Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Kubrick’

Trailerama: Kurôzu zero II/Crows Zero II

April 14, 2009

Since Variety pulled the plug on Grady Hendrix‘s superlative Kaiju Shakedown blog, what’s a poor Asian cinema fan to do? True, there’s Twitch, but we don’t want to overdose on the stuff, just have a little taste. Fans can do worse than read Peter Martin’s Asian Cinema Scene on Cinematical, which posts every Monday. It is he who draws our attention to this week’s Takashi Miike film, Kurôzu zero II/Crows Zero II.


April Fool’s Day Goes to the Movies

April 1, 2009

janet-leighApril Fool’s Day has become too damn predictable. It feels like many newspapers write the fake stories so they can then include them in next year’s round-up of fake stories published on April Fool’s Day. The Onion spoiled it for everybody. Still, in celebration of one of our more moronic holidays, The Quietus’ David Moats rounds up the top ten Hollywood hoaxes. Included are Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career, Stanley Kubrick‘s rumored involvement in the moon landings, and The Blair Witch Project. It’s in an annoying gallery-type thingy, but here’s one of our favorites:

Hitchcock went to great lengths to ensure that audiences were genuinely surprised by the infamous shower scene, which abruptly halts the Janet Leigh plotline and switches to the main act. He even went so far as to enforce a ‘no late entry’ policy. No one would have suspected that Hitchcock would kill off the top-billing actress only part way through. Although it happened because of scheduling conflicts, for the trailer he ended up filming a different actress – Vera Miles – being killed, which only confused people further. More of a good-natured deception that a true hoax – Hitchcock was pretty much doing the audience a favour.

Any other Hollywood hoaxes? The career of Alan Smithee? Hitchcock’s earlier use of a flashback which wasn’t entirely the truth? The rumors that a ghost had been captured on film in Three Men and a Little Lady? How about the midget who supposedly hung himself in the background in The Wizard of Oz? That old saw about early film audiences fleeing L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat/The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station in 1896? Your contributions are welcome.

Star Trek: Boldly Going Into Familiar Territory

March 6, 2009

With their emphasis on boot-knocking and bra-waving, previous trailers for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot suggested that the Enterprise crew would be going where The O.C.had boldly gone before. Those fanboys who fell for the original series’ plasterboard sci-fi or for The Next Generation‘s Shakespearean chops were going to have to get used to the fact that Kirk, Spock, and Uhura’s original four-year mission was getting sexed up. This is a Star Trek of the Darren Star variety. (Or more daringly, a Star Trek which acknowledges the series’ slash fiction spin-offs.)

The latest trailer adds a few more elements in the mix. The emphasis is more on action and special effects, although the space combat fights look a bit like Return of the Jedi, where George Lucas in his mad genius reasoned that if three tie-fighters were very cool, than three HUNDRED tie-fighters would be even cooler. He was right, but that was back in 1983. Now the space visuals just look cluttered. There’s meant to be a certain majesty in Mutt Jones–I mean, James Kirk–looking up at the nascent Enterprise, but it’s obscured by that network of scaffolding. Any general would throw up their hands at the chaos of the space battles, which are closer to Welles’ Chimes at Midnight than Kubrick’s Spartacus.