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The Michel Gondry/M. Night Shyamalan Parallel, feat. KIDS SWEDE MOVIES presents: ALIEN – CHEST BURSTER SCENE

June 30, 2012 Leave a comment

You know, despite the presence of children in the scene, this is still pretty horrific. But also kinda cute.

I need to rewatch Be Kind Rewind, as I enjoyed it the first time, but it’s also kinda like M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs in that it was the third major feature film from a director whose first made me love them, but made me also realize that they were losing their creative edge, followed by a fourth film that was a huge disappointment.

Necessary Explanation:

Michel Gondry / M. Night Shyamalan:

1) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind / The Sixth Sense* —  Visually stunning masterpieces with wonderful ideas and brilliantly moving performances.

2)The Science of Sleep** /Unbreakable — A welcome, enjoyable, and visually stunning shake up of a familiar genre (rom-com / superhero) that’s not quite up to par as their predecessor, but still pretty awesome.

3) Be Kind Rewind / Signs — Halfway good films that start to show that the director is fallible and is starting to trip up and they’re making some bad decisions with their creative freedoms. Enjoyable for what they are, but you kind of expect more, and the films leave you hoping for a return to the breathtaking form that made you fall for the directors in the first place.

4) The Green Hornet / The Village — The law of diminishing returns takes effect, and you begin to think that maybe it was all a fluke. They may redeem themselves some day, but, man, did this really suck!

And, so, yeah, there’s where my mind went when I saw this video. Alien parody -> “sweded” -> Be Kind Rewind -> Michel Gondry -> parallel with M. Night Shyamalan. That’s my random morning post and a little example of how my mind works. Hope you enjoyed it! I’m going to go enjoy my day off now!

[Video found via io9.com]
* The Sixth Sense technically came after Shyamalan’s Praying with Anger and Wide Awake, but those didn’t really put him on the map, so  they don’t count as “major” films in my eyes, regardless of their quality.
** Dave Chappelle’s Block Party also isn’t counted here because it’s a documentary, rather than a story-driven film. Again, regardless of its quality, I’ve disqualified it.
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Theatrical Review: “Brave”

June 26, 2012 8 comments
Directed by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Produced by: Katherine Sarafian; Pete Docter, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton (executive); Mary Alice Drumm (associate)
Written by: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi (screenplay); Brenda Chapman (story)
Art Department: Emma Coats, Nick Sung (storyboard artists); Mark Cordell Holmes (graphic artist); Jason Merck (artist)
Music by: Patrick Doyle
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, John Ratzenberger
Year: 2012

 

Many have worried, and even after seeing the film continue to assert, that Brave is a step backward for Pixar in terms of quality and storytelling. The film’s current score of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, while nowhere near as low as last year’s 38%-scoring Cars 2, still puts the film just barely above the first Cars (74%), and just below the recent Madagascar 3 (76%), and though I haven’t seen the latter, I doubt these films would ever be considered in the same league as Pixar’s masterpieces like Up, The Incredibles, the Toy Story films, and Finding Nemo. Audiences and critics alike are seemingly seeing signs that this studio, once heralded as being home to the kings (and queens) of their craft, is taking its first steps towards the abyss of mediocrity — an assertion only further enforced by the fact that Brave had Pixar’s lowest grossing opening weekend of any of their films, despite taking the number one spot. But is Brave really the harbinger of a string of “just average” films to come? Has Pixar lost its edge, its brilliance, its originality? To be quite honest, I don’t see Brave in that light at all. Read more…

Review: “Quest for Camelot”

June 19, 2012 2 comments
Directed by: Frederik Du Chau
Produced by: Andre Clavel, Dalisa Cohen, Zahra Dowlatabadi
Written by: Kirk De Micco, William Schifrin, Jacqueline Feather, David Seidler, Frederik Du Chau (screenplay)
Art Direction by: Carol Kieffer Police, J. Michael Spooner
Music by: Patrick Doyle (original score), David Foster and Carole Bayer Sayer (original songs)
Starring: Jessalyn Gilsig, Cary Elwes, Gary Oldman, Eric Idle, Don Rickles, Jane Seymour, Pierce Brosnan, Bronson Pinchot, Jaleel White, Gabriel Byrne, John Gielgud, Frank Welker; Andrea Corr, Bryan White, Celine Dion, Steve Perry (singing voices)
Based on the novel The King’s Damosel by Vera Chapman
Year: 1998

 

I had been thinking of this movie for quite a while, contemplating whether I should watch it or not. Every now and then, the itch would hit, and I’d consider it, but then I would reconsider and decide to skip it for either a much better or (when the mood struck) worse movie. I’ve actually owned this film for probably over ten years, but, to be quite honest, I think the number of times I actually watched the disc could be counted on one hand, and for the longest time, the film kind of just stood in my collection as the lone Q in my alphabetized shelf, only to find its would-be partner, Quantum of Solace, stashed way up top with the rest of the Bond films in the B section (for “Bond” of course — I like my film series in sequential order, therefore U.S. Marshals is up there in the F section since it’s a sequel to The Fugitive. It makes sense to me!).

But before too long, the itch got too intense, and with the impending release of the Pixar film Brave, I figured it was probably about time that I gave this superficially similar-looking film its due before it was inevitably blown out of the waters of my mind by what is likely to be a far superior film. And so, like a forgotten relic rediscovered, I dusted off my old DVD copy in those awful cardboard snap cases Warner Bros. always used to use in the early days of DVD, set aside the old paper inserts still residing within that marveled at the wonders of this disc-based movie viewing technology, and threw the old double-sided disc (film on one side, special features on the other) into the PS3 to see if I could relive the magic… Read more…

Review: “The Thief and the Cobbler” (Miramax Version – a.k.a. “Arabian Knight”)

June 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Directed by: Richard Williams
Produced by:  Richard Williams, Imogen Sutton
Written by: Richard Williams and Margaret French (screenplay)
Art Direction by: Roy Naisbitt
Music by: Robert Folk, Jack Maeby (songs)
Starring: Vincent Price, Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Beals, Jonathan Winters, Clive Revill, Toni Collette, Eric Bogosian
Year: 1995

 

Now here’s an animated film that deserves the Blade Runner treatment. With a production spanning three decades, the film widely and originally known as The Thief and the Cobbler found its way to audiences in multiple versions and distributions: there’s the unofficial workprint version, the Majestic Films cut known as The Princess and the Cobbler, the Miramax version released in theatres as Arabian Knight, and, finally, the Garrett Gilchrist-led restoration project known as The Thief and the Cobbler: The Recobbled Cut, which can be found on your local internet bittorrent site and YouTube. The funny thing about all these different versions is that none of them are actually the completed project. “How could that be?” you might ask. The simplest way to explain why boils down to one word: hubris. Read more…

Theatrical Review: “Prometheus”

June 9, 2012 4 comments
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Produced by: Ridley Scott, David Giler, Walter Hill
Written by: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Cinematography by: Dairusz Wolski
Music by: Marc Stretenfeld
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce
Year: 2012

 

Here’s a little thing you really need to know about Prometheus, and it’s something that Ridley Scott would definitely like you to know, as well: Prometheus, though set in the same universe as the Alien film series, is not a prequel — at least not in the sense that one would expect from hearing that word. Prometheus, aside from a few nods, does not feature the parents of Ellen Ripley, does not feature Lance Henriksen, and does not, in fact, really set up any plot points in the Alien films that came before, and without the scattered connections and references to those films, Prometheus likely would have stood on its own as a completely unrelated film. What connections to the Alien films that are present are neat little nods that fans will enjoy that help to effectively build up this universe rather than just exploit a film franchise. But, much like the plot, do not go in expecting a film that apes any of the films that came before it. You will be profoundly disappointed if you do. Read more…

Review: “Yellow Submarine”

June 5, 2012 1 comment
Directed by: George Dunning
Produced by: Al Brodax, Mary Ellen Stewart
Written by: Lee Minoff (short story), Al Brodax (screenplay), Jack Mendelsohn, Erich Segal
Music by: George Martin, The Beatles (songs, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr)
Art Direction by: Heinz Edelmann
Starring: Paul Angelis, John Clive, Dick Emery, Geoffrey Hughes, Lance Percival
Year: 1968

 

I’ve always told people that I was a fan of The Beatles from before birth, with my mother having played music to me since that time. I remember when I was very little about 4 or 5, I had a red Radio Shack-branded kid’s portable cassette player that I would listen to The Beatles’ red and blue greatest hits albums on. I even remember the disappointment in putting these into Teddy Ruxpin, only to discover that, no, he would not sing along with my favorite song at the time, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” And I also remember a long time ago, when I was still quite young and at a party filled with boring adults, the generous host of the party noticed how bored I was, coming up to me, and asking me if I wanted to head into his room and watch this Beatles cartoon he had. “Beatles? Cartoon? Sure!” was likely my thought process at the time. This cartoon, of course, wasn’t the child-centric American TV production, but was, in fact, one of the weirdest but also most fascinating cartoons I had ever seen up to that point (a fact that likely still holds true): Yellow Submarine. Read more…

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