Monday, March 17, 2008

WHAT'S READIN'? - Yikes! That's scary!

* I was reading a pretty good article by James Christopher in The Times Of London (or is it the London Times?).

Rec and The Orphanage: a frightful new future for horror

The glory days of Blair Witch and The Exorcist are behind us. Who can save the horror film, asks our chief film critic

He talks about how horror flicks have peaked and running out of ideas and in Britain (and the US) horror fans may be reaching out to other countries for fresh thrills (dah). He talks about two Spanish flicks, the high quality The Orphanage which opened here earlier this year to strong reviews. 

He then mentions... 

and a reality TV thriller, Rec - emphasises just how parched the English-speaking market has become for good horror.... The footage shot by her camera crew sustains the illusion of spontaneity. The jump moments will make you scream. The premise is a crude copy of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later - but the echoes of the Franco days cut to the bone.

I was like huh, what's this? So I started looking into it it actually seems to go by the title [Rec] (with the brackets)

Here’s a little teaser trailer.

But on the film's web site they have a full on trailer that looks very intense, very effective. 

Even though some critics including Variety gave it a panning, I’m still gonna keep an eye out for it. 

And I now see that of course... there is an American remake in the works already called Quarantine. Which is directed by some dude John Erick Dowdle, who directed the fake horror documentary The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Which I saw previews for in the theater last year, but I don’t see any listed release dates for it. It looked like it coulda been interesting or it coulda easily been lame lame (though I noticed the great singer/actor Chip Goodwin is acting in it).

I like a couple of the fake docs horror flicks. Many hated it, but Blair Witch Project shook me up when I saw it (twice).

And Rocket Video has a copy of the lost BBC Tv Special Ghostwatch which aired on Halloween 1992 in England and has never officially been released on DVD here, It creeped me out, loved it. After you watch it, you’ll find it fascinating to go read about afterwards.

Speaking of remakes, I may be late but this seemed so odd to me.

Vast Wasteland’s Department of Fine Cinema has an interesting article about Leonardo DiCaprio plans to star in a remake of Katsuhiro Ă”tomo post-apocalyptic anime epic Akira

Very strange, indeed. I’ll be curious to see how this flick’s development plays out.

In other remake news, Rocket Video’s Newsroom reported last week about Platinum Dickheads plans to remake the brilliant Rosemary’s Baby.

At Sense Of Cinema, Pedro Blas Gonzalez has an interesting new academic article on Polanski’s horror masterpiece.

Over at the Independent film Channel’s blog Matt Singers has a hilarious two part article-

Those Damn Dirty Apes: Our Guide to 40 Years of "Planet of the Apes" 

Part 1 and part 2 here.

You may recall Rocket’s Christmas tribute to Ape toys.

* Back to the Brit newspapers, writing for the Guardian the fantastic writer David Thomson give an overview of the studio created by Hollywood’s biggest stars in 1919 in his piece....

Dream factory

Nearly 90 years ago, Hollywood's top talent set up United Artists in a bid to escape interference and exert artistic control.

In another piece Thompson adds another name to his Biographical Dictionary of Film at number 32 is the vastly underrated  Jennifer Jason Leigh. I think had her performance in Margot At The Wedding gotten a Best Supporting actress Oscar nomination this pass year, hence the film would of been seen by more people and she might of won (she would of deserved it).

And in another entertaining piece of writing, this time for Sight And Sound, Thomson writes a pure candy read:

The Killer Inside

Bertolucci's The Conformist prefigured The Godfather in giving us a central character without compassion.

It's a cinema that refuses to please....

Also at Sight And SoundTim Lucas the big cheese at my beloved Videowatchdog, reviews Criterion’s latest important wonder-disc

The Naked Prey may not be politically correct, but it's a key piece of independent US film-making

* Henry K Miller writes...

Some call it Indiewood, some the Frat Pack: a prolific American generation of comedians and wry auteurs. 

The great wave of Indiewood cinema broke over the UK in just a few months, with Wes Anderson's Rushmore and Alexander Payne's Election arriving in late summer 1999, David Fincher's Fight Club that autumn, and David O. Russell's Three Kings, Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich and Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia following in early 2000. Since then a slew of articles and books such as Sharon Waxman's Rebels on the Backlot, James Mottram's The Sundance Kids and Peter Biskind's Down and Dirty Pictures have recounted the moment when these mavericks "took back Hollywood".

David L. Pike over at the Bright Lights Film Journal, examines the post-Apocalypse flicks A Boy And His Dog and I Am Legend

Speaking of the Apocalypse, a nutty religious flick that argues against Darwinism has bit it’s panties in a wad because a film critic dared to question it.

John Metcalfe reports for the New York Times.

And finally also in the Times, it’s time to start getting all giddy about this summer’s Dark Knight flick David Halfinger leads the way with a overview.

* A shout out: most of the articles I read, I usually learn about at the best film blog out there, Greencine Blog



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