending the convention.
- Chris Columbus’ script went through a few drafts before a shooting script was finalized. His original version had the creatures killing the dog and cutting off the mom’s head and tossing it down the stairs. These elements were never shot due to the fact that both, Joe Dante and Warner Bros. wanted the movie to be more family oriented.
- Mr. Hanson, the science teacher, originally died with dozens of hypodermic needles stuck in his face. But, by request from Steven Spielberg, this scene was re-shot it with just a single needle in the buttocks
- At the end, Gizmo pulls a window blind which exposes Stripe to the sunlight. But, originally, there are two window blinds and Gizmo pull the first one and then Billy pulls the second one. This scene was edited because Steven Spielberg believed that Gizmo was the hero of the movie and not Billy and therefore Gizmo would be the one responsible for the demise of Stripe.
- Non traditional Christmas movies (this movie was a summer release)
- Intended audience and the addition of the PG-13 rating
- The Logic Flaw
- Practical Effects – hold up? (Creepy skeleton Stripe)
- Voice actors (Howie Mandel & Michael Winslow…among others)
What We’ve Learned:
- Having cable is not a successful way to pick up girls
- Gremlins have perfect pitch
- Suicide rates are always highest during the holidays
- The smaller the animal the faster the heartbeat
- Don’t expose them to light, Don’t get them wet and never feed them after midnight.
Jeff: An incredibly classic movie but I didn’t feel like it held up. Still feels very dated. But getting past that, still love it. Made me want to watch the sequel.
Ray: This is one of my favorite non-traditional Christmas movies – I think its worth watching, but make sure you watch it yourself before deciding if if its appropriate for younger children to watch.
Steve: A great film. I still have my Gizmo 🙂 I love that it’s practical and even if it doesn’t stand up to the test of time, it’s a classic.
Carlos: This gets violent, and subversive, even for a well-known piece of holiday counter-programming. It has pieces of bitter chocolate even in all the Xmas happy.
The Present: The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of The Unicorn
Rotten Tomatoes: 75% Fresh, 80% Audience
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg
- Thomas Brodie-Sangster was originally set to play the titular character, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Jamie Bell, who had worked with Peter Jackson on King Kong, then came aboard to play Tintin.
- The first animated film directed by Steven Spielberg.
- In the early 1980s, Steven Spielberg hired E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial writer Melissa Mathison to write a draft of the script. Her script featured a battle in Africa between Tintin and ivory poachers.
- After Simon Pegg had completed How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Steven Spielberg invited him to the film’s set and offered him the role of Thomson.
- Originally, Steven Spielberg was going to do a live-action adaptation of Tintin, and called Peter Jackson to ask if his VFX company Weta Digital would work on the film, in particular creating a CGI Snowy. Jackson, as it turned out, was a longtime fan of Tintin, and convinced Spielberg that live action would not do justice to the comic books, and that motion capture was the best way of representing Hergé’s world of Tintin. However, Snowy would still be CGI.
- Steven Spielberg has always shot his films traditionally, but since he was going to film what he saw was an animated film he didn’t mind shooting it digitally.
- Claude Berri and Roman Polanski were interested in directing.
- Screenwriter Steven Moffat claims he was “love-bombed” by Steven Spielberg into writing the script for this film, with Spielberg promising to shield him from studio interference with his writing.
- Steven Moffat finished a draft of the script, but could not polish it because of the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, and afterwards becoming executive producer of Doctor Who. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson amiably allowed him to leave and fulfill his duty to the series (Jackson being a fan of the Doctor), and brought in Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish to rewrite Moffat’s draft.
- This is Steven Spielberg’s first comic-book adaptation. He had earlier been considered to do Superman.
- Steven Spielberg has been an avid fan of ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ comic books since 1981, when a review compared Raiders of the Lost Ark to Tintin. His secretary bought him French-language editions of each book, but Spielberg did not have to understand them: he immediately fell in love with its art. Meanwhile, ‘Tintin’ creator Hergé became a fan of Spielberg (reports say he “thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice.”)
- When the film was in development in 1984, Steven Spielberg wanted Jack Nicholson to play Captain Haddock.
- This is Andy Serkis’s third collaboration with Peter Jackson, as well as his fourth motion-capture role (he had earlier played the creatures Gollum and King Kong in features directed by Jackson and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Sometime after being cast, Serkis joked that he was worried Peter Jackson would cast him as Tintin’s dog Snowy.
- To prepare for his role as Captain Haddock, Andy Serkis read the majority of the “Tintin” comics. He later commented that they had a surreal quality, similar to the Monty Python films.
- ‘Danny deVito’ was considered for the role of Senor Oliveira de Figueira, but the character was cut from the script.
- Daniel Craig (Red Rackham) had collaborated with Toby Jones in Infamous and Jamie Bell in Defiance, and appeared in the Steven Spielberg film Munich.
- According to Steven Spielberg, when shooting he always keeps one eye closed when framing a shot, so that he can visualize the film in 2D (“the way viewers would”). But on this film he had both of his eyes open, as it was 3D and he wanted to treat the film like live-action.
- During filming, Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Daldry and David Fincher paid a visit to the set.
- Steven Spielberg’s cinematographer Janusz Kaminski was brought on to act as a lighting consultant for Weta, as Jackson wanted the film to look “film noir-ish, and very atmospheric.”
- Steven Spielberg shot his portion of the film in 32 days (taking up March 2009). Peter Jackson was present for the first week of filming, and supervised the rest of the shoot via a specially made iChat videoconferencing program. Simon Pegg said Jackson’s voice would “be coming over the Tannoy like God.”
- Steven Spielberg enjoyed working with the virtual camera so much, he did a lot of his own camera work in the movie.
- Michael Kahn has collaborated with Steven Spielberg as an editor for over 30 years. He has always cut his movies on a Moviola and KEM when working with Spielberg. This will be his first movie that he will cut digitally with Spielberg using Avid (though he has cut movies digitally before, such as Twister).
- Steven Spielberg is the first Oscar-winning director to direct a Nickelodeon film. Peter Jackson (the sequel’s director) will be the second.
- Steven Spielberg has had the rights to Tintin since 1983.
- This is Nickelodeon’s first involvement with Tintin in 20 years. The Nickelodeon channel originally aired The Adventures of Tintin.
- The Crab with the Golden Claws’ is the most frequently filmed Tintin adventure. It was previously adapted to the screen in 1947 as a stop-motion puppet film, and adapted twice for TV: Once in 1959 and again in 1990.
- During the final dock scene, a bunch of cans with a crab symbol falls from a crate. These are the same canned crabs that serve as a McGuffin in the original “Crab with the Golden Claws” album.
- The crab with the golden claws from the Tintin tale of the same name can be seen on display in Sheik Salaad’s palace.
- At the beginning of the movie, when Tintin is having his likeness drawn, the other likenesses posted in the background are of characters featured in various Tintin books and as shown in the inside covers of every Tintin book.
- The credits, especially the opening ones, are in the same typeface as the books’ titles.
- The Adventures of Tintin was released 30 years to the day Indiana Jones was released in 1981, also directed by Steven Spielberg
- The movie fittingly starts with a closeup of a painter’s palette. On studiobriefing.net, Steven Spielberg said of his experience filming Tintin: “I did feel like a painter in a way, and that was exciting for me.”
- The ship in the bottle and the Unicorn are based upon the “Soleil Royal”, a large French ship of the line that was launched in 1669.
- The opening credits feature several references to Tintin books (such as the iconic rocket from ‘Destination Moon’). The departure board shown also features destinations from Tintin books.
- The framed newspapers on the walls of Tintin’s apartment feature headlines and photos that recall his other adventures. Example: The headline “Tintin Breaks Up Crime Ring,” with a picture of several Egyptian mummy cases, refers to “Cigars of the Pharaoh.” The headline “Tintin Recovers Valuable Sceptre” refers to “King Ottokar’s Sceptre.”
- “First Look In 3D” at AMC
- The Uncanny Valley, physics, story elements
- Indiana Jones
- Camera Motion
- The Violence (gun play) and alcohol use
What We Learned:
- American = all hair, oil, and no socks
- The aggressive ones always seem to be the first to roll over on their backs
- Police work is not all glamour and gunfights
- There are worse things than sobering up
- Realist is just another word for failure
Jeff: I really liked this film. Something about the motion capture made things seem a little weird but it still ended up being fantastic. Reminds me of adventure movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Ray: It was a fun film..although it dipped and weaved in and out of the uncanny valley – Way more violent then I expected it to be, so be aware before taking the kids. Overall though I’d recommend people go see it. 3D was done well but not necessary.
Steve: Didn’t hate it. I actually thought it looked better than other films, like the most recent Indiana Jones and Pirates movies. If think they should have done Young Indiana Jones like this. Didn’t particularly feel it was a “kids” movie…perhaps more PG 13, especially with the violence (swords, guns, etc).
Carlos: Probably the best directed of the cgi animated films. The camera roves around like some hyper but talented 14 year old. It’s an impressive achievement with some sincere emotional hits.
The Future: The Dark Knight Rises
Release: July 20, 2012
Directors: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard
Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes.
- Christopher Nolan is the first director to complete a full trilogy of Batman films, but the second to direct a full trilogy of films on one superhero (after Sam Raimi completed his Spider-Man films).
- Christian Bale has stated that he would not play Batman if Robin appeared anywhere in the trilogy. Christopher Nolan agreed not to include Robin as it would undermine the dark tone of his series.
- Christian Bale is the first live action actor to portray Batman/Bruce Wayne in three Batman films. Kevin Conroy has played the character in seven animated films as of 2011 (including Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker).
- Cinematographer Wally Pfister has expressed interest in shooting the entirety of the film in the IMAX format, as both Pfister and Christopher Nolan have expressed distaste for shooting the film in 3-D. Ultimately, the film would feature approximately 50 minutes of IMAX footage, while the rest was shot in a combination of 35mm and 70mm, as IMAX cameras proved to be too noisy for shooting the films dialogue scenes.
- Eva Green, Angelina Jolie Blake Lively, Rhona Mitra, Charlize Theron, Abbie Cornish, Vera Farmiga, Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman, Gemma Arterton, Kate Mara, Charlotte Riley, Emily Blunt and Keira Knightley all auditioned for the role of Selina Kyle. After the initial audition process, Biel and Mara all screen tested. Ultimately, Anne Hathaway won the role.
- Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz and Marion Cotillard were considered to play Miranda Tate before Cotillard finally got the role.
- Robin Williams was rumored to play the role of Hugo Strange.
- There was much speculation in the press when Anne Hathaway was announced as Selina Kyle if the actress would actually portray Kyle’s costumed alter-ego, Catwoman. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey following her stint as host of the Academy Awards, Hathaway let slip that her character indeed would don the Catwoman costume.
- According to Gary Oldman, Christopher Nolan told the actors the ending of the film verbally to avoid any leaks.
- One of the reasons why Christopher Nolan cast Tom Hardy as Bane was because of his performance in the film RocknRolla. Hardy stated that he thought he was cast because of his role in Bronson. He arrived on set only to learn that Nolan has never even seen Bronson.
- Around 10,000 extras were used to shoot the Gotham Rogues scene in Heinz Field. Some of the Pittsburgh Steelers played football players, including Hines Ward, who played himself.
- Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for Juno Temple’s role.
- According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anne Hathaway’s stunt double broke one of the IMAX cameras when she crashed the Batpod into it. This marks the second time an IMAX camera has been destroyed on a Christopher Nolan Batman film – a previous camera was smashed when filming the Joker’s underground truck chase in The Dark Knight.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt , Leonardo DiCaprio , James Holzier, Ryan Gosling, and Mark Ruffalo were considered to play John Blake. Gordon-Levitt was ultimately cast.
- Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman, had been cast as Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2010, which at that time was under Sam Raimi’s direction as “Spider-Man 4” and was going to feature the Vulture and Black Cat.
- The character of Bane in this film is more reverent and closer to his comic-book counterpart, unlike Batman & Robin, which reduced him to a mindless henchman. In the comic Books, Bane is a general, a strategist and a one-man army, literally forcing Batman to meet his match (and upon their first encounter it would turn out to be the case).
- According to Christopher Nolan, Bane was chosen as the film’s main antagonist “to test Batman mentally as well as physically.”
- To prepare for her role as Catwoman, Anne Hathaway worked out five days a week on a regime that involved vigorous exercise, stunt training and dancing. She called it her most physically demanding role to date.
- To prepare for his role as Bane, Tom Hardy gained 30 pounds in weight, and studied various fighting styles to use in the film.
- Tom Hardy described Bane as an absolute terrorist: “He’s brutal, but also incredibly clinical in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed… it’s nasty. It’s not about fighting, it’s about carnage!”
- After The Dark Knight released, Aaron Eckhart expressed interest in returning as Harvey “Two-Face” Dent, as the film had left his role relatively open-ended. Christopher Nolan stated that Dent was definitely dead, and that his death would leave lasting repercussions across Gotham.
- Composer Hans Zimmer collected online recordings of chanting to incorporate in the film’s score.
- This is the third Batman film to feature Catwoman after Batman and Batman Returns.
- Anne Hathaway previously appeared in Alice in Wonderland, which was directed by Batman/Batman Returns director Tim Burton and featured the previous Alfred, Michael Gough in his final role before his death.
- Marion Cotillard previously appeared in Big Fish, which was directed by Batman/Batman Returns director Tim Burton. Danny DeVito played The Penguin in Batman Returns which, like this film, also features Catwoman.
- Reunites Inception stars Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy and Marion Cotillard.
- Like Batman Returns and Batman & Robin, not only does this feature a female villain, but the villain is portrayed by an Oscar nominated actress. Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns) was nominated for Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Love Field. Uma Thurman (Batman & Robin) was nominated for Pulp Fiction. Anne Hathaway (this film) was nominated for Rachel Getting Married.
- This is the fifth film in a row that Christopher Nolan has worked with Michael Caine. The other films were Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception.
- Is set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight.
- With their appearances in this movie, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Gary Oldman will have each appeared in three Batman movies. Only Michael Gough and Pat Hingle have done the same thing.
- Christopher Nolan picked Bane as the main villain. Coincidentally, with no known relation, the name of one of the creators of Bane for the comic books is Graham Nolan.
- In the comics, Bane carried an apparatus that contains a steroid that amplifies his strength and fighting ability. In the film, the apparatus he carries contains an anesthetic as he is in constant chronic pain.
- The filmmakers cite the “Batman” comics ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ (an aged Batman operates in a future Gotham), ‘Knightfall’ (Bane pushes Batman physically and mentally, causing him to burn out) and ‘No Man’s Land’ (Gotham descends into gangland territory) as major influences on the film.
- Did anyone contribute to the chant?
- Has anyone seen the sneek peek before MI4?
Jeff: It’s nice to see more in this trailer. However, I’ve suddenly not as excited as before. It’s still one of the top movies on my list to see but something about the trailer, didn’t increase my excitement.
Ray: I was more excited by the sneak preview (Which is amazing) than the trailer.. so I am excited to see it but not because of the trailer.
Steve: Best Nolan-verse trailer to date. Finally one that excited me! OK, so perhaps it’s just Tom Hardy…but still. It’ll get me to the theater. 🙂