Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

In this 60th reel of COL Movies, the boys head back in time to revive the thriller “Se7en”, starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and perhaps the creepiest performance ever by Kevin Spacey. They head to the theater to check out “Transformers: Dark of The Moon” – if nothing else, just to see if Jeff will orgasm in the theater. Finally, the check out the trailer for the upcoming thriller “Straw Dogs”, starring the dreamy Alexander Saarsgard (otherwise known as Eric from True Blood). They hit up the movie news to talk about new stuff from Paramount, the Man of Steel, Transformer’s record breaking IMAX performance, as well as Ridley Scott’s upcoming “Prometheus”. This is definitely an episode you don’t want to miss..and oh, by the way…What’s in the Box???

News:

  • Paramount Pictures announces Paramount Animation
  • Budgets up to $100 million per film
  • First Release targeted for 2014
  • “Paramount Animation’s mandate will be the development of the broadest range of family CGI animated films, with a key piece being titles under the label of Viacom’s Nickelodeon, the number one entertainment brand for kids worldwide. Paramount will also look to build on Viacom’s already thriving global consumer products business by seeking to capitalize on merchandising opportunities tied to all Paramount Animation releases.
  • Pictures from Man of Steel set released
  • Transformers Dark of the Moon Posts record IMAX opening
  • IMAX Corporation and Paramount Pictures announced today that Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D, the third film in the blockbuster Transformers franchise, posted a record opening in IMAX(R) theatres, generating $23.1 million globally since launch. The total IMAX domestic take was $14 million, while the 146 domestic theatres that played Transformers: Dark of the Moon exclusively generated $88,500 per screen. The overall box office gross for the movie in the U.S. stands at $180,650,000 million through Monday
  • Lidelof, and Scott release synopsis for Prometheus
  • Visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott returns to the genre he helped define, creating an original science fiction epic set in the most dangerous corners of the universe. The film takes a team of scientists and explorers on a thrilling journey that will test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world, where they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life’s ultimate mystery.

The Past: Se7en (1995)

Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh; 94% Audience

Seven (Widescreen)

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Director: David Fincher
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey

Trivia:

  • While filming the scene where Mills chases John Doe in the rain, Brad Pitt fell and his arm went through a car windscreen, requiring surgery. This accident was worked into the script of the film. Ironically, the original script did call for Pitt’s Det. Mills character to be injured during this sequence–but to something other than his hand.
  • The autopsy of the first killing, as originally scripted, was incorrect according to the research of makeup man Rob Bottin (who viewed a real human autopsy as part of his prep work). The scene was truncated from the original script and shows only the sewn-up corpse of Gluttony, not the actual autopsy.
  • Originally, Morgan Freeman drew his pistol with his finger on the trigger. Police officers that were on the set as technical advisors quickly corrected him, as that is not correct police procedure.
  • The original script had a strange, dwarf-like woman as part of the forensics team, appearing in every one of the “cleanups” after a murder and hurling foul language and epithets at Somerset and Mills.
  • An edited-out sequence near the beginning had Somerset looking over the country home he’s planning on moving into. He uses his switchblade to cut loose a rose on a fragment of silk wallpaper and carries it with him throughout the movie. The rose falls out of his jacket as he is taking off his gun before eating with the Mills family. (This touch was edited out, too. Both sequences are in the supplementary section of the Criterion laserdisc.) The rose is briefly visible in the opening scene, sitting atop a handkerchief on Somerset’s dresser.
  • The screenplay had references to a partner Mills had when he still lived in the country, named Parsons. Parsons was shot and killed while on a bust with Mills, and consequently Mills is overprotective of Somerset in some scenes. All references to Parsons were deleted before shooting began.
  • All the building numbers in the opening scene start with 7. The climactic delivery was scheduled for 7pm.
  • New Line executives originally balked at the film’s ending, but Brad Pitt refused to make the film if the ending were changed.
  • Charles S. Dutton has a cameo as the cop who keeps the press out of the Greed crime scene.
  • The producers intended that Kevin Spacey should receive top billing at the start of the movie but he insisted that his name not appear in the opening credits, so as to surprise the audience with the identity of the killer. To compensate, he is listed twice in the closing credits: once before the credits start rolling, and once in the rolling credits in order of appearance. Another advantage from Spacey’s point of view, as he saw it, was that he was excluded from the film’s marketing during its release, meaning he didn’t have to make any public appearances or do any interviews.
  • When Somerset is in his apartment, he can be heard listening to a radio broadcast of John F. McClellan. McLellan was a Boston disc jockey (among other things) who did live Tuesday night broadcasts from the Boston club Storyville, on WHDH radio in the early 1950s. In the clip in the movie, you can hear McLellan’s voice announcing some of the members of the band at Storyville that night, including Charlie Parker with Herb Pomeroy on trumpet.
  • All of John Doe’s books were real books, written for the film. They took two months to complete and cost $15,000. According to Somerset, two months is also the time it would take the police to read all the books.
  • R.E.M’s Michael Stipe was once considered for the role of John Doe.
  • As preparation for his traumatic scene in the interrogation room, Leland Orser would breathe in and out very rapidly so that his body would be overly saturated with oxygen, giving him the ability to hyperventilate. He also did not sleep for a few days to achieve his character’s disoriented look.
  • The film was the subject of a lawsuit brought by a photographer whose work was used in the background of John Doe’s apartment. The case was decided in the filmmakers’ favor. Sandoval v. New Line Cinema Corp., 973 F.Supp. 409, 412-414 (S.D.N.Y 1997).
  • Morgan Freeman’s son, Alfonso Freeman, played the part of a fingerprint technician.
  • Denzel Washington turned down the part that went to Brad Pitt, telling Entertainment Weekly that the film was too “dark and evil.”
  • When looking for the part of Victor, David Fincher stated that he wanted to find someone who was incredibly skinny, around 90 lbs. Michael Reid MacKay auditioned, and at the time weighed 96 lbs. Fincher gave him the part and jokingly told him to lose some more weight. Much to his surprise, MacKay turned up to filming having lost another 6 lbs.
  • The song “6ix” from the Evan Dando album “Car, Button, Cloth” gives away the ending of the film.
  • This was voted the eighth scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • The word “fuck” and its derivatives are said a discernible 74 times throughout the movie, mostly by Brad Pitt.
  • According to earlier versions of the script, the unspoken name of the police captain is Captain Lucas.
  • David Cronenberg was offered a chance to direct this but he turned it down.
  • The box full of photographs at the “Sloth” scene has written on the side “To the World, from Me.”
  • Before Kevin Spacey was set to shoot his first scene, he asked director David Fincher if he should shave his head for the role. David Fincher replied “If you do it, I’ll do it.” Both Fincher and Spacey were bald for the remainder of the movie production.
  • This was regarded as the first “A” production for New Line Cinema, proving that they could attract “A-list” directors and cast.
  • Brad Pitt earned $7 million for this film.
  • Andrew Kevin Walker had enormous difficulty getting a studio to buy the rights to his script because he was a complete unknown in Hollywood. Allegedly he put together a list of agents that represented writers that work in the crime and thriller genres, and just called each one up until he got a positive response.
  • The closing credits for this movie scroll from the top of the screen to the bottom, instead of from the bottom to the top like in most other movies.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow was David Fincher’s first choice for the part of Brad Pitt’s wife, having impressed him with her work in Flesh and Bone (1993). Paltrow was initially not interested so Fincher had to ask her then boyfriend – Brad Pitt – to get her to come in and meet with him.
  • Kevin Spacey was cast two days before filming began.
  • At exactly 7 minutes into the film Mills picks up the phone to be called over to the Gluttony scene.
  • An interesting coincidence is that Se7en portrays religion in a pejorative light, and in private life, Brad Pitt openly admits his disdain for religion of any kind.
  • Andrew Kevin Walker The writer of the film appears as the first corpse.
  • The victim tied to the bed for a year was not an animatronic model, but a very skinny actor made up to look even more corpse-like. Rob Bottin used a set of exaggerated teeth to make the head look smaller and more shrunken from malnutrition.
  • R. Lee Ermey originally auditioned for the part of John Doe. After the part was given to Kevin Spacey, Ermey was offered, and took, the part of the police captain.
  • The prison jumpsuit John Doe wears at the end of the film has the words “Bardach County Jail” written on it. Elinor Bardach was the costume supervisor for this movie.
  • One version of the script contained a few scenes following the final confrontation between the detectives and John Doe. In one, Somerset is recovering in the hospital after being shot by Mills, and the captain delivers a letter to him from Mills which reads, “You were right. You were right about everything.”
  • In one scene, Mills belittles Doe as a “Movie of the Week”. When this film was shown on network television, the line was changed to “Book of the Month”. (The line has since been restored in subsequent showings on Cable television.)
  • Even though he’s probably one of the most horrifying and sadistic killers in cinematic history, John Doe isn’t seen killing anyone on screen.
  • To appease the producers, who wanted to soften the dramatic ending a bit, an alternate version of the ending was storyboarded, with Somerset saying that he “wants out”, and killing John Doe, thereby preventing Doe from winning, and Mills from ending up in jail. In the mean time, the crew shot a test ending, which is basically the theatrical ending without some of the dramatic shots. This finale was so well received in screenings that it convinced the producers to go along with it, and not even film the alternate ending.
  • The ending in the movie is the ending in the original draft of the screenplay. Producer Arnold Kopelson had it rewritten and the ending became a race to save Tracey’s life. When David Fincher, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman read the new ending, they all demanded the that original ending be put back in or they wouldn’t do the movie. (From the Platinum Series DVD).
  • One of the re-written endings of the film involved Somerset discovering that John Doe was raised by an abusive priest in a church orphanage. Doe kidnaps Mills and lures Somerset to a decrepit church decorated with artwork depicting the Seven Deadly Sins, intent on making Somerset murder him out of vengeance. Instead, Doe and Somerset engage in a shootout, and Somerset lawfully kills Doe to protect Mills’ life.
  • It is raining every day in the movie except for the last day. The reason is less about thematic issues and more about continuity. It rained on the first day that Brad Pitt filmed so they kept it going as they were rushing to do all of Pitt’s scenes before he left to go make Twelve Monkeys (1995).
  • Kevin Spacey as the antagonist, John Doe, made his first appearance in the film, as the photographer taking pictures of Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman at the sloth crime scene. If you pause the film at 54:45, when Pitt’s character was slapping the camera out of the photographer’s hand, you can clearly see that, it is Kevin Spacey.
  • John Doe only kills one of the “sinners” himself, and even that one is by accident (kicking Gluttony to wake him up, which makes his stomach burst). All of his other victims either kill themselves (Greed & Pride) or are killed by other people (Lust & Envy) or survive (Sloth & Wrath). The only murder John Doe actually commits intentionally by his own hand is Tracy Mills.
  • The ending narration of Somerset quoting Hemingway was an added compromise that neither David Fincher or Morgan Freeman particularly cared for. The decision came from New Line after poor test screenings regarding the dark ending.

Talking Points:

  • If you saw this movie in the theater, what made you go? Trailer? or word of mouth?
  • The end!

What We’ve Learned:

  • When you want somebody dead, you drive by and shoot them.
  • No matter how emotional you get, you need to keep focused on the details.
  • Just because you have a library card, doesn’t make you yoda
  • Apathy is not a virtue only a solution
  • Love cost’s, takes work and effort.
  • ‘The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.’ I agree with the second part.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Classic thriller, I’m glad I have this in my DVD collection.
Ray: Awesome film, awesome ending.. if you haven’t seen this you should be ashamed of yourself
Steve: Amazing film…I’m glad I took the time to watch it again. Was just as into it as I was the first time.

The Present: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes: 37% Rotten; 90% Audience

Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Buzz Aldrin, Frances McDormand, Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving, Leonard Nimoy

Trivia:

  • Tony Todd, who voiced the title character of The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), was going to play a human character in this film, but his role got written out of the script.
  • Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who worked on the screenplay for the previous two films, declined to work on this film due to schedules with other films and because they “risked getting stale.”
  • When Megan Fox dropped out shortly before filming began, Gemma Arterton, Ashley Greene, Brooklyn Decker, Miranda Kerr, Bar Refaeli, Amber Heard, Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Heidi Montag and Anna Kendrick were all rumored to replace her before Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast.
  • This is director Michael Bay’s first threequel (third instalment in a series/trilogy).
  • The Autobots have upgraded their alternate modes: – Bumblebee has received an upgrade and is now a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro – Ratchet’s color scheme now includes white and his green is more grass-green than his previous neon/yellow green – Sideswipe is now a Chevrolet Centennial Corvette convertible
  • In view of the technology’s rising popularity, Paramount/Dreamworks were adamant to have this film either shot for 3-D or converted in post-production. Director Michael Bay was initially wary of the technology, calling it a “gimmick” in various interviews and noting the poor quality of post-production conversion. Vince Pace, the co-found of PACE 3D who developed 2D and 3D cameras with James Cameron reported in July 2010 that he was working on Transformers 3 and that it will be shot in on PACE 3D cameras. However, for scenes that required higher image quality or were in slow motion, traditional anamorphic 35mm film was used and converted into 3D in post production.
  • Optimus Prime’s trailer bears a resemblance to the original one from “Transformers” (1984) with the decorative stripe running along its side.
  • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is playing Carly, a primary character that was introduced in the second season of “Transformers” (1984).
  • During filming in Washington, DC, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro that plays Bumblebee was struck by an metro police K-9 SUV responding to a bomb alert. The police officer involved sustained minor injuries, and Bumblebee sustained considerable damage. Filming was able to continue, as there were copies of each automobile for shooting purposes.
  • A tilting office set was constructed to simulate a Decepticon attack.
  • The Wreckers take the alternate modes of NASCAR Chevrolet Impala automobiles, resembling those of Juan Pablo Montoya (#42 Target), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (#88 AMP Energy/National Guard) and Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s/Kobalt)
  • The “dark of the moon” is defined as a phase (approximately three days) when the light of the moon is obscured, and thus absent (i.e. a no-moon time), and precedes the new moon and the beginning of a new lunar cycle. Symbolically, it represents a time of inner stillness and contemplation, and preparedness for a new beginning.
  • The Autobot Wheeljack’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a Lancia Stratos sportscar, but this was revised to a Mercedes-Benz E550 automobile. His head is also luminescent, in homage to his appearance in the series where two bulb-like appendages on his face regularly lit up.
  • The idea of Apollo 11 being connected to the discovery of the Transformers had been previously put forth in the Transformers (2007) tie-in prequel novel ‘Ghosts of Yesterday’.
  • Production stalled in Chicago as Gabriella Cedillo, an extra was seriously injured driving her own car as background for a stunt shot. The stunt was taking place in the opposite lane and a metal object – rigging from a snapped cable – went flying through her windshield and struck her in the skull. Cedillo suffered permanent brain damage, included left side paralysis and limited vision in her left eye. Paramount Studios provided an undisclosed amount of money to cover the cost of her medical care.
  • US$1 million was spent during the two days of filming at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
  • Corey Burton, who voiced Shockwave in “Transformers” (1984) and “Transformers: Animated” (2007), was approached to reprise Shockwave for the film, but turned it down as he’d done that role too many times. He had earlier been approached to voice Jazz and Brawl for the first film.
  • Megatron’s alternate mode in this film is a Mack Titan tanker truck, his first Earth disguise. This was chosen to put him on parallel with Optimus Prime (the filmmakers described him as “a demented version of Prime”). This mode also pays homage to the “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001) Decepticon Scourge (also known in Japan as “Black Convoy”), who is an evil clone of Optimus Prime.
  • Michael Bay described the tone of the film as “a homeland version of Black Hawk Down (2001) with giant alien robots.”
  • Sentinel Prime is primarily based on his role in the “Transformers” comics (Optimus Prime’s yellow-colored predecessor) and his lance and shield were taken from his “Transformers: Animated” (2007) incarnation, but his later form on Earth – a red Rosenbauer Panther fire truck – is a homage to “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001)’s Optimus Prime, whose alternate mode was a fire truck.
  • Laserbeak’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a tape cassette, but that was considered old-fashioned. He retains his robotic condor form throughout the film.
  • This is the first movie that starts with Megatron being conscious. In previous installments Megatron was awakened or resurrected.
  • The Autobot Steeljaw was originally a robotic lion and a minion of Blaster in “Transformers” (1984), but this was revised to a robotic hound and minion of Leadfoot.
  • To film the skydiving sequence, Michael Bay attached cameras to the divers’ helmets to capture their descent into Chicago.
  • The Autobot Mirage was originally a Formula-1 race car but this was altered to a Ferrari 458 italia
  • Scenes from Michael Bay’s The Island (2005) freeway way chase were recycled for the chase on the freeway between The Autobots and the Decepticon Dreads.
  • This is not Leonard Nimoy’s first appearance in a Transformers movie. He provided the voice of Galvatron (the upgraded Megatron) in the 1985 animated Transformers movie, which also had Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime; the two had no lines together in that movie, however, as Optimus was killed before Galvatron was created.
  • There are several homages to storylines from the original Transformers (1984) cartoon. Megatron removing Abraham Lincoln from the Lincoln Memorial and using the chair as a throne, the Decepticons creating a Space Bridge to pull Cybertron into orbit around Earth, as well as the Autobots being exiled and forced to leave Earth to the mercy of the Decepticons all happened in the cartoon series.
  • The character, Sentinel Prime, as voiced by Leonard Nimoy, uttered a familiar and famous phrase in the later half of the film … “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” which is a direct quote from his most memorable character, Spock, from the film ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”
  • Megatron’s characterization in this film heavily reflects that of Galvatron, Megatron’s upgraded form, from the original series (“Transformers” (1984)). This being, after the destruction of Galvatron’s Master, Unicron, he becomes a little more than insane in the series, in the same way, the destruction of The Fallen from the previous film (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)) has caused Megatron to go slightly insane.
  • The Gulfstream III private jet in which Sam and Mearing travel to Florida is owned by Michael Bay. Its tail number – 4500X – is the same as the helicopter Blackout used as a disguise in the first movie.
  • Early in the film a scene from the original Star Trek is shown along with the comment that “this is the episode where Spock goes insane”. This foreshadows Sentinal Prime’s insane plan later in the film as Leonard Nimoy played both Spock in Star Trek and the voice of Sentinal Prime.
  • A Decepticon attack leaves Simmons in a wheelchair. This is a homage to Chip Chase, a wheelchair-bound human from “Transformers” (1984) who was an ally of the Autobots.
  • Michael Bay compared Megatron to Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979): “He’s hiding in the jungles of Africa, nursing his wounds and vainly hiding his pulverized visage while plotting – what else? – revenge!”
  • Peter Cullen’s favorite moment in the film is when Optimus Prime meets with astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
  • Michael Bay conceived the Driller’s destruction of the skyscraper while doing stomach-crunch exercises.
  • When the employee is pushing the buttons on the photo copier that later transforms into Laserbeak, the distinct tones of the copier form the title theme song of the animated Transformers TV series.
  • The _Star Trek (TV Series 1966-1969)_ episode watched by Brains and Wheelie, where Spock “turns evil”, foreshadows the later betrayal by Sentinel Prime, who was voiced by Leonard Nimoy.

Talking Points:

  • How was the 3D
  • Anyone catch the nod to Star Trek 2?
  • Rosie’s performance
  • Shockwave – worth the wait?
  • The two annoying bots…again.

What We Learned:

  • Mark Ryan is hot. Oh wait, that’s a reference to the previous two movies.
  • Michael Bay lied about not having annoying bots in this movie.
  • See, 3D can be good if you try.
  • Peter Cullen’s Voice is orgasmic.
  • The Warriors path is a solitary one
  • Russian is like all the buttons on a calculator you never push
  • The Needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few……or the one

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Eye and ear candy extravaganza! See it in 3D! Although 2D would be fine if you can’t see 3D anyway
Ray: This movie might be good if there were no people in it. I enjoyed watching Chicago burn.
Steve: I enjoyed it. The actors weren’t exactly great…but the action was! See it in 3D!

The Future: Straw Dogs

Director: Rod Lurie
Starring: James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgård

Trivia:

  • It is a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 film of the same name, in turn based on the Gordon Williams novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm.

Talking Points:

  • Anyone see the original? 1971 Dustin Hoffman
  • Falling down? History of Violence?

Summary:

L.A. screenwriter David Sumner relocates with his wife to her hometown in the deep South. There, while tensions build between them, a brewing conflict with locals becomes a threat to them both.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Meh, looks alright. Could be interest . . .zzzzzzzzz
Ray: I never saw the Original..although I may see it now… not sure why this film had to be remade
Steve: I think this looks like it’s going to be a good one! Seems a little like “The Strangers”, but with more to it. I think I’m going to like it!

Coming Attractions

The Past

Demolition Man

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The Present

The Future

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The boys kick off year two with a few new bells and whistles, while heading back in time to bring back “The Fifth Element”. After Jeff finishes his orgasm, they head to the theaters to check the post-apocalyptic vampire flick, “Priest”. If that’s not enough saving the world, they check out the new trailer for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. Will the Michael Bay train stay on track or will we be as disappointed as we were with Trans 2? The boys also bring you up to date on “Akira”, “Thor 2” and “Titanic” in 3-D? Doesn’t the boat sink the same in 2-D? For the heck of it, they also reflect on their favorites from year one. Whether a long-standing fan or a newbie, this is definitely a show you don’t want to miss! Leeloo Dallas Multipass

News:

The Past: The Fifth Element (1997)

Rotten Tomatoes: 72% Fresh; 84% Audience

The Fifth Element (Ultimate Edition)

Price: $8.26

4.4 out of 5 stars (1270 customer reviews)

179 used & new available from $0.01

Director: Luc Besson

Starring: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker

Trivia:

  • The language spoken by Leeloo was invented by director Luc Besson and further refined by Milla Jovovich. By the end of filming they were able to have full conversations in this language.
  • The explosion in the Fhloston main hall was the largest indoor explosion ever filmed. The resulting fire almost got beyond control.
  • Early in the film, Gary Oldman’s character quotes Friedrich Nietzsche, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Oldman’s costar, Bruce Willis, released a record album on Motown Records with that title in the 1980s. 11 years later, Heath Ledger said a variation of the famous line in The Dark Knight (2008) (also starring Gary Oldman).
  • This is one of two science-fiction movies featuring Ian Holm in which there is a character by the name of Dallas. The other one is Alien (1979), which stars Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas.
  • Ruby Rhod was not the original name for Chris Tucker’s character, it was Loc Rhod. The original name appears in the script and the movie novelization.
  • When Korben Dallas wakes up, the date can just be seen on his bedroom wall: March 18th, 2263. 18 March is director Luc Besson’s birthday (a day before Bruce Willis’).
  • The only phrases from Leeloo’s alien language that are included in the captioning are “mlarta,” “big ba-dah big boom,” “akta,” “seno akta gamat,” “san agamat chay bet. Envolet,” “danko,” “domo danko,” and “apipoulai.” Everything else appears as Unknown Language or, after it’s specified, the Divine Language.
  • When the Mondoshawan aliens appear in 1914 Egypt, the Professor, panicking, says, “A… A… Are you German?” In the German version he says “Sind Sie… hier von der Erde?” which roughly translates as “Are you from here… Earth?”
  • The hero (Bruce Willis) and the villain (Gary Oldman) never meet, nor do they communicate in any way.
  • Luc Besson wrote the original screenplay when he was in high school.
  • Leeloo’s full name is “Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat”. According to the subtitles in English DVD Region 1.
  • At the time, this was the most expensive production in Gaumont’s history.
  • At US$80 million, the special-effects budget of the film was the highest of its time.
  • At the time, it was the most expensive film ever produced outside of Hollywood.
  • According to the Ultimate Edition DVD, Prince and Lenny Kravitz were sources of inspiration for the part of Ruby Rhod.
  • In every New York visual effects scene with flying traffic there is a flying bus with the Digital Domain (the facility responsible for most of the VFX) internal reference, or shot name, stenciled on the roof of a bus. The instructions for the visual effects team were to include one bus with the shot name but then all other buses and traffic could have personal references including birthdays, initials, etc. The front marquee for a bus’s destination and side billboards were customized by the artists at Digital Domain to reference, invisibly or subliminally, some personal stamp or message.
  • The flying traffic created by the visual effects team at Digital Domain allowed artists to create personalized license plates. Though never visible in the film, the state slogan printed on all license plates reads, “New York, The Fuck-You State.”:
  • The text scrolling across a Times Square theater marquee as Korben dives down through traffic is actually an excerpt from an e-mail dispute between several artists at Digital Domain. Other signs on digital and practical, miniature buildings contain similar in-jokes and references and the large cylindrical tanker truck that Korben’s cab almost hits at the end of his decent is decorated with the logo of a Venice, California, pizza parlor that was a favorite of Digital Domain artists.
  • The people populating the roofs, decks and windows during the visual effects sequences in New York are actually the artists and employees at Digital Domain who worked on the film.
  • Bruce Willis ad-libbed the line, “Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English.”
  • Luc Besson, an admitted comic book fan, had two famous French comic book artists in mind for the film’s visual style when he started writing the movie in high school. Jean Giraud (Moebius) and Jean-Claude Mézières. Both artists have long-standing comic book series in France. Moebius is best known for “Blueberry” and the (French) Magazine and (US) movie Heavy Metal (1981). Mézières is best known for the “Valerian” series. Both series are still in production today. Moebius and Mezieres, who attended art school together but had never collaborated on a project until The Fifth Element (1997), started renderings for the film in the early ’90s and are responsible for the majority of the over all look of the film, including the vehicles, spacecrafts, buildings, human characters and aliens. However, only Giraud is credited, and even then he wasn’t even granted a premium when the movie was eventually produced.
  • As Korben and Leeloo approach an intersection in his cab the camera whips forward to reveal to the audience that six police cars are waiting for him ahead. In the far background, behind the police cars, is a chase between a police car and a long black car complete with muzzle flashes to represent gun fire between the two cars. Ever an eye for detail, Luc Besson noticed the embellishment the first time the visual effects shot was reviewed, thought that it was funny and it remains in the final film.
  • Part of the song that the Diva sings is from the opera “Lucia Di Lammermoor”, and very often goes by the title “The Mad Song”, as it is sung by Lucia just after she murders Arturo (whom she was forced to marry) on their wedding day – Lucia is hallucinating that she has married the man she really loves; Edgardo, her brother’s nemesis.
  • When filming began, the production decided to dye Milla Jovovich’s hair from its natural brown color to her character’s signature orange color. However, due to the fact that her hair had to be re-dyed regularly to maintain the bright color, Milla’s hair quickly became too damaged and broken to withstand the dye. Eventually a wig was created to match the color and style of Leeloo’s hair, and was used for the remainder of the production.
  • Plavalaguna, Diva’s name, is actually composed of two words: Plava and Laguna. “Plava” in Serbian, Croatian, Montenigrin, Macedonian and Bosnian language means Blue (feminine, masculine would be “plav”). “Laguna” in same languages means lagoon, though Laguna is used in English as well as in Laguna Beach, California. So her name is Blue Lagoon. (‘Mila Jovovic’ also played Lilli in Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991).)
  • When composer Eric Serra showed soprano Inva Mula (who dubs the voice of the Diva) the sheet music for the Diva Dance, she reportedly smiled and relayed to him that some of the notes written were not humanly possible to achieve because the human voice cannot change notes that fast. Hence, she performed the notes in isolation – one by one, as opposed to consecutively singing them all together and they digitized the notes to fit the music. There are a few moments when you can hear the differences in the vocal tones of The Diva’s voice.
  • WILHELM SCREAM: Heard when Zorg blows up Right Arm at the airport and when Leeloo tosses two Mangalores out of the Diva’s room.
  • Nick Dudman’s creature crew created a group of spindly, long-nosed alien garbage collectors that never made it to the final film. In the scenes at the spaceport, there’s a huge pile of garbage which has gone uncollected because the garbage collectors are on strike (as explained in some dialogue). These creatures would have been seen amidst the garbage, holding sandwich board signs reading “On strike” if they had made it to the final cut.
  • While cartoonist Jean-Claude Mézières isn’t directly credited in the movie, he is indeed the confirmed author of most sets, as his album ‘My Fifth Element’ (Mon cinquième élément) was published at the same time the movie came out in France, reusing the movie’s logo on the cover. Similarly, at the time the movie was being shot, Christin and Mézières published ‘Les cercles du pouvoir’ which contained a hovercraft taxi (which led Luc Besson to rewrite the movie’s opening scenes) and a caricature of Besson.
  • Cartoonist Jean-Claude Mézières of ‘My Fifth Element’ also says that Luc Besson approached him for ideas, telling him: “I want to make a movie based on your visuals. But I am ready to pay you for the work.” The nuance is because there has long been a controversy that many elements in the Star Wars series (several aliens, Darth Vader’s costume, Leia’s golden bikini, Han Solo’s carbonite) were lifted almost unmodified out of Valerian (in particular ‘L’Empire des Mille Planètes’, published in 1971) – of which George Lucas is known to own several original editions, as seen during interviews in his study.

Talking Points:

  • Could anyone but Chris Tucker played Ruby Rhod as well?
  • Jean-Paul Gautier’s influence on the film
  • What is the fifth element?

What We’ve Learned:

  • You can’t drink a toast with water
  • If they don’t chase you after a mile.. they don’t chase you.. wait maybe that’s two miles.
  • Life comes from disorder destruction and chaos
  • If you’re going to transport Mystic stones for the ultimate weapon against evil, hide them inside the body of an alien opera diva
  • Ugly, big forehead. big ears, must be a Mangalore
  • Mangalores won’t fight without a leader
  • Flying a starfighter is like driving a cab

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: One of my favorite films of all time. This needs to be in everyone’s DVD/Blu-Ray collections
Ray: This is what I call the perfect storm… Sci Fi action comedy’s are hard to nail.. but this one does it repeatedly.
Steve: I think it’s alright. Creative, but a schitzo film. I do really like Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich in it!

Intermission: Favorites of the Past Present and Future

The Present: Priest
Rotten Tomatoes: 18% Rotten; 49% Audience

Director: Scott Charles Stewart

Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins

Trivia:

  • Director Stewart says, “The priests of our story are like Jedi knights. They have these supernatural abilities to fight vampires and they saved humanity before the movie even begins. Now, a generation later, society has moved on from war, and the priests are like pariahs. They’re almost like Vietnam vets—they’ve been cast aside by society and they’re now reviled and feared.”
  • Gerard Butler and Steven Strait were originally cast.
  • The film is based on the Korean comics Priest by Min-Woo Hyung.
  • The film diverges from the comics in following a different timeline of events. The director described Priest’s vampires as not being human in origin, and humans bitten by vampires became familiars instead. There are different forms of vampires, such as hive drones, guardians, and a queen.
  • Since the vampires were intended to move quickly, they were fully computer-generated for the film. While vampires are harmed by sunlight in most lore, the film’s vampires are instead photosensitive, being albino cave-dwellers.
  • Director Stewart said, “They are the enemy we don’t really understand, but we fought them for centuries. They are mysterious and alien, with their own culture. You sense that they think and communicate, but you don’t really understand what they are saying.”
  • The Director also called Priest an homage to The Searchers with the title character being similar to John Wayne’s character and the vampires being similar to the Comanche.
  • Priest was panned by critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 18% based on reviews from 57 critics and reports a rating average of 3.9 out of 10. It reported the overall consensus, “Priest is admittedly sleek and stylish, but those qualities are wasted on a dull, derivative blend of sci-fi, action, and horror cliches.”
  • Priest was released in the United States and Canada on May 13, 2011. The film’s release date changed numerous times in 2010 and 2011. It was originally scheduled for October 1, 2010, but it moved earlier to August 27, 2010 to fill a weekend slot when another Screen Gems film, Resident Evil: Afterlife, was postponed. When the filmmakers wanted to convert Priest from 2D to 3D, the film was newly scheduled for release on January 14, 2011. It was delayed again to May 13, 2011 so the film could attract summertime audiences.

Talking Points:

  • Mad Max meets Bladerunner meets Blade – in a Western with a steam punk twist?
  • What’s it trying to say about religion?
  • What do you think the story is trying to say? (Return from war? PTSD?)
  • Sets are awesome!

What We Learned:

  • Being a priest sucks when there is no war against the vampires!
  • Want to prove there is a vampire menace? Throw the head of one at the Pope!
  • All vampire movies must have a red-headed female character named Lucy.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I love post apocalyptic action movies, especially if martial arts or other hand to hand combat is involved. Wish there was more action though. Not terrible, worth seeing in the theatre in 2D otherwise, okay to waive for DVD.
Ray: This movie bored me to death.. It seems like most of the action sequences were all shown in the trailers.. nothing new to see.
Steve: I liked it…didn’t particularly care for the “vampires”, but thought the concept was cool. Enjoyed the action sequences a lot. Found it pretty thoughtful as I watched.

The Future: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong

Trivia:

  • Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who worked on the screenplay for the previous two films, declined to work on this film due to schedules with other films and because they “risked getting stale.”
  • When Megan Fox dropped out shortly before filming began, Gemma Arterton, Ashley Greene, Brooklyn Decker, Miranda Kerr, Bar Refaeli, Amber Heard, Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Heidi Montag and Anna Kendrick were all rumored to replace her before Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast.
  • This is director Michael Bay’s first threequel (third instalment in a series/trilogy).
  • The Autobots have upgraded their alternate modes: – Bumblebee has received an upgrade and is now a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro – Ratchet’s color scheme now includes white and his green is more grass-green than his previous neon/yellow green – Sideswipe is now a Chevrolet Centennial Corvette convertible
  • James Avery is the second actor from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990) to star in a Michael Bay film. The first was Will Smith, who did the Bad Boys series.
  • In view of the technology’s rising popularity, Paramount/Dreamworks were adamant to have this film either shot for 3-D or converted in post-production. Director Michael Bay was initially wary of the technology, calling it a “gimmick” in various interviews and noting the poor quality of post-production conversion. Vince Pace, the co-found of PACE 3D who developed 2D and 3D cameras with James Cameron reported in July 2010 that he was working on Transformers 3 and that it will be shot in on PACE 3D cameras. However, for scenes that required higher image quality or were in slow motion, traditional anamorphic 35mm film was used and converted into 3D in post production.
  • Optimus Prime’s trailer bears a resemblance to the original one from “Transformers” (1984) with the decorative stripe running along its side.
  • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is playing Carly, a primary character that was introduced in the second season of “Transformers” (1984).
  • During filming in Washington, DC, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro that plays Bumblebee was struck by an metro police K-9 SUV responding to a bomb alert. The police officer involved sustained minor injuries, and Bumblebee sustained considerable damage. Filming was able to continue, as there were copies of each automobile for shooting purposes.
  • A tilting office set was constructed to simulate a Decepticon attack.
  • The Wreckers take the alternate modes of NASCAR Chevrolet Impala automobiles, resembling those of Juan Pablo Montoya (#42 Target), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (#88 AMP Energy/National Guard) and Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s/Kobalt).
  • The “dark of the moon” is defined as a phase (approximately three days) when the light of the moon is obscured, and thus absent (i.e. a no-moon time), and precedes the new moon and the beginning of a new lunar cycle. Symbolically, it represents a time of inner stillness and contemplation, and preparedness for a new beginning.
  • The Autobot Wheeljack’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a Lancia Stratos sportscar, but this was revised to a Mercedes-Benz E550 automobile.
  • The idea of Apollo 11 being connected to the discovery of the Transformers had been previously put forth in the Transformers (2007) tie-in prequel novel ‘Ghosts of Yesterday’.
  • Production stalled in Chicago as Gabriella Cedillo, an extra was seriously injured driving her own car as background for a stunt shot. The stunt was taking place in the opposite lane and a metal object – rigging from a snapped cable – went flying through her windshield and struck her in the skull. Cedillo suffered permanent brain damage, included left side paralysis and limited vision in her left eye. Paramount Studios provided an undisclosed amount of money to cover the cost of her medical care.
  • Corey Burton, who voiced Shockwave in “Transformers” (1984) and “Transformers: Animated” (2007), was approached to reprise Shockwave for the film, but turned it down as he’d done that role too many times. He had earlier been approached to voice Jazz and Brawl for the first film.
  • Megatron’s alternate mode in this film is a Mack Titan tanker truck, his first Earth disguise. This was chosen to put him on parallel with Optimus Prime (the filmmakers described him as “a demented version of Prime”). This mode also pays homage to the “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001) Decepticon Scourge (also known in Japan as “Nemesis Prime”), who is an evil clone of Optimus Prime.
  • Michael Bay described the tone of the film as “a homeland version of Black Hawk Down (2001) with giant alien robots.”
  • Sentinel Prime is primarily based on his role in the “Transformers” comics (Optimus Prime’s yellow-colored predecessor) and his lance and shield were taken from his “Transformers: Animated” (2007) incarnation, but his later form on Earth – a red Rosenbauer Panther fire truck – is a homage to “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001)’s Optimus Prime, whose alternate mode was a fire truck.
  • Laserbeak’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a tape cassette, but that was considered old-fashioned. He retains his robotic condor form throughout the film.
  • This is the first movie that starts with Megatron being conscious. In previous installments Megatron was awaken or resurrected.
  • A Decepticon attack leaves Simmons in a wheelchair. This is a homage to Chip Chase, a wheelchair-bound human from “Transformers” (1984) who was an ally of the Autobots.
  • Michael Bay compared Megatron to Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979): “He’s hiding in the jungles of Africa, nursing his wounds and vainly hiding his pulverized visage while plotting – what else? – revenge!”
  • Peter Cullen’s favorite moment in the film is when Optimus Prime meets with astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Talking Points:

  • Lots of references to old school Transformers
  • Why do all of the Decepticons look the same?
  • Transformers meets V meets Battle: LA?

Summary:

The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets, which could turn the tide in the Transformers’ final battle.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Ooo, shiney. Here’s my money.
Ray: Im going just to watch chicago burn.
Steve: I hate Shia, but I’ll still see it.

Coming Attractions

The Past

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The Past: For Your Eyes Only

The Present: Skyfall

The Future: World War Z

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