Film Fatale Archive for July, 2007

Visit THE PRISONER's Village


If you’ve seen just one episode of the classic British TV series THE PRISONER, you’ll recall the strange and captivating setting: an island where ex-spies are sent into forced retirement — forever.
“The Village,” where hero/show creatorPatrick McGoohan (“Number 6”) railed against his former employers, wasn’t a set — it’s Portmeirion, a real town in Wales, beloved of Travel sections and photographers for its mix of palm trees and Gothic, Jacobean, Mediterranean mysterioso architecture.
And you can go there. If you swim out too far, be careful. There’s no Rover to squash you and bring you back to shore.

Nerve Smacks the 10 Grossest Screen Kisses

An award is due to the people of Nerve’s film blog.
Bilge Ebiri and others reviewed (endured) revolting liplocks from such non romances as RETURN OF THE JEDI (Jabba the Hutt licks Leia), THE ELEPHANT MAN, and the PLANET OF THE APES remake to choose the most horrifying screen kisses.
The ickiest by far: what happened to Sharon Stone in THE SPECIALIST. Mauled by the male stars – Stallone, Eric Roberts and James Woods — she did her best to act aroused. It was sickening.



Witness to a child’s freakout: that was me, this weekend, when I took my seven year old nephew to see THE SIMPSONS MOVIE on Friday.
The boy is utterly traumatized. He got his first dose of apocalyptic horror in the form of the theatrical extended “making of” trailer for RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE. It’s possible that my nephew will never sleep again.
The movie, with its legions of desert-fried Undead, does look extremely cool — an update of the 1970s atomic horror/end days tales (PLANET OF THE APES, MAD MAX, THE OMEGA MAN) that RE-1 director Paul WS Anderson was raised on.
Star Milla Jovovich seems to relish the her role as a genetically enhanced MAD MAX-type heroine.
How scary does this movie look? Even the crew looks badass. In the behind the scenes interviews, producer Jeremy Bolt sounds like a normal British person, describing the effects, the locations, the new characters. But he looks like a shades- and Stetson-wearing, stubble-faced character out of THE WILD BUNCH.
This is what happens when men — and sequels — go to Mexico.
The theatrical trailer’s smashing. But I was left with this thought: Kids, if you don’t buy a ticket to RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION, the makers of this movie might just ride out to your house, all Man With No Name/Sam Peckinpah– like, and shoot your parents.

Read the full article »

From Sunset Gun: JOSHUA and More Creepy Kids


My favorite Italian horror tot: Nicoletta Elmi
Manhattan real estate-and-parenthood horror gets a slick update in JOSHUA, an indie chiller whose effectiveness depends a great deal on how freaked out you are by kids. And the prospect of those little anklebiters running your life.
Jacob Kogan’s Joshua makes quite an impression as the perfect little piano-playing preppie. Sunset Gun’s Kim Morgan confesses an affection for filmdom’s creepy kiddies, and she’s compiled a chillingly illustrated all-star team.
But Kim! You forgot one weird little moppet. Remember the spooky red haired girl who appeared in many of Dario Argento’s movies, from DEEP RED to DEMONS? Sometimes freckle faced and cute. Sometimes a flame haired baby demon. That kid didn’t say much, but she had presence.
Nicoletta Elmi is her name — there are fan sites in Italian and English devoted to her.

Cloverfield->Cthulhu, Part 2


New York Magazine snarks on the B-movieish title for the J.J. Abrams movie: MONSTROUS.
Well, it’s easier to spell than CTHULHU.
Note the resemblance between Valentino Cthulhu (makes a lovely gift) and that red and black photo on the New York mag site.

THE BLOB Turns 50 at BlobFest

Before Steve McQueen was BULLITT, he was the teenage hero who kicked the — wherever the ass-parts were — on an undulating mass of outerspace menace in THE BLOB.
And that’s reason enough to scream for joy. Slate mag is goes to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania for the fiftieth anniversary festivities.

BEOWULF Without Gerard "300" Butler? No!!!!


Comic-Con will get a preview of Robert Zemeckis’ intriguing BEOWULF, starring Ray Winstone as the Old English hero, Crispin Glover as Grendel, and Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s Mother.
Sheigh Crabtree of Los Angeles Times had an early look and puts us in the picture.
I retain an irrational fondness for the Icelandic-Canadian coproduction BEOWULF & GRENDEL, starring a pre-300 Gerard Butler — born to play the hero. If anyone could have swum for seven days in the open sea, it’s him. (Winstone’s a magnetic, ultramanly actor in his own way, but no matter how much CG muscle work they do to the guy, he doesn’t have what Butler’s got: major chick appeal)

Some classic quotable dialogue: When Beowulf, as clever as he is strong, realizes that Grendel’s bloody attacks on the Danes aren’t as random as they seem, he questions king Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgard) about the creature’s motives, he gets a hilarious answer.
“Beowulf! It’s a fucking troll! It’s what they do!” yells the mead-drunk Danish king. “Somebody probably looked at it the wrong way.”

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MAN VS. WILD Critics Demand Bear Facts


My new favorite TV show — and TV personality — have come under attack.
Discovery Channel’s MAN VS. WILD, the survival-travel-adventure show hosted by ex-SAS man Bear Grylls takes viewers on a thrilling, vicarious trip to parts unknown and unpleasant. Host Bear Grylls, a sturdy/geeky looking ex-SAS man who’s alway announcing how uncomfortable and scared he is, parachutes into faraway places (Australia, Iceland, the Alps, the Everglades), braves the elements, and lives on whatever he finds there: snakes, bugs and worse.
Though MAN VS. WILD (and Bear in his to-camera narration) indicates that he and his camera person are alone in the wild, the credits indicate a “Fixer” — presumably an expert in local climate and wildlife. Some sequences, such as the host jumping from the top of a cliff and then being seen landing at the bottom, indicate a two-man camera crew. Or at least two cameras.
Now he’s been accused of living it up in luxury spas and lodges while claiming to be roughing it in the WILD. New York Times blogger Mike Nizza has a report here. The Hollywood Reporter has more.
What do you think? Is a little fakery okay in the service of educational and entertaining TV?

Read the full article »

Julia Stiles Gets Re-BOURNE in ULTIMATUM

Native New Yorker Julia Stiles gets a New York magazine profile this week — she plays CIA op Nikki, the young woman who (surprisingly) survived the first two BOURNE thrillers and plays an even more prominent role in THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM.
Though Stiles first made her mark in offbeat film adaptations of Shakespeare (O, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU), she hit it big with the MTV audience in SAVE THE LAST DANCE. And she’s just directed her first movie, a short film called RAVING.

A Unique Critical Vision

In the movie KNOCKED UP, Seth Rogen’s character — as a mark of his nightmare-date, slovenly, man-caveyness — hopes to start a web set that catalogues only nude scenes from movies. He’s crushed to discover that someone called MrSkin has already developed the idea.
The New York Times discovers that MrSkin is not only real, but really popular, attracting 2.9 unique visitors a month.

Hollywood Bitchslaps CAPTIVITY

Creeping into cinemas without benefit of preview screenings comes CAPTIVITY.
So many questions demand answers. Is the movie as torture-porny as its billboard ad campaign? Can the film’s director, Academy Award winner Roland Joffe, surpass his heavy breathing treatment of THE SCARLET LETTER?
Peter Sobczynski of Hollywood Bitchslap dares to view CAPTIVITY outside the safety of Chicago’s Lake Street screening room and files this report.
“In a scene that plays like a educational film for starlets on the dangers of not having an entourage, Jennifer is drugged and kidnapped at the nightclub (thanks to one of those completely empty women’s bathrooms that are so commonplace at charity functions at hip nightclubs).”
And then he gets harsh.


cthulhu250.jpgWill Cthulhu make an appearance in this movie? Rumors abound.

Watch the CLOVERFIELD trailer without having to see TRANSFORMERS.
Promise us, J.J. Abrams, that “Rob” — if he’s the hero — is not stupid teenage son Robby from WAR OF THE WORLDS, who should have died when he walked into the alien blast zone.
And don’t kill Roma Torre of NY1 news.
The peril from the sea movie’s release date is Jan. 18, 2008 — the title will be something other than CLOVERFIELD.

Harry Potter: The NY Times Endings, Illustrated


The Sunday New York Times gives up its opinion page to some fan fic and art, allowing a few writers and one illustrator to end the HARRY POTTER series. For me, the artist Andrea Dezso’s Guernica-meets-Kara Walker vision of the final battle is the most compelling.

Tom Cruise, VALKYRIE BendlerCockblocked

Variety provides yet more daily, international coverage of Tom Cruise and Bryan Singer’s struggle to make VALKYRIE, the story of the plot to kill Hitler from within.
“Operation Valkyrie” is one of WWII’s more fascinating “what if” stories — a July 1944 conspiracy by top level German military men to kill Hitler and seize power. (These were ultra-patriotic elite officers distressed about the losing direction of Hitler’s military strategy — professional soldiers who’d been shut out of the Fuhrer’s inner circle of advisors.)
German government and film commission officials, though, haven’t been receptive to the idea of the film. Location permits have been denied, and one of Stauffenberg’s sons opined that the actor — who actually looks rather like photographs of the man he’s playing — should “keep his hands off my father.”
The Bendlerblock building which as we all know, “ist ein historischer Gebäudekomplex in Berlin-Tiergarten” where the anti-Hitler conspirators, including von Stauffenberg, were executed after torture.
How close did Stauffenberg and his cohorts come to killing the Fuhrer?
Not very, according to a recent book by Joachim Fest.

THE SIMPSONS: We Are All Springfield

Which of these fourteen American Springfields has mounted the most compelling campaign to host the premiere of THE SIMPSONS movie?
Obviously I’m partial to Springfield, Massachusetts clip – which includes a celebrity endorsement from Senator Edward Kennedy (the vocal inspiration for Mayor Joe Quimby).
Voting ends July 9 at midnight. May the best Springfield win.
via USA Today

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon