von_geisterhand: (Default)
Why is there money for yet another stonkingly loud but inherently vapid Michael-Bay-Transformers-nassacre but not enough to develop films, or Cthulhu forbid!, a fucking telly series based on The Culture?
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Having now seen the trailer for the "Ghost in the Shell"-remake on the big screen three times I was reminded of just how breathtaking the film will probably look in that format. Watching trailer (and films!) on a small laptop just isn't the right way to experience them.
At the same time I also suddenly wondered why a "live action" remake of an anime was even considered necessary, except for purely monetary reasons. Particularly, as the "reality" the film presents is a very stylized one heavily influenced by.... anime and computer games. It's ouroboros of modern culture.
The same goes for "Beauty and the Beast". Just.... why..... why.... why?
Fuck this fake nostalgia!
von_geisterhand: (Default)

This is one of the two current issues regarding censorship floating round my head these days and being insistent enough for me to want to blog about them. The other subject is the fact that "Call of Duty: Black Ops" was "flash-indexed" and may well become illegal to sell in Germany pretty soon* (and is already on difficult legal ground), which might well make mne want to write a longer post on the inanity of the German "moral authorities" and the idiocy that is the § 131 of German law.
However, I do not play a great deal of computer games and am not even certain if I have ever played any "Call of Duty"-game full stop, so maybe I should rather discuss things I know a lot about and feel directly affected by every day. (Even if several of the points that need to be made in terms of films also apply to the discussion of computer games).

Actually, my argument is terribly simple: The version of "A Serbian Film" that will appear on UK screens will be missing 4 minutes and 11 seconds of footage, which probably everybody will agree is a significant portion of a normal-length feature film. Why is this footage missing? Because somebody, who believes that they know better than you what is acceptable to you has decided that this material is unacceptable.
This has nothing to do with protecting the youth, as the film would be rated as (18) uncut as it is now, this is supposedly about keeping the moral and order of the country intact. And that's bullshit. The BBFC does not protect the moral fibre of the country and "A Serbian Film" is as little out to undermine what is right and proper as, say, "The Evil Dead" was 30 years ago. This is simply about the comfort level of the members of the BBFC and about their feeling of superiority.
Is "A serbian film" likely to shock viewers? Well, I consider myself a bit of a connoiseur of extreme films and judging by all I have read about the film, yes, I expect that I will be shocked if I ever get the chance to view the uncut version. But I know that and I expect that and, let's be honest here, I want that. Nobody is standing in front of rollercoasters, either, telling you that you cannot go on there because you might throw up after. You go on the rollercoaster because you want to feel your guts and its contents take a round-trip of your whole body, because it makes you feel exhilerated in a way the merry-go-round simply cannot and if you are sick in the process, that is the risk you take. Or not, if you decide that it looks too much for you. But you make that decision yourself and don't let it be made by somebody whose experiences with food, movement and rollercoasters might well be totally different from yours.

*I do realise that a lot of what I complain about here could easily be countered by "Well, there are ways to circumvent the law and get what you want through other channels.". That may be so, but somehow I feel that "Well, you can always turn to crime" is not a satisfying solution in any supposedly civilised society.
von_geisterhand: (It is to indifference that I say)
Lieber/Liebe... wer auch immer für die Übersetzung des "Predators"-Plakats verantwortlich war.

Wenn ich Dich/Euch jemals treffe, gibt's auf den Hinterkopf.
"This planet is a game reserve and they are the game" ist mit "Dieser Planet ist ein Spielfeld und sie sind das Spiel" nicht korrekt übersetzt. Wer war das? Ein Hauptschüler auf Praktikum?

von_geisterhand: (Default)
If asked outright and out of the blue, I would certainly claim to be a fan of the "Hellraiser"-films and while I felt fairly blasé about the news of "Friday the 13th" and "Halloween" being rebooted, I am actually quite curious to see how the "Hellraiser"-reboot will turn out if it ever sees the light of the screen.
However, then I actually rewatch one of the proper* films and am reminded about just how flawed they are. "Hellraiser" seems fairly dated and somehow caught inbetween being the creepy, somewhat kinky british film it started off as and the bigger american mainstream film it was turned into. In this case it might actually be interesting to see what a "Star Wars"-style remastering might turn the film into. Keep the stop-motion effects but clean them up a little, give the characters back their English voices and if you must keep Christopher Young's score, at least reinstate some of the Coil tracks written for the film or get Sleazy to write some more. This, however, is never going to happen and maybe it is for the best that way. Certainly, if it's just about production values, you do get these in "Hellbound", which I feel is a considerably more coherent film and certainly the best in the series. Again, it is not without flaws and does show its age (The blond girl always puts me in mind of "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4", and not in a good way.), but here you have a fairly good combination of shocks, effects and glimpses of a non-Christian mythology. Plus, you know, Kenneth Cranham and Clare Higgins.**
"Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" then jumped the shark and made Pinhead the wisecracking Freddie-clone he should not be, while I reserve judgment on "Bloodlines" until they release the original version.

A factor that excited me about "The Hellbound Heart" and which I feel the movies lacked on the whole was the sense that a) the Cenobites may be cruel and relentless but they are never evil as such. Their special attentions should only be open to those who desire them enough to make the box open itself. Bringing "Hell to Earth" would really be a waste of their skills/good suffering. Frank really wanted to open that box as did Dr. Channard and thus the Order of the Gash attended to them, Maybe somebody's desire is strong and twisted enough to call them and set them onto somebody "innocent" but making them malevolent for their own sake fudges their appeal to me.
I can obviously understand why fairly mainstream american films would not feature a strong sense of sexual desire but by leaving this out, you do make the Cenobites*** a lot more generic and a lot less interesting than they deserve.

*Any "Hellraiser" that actually went on general release at the cinema. I enjoyed "Inferno" and "Hellseeker" but could not shake the feeling that they were actually interesting small films that had been rewritten to crowbar Pinhead and the Cenobites into the story.
** That's another thing last night's rewatching reminded me of: The first two "Hellraisers" (and "Hell on Earth" to an extent if in a more generic way) have very strong and self-determined female characters in a manner that horror is normally considered as lacking.
*** And while he is obviously very enigmatic, the Cenobites can do very well without Pinhead, just as the "Alien"-films can do without Ripley..
von_geisterhand: (Coffee)
Triggered by a listener's email to the "Mark Kermode Show" who suggested that one should be a little less harsh on "Sex and the City 2" on the grounds of it being one of the very rare current films with female leads, I wondered whether the film would actually stand up to the "Bechdel Test". And it would appear that it does.

Not having seen the film myself, I had to rely on this website as well as the opinion of a friend who had but clearly there are conversations between the leads that are about something else than men. (At 150 minutes duration, I would have been more impressed if they really managed to talk about nothing else ;-) On the other hand, the test, though effective, is still fairly basic and passing it still does not make SATC2 anything but a piece of consumerist tripe.
In this context, it might be interesting to consider meta-meaning to dialogue, though. Is a conversation about shoes and dresses really just about fashion or is there a subtext about making the most of yourself, possibly in order to snag yourself the best possible man?

And is there another layer of sexism to all of this inasfar as even as a piece of consumerist tripe aimed at women and gay men, it is no worse than much of the usual Hollywood fare aimed at a hetero-male market, trying to get you to buy products or act a certain way in order to receive the attention of ladies that are "out of your league".
von_geisterhand: (Default)
I realise that it's a bit late but still: Was anybody actually surprised when James Cameron's "Avatar" turned out to be the biggest grossing film of all timeup to now? Considering that Mr. Cameron has been making a habit of making films that cost more than anybody else's and wind up making more money than anybody else's since 1991 (that little flick called "Terminator 2: Judgment Day") and considering that his last film on general release was "Titanic", it seemed like a bit of a no-brainer. Admittedly, there was a slight chance that sales would have reached the glass ceiling and just could not possibly be topped, but waiting for 12 years of inflation probably helped a bit, as did charging extra extra! for the longer film and the 3D glasses.
And that's the thing: James Cameron makes expensive films that in terms of production values kick the living shit out of any competition available and oftentimes do things that have not been done in movies before (CGI/Morphing in "The Abyss", CGI/Morphing 1.2 in "Terminator 2", CGI/3D in "Avatar", horse in elevator in "True Lies"), which leads to them making lots of money at the box office. Being able to do this consistently certainly is a skill but it hardly is the "game changer" that it has been touted as. Rather, James Cameron is one of the best players of the old game, and there is always an audience waiting to be razzle-dazzled.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Okay, so Ridley Scott has apparently signed on to do the next instalment of the "Alien"-franchise. I could be more excited. Don't get me wrong. I am all "Woo! Alien 5! Great!" and any new Scott-film is bound to be worthwhile, particularly if it's a return to Sci-Fi for him (My absolute love for "Blade Runner" is on record). I just feel that Scott never really was the voice of God when it comes to the "Alien"-series. Yes, he made a damn fine movie that paved the way for a new approach to Sci-Fi and he did turn a script that might have made for something hugely generic into something unique but the baton has since been passed on and run with for quite a distance. Messrs. Cameron, Fincher and Jeunet (Yes!) have made the Bitch their own and developed the mythos, story and series. Quite besides the fact that Ridley Scott certainly is great when it comes to creating a coherent universe, I don't really see him following a canon that has a changed a great deal since he decided to turn Dallas into an egg. We don't need to hear the backstories of the Nostromo's crew, we certainly do not need another film featuring Ellen Ripley and when exactly will Clive Barker get round to rescue the "Hellraiser"-franchise? "Cabal 2" would also be nice.... See? That would be exciting, or even James Cameron making another "Terminator".... actually, Ridley Scott making a "Terminator" would be cool, too.
But please keep the Nostromo dead.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Forrest Gump: One Take. One Minute

Kill Bill: Two films. One take. One minute:

Courtesy of the University of York Film-making society.



Mar. 6th, 2009 05:02 pm
von_geisterhand: (the geisterhand)
So years and years of discussing and wondering and pondering and expecting came to an end yesterday when the film version of "Watchmen" finally went on general release over here.
And I really liked it. As somebody who has only done one concentrated full reading of the original comic (and quite a trip that was, let me tell you) but read a fair bit of the secondary literature as well as re-reading bits and pieces, I have decided that all the hype was pretty much deserved and that this quite simply is the best Alan-Moore-adaptation done so far now*.

If you have not read the book, here be spoilers )

Obviously, the book adds many more layers, asks many more questions and gives you more to think about but that really is something that books by their very nature have an advantage on compared to mainstream films. There also is no question about Zack Snyder being very interested in things looking flashy (What do you expect from the man who brought you "Himmler's wet dream" "300"?) and maybe the film is a little bit "style over matter" but I did really like the fact that the story pulled no punches and tried its best to not turn into run-of-the-mill Hollywood fare (while referencing Hollywood: "Ride of the Valkyries", anyone?).
I mean, imagine this having been done by Michael Bay with Arnold as Dr. Manhattan. See? Scary, innit?

So, full marks.

*Kicking "V for Vendetta" into a deserved second place. But then I guess you could also argue that the list pretty much ends there. "From Hell" is an interesting film in its own right but only really adapted certain assumptions Moore made about the murders. A "proper" adaptation of the book surely would have been a documentary with a certain amount of re-enactments.
And "LXG".... come on, let's be honest here. The film took a number of characters Moore also used in "League of extraordinary gentlemen", added some and then did a stupid story with them. Calling this an "adaptation" is using the term very loosely.
"Constantine" and "Swamp Thing" will be completely disregarded here, although they have their merits.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Two Monty Python stars will be at the first screening of their classic film Life of Brian in a town where it has not been seen since a ban 30 years ago.

Terry Jones and Michael Palin will join Aberystwyth mayor Sue Jones-Davies - who also starred in the 1979 film - at a charity showing on 28 March.

Proceeds from March's screening will go to charities nominated by Terry Jones and Ms Jones-Davies.

The two Pythons and the mayor will also hold a question and answer session with fans following a champagne reception and the film. Tickets costing £25 are on sale now, but organisers said only 120 were available.

von_geisterhand: (Default)
Good news, everyone!

I never knew that the film was banned in Aber, but then again, neither did the mayor, so I guess I can be excused.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Look ye here:

On the one hand I am excited simply because this means that there will now really be a "Watchmen"-film, on the other hand I do feel somewhat worried that the pictures remind me of "LXG". But that might just be the photoshopping.
And Silk Sprectre looks a little bit like "Elektra". Not good. :-S

I mean, I'll watch it anyway, but still, would t not have been nice to have a really good film?
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Now there's a combination I never thought I'd see. The song fits the film, though.
Unfortunately you people unequipped with teutonic language skills won't understand the song and you people ignorant of great british comedies of the 80s will wonder who those badly-dressed people are. So, this is really very elistist, I guess. Sorry. :-S

Still, funny to some.

von_geisterhand: (Default)

Carl Weathers for Predator Governor
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Okay, so I am a bit of a fanboy in this case, but I am really looking forward to this film. And from the looks of this trailer, it should be very good indeed. :-D

The Dark Knight

Hello, Heath. *grin*
Goodbye, Katie. Have fun with the kids. (And be vewy, vewy quiet.)

Well, hello, Maggie. Glad you could make it.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
you want to watch this:

At least I think you do. The beginning looks like the film I saw about ten years ago at a film festival, but if this is the film I am thinking of, I will not watch it now and particularly not while there is nobody else in the flat!

Tell me what you thought.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Done this one before, let's see if the film is any better this time round.

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.

Opening Credits:
Deichkind - Pferd im Stall Not bad. Weird german hip hop. (How weird? Well, weird enough for me to listen to it.) I can imagine credits rolling over that. This film might have a drug theme.

Waking Up:
Sickness of Snakes - The Pope held upside down
That is not a happy waking up. Or very dirty surroundings.

An Ordinary Day:
Imperative Reaction - Salvation
And after the horrible waking up, we now have a rather hectic day. I think this really might turn into a more extreme version of "Human Traffic".

Falling in Love:
Einstürzende Neubauten - Für wen sind die Blumen?
Aw, that's quite cute. Title means "Who are the flowers for?" Might be more drugs or just a cappucino at a café.

The Rumble:
M. Jackson vs. Ray Parker jr. - Bad Ghostbusters
Undoubtedly a sequence that will still be quoted in 20 years time. ;-)

The Break-up:
Linea 77 - Headtide
Hearts are not the only thing broken that day.

Getting Back Together:
3 cold men - Crossed waters
Very 80s. I see a white rose and a black hat falling to the floor in slow-motion.

Life's Okay:
Front 242 - Flag
And life is back to normal. In other words, we are wired again.

The Mental Breakdown:
Atrox - Mad for a reason

Imperative Reaction - Alone

The Flashback:
Covenant - Edge of Dawn
Not an acid-flashback, that's for sure.

The Frat Party:
VNV Nation - Darkangel
Frat-boys love Ronan. Ronan carries a sword and likes burgers. "I only came here seeking beer."

Everybody Dance Now:
Snow Patrol - Make this go on forever
Okay, so this is the last slow dance of the evening, with our heroes slowly moving around the floor. Awwwwwww!

Coil - The restitution of decayed intelligence II
Regret goes hand in hand with hearing voices.

The Long Night Alone:
Kidneythieves - Feathers
Not coping well with being alone.

A Death:
New Fast Automatic Daffodils - PSV
Whoever died, died happy.

End Credits:
Shizuka - Le Reseau
There is definitely going to be a sequel.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
von_geisterhand: (Default)
Spiderman 3 (Venom!)
Sunshine (Scary in space!)

And is anybody coming with me?


von_geisterhand: (Default)

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