Archive for the ‘On The Screen’ Category

After The Avengers Movie In IMAX 3D I Wanted To Walk Back Into The Theater And See It Again And Again And Again…   1 comment

Hey Everybody,

It not secret by now that The Avengers is destroying all box office records in the last few weeks,  snatching up very close to $374 million Domestic and $476 million International. With $850 million worldwide the flick has very little signs of slowing down, by the end of this weekend it might be very close to breaking the billion mark in only the second week of release in North America .  These numbers are pure madness and I love and savore every second.

The real question here is, is The Avengers film any good or just big hypey piece of bullshit? If you’ve seen it already your opinion is most likely the same, It fucking rocked the hardest any superhero flick ever has and dare I say it, played as well as any tent pole action film in recent history.  It took me to such a great childhood place I thought was actually gone when watching movies now, that I must see it at least a few more times in the theater to see if it was a one time thing or just that epic. Director Josh Whedon unleashes such fucking radness on the screen that I can’t help but swoon over his first mega budget film and hope that the power that be at Marvel and Disney use this as the benchmark for all other Marvel outings on the big screen and realize the genius and understanding the Whedon has in this comic universe.

If you’re one of the ones that’s on the fence on seeing the Avengers and comic filcks aren’t really your cup of tea, I can tell you that if you enjoy mega action movies, great one lines, mind blowing action sequences and perfect play on classic archetypes you can enjoy this film on that level and walk away wholly and completely satisfied. Now if you are a page turning card carrying Marvel geek nerd ( like I am) then prepare to have your nuts figuratively blown off as well as your mind melted to some state of utter comic geek bliss.

The real thing for me is I went into this film with such high expectation seeing the trailers and knowing who the film makers were, being a fan, I was still surprised by my reaction to the film. I actually got goose bumps, cheered out loud, clapped in approval, laughed in joy and awe so many times I can’t even remember liking a theater experience so much for a modern movie ever. No texting, No one talking, just all sheeple  glued to a screen as it should be.

 

The real jem of the whole thing is definitely the Hulk. I did actually enjoy Edward Norton”s Incredible Hulk film from 2008, but in Avengers we get to see the strait up, kick mega ass, SMASH shit, bat nuts Hulk. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner is very tonally played and the scenes with Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark are extremely enjoyable, super banter. Without giving away any specific details and/or surprises, I can only say I have finally seen Marvel’s real Hulk on the big screen in full motion and I adore every second with the pure utter geek love I’ve had for the character since childhood, SUPER FABULOUS EPIC is the only words close to my feelings on the matter. More Hulk Please!!!

The other super important thing Whedon did and does very well is giving each character his or her time on screen and importance through out the story. The interaction between them all in filled with great one liners and moments to laugh at and clap your hands in amazement of the coolness factor being witnessed. The balance he achieves almost seems like a magic trick, but this is what the comic was always all about and the understanding of the material shines so brightly when you get someone who loves and cherishes the source full-boar.

In the end nothing to do but extend my personal thanks to the studio’s involved in production of the Avengers film for putting Joss Whedon in charge of this ever so important film. Hopefully our days of seeing Marvel films like the super fails, Fan 4 1 and 2, Daredevil, Ghost Rider,  X3 are behind us. No more directors in-charge of properties they don’t even give a shit about or understand  in the slightest way ( yes I’m talking directly to you Brett Ratner and Tim Story). All studios take notice what happens when you put a super geek in charge of a huge comic film, pure pure gold. Can’t wait for Avengers 2, desperately need more Hulk Smash now!!!

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

The Cabin In The Woods Is Just What True Hardcore Horror Fans Have Been Waitting For. The Betting Board Is Open: Werewolf, Alien Beast, Mutants, Wraiths, Zombies, Reptilius, Clowns, Witches, Sexy Witches, Demons, Hell Lord, Angry Molesting Tree, Giant Snake, Deadites, Kevin, Mummy, The Bride, The Scarecrow Folk, Snowman, Dragonbat, Vampires, Dismemberment Gobllins, Sugarplum Fairy, Merman, The Reanimated, Unicorn, Huron, Sasquatch/Wendigo/Yeti, Dolls, Zombie Redneck Torture Family, The Doctors, Jack O’ Lantern, Giant, Twins and Kevin. betting board are the following: Werewolf, Alien Beast, Mutants, Wraiths, Zombies, Reptilius, Clowns, Witches, Sexy Witches, Demons, Hell Lord, Angry Molesting Tree, Giant Snake, Deadites, Kevin, Mummy, The Bride, The Scarecrow Folk, Snowman, Dragonbat, Vampires, Dismemberment Gobllins, Sugarplum Fairy, Merman, The Reanimated, Unicorn, Huron, Sasquatch/Wendigo/Yeti, Dolls, Zombie Redneck Torture Family, The Doctors, Jack O’ Lantern, Giant, Twins and Kevin.betting board are the following: Werewolf, Alien Beast, Mutants, Wraiths, Zombies, Reptilius, Clowns, Witches, Sexy Witches, Demons, Hell Lord, Angry Molesting Tree, Giant Snake, Deadites, Kevin, Mummy, The Bride, The Scarecrow Folk, Snowman, Dragonbat, Vampires, Dismemberment Gobllins, Sugarplum Fairy, Merman, The Reanimated, Unicorn, Huron, Sasquatch/Wendigo/Yeti, Dolls, Zombie Redneck Torture Family, The Doctors, Jack O’ Lantern, Giant, Twins and Kevin. betting board are the following: Werewolf, Alien Beast, Mutants, Wraiths, Zombies, Reptilius, Clowns, Witches, Sexy Witches, Demons, Hell Lord, Angry Molesting Tree, Giant Snake, Deadites, Kevin, Mummy, The Bride, The Scarecrow Folk, Snowman, Dragonbat, Vampires, Dismemberment Gobllins, Sugarplum Fairy, Merman, The Reanimated, Unicorn, Huron, Sasquatch/Wendigo/Yeti, Dolls, Zombie Redneck Torture Family, The Doctors, Jack O’ Lantern, Giant, Twins and Kevin. What’s your bet?   1 comment

Hey Everybody,

I was working on a Mattel boardgames commercial shoot in June of 2009 at North Shore Studios In North Vancouver and I happened to see a friend, Sondra who’s a wardrobe supervisor I hadn’t seen in a while outside one of the other studios on the lot. I went over to say hello and notices some extras dressed as zombie types walking into the stage drenched in fake blood and instantly was interested. After a few pleasantries, I asked Son what show exactly she was on? She said it was called Mordecai,  Joss Whedon was the co-writer and producer the writer of Colverfield (Drew Goddard) was the director co-writer, knowing what level of film geek I am she suggested I should to take a quick peek at the set.

Upon entering the stage I saw a few other friends in the lighting and camera departments, immediately I was pulled into the Basement Elevator set with the talk up of “Oh My God, You are going to love this shit…”. The perfect fake red blood color soaked from floor to ceiling with piles of bloody guts thrown all over the floor, the 80′ by 100′ foot construction was one of the raddest sets I’ve ever seen in 18 years . A great surreal day. The real question, after two years on the shelf is The Cabin In The Woods (working title:Mordecai) any good?

It really is a great fun crazy hard core horror film with a very cool mythology build in. It overruns with what all the latest PG-13 or CG inspired bloodless and/or boobless horror movies these days often lack, clever writing,  smart casting, great direction and  understanding of the genre. It has a lot of fun turning things on it’s ear and any fan of 70’s, 80’s, 90’s horror and fantasy will find lots to love and take in during multiple viewings.Veteran actors Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford  start the film off with an everyday conversation amongst colleagues who has worked together for years, quickly interrupted by a lab coat type Amy Acker, seemingly worried about the US and Japan being the only ones left to deal with some event fairly important to the entire world.  The two guys make a few off handed jokes like it’s just another day at the office and drive away in a golf cart asking whether she’s in the betting pool yet or not.

Once you get to see young stars Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams,  you’re already pretty sure you’ll be in for something super fun and different entertainment.  I’m extremely happy Lionsgate got this film out of the MGM collapse and also grateful that the studio listened to the film makers and didn’t 3D-a-fi this one, it plays just fine in 2D fellas.

The thing is with this film is the less you know about it, really the better the first viewing is for sure. If you find your self at the theater this weekend and Marvel’s Avengers is sold out or just it’s not your particular cup of tea, you should most definitely check out yourself some Cabin In the Woods. I think you’ll enjoy it much more that you think, a fun well crafted R rated horror film.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

John Carter Of Little Box Office is Actually A Great Classic Summer Action Adventure Flick. Why Then Are Most Of You Humans Ignoring It?   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

It’s been 12 days since I’ve seen John Carter at the AVX 3D theater at Metrotown, which I absolutely enjoyed. Before writing about it I wanted to do some research to see why there was so much bad press for a film I thought had a good solid story with a few things you just have to roll with, like any great science fiction film ( A Monolith, Replicants, Kuato, Wookies, ect… anyone?). It’s not a perfect film but a really fun, different and highly miss marketed property starting right with the name. If you like classically shot action, good sci-fi storytelling and immersive effects, this is a movie you and a lot of people should enjoy.  I’ve even confirmed this with a few of my close geek friends who I thought might be hard on the film but they said they were all  pleasantly surprised by the experience, as was I. Beside a hand full, not very many people I talked to even knew what the movie was all about or even cared. By most part, they thought it was a Disney /Pixar animated film or kids movie, but weren’t convinced by the trailers or adds if they had even seen one. I wasn’t even convinced to go see it because of the marketing, it all seems terrible in some way so I just stayed clear of it completely after the first few trailers; Which is interesting for me to ignore news of a particular film of this scale just out of pure social interest. I had never read the source material which is strange because I do remember very vividly the Frazetta art work from the 70’s, but being unaware of the story helped me not get invested in the fact a film was being made.   Once I saw these articles months before it even came out claiming that it was a 300 million dollar disaster and director Andrew Stanton(Finding Nemo, Wall-E) was in deep trouble with his first live action film and Disney execs had been very upset with the first screenings and such, I started to get some what more intrigued to see it. As the scattered bad press continued up till it’s release, reading a bunch of terrible mainstream media reviews for the picture and a bunch of great internet press reviews I started to suspect a pattern. I always go with the internet reviews over paper or mainstream opinions, it seems more and more the regular media has lost track of what is actually good as apposed to just being told what is good with out even seeing something and following that popular opinion. John Carter definitely has a few problem being classified into one particular category but that’s what makes it cool, the fact that it’s different and can’t be defined so easily, it has some hidden complexity for a Disney action/ tent pole for sure, Stanton snuck some great smart stuff in there.

At this point being in the theater for 31 days and taking only $67,973,000 Domestic and $188,000,000 International with a total of $255,973,o00, Worldwide it pretty obvious that John Carter is going to be a huge financial disaster on paper for Disney. I think as a classic sci fi film it’s a big win for director Andrew Stanton and I’m sad we most likely won’t be seeing any more of the John Carter story in this scale anytime soon based on the box office. I’m not sure what Disney could of done to improve the marketing because with a 300 to 400 million dollar advertising budget they had , there sure was a whole lot of people that had no idea or interest to see it.

Which is very unfortunate because it is something I will definitely be buying on Blu-ray and am excited to re watch a couple of times again right away. I will say to those of you who are on the fence with this one I urge you to give it a try and you will most likely be pleasantly surprised by the experience. I can only hope that it does so good on video that Disney looses their mind and decide to do a sequel  but that would mean some serious record breaking numbers are needed to even expect that at all, which I don’t; But if you do like classic sci-fi films this is the best one I’ve seen in a while and you won’t regret giving it your time and money. Well worth it.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Ghost Rider 2: Spirit Of Vengeance 3D Kiss Ass On The First One By A Mile. If You Like “Nutty Zaney” Nick Cage, Here It Is.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

The first thing to say here is that Ghost Rider 2 is a fast paced B action movie with a $75 million dollar budget and an A-list star whose made a huge career out of turning projects that would most likely end up going strait to video, into box office gold. Nick Cage has done some terrible films, but there is always something utterly watchable about his performance no matter what.  Whether we get the serious performance , an off balance character or just pure insane Cage, he’s mostly entertaining more times than not.

If you’re one of us who absolutely loathed the first Ghost Rider film and were hoping for something with a bit more kinetic imagery and enjoyable action, this might be a flick you’d enjoy. Putting aside all the conveniently placed plot points that deal with moving the story forward more than pure logic, this is a fun and crazy action flick that got the imagery of the rider from the comic on screen far better than the first. The tone resembles something closer to a darker Ghost Rider story you’d expect from a stuntman that sold his soul to the devil to save his fathers life; Not a character forced into story and world manufactured for the sake of safe watered down choices, which is one of the things, of many the first one got wrong in my opinion.

The real thing about the new movie that works on a few levels is the complete ridiculousness of the whole thing is taken very tongue and cheek,  embraced and surrounded with a simple story line that resembles the plot of many 80’s and 90’s action flicks, some special kid is in trouble, the unlikely anti-hero is the only one to save him. Toss in some high octane action sequences, stylized shaky cam cinematography, flaming skull effects, a swack disposable baddies, a few big ass explosions,  3D and you’ve basically got Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance.

Now, I’m not saying that this is the best GR film we could ever get but it works on a totally ridiculous fun level and they go very far out in the way the story is told and presented. I also liked it on the level of at least seeing the Rider look and act like I figure the character would act. A word of warning though, if you are one of those humans that thinks that the look of the Ghost Rider character is just stupid to begin with, this movie won’t change your mind, but if you are a fan of the comics and the original Marvel imagery, you should enjoy the trip.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

The Grey Is all Kinds Of Awesomeness Wrapped Up With Just The Right Amount Of Rad Sprinkled In. Liam Neeson Is The Lord Of The Bad Asses, You’ve Got To Check It Out…   2 comments

Hey Everybody,

Director Joe Carnahan’s The Grey is the first truly bad ass film of 2012. Liam Neeson delivers a performance that should garner him at least an Oscar nomination if not the win. From the first minutes of this film I was reeled in and really didn’t look away the entire time. I didn’t even think to check my watch or about time in anyway, I was hooked by the story and visuals from frame one. The trailers really don’t let on how crazy things are and how high the tension is though out the film. It walks a perfect line between action and drama, great pacing, never boring but still giving you time to rest.

The basic plot follows John Ottway (Neeson), an ex convict to a high risk job up north in Alaska. Upon returning on a commercial air liner, the plane crashes in the middle of a baron snowy landscape, leaving only 7 survivors and very little chance of rescue. Things only get worse when at nightfall the group realize they are being hunted by a pack of giant mountain wolves. Shit goes down hill fast from there and we are along for the whole pulse racing ride. Neeson gives a physical performance worthy of an actor half his age, truly truly awesome.

With the production budget reported at only $25 million, the amount of visual visceral value seen on the screen is phenomenal. The camera work and direction has you right there with the characters, experiencing every second of the bad ass-ery and mayhem.  The whole cast really does a superb job playing the nuances of their characters, everyone is bang on and Neeson is working on another level. Where some actors would go to an extreme agitated overboard performance to convey the tension, the 59 year old Irish actor pulls back and delivers something rarely seen in this kind of a film, real world feelings, weight and danger . Lives are on the line and you can feel it though out.  Go see this film, you will be very satisfied and will want to go in for a second viewing the second the credits role, at least that’s the way I felt. A close to perfect thriller to start off the year, plainly, a must see.

The only thing I could say that could possibly improve The Grey, in my geeky genre nerd way I kind of wanted to see one of the guys that was mauled by the wolves turn into a werewolf; But at that point it really would have gone a totally different way, it’s more my mind spinning the story towards any fantasy elements, which I love. As it is The Grey really is a must see for all action adrenalin junkies out there and anyone who likes a good man vs. nature story. This is the best one I’ve seen in quite a while, if not the best. Only time and reviewing it a dozen times will tell for me, I can hardly wait to check it out on Blu-ray again and again.

Till next Time. Stay Tuned

J.

Dark Knight Rises Prologue IMAX Theater List Surfaces. Greater Vancouver Is In Luck.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

I’m really looking forward to the last Batman film in Chris Noland ‘s trilogy, and the marketing machine at Warner Brothers starts their push for dominant position in the summer blockbuster race. They finally confirmed the 7 minute IMAX prologue for The Dark Knight Rises will appear in front of 70mm IMAX copies of Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol opening December 16th in the US and Canada,  December 21st in the UK. They also released the list of IMAX theaters that will get the preview. Director Christopher Noland had stipulated that only true IMAX 70MM film theaters will get the prologue. Apparently there are some IMAX screens that are actually blown up digitally projected images and thus the picture quality isn’t even close to true IMAX presentations. Below is the list of theaters getting the preview via The HD Room :

And yes, both Greater Vancouver IMAX screens are getting  the preview

Hope To See You There.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Thor Is A Great Kick Off To The Summer Blockbuster Season For Geeks And Non Geeks Alike.   1 comment

Hey Everybody,

Thor is one of those Marvel characters that I never did an extensive amount of reading on when I was younger. I had one friend that was into the tale of Asgard and I read a few of those in my day. So going into the movie on Friday afternoon, it was one of the least informed viewing of a comic adaptation film I’ve ever had. I knew very little of the over all source material of the Thor world and how it fits into the over all Marvel Universe besides in 80’s and 90’s Avenger comics.As usual I never want to spoil any part of a movie for someone, with out doing that I would say you will really dig Thor. I enjoyed the film on many levels and it had me laughing much more that I had anticipated, very funny at the right times and switching to a serious tone when it matter to the story and characters. All and all a great introduction to the characters of Asgard and a superb addition to the Marvel film universe.

The one thing that surprised me the most is the brilliant melding of fantasy, magic, science and folklore in the film. This story opens up a whole new can of worms for Marvel Studios and future possible film properties. Making the worlds of myth and modern day realities all come together in a logical and comprehensive way. I can’t wait for some of the more supernatural  Marvel characters to make their way into some films if Thor kicks enough ass at the box office (I always wanted to see a 10 rings/ Mandarin Iron Man film done right).


Bottom line is director Kenneth Bragnagh has given us 2011’s first great summer blockbuster film. Thor is more than just great action sequences and CG, it has a tight story, fun dialog and charismatic star in Chris Hemsworth. You will walk out of this movie itching to see Hemsworth in something else with as much “badassery” as Thor. He will star in many, many films after this, that I pretty much guarantee.

And when you go don’t forget to stay for the after credit sequence which is customarily in Marvel Studio flick the last few years. It’s short but gives you an idea where the over all story is headed.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Sucker Punch Kicks Me Hard In My Geek Balls, And You Know What? I Really Enjoyed The Ass Wooping . Booya!   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Yesterday afternoon walking into an completely empty IMAX showing of  Zack Snyder’s latest fan boy fever dream Sucker Punch, I found myself wondering why in the first 16 days of release the film had only made $33 million domestic at the box office, with a total $66 million worldwide gross, dropping off almost 65% after it’s first week.Was this fall out from the Watchmen film that didn’t really connect with mainstream humans like 300 did? Is Snyder loosing his chops and audience per say?

With the reviews at best being lukewarm in scope, I was expecting a watered down slick looking PG-13 action eye candy piece with heavy emphasis on style over substance, or candy over story if I may.  From the opening Warner Brothers logo, almost the same logo as used in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge (opening red curtains on a classic theater stage), we get a sense of a Musical genre film to follow the likes of Chicago, Nine, Sweeney Todd and/or Moulin Rouge.

In the first 5 minutes the people the film is marketed to(13- 25 year old males) might find it hard to impossible to sit though what seems like a introduction to the ultimate chick flick fantasy dancing movie , I how ever was sucked into the story instantly by the dark imagery and great visual storytelling. The real clincher for me what the action scenes placed in the spots where the traditional “song and dance” number would be. the instant the music starts and the main protagonist Baby Doll begins to dance for the onlookers, she is transported in her head to a fantasy world battle for survival populated by the other character in the movie. These action sequences are peppered through out the film and every entrance to this fantasy land battle ground raises the level of action moving through every geek/fan boy situation you could imagine from Nazi zombies to giant demon samurai. As my heart raced and my balls tingled seeing the heart pounding action sequences unfold in front of my eyes, I could only utter WOW over and over again. Seriously F@#king WOW!For me this film cements Zack Snyder as my favorite action director working today. The action is jaw dropping and is unmatched at this level. No stupid over use of shaky cam and unnecessary quick cuts here. Every shot beautifully executed, obviously fully story boarded and thought out.  Once you let yourself surrender to to the world Snyder has put you into the more you feel the pure cinema experience he’s created here wash over you.This is a film to see on the biggest screen you can possibly find, get bent, sit back and soak up the awesomeness.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Star Wars Saga 3D In Theaters Starting in 2012. Lucas Gets His Paws in The 3D Money Ring.   2 comments

Hey Everybody,

I grew up watching the three original Star Wars films and let us just  say, they had a big impact on me.  The newer prequels, not so much. In 1999 watching Episode one , it was the first time I realized that nothing I ever watched again could capture my imagination like the movies I watched in my childhood.

I’m not just talking Star Wars.  Blade Runner, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Thing, The Shining, 2001, Apocalypse Now, The Terminator  just to mention a few, have made a stronger connection with me than most “blockbuster” fare ever could today  (with rare exception). I realize it might have been the frame of mind I was in as a kid watching them, open to new ideas, or it could be that most story tellers today are shit. I’m not exactly sure which it is yet.

Regardless, the marketing empire keeps on rolling with big news on the Star Wars front today.  Sources indicate that George Lucas is set to re-release the entire “Star Wars” franchise in new 3D conversions beginning in 2012. Though the 3D versions have been rumored for some time, Lucas was purportedly waiting until there were enough 3D screens available to make the release a sizable enough event.

Fox, which released all six of the original “Star Wars” films, would also release the 3D versions.

Part 1, “The Phantom Menace,” would be first out of star-dock in the early months of 2012. After that, each of the films would be released in order at the same time each consecutive year (meaning “Attack of The Clones” 2013,”Revenge of The Sith” 2014, “A New Hope” 2015, ” The Empire Strike Back” 2016 and “Return of The Jedi” 2016) depending on how well the first re-release does.

Each conversion takes at least a year to complete, with Lucas personally overseeing the process to make sure each one is as perfected as possible. Lucas has said that the “Avatar” experience convinced him that “Star Wars” was ready for the state-of-the-art 3D treatment.

Also pushing the timetable is a potential breakthrough in 3D television technology. With Samsung penetrating the market with 50,000-plus 3D-equipped televisions, and Sony planning to send its version to market in the coming months, the home-viewing experience could be primed for 3D DVD versions of the classic films by the time the new 3D series runs its course.

Lucas is purportedly queuing up the theatrical re-releases as a lead-in to the ultimate home viewing experience. Beyond that, the property would launch to all other 3D media.

We are also going to see a Blu-Ray set in 2012. Most likely one that has some more tinkering done to it. Hopefully Han shoots first again,  I can only hope.

And then who knows where Lucas will take Star Wars next? Possibly a 3D home version of the really great 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special ? See. Lucas hes been whoring our his creation from the start. Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money

Wow, fucking unbelievable. If you actually made it through more than three minutes of that shit I’m impressed.

There was a lot of cocaine fueled decisions in the entertainment industry in the 70’s and 80’s.  And I’m thinking this might have been one of them. The individual who came up with that pitch must have been caught in a Colombian snow bank for a few weeks. And surprise surprise, they actually produced that shit. Amazing . Nice work on that one.

Till Next Time

J.

James Cameron Talks Producing For Guillermo del Torro, 3D and Avatar Special Edition   Leave a comment

Hey everybody,

There’s a few interesting audio interviews with James Cameron that have popped up online in the last couple days (The best one is over at Market Saw and another is at collider.com).

Both talk about 3D conversion Vs. shooting native 3D, Avatar sequels, special edition and 3D Blu-Ray possible release date. By far the coolest news is that Cameron is producing H.P. Lovecrafts Classic “At The Mountain Of Madness” for Guillermo Del Torro to shoot in Native 3D.

Director Guillermo del Torro will be best known for being the force behind The Hellboy Movies,  the second Blade film and Pan’s Labyrinth his 3rd Spanish language film( Cronos-1993, The Devil’s Backbone-2001 being the first and second ) which somewhat reinvented the horror/fantasy genre story for American audiences. He most recently left the Peter Jackson produced Hobbit film after being in pre production for almost a year without any sight of a Green-light to shoot due to MGM’s financial trouble as of late.

Cameron says he recently got together with del Torro and asked him if he still wanted to do H.P.Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains Of Madness”? ( a long “passion project” for Guillermo)

He said, clearly excited “of course”, and the two took it to Universal with  Cameron to produce, del Torro to direct and to be shot in Native 3D using the latest FUSION cameras from Pace. The studio response was to put it on the fast track to start shooting in the 2nd quarter of 2011.

Cameron goes on and the “shooting Native 3D vs. Conversion from 2D” argument comes up  and he say “the whole argument about conversion for high end, first run 3D Two years from now when there are thousands of 3D cameras out their shooting live feeds to 3D broadcast networks, how can a producer go to a studio and say: “I can’t shoot 3D. It’s too difficult. There are too many problems. It costs too much. It adds 6 months to post-production. They won’t be able to say any of that stuff. That stuff is all garbage.”

Cameron talking about Avatar sequel status says he has an overall story arc for two and three, but that even a script for two will be a ways out yet. He’s focusing right now on the novel of the first film, which he is actually writing himself in the next few months.

Inevitably when a movie has grossed  $749,766,139 in the US, $1,990,639,582 Internationally with a total combined worldwide box office gross of $2,740,405,721( that’s somewhat close to 3 BILLION as of August 12 2010. WOW!), you expect a few sequels to be imminent, especially when Fox is involved. While we won’t be seeing any Avatar sequels in the next 3 years, on August 27th Fox is cashing in on Avatar Special Edition . MoneyMoneyMoneyMoneyMoney MoneyMoneyMoneyMoneyMoneyMoneyMoneyMoney…

Cameron says it will have 9 extra minutes not 8, and it will all be CG. No extra footage of live action characters drinking coffee. Some rainforest scenes at night, a hunt sequence, a lot of flying all with high impact action. An emotional scene toward the end has been added back, “the best CG in the film has been added as far as facial performance”. More footage added,  a Na’vi counter effort after the bulldozer attack, more of Grace at the school, adding the Stingbat and Sturmbeast creatures, additional Quaritch final AMP Suit battle shots, more of the glade love scene, all back in. It is all on par with the best of the rest of the film. They had lots of footage to choose from and they put back the absolute best scenes and shots they could.

Before Cameron gets pulled away he says he doesn’t have a date for the 3D Blu-ray yet. They want to have a nice distribution of 3DTVs in homes before release. He has seen the 3D master run on consumer 3DTVs from Panasonic and Samsung and his comment is “It looks amazing. It looks really spectacular.”

What ever you think of James Cameron you can’t deny his power as a visionary director and filmmaker. For you ” Cameron haters” out there,  COME ON his lists of credits,  just as a director is crazy…

  1. Xenogensis (1978) (first short film)
  2. Piranha Part Two:The Spawning (1981)
  3. The Terminator (1984)
  4. This Time Is War (1985) (effect short doc made during aliens pre-production)
  5. Aliens (1986)
  6. Reach (1988) TV
  7. The Abyss (1989)
  8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  9. T2 3-D Battle Across Time (1996)-theme ride at Universal Studios
  10. True Lies (1994)
  11. Titanic (1997)
  12. Earthship. TV (2001) TV
  13. Dark Angel (episode 1, Freak Nation 2002)
  14. Expedition: Bismarck (2002) TV
  15. Ghosts Of The Abyss (2003) (IMAX 3D)
  16. Aliens From The Deep (2006)
  17. Avatar (2009)
  18. Avatar: Special Edition (2010)
  19. Battle Angel (2013) (in pre-production)

Now I’m figuring there is something on that list that everyone can enjoy on some level. That being said, I can’t  stand Titanic, clunky dialog, the worst racial stereo types and cardboard characters But…

The Terminator plays far better than the McG latest piece of shit, and made for only $10 million in 1984. Arnold’s presence is menacing with no CG, Michael Beihn’s Reese rules and Stan Winston’s make-up and effects are pure magic.

Aliens is unarguably an action classic, but it has been argued it may be better than the original (even though I am a huge fan of Aliens, the Ridley Scott original is untouchable to me so far). I still love what Cameron does with the Marine characters and the possibility of future technology. The action kicks ass on today’s movies with no CG the entire film and you really care when people start getting killed left and right by the aliens, in a Fox action sequel no less (who would have thought?)

The director’s cut of The Abyss is great as well. It’s one of his highly overlooked films, especially if you’ve only seen the theater cut. The director’s cut plays longer, but far better.

T2 is one of the first good long format uses of CG, and as any good action sequel should,  it ups the anti in the action while turning the previous story on it’s ear. Arnold again is superb as the T-800, a timeless action sci-fi film.

And of course True Lies. I missed seeing this Arnold (1994) for the last 10 years of his acting career before his Governor days. On re-watching this I was surprised how must I enjoys it. Even Tom Arnold is great. Cameron seems to bring out the best in his actors with top notch technical execution. You are never board and are always laughing. Real, Big, Stupid, Fun.

I really enjoyed Avatar. The 3D was part of the story telling medium without question. The only time I’ve been impressed so far with any 3D as part of a film. I like the classical pacing,editing and story telling as well. I can understand peoples criticism that they though it was too long I guess. If I don’t look at my watch once in a two hour and forty two minute movie I’m pretty engaged.  In three viewings in 3D I was still entertained. I would say It was as long as the story had to be. Can’t wait to see what Cameron has in store for us with Battle Angel.

I think the fact that James Cameron is using his sway and reputation as a “Cash Cow/Genius” to help his friend Guillermo del Torro make him long gesturing passion project “At The Mountains Of Madness” is F#@KING AWESOME. No studio would have touched it being the inaccessibility and scope of H.P. Lovecrafts source material, but with Cameron’s as producer on the project it gets fast tracked. That’s what attaining a certain professional level in the entertainment industry is all about, the fact that you can help other artists and friends achieve there dreams and goals. This film is now close to the top of my “Must See” list.  I hope it makes it to the production.

Stay Tuned. More To Come Soon…

J.