How StudioADI (Almost) Saved Alien: Resurrection

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Resurrection, along with David Fincher’s Alien 3, are considered–and rightly so–to be the worse movies in the Alien franchise.

In reference to the the former, that’s probably true, but doesn’t tell the whole story.  For instance, Joss Whedon (Serenity, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron) wrote the movie, and had a few things to say about the casting as well as how he final product veered from his screenplay.

Another point is that, despite the issues revolving around the casting or story–what’s the point of giving the Alien Queen the ability to reproduce like mammals do, anyway?  Not only is it oftentimes painful (which may aid to bond the mother and her offspring), mammals typically produce much less offspring than insects, which the Aliens essentially are.

So when the entire premise of your movie is a wash, it’s typically a bad sign.

That being said, studioADI handled a lot of the practical special effects–Ripley models, the full-sized Alien Queen, etc–and their work is easily the best part of the movie.

And while it wasn’t  not enough to save the movie, visually speaking, it came damn close.


Steve Jobs – Teaser Trailer

When the news came out that David Fincher was no longer directing the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, and that Danny Boyle was, people on various forums were complaining about what a terrible choice that was (especially compared to Fincher).

I wasn’t amongst them because I have always thought that Boyle was a very talented director.  Everything he’s done may not be perfect–then again, what director, acclaimed or otherwise, has ever reached such a lofty goal?–but most of it is undeniably interesting.

As is the casting of Michael Fassbender, in that he looks nothing like Jobs; though judging from what you can see here, his mannerisms and speech are very evocative of Apple’s famously mercurial leader.

It looks like it could be a winner; though I wonder if Aaron Sorkin’s script was authorized by Apple or the Jobs estate?  I haven’t heard any protests from either, so I assume so.

This Movie Is “Antisocial,” Though Don’t Watch It Alone

The Social Redroom is a fictitious social networking site that’s similar to others that you may already be familiar to, like Facebook.  And like Facebook, The Social Redroom (which coincidentally(?) reminds me of ‘redrum;’ ‘murder’ spelled backwards) also does experiments on its users without their knowledege, all in an effort to find what it is that makes users ‘tick.’

But what happens your their efforts go seriously awry (which if you’ve seen the movie is probably the understatement of the decade)?

That’s the idea at the heart of Antisocial–it’s probably not a coincidence that the title is similar to David Fincher’s movie, The Social Network, though what’s a bit odd is that it in a way covers similar subject matter (without the physical violence, though there was plenty of the psychic variety).

It’s a conceit that works remarkably well because the ideas that animate the movie are familiar to anyone with even a passing understanding of how human nature, capitalism and the Internet work.

It’s also not a gratuitously gory movie, though I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t body fluids of the red variety shed.  And speaking of gore, most of it is deliciously practical, which isn’t to say that there isn’t CGI, though it’s not gratuitous.

What’s also surprising is how well-acted this movie is.  There’s none of that wink, wink, nudge, nudge stuff at one end of the spectrum, or histrionics at the other.

Just people caught up in circumstances way, way, way beyond their control.  It’s a trip.  I haven’t felt this positive about a horror film since The Den.

It’s that awesome.

Kudos all around for director Cody Calahan, who also co-wrote the movie with Chad Archibald, though I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention that the exemplary lighting by Jeff Maher and the music by Steph Copeland.

And what every you do, get off the damn computer.  Go outside and perhaps spend a little time with someone you love because The Social Redroom is coming, and it’s a killer.

Antisocial is currently on Netflix.


Should Kickstarter Help Those that (Probably) Don’t Need It?

Sorry about the odd spacing issues.  I have been working with an app that publishes to WordPress called Metropolis, which seems to be doing funky things with my spacing.

There has been much in the news recently about Zach Braff financing his latest film, “Wish I Was Here” through Kickstarter.  This is an issue that’s close to my heart because I have been a huge advocate of any means for artists to finance their dreams and aspirations.

That being said, there’s a caveat, which is that if  you have the means to pay for whatever it is that you’re trying to do, then perhaps you should do it, and leave Kickstarter to those would be unable to do so without it.

For instance, prior to Braff’s effort there was the Veronica Mars feature project, as well as a Kickstarter with David Fincher (the director of “Fight Club,” “The Game,” the Americanized version of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” among many others) in which he was attempting to finance a demo reel of a film version of Eric Powell’s “The Goon.”

Netflix Speeds Away From ‘Terra Nova’

Netflix has done plenty of stupid things, but their latest decision isn’t among them.   They have decided, in a burst of sanity, to not take on “Terra Nova” after it had been cancelled by Fox.

Netflix doesn’t have the deep pockets of a Twentieth Century Fox–and “House of Cards, and the participation of David Fincher, doesn’t come cheap–so they have to be careful in taking on expensive properties.

Women (Superheroes) Aren’t Nothing But (Box Office) Trouble

The history of women superheroes in comics is a proud one.  Female characters are common in Marvel and DC Comics, as well as competing comics companies.

So, if women play such a pivotal role in comics, why is it that movies that feature them fail at the box office?

One reason is because, when filmmakers target women, they don’t take into account that they are oftentimes the persons that care for family and home, as well as work and/or attend school.

So, they don’t often have the free time that their partners, husbands or boyfriends may have.

As a result, they are often more discriminating with their time, and less willing to spend it in a manner that they consider frivolous (then there’s the cost of theater tickets, which makes a night at the movies an expensive proposition).

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