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Current Topic: Movies

Q&A: Ridley Scott Has Finally Created the Blade Runner He Always Imagined
Topic: Movies 4:16 pm EDT, Sep 27, 2007

At age 69, Ridley Scott is finally satisfied with his most challenging film. He's still turning out movies at a furious pace — American Gangster, with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, is due in November — building on an extraordinary oeuvre that includes Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down. But he seems ready to accept Blade Runner as his crowning achievement. In his northern English accent, he describes its genesis and lasting influence. And, inevitably, he returns to the darkness that pervades his view of the future — the shadows that shield Deckard from a reality that may be too disturbing to face.

Some MemeStreamers are probably interested in this interview.

[ Very much so...

I'm so looking forward to the new version.


Q&A: Ridley Scott Has Finally Created the Blade Runner He Always Imagined

RE: It’s All Geek to Me - New York Times
Topic: Movies 12:33 pm EDT, Mar 22, 2007

Decius wrote:

The audience members watching them play the same game: media-weary, hunkered down behind thick irony, flinging verbal jabs at the screen — until they see something that moves them. Then they’ll come out and feel. But at the first hint of politics, they’ll jump back behind their shield-wall, just like the Spartans when millions of Persian arrows blot out the sun, and wait until the noise stops.

Neal Stephenson offers an interesting review of 300. Anyone seen it?

I saw it too, of course. I've been jittery for it since the first preview I saw. Doesn't hurt that I enjoy greek classics and mythology already.

It was good, well done, and with one exception, extremely true to the graphic novel. In most cases the film is a direct implementation of the images and words in the graphic novel, almost to the point of a screen capture. In this sense, it's certainly a success. Having not read Herodotus, I can't say if Frank Miller was particularly true to the source, but I'm not so concerned with that... it's close enough, i'm sure.

As for all the other stuff people have been tossing onto the film, I think it brings up the fundamental question regarding wether a film maker is directly responsible for the voice of the film he produces. Or if he should have to be concious that such a voice exists in the first place.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a somewhat fictionalized interpretation of a historical battle and it's visually interesting and exciting to watch. I don't know that it has to mean more than that.

But, if you must search for deeper import, then at least it must be acknowledged that the voice of the film is not so much the filmmaker's as it is Frank Miller's. As I said, it's so identical as to render it thematically indistinguishable from Miller's work. Again, I can't say how closely Miller hewed to Herodotus, but I doubt the critics decrying what they see as blatant political posturing can either. I doubt they've read their histories and done a thorough analysis of it, so I really can't take their arguments seriously.

Anyway, go see, it, it's good. Decide for yourself if you like it, but I caution that any policial or ethical overtones you see are far more a reflection of yourself than of the filmmakers.

p.s. Stephenson makes note of Dan Simmons' Ilium and Olympos books and I can tell you they're pretty awesome. Very epic, twining Homer with Shakespeare and Proust, plus a healthy grounding in some very compelling hard sci-fi. This is literate "speculative fiction" of the sort that most of the mainstream bookie / literature crowd happiliy ignore because of the historical treatment of sci-fi as a low art. Neal says that's changing and I agree somewhat... I've never understood why sci-fi is looked down upon as weak and escapist, when the social, moral, and technological issues it addresses are frequently so valuable. On top of which, the stories themselves are often as fine as anything in any genre. One has only to read Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun tetralogy to know that literature doesn't follow genre boundries.

RE: It’s All Geek to Me - New York Times

Pan's Labyrinth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Topic: Movies 3:05 am EST, Jan 27, 2007

If you haven't seen Pan's Labyrinth you should catch it while its in theaters. A positively creepy film in which a little girl intertwines her fantasies with the tragic reality around her. Very well done. (Do not bring children.)

[ Agreed. This is quite simply a beautiful film. It's brilliantly filmed and lush without being an orgy of special effects. The effects serve the story as opposed to the all-too-common reverse. The acting is universally excellent but Ivana Baquero's Ofelia is, i think, just unbelievably fine. She captures a complex balance of innocence and maturity with intelligence and love and courage just perfectly. The movie is alternately heartbreaking and wonderful and moving.

Anyway, I agree too that the theatre is the way to see this one... not that your 52 inch HD plasma won't do a good job, but really, you shouldn't wait.

I've been looking forward to this for some time and was not disappointed. If anything, my expectations were exceeded.

Go see it. See it now. -k]

Pan's Labyrinth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Transformers Movie - Official Site of Transformers: The Movie
Topic: Movies 9:37 am EST, Dec 26, 2006

The trailers for the Transformers movie are surprisingly creepy.

[ Yeah, i actually have hope for this movie... looking forward to it... -k]

Transformers Movie - Official Site of Transformers: The Movie

Is Foreign Film the New Endangered Species?
Topic: Movies 1:24 pm EST, Jan 22, 2006

In 2005, just 10 foreign-language films had ticket sales of more than $1 million in the United States.

"I feel as if there's almost no auteur draw anymore." The honest truth is that the filmmaker matters increasingly little today."

I recommend many of the films mentioned in this article. (Have you seen The Aristocrats?)

[ The Aristocrats has been on my list for a while... I'll have to see some of these others too.

I have trouble pinning the blame on pseudo-indies, as the article sort of hints at. If the movies are good, I don't care if they're made in America or Paraguay. Lets face it, the problem isn't with the still smallish quantity of artistically motivated films coming out of hollywood, but with the far vaster quantity of over-hyped, heavily marketed tripe. And it's not the industry's fault either, they want to make money, and do what they need to.

I'd also argue that there are political (American ego) and pragmatic (people seeing less movies in the theater, particularly documentaries or dialogue driven movies that don't benefit as driectly from the big screen as do action flicks). As NYT hints at the end, the video market will be savior of foreign and other marginal films.

I see the division continuing, personally, until theater's are even more reserved for blockbusters, and everything else just ends up as DVD

Is Foreign Film the New Endangered Species?

Penny Arcade on Star Wars DVD
Topic: Movies 2:41 pm EDT, Sep 22, 2004

[ Right on. -k]

Penny Arcade on Star Wars DVD

The Village Voice: Film: Anime Sequel Philosophizes Amid Shoot-Outs and Cyborgs by J. Hoberman
Topic: Movies 11:17 am EDT, Sep 17, 2004

] As gloriously impenetrable as its title, and even more
] visually spectacular than its precursor, Mamoru Oshii's
] new anime - Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence - can
] be most simply described as an animated film noir
] populated by existential cyborgs.

Opens friday...

[ Yeah, I'm very much seeing this one. -k]

The Village Voice: Film: Anime Sequel Philosophizes Amid Shoot-Outs and Cyborgs by J. Hoberman

CityBeat Film Reviews: Sky Captain
Topic: Movies 3:31 pm EDT, Sep 15, 2004

] Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow is a nearly
] picture-perfect blend of stylistic sense and
] sensibilities of the bygone era of movie serials.

When I first saw this I was really suprised by the strangeness of it's vision. Its really what someone in the 30s might have imagined the future would be like. I was worried, based I guess on the way it was marketed, that it might be an interesting world filled with recycled hollywood crap, but it turns out the critics seem to like it. It might not suck...

[ Yeah, my mixed feelings are trending positive lately... i think i'll see this one in the theater. -k]

CityBeat Film Reviews: Sky Captain

'Star Wars' trilogy heads for DVD; fans fan controversy
Topic: Movies 11:37 am EDT, Aug 18, 2004

] Fans and retailers alike are preparing for the assault of
] the most anticipated DVD of them all: the Star Wars
] Trilogy.

[ You can preorder at amazon, but be forewarned, you'll be recieving the rewritten-history, bullshit-cg-jabba, greedo-shoots-first, its-my-party-and-ill-ruin-my-movies-if-i-want-to versions.

Of course, like the other drones, i'll probly end up getting it, having no other choice. -k

p.s. how did they mention potential best-selling DVD's and not bring up Return of the King regular or EE? Did the LOTR DVD's not sell well? Because I sure have them all.

p.p.s. Leia is hot. ]

'Star Wars' trilogy heads for DVD; fans fan controversy

'King Kong' Star Fay Wray: 1907-2004
Topic: Movies 8:14 pm EDT, Aug  9, 2004

] NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fay Wray, the shrieking blond beauty
] who earned fame as the frightened girl stalked by King
] Kong up the Empire State Building, has died at age 96.

'King Kong' Star Fay Wray: 1907-2004

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