So, the good Peter and myself were able to see that presentation on the new Trek film that’s been doing the rounds. It consisted of a brief intro by a chap from Paramount (who admitted ruefully to have presided over the release of all of the other Trek films), then about 35-odd minutes of footage in four scenes, each introduced by the ever-personable onscreen mug of director JJ Abrams. The whole affair seemed at heart to be a marketing tool to get folks like us to voluntarily become part of the hype machine surrounding the film, and… well, I do believe it worked.If I had to distill into a single phrase what we saw – it rocked.Visually, it’s the shit – the actors are all soul of Trek, just given new life in a new body.Ultimately, perhaps Star Trek was just never meant to rock… but I say bring it on.
Exploitation and B films are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, there’s something thoroughly enjoyable about a film which eschews the conventional focus on plot or quality and instead puts its energy into an extreme experience for the audience. They’re like the memes of the movie world: high impact and highly replicated within certain groups, then then dispersed, diluted, and embedded as a broader cultural reference (pool’s closed rick-rollers!).To be honest I don’t know if it’s really possible to make a classic exploitation film anymore, the world has changed enough that what we’re likely to end up with nowdays is merely self-aware, intentionally bad, faux lowbrow parody. Yes I’m looking at you Zombie Strippers. With that caveat out of the way there is a faint glimmer of hope sparking in the frigid night air. A tiny flame that, if the wind and the tinder are just right, might grow into something roaring and special. It’s called Bitch Slap.
Produced, directed, and co-written by Rick Jacobson, a veteran of B film and awful television, I have high hopes for this beauty. Take a basically unknown cast (unless you have a penchant for dubious episodic television), make a kick-arse trailer involving babes, guns, and car chases, mix them up and you’ve got something that goes straight onto my must-see list.Trailer is here.
Remember that guy in high school with the hair that always heralded the next trend, who was good at sports, popular with his peers, and who’s vapid mocking grin filled you with impotent rage? Remember that one girl you liked, the perfect, interesting, devastating girl, who used to smile at you, and who’s face filled your frequent daydreams? Remember when she started dating him and your heart broke, sweetened saliva flooding your mouth as your body prepared to empty it’s stomach? Welcome to the Hollywood adaptation of Neuromancer, that wonderful, perfect story you cherished when younger who’s decided to get involved with everything you hate.”But he directs music videos!””Yeah he’s an artist. It’s cool you know?””Cool? He directed Torque! I ride motorbikes and that film deeply offended me on more levels than I care to think about.””I liked Torque, it was just a fun movie you know? You’re taking it too seriously.””Anyway, he made music videos for Britney Spears! Two of them! Why are you with him?””She’s famous and he worked with her, do you know how much money those videos made her label? What’s your problem?””He’s a fucking douche! His IMDB entry reads like his Mum wrote it! You’re one of the culturally and aesthetically defining works of my generation, and you’re sleeping with this fucktard! I fucking love you and you do this to me?!””Get the fuck away from me you freak! What the fuck is wrong win you – you fucking psycho! Don’t call me again or I’m ringing the police! You fucking stalking fuck!”**I imagine Tarantino dialogue looks a little like this, but with more gun shots and cigarettes.I’m livid, those utter, utter bastards. Who’s idea was it to give this property to Joseph Kahn? No I’m not reassured that Gibson is writing the screenplay, he also wrote the adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic, remember that little gem? Sure, Hayden Christensen has been removed from the billing but the point is he was there in the first place!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars. 4 minute trailer is now online over at yahoo in sexy HD, definitely worth a look.Linky. Wow. That was a really … boring trailer. Well done team! [/edit]
Movies based on comics suck! Well, except Iron Man. Ok the last few Batman movies have been alright too I suppose.The Watchmen is the product of one Alan Moore, a serious and frankly cantankerous chap who believes in the medium of comics very strongly. He’s also a failed LSD dealer, and historically has issues with his work being translated to film (he also wrote V for Vendetta amongst many, many others). His writing has tended to be rather heavily praised: The Watchmen actually won a Hugo award, and is listed amongst Time magazine’s All-time 100 novels.Warner Bros. are making the film version. It’s directed by Zack Snyder and the screenplay was originally written by David Hayter. Moore actually liked Hayter’s adaptation and so in true Hollywood logic Hayter was dropped from the project. His screenplay is being re-written by Alex Tse, an Actor/Producer/Screen writer who I’m sure is going to do a bang-up job and not try to stamp his personality all over the script … actually never mind, he already has.Snyder is a competent director although I don’t know if I’d call him particularly inspired. Based on his work with 300 it’s safe to assume the look and feel of the film will be faithful to the comics, but I don’t know if he’ll be able to bring a great deal of depth to the performances or nuance to the telling. Moore doesn’t like him very much, but frankly that’s not really surprising. Moore is somewhat …well … (let me quote his Wikipedia entry now) “a vegetarian, an anarchist, a practicing magician and occultist, and he worships a Roman snake-deity named Glycon.”. Snake-deity? Of course! Glycon did you say? Lovely. Waiter can you move me to a different table please?
The link below will take you to the trailer, because I fail at embedding the thingy in the whatsit. It looks like it should be quite good as far as these things go but will it stack up to the work it’s based on? Let’s err on the side of cautious optimism for the moment.Watch it at Empire!
Tokyo! It’s one of Japans 47 prefectures, a shining beacon on the tourist map, and according to Flickr is quite a lovely place to take photos. It’s also the eye-wateringly accented movie anthology written and directed by Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax, and of course Michel Gondry. Tôkyô! comprises of three stories about the city, each of the directors was given a great deal of access to locations and based on the Flickr stream from Michel’s shoot, well, frankly it looks like a lot of people standing around. I guess his film’s about … stuff. Now the good folk at Twitch have some excellent footage sampling each of the directors segments, go and look. Right now!