The Strangest Of Species: A Warranted Remake

A very rare bird.  Think of a coelacanth (which were discovered alive a few decades ago, though despite being such a remarkable, unusual creature it may be endangered) or a Tasmanian Tiger (none discovered alive, though rumors persist).

It’s that unusual. What makes it such a great idea is that the original – a precursor of James Cameron’s “Terminator” – came out in 1973, and while it wasn’t terrible, it was limited somewhat by the technology available at the time.

What’s also good is that it’s (probably) not a sacred horse to too many people, and its main theme – technology running amok – is a common one, though the way the film goes about illustrating it is novel (essentially “Jurassic Park – also written by Michael Crichton! – with robots) which means that it should be relatively easy to bring it forward into current time.

J.J. Abrams is one of the parties behind the remake, and while I am not a huge fan of either his television series or movies, I don’t hate them either.  There’s also the added bonus of it appearing on HBO, which means that there will (hopefully) be the violence and nudity only implied in the original film.

As long as it doesn’t make a mockery of the original film or series, like the AMC 2009 reboot of “The Prisoner,” then it should at least be worth watching.

Beware Of ‘Area 407′

The small, almost micro-budgeted, film, when successful, can bring new creativity (and profits) to the box office.  For instance, the whole found-footage trend came into its own with the three “Paranomal Activity” films, which combined cost just over $8 million to produce and earned almost $600 million worldwide.

That being said, there are times when a bigger budget works for the benefit of all concerned.  For instance, the first “Jurassic Park” had a $63 million dollar budget (which is cheap when you think how remarkable the dinosaurs looked) but they could not have featured so many different types of saurians otherwise.

I mention it because “Area 407″ covers similar territory as “Jurassic Park” (mixed with a liberal dose of “Lost”) except that it (clearly) lacks the budget of “Jurassic Park,” which works to the film’s detriment.  Like “Paranormal Activity,” it involves found-footage–a trend that appears to be quickly wearing out its welcome–of a crashed aircraft that ends up somewhere it’s not supposed to be.

The worse thing, beyond the aforementioned lack of resources, and the occasional shrill and irritating child, is that it’s not badly acted.

‘Jurassic Park’ Live

Rememeber the idea behind 1993’s “Jurassic Park?’  The film, based upon a novel by Michael Crichton, directed by Steven Spielberg, revolves around an island where dinosaurs are brought back to life from the DNA of mosquitoes caught in amber.

Our technology hasn’t quite advanced that far, though we’re getting close, yet I am willing to bet that these people at an Australian museum don’t mind the difference.

Though these dinosaurs will never have the have the problems of their Jurassic Park brethren, there’s always “Westworld” to worry about.

The State of Special Effects

Above is a video of a partial animatronic (a covered skeletal armature that use various methods to mimic the motion of a human, animal, or imaginary being) test for the movie “I Am Legend” from Steve Johnson FX.  It was not used in the final film, though considering the designs that were, is disappointing.

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