The Viral Campaign For ‘Pacific Rim’ Has Begun

Many movies, to compete in a very competitive market, market their films in ways that go beyond the traditional.  For instance, for 2010’s “Tron: Legacy” the makers of the film had a campaign that led the inquisitive to and as a reward let them see a light cycle before the general public.

I don’t want to imply that “Tron: Legacy” is the only film that has used viral marketing because movies from “The Dark Knight Rises” to “The Amazing Spider-Man” and many others have also used them.

Done correctly, they can help make the difference between a movie being a success, or a failure.

Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” is also following this route.  So far, a faux news bulletin and two wallpapers (that fit an iPad perfectly) have been released.



‘American Horror Story’ Copies ‘The Sentinel?’

If you have not seen “American Horror Story,” or “The Sentinel” but want to with an open mind–or just hate spoilers–read no further.

I have been watching the first season of Ryan Murphy’s and Brad Falchuk’s “American Horror Story” recently, and while I have been enjoying it–despite its tendency to be very emotionally overwrought–I have come to notice how (at least up the the sixth episode, which is all that I have seen so far) AHS is not only unoriginal but in many was a copy of Michael Winner’s superior 1977 film “The Sentinel.”

In “American Horror Story” we have a house that is treated as if it were alive (though other than characters referring to it this way, there has been no manifestation of this, unlike in a film like “Burnt Offerings,” where the house was–literally–alive, and fed on the deaths of its inhabitants) and the people that lived there having a tendency to die in generally unpleasant ways, and eventually made their way back.

“The Sentinel,” uses a similar concept, though the house itself is less important than the fact that it happens to be where the place where the entrance to Hell lies (I hate when that happens).

It’s seems different when it’s spelled out, though if you have seen both it and “American Horror Story,” not so much.

In both AHS and “The Sentinel” the residences in question are filled with the dead (as I mentioned earlier) but with a difference:  They are individuals that have committed certain crimes (generally of a violent nature) that puts them on their path to the fiery gates.

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Quite Possibly The Quickest Retirement Ever

The last I had heard of Steven Soderbergh, the director of “Sex, Lies & Videotape,” “Traffic,” the ‘Ocean’ films, and more recently, 2011’s “Contagion,” was that he had retired.  I guess success (of a box office nature) changes a person because Soderberg’s last film, “Magic Mike,” was huge (made on a budget of $7 million, it earned over $150 million, which is remarkably profitable).

I don’t know the advertising budget of that film, but when you have a bunch of guys full of muscle stripping, you don’t tend to have to spend all that much, I’d imagine.  It also helps that the film in question starred Channing Tatum, who looks well on his way to becoming an A-list star.

Speaking of “Contagion,” it didn’t do too shabby, earning over $135 million on a $60 million budget (not as spectacular as “Magic Mike” but nothing to sneeze at, either).

‘Iron Man 3’ Will Not Be A Serious Movie?

Superherohype is saying that Kevin Feige, Robert Downey, Jr., and Shane Black, the director of the film, are saying that the upcoming “Iron Man 3” will not be a “serious” movie.  Feige, Downey and Black are closer to the production than I am (by an almost indescribable degree), so I think that we can take their words as gospel, but I reading various quotes from the three men, makes me wonder if they have ever seen the trailer.

In an earlier post I called it “The Dark Knight Of The Iron Man.”  There must be some serious belly laughs yet to be revealed, because it was a lot of things, though funny (or even light-hearted) was not among them.

That being said, Shane Black has been known on occasion to mix relatively dark, situational humor into his films (particularly “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang”) though the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series of films, which he wrote, also show it, to varying degrees.

Has Michael Gratzner’s ‘UFO’ Been Grounded?

I suspect I know the answer to the question above even before I wrote it, but part of me refuses to believe that a movie based upon Gerry Anderson’s “UFO” is probably not going to happen.  Sure, there’s been no news for almost a year now–the site has been live for a bit over two–but just because it’s still live says to me that SOMEONE wants to see it (other than me, that is).

Then again, you only know till it actually happens, but I am going to keep an eye out.

On the other hand, I would rather have it not happen at all than for someone to come and treat it in the awful fashion that Jonathan Frakes did with his version of Anderson’s “Thunderbirds.”

Here’s the opening for the original series to whet the appetite.

And if the movie ever comes about, please, please, please let someone with the range of Barry Gray do the music.

‘Frightnight’ Review

 “If “Frightnight” didn’t have to carry the memory of a significantly better film, it would have been better for it.

I spent my Thanksgiving with my family in Connecticut, where–besides drinking and trying to ignore the almost constant noise generated by my niece and nephew–I watched a lot of cable.  Among everything that I watched it’s worth mentioning that I caught two horror film reboots, Marcus Nispel’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (much better than I expected it to be) and Craig Gillespie’s “Frightnight” (not as entertaining as I thought it would be).

The “Frightnight” reboot is problematic because if it were just a vampire film, without the connection to the original “Fright Night,” it would probably have been much better than it was.

As things stand, I was constantly comparing it to the original, which in most instances was far superior.  There are a lot of changes in the reboot beyond the title, most of them better served in an original film.

Tom Holland’s original came out in 1985, and was more representative of its time than the remake, which has an oddly disposable quality to it.  Part of it is due to the story,which while inspired by the 1985 film, has changes added that feel as if they are there not for any reason other than to differentiate it from the first film.

And as I have said earlier, if “Frightnight” didn’t have to carry the memory of a significantly better film, it would have been the better for it.

‘Sullivan’s Sluggers’ Knocks It Out The Park!

As anyone reading this blog on anything approaching a regular basis has probably noticed, I am a fan of Kickstarter.  For those coming late to the party, Kickstarter is a way for creative types to get financing for their projects.

Kickstarter gives you the chance to support projects you genuinely interested in seeing, reading, or interacting with, which is a pleasant change from someone else deciding what you do or don’t like.

The types of projects run the gamut from comic-related properties, new electronic inventions, music and just about everything in between.

One of the Kickstarters I invested a little bit of moolah in was Mark Andrew Smith’s baseball horror project, “Sullivan’s Sluggers.”

One of the perks is a hard-cover copy of the finished book, and it looks gorgeous.

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