June 2007

Family friendly Tarantino

Wallace and Gromit After parting company with Dreamworks and then signing a deal with Sony, Aardman Animation has unveiled a superb slate of upcoming projects.

Writers Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah of Life on Mars fame are to join director Steve Box on The Cat Burglars, a claymation film milk thieving stray cats. The film promises to combine the comedy action of Wallace and Gromit with the cool styling of Oceans Eleven.

Peter Lord also returns to the directors chair with a comedy adventure based on the Pirates series of books written by Gideon Defoe. Lord and Defoe will be joined by writers ndy Riley and Kevin Cecil, whose credits include Hyperdrive and Slacker Cats.

Also signed up is Peter Baynham who is developing Operation Rudolph, an action film set on Christmas night that will show the North Pole operation as an exhilarating ultra high-tech military procedure on a massive scale, revealing how Santa and his huge army of combat elves get round the whole world in one night.

And Nick Park is working on something, but no-one is saying what yet.

As Todd at Twitch remarks: Everyone at Dreamworks, Prepare to Kick Yourselves. Hard.

Quote of the Day: Not needed and not wanted

Not everything needs to be remade in order to be “relevant” to a new generation.

- Micah Robinson on the news that Twisted Pictures, the production company behind the Saw films, are to start raiding the RKO Pictures library for titles to remake.

Make your own quote

Go ahead, make my Savage Popcorn.

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Shamelessly lifted from Rullsenberg Rules.

Quote of the Day: There is no sliding scale

Removing civil liberties doesnt decrease anything but civil liberties. You might as well wash your car as a way of protecting yourself from terrorists

- Chris Atkins, whose documentary, Taking Liberties is currently on general release in the UK.

10 films in 25 years

Ive finally gotten around to flicking through the latest issue of Interzone magazine, which is currently celebrating 25 years in publishing. As part of the 25 years celebrations, the magazines resident film critic, Nick Lowe - after acknowledging the truism that there are actually more top ten films that there are integers between 0 and 11 - attempts to list the top ten films of the past 25 years.

The the films are listed below and they make for a pretty strong selection. Im not entirely convinced about some of the choices, and I would have ordered them differently, but all of the films are worth checking out at least once.

The other observation that Lowe makes which is worth mentioning is that 1982 saw the release of Tron, which brought the relationship between films, computer games and digital filmmaking into the mainstream; Conan the Barbarian, which launched both Arnold Swarzenegger’s career and a whole slew of sword and sorcery films and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which revived a stillborn franchise. 1982 was also the year of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Blade Runner.

So, was 1982 science fiction cinemas 1939?

Nick Lowes top ten films of the last 25 years are:

  1. Spirited Away
  2. Brazil
  3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  4. Blade Runner
  5. The Prestige
  6. Starship Troopers
  7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  8. Repo Man
  9. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
  10. Dark City

Quote of the Day: Taking Liberties

Director Chris Atkins shows how, since 1997, New Labours residual passion for ideology, combined with a fear of looking Spartist or soft on terror, has combined to deliver a panic-stricken abandonment of liberties that wed somehow held on to in the face of Nazi Germany and the IRA.

- Peter Bradshaw on Taking Liberties, which was released in the UK today.

The Continuing Adventures of Benjamin Kenobi: Space Knight of the Future!

If only George Lucas had been working in the 1930s

Exploiting the little guy

Twitch is highlighting some rather bad behaviour on the part of Midway Games in their dealings with the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF).

The short version is that Midway Games signed an agreement sponsor NYAFF in order to promote Stranglehold, a video game quasi-sequel to Hard Boiled. Everyone was happy and NYAFF sent out the press releases, added the Midway logo to all of their literature, and so on.

Everything seemed good until the Midway people simply failed to show up at a meeting to install game consoles in the theatre lobby so festival patrons could try things out. No call, no cancellation, no indication anything was amiss. Nothing. The NYAFF had no signs anything was wrong until they called Midway up to see why theyd missed the meeting and were told unceremoniously that Midway was ditching the deal, no explanation given.

So Midway, a company that can surely afford to meet the cost of its own advertising, has reneged on an agreement leaving the NYAFF up the creek without a canoe, never mind a paddle.

Click here to read the full story and a call to boycott Midway Games in general and Stranglehold in particular.

Update - 9th June

From Twitch again comes the news that Midway have just come back on board with the festival and made good on their commitments.