Monday, November 24, 2008

Bland. James Bland.

Its about time the wife and I got an evening free to go to the movies. We got our chance on Saturday - we got a babysitter for the evening (God bless grandparents!) and had our first "date" in several months.

We went to a great restaurant for dinner - the Kona Grill. I had some delicious Crunchy Crab and Philadelphia rolls - I love sushi. Also had a tasty glass of Italian wine.

Hey, we don't get out often, I might as well treat myself!

Off to the movie theater afterwards - I was very excited to see the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. I've always been a big fan of the Bond films, and I REALLY enjoyed CASINO ROYALE. I totally agreed with the direction the producers took with that film - a more realistic (less "cartoony") Bond, with an emphasis on plot and espionage. Also, the last couple of Brosnan years, they started using CGI for stunts, and I think the vast appeal of Bond movies is the real-life stunt work. (If I ever see Bond CGI wind-surf a glacial tidal wave again, I will probably vomit.)

So, my review of QOS is this - it was a very average film, and I started to feel that the "old" Bond was starting to creep in. I guess old habits die hard.

I still think Craig is a great Bond. He has a harder edge than Brosnan and Moore, and probably Connery. But I think the plot of the film was pretty thin, and I think we were back to "gimmicky" plot devices. (A hide-out made of fuel cells - perfect for explosions...almost too perfect.) And the "super-villain" hoarding water underground? YAWN. And finally - one particular action sequence was over-the-top. Guys swinging on ropes and reaching for guns on a construction platform? I thought this was supposed to be a more "realistic" Bond? Let's keep to the basics, people!

Anyway, I know we'll see Craig again in a Bond movie - so my dream is for them to do a remake of Dr. No. I think there would be a great way to redo the film in a new, realistic way that fits more in what was started with CASINO ROYALE.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pinocchio Stop Motion Style

I asked Guillermo how his stop motion PINOCCHIO will be different from Tim Burton's successful stop motion films (THE CORPSE BRIDE, NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS). His reply was that PINOCCHIO will not be as sleek, and will be more "gritty" and closer to Jan Svankmajer's style.

I have embedded a YouTube clip of a Svankmajer work below to give you an idea:

Be patient with this project - GDT and Gris Grimly are still shopping this idea and haven't found a home for it yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Mess of GDT Updates

Wow - today was a big morning - lots of news in the GDT camp. I thought I would compile it for everyone in the blog to make it easy on ya'


GDT: I'm working on [the Director's cut DVD]. I'm doing it. It's going to be as close to a director's cut as we can. We actually had a great experience the other day. We watched my original cuts, and we were like, "Oh my God, this is such a f--king different movie." ... We rescued it because I kept a copy at the right moment. I said, "In case it never happens, I'm going to distribute it at conventions.


GDT: I believe that very, very, very soon we're going to be announcing a very special Blu-ray edition of Cronos. And when you know who is doing it and how we're doing it, it will be more exciting. I cannot announce it properly, but we're doing a Blu-ray of Cronos, which is very exciting for me, because it's one of those movies that I think I want to revisit, retime, restructure the sound for the Blu-ray experience in a big way...


GDT: Part of the arrangement with Universal--in being essentially there for now until 2017--part of the arrangement was they would finance research and development for Mountains of Madness. And we are doing it. There are many technical tools in creating the monsters that don't exist, and we need to develop them. The creatures, Lovecraft's creatures, the tools that exist for CG and the materials that exist for makeup effects, you need to push them to get there and we're going to push them.

SPLICE (From ShockTilYouDrop)

"I met with Vincenzo for four hours this morning," says Del Toro "We went through the [recent] cut very carefully. I really came into that project because I admire Vincenzo. When I was reading it, I found it to be a really unique take on creatures. It's very seldom that you get a creature movie where they're willing to push the creature as a concept, to places that are uncomfortable to watch."

Brody and Polley spawn a female creature (pictured) after tinkering with human and animal DNA. But like Frankenstein's creation, their experiment becomes hard to control. "Sexuality is one of the many aspects of it. It's also not human, morally," Del Toro chuckles. "The choices of the creature are choices that don't have any human correlation. You might find a cat cuddly, but a cat is still going to scratch you whenever the f**k he wants. It's the same with this creature. Vincenzo is doing some really smart stuff. I really love what he's doing and it's the thinking man's creature movie."

HATER (From ShockTilYouDrop)

In spite of the rather old school aesthetic Bayona brought to Orphanage, Del Toro felt he was a perfect fit for this film which goes for the throat. "What is funny is when we talked about Hater and I told him what the final scene will be - it's an incredibly movie final scene that's not in the book - he said, I want to do it. Because it's a very contemporary movie, perhaps less so after the election, because I feel a huge breath of relief, but it's becoming very easy to hate. And what I love about the premise is that there is a righteousness. It's not a viral situation, not a contagion, it's a situation of a social disease. That we can road rage into murdering someone at any second. That it's a social epidemic is what attracted me. It's not a zombie movie. The people that kill the people can rationalize why they did it. That's what is scary about it."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Guillermo is a Fanboy at Heart

Check out this video from the new Hellboy 2 DVD - Guillermo working with Seth McFarlane. Proof that GDT is just a fanboy at heart.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Biting a Baby in Half

Our friends at TORN have provided us with a transcript of a chat with Anthony Moody, who recently had an extended interview with GDT. Moody mentions this fascinating story about Ofelia's encounter with the Pale Man:

By the way [GDT] also mentioned something really interesting which is when she goes into to see (and I forget the characters name) – the Monster with the eyes on his palm... [Sohaib: “Oh, the Pale Man]... Right! When she goes in to his lair and she takes the grape, he’d [Guillermo] originally wanted her to eat half the grape and then pull it back and show the other half of the grape in her hand and reveal that she had bitten a baby in half inside the grape.

So what do you think of this visual? For one, I regret that he wasn't able to put this visual in the film, be it budget constraints or simple choice. This is such an indelible image and something that I believe fits perfectly into how Pan's Labyrinth works as a film. 1) Guillermo wanted the film to convey a certain "uneasiness", especially in regards to the violence. This was his way to "put-off" viewers as to the violonce of the civil war. There was nothing glamorous about the deaths in this film. This image I think would inspire that same uneasiness. It would stay with you. 2) There is foreshadowing here, for sure - Ofelia's destiny is entwined with the fate of her little brother. Her choice to eat the grape against the rules, to rebel, signifies the power that she holds. But is the baby her brother? I don't think so. I see it more as a forecast for her own death.

What do you think?