movies

"He Deserves Not A Black Belt, But An Oscar." - TIME Magazine

I think Mr. Van Damme is telling me to start a review thread of his films.

This will be mine, oh yes, this will be mine.


Quite possibly the greatest cover design for a movie. I want a poster of this (with the quote on it of course).

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/movies.php?id=3772

JCVD: Jean-Claude Van Damme Kicks His Own Ass!
http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1857303,00.html

The Jason Voorhees Filmography Countdown

In celebration of the most recent Friday, February 13th and of the release of the series "reboot" of Friday the 13th, I have decided to take a journey down memory lane and review all past films featuring the world's most iconic fictional slasher, Jason Voorhees.

I was introduced to Jason at a very young age (late nights on the USA Network, woohoo!) and I've been a megafan ever since. I vividly recall childhood camping trips where I would summarize the films by campfire to anyone that bothered to listen. I even dedicated a Halloween or two to Jason by fixing up the best hockey masked slasher costume I could scrounge up. No other slasher or horror movie stands up to this character or his movies so added incentive to compose these reviews are evident. If this is the year that we celebrate briefly Jason again, I owe it to myself and to the film franchise to write all I can about it.

For those who missed my Arnold Schwarzenegger Countdown, the process is as follows. Using my fanboy powers, I go back and rewatch all pertinent movies and carefully decide how to rank them in regards to all around personal enjoyment. I'll provide an official poster for each film, a cast list, brief synopsis, my take, thoughts on the film score, body counts, favorite kill, and probably more when it comes closer to the time that I start posting up each film review. For a categorical look, here is what I am projecting:

The Specs - Title, Release Date, Tagline, Cast
The Review - My take on the film
The Score - Brief thoughts on the music
The Sequence - My favorite, most memorable scene
The Body Count - Total on screen or implied deaths of anyone by anyone
The Line - My favorite quote of the film
The Shot - The singular image that defines the film
My Favorite Kill - The most unique death, most likely
The Man Behind The Mask - Short commentary on each portrayal/performance of Jason

The Surprising Affects Of 3-D

2009-02-13-31910.jpg

Last night, I discovered that there is only one thing worse than watching a 3-D movie in 3-D and coping with the countless "I'M POKING YOU!" moments. It's having to watch a 3-D movie on TV without any 3-D capability whatsoever and then having to deal with the "I'M STILL POKING YOU ANYWAYS!" moments.

If you're a glutton for punishment, try it sometime.

Frank Miller: Why The Hate?

Preface: I do not love or hate Frank Miller. I am seeking clarity on the geek community at large about all the rapidly increasing Frank hate.

Apparently I've been in a self-induced geek coma for I am guessing at least two years now. Lately, as of early December or so, I've been reading about Frank Miller and how he'd eventually go on to butcher The Spirit. This basically came to truth without a fight when the film released but the hate seemed to get turned up a notch with the rumor about Frank Miller wanting to do a Buck Rogers imagining. After reading countless forums and blogs, I decided to take a step back to try to grasp some perspective on what the hell was happening in front of me.

Didn't this guy recently make the well-received film adaptation of his own work in Sin City? Seriously, right? I vividly recall standing outside a theater with a group of friends chatting up about how much we enjoyed the film. Then the 300 eventually came to pass, and although not as well-received as Sin City, I still did not come across the Frank Miller hate that I am now.

So that was it before The Spirit, right? I mean, this is 2009 and I suddenly didn't end up in a wormhole in the future where Frank Miller remade Napoleon Dynamite, right? So what the heck is going on? Again, I am not trying to defend the guy, but I am completely clueless as to the nosedive he has taken over recent months. Was there a sleeper I didn't hear about? Did he say or do something?

I thought he was well respected and at least a visual genius. I understand visuals alone a great film does not make but, yeah, I feel like Sinclair here with a giant hole in my mind. So all you Minbari out there clue this fellow geek in please.

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Filmography Countdown

A challenge has been bestowed upon me. In an attempt to decipher what my all time favorite Arnold Schwarzenneger movie is, I am to watch and immediately post a review of each and every one of his major films. After consulting his IMDB credits, I think I can do this. I am bypassing his cameo appearances, voice acting, and bit TV roles he had in the late 70's. So here's the list, in alphabetical order:

*Batman and Robin
*Collateral Damage
Commando
Conan The Barbarian
Conan The Destroyer
End of Days
*Eraser
*Hercules In New York
*Jingle All The Way
*Junior
*Kindergarten Cop
Last Action Hero
Predator
*Pumping Iron
*Raw Deal
Red Heat
*Red Sonja
Running Man
Sixth Day
*Terminator 1
Terminator 2
*Terminator 3
Total Recall
*True Lies
*Twins

* = Not currently in my collection but accessible from Amazon.com and/or Netflix.

Recalling Andy's Barrage of Bond Reviews, I think I am going to follow similar paths. So each film will be watched in a process of elimination/last movie standing format and the corresponding reviews will be written in a standard/consistent format of topics. Although I do not really have a worst Arnold movie, the first review will be the bottom of the barrel while the final review will be crowned as my all time favorite Arnold flick.

The review format will be as follows:

· The Specs - Title, Year, Cast, Tagline, Poster, etc.
· The Review - Probably anywhere between 3-4 paragraphs.
· The Score - Yeah, I'm reviewing music from Arnold movies. Beat that, Ebert!
· The Sequence - Standout scene.
· The Body Count - A must.
· The Line - Defining catch phrase.
· The Shot - One standout still shot.
· The Extra - Random bonus tidbit.

See you at the party, Richter.

editing

The latest film project we've been working on is "The Statement of Randolph Carter," and we're in the midst of editing. For those that aren't familiar with the editing process, it's a little like listening to a cd skip, watching the same movie clip over and over, looking at one of those "can you spot the difference" pictures, telling a story, putting together a complex piece of furniture with no directions, which has several seemingly identical pieces but that only fit together in a very certain way, and performing surgery for hours on end. I know, sounds like a load of fun. Truth is, editing is one of the most time intensive and grueling parts of making a film. However, in both a very literal, as well as a figurative sense, it's where the movie really gets made.

It starts with culling through the raw footage, looking at different angles, different takes, and trying to get an idea of the shape of the scene. The first stages are like putting together a puzzle more than anything else, lining up different takes to give a rough idea of how the thing is going to be cut together in general. This shot comes first, then this one, then the next, then back to that first angle, and so on. This in an of itself isn't necessarily to terribly difficult if you've got a clear plan, and have the right raw goods to work with. The trouble comes in when you find out that you can't use this take because a boom was in frame, an actor dropped their line, there isn't enough light, or there's a continuity error. It comes when you realize that the only thing you have to cut to from where you are doesn't visually work, the shot is too similar, the actor positions on screen are reversed causing visual confusion, or some other issue. So, you go back, sifting through the raw footage looking for what is usable if you cut here instead of there. Trust me, it can be maddening, and I'm not even the editor.

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