Recent Entries in Film

  Maoist Movie Reviews

Hee hee. Someone's seriously reviewing films with a Maoist perspective. Emphasis is added below.

MIM's Maoist movie reviews

"Blade Runner" is similar to the movie "Brazil" (1985) in this respect. The protagonist in each movie is the enemy socially speaking since they are both economic parasites and doing government or police work of some kind under capitalism. It is not because of their line of work that they seem to be oppressed (in fact, they are not oppressed), but because they live in a society that glorifies individualism at the same time it subjects everyone to the capitalist state and seemingly invincible economic and social forces. This reviewer would not go as far as saying that everyone in the world has an interest in the revolution, but it remains a "paradox of oppressor cultures that many of the parasites themselves face empty lives which seem out of their individual control."(1) In this context, "Blade Runner" has the potential to neutralize some parasites politically. It depicts the angst and despair of some Euro-Amerikans who live in a "dystopia" that bears an uncanny resemblance to today's deeply antisocial society, but it does not suggest that most Euro-Amerikans are oppressed economically.

This was an awesome show. I hope that writer's strike ends soon, so they can get on with it.

Arrested Development Movie Planned?

Arrested Development is one of the best shows ever to be canned by a network, after Fox tired of the poor ratings and gave it the chop in 2006. But it had a massive cult following, and enjoyed huge critical acclaim throughout its original three season run.

So the news that a movie version of the anarchic sitcom is at least being talked about, if not already being planned, should be music to the ears of all those people who have missed the programme since its demise.

  Roy Scheider dies at 75

BENWAY!

Aww, shucks. That's too bad. He didn't even make it to 2010.

'Jaws' actor Roy Scheider dies in Arkansas at 75 -- Newsday.com

Roy Scheider, a two-time Academy Award nominee best remembered as the reluctant, shark-hunting police chief in "Jaws," died yesterday. He was 75 years old and lived in Sag Harbor.

Scheider had suffered from multiple myeloma for years and died in Little Rock, Ark., from a staph infection, according to his wife, Brenda Seimer.

I can't imagine it being much of a deviation from his regular stuff. I wonder if there's any Kung Fu in it.

YouTube - CJ7 - Trailer (english subtitles)

  Harsh Realm DVD review

Excellent review of the Harsh Realm TV series by Chris Carter. I had such high hopes for this show, and was kinda disappointed with it, though it still holds a place on my shelf.

DVD Times - Harsh Realm: the Complete Series

In this world most of the people are not real at all, but instead virtual characters, no more alive than Duke Nukem or Lara Croft. And this brings about one of the fundamental flaws in the series â.. we are expected to care about these people, and be concerned about their safety. Hobbes certainly is, risking his life again and again to protect what are, in actuality, little more than lines of computer code, and this insistence becomes more and more tiresome as the series wears on. In one episode he nearly throws away everything to save the life of the computerised version of his dead dog while in another he gets all hot and bothered over a digital version of his bride-to-be, a version that doesnâ..t even know who he is. This isnâ..t heroism or a display of humanity, itâ..s just daft, and, far from being a person you would wish to follow as a potential saviour, heâ..s someone you want to grab by the neck, shake firmly and hiss â..What the hell do you think youâ..re doing? Theyâ..re not real!â.

Sounds like it would be a good couple of films.

Del Toro doubles up for 'Hobbit'

Guillermo del Toro is in talks to direct back-to-back installments of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," which is being co-financed by New Line and MGM.

Del Toro's name was on a short list of directors who could tackle the project, one of the most anticipated literary adaptations of the past decade. An ill-chosen director for "Hobbit" could put billions of dollars at stake for New Line and MGM and could turn off an audience that encompasses millions of passionate readers, Tolkien fans and obsessive geeks.

Yes, it's a shame when people use movies to push their faiths on other people.

Shortpacked! -- Webcomic about action figure collecting by David Willis

shortpacked_gc_vs_lww.jpg

Oh man, I loved Zork. It was my favourite game, right after Fort Apocalypse

GET LAMP: THE TEXT ADVENTURE DOCUMENTARY

With limited sound, simple graphics, and tiny amounts of computing power, the first games on home computers would hardly raise an eyebrow in the modern era of photorealism and surround sound. In a world of Quake, Half-Life and Halo, it is expected that a successful game must be loud, fast, and full of blazing life-like action.

But in the early 1980s, an entire industry rose over the telling of tales, the solving of intricate puzzles and the art of writing. Like living books, these games described fantastic worlds to their readers, and then invited them to live within them.

Rising from side projects at universities and engineering companies, adventure games would describe a place, and then ask what to do next. They presented puzzles, tricks and traps to be overcome. They were filled with suspense, humor and sadness. And they offered a unique type of joy as players discovered how to negotiate the obstacles and think their way to victory. These players have carried their memories of these text adventures to the modern day, and a whole new generation of authors have taken up the torch to present a new set of places to explore.

Nominated for an Academy Award. Some kid from Toronto gets an audio tape interview with John Lennon.

YouTube - I met the Walrus. Trailer

If they were really open-minded, they'd offer this to public schools and universities as well.

Producers of Expelled trying to bribe Christian schools into encouraging, bribing or forcing their students to see their movie - The Frame Problem

Producers of the Intelligent Design propaganda film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed are trying to bribe Christian schools in America to facilitate or even force their students to go see their movie.

The team at Expelled call this marketing campaign the Expelled Challenge, and describe it as follows:

What is the Expelled Challenge?

To engage Christian schools to get as many students, parents, and faculty from your school out to see Ben Steinâ..s new movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (opening in theaters April 2008).

What is the reward?

Generous donations can be awarded to schools according to the number of movie ticket stubs they turn in. By accepting this challenge, your school could be awarded a donation up to $10,000, just for bringing your kids to see this film!

Someone left the exact same "press release" in a comment on my post about this issue. Looks like either G.R. Conley's doing a really extensive hoax (for what purpose?) or the Davises are trying to do damage control on a viral blogosphere meme. Or, someone is impersonating the Davises in order to drag on this funny business. I say, <fingerquotes>forget about it </fingerquotes>, already.

Hilarious press release from the Davisâ..s

Not that this matters because the story is clearly no longer a hot topic, if it even ever was one, but Iâ..m going to respond to every attack made on me by BJ Davis, Julia Davis, and anyone else concerned with the case for as long as I have to. Iâ..m not going to back down from someone who, in my opinion, is a 57-year-old bully.

This â..press releaseâ. was posted tonight on IMDb and my BJ Davis vs. Me post. I donâ..t know if it was written by BJ Davis, but since heâ..s quoted in it, as are the e-mails I sent to him, you can draw your own assumptions.

Or rather, gets threatened by the director and writer and is issued a DMCA takedown notice. It may be a cheap publicity stunt by the filmmaker, but the whininess looks legit.

BJ Davis vs. Me â.. Two Days Later - Your Video Store Shelf

This sure has been an interesting two and a half days. As I begin to write this itâ..s about 5:30 AM Eastern on Monday night going into Tuesday morning. I feel that I should give a rundown of what happened from my side of things, along with some history on what appears to have led to this whole deal. Every fact in this article is backed up by documentation, and my opinions are just that â.. opinions. Comments are open on this post to anything but derogatory remarks.

Before I begin, since I know there are only going to be a few people with the patience to read this in full, let me point out that Forget About It is not a horrible movie. In my opinion it is unfunny and forgettable, or at least it was forgettable before all this happened. Itâ..s not a Uwe Boll movie by any stretch of the imagination. Please remember that while BJ Davis may still stand to profit from the film (Iâ..m not sure of this answer), there are other people who are completely innocent in this ordeal that may end up suffering as a result of the negative publicity created by the threats Iâ..ve received. The people at Big Screen Entertainment Group, as this article explains, appear guilty of nothing more than having a name that makes me laugh. They have been in court with Mr. Davis multiple times over the past several years and have been nothing but helpful in trying to get this mess sorted out. If you want to support them without renting Forget About It, feel free to buy stock in their company. Itâ..s at 7 cents a share as I type this so even I can afford it.

  Noir films to see

Great list (by no means complete) of Films Noirs from MetaFilter. I've only seen about half of these.

How could I have known that murder could sometimes smell like honeysuckle? | MetaFilter

They Made Me A Criminal (1939) I am a fugitive... I am hunted by ruthless men! I am shunned by decent women! I am doomed to hide forever! Directed by Busby Berkeley. Starring John Garfield, The Dead End Kids, Claude Rains and Ann Sheridan.

Casablanca (1942) As big and timely a picture as ever you've seen! You can tell by the cast it's important! gripping! big!
Won 3 Oscars. Directed by Michael Ortiz. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

Double Indemnity (1944) Paramount's terrific story of an unholy love, and an almost perfect crime!
Written and directed by Billy Wilder. Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyk and Edward G. Robinson.

The Thin Man Goes Home (1944) Nick and Nora go on holiday, and end up involved in a murder.
Starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Mildred Pierce (1945) In her heart of hearts she knew it would happen this way!Joan Crawford in her Oscar-winning. Eve Arden and Ann Blyth were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress. It was also up for Best B/W Cinematography, Best Picture and Best Screenplay.

It's good to hear that they actually filmed the last 3 chapters of the book, instead of just dropping it completely. I've just read the series, and it would have been a bad idea to leave such a cliffhanger in the first film. As a person who hadn't read the books prior to watching the film, I liked the ending.

'Golden Compass' Makers Take A New Direction, Shelve Ending - Movie News Story | MTV Movie News

"The Golden Compass" might be one of the only films ever to offer a sneak peek of its sequel in its trailer â.. although that certainly wasn't the intention when it was made. What was supposed to be the end of the first installment of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy has become the beginning of the second, as filmmakers have lopped off scenes in "Compass" to provide more of a cliffhanger. The film series, already no stranger to controversy thanks to its handling of some religious themes, was subjected to a second round of uproar when fans first heard of the switch.

"What?!" 16-year-old "His Dark Materials" fan Zoe Maltby said when she heard of the last-minute changes to the December 7 flick. "What are they showing instead at the end?"

Those who've read the Philip Pullman books already know much of this, but for those who haven't, a warning â.. spoilers are ahead. The last three chapters of the book involve Lyra (played in the film by Dakota Blue Richards), who seeks out her father, Lord Asriel (played by Daniel Craig) in the Arctic North as he's about to conduct an experiment: to split a doorway between worlds in the Aurora Borealis. All along, Lyra had been trying to save her friend Roger, who had been kidnapped by her mother, Mrs. Coulter (played by Nicole Kidman), only to realize she's just paved the way for his death â.. because Lord Asriel has been looking for a child whose soul he can sever and to use that energy to open up the door between worlds.

  How Hollywood Saved God

The man's got a lot of chutzpah to be dissing LOTR.

How Hollywood Saved God

This month, New Line Cinema will release The Golden Compass, based on the first book in a trilogy of edgy childrenâ..s novels written by the British author Philip Pullman. A trailer for the movie evokes The Lord of the Rings, and comparisons have been made to The Chronicles of Narnia. All three are epic adventures that unfold in a rich fantasy world, perfect for the big screen. But beyond that basic description, the comparisons fall apart. In the past, Pullman has expressed mainly contempt for the books on which the other movies were based. He once dismissed the Lord of the Rings trilogy as an â..infantile workâ. primarily concerned with â..maps and plans and languages and codes.â. Narnia got it even worse: â..Morally loathsome,â. he called it. â..One of the most ugly and poisonous things Iâ..ve ever read.â. He described his own series as Narniaâ..s moral opposite. â..Thatâ..s the Christian one,â. he told me. â..And mine is the non-Christian.â.

In the past, Pullman has defended the â..good faith of the film-makersâ. and denied any â..betrayal.â. On the surface, his relationship with the studio has remained â..cordial,â. as he put it. The director, Chris Weitz, has made several pilgrimages to Oxford, and the two men exchange e-mails. Pullman got to review a video of the final 50 candidates for the part of Lyra, and he has made script suggestions. Still, the studio publicist seemed nervous when she heard I was going to visit him. All things being equal, Pullman told me, New Line would prefer he were, well, the late author of The Golden Compass. Dead? â..Yes! Absolutely!â. If something happened to him, there â..would be expressions of the most heartfelt regrets, yet privately they would be saying, â..Thank God.â..â.

Cool. Joker looks like he's from Insane Clown Posse.

First Preview Of 'The Dark Knight' - Batman and Ledger's Joker Revealed

the_dark_knight.jpg

A small crowd in New York were lucky enough to preview the first six minutes of the new Batman film The Dark Knight on Monday, and it seems it left everyone wanting more.

The eagerly awaited sequel to Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan, feature Christian Bale as Batman, and Heath Ledger as a new, meaner looking Joker.

And gives it 4 stars... Why does the Tomatometer currently have it sitting at only 42%?

:: rogerebert.com :: Reviews :: The Golden Compass (xhtml)

"The Golden Compass" is a darker, deeper fantasy epic than the "Rings" trilogy, "The Chronicles of Narnia" or the "Potter" films. It springs from the same British world of quasi-philosophical magic, but creates more complex villains and poses more intriguing questions. As a visual experience, it is superb. As an escapist fantasy, it is challenging. Teenagers may be absorbed and younger children may be captivated; some kids in between may be a little conflicted, because its implications are murky.

They weren't murky in the original 1995 novel, part of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, a best seller in Britain, less so here. Pullman's evil force, called the Magisterium in the books, represents organized religion, and his series is about no less than the death of God, who he depicts as an aged, spent force. This version by New Line Cinema and writer-director Chris Weitz ("About a Boy") leaves aside religion and God, and presents the Magisterium as sort of a Soviet dictatorship or Big Brother. The books have been attacked by American Christians over questions of religion; their popularity in the U.K. may represent more confident believers whose response to other beliefs is to respond, rather than suppress.

For most families, such questions will be beside the point. Attentive as I was, I was unable to find anything anti-religious in the movie, which works above all as an adventure. The film centers on a young girl named Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards), in an alternative universe vaguely like Victorian England. An orphan raised by the scholars of a university not unlike Oxford or Cambridge, she is the niece of Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), who entrusts her with the last surviving Alethiometer, or Golden Compass, a device that quite simply tells the truth. The Magisterium has a horror of the truth, because it represents an alternative to its thought control; the battle in the movie is about no less than man's preservation of free will.

  Futurama's Back!

I just saw this last night. Where are the rest of them? I'd buy them today.

futuramas_back.jpg

'Futurama' Is Back! Grab a Can of Slurm and Settle In

Futurama was never a mass market success â.. it never generated universally known catchphrases like "Don't have a cow, man" or a movie that grossed half a billion dollars. It just attracted a niche of enthusiastic devotees. But in the modern media landscape, a hardcore niche of fans can be all you need.

Futurama was killed, but like some B-movie cyborg it refused to stay dead. The fans watched the 72 episodes religiously in syndication and shelled out $170 to get the entire run on DVD. So, in 2005, Fox green-lighted 16 new episodes. Cohen and Groening have reassembled many of the hundreds of writers, animators, and voice artists who'd gone on to other projects to create four DVDs of new material, including sexy robot stage shows. The first DVD hits stores on November 27, and the features will then be divided into half-hour episodes when the entire run of the series begins airing on Comedy Central next year.

At last, Futurama is getting a fifth season.


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