November 2006

The Bad Boys of Hot Fuzz

The frighteningly talented people behind both Shaun of the Dead and the upcoming Hot Fuzz clearly have an affinity for the films of Michael Bay - especially Bad Boys and Bad Boys II.

And if you were wondering why I mention it, click here and all will be revealed.

Welcome to the 21st Century, Mister Bond

Casino Royale poster Im just back from having seen Casino Royale and I have to say that its the best Bond film Ive seen in a long time. The film goes back to Bonds roots and reimagines him as a modern secret agent - darker, grittier and a lot less pleasant than Bonds of yore.

Daniel Craig is not just a good Bond - hes a fantastic Bond. Hes the cold hearted thug originally envisioned by Ian Fleming and brought right into the modern world. All of the Bond elements are there, but thoroughly reworked to reflect more modern sensibilities. Q is no longer a person, but a division, M is Judi Dench and Miss Moneypenny

The one bit where the film sags - rather badly in my opinion - is with the extended (I dont know how long it took, but it certainly felt extended) romance sequence. But once the crosses were doubled, and the action got going again, the film really picked up and kept up with a superb pace right up to the excellent and - probably iconic - ending.

The question of who is the best Bond of all time is one that often arises. With the arrival of Daniel Craig, Sean Connery may finally have a challenger.

Suicide is Painless

So farewell then to Robert Altman, showman, innovator and dog tattooist.

Vancouver Film School on YouTube

The Vancouver Film School has a channel on YouTube which aims to illustrate the quality and diversity of work being produced by the students of the school. And they have some very good stuff up there.

Check out Piece of Mind to see what I mean.

Focus: Part 2

Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival 2003 logo A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to refocus this blog more towards talking about films, partly so that it fitted better with the rest of the site but also to free up some time for myself. I also implied that I was looking for another name for the blog.

After playing around with variations on a theme of Maverick Movies (thanks Lisa) and a range of names that all sounded far too much like I Spit On Your Movie, Ive finally come up with something that Im happy with and which doesnt sound blatantly unoriginal.

So welcome to Savage Popcorn.

SuperThunderStingCar

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore spoof Thunderbirds in this classic piece of comedy genius. Enjoy.

(via sp3ccylad)

David Cronenbergs Eastern Promises

Im a bit behind with things (again), but I couldnt let this bit of news pass without a mention.

Coming Soon (via) is reporting that David Cronenbergs next film Eastern Promises will start shooting (or has started shooting) in London this week.

According to the synopsis

Eastern Promises follows the mysterious and ruthless Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), who is tied to one of Londons most notorious organized crime families. His carefully maintained existence is jarred when he crosses paths with Anna (Naomi Watts), an innocent midwife trying to right a wrong, who accidentally uncovers potential evidence against the family. Now Nikolai must put into motion a harrowing chain of murder, deceit, and retribution.

and Im hooked already. The film is packed with talent and (I hope) promises to be every bit as good as A History of Violence. But Right now, Im going to watch Dobermann again, because putting Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel in the same film is a touch of genius.

Kiwi!

If you havent already seen Dony Permedis Masters Thesis Animation, Kiwi! do so now. You wont regret it.

(Via Vicious Imagery)

Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance vs. Judas Priest

Dream Deceivers poster Thanks to The Documentary Blog for pointing me in the direction of Dream Deceivers, which covers the trial in which Judas Priest were accused of inserting subliminal messages into their music.

Just before Christmas, 1985, 19-year-old James Vance watched his best friend Ray Belknap shoot himself to death with a .12 gauge shotgun in a churchyard outside Reno, Nevada. Then Vance pulled the trigger on himself. He survived but was severely disfigured. Vance later claimed his actions had been influenced by the heavy metal music of Judas Priest, prompting his family to sue the band. The drama of the ensuing trial provides the framework for David Van Taylor’s disturbing look at teenagers today.

And the film is available, in its entirety, on Google Video.

What becomes very clear from the documentary is that both of the teenagers were very troubled boys and, as one of the fans interviewed points out, blaming their choice of music for these problems is a lot easier for the parents than looking a bit closer to home.

Return of the Vega Brothers rumour

Vega Brothers Ever since Pulp Fiction was released, there has been a rumour floating around about a Vega Brothers film which would star Michael Madsen as Vic Vega from Reservoir Dogs and John Travoltas Vincent Vega as his twin brother.

And now the rumour is back.

With both characters ending up dead in their respective films, the Vega Brothers film has generally been discussed in prequel terms. And, as the years go by, such an idea starts to sound increasingly implausible. However, Madsen claims that Tarantino has found a way around this:

“Well, first he said he would do it, then he said he wasn’t going to do it. Then he called me and said, ‘You know, I’ve figured out a way to do it. It can’t be a prequel because you and John don’t look the same. It wouldn’t make sense as a sequel because you’re both dead.’” Madsen, in an interview for the 15th anniversary DVD of “Reservoir Dogs”, told the site. “And he gave me an idea that would be really outrageous – that John and I would be the twin brothers of Vic and Vincent. We come from Amsterdam to LA to avenge the deaths of our brothers. I think that’s pretty interesting. For me, I’d love to do it.”

Much as I would have liked to have seen these characters return to the big screen several years ago, I cant help feeling that this smacks a little too much of desperation. Now would probably be a good time to chalk The Vega Brothers up as one of the greatest films never made.

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