Archive for the ‘director Ridley Scott’ Tag

A Really Awesome Funky 1982 Convention Featurette On Blade Runner I’ve Never Seen Has Popped Up Online.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

One of the Blade Runner Convention Reels with vintage interviews with Ridley Scott, Syd Mead and Douglas Trumbull about making Blade Runner universe has popped up online. This 16 mm featurette, was made by M. K. Productions in 1982, is specifically produced to circulate through various American fantasy, horror and science fiction conventions.

I guess the people at the time only had the budget left to license some classic porn music, even for ’82 the shit is way outdated. Pretty fun to see how much marketing aspect has changed in the film industry. I always love to see anything on Blade Runner I haven’t seen before, this has some good stuff in it for sure

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Ridley Scott Confirms A Few Snipits On Blade Runner 2, It Seems To Be Moving…   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

It’s a very touchy subject re-entering a beloved film world 30 years plus later, but with Ridley Scott about to unleash Prometheus upon us ( dieing to see it) We get some news on another timeless classic sci-fi film Scott will re-visit in the near future, revealing a bit more to the direction the Blade Runner Sequel will be taking.

Over at The Daily Beast The Full Article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/17/ridley-scott-opens-up-about-prometheus-kick-ass-women-and-blade-runner-2.html

The Some What Major News:

What about the rumored Blade Runner sequel?

RIDLEY-“Funny enough, I started my first meetings on the Blade Runner sequel last week. We have a very good take on it. And we’ll definitely be featuring a female protagonist”.

The other major thing that was in the trades last week is that original writer of the 1982 Blade Runner , Hampton Fancher has been brought aboard to develop the idea for the original screenplay. The film will take place “some years after” the conclusion of the first movie. As for where and who the film will be about, except for a female protagonist we have no other news as of yet.

For me it seems a scary subject to go back in and do something in the Blade Runner universe. I hoping after Prometheus blows me away I’ll be more open to the idea. It’s like touching into religious artifact territory stepping back into Replicants and Spinners, but when your the architect of the original masterpiece it might be a magic trick only Ridley Scott could pull off. Only time will tell and I’m nervous as hell where this is all going.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned

J.

Full Prometheus Trailer Is Absolutely Jaw Dropping. I Shudder in Anticipation…   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

It’s an exciting time to be a sci-fi fan. This film looks amazing and after the last job I had I’m so pumped from the stories from the DP and FX team had about the production. Stuff I can’t really talk about, but this now by far is the most anticipated film of this year for me. Enjoy the second trailer below.

it’s going to be epic, one to see in IMAX if possible. Ridley Scott going back to Sci-fi, what a great year it’s going to be.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Finally Dispensing With Some Of This Misdirection Shit, Prometheus Viral Video Lets Us Into the Fold Just A Little Bit   1 comment

Hey Everybody,

Lots of misdirection going on with Prometheus. Ridley Scott has say that it’s only a very loose prequel to the 1979 Alien. After seeing the first trailer, any fan of the original will instantly recognize tons of imagery that is directly taken from the 1979 film. This is getting to the point that we obviously know that the film makers were playing some sort of game with us. Yesterday a viral video of Guy Pearce as Peter Wayland giving a TEDtalk conference speech in 2023 popped up on line. This video will not be in the Prometheus film, but gives us a good idea that this is a direct prequel going right to the same place the original did. I really can’t wait for this film, I think it’s my most anticipated for 2012, and I love the idea of viral marketing that won’t even be in the film. Check it out below, very cool stuff.

About the video:
Peter Weyland has been a magnet for controversy since he announced his intent to build the first convincingly humanoid robotic system by the end of the decade.

Whether challenging the ethical boundaries of medicine with nanotechnology or going toe to toe with the Vatican itself on the issue of gene-therapy sterilization, Sir Peter prides himself on his motto, “If we can, we must.” After a three year media blackout, Weyland has finally emerged to reveal where he’s heading next. Wherever that may be, we will most certainly want to follow.

Conceived and designed by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof and directed by Luke Scott.

About the speaker:
Sir Peter Weyland was born in Mumbai, India at the turn of the Millennium. The progeny of two brilliant parents; His mother, an Oxford Educated Professor of Comparative Mythology, his father, a self-taught software Engineer, it was clear from an early age that Sir Peter’s capabilities would only be eclipsed by his ambition to realize them. By the age of fourteen, he had already registered a dozen patents in a wide range of fields from biotech to robotics, but it would be his dynamic break-throughs in generating synthetic atmosphere above the polar ice cap that gained him worldwide recognition and spawned an empire.

In less than a decade, Weyland Corporation became a worldwide leader in emerging technologies and launched the first privatized industrial mission to leave the planet Earth. “There are other worlds than this one,” Sir Peter boldly declared, “And if there is no air to breathe, we will simply have to make it.”

Here’s a Q&A with PROMETHEUS writer Damon Lindelof about this video:
How did you come to the idea of writing a TEDTalk connected to Prometheus?
In really, really good science fiction the line between the science and the fiction is blurry. When I started attending TED, that line got even blurrier — I started hearing about ideas that were, in my own imagination, more far out than some of the science fiction I was seeing.

Prometheus takes place in the future, but it’s a movie about ideas, and I just felt like it would be really cool to have one of the characters from the movie give a TEDTalk. Obviously, since the movie is set in the distant future, it would have to be a little more contemporary. But wouldn’t it be cool if it was a TED talk from a decade in the future? And what is a TEDTalk going to look like in 10 years? And what would this guy have to say?

Then I understand you contacted Tom Rielly at TED, and started working together. What was it like working with him to construct a fictional TEDTalk?

My first assumption was that TED was never going to go for it. At the end of the day, it was a cool viral piece. I never thought in my wildest dreams we would get the actual TED branding. I thought we have to end up calling it a NED talk. But Tom is every bit as much a geek as I am, and we sort of subscribe to the same sort of pop-culture influences, and he was already into what Ridley was doing. He just completely sparked the idea.

[Says Tom Rielly: “Damon asked if we wanted to be involved in a Ridley Scott movie, and I thought, ‘oh twist my arm’.]

I said, “l’ll write this thing, and we’ll put it in front of you guys, and if you think it’s cool, we would love to platform it at TED, and make it only viewable through TED.” Because I liked the idea of exposing a more general audience to, “Wait a minute, I’ve never heard of this thing. There’s more talks here.” I thought it could be mutually beneficial — as opposed to overtly cram-it-down-your-face viral marketing, which I don’t think anyone wanted to do.

The video has all these wonderful science fiction elements, floating cameras and such — was it different writing for an existing event than writing other scifi?

No, all scifi starts in some kind of grounded reality that seems familiar, and then the tornado comes and take you into Oz. I feel the same way about a TEDTalk. I know there was some discussion about what the scale of this was going to be. I think that it’s probably out there that TEDTalks are going to be happening in arenas and stadiums in 12 years, but we also thought that a guy like Peter Weyland — whose ego is just massive, and the ideas that he’s advancing are nothing short of hubris — that he’d basically say to TED, “If you want me to give a talk, I’m giving it in Wembley Stadium.” So, he could actually bend the idea of what a TEDTalk is to him. Could you get an arena-level crowd to show up and listen to someone talk about ideas? That to me was the cool step outside the realm that we’re all comfortable knowing.

As an aficionado of TED itself and what TED does, I feel the intimacy is very important. I hope that in 2023 it’s still happening in Long Beach on a fairly intimate level, but those talks are available on a widespread basis. But it wouldn’t have been as cool to say, “In 2023, TEDTalks are going to look the same exact way that they do in 2012.”

What’s your favorite TEDTalk?

Ken Robinson on the failure of creativity in education. That was my inaugural TEDTalk, and it completely and totally blew my mind, just in terms of how concise and easily and with humor his ideas were presented, and I was just thinking and thinking about it for days. It’s really impacted the way my wife and I decided to educate our kid.

Obviously JJ’s Mystery Box TEDTalk was a personal favorite. Then, Kevin Slavin who gave talk about algorithms, love that talk. Paul Nicklen, the photographer, showed all the pictures he took up in the Arctic — that was breathtaking. I remember a talk about vertical farming that was like, “What?”

Oh! And the one that was given by Elizabeth Gilbert was fantastic.

As a professional screenwriter, what do you think is it about TEDTalks that makes it work?

I look at myself more as a storyteller than a screenwriter, as pretentious as that may sound, but that’s what really attracts me to TEDTalks. For me the really effective ones are being presented by expert storytellers. I think that people think of a narrative story as something that has a beginning, middle and end — you know, it follows these conventional rules. But that’s not the way that I look at story at all. You can tell a story about the state of education and provide anecdotal evidence, or tell a story about algorithms. That’s what all these things have in common. What’s really great about them is that the person who’s telling the story is the hero of the story. They’re advancing sometimes a very small experience that might have big, far-reaching implications. Or they might have an idea that is nothing short of mythic — like having laptops at every single desk in a third-world country.

There’s the storytelling aspect of the format, and the limitations of having to fit it within this timeframe — that 18 minutes is not just about appealing to people with short attention spans. It’s really stating the same thing as Twitter does: “If you can’t say it within 140 characters, then it probably isn’t worth saying.”

You’re known for telling stories that are infused with really big ideas. Is there a special challenge in making a story that doesn’t have a tidy end, or doesn’t close in all the normal ways, but maybe does get at a much bigger idea?

Yeah. I believe that this idea of story or myth or this thing that Joseph Campbell writes about is sort of an inter-connective spiritual force — like The Force in Star Wars — where it doesn’t matter where you were raised, or what your background is, there are certain elements of story that totally appeal to you.

When the blanks aren’t filled in for you, your own imagination tends to fill them in. That’s the storytelling that I’ve always been interested in. I certainly have suffered the slings and arrows of criticism for being too vague at times, but I always give much more credit to this sort of collective consciousness and imagination of the audience watching my story than on my own imagination.

And so there’s that idea of leaving some things up for grabs, so that you can personalize the story in your own way. There’s certainly a road that I want you to go down in my storytelling, but if you choose not to go down it, that’s very exciting for me. I feel like great TEDTalks are ones that are a little bit subject to interpretation, that do provoke further conversation — and potentially controversy. They’re the talks that, when you walk out of them, you need to instantly seek out somebody else who heard it to talk more about it, without the presence of the person who presented the idea. At that point, you’re now grafting the idea to your own psychological framework, and that’s what really great story does.

It looks like Prometheus is much more idea-driven than other movies in this genre, and that there are some enormous ideas coming. Was it a challenge to weave that into an existing mythos?

Look, Ridley Scott birthed this universe over two decades ago. My job was to sit and listen and to channel, in the same way that a medium does. This was about the ideas that he wanted to convey, and he did not want to come back and do science fiction again unless there was some kind of a philosophical construct to it. That’s why Blade Runner, which didn’t really enjoy commercial success when it first came out, is viewed as a classic, and is still being discussed and dissected: there are these fundamental ideas about humanity, our relationship with technology, the presence of a soul — those are all the things that drive Blade Runner. Ridley was reaching for the fruit on the tree of knowledge in the ideas that he was having about this movie.

At the same time, there is a line where a movie becomes overtly pretentious. We wanted to stay on the right side of it, because once you cross it, there’s no going back. There had to be a version of this movie that presented big ideas, but didn’t really wallow around and spend all it’s time basking in the glory of it’s own intelligence. We wanted to make an entertaining movie at the same time. Hopefully, it’s a hybrid in tone between the original Alien and Blade Runner. I mean, Inception is a wonderful movie and I love it, but I also love that people are shooting guns at each other and buildings are exploding.

You talked about how, when you listen to a good TEDTalk you want to go in another room and talk to someone about it, and I think a lot of that comes from the fact that you relate to the speaker and sympathize with them. Was it a challenge writing a talk for a speaker who is very unlikable in a lot of ways?

No. First off, Guy Pearce is a brilliant actor — you basically just write the words and let the actor do what they’re going to do with the words. And Peter Weyland’s role is still a toss-up for the audience. They don’t know what he’s going to be in the movie, or how this talk relates to the movie. I do think that, if someone is going to be saying the things that this guy is saying, then there is a god complex inherent in the speech. Guy Pearce took that and ran with it, and I feel like that gives it a certain degree of entertaining power.

What would your TEDTalk be about?

Ha! I couldn’t even begin to fathom it. I would think that the obvious route would be to talk about storytelling, but I wouldn’t be able to go where everybody would expect me to go. I would delve into a slightly more surprising terrain, although I have no idea what that means. If I were to do a TEDTalk, I would challenge myself to make people gasp.

For more information check out the new website www.WeylandIndustries.com

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned

J.

First Prometheus Trailer Kicks Some Serious Ass, God This Shit Is Going To Rock.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Really not a whole lot to say, Ridley Scott is a  god in the film world and seeing this trailer for his new film Prometheus fills me with all sorts of amazing feelings. I am really excited to sink my teeth into this one.

Wow, the butterflies in my stomach are going nuts after peeping that shit. Can not wait to take a full viewing in June. Hope to see you there.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus Is Going To Be Epic, Awsesome And Bad Ass. Trailer Preview Does A Great Job At Making Me Salivate. 3 More Days   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

With all the great genre films coming out in 2012, for me Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is right at the top of the list. I already know I’ll be going multiple times in the theater for the veteran director first return to Sci-Fi since 1982’s Blade Runner. Also being the first time that Scott has used 3D for a feature film, I figure we are in for a epic treat that is rarely seen nowadays.

The Basic Synopsis from 20th Century Fox goes: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Very little was know about the actual story  up till the last few weeks, but what has been know for a while is that this film plays as a prequel to the original 1979 Alien directed by Ridley as well.

The real question for a while, was how close did it relate to the actual “Alien” franchise and the original movie.

I have been trying hard to actually not read as much as I normally would for a film like this I’m so interested in, because I want to be surprized by something in my older viewing life. Already I have stumbles on to stuff I didn’t even want to know before going in, but thus is the nature of the information super highway we all live on now a days.

I would enjoy watching it not even seeing a trailer but of course I can’t resist watching the video stuff coming up, as such below. This is something new, a preview countdown to a trailer, enjoy.

Wow, It really looks so rad, June 8th 2012 is going to rock

Till next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

The 10 Most Super Terrific Best Blu-Rays of 2010. If You’re Thinking Of Diving Into The Format, Now Might Be The Time.   1 comment

Hey Everyone,

Getting caught up on the releases at the end of 2010 made it hard to write this column until now. Almost everything I watched in January was stunning and well worth getting into the format for (if you haven’t already).

As Blu-Ray selection grows, the choices of great movies to transfer get thinner each year. That being said, 2010 was a great year for classic film in stunning HD , the format showing great range in presentation possibilities. Some amazing titles being transferred to Blu-Ray that are a must own for all HD and film enthusiasts alike. Here are my best Blu-Rays of 2010:

  • #10- AVATAR (2009): 3 disc Extended Collector’s Edition- director James Cameron.  This is the set to get if you’ve been waiting for all the “making of” documentaries and different versions of the film in one package. The only thing really missing in this set to really make it the real “ultimate set” is The 3D Blu Ray version of the film, but since I don’t have a home 3D set up I’d never use it anyway. The real jem of this Blu-Ray  it the close to 3 hour version of the film(16 extra mins), the earth stuff at the start is great and dark story telling at it’s best, it sets up the Jake Sully character way better and all the extra stuff on Pandora is great as well giving a lot more back ground on the world and characters that flow into all the arcs of the story. The Blu-Ray video quality is nothing short of stunning,  I think the film plays best in 2D in the 3 hour version anyway and the docs on the discs are very informative on the process of pre production, filming, 3D and post of Cameron’s latest masterpiece.
  • #9- The Red Shoes (1948) The Criterion Collection- directors Michael Powell and Emeric PressBurger- The best use of the tri-color Technicolor process as stated by the creators of Technicolor. Really this is one of the most stunning film every made. The visuals and logistics of some of the scenes are mind blowing when really thought about. From a technical stand point the film is nothing short of miraculous, the dancing paper scene is breath taking and perfectly executed, better than any CG attempt and in 1948. A must see for every film geek who thinks they know it all about film. Criterion’s Blu-Rays are second to none, brilliant job on the transfer and extras. AAA+
  • #8- The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1947) director John Huston- One of the best told stories about greed and what it drives men to, a must see movie for all viewers. Humphrey Bogart in one of his top 3 performances on his career (the best one in my opinion), Tim Holt as his strait shooter honest partner, Walter Huston in his Oscar winning  role as the old prospector, a character most likely recognized most through his satirizing in Looney Toons and Warner Bros cartoons, and  directed by John Huston is always an indicator of a great viewing experience ahead. I’ve seen Madre more that 25 times on DVD and the Blu-Ray brings new clarity to a brilliant classic, a true pleasure for a Bogart/Huston geek like me.
  • #7- The Night Of The Hunter (1955) The Criterion Collection- director Charles Laughton  –  Robert Mitchum is scary as hell as preacher Harry Powell, for 1955 this is as dark as you get story and performance wise. All the actors give stunning performances including the two main child actors as well. This is what movies are all about, a classic film that took at least 20 years plus to really be appreciated for how ahead of it’s time it was. A high mark in American cinema, fucking aces! Criterion blows away any company today working in the home video market, I love them and hope they keep cranking out new and classic Blu-Ray of this quality for many years to come. Thanks very much for this treat.
  • #6- Paths Of Glory (1957) The Criterion Collection- director Stanley Kubrick- With the words Criterion and Kubrick in the same sentence I feel my balls tingle a bit ,and so should you (even if there just metaphorical, ladies). Stanley Kubrick is my favorite all time filmmaker and if you know me you are most likely sick to death of me talking about him,  but shit, IT’S KUBRICK DUDES! KUBRICK! The Criterion Blu-Ray of Paths Of Glory is pure eye candy for the black and white film enthusiast, Kubrick’s cinematography is beyond comparison, celluloid sorcery at its height. I’m hoping Criterion  follows this release later this year with The Killing And Killer’s Kiss. That would be perfection.
  • #5- Yojimbo/ Sanjuro (1961-62) The Criterion Collection- director Akira Kurosawa- Toshiro Mifune is one of the all time greatest actors and after watching his portrayal as a wondering Ronin in Kurosawa’s Yojimbo you will most likely think the same. His body language, speed and attitude show Mifune’s power of the screen. I love these two samurai tales, both have been ripped off  more time that one can imagine, the list of film makers influenced by Kurosawa  is endless and will remain so as long as film is an art form favored enough to continue. The Blu-Ray presentation is flawless, a lot to learn from these films , another knock out of the park for Criterion.
  • #4- Seven Samurai (1954) The Criterion Collection- director Akira Kurosawa- The classic of all classic action films, just brilliant. There isn’t even a filmmakers today who can get 8 plus actors in one shot and make it beautiful and seem like the most natural situation. Not to mention the camera work in general in all the action sequences, stunning, and all the acting is stellar along with the story and sets. If you haven’t ever seen this one now would be the time to give it a look see, another true epic  jem of the cinema world. In 1080p the pictures come alive as if you were the first one to see the first printing from the master negative on the best screen you can find, nothing short of celluloid fanboy crack. Strong work Criterion, I love me some Kurosawa in HD.
  • #3- M (1931) The Criterion Collection- director Fritz Lang- What really blows me away about Criterion is their capacity to improve in leaps and bounds with each re-release of titles, and the Blu-Ray of Fritz Lang’s M is no different. I owned each of the first two releases that Criterion did on DVD and both were stunning for there time. Now after the remastering of the DVD around 5 years ago,  I was skeptical that the Blu-Ray could really offer much more detail to the film without taking away too much grain or atmosphere from the original 1931 film negative. First off, I love this movie since the first viewing on a crappy VHS copy late in my teenage years, very dark story even by today’s standards, darker  even.  I’ve watched the film around 30 times since then and I was taken aback by how perfectly balanced the Blu-Ray transfer is, It’s as perfect as perfect can get for a movie from 1931. Simply beautiful black and white cinematography and a must see on Blu-Ray, this is what HD is all about and I can’t wait to see Criterion bring us more of their classic library to Blu-Ray. If you haven’t seen it now it the time, absolute cinema gold.
  • #2-Apocalypse Now (1979, 2001) 3 disc Full Disclosure Edition- director Francis Ford Coppola- “I was going to the worst place in the world and I didn’t even know it yet.” The greatest spectacle of a film even shot with out any use of CG, monitors, playback and any kind of studio restriction of any kind. It worked in the end for Coppola, but considering he had already made Godfather 1 and 2, won Oscars for both, no studio in Hollywood wanted to back a film based on the Vietnam war. So Coppola decided to put up his multi-million dollar home and property,  his company would use the money to fund the production himself  which ended up almost bankrupting him and driving him crazy in the process. In the end the product is there captured on celluloid for all time to see, it kicks some serious ass and looks great doing it in 1080p.  With this set on the first two discs you get the 1979 original cut, the 2001 Redux,  a number of  commentaries, extras, a little book,  all the bells and whistles; but that third discs is the real jewel for all film fans, the truest look at the production of a film even caught on camera,  the documentary “Heart Of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse” all shot by Coppola’s wife on location. A great film in it’s own right, the first time available with any release of Apocalypse Now and a welcome addition to the set. This is a must own for all Blu-Ray enthusiasts, serious visual candy here.
  • #1- Alien Anthology (1979,1987,1992, 1997)-directors Scott, Cameron, Fincher, Jeunet  – Hand down this set deserves the best Blu-Ray award of 2010 just based on the first two film transfers alone. Add in the extras, some not seen since the Laser disc release, the other 2 Alien movies and this set is a must own for any film lover getting into HD.

ALIEN(1979)- director Ridley Scott- This is in my top 5 favorite movies of all time, conservatively I’d say I’ve seen it well over 100 times and after seeing this Blu-Ray I re-watched it twice in the next day. This transfer is total perfection. I think Fox did something very special with the first two movies, with help from the director’s without question. It’s like seeing this film again for the first time, the art direction is sublime and is never quite equaled in the series. Scott’s attention to detail and art direction is stellar, and in 1080p I was taken to a transcendent level upon viewing the moody atmosphere of this science fiction monster masterpiece.

ALIENS(1986)- director James Cameron-  Cameron last year took the original negative from 1986 and re colored and fixed the grain level for the Blu-Ray release. At first that sounds bad to fix any grain levels in older films, there is grain in film, that’s one of the great qualities of film; but the original negative stock used for Aliens had problems with it and Kodak ended production of that particular stock after that run, so that’s why  it looks really overly grainy and noisy in the original release. After the re-coloring and tweaking to the special edition of the film the Blu-Ray turned out better than I thought the film could ever look . This shit is bad ass! The people who are very familiar with the film will be shocked at the level of detail to the picture. You will find your self constantly questioning whether you’ve seen this part before and what the hell is going on with all this new shit. That’s how good this transfer is, unbelievable. Nothing like Cameron,Biehn and Sci-Fi, great stuff.

As for the last two films Alien3 (1992) and Alien:Resurrection (1997) didn’t fair so well in the HD transfers. David Fincher was screwed from the second he took the reins of the runaway project at Fox and the Blu-Ray transfer of Alien3 is no different, it shows little care compared to the first two films obviously no impute from the director was taken or given there. As far as Resurrection is concerned the director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has already voiced his troubles with the shoty treatment his film got in the HD transfer, the colors are dull,  the blacks are sort of washed out a bit and the over all picture is flat looking compared to other films he’s made. The set really is still worth the purchase because the reality is Alien And Aliens are the only two films you will re-watch anyway, and they are defiantly worth more than a few watchings in HD.

More great classics on the way to Blu-Ray in 2011, The Walking Dead: First Season, Excalibur (1981), Teen Wolf, Taxi Driver (original laser disc commentary is one of the new extras), Tron (1982), Le Cercle Rouge (1970) Criterion, De Palma’s Blow Out (1981) Criterion, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Criterion, Diabolique (1955) Criterion, (the big one this year) the Star Wars Saga and lots more coming .

Is it time to dive in yet? The water is pretty nice once you’re in.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Posted February 16, 2011 by JMC in On The Couch

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