Often, sci-fi and low budget indie productions go together about as well as chocolate and onions. The high budget demands on special effects eventually hamper the entire story. Clone Hunter is indeed [ ... ]
The film begins on an ominous note. Eerie strings play as the film fades to white. Soon, a ship appears out of the fog. Cut to a gumshoe, looking and speaking as if he has stepped straight out of a [ ... ]
One clear sign of Hollywood’s lack of imagination is the number of times that any remotely well known TV shows are re-imagined as movies. For the most part, this idea has not worked, as the films are either severe disappointments (The Avengers, Twilight Zone: The Movie) or awful ideas in the first place (The Flintstones; Scooby-Doo; The Beverly Hillbillies). Below are 5 films that were actually successful when adapted to the wide screen from television. Perhaps there are lessons here for the creators of upcoming adaptations (I’m looking at you, 24).
1. The Untouchables (1987)-This move is perhaps both Director Brian DePalma’s and Kevin Costner’s finest moment. It is a non-stop thrill ride that features wonderful performances (in particular Sean Connery’s Oscar winning Officer Malone and Robert DeNiro’s over the top Al Capone). It gets right what too many action films do not-namely, it takes the time to establish characters we come to actually care about, which makes the action set pieces (which are terrific) that much more memorable.
2. The Fugitive (1993)-This is the only TV to film adaptation to ever be nominated for Best Picture and it deserves it. Starting with its spectacular train wreck escape, the film is riveting as Dr Richard Kimble
(Harrison Ford, perfectly cast in his specialty as the reluctant hero), wrongfully convicted for his wife’s murder, desperately tries to stay one step ahead of US Marshall Gerard (Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones) while trying to clear his name. Like The Untouchables, The Fugitive delivers great action, yet takes the time to establish involving characters and a riveting story.
3. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999)-Not only is this one of the best TV to movie adaptations, it is also one of the funniest movies of the past 15 years, as well as, in a demented way, one of the best musicals. As South Park always does, this movie often goes way, way beyond the limits of good taste, yet still accomplishes the remarkable feat of making sometimes pointed comments on society while being absolutely hysterical at the same time.
4. Star Trek (2009)-This was a close call over Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (easily the best of the movies with the old school cast). I give the recent version a slight edge out of gratitude for revitalizing a beloved franchise that some critics felt was dying. Though not without its flaws, it is clear that the movie was made by people who dearly loved the old show (most notably Director JJ Abrams). The movie is a lot of fun, with great special effects, various in jokes (watch for the red suit) and a mostly solid re-casting of beloved characters (kudos to Karl Urban’s spot on recreation of Bones McCoy).
5. The Naked Gun (1988)-People often forget that The Naked Gun originated as a short lived but now legendary show called Police Squad! Though I believe Airplane! is still the best of the Zucker Brothers comedies, few movies are as successful at the insane throw-every-joke-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks style of comedy as this one (Leslie Nielsen is perfectly cast as the hapless Detective Drebin). For better or worse, this film and Airplane! were the inspiration behind such dubious franchises as the Scary Movie and Disaster Movie series.
It's that time of year again where many are trying to choose interesting and affordable Holiday gifts for their friends and family. I urge you to pay a visit to www.indiefilmkiosk.com As always, it is the video store where less is more. We offer a unique selection of foreign language films and great American independents as finished goods dvds. Yes, not a download but an actual living and breathing dvd.
Titles like Kim Ki Duk's disturbing BAD GUY and the edgy French romance WILD CAMP, are just two of the great films available. There's docs like AMERICAN CANNIBAL and WALL, great American indies like EL CAMINO, starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and comedies like the unforgettable WEST WITTERING AFFAIR and SLIPPERY SLOPE.
All of these dvds and many more are offered with the best prices on the internet. And if you spend more than $25.00 we throw in free shipping too. How can you go wrong?
Yes, film fans, we are back! it has not been an easy run but we have finally migrated Indiefilmchat.com to the newest operating software that our system was using. I could devote some space here to what I think would be a well deserved rant about the arrogance of software designers, but I won't.
Instead, let me just issue a plea for the next poor bastards who wake up one day and discover that their web software has been upgraded and there is no known interface to migrate established architecture and content to the new system.
Dear software people and the bosses who direct them; please think these things through a little better next time! There were just a few of us out here who kind of, sort of, depended on the old system for, well you know, business, pleasure, marketing, and fun.
So, here we are, posting for the first time since God knows when. Fortunately the news feeds kept working. I have no idea why but am grateful. In our absence the world of independent film remained constant by changing on a weekly basis. Blockbuster filed. Video On Demand has expanded everywhere. Foreign language films are making a mini comeback, etc. We have a back log of articles, reviews, essays and fun stuff that will be going up over the next week so don't be a stranger.
Top Ten Mind Mess Films
Written by Trent Daniel
Monday, 16 August 2010 19:24
In the wake of Inception, I thought it might be fun to create a list of 10 of the best mind mess movies. All of these films are very good, with some masterpieces. What they have in common is a tendency to question reality and confuse what is real and what is not. Also, like the best art, many of these films leave their meaning completely open to interpretation for each viewer. For anyone who likes films to challenge them as well as entertain them, these films are highly recommended.
Last Year at Marienbad (1961)- This strange, jigsaw puzzle of a film is truly polarizing, as it is either considered a masterpiece of postmodern cinema or representative of foreign cinema at its most pretentious and silly. The simple plot of Alain Resnais' film;, a woman in a baroque hotel continuously is seduced by a man who insists they have met before. The couple is somewhat stalked by a man who may or may not be her husband. That is it. The characters are never named. Other characters move like robots-if they move at all. The score is primarily played by organ, giving it an eerie similarity to funeral music. The giant baroque rooms have a lifeless, scary quality that was surely not lost on Stanley Kubrick (see the end of 2001 and The Shining).
Persona (1966)-In Ingmar Bergman's controversial yet lauded film, an actress suffers a mental breakdown on stage, soon never to speak again. She is taken to a remote cottage to be under the care of one nurse. Yet, the more the nurse tries to communicate with the actress, the more their personalties begin to merge. The film uses mirrors, seemingly unrelated but powerful imagery and, most famously, long close ups of each actress in order to present its puzzle . It includes legendary moments for film buffs,such as a moment where the film seemingly burns itself into two parts and a disturbing split close up where the actresses seem to share the same face. Is our identity based only on how we think others perceive us? This film has no answers, only enticing questions.
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A Talk with The Clone Hunter, Director Andrew Bellware
Written by Bruce Frigeri
Friday, 06 August 2010 12:14
In a distant future full of intelligent machines, the wealthy and powerful live their lives to the fullest, without limits, without restraint, and seemingly without end. But what happens if the artificial intelligence that makes this ìperfectî world possible wants to share in it? David is a former planetary cop who resigned in disgrace. He is a freelance clone hunter now, a glorified gun for hire. He and his junior partner, Rachel, are hired by Montserrat, a brutal Oligarch, to track down a murderous clone that threatens the stability of Montserratís private planet. The more David and Rachel delve into the case the more corruption and rot they discover, until they come face to face with their own darkest secrets and must decide which side they are on.
That's the synopsis of the new cult Sci-Fi Hit, CLONE HUNTER directed by Andrew Bellware. IFC recently had chance to sit down and talk with Andrew about his latest directorial effort...
IFC: Clone Hunter is the fifth science fiction film produced by your company, Pandora Machine. How did you ever resist the urge to make a fine piece of navel gazing mumblecore and do such a mainstream genre film instead? Andrew Bellware: We resisted by the fact that with as little money as there is in genre films, thereís even less in art-house pictures. Ha!
Truthfully, thereís more artistic freedom in making a good ìgenreî picture -- I mean as long as you have the appropriate amount of spaceships you can basically make any kind of picture you want. Really, nobody makes as strongly political pictures as George Romero. His movies are subversive, man! The zombie proletariat rising up against the bourgeoisie? Youíd never be able to do that in an art-house flick.
Besides that -- my first two pictures were a Hamlet we shot on a toy Pixelvision camera and a movie based on John Miltonís Paradise Lost. Nobody but nobody can sit through either of those movies. If Iím going to do an art-house film itís going to be a day in the life of my cat. Itíll be mostly about sleeping.
IFC: I have to ask you about your company logo sequence with the naked woman at the beginning of the film. Who came up with that one?
AB: You see, itís Pandora -- the mythological character who opens the box which contains all human misery -- but in our world when she reaches into the box she finds a laser gun and blows you away with it. Right? Get it? OK, yeah, that was my idea. It amused me at the time. Heck, it still amuses me.
In the wake of Inception, I thought it might be fun to create a list of 10 of the best mind mess movies. All of these films are very good, with some masterpieces. What they have in common is a tendency to question re
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