A shot-by-shot analysis of the latest Star Trek teaser
You can find a link to the teaser in the opening paragraph. In short, I'm excited. However, it would be nice to see a new Star Trek film that didn't feature a megalomaniacal villain out to destroy Earth. We've had that twice in a row, plus it's pretty much the plot in every other superhero movie that's out there now. And if the villain does indeed turn out to be Khan, then color me disappointed. Why bother rebooting the franchise if you're just going to re-use old characters? Having said that, I'm sure this will be a lot of fun, and the effects wizards at ILM seem to have outdone themselves once again. But this all brings me to...
Are all franchise films essentially the same now?
It's hard to argue with this: "In the first Star Trek episode ever, “The Cage” a race of aliens called the Talosians is introduced. These guys got so into creating illusions with their minds that they forgot how the technology of their ancestors even worked. They forgot how to be original and grew bored and warped and immoral. Are the big-franchise filmmakers of today like the Talosians? Giant pulsing brains who’ve created the same illusion over and over, reusing the same formulas so often that they have forgotten how to be creative? How to take a risk?" Also, the author's comment on Tim Burton's Batman is spot on!
A look at the 2012 Black List
No, not that Black List. This list is the annual list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, though a few of them are currently in some phase of development. I've perused the loglines and, while some of the films are your standard TV-movie "Guy/girl returns home to reconcile with family" routines, there are some really cool stories here. My favorites are, without a doubt, Seuss, Wunderkind, If They Move... Kill 'Em!, Man of Tomorrow, Untitled Cops Script, and Hibernation.
Geek culture has gone mainstream but at what cost?
A TV writer recently compared nerds who like The Bang Bang Theory to black people who like Amos 'n' Andy. Okay, so all things geek are now mainstream but has this damaged the "geek" label, or is it much ado about nothing? After all, history has shown that once something becomes popular, it often gets diluted. And our 24/7 media-saturated culture hasn't helped: "Armed with Wikipedia and an Idiots or annotated guide to just about everything, the average citizen can, in minutes, discover the tantalizing bits of canonical knowledge it once took years to accumulate - years in which some of us clung to our semi-secret predilections for fantasy or science fiction, playing Dungeon and Dragons instead of dodgeball."
With 35mm film dead, will classic movies ever look the same?
This could turn out to be a big problem. A.) companies that deal with film - suppliers, labs, etc. - are shutting down, B.) while (most) classic films will always get much-needed restorations, what about that B-western no one but your father remembers?, and C.) people now expect older films to look like new ones which is why too many Blu-Rays technicians pump up the color and try to get rid of the grain, usually with awful results. There are plenty of folks in Hollywood who value the industry's legacy but that and five cents will get you a cup of coffee and at the end of the day, it's about the bottom line and demographics. Or maybe I'm just a pessimist. [smile]
The terribly true story behind the Super Mario Bros. movie
I remember seeing this in the theater. I was a Mario-loving 10-year old and I enjoyed the movie (for what it was). Looking back on it almost 20 years later, I'm literally ashamed of myself! Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo have both said how much they hated making the movie and it seems no one knew how to adapt a video game, because it had never been done before. The problem with video game movies is that watching one is like watching your sibling play a video game - you don't want to watch, you want to play! And for some reason, they changed the locale from the Mushroom Kingdom to a Blade Runner-esque alternate universe Manhattan. The film has developed a cult audience (size: unknown) and after reading this article, I kinda want to see it again.
Searching for the real movie Lincoln
"Sources agree that Abraham Lincoln is the president most often represented on film, though an exact count of portrayals is difficult to determine. The editors at Guinness list 136 featured roles in films in The Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats, but that doesn’t include television and shorts. The Movie List Book estimates over 150 films, but that reference was published in 1990. Internet sources such as Suite 101 and Great History.com weigh in at over 200 film portrayals, though I fear they inflate in order to push their point that Lincoln is our most iconic president. The popularity of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln with Daniel Day-Lewis’s magnetic interpretation of the 16th president has inspired bloggers to recount the portrayals and mine them for best performances, historical accuracy, and bizarre depictions."
Celebrating 50 years of James Bond title design
As a preamble to our new James Bond series in 2013, I've included this piece which takes a look at each and every Bond title sequence, featuring work by Maurice Binder, Robert Brownjohn, Daniel Kleinman, and the studio MK12. "As with the films themselves, most Bond titles draw from a self-governed set of themes, but they are also liberal in their application of them. Female forms, stylized violence, implied danger, guns, imaginative photography, motion graphics, and academic typography are paired with a billboard anthem and presented through the thematic lens of the film itself - as in the underwater ballad of the Thunderball titles or the cosmic backdrops of Moonraker."
Last night's listening:
There's a good chance that if it's mentioned on this list, I was listening to it! (My last purchase included the second, third, and fourth items in the La-La Land Records category.)
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone!