25 times a second
A feast in a time of plague.
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Elvis Mitchell interviews comic book guy Frank Miller on the eve of the Sin City release.
From the utterly unsafe for work Golden Age Porn Birthday Department: happy 53rd to Vanessa del Rio. I wonder if Taschen is ever going to publish that book about her.
Big news at Asian DVD Guide with specs for the DVD release of Stanley Kwan's director's cut of the Maggie Cheung vehicle Centre Stage. I've only seen the shorter version of this Ruan Ling-yu biopic, but suffice it to say that the performance is one of Cheung's best. Also, while you're at the Guide, check out the great Shaws movies that are about to hit the streets: most intriguing are Finger of Doom, Invincible Fist and the big one: Clan of the White Lotus. (Note: linked review to a previous cropped release of the film).
I totally identify with yesterday's post at Bitter Cinema; I grew up both on giant monster movies and the big beast comics of Lee and Kirby and will always have a soft spot for both. I especially liked Tales to Astonish tiht its giant stone men and ninth wonders of the world.
Gong Li signs on for a pair of big Hollywood movies. Way to go, Tinseltown.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Sorry again for the brief posting today. Blogger is just too lame this week to attempt anything more. Hopefully it'll return to better service some day...
Wow: it's sounding like the upcoming DVD of Dune from Universal will actually have an extended cut of the film overseen by director David Lynch. He's long disassociated himself from this work (and who could blame him), so this comes as a big surprise.
This potentially not safe for work link chronicles the idea that Courtney Love will play Linda Lovelace in an upcoming film. Eh.
Stolen from Greencine Daily: Jonathan Rosenbaum's valuable Global Discoveries on DVD column has a new edition, word of a documentary by Frederick Wiseman that I didn't know about (aside: I used to deliver this filmmaker's mail!) and Ubuweb's cool collection of downloadable avant-garde film.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
From the You-Get-What-You-Pay-For Department: Blogger is so damned unresponsive this morning that all you get is a handful of links. It just ain't worth fightin' with it.
I see via Cinema Treasures that movie house architect Henry G. Greens just passed away. Greene's work also included a skyscraper or two.
LA Weekly profiles "not-so-hidden" master Stephen Chow in a piece worth reading.
You got yourselves some winners at the BIFFF, with the Golden Raven going to Takashi Shimizu's Marebito.
Monday, March 28, 2005
The B-movie Film Festival has set their schedule for the 2005 event; they've also lined up the niminees for the awards portion of the festivities.
In a note totally unrelated to the movies, can I just say that I'm now totally psyched for the PS2 game God of War after reading about ten total rave reviews for the thing. Of course, I'm barely into Resident Evil 4 as it is...
Via uberblog Greencine Daily come a couple of great pointers: one is an interview (and lots of cool design sketches) with Guy Dyas, production designer for Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm. Another is David Thomson surveying the career of director Otto Preminger.
Sometimes I wish I lived near the American Cinematheque, so I wouldn't miss things like their Vincent Price Festival. It's been too many years since I saw The Tingler on the big screen...
Friday, March 25, 2005
Henshin Online has all the specs for the American Cinematheque's June Giant Monster Festival. Stomp Los Angeles!
Creature Corner has an early look at the next issue of Rue Morgue, hitting newsstands on 4/1.
From the I-Hate-Comcast-For-Dropping-TCM-From-My-Cable-Package Department: Peter Bogadanovich to host the movie channel's Essentials series; given his taste and knowledge of film history, that should be a real treat for anyone who gets the channel.
DVD Drive-in took a brief hiatus recently and they're on Easter break now, but in between there's all sorts of material: reviews of stuff like Joe Sarno's Swedish Wildcats, a 1940's Batman serial, Sweet Georgia/Country Hooker and Matango, Fungus of Terror. Also, like everyone else they're wondering why the latest round of double feature MGM Midnite movies are available only in Canada. Final note: I still would like to know why Bruce Holecheck's column over there hasn't updated since January tenth. It may be time to stop calling it "weekly wadings through celluloid sludge" if, um, you're not going to update it for two and a half months.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Y'know, maybe the people at Bloody Disgusting and the Gatekeeper at Lion's Gate Horror think it's A-OK that there'll be a minute's worth of cuts to Haute Tension's US release to guarantee an R rating--but after it was promised as an uncut release, that's still sixty seconds too much for me. I'm so disappointed that this company has failed to live up to their word on this one...sorry folks. You don't get my cash.
Warners keeps the hits coming this summer with volume two of the Film Noir Box Set, and DVD Times has the specs. And as expected, they are indeed spectacular.
Oh, no--it's time for a Paul W.S. Anderson remake of Death Race 2000. Bummer.
I still have yet to see this get a real obituary in the mainstream press, but as Drawn! pointed out Monday, animator Hal Seeger, the man who brought you Batfink and Fearless Fly, passed away recently.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
I feel like I should blog quickly today, as my home computer's hard disk sounds like it might spin right out of its box....if I disappear for a few days, you'll know it's because my damned computer died.
Ireland becomes the first country to convert all their cinemas to digital.
Canada's Genie Awards were awarded recently: check out the winners and nominees over at their official site.
CGI is replacing the ape in the movies; what would J. Fred Muggs have thought about that?
Special thanks to Greencine Daily for hipping me to this nice chat with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who you already know is pretty much my favorite contemporary Japanese filmmaker.
Sitemate Dano (how fitting) made my day yesterday by pointing out that it seems likely that Hawaii Five-0 is finally going to come to DVD. I can't wait.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Stauffen.de.vu has a huge breakdown of the Japanese releases coming from the excellent Eureka Video in the UK. There's a post in there that delineates the 2005/2006 stuff that Shochiko is working on, as well.
From the great blog Drawn! comes a pointer to a Toronto Design exchange exhibit of motion picture costumery.
Is Hong Kong's film industry in a slump, or poised to piggyback on emerging China and scale brand new heights? I dunno. But here's TimeAsia's take on it.
Here's a tempting bit of stuff from the sometimes unreliable Aint It Cool news: are special effects mavens Weta Digital working with director Joon-ho Bong on a horror film called Host? They may well be, though I can't find much else besides out there on this one--I think the director talks about it in this interview, but my Italian is lousy.
We all know that the Tarantino rumor mill is such that these sort of items are generally worth about as much as whatever swill might pour out of Quentin's mouth, but what the heck: perhaps the director really has found a star for his rumored martial arts flick in former Chinese supermodel Li Xin.
Monday, March 21, 2005
What a lazy Monday. Little to say today after watching hoop all weekend--I'm still exhausted from the West Virginia/Wake Forest game, so forgive me for the cursory update.
The NY Times takes a look at Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain and its many production travails.
Check out the trailer for Lucky McKee's The Woods over at Bloody Disgusting (There's a whole slew of screen grabs as well). Great cast for this one--can't wait.
It's X3--now with new mutants Though contrary to previous rumor, I guess Angel will in fact be male.
Friday, March 18, 2005
SF Gate writes about a traveling show of animation called The Dark Side of Dr Seuss sponsored by the Bay Area's Oddball Film. (Hat tip to Cartoon Brew).
Via Pullquote, I see that the OnionAVClub discusses the world of archival DVD making with three top people in the field. A really nice piece....George Feltenstein is my hero.
In the Village Voice, Ed Halter chats briefly with Katsuhiro Otomo, and at the same time J. Hoberman pores over his latest release, Steamboy.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Chloe Sevigny? Yeah, probably. In any case, just while there's news of her supposedly trying out for a villainous role in Spiderman 3, she also gets an interview at SuicideGirls. (The page there should be work safe...)
Thursday, March 17, 2005
What's in the comics-to-film bag today? Well, it's looking like the Joss Whedon does Wonder Woman thing is official, for one thing. For another, there's a release date for the Ghost Rider flick. And finally, the director of the Watchmen is apparently all over the place talking up that production.
Monkeypeaches has a list of the top 100 Chinese films of all time, via the Hong Kong Film Awards. They overrated Crouching Tiger, of course, but doesn't everybody?
Here's a cool freebie for you from the animation front: fps has started printing their mag again, and they've put up a version up for download at their site. Undoubtedly worth a read, especially the piece on animation documentaries.
Yowza. The Incredibles DVD moved 5 million units already. Can you say cash cow?
OK, that's it from me for now. Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Forbe's China celebrity list is topped by Zhang Ziyi, who beat out basketball's Yao Ming. Also in the mix: Faye Wong and Vicky Zhao Wei. In other Asian starlet news, Gong Li looks to have gotten the OK from Jamie Foxx for the Miami Vice movie. But who in their right mind would turn down Gong Li?
I haven't followed SXSW at all this year, but the awards are in. A couple of the audience winners look fairly promising: The Puffy Chair and Four Eyed Monsters.
From the sounds of this review of Alexandre Aja's Haute Tension in R2 DVD form, there's very little reason to wait for the Lion's Gate trimmed down version if you're region free.
DVD Maniacs has an extensive interview with "porno Renaissance man" Bill Margold.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Today's rumor mill: Tarantino scotches the Friday the 13th remake rumors, but on the other hand Hideo Nakata will be the guy what does the HWood version of The Eye.
Chloe Sevigny sits down and chats with Cinema Confidential about her role in the latest Woody Allen flick.
George R. Reis appears to have recieved his copy of The Mysterians, so I wonder why mine has yet to ship. Maybe I shouldn't badmouth Media Blasters so much...though I generally have good things to say about the Tokyo Shock line.
Given its greatness, I piggyback off the excellent site Twitch quite often. But I just had to swipe the pic they ran today of Tadanobu Asano in Tokyo Zombie. It's just too good.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Creature Corner has more details on the Phantasm remakes. In other horror movie news, Hilary Swank hits Dark Castle and there's hints that Wolf Creek will get to hit the States uncut. Of course we were initially told the same thing about Haute Tension--and then it ended up being a pack of lies that's gonna mean that I import the DVD and eschew the theatrical release. Here's hoping the same doesn't happen for Wolf Creek.
Lots of DVD goodness to come from Blue Underground this year given their cool future release slate. Plenty there for any Euro-cult fan.
Dear Twitch: I've seem Memento Mori, and it's pretty darn good. But maybe not six disk Special Edition good!
Friday, March 11, 2005
Is the Hong Kong cinema industry engaged in a fight for its very life? It sure seems like it might be, though rumors of its death are likely largely exaggerated. And heck, there'll always be the 2005 catalog releases from Celestial to keep us busy.
Les Blank does Odorama?
I had some mixed feelings about the Danny Boyle fast moving zombies flick, but it won't stop me from seeing the sequel.
Paul Schrader talks about his version of the Exorcist prequel that we all assume must be better than Renny Harlin's.
Eli Roth gives the scoop on his next film to Bloody Disgusting.
The most hi-larious thing about these articles debunking the claims of the Inside Deep Throat filmmakers as to the Linda Lovelace film grossing some $600 million is that these writers keep earnestly breaking the numbers down to disprove it while all the time they remain somehow unaware that they are doing the job that the inflated number was supposed to do--market the flick. You'd think Hollywood writers would know better by now. Duh.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
There's been near daily updates at Stauffen.de.vu of late, and there's few better places out there for the English speaker to keep tabs on the websites of Japanese films, so go take a look. Lots of links to trailers and the like that you'd never find anywhere else. Also in Japanese film news, the Midnight Eye reader's poll for the best of Japanese movies in 2004 has been posted.
Sounds like the next project for Fox and Blue Sky Studios following Robots will be an adaptation of the Dr Seuss classic Horton Hears a Who. As pointed out at Cartoon Brew, Horton has been tackled before by animation giants Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones. That's some hefty shoes to fill.
Right after the New Line Tarantino-meets-Jason rumors comes word that the studio is negotiating for remakes in the Phantasm series. Hollywood's ongoing project to remake every sci-fi/horror/fanatsy film from the Seventies continues apace.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Just thought I'd point out that Bitter Cinema is on quite the roll since returning from hiatus; I especially like the Mexican movie poster gallery linked to recently, but there's lots more besides that of late at this quality movie blog.
If I didn't already own a couple of these films, I'd sure be picking up Celestial's amazing Shaolin Kung Fu Master Collection. Some great martial arts stuff all packaged together in one convenient box.
Apparently the V for Vendetta site has gone live. Check it out.
Did you know that Unearthed Films was going to release an uncut DVD of Frankenhooker? And if you did, why didn't you tell me?
While I don't necessarily think that Shadow of a Doubt is the best Alfred Hitchcock film, it's always been my favorite--and I've also read that the same was true of the director himself. That makes it all the more sad for me to hear that the film's star, Teresa Wright, has passed on. An extremely underrated talent, Ms Wright did recieve the recognition of her peers with three Oscar nominations and took home the trophy for her supporting part in the wartime drama Mrs Miniver. But she'll always be Young Charlie to me.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Kung Fu Hustle scores more awards in Hong Kong.
It's time for The Digital Bits' always worthwhile Bitsy Awards for the best in DVD 2004. See all the stuff that you forgot to buy!
Fangoria has some news about the remake of Blue Sunshine from Jeff Lieberman and some other comments on how he was unable to come to terms with Media Blasters on doing some work for their DVD of Just Before Dawn. That's too bad, as the filmmaker is usually good for some astute comments on his work.
I for one lament the near death of the network TV movie, especially after its heyday in the Seventies. Can Spring Break Shark Attack help revive the moribund genre? We can only hope.
Friday, March 04, 2005
Via Marginal Revolution, an economics blog that I occasionally peruse, comes note of a book that I'm putting on my reading list: Edward J. Epstein's The Big Picture : The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood. Here's a small excerpt from a review on the book's Amazon page:
The massive moviegoing audience that had nurtured the [old] studio system simply no longer exists", Epstein writes. "In contrast to the 4.7 billion movie tickets sold in America in 1947, there were only 1.57 billion tickets sold in 2003. So, even though the population had almost doubled, movie theaters sold 3.1 billion fewer tickets than they had in 1947." In the years immediately after World War II, theatrical releases accounted for 100 percent of the studios' worldwide revenues; in 2003 they accounted for a mere 18 percent. Where do the movie companies make their money now? From what lawyers call "intellectual properties" -- "licensing their filmed entertainment for home viewing" on DVDs, videotapes, broadcast and cable television programs, and selling spin-offs (dolls, games, books and the like) from movies aimed primarily at children, such as the Disney animated films and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
I've been carping about that ticket sales thing for years as people tout the "record years" that Hollywood claims on the back of inflated ticket prices, and it looks like this guy breaks the whole thing down for us here in a mere 350 pages or so. Looks like a good one.
From a link at (where else?) Hong Kong Entertainment News in Review
comes a pointer to this excellent piece
on the upcoming HKIFF.
I'm not really sure how excited I am about a remake
of The Wicker Man
(esp. given the Nicholas Cage thing), but I guess at least Neil Labute is directing. That's sure better news than Michael Bay (shudder) re-imangling
the 80's film The Hitcher
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Some DVD release news from Bloody Disgusting: a bunch from Lion's Gate that frankly isn't all that exciting but for the R1 edition of Three: Extremes; and more from Anchor Bay, which has ridiculous amounts of cool stuff including some 2006 disks from Mario Bava.
A quartet of Village Voice scribes examine the Film Forum's excellent series of essential Westerns. There's some great films here, and a bunch are even in sparkling new 35 mm prints--hopefully a sign that the unreleased ones'll be making it to the small screen soon. Of particular interest are Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma, Rudolph Mate's The Violent Men (also good for a screening on TCM this month), and a batch of Budd Boetticher: Comanche Station, The Tall T and the great Ride Lonesome. Plus there's plenty more Mann and Ford and their ilk included in the series.
Who says 2D animation is dead? Not the sales charts, as Disney's Platinum Edition of Bambi sells a cool million copies on its first day on the market. Way to go, Thumper.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Empire Online talks to Sam Raimi on the Evil Dead remake and sequel, with the somewhat unfortunate news that Park Chan-wook won't be helming the do-over. Ah, well. Anyway, while you're over at that Brit site, you may as well take a look at their piece on the remake of The Fog.
Programming note: last night I watched the Home Vision Entertainment disk of Kinji Fukasaku's Sympathy for the Underdog, which I had somehow never managed to see...but it's one of the director's best gangster outings, with a crew of tough guy yakuza muscling in on Okinawa. The disk looks great, and let's just say that Koji Tsuruta is the coolest.
What with the recent release of Legs McNeil's porn history opus The Other Hollywood, how about a note or two via Fleshbot? (Translation: beware these links if you're at work!) For one, howzabout an interview with the author himself? And for another, check out Subterranean Cinema's breakdown of the history of the end of sexual taboos in cinema. Plus, I guess while we're at it we should pass on belated birthday wishes to the legendary Georgina Spelvin, who turned 68 years young yesterday.
Y'know, I didn't watch the Oscars hardly at all. But I think I just remembered why I maybe should have at least scanned more of the pre-show stuff.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
The people over at Cartoon Research have a spiffy new project: it's research and a filmography on the historic cartoon character Oswald the Rabbit.
There's a brand new issue of Rue Morgue, and Bloody Disgusting has the rundown. Lots o' stuff on van Bebber's The Manson Family, a bunch of killers who have always been a popular film subject.
Good news from, Fango on a few new Asian DVD releases: Shaolin vs Evil Dead and a couple others from Tai Seng as well as two more from Kiyoshi Kurosawa from the fine folk at Home Vision Entertainment. You can never have too much Kurosawa, I always say.
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