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Everything posted by Scrivener

  1. Scrivener

    Movies - Bloodrayne

    What scares me most about this is - with all the blood and nudity I'm afraid I might actually like it.
  2. Scrivener

    Movies - Grandma's Boy

    Looked like the kind of cinematic vomit I wouldn't waste a netflix on. I'm glad I talked my friends out of it, since I was initially outvoted 3-2.
  3. Scrivener

    Night at the movies - Hostel

    Was a busy weekend so I only got out to see Casanova. I'll definately have to see this next weekend.
  4. Scrivener

    Movies - Bloodrayne

    I wasn't going to touch this one... but if you all want my review that much I might just have to go endure it. I'll make a masochistic weekend of it and double feature this with the gay cowboy movie. It's too bad The New World isn't opening till the 20th, since I might be inclined to commit seppuku afterward.
  5. Scrivener

    Movies - Casanova

    This reminded me a bit of Merchant of Venice and Shakespere in Love. I love these period pics, especially when they are done as well as this. Great entertaining date movie. 9/10
  6. Scrivener

    Night at the Movies - Kingdom of Heaven Directors Cut

    It's definately not on the Fox release schedual for January or February, so fall '06 must indeed be the target.
  7. I was skimming AICN just now and discovered that the 3.5 hour Directors Cut of KOH is playing at a run down hole in the wall theatre in LA, about an hours drive from me. A friend and I are driving there tomorrow afternoon to see it come hell or high water. I can't friggin wait! Click here for showing information.
  8. Scrivener

    Night at the Movies - Kingdom of Heaven Directors Cut

    It's not currently out on DVD. Originally I think it was supposed to be a January DVD release but I remember reading somewhere recently that it will be a fall '06 release. I'll dig around and see what I can turn up.
  9. Scrivener

    Night at the Movies - Kingdom of Heaven Directors Cut

    Holy freakin' crap, it's an entirely different movie. In the original theatrical release I was sort of getting that whole Legolas vibe from Orlando Bloom and it's totally gone in this version. Also - remember at the end when Balian has everyone marking distances and you're like "WTF is this?"... well, you can thank Fox for all those problems because they just aint in the Directors Cut. There is a TON of character development at the beginning that helps explain who Balian is and why he does the things he does. The medieval politics and clash of religions is also played up in this version, so that the characters all have actual motives. There are a couple MAJOR characters in this version that I honestly don't think were even in the studio cut (havn't seen it since it's opening week). This makes the theatrical release of Kingdom of Heaven perhaps the most profoundly staggering butchery of a movie that I have ever seen. Remember the difference between The Abyss theatrical and the Directors Cut? Or The Fellowship of the Ring theatrical and Extended Edition? This is several times more shocking a difference than either of those... and had this version been released in theatres from the outset, not only would people have flocked to it, but it would have been grade A Oscar bait. I'm simultaneously overjoyed that I'm one of the few people who got to see Ridley Scott's original vision on the big screen and angry that we didn't get it the first time (even more angry that almost noone will ever get to see this marvelous film on the big screen - I mean, 1 theatre globally? Talk about limited freakin' releases). I'll have to grab a few more friends and make them go see this before it's limited run ends this week. The theatre is a tiny little place, but it's not as bad as I was expecting at all. Definately worth the trip. 11/10
  10. Scrivener

    Night at the movies: Wolf Creek

    You've heard me whine and moan incessantly about the ratings system here in America. Well, you won't hear it this time. Wolf Creek is the most digusting, senseless, shameless horror films I've seen since House of 1000 Corpses. I was uncomfortable, and that's all I really want out of my horror films any more (if you make me uncomfortable, you've done a damn good job). This isn't your typical crazy bad guy kills innocent travelers kind of movie. It's not about the killing so much - it's about the torture. It takes a certain kind of person to enjoy, err, appreciate this particular brand of "horror" as it tends to lean further toward snuff (Faces of Death) than sylish psychological (Ringu, Blair Witch). Some kids are out exporing the Australian outback when a crazy guy living in the wilderness captures, tortures, and kills the them. This is the entirety of the story... and you get to live it. This movie was designed to make you sick, and it does it. It's horror in the most pure sense. It's not "scary" it's not "thrilling" it's horrible... and I'm as happy as a schoolgirl going to prom with the quarterback and brand new a new dress. Definately DVD worthy and I'll definately be keeping an eye out for the unrated version. 9/10 SC, don't even think about it. Your head would explode like that guy in Scanners.
  11. Scrivener

    Night at the movies - Munich

    Was going to see this today but it's not playing at the theatre across the street. I was shocked. It's playing at AMC30 at the Block, which is a bit of a drive but I'll just have to eat it and go Friday. ...I ended up seeing Wolf Creek instead.
  12. Scrivener

    Night at the movies - King Kong

    quote:Originally posted by Race Bannon IV: how are you recutting a dvd? details man give me details! I rip them to my hard drive in MPEG2 format, transcode them to lossless AVI, recut to my hearts content. The movies I feel most inclined to recut usually end up 10 to 15 minutes shorter than the originals. I also sometimes cut in deleted scenes (as was the case with Donnie Darko before the Directors Cut was ever announced). Deleted scenes usually require some soundwork so I do a lot of that too. I have a huge collection of movie soundtracks too, so whenever I feel the need I'll redo a soundtrack. It's amazing how many 80s movies with terrible synthesized soundtracks are actually really good when you put in decent orchestral scores... it's something I wish studios would do themselves every so often. Anyhoo, I have a small stack of movies that I've modified to varying degrees (all movies I legitimately own). So any time someone wants to watch something from my collection that I've "restored" I give them my personal edit instead. As a side note, I think amateur recuts are something more studios should support. Editing can change a movie in subtle but drastic ways... especially when you have a fans perspective and aren't as attached to the material. It's like a model kit analogy. A kid gets a model airplane kit and puts it together. It looks like an airplane, not bad. A professional model builder gets the same set, his airplane looks like the real deal. What did the pro do differently? A detailed paint job, he also notices that the model kit neglected some details (like a pilot) and so used parts from a GI Joe to make that pilot. Anyhoo, you need a DVD Decrypter and a copy of Premiere or Avid Xpress (PC) or Final Cut (Mac) to get started. It helps to have some sound and soundtrack libraries (although you can "borrow" things from other DVDs when needed), but if you're creative enough you should be up and running in no time. Quick Edit: If you are just getting started on video editing - learn Avid Xpress. It's the industry standard and also the most detailed of the editing programs.
  13. Scrivener

    Night at the movies - King Kong

    A lot of PJs stuff, while obviously CG, at least fits into a kind of visual "style" that makes it believable. It's almost hyper-real, if that makes sense. The Bronto chase, however, did not fit into that category. It looked sloppy - but most apparently near the end... and it was already way over the top that the not-quite-there CG really made it more of a sore spot than it would have otherwise been. Still, when I get my hands on the DVD I'm recutting my own personal viewing version sans a lot of the unneccessary absurdity.
  14. Scrivener

    Night at the movies - Fun with Dick and Jane

    Agree with SC for the most part. It was still a throroughly entertaining movie, though. 7/10 -Gotta love the little kid.
  15. Scrivener

    Movie - Serenity

    As of right now Serenity has lost around $19m for Universal (who was guilty of poor publicity for the film, among other things) even after GLOBAL tickets sales. There is a CHANCE of a SciFi channel TV-movie sequel, but that depends almost entirely on the DVD being a critical success. So for the love of God, if you liked Firefly &/or Serenity and ever want to see something new then get your butt to Walmart or Best Buy and BUY, dont rent, Serenity on DVD.
  16. Scrivener

    Night at the movies - King Kong

    I used to think that studio-enforced cuts were a bad thing ...but the only thing bad about it in this instance is how BADLY King Kong needed them. I don't know if it was the Tyranasuruses on the trapeze or the nonstop barrage of monster swarms... but somewhere in the middle of the Skull Island jungle I just didn't feel like watching this movie any more. It was just too goddamned long. It's not a matter of too much content, either, like the LOTR movies - it's a matter of having 60 more minutes of film than content. The fight scenes get repetitive and predictable, and drag out the film while no real plot progression is happening. That gets tedious fast, but it keeps on going like that for the whole 3 hours. PJ needs a better editor - or at least someone capable of talking some sense into him. There's a good film in there somewhere. What I just saw was not it. 4/10
  17. Scrivener

    "Kong" box office highlights industry in flux

    ...apparently the one factor they overlooked was ridiculous ticket prices. My student discount now saves me about $1.50... that's $8.50 down from $10. Also, every theatre I know of has discontinued just about every special discount they had (Twilight & early bird specials). Heck, a few local theatres don't even offer the student or senior discounts any more. Matinees are $8.50 with no discounts period so there's no longer any incentive to go earlier in the day. When early bird specials (first showing of the day, providing that showing was before 11am) were around $5.75 I would be at the movies 3 days a week and saw pretty much everything out there. These days I have to be more choosy because the cheapest I can get in is $8.50... and it seems like the price jumps another $0.50 every two or three months. When movie tickets cost almost as much as a brand new DVD (actually, more than a new DVD if you're taking someone special), then why bother going out when you can buy/rent something, save money, and stay comfortably at home?
  18. Scrivener

    Tutorial Movie

    Good stuff. I keep meaning to put together a comprehensive GalCom Academy semi-interactive Flash/Director training program (especially now that we have all these neat new video tools), but I just havn't had the time. Worst case scenario, I do it right after I graduate in about 6 months.
  19. Scrivener

    Night at the movies - King Kong

    Going to see this tomorrow night. It sounds like the perfect balance of spectacle and storytelling. If I'm happy with the storytelling it should score highly, but as Hellbinder pointed out, I'll probably have to dock points for technical reasons. Also, I want to crack open my Production Diaries box set, but won't until after I've seen the finished movie. Note to film-makers, use CG to augment practical effects. Going full-CG does not yet yield acceptibly beleivable results.
  20. Scrivener

    The Chronicles of Narnia

    So basically you think that I'm jumping at shadows? There was an interview with Andrew Adamson on TV yesterday (and also the kids from the movie) where they discussed how they had to get "creative with the editing" to bring the rating down. This is despite precautions they took during filming to keep the footage PG (arrows can go in, but cant come out the other side, for instance). IMO, it's even more absurd since even if the movie had been presented as intended, it still should have been PG (same goes for the latest Potter movie). I doubt they filmed a single thing that would justly qualify as PG-13 material... and it still had to be cut. Interesting. My problems with the movie are primarily more technical, however. I am very glad they retained the Christian themes (despite uproar from idiots who only complain when Christianity is the issue) - but it nevertheless does not excuse a movie of inconsistent quality. In this regard, I feel the blame lies solely on the shoulders of director Andrew Adamson. WETA did great, the actors were all very good, the script was decent, the costumes magnificent (except for the witches' absurd bucket-top dresses, which would have been forgivable if they hadn't ALL looked like that), the music was very appropriate, the CG was everything from bad to great, and the editing and compositing work was COMPLETE RUBBISH. Unfortunately the best footage in the world can be ruined with poor editing, and here that is exactly what happened... and that, in large part, is because of the struggle with the MPAA over the films rating. The solution, of course, is not get paranoid over a movies rating and just release it the way you originally intended. It's okay for the kids to read the book, but god forbid they see an accurate movie version! I doubt we'll a PG13 extended edition on DVD but if we do I'll give it another chance. In the meantime, however, I can't recommend it due to the plethora of distractions. I will reitterate that kids aren't so picky, but I am. Nothing makes me more angry and annoyed than something not done properly or not to it's full potential. Narnia just needed more time to smooth over the rough edges and to cut the movie the way it was originally intended, ratings board be damned. On top of that, maybe they needed more time (lord knows I didn't care for the theatrical releases of the LOTR movies, but loved the EEs on DVD). We'll see what happens on DVD. Besides, I didn't hate the movie... I still gave it a 6/10, which my friends insist would be an 8 or 9 for anyone else. Nevertheless, it could have been much much better than it was.
  21. Scrivener

    The Chronicles of Narnia

    So I just got back from a showing tonight... and as much as I really wanted to like this... I can't. It's not just the stupid kids laughing at things that arent funny, or the people two rows back narrating the entire goddamn movie... it's a pretty sizeable stack of little things. For starters, the guys at WETA are makeup gods. This is undebatable. It does not seem, however, as if they had enough time to finish rendering all the CG - as it is VERY inconsistent. One shot might look fantastic - almost indistinguishable from reality... then the next will be terrible. The beavers, for instance, seemed like they needed a bit more work and there's several scenes involving water that had me cringing. The kid actors all did smashing bloody marvelous jobs, the girl playing Lucy in this could steal a lot of work from the grossly overrated Dakota Fanning. Tilda Swinton drove me frigging nuts as the witch, however... but maybe a large part of that could be blamed on her absolutely horrendous costumes (god they were TERRIBLE). And that brings me to this - the movie was an editing nightmare. In order to achieve the PG rating they were aiming for, they pulled quite a hack job on the footage. Worse, I was able to call every alternate shot before they got there. This was really G level material (cartoon violence) and the idea that they actually had to edit it down from a PG13 is absurd. Dunno. I tried to compare it to Lemony Snicket in my head (in terms of raw quality and professionalism) but that was just plain better than this. Not to mention half of the final battle scene takes place in Rohan (yes, the very same locations you saw in LOTR:TTT)... and there's another scene that's a dead ringer for when Frodo and gang were hiding under a tree from the ringwraith. Now don't start giving me the "they're all fantasys and you cant make that comparison" hullabaloo, the shots bordered on plaigerism. They should have seen that beforehand and modified the scene (I can think of at least three ways right off the top of my head). There were also some pretty neat (and frightening) "evil" creatures in there... but they only seemed to show up for the brief sacrifice bit. This was another bit also sacrificed (no pun intended) for the lower rating... very limited screentime for the scary critters. "Scary looking" should NEVER result in a higher rating as it has nothing to do with content, but nevertheless, the hypocrites at the MPAA do just that every day. For heavens sakes The Dark Crystal was 100% scary monsters just like this, and it's PG. *sigh* Could have been good, but feels slightly unfinished, chopped up, censored, with some bad wardrobe. You're kids might get a kick out of it but this isn't winning any awards and dosn't even begin to live up to the bar set by other recent fantasys (Lemony Snicket, LOTR). 6/10
  22. Scrivener

    Night at the movies: The Goblet of Fire

    I was entertained but it was still too much spectacle and not enough content. Making the dragon batlike was a great call, it's how I've always envisioned dragons (although I know there are several kinds in the Harry Potter universe). I've also never read the books and havn't seen the last two movies... I was surprised by the death at the end, though... I guess that's why the movie got a PG-13 instead of just a PG, although I still think this should be the uppermost of the PG rating IMO. Affectionate 6.5/10
  23. Scrivener

    Night at the movies - Aeon Flux

    I figured as much when the Producer said "It's not going to be as 'hardcore' as the TV show was." Not getting my money.
  24. Scrivener

    4th Indiana Jones Movie

    There are so many potential pitfalls in this project that I just have zero faith that between the blundering Lucas and the timid Spielberg it won't fall in. The only logical way to make this work is Jones has to be old, his adventuring days are over and he lives by himself (he was either never married, is divorced, or widowed). It is now during the cold war and Jones will get hired as a "consultant" on some new major archeaological find that turns out to be a doomsday device (or some other terrible thing)... instead of saving the artifact he has to find a way to destroy it so that it can't fall into anyone governments unreliable hands... not the US and not the USSR. But that's not the story we'll get. No, I'm fairly certain we'll end up with some trash along the lines of the latest Zorro movie. Jones will be married with kids and some bad people (probably evil Ruskies) will kidnap his family and force him to help them find some other device of ultimate destruction. With Lucas "touching up" the script (yeah, touching up like a priest touches up a catholic schoolboy) you KNOW I'm right. He's got the midas touch of $#!+.
  25. For the uninitiated it is vitally important to understand this film's unique history, as the circumstances are entirely without precedent. In 1999 Warner Brothers began work on an Exorcist prequel with John Frankenheimer set to direct. The story was to be drawn from elements of William Peter Blatty's book not touched on in the first movie. More precisely, the source of Father Lancaster Merrin's (Stellan Skarsgard in both Schrader and Harlins films, Max von Sydow in the original) particular religious dilemma. The original screenplay was developed and written by William Wisher Jr. (Terminator 2, 13th Warrior, Judge Dredd) with contributions by Caleb Carr. When John Frankenheimer became ill in 2000, well into preproduction, Warner then attached Paul Schrader (American Gigolo) to the project. In it's original form the story was primarily concerned with faith, temptation, facing one's own demons (literally and figuratively). Schrader was given a reasonable budget of $40m to make the film as written. What Schrader delivered in early 2003 was a serious, contemplative drama. The studio was incensed. Clearly they wanted blood, guts, green vomit, and heads spinning. In an unprecedented move that shocked the entire industry, Warner executives stuck the film in a vault, fired everyone involved, and brought in Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Driven) to remake the film as he saw fit... provided it was adequately "shocking." Schraders cut was shown to a select few during the time Harlin worked on his version and, despite the studios displeasure with Schraders version of the film, the word that got out was quite positive. Until now, the only version available to the public was Harlins sloppy big-budget CG-fest. I can say with great enthusiasm (especially if you hated Harlins as much as I did) that Paul Schraders version is a vastly superior film. It does, however, have a rather absurd climax  which is not so much the fault of the script or the direction, but because of budgeting issues. When the studio canceled the film, the soundtrack and effects were not complete and Schrader was forced to improvise on shoestrings when the studio decided to resurrect it. Most of the film gets by just fine without the bells and whistles  its not a very high-tech movie and most of the effects in the film were practical with very little CG. A proper soundtrack would have benefited the film greatly, to be sure, but it never gets in the way that is, until the films climax. Right when things start to get the most interesting the soundtrack suddenly becomes like something out of a low-budget 80s horror film. To make matters worse, we are assaulted with a very cheap, very cheesy looking northern-lights effect (again, reminiscent of a very cheap 80s lightning rotoscoping) that permeates every scene. Its a sad thing when cheapness like this manages to creep into an otherwise great film especially during its climax. It can ruin the entire experience and sadly it comes very close to doing that here (and for many people, Im sure it will do just that). The rest of Dominion however is carried magnificently by a fantastic cast, excellent script, and interesting twist on the possession. Sure Dominion is not without its faults but those are almost exclusively a result of having to budget with which to finish the movie. With this in mind you may appreciate it more for what it is  a great drama whose moral is as literal as it is figurative. Better, it meshes much more readily with the original 1973 hit than other Exorcist sequel/prequel to date. That alone makes it worth at least one viewing. 8/10 For SC: The gore level is so low as to be virtually nonexistent. I can't for the life of me figure out why this is rated R and not PG-13.