A coworker asked me the other day if the film I've been calling "Will Smiff Is Legend" is based on something else. I explained that it was a book, which then spawned two different movie adaptations: "The Last Man on Earth" and "The Omega Man." This new version has an interesting pedigree, in that it was once going to be an Arnold Schwarzeneggar remake of "The Omega Man" until that fell through, and ALSO once an "I Am Legend" until THAT fell through as well. Then they got some of the people involved with both to kind of work together on this final version incorporating the good bits from each.
I'm not quite sure what to make of "Will Smiff Is Legend." On the one hand, all the shots I've seen of it look fantastic and I know Will is a great actor who -- provided the script calls for it -- will be able to pull off the 'grizzled, lonely, and angry' that encompasses the story. On the other hand, though, I keep picturing him with a sideways gun saying "aww HELL no" while bustin' caps into zompires from his motorcycle in slow motion. Call me equal parts excited and reluctant. (Also, is it even going to HAVE zompires? Remember in Jonathan Coulton's fantastic song RE: Your Brains, how the guy's zombified coworkers try to plead with him to come out because all they want to do is eat him? That's straight out of "I Am Legend," except the zombies in question were kind of a halfway-point between zombie and vampire; they rise from the grave and eat brains, but can be staked through the heart to kill them. Plus they're smart.)
On the subject of prior film adaptations, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the 1964 Vincent Price version entitled "The Last Man on Earth." It's a truly great film that I think does a good job of capturing the mood of the book while adding a few new things as well. The new ending they came up with is probably one of my favorite endings of all time, which leads me to believe "Will Smiff Is Legend" will not use it ;) On the plus side, the film is now in the Public Domain, meaning you can download it off the internet with impunity. If instantaneous blocky streaming flash video is your thing it can be found here on Google Video. If nicer quality -- and therefore a longer, more complicated download process -- is more your thing, it can be found here on The Pirate Bay without any fear of legal repercussions because this film was allowed to fall out of copyright like copyright law intended. Yay for properly functioning copyright law.
VERY much enjoyed Frank Darabont's adaptation of Stephen King's "The Mist." That story has been my favorite of King's since I first read it at like 12y/o or so, and I always longed for it to be a movie -- but not a crappy movie like they always make out of Stephen King stories. I was mightily worried that I was going to be disappointed, but needn't have been, for it was AWESOME. Everything looked just like it did in my 12y/o old brain, and I felt almost exactly the same as I did upon first reading it. Frank Darabont for the win!
I think that story really nails what society is all about, and I fear that it perhaps warped my fragile little mind upon my first reading. People really do form little power hierarchies, willfully giving up power to others when it's too scary not to. At the first hint of crazy, people are willing to overlook a WHOLE LOT of crazy in the people to whom they decide to give power, and don't even seem to realize it. Sure, stuff in the titular mist IS scary, but the really frightening things in the story are the ones the people do. Because their leader tells them to. Scary because it's TRUE.
Film gets bonus points for Dark Tower inclusion, a nice reference to John Carpenter's "The Thing," some thought-evoking Jesus symbolism, leaving out the only thing that really made me feel skeevy in the story, and lastly: for including something new that skeeved me the crap right out, yet played right into the underlying theme of humanity's fatal flaws. Best non-Shawshank Stephen King movie ever. I have a lot more to say on the subject of this film, but I'm going to wait for a while so as not to spoil anything for anyone who wants to see it.
VERY much disappointed by the wonderfully titled "Flight of the Living Dead." The only thing good about it is the title. I'd much appreciate it if things would stop happening "on a Plane" now. Thanks.
I don't have a lot to say, other than: "a bit suckier than Resident Evil, but nowhere near as sucky as Resident Evil: Apocalypse."
Bonus points for creatively using Marylin Manson's theme from the first one in a multitude of different versions throughout this one. I liked that a lot.
It's amazing to me how everyone who survives apocalypses of a global magnitude always has such perfect skin and teeth and are all hot as hell. I guess those of us with inferior genes are more susceptible to being left to die. I guess it's time to start compensating for that by stockpiling shotguns and ammunition.
Oh! I keep forgetting to mention this: Those of you in the greater Portland, OR metro area may be interested to know that the second annual Zompire film festival is this Friday and Saturday. Zompire is a film festival celebrating the undead, whether they be brainmunchers or blood suckers.
Last year was a hoot, so I highly recommend going, especially since this year seems to be almost entirely focused on the shorts. Saturday night does feature the classic "Coreys" film Lost Boys to satisfy those of you jonesing to see Kiefer Southerland on the big screen once again, so you shouldn't miss that.
war of the worlds - terrible. tom cruise was really good though; i really believed he was a scumball. what a testament to acting abiliyt.
daisy dukes of hazzard - fantastic. i'ts almost as if those boots were /made/ for walkin'. the rest of the movie really sucked, though.
16 blocks - this was actually a really good movie. i didnt laugh, but i did cry. and not just cuz my arm hurts. mos def is 'mos def'inately good in it. winky face.
dead men walking - zombies in prisn seems really good on paper. on the scifi channel, howeverm, not so good. please stop naming characters in zombie movies 'raimi.'
the chumscrubber - fantastic. fidfteen stars. kind of like donnie darko and jawbreaker and thumbsucker all mixed into one. bonus; the kid from thumbsucker is in this, making his imdb page just that much more interesting in the strangelt titled moive department. kinda depressing and uplifting ast the same time, plus mind-bendy.
earthstorm - space mission to the moon to keep it from splitting in half. midway though the voyage, stewphen baldwin unhooks his seatbelt and runs to the cargo bay, completely oblivious to the fact that therer shoulnd't be any gravity. also he gets over thje loss of his 3years dead wife.
i know i watched a few more, i just cant remember what they wree.
i have refrained from saying 'one thumb up' or 'one thumb down' for your benefit, as you know that's all i can do. thyumb number 2 is off-limits.
If, like me, you found Grindhouse to be a bit lackluster in the "mocking a genre lovingly" department, then perhaps Hot Fuzz will be a bit more to your liking. I know it was to mine.
Hot Fuzz is excellent at both making fun of the Michael-Bay-dual-guns-diving-sideways-in-slow-motion genre of films, and actually being a great Michael-Bay-dual-guns-diving-sideways-in-slow-motion film.
Like with Shaun of the Dead, I went into Hot Fuzz completely sure I was going to like it. Like with Shaun, I didn't just like it, I loved it. Usually for me, expecting to love a movie is the most sure-fire way to ensure that I don't, so the fact that these two films held up to my lofty expectations really says something about their quality.
In short, best film I've seen all year. The only problem? Now I really want to watch Point Break and Bad Boys II.
Attached to the film was a trailer for 28 Weeks Later, which I had been planning to avoid due to its violation of my "no remakes, sequels, remakes of sequels, or sequels to remakes" policy. Unfortunately I'm going to have to consider modifying that policy somewhat, because Weeks looks really awesome.
My adherence to this policy has been on somewhat shaky grounds recently anyway, since Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead is one of my favorite films in a long, long time, remake policy notwithstanding. What I've heard Zack saying about where he wants to take his zombie world next has me pretty amped up, so I had considered changing my policy to "no remakes, sequels, remakes of sequels, sequels to remakes -- unless Zack Snyder is to blame," but with 28 Weeks Later on the horizon, that's not going to work either. I could make it "unless zombies are involved," but then some lunatic might let George Romero make another Land of the Dead and I'll just want to hurt someone.
Geek Monthly magazine is really, really cool in principle, and seems to be targeted at me personally. It looks funny and informative, complete with articles with high geek appeal and allegedly has hot geeky chicks on the cover. In short: the greatest magazine ever.
Like other cool things that seem to be aimed directly at me (e.g. sasquatches [sasquii?], zombies, vampires, succubi, unicorns, etc), I've yet to see any first-hand evidence that it even exists. Several of the newsstands I visited actually knew of its existence, yet were mysteriously unable to locate any actual copies. ("We should have a bunch of them... I'm not sure why they aren't on the racks.") The rest just looked at me as if I were crazy. I'm beginning to think they were right.
I eventually just caved in and subscribed via their suspiciously sucky website. While they took my money over two months ago, I've still yet to lay my hands on a copy. I got a response when I enquired via email, informing me that they had "just gone out" and that I should have my first issue "any day now."
That was two weeks ago.
Does this magazine exist? Am I ever going to see a copy?
Since I need to get new plates anyway, I'm contemplating getting them personalized. After lots of searching to see what's available, what's not available, and what's not allowed, I've narrowed down my options to the following 2 choices:
I'm leaning towards the first one since I think it's "me," but the idea of getting the second one cracks me up considerably. I mean, how could I possibly get any nerdier than that? Plus, not being a fan of people determining what's decent and what's not decent, I like the idea of the latter; the only people who would see it as indecent are obviously as nerdy (and probably cooler than me) and would therefore not find it indecent at all.
I'm not sure what happened, but last night I posted about Night of the Comet from the film festival via my sidekick and it apparently never actually posted. Here's what little of it I remember:
Night of the Comet didn't hold up too well to my fond memories. I suspect that it is mostly because I'd only ever seen it on television before, where it was edited for time -- something that it could have really used for the theatrical release as well. Maybe moviegoers in the 80's weren't used to being constantly entertained throughout the movie like we are now, but the good parts were pretty spaced out. I remembered it being funny, but there were really only a handfull of parts that elicited any reaction from the crowd at this screening. The two that I remember are: "I'm not insane... I just don't give a fuck!" and the crowd favorite "I don't know... My parents taught me never to breathe anything from strangers."
I was a bit shocked to see them head to the radio station in like the 2nd act of the movie, as somehow the years had turned my memory of Night of the Comet into a silly zombified homage to On the Beach, which it really wasn't
Actually, there wasn't really many zombies in the film either now that I think about it.
Between films they showed some shorts from Portland area filmmakers, including the really excellent The Last Girlfriend, Con of the Dead and a trailer for the incredibly awesome looking Worst Case Scenario. I'll see if I can find links for those because they were pretty entertaining.
Dead Alive went over really well, the crowd was laughy in the hilarious parts ("I kick ass for the lord!") and groany at the gory stuff, which is pretty much the rest of the movie.
I'm really stoked for Return of the Living Dead, but it seems as if the crowd is thinning out a bit, which is a shame because it's the best of the bunch.
As someone who loves both Jonathan Coulton and zombies, I highly recommend the song, which is easily my favorite of his Things A Week. Just click on 're your brains' towards the bottom to hear it -- you know, if you aren't afraid of having it stuck in your head the rest of the day.
I'm sad to report that this movie was not very good. I wanted it to be good, I wanted it very much. Alas, it wasn't.
It pains me very much to say that the remake of George's Dawn of the Dead is at least 10 times better than this was. How hard is it to make a good zombie movie? I would think George, who is by all accounts the master of the genre, would have done alot better.
Other than characters and situations that I just couldn't give a damn about, there is some general movie stupidity involved. For instance, in order to show that these people have lived with zombies for some time now, George invented a new name for them to use when referring to them. Only once is the word "zombie" used by a character in the movie, every other time they are referred to as "stenches", which is pretty fucking stupid. Also, fireworks are called "skyflowers." I don't know if creating a little bit of mythology was supposed to lend believability to the situations, but it just ended up sounding silly. Then there's the tank/truck named "Dead Reckoning" which everyone in the movie called by name every time. "I'm gonna go grab my pepsi from Dead Reconing," "Whoa, nice driving, way to handle Dead Reckoning," etc. Stupid. Who does that?
In short, the movie had a great concept but suffered from extremely terrible execution. The sad thing is how many people I read saying that they absolutely loved it -- I'm not even sure we saw the same movie.
I did love the navel ring thing though, that was pretty cool.
I give this movie 2 nyquil liquigels. It earned an extra one for the navel ring. Oh and another extra one for Asia Argento (when did she drop the D' ?)