Posts Tagged ‘Burlesque’

As the Crank Turns

March 8, 2012

If I haven’t done so, I will do it now. Let me state for the record that I do not like horror films, in particular I don’t like horror films made from 1970 to the present day. I find them to be heavy on gore and chase scenes and light on plot and characterization. Don’t worry, there’s a reason for this disclosure and it has to do with this week’s blog entry.

Exhibit A
There will be a remake of the campy horror film Evil Dead.  Reports state that the remake will be more dark and more gory than the original. Also, the role of Ash, which was played by Bruce Campbell in the original film, will be recast as a female. Well, it worked with Battlestar Galactica, so I guess the director decided to try it in Evil Dead.

Exhibit B
Radius,
a game and crowd-sourced film, most likely the first of its kind in the world, had its premiere in Cincinnati recently. The film was made via a smartphone scavenger hunt. People were invited to upload images of people, places and things in the Cincinnati area. Three hundred people participated and 2000 images were uploaded. The company that made this film, Ripple FX Films, is an independent production company that wants to “…put the audience at the center of the art.”

The Point of Exhibits A & B
Exhibit A shows how, once again, the powers that be in Hollywood have decided to greenlight a remake. Exhibit B shows how, once again, the independent filmmakers are striving to creative imaginative and original films. Really, it is necessary to redo Evil Dead? For fans of the film, part of its charm was its low budget campiness. Now there will be a version with lots of CGI effects. Like that will make the film better? As for independent filmmakers, they regularly show their dedication to storytelling and they do it with less resources and more imagination then the studios. Go independents!

“You’ve written about this before,” you must be saying now. “So, what else is new? Hollywood is a business, you know.”

Yes, I’ve written about this before, of course if the powers that be would stop with the redos, I would stop writing about this. Yet, the fact remains, Hollywood is a business and the tension between art and commerce has been going on since the days of Charlie Chaplin. Still, it is possible for the studios to create an original film and make money, as well. Burlesque, The Help, Shrek, Twilight are all recent original films that did well at the box office. So, the powers that be can’t blame it on the recession or throw up their hands and say it is just a trend. In fact, Ripple FX Films was brave enough to solicit images from everyday folks and the people at that company created a film out of those images. So, suits how about taking a line from the independents, putting the lid on all the remakes and making something original?  Don’t worry, you’ll make money. After all, Burlesque, The Help, Shrek, Twilight made money, lots of it and they were all original.

Tune it next time to As the Crank Turns, when our resident blogger will rail against a remake of Planet 9 from Outer Space. (That is if the suits actually decide to greenlight Planet 9 from Outer Space.)

Sources:
http://www.movieweb.com/news/the-evil-dead-remake-to-be-dark-and-very-gory-says-jane-levy

http://www.local12.com/news/local/story/First-of-Its-Kind-Movie-To-Premiere-In-Cincinnati/D2zXlk1aKUaa6T4i5gmDGQ.cspx

http://www.whatisradius.com/about

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The Travels of American Pop Culture

February 10, 2011

A few weeks ago, I sold a Cher mask from the movie Burlesque on eBay to someone in Germany. I also read a news story about two Australian Elvis fans and I found a blog entry about Ghanaian movie posters of American films.

Well, as you can guess, these things got the gears in my head turning. One would think that someone like Cher wouldn’t “translate” to audiences outside of the U.S. As for Elvis, while he did make movies and sang in said movies, he never toured outside of the U.S. What about the Ghanaian movie posters? You ask. I’m getting to that now. These movie posters were developed in the 1980’s as VCR’s and videotapes of American films became available. Entrepreneurs would drive to villages with a VCR, television and a generator, set up a mobile movie theater and charge admission. Local artists were used to create the movie posters that were used to promote the film. The Ghanaian posters are different than what the studios created for the film, yet they are very creative.  You can see examples of these posters here:

http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/cool-stuff/cool-stuff-ghanaian-movie-posters.php

“Yeah, yeah.” You might be saying now. “American pop culture is found all over the world. Big deal. That’s old news.”

As someone who has visited relatives in Italy and Australia, I can testify to how well American culture travels. Yet, when I see or hear something American overseas, I reflect on how well our culture sells the U.S., even though American life isn’t as pretty as it looks in the movies. After all, we know that not everyone succeeds at what he or she wants to do, no matter how hard the person works, the guy doesn’t always get the girl (and vice versa) and the underling who stands up to the boss more often than not, finds him or herself without a job. Still, depending on the country and income level, foreigners either ignore it, see it as an example as why the U.S. is the great enemy of the world or take it for what it is—namely as a great fantasy.

Yet, a big draw of the U.S. and American pop culture is our belief that there are no limits, creativity and hard work lead to success and the guy gets the girl (and vice versa). Yes,  technology helps to spread our pop culture all over the world. Of course, if it wasn’t so appealing, it wouldn’t have travelled very far in the first place.

Sources:

http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/cool-stuff/cool-stuff-ghanaian-movie-posters.php

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/01/28/3124178.htm

2010 Holiday Movies

November 11, 2010

It’s that time of year when the studios bring out the family/animated films, a few blockbusters and throw in some “serious” films for last minute Oscar contention, all to entertain the movie going public and make a few bucks for themselves, as well.

Here are few films that will be playing at a multiplex near you.

November 2010

Burlesque
What happens when you put Cher and Christina Aguilera in the same movie? You get Burlesque, which is really the old story of a small town girl who goes to the big city to live out her dreams.

Love and Other Drugs
That little blue pill makes it to the big time. Well, sort of. This movie is based on Jamie Reidy’s book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman and stars Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. There has been some Oscar buzz about this film. Of course, what’s next, a film about penicillin? Aspirin? Castor oil, even? Scratch castor oil. I don’t think the powers that be would swallow that.

Tangled
Leave it to Disney to put out an animated film for the holidays.  This film is a retelling of the Rapunzel tale whereby, the princess leaves the castle to hang with bandit Flynn Rider. This film features the voices of Amanda Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy.

December 2010

Black Swan
Yes, those posters with Natalie Portman have been all over the Internet. Soon the actual movie will come out and it is about a ballet dancer, Portman who starts a relationship with a new dancer in the troupe, only to find her position in the troupe will be changing just as a production of Swan Lake comes up. Yes, that doesn’t sound like much, still the movie hasn’t come out yet, so let’s wait and see how it turns out.

Tron Legacy
This is another Disney production for the holidays. I saw Tron when it came out in movie theaters in 1982 and it was a sight to see. The use of computer animation was brilliant and groundbreaking. The trouble was I was so lost in the visuals that I briefly forgot what the movie was about. I soon remembered and continued enjoying myself. Well, not only is computer animation much more advanced in 2010, making this a must see movie, but Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner are back in their original roles. If I go to see this movie, I’ll be sure to pay closer attention, since the visuals are expected to be so much better this time around.

Gulliver’s Travels
It was bound to happen, Jack Black taking on a classic of English literature and the classic is none other Jonathan Swift’s satire Gulliver’s Travels. Black is Lemuel Gulliver and CGI helps with everything else. Black was great in School of Rock and I won’t be surprised if he will be just as good in Gulliver’s Travels.

So, there you have it. A little taste of what’s coming up for the holiday movie season. If you want more information go to:

http://www.reelzchannel.com/article/1126/2010-holiday-movie-guide

Source:
http://www.reelzchannel.com/article/1126/2010-holiday-movie-guide