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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 07:06 am:   

Death of a Director: John Woo has optioned the video game Metroid in order to bring it to the big screen....

Woo's been terminal for a while now, but this is his tombstone.
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barth
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 07:47 am:   

you're too kind. i've been smelling woo's death rot since MI2.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 07:58 am:   

No, I agree...But this be the absolute end. Nail down the lid. Take him under the cold, cold ground.
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barth
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 08:03 am:   

and pile nick cage in there too, por favor. (besides, we got us a fresher-smelling copolla now).
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 08:50 am:   

You know, something interests me.

Lots of people seem to be saying that a great portion of the creative energy in the entertainment industry of late has been going into the creation of video games, which now outgross CD sales by a fairly wide margin.

Video games require the creation of weird settings, diabolical characters, tense chase scenarios and narrow escapes. Yet, to the best of my knowledge there has never been a good film made on the basis of a video game.

Any opinions on whether there has been, and if not, whether there could ever be, a good game-based movie?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 09:20 am:   

I think Cage was dead from the git-go. Vampire's Kiss, anyone?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 09:20 am:   

Dave, short answer -- No.

Long answer will have to wait till after work.
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barth
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 10:04 am:   

the two forms, as they've existed, are at odds.

games might have diabolical characters, sure. but *real* characters? or a main character with a motivation beyond "find this" or "shoot this"?

you'll have to go into the margins of game creation to find similarities between the two media. and there's little $$ there to justify the expense.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 07:37 am:   

That makes sense to me, but I still find it interesting that some enterprising screenwriter couldn't use game characters/scenarios as a bare framework within which to concoct something good, or at least mildly interesting. (Not exactly on point, but I would look to Cronenber's Existenz as an indicator of what sorts of things are possible.) I guess what you're saying is that the companies that back these projects want the effects and the gimmicks, but can't be bothered to push for quality.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 07:38 am:   

In a way, The Last Starfighter would also be an example of a game being the basis for a fun, light entertainment.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 12:03 pm:   

Hey Lucius,

I’ve spent the past six weeks traveling from Inner Mongolia to Xiamen (Fujian province) - with a few detours! Xiamen is a little (pop. - 2 million) Chinese city/island in the Taiwan Strait.

Everything’s great here. I now have access to a much larger selection of boot-DVDs. For example, we’ve already got “Eternal Sunshine”, “Kill Bill 2” and “Return of the King” on good quality discs and the selection of European films is amazing .

I’ve had the opportunity to purchase the films you mentioned in your old e-story “Crouching Tiger” review, but haven’t watched them all. Haven’t yet seen “Man Called Hero”, but I thought “Storm Riders” was a real stunner. I was also blown away by “Ashes of Time”. I’m curious what you thought of Jet Li’s more recent “Hero”? Any more Asian cinema recommendations?

Congrats on your recent awards. It’s nice to see the best writers win for a change.

Cheers,
Rich
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 05:12 pm:   

Hi, Rich....

Thanks for the congrats.

I haven't been watching many movies of late. Too busy. So I don't have too many recs. I assume you're familiar with Takashi Miike. The Kurosawa guy, the new one, who did Cure and Seance and Charisma. This summer I'll be watching some good stuff. I'll pist it here.

Mongolia. I'm envious. I really want to go there.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 08:35 am:   

Gwynneth Paltrow signs on to produce and star in the a biopic about the life of Marlene Detriech. Wow. I smell Oscar.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 10:27 am:   

Maybe it will be as good as her playing Sylvia Plath. DOH!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 11:06 am:   

I'm thinkin' even better!!!

I'm thinkin' we're talking about Kate Beckinsale quality accent.....
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T Andrews
Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 12:51 pm:   

Cate Blanchette would have been a great choice, in my opinion.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 02:08 pm:   

I'm surprised that they didn't try to squeeze Will Smith into the part. It's no more awkward a fit than some he's already done.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 03:30 pm:   

If I were casting Marlene Dietrich, I'd cast Frankie Potenta from The Bourne Identity and a few Tom Twiker flicks. First of all, she won't have to fake the accent. Second, she's got about the same build as Dietrich; third, she's a terrific actress.

Just saw the preview of Will in I, Robot. Somebody stop him.
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mike bishop
Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 05:56 am:   

I, Will. (If I could.)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 08:24 am:   

You seen that preview, Mike? Wowl It's just sad. They take what's a cool story and turn it into another Terminator flick. Squeezed every bit of originality out of it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 06:54 am:   

On the subject of movie junk, I just saw Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee and Cigarettes." I've liked some of JJ's stuff in the past, but the idea of taking hipsters, putting them around a table and letting them improvise riffs on coffee and cigarettes is just the mother of bad ideas. Cate Blanchett is fun to watch and the interplay between Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan is priceless, but some of these amateur actors (Iggy Pop, Meg and Jack White) are so stiff in front of the camera it's painful. I almost had to hide my eyes during the Roberto Begnini-Stephen Wright thing because it was just so embarrassingly student-film-ish. $9.50 to watch Iggy Pop and Tom Waits mumble at each other. What a way to spend a long wknd.
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 02:09 am:   

Went and saw Troy. It's not entirely bad. It's not particularly good, either. But it's not Roland/Emmerich or Michael Bay bad.

Eric Bana is the shit as Hector, but then Bana is always good. Peter O'Toole (Priam), Brendan Gleeson (Menalaus), Brian Cox (Agammemnon) and Sean Been (Odysseus) all turn in solid performances. The woman playing Helen is pretty to look at. Can't act for shit, but she doesn't have a lot to say.

Brad Pitt can't fucking act. The scene in which King Priam (O'Toole) comes to Achilles (Pitt) to reclaim Hector's body is fucking embarrassing. Pitt is completely out of his league, and you can tell he knows it. He pulls of the physical stuff ok, but the closeups and when he speaks... ugh.

Bloom doesn't completely embarrass himself, which is about what I expected. He plays Paris as a big sissy boy..

They play like the seige of Troy was over in two weeks, rather than the ten years of The Iliad.

The score is enough to make me kill someone. All the wailing you can take, and then some. Makes me yearn for the celtic whining of Return of the King, which was nowhere near as irritating as it was here.

They change a lot of stuff around. There are no gods (except being invoked in conversation) so they've twisted some stuff around to cover it. There's a lot of stuff that is wrong, but to be expected. The major stuff is here: Achilles and Agammenon hating eachother, Hector and Achilles getting their funk thing on, etc.

All in all, not a bad way to kill an afternoon. But you'd be better off to spend $10 on the recently released 300 Spartans dvd, and settling in for some Spartans laying the smack down on some Persians.

I have a warm place for Troy, simply because it got me to actually read The Iliad, which I'm enjoying the shit out of, and wish I'd read long ago.

Speaking of Spartans and reading, I just finished Gates of Fire, Steven Pressman's first-person historical/fiction novel of the battle of Thermoplyae. Loved it.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 07:04 am:   

Don't want to see it--have to see enough bad movies, and TROY qualifies as bad, IMO, for it's script (albeit I admit this is hearsay) and for Brad and the fact that the last Wolfgang Petersen movie I saw made me want to upchuck. Maybe I'll catch it on TV, in little fragments, sandwiched by Levitar commercials -- then it might make sense. The Illiad without gods? Nah! I hear Petersen is now going to do The Odyssey. Hoo boy.

And yeah, what is it with this Celtic whining shit? Shouldn't they limit it to films about Celtic whining? Next, we're gonna have Celtic whining in Korean War movies. Wrong. You need Koran whining for them.
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Brendan
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 07:14 am:   

The last Wolfgang Petersen movie I saw was The Perfect Storm. It was one of the worst movies I have ever seen, so it is hard to imagine the director making anything even vaguely watchable.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 07:22 am:   

Yup, the last two Petersen movies I've seen were Storm and AIR FORCE ONE....

Ba-a-a-a-d
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 11:32 am:   

Actually, Molly tells me now that it was Greek wailing, not Celtic wailing. Whatever. Still wailing, still irritating.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 11:52 am:   

You know, with due respect to Molly, I talked to a couple of other people and they claimed it was definitely wailing. Still, wailing is wailing. Sucks.
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T Andrews
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 02:11 pm:   

I thought I'd stick this here if no one minds:

Brian Linehan, interviewer EXTRAORDINAIRE has died.
He was such an incredible interviewer! He was so competent...intelligent and truly in a league of his own.
The Toronto Film Festival group now has his interviews,research, notes, etc. archived.

This man was brilliant. I watched him all the time as a kid. I'd get the biggest kick out of watching the celebrities' reaction to his insightful, tough questions. Tough as in substantive. A class act.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2004/06/04/Arts/linehanobit040604.html
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 02:29 pm:   

Thanks, TA....
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Mastadge
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 07:10 pm:   

Saw HARRY POTTER 3 today. It was still long and boring, though not as long and boring as the previous two. It was also a lot better looking than the others. Worth seeing almost for the pretty shots alone. Two of the kids seem to be improving with age, but the kid playing Harry seems to spend most of the movie fighting to keep a big grin off his face. The new Dumbledore gets Dumbledore's pranksterish nature right but completely misses his gravity or dignity or whatever you want to call it. Having recently read the book the movie mostly made sense, but I had the feeling that if I hadn't read the book it would've been quite unsatisfying, with a lot of stuff that just kind of happens without much rhyme or reason.

On the plus side, there was no wailing, and John Williams' score was one of his better ones of recent years.

A definite improvement over the previous two, but still not very good.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 08:02 pm:   

Mastadge,

Thanks for the review. I'm scheduled to see it next week--not anticipating the experience.

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