Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

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 Studios Need to Hire These Artists

November 17, 2011

As I have mentioned many times in this blog, the Internet is my primary source for information for this blog. This week’s entry is no different. Not too long ago I found two items about custom made movie posters that I want to share with you.

Mondo Tees
The folks out of Austin, Texas have done it again. To commemorate the release of the Jurassic Park trilogy on Blu-Ray, Mondo had artist JC Richards create a movie poster that surpasses the original. (The original movie poster is on the left, Richards’ creation is on the right.)

In fact, the image on the right should have been used for movie posters when the Jurassic Park films were released. The image with the dinosaurs in the forest gives you an idea what the film is about, but leaves enough mystery so that you’ll want to see the film to learn more. Also, it is just a beautiful image that honors dinosaurs as the majestic creatures that they were. After all, dinosaurs as a species were around for 180 million years. Humans, as in homo sapiens, have been around for only 200,000 years.

The Royale
As great as Mondo is, it isn’t the only place that is creating custom made movie posters. An arthouse movie theater in Mesa, Arizona, called The Royale, features custom made movie posters for special screenings at the theater. For the theater’s showing of Scott Pilgram vs. The World, artist Randy J. Gregory created a movie poster that was inspired by old school video games. (See below).



Keeping with the old school video game theme, artist Daniel M. Davis created this poster for the theater’s screening of the documentary King of Kong. (See below)


The Bloggers Opinion
Now these movie posters featured are both excellent works of art and amazing movie posters. They promote the film and are pleasing to the eye. These artist should be working for the studios. They know how to create movie posters that both engages the viewer and piques the viewer’s curiosity so that he or she is interested in going to see the film. So many current movie posters are committee designed Photoshopped monstrosities that they are examples of how not to make a movie posters.  Therefore, powers that be in Hollywood, how about having fewer starving artists in the world and hiring Messrs. Richards, Gregory and Davis?

Sources:
http://www.universetoday.com/38125/how-long-have-humans-been-on-earth/

http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0878252.html

http://www.fusedfilm.com/2011/10/check-out-mondos-newest-jurassic-park-poster/#int38

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/jackalope/2011/10/the_royale_offers_custom_movie.php

http://theroyaleaz.com/

If You Love Film Preservation, Thank This Man

September 22, 2011

Despite all the craziness surrounding this summer’s debt ceiling negotiations and the subsequent downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, not every bureaucrat in Washington is to be viewed with scorn. Case in point, ever heard of the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF)? Someone in Washington was instrumental in establishing it in 1997 and it is a copyright lawyer named Eric J. Schwartz. His love of films lead to him helping to establish this foundation, whose mission is to “preserve American films and improve film access for study, education, and exhibition” The foundation doesn’t just preserve films from Hollywood, it also preserves films ranging from an early talkie featuring President Calvin Coolidge  from 1925 to a collection of home movies taken in the 1930’s from the Japanese-American community of Los Angeles.

I’m sure many of you are asking why American tax dollars are going to support something like this when so many people are either out of work or just barely getting by on whatever work they can get. Well the answer to that is two-fold:

1. According to the NFPF’s website, “Every penny of these federal funds goes out to the field and we raise operational support from other sources.”

2. Historical preservation isn’t something you do when times are good. It is something you do all the time, because you never know when you will find something worth preserving.

Without archivists and a foundation that supports their work, these films mentioned and other would be sitting in a closet, somewhere, never to be seen. An even worse scenario is that many films would be lost forever. You see, movies made prior to the 1950’s were filmed using nitrate film and over time, nitrate yellows the film base, oxides the silver image, and can, under certain conditions, spontaneously combust. All of which would end up damaging such a film beyond repair. In fact, only 20 percent of American films from the silent era survive and half of the films made prior to 1950 survive. So, a foundation like NFPF is necessary to prevent nitrate based and all films from being lost forever.

Films are meant to be seen, not locked up in a vault. Motion pictures have become the storyteller for the collective. If the story is lost, so is a part of our history, which is why films need to preserved for future generations. Without people like Schwartz and the archivists at the foundation, who knows how many films would be either stuck in a storeroom, tossed in a trashcan or  just plain unseen and forgotten. So, thanks to Eric J. Schwartz and the folks at National Film Preservation Foundation, they are saving pieces of American history, one frame at a time.

Sources:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/eric-j-schwartzs-love-of-film-fueled-his-push-for-preservation-of-old-movies/2011/08/11/gIQAa7aoBJ_story.html

http://www.filmpreservation.org

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/Support/Technical_Information/Storage/storage_nitrate.htm

Phew! Not All Is Lost

March 17, 2011

Just when I thought Hollywood was just greenlighting remakes and reboots, I learn of a contest sponsored by FilmDemic, an independent film distribution company. This contest is for the best independent film trailer. The winners get to have their film screened at one of the FilmDemic Screening Series events in Los Angeles.

The founder of FilmDemic, Vaughn Juares felt it was important to help independent film makers find an audience for their work. “…[W]e partner with filmmakers, not take their film and toss it in to the black hole of distribution with no marketing support.” Juares said. In addition to the contest, FilmDemic allows filmmakers to submit their films on a non-exclusive basis. The filmmaker retains all the rights to the film and 60% of all net proceeds from the sale of their film through the FilmDemic online store and 50% of all net proceeds from all other distribution channels such as, DVD’s, television, VOD and theatrical releases.

Talk about a breath of fresh air. Finally, someone in the movie industry is looking for and funding original work. Granted, it specializes in independent films. Still, you have to start somewhere. After all, George Lucas, Martin Scorcese and other filmmakers started with minimal budgets. I was bothered when I learned about the remakes of Arthur and The Bodyguard. Surely there must be enough money out there to fund something original? Thankfully Juares and others at FilmDemic are putting their money and marketing know-how where their mouths are.

Now I want to see the big studios do the same thing. After all, they have a lot of money at their disposal. How hard can it be to find and fund an original project?  I don’t think it is so hard, then again I don’t run a film studio. So, I have a feeling that the studios will be riding the remake/reboot train for a while and the original stuff will come from the independents like FilmDemic.

To learn more go to: http://filmdemic.com/

Sources:
http://www.benzinga.com/press-releases/11/02/p861683/new-indie-film-distributor-filmdemic-kicks-off-its-search-for-great-ind

http://filmdemic.com/

2011 Oscars in Four Moments

March 3, 2011

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards took place on February 27 and here is the list of  winners:

Best Picture
The King’s Speech

Best Director
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech

Best Actor
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Best Actress
Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa Leo – The Fighter

Best Original Screenplay
The King’s Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Social Network

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film
In a Better World

Best Documentary Feature
Inside Job

Best Animated Short
The Lost Thing

Best Documentary Short
Stranger No More

Best Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland

Best Cinematography
Inception

Best Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland

Best Film Editing
The Social Network

Best Live Action Short
God of Love

Best Original Score
The Social Network

Best Original Song
We Belong Together
Toy Story 3

Best Makeup
The Wolfman

Best Visual Effects
Inception

Best Sound Editing
Inception

Best Sound Mixing
Inception

Of course a lot goes on in an Oscar broadcast, too much for me to write about, still there are four moments that I would like to present for your consideration.

Hosts Moment or Moments
In an effort to attract a younger demographic, the Academy picked Anne Hathaway and James Franco. I thought Hathaway was good as a host. She really put the effort to be engaging with the audience in the hall and with the television audience. As for Franco, he was just there, even dressed up as Marilyn Monroe. Since I’m a recent MBA graduate, the only reason I can think of for Franco’s not engaging performance was that he was very concerned about his studies and that got in the way of his host duties.

Can’t Take That Away From Me Moment
In the celebrity world of plastic surgery, botox and all around shallowness, it was great to see how Kirk Douglas handled himself. Yes, he doesn’t walk as well as he used to and he doesn’t talk as well as he used to, still for someone who is 94 years old and still dealing with the aftereffects of his stroke he showed the world two things:

1.     His mind is still as sharp as ever.

2.     While a stroke can make it difficult to walk and talk, it doesn’t take away the fact that you have class and Kirk Douglas has it.

By the way, the person who fought over Douglas’ cane was none other than Omar Sharif, Jr. Yes, he’s the son of that Omar Sharif. He has appeared in Egyptian television shows and films and now he wants to try his luck in Hollywood.

This Broadcast Has Been Brought To You By…
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC), at least until the year 2020. While some didn’t like it the network promoted itself during the Oscar broadcast, I didn’t mind. The Oscars has a worldwide audience of at least one billion, so I can’t fault the network for getting the word out about itself. After all with the Internet and satellite television providers, ABC doesn’t have to content itself with North America anymore. There are opportunities to get the network’s programming out all over the world. So, when opportunity to do some promotion came up, ABC grabbed it.

Bravo Bravo Natalie Moment
Yes, I was rooting for Natalie Portman to get the Oscar for Black Swan. Not only did she work hard in preparing for the role, she worked hard and smart throughout her career. She choose roles that weren’t just “girl next door” or love interest. They ran the gamut from Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequels to Evey in V for Vendetta and it paid off on Oscar night for her. Also, she was gracious enough to thank her parents, her fiancé Benjamin Millipied and the many, many people who were involved in Black Swan. It costs nothing to say thank you, but it means a lot to those who hear it.

Well there you have it, the Oscars in four moments. What will happen with next year’s Oscars? We’ll find out next year.

Sources:
http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/nominees;_ylt=AgaPEOKqWkPbaM8JKL5jrzhIPKJ4

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41817860/ns/today-entertainment/

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/When+Kirk+Omar+Hollywood+story/4370595/story.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfzmj5yYI4Y

My Musings on the 2011 Oscar Nominations

February 4, 2011

The 2011 Oscar Nominations were announced on January 25, 2011 and here are the nominees for Best Picture:

Best Picture

Black Swan

The Fighter

Inception

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

Again, the Academy has 10 pictures up for Best Picture, it seemed to work well last year, so the powers that be decided to repeat it. If you want to see the entire list, go to: http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/nominees.

Now for my musings on topics related to the Academy Awards

Those Who Weren’t Nominated

Hereafter
I saw this film and I thought it would score some nominations, such as Best Director, Best Actor or Best Screenplay. After all, Clint Eastwood was the director and unlike a lot of people in Hollywood, he is not a one trick pony. He’s gone from Spaghetti Westerns to Action films to directing and sometimes starring in films as varied as The Bridges of Madison County, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino and others. While he won Best Director for Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven, it wouldn’t hurt to honor him again.  Also, let’s not forget the multi-talented Matt Damon. His performance was good enough to merit a nomination. Don’t you think Damon’s Best Screenplay Award is a little lonely?

Conviction
I saw this film and I thought it would score some nominations, as well. It dealt with the important topics of wrongful conviction, loyalty, fighting for the truth and the Academy often rewards films like Conviction with a nomination or two. Shoot me, but I thought Hillary Swank’s performance was good enough to get a nomination, as well.

Michael Douglas
Here’s someone else who did not get nominated. Not to sound morbid, but considering that he had cancer, I thought he would be nominated for Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps, not so much as a pity award but more as a lifetime achievement award. Here is someone who didn’t just cash in on the fact that he is the son of Kirk Douglas. He worked his way up from doing episodic television (he got his start in The Streets of San Francisco) to starring and sometimes producing films (he got the rights for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and produced that film). Not that he didn’t have his demons to deal with, but considering how he could have ended up (i.e. Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan), Douglas ended up more than okay.

Bravo Natalie
Congratulations to Natalie Portman for her Best Actress Nomination for Black Swan. Here is someone who could have be forever known as Luke and Leia’s mom, instead she went to college (university for those living outside of the U.S.), picked roles that weren’t “Girl Next Door” or “The Love Interest” (check her out in V and you’ll know what I mean) and now it is paying off for her.

The Co-Host Might Get An Award
James Franco, who will be the co-host with Anne Hathaway of this year’s Academy Award’s ceremony, is up for a Best Actor Oscar for his work in 127 Hours. The last time a host or co-host was nominated was in 1958 when David Niven was nominated and won for the film Separate Tables. It would be interesting to see if this happens again. As for the film 127 Hours, I must admit that I didn’t see it. The story of a mountain climber who has to cut his own arm off in order to free himself from a boulder, didn’t appeal to me.

The 83rd Annual Academy Award ceremony will take place on February 27, 2011.

Sources:

http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/nominees.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000140/#Director

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000142/awards
http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2010/11/29/entertainment/doc4cf3fa0a0753e470574252.txt

Other Cinemas

November 17, 2010

Yes, the movie offerings from Hollywood are fun to watch. The thing is what if you want to watch something different and I’m not talking about foreign or indie films.

Well, what else is there to watch? You ask. Old television shows? No, I’m talking about oddball films like educational films from the 1950’s or short documentaries about public parks, feature films that were made, then quickly forgotten or even employee training films.

Who wants to watch films like that? You ask. Believe it or not, loads of people. In this entry I will mention several organizations that specialize in preserving and most importantly, showcasing oddball films for public enjoyment.

Secret Cinema London
Just when you thought you could only see movies in a sterile multiplex or at home, Secret Cinema in London, brings spectacle and mystery to the moviegoing experience. Founded by Fabien Riggall, in 2005, Secret Cinema shows films in locations around London and the UK. To take part in the Secret Cinema, people have to sign up via a newsletter on the organization’s website and locations aren’t announced until the day of the screening. If that wasn’t mysterious enough, the title of the film isn’t announced until the credits start rolling. Yet, there are clues littered along the way to the viewing location, such as mock posters and actors wearing costumes related to that evening’s movie screening. One viewing featured an actual heavy metal band that entertained people before the film. To learn more, go to:  http://www.secretcinema.org

Secret Cinema Philadelphia
The “Secret” in Secret Cinema Philadelphia, isn’t the location. Organizers announce that on their website weeks ahead of time. Rather, it is the subject matter which ranges from, what founder Jay Schwartz calls “neglected films of all kinds… teen-exploitation, rock ‘n’ roll, psychedelia, oddball black comedies, ‘golden turkeys,’ ’70s nostalgia…” even rare movie shorts and educational films. What makes Secret Cinema unique is that they show original films on 16mm reels, not video or DVD. Viewings are in various locations in the Philadelphia area and the show’s been going on since 1992. To learn more, go to:  http://www.thesecretcinema.com

Found Footage Festival U.S.
What happens when two guys stumble upon a fast food training video?  They, being Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, start collecting what they call “…strange, outrageous, and profoundly stupid videos on VHS.” In 2004, they had enough footage to start the Found Footage Festival.  The rules of Found Footage Festival are:

1) Footage must be found in a physical format, as in VHS tapes.  It can’t be floating around on YouTube.

2) Whatever the footage’s original intention, it has to be “unintentionally” funny. “Whatever it’s trying to do,” states the Found Footage website. “It has to fail miserably at that.”

The Found Footage Festival travels throughout the U.S., Canada and even the UK with Pickett’s and Prueher’s collection of VHS tapes ranging from instructional/informational videos to straight to video cartoons to employee training videos. The one thing they have in common is that these videos are, as the founder put it, “unintentionally” funny.

To learn more about the Found Footage Festival, go to: http://foundfootagefest.com/about

See, a person doesn’t have to live on multiplex, Netflix or YouTube movies alone. There are organizations that brings the oddball and unexpectedly humorous films to the masses.

Sources:
http://www.secretcinema.org/

http://www.thesecretcinema.com/

http://foundfootagefest.com/

Other Centers of Movie Making

September 22, 2010

Shocking but true, the United States is not the only place in the world where there is a thriving film industry. There are other places that are making movies and they all aren’t the art house favorites (though a good many take that route).  So, what other countries are making films?

India
The country of Gandhi and outsourced call centers is also famous for Bollywood movies.  Bollywood movies are mostly musicals with comedy, love story and thrills thrown in for good measure. In other words, the guy always gets the girl at the end of a Bollywood film. The term Bollywood comes from a combination of the city of Bombay (now known as Mumbai) and Hollywood. Recently the Bollywood style of movie making has made its way to the mainstream with films like Bride and Prejudice and the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire. Both films found critical acclaim and box office success.

France
Films from France tend to be of the intellectual art house type and films like François Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player and Jean-Luc Godard Breathless are two shining examples. Those films were part of the French New Wave of the 1950’s and 1960’s, in which film conventions of Hollywood were re-imagined and the use of handheld cameras gave the films a “you are there” look. These films influenced a generation filmmakers throughout the world.

Italy
Italian films aren’t exactly intellectual. Instead they take familiar stories and tell them though the Italian cultural lens. They put their own spin on subjects such as mid-life crisis, coming of age and the Holocaust. Films that tackle these subjects are, respectively, Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso and Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful.

Australia
The Land Down Under has a vigorous film industry, ranging from the irreverent Young Einstein, to the genre mixing Mad Max, which introduced the world to Mel Gibson, to the current Bran Nu Dae. Australian films are a mix of reflection on the country’s agrarian past, commentary on current events and cultural mashup. Yet, it all seems to work. Good on ya’ mate.

So if you are in the mood for a foreign film, check out films from the countries listed above. You’ll either laugh, cry or wonder what is going on.

Sources:
http://www.bollywoodworld.com/whatisbollywood/

http://www.amazon.com/Bride-Prejudice-Martin-Henderson/dp/B00094AS9U/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1284738812&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Slumdog-Millionaire-Dev-Patel/dp/B001P9KR8U/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1284739458&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/8-1-2-Criterion-Collection/dp/B00005QAPH/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1284742131&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Cinema-Paradiso-Version-Philippe-Noiret/dp/B00007G207/ref=sr_1_4?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1284742359&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Life-Beautiful-Roberto-Benigni/dp/B00004D0DU/ref=sr_1_3?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1284742762&sr=1-3

http://www.amazon.com/Mad-Max-Special-Mel-Gibson/dp/B00005R2IS/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1284744210&sr=1-1

Famous Films Foreign Origins

September 1, 2010

I once stated that Hollywood is the ultimate recycler because the powers that be have minded the comic book/old television show vault extensively. Well, sometimes Hollywood goes beyond the borders of the U.S. to find inspiration or steal ideas, depending on your point of view.

Below are some films that were made in one country and remade in the U.S.

Shichinin no samurai, Japan 1954
A Japanese village is terrorized by bandits. The villagers are fed up and look for a way to stop the bandit raids. So, with only handfuls of rice as payment, they get seven unemployed ronins (masterless samerai) to take care of the bandits once and for all, which they do.

Now for the translation of the title which is Seven Samurai. In 1960, the U.S. remake of this movie was done and it is called The Magnificent Seven. The setting is the Old West and the movie stars Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn and James Colburn. The director is Preston Struges and the film features an unforgettable score by Elmer Bernstein. (Once you hear it, you’ll know what movie it is from and you just might get the desire to hop on a horse and ride off into the sunset.)

Trois Hommes et un Couffin, France 1985
Three bachelors share an apartment in Paris. They woo women, have parties and love every minute of it. They are living the high life and nothing domestic (i.e. marriage and children) will come in the way of these bon vivants. Until one day, a package is left on their door. It is no ordinary package. It is bassinet with a baby inside. Make that a crying baby who’s hungry and needs her diaper changed and life will never be the same for these men ever again.

Now for the translation of the title which is Three Men and a Cradle. If the plot sounds familiar it is because in 1987 it was remade in the U.S. as Three Men & a Baby. The movie had Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg as the bachelors and the director was none other than Leonard Nimoy. (Yes, Spock from Star Trek.)

Como agua para chocolate, Mexico 1993
Boy meets girl in the early 1900’s in Mexico. Girl likes Boy and Boy goes to Girl’s mother to request daughter’s hand in marriage. Mother says no, Girl is the youngest and tradition states that she is not to marry, so as to take care of mother. So, Boy marries Girl’s Older Sister and Girl prepares wedding feast where she channels her passion for Boy into the food.

The translation is Like Water for Chocolate. This film was remade in 1999 as Simply Irresistible and it featured none other than Sarah Michele Gellar. (I guess she tired of slaying vampires.) If you are surprised that Like Water for Chocolate was remade, join the club. Not many know of this movie and it didn’t do too well in the box office.

Le Dîner de Cons, France 1999
Picture this: A group of friends in Paris get together for dinner every Wednesday and they have this game whereby they each have to bring an idiot to this dinner. One of the friends, Pierre thinks he has found the best idiot in Paris. This idiot, Pignon, makes models out of landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower, out of matchsticks. Things go awry when Pierre can’t make it to the dinner party due to a sport’s injury and Pignon offers his assistance.

Now the translation: The Dinner Game. Can you guess what the American version is called? How about Dinner for Schmucks? Yes, that movie with Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd, which came out recently. In the American version, once the idiot/schmuck is invited to the dinner, he invites himself to into the other person’s life.  Moral: Don’t invite idiots or schmucks to dinner. They’ll never go away.

Yes, the powers that be in Hollywood are always on the lookout for the next hit movie, whether it comes from a comic book, an old television show or a foreign film. That, too, will never go away.

Sources:
http://www.amazon.com/Three-Men-Cradle-Roland-Giraud/dp/B0009WFFWC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Men-Baby-Tom-Selleck/dp/B00005T7I2/ref=sr_1_5?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1281662756&sr=1-5

http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Samurai-Criterion-Collection-Spine/dp/0780020685/ref=sr_1_3?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1281660769&sr=1-3

http://www.amazon.com/Magnificent-Seven-Special-Yul-Brynner/dp/B000059TFW/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1281662503&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Like-Water-Chocolate-Marco-Leonardi/dp/6305428476/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1281661502&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Irresistible-Sarah-Michelle-Gellar/dp/B000067J1O/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1281662162&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Dinner-Game-Thierry-Lhermitte/dp/B0000A1HQP/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1281832673&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Dinner-Schmucks-Zach-Galifianakis/dp/B002ZG97GU/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1281837537&sr=1-1

Less Is More—Even With Movie Posters

August 18, 2010

In doing research for entries for this blog, I came across another blog, Escape Into Life and an entry that featured movie posters for recent movies by Brendon Schaefer, a graphics designer.  You can see the posters here:

http://www.escapeintolife.com/showcase/brandon-shaeffers-movie-posters/

Some of the posters have an art deco look to the them, while others look like propaganda posters from World War II, yet what caught my eye on each of them is how Schaefer is able to tell a lot about a movie with very little in the way of illustration.  These aren’t your run of the mill Photoshopped/designed by the marketing department movie posters. They invite introspection, as opposed to “Huh? What’s that movie about?” (See Movie Posters That Make You Ask ??? July 15, 2010)

Schaefer says about his work, “There’s something to be said about distilling a central theme or idea of a film down to its core and translating it into a simple, iconic image. It’s a nice exercise that shows just how limitation can breed possibility and eliminate distraction…”

What a great idea, creating a movie poster around a “simple, iconic image”.  Granted, it won’t work for all movies, yet it was done for the 1989 film Batman and for the 2005 film The 40 Year Old Virgin and, if done right, it can be done for other films, as well.  Movie posters aren’t just advertising vehicles. There is room to be artistic without confounding the moviegoer. An injection of artistry that leads to some little introspection, in the end, is a good thing. After all, the more someone thinks about a movie, the more likely that person is going to see it.

So, powers that be in Hollywood, contact Brendon Schaefer and others like him and commission them to do some movie posters. You and millions of other people will be glad that you did.

Note: To learn more about Brendon Schaefer, go to: http://www.seekandspeak.com/

Source:
http://www.escapeintolife.com/showcase/brandon-shaeffers-movie-posters/