Alexandre Aja’s Piranha Goes 3D

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We at /Film haven’t mentioned Alexandre Aja‘s 2009 remake of Piranha until now, but something about this project feels incredibly spot-on to me. As Mickey Knox would say with a deranged grin and a smack of his chewing gum: “It’s fate.” STYD has received word that the film will now be shown theatrically in 3D. Are we really going to be privy to reaching out and swatting away thousands of fresh water Jaws imitators chewing viciously at the knees of nubile, arrogant life guards? Even if you think the yo-yo scene in Friday the 13th Part III was a complete jip, and passed on Beowulf, how can you not want to see this?

Here’s a list of reasons to persuade you: 1) Aja’s High Tension had several beautifully intense, stylish, macabre and original scenes for a modern horror film, but he lost control of the film’s more serious tone. Piranhas are tone-deaf. 2) The release is July 24th, 2009, which is perfect. Summer camps, rope swings over the water, night swims et al. Tis the season of Jaws, tis the times of less adventurous, more localized family summering. And in these movie months of overcompensating comic book movies et al, Piranha already has a built-in old school charm we’ve long missed. More $200 million robot drama? Another movie based on toys? I want to watch a 3D movie where huge audiences continually scream and laugh at killer fish. 3) It’s a remake and while the 1978 Joe Danta/John Sayles original has its champions (and it’s worth a watch), c’mon, this is not sacrilege. This movie needs to be remade. This movie was made to be remade. 5) The log line: “In Lake Havasu, Arizona, a tremor causes the lake’s floor to open, setting free scores of prehistoric piranhas.” 6) Piranha-vision 7) Sharks finally get a vacation. 8) What a ticket-stub.

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A few days ago Rob Zombie was said to be up for the skull-and-horn adorned director’s chair on the 2009 Lionsgate tent-pole Conan. The plethora of dried blood and fur, swords, mating calls and battle cries that drenched my imagination when I heard this rumor was lovely. Zombie could do both the classic barbaric character and John Milius’s wild original film supreme justice. Of course, now we now know that Zombie’s next film will be Tyrannosaurus Rex, with word growing that it’s a hardcore flick about bikers, set for late summer 2009. No Conan for him.

Another name swirling in the rumor mill is Xavier Gens, who helmed the flashy video game flick Hitman. I do not want to see Gens’s $100 million Conan. He needs to sharpen his teeth hard on non-iconic material like Vanikoro first. The other name circulating right now is Neil Marshall, who batted a nice fanboy double with Dog Soldiers and the cave-horror crowd pleaser The Descent.

Marshall’s Mad Max-meets-cliche-apocalyptic-virus semi-epic Doomsday opens in March, and I’m sure its reception on the Net will play into his chances for the Conan gig. If the producers wish to wait that long. At 38 and with his career on the come up, we still haven’t seen Marshall’s biggest visions, but his work thus far has focused too much on the visceral and there’s a British B-movie filter at play that doesn’t work for me for this flick. What a Conan epic needs is a director who will not compromise at all, like Milius. You know that scene in Conan the Barbarian where Arnold is nailed to a cross, and suddenly his eyes explode and he rips into the neck of a lingering vulture with no-hands and keeps biting until it makes you shockingly hungry? I remember seeing that and going “Note to self, I have never and will never see that again in a movie.”

That’s what I feel Zombie would have brought (here come the “redneck profanity doesn’t belong in the Hyborian Age” quips.). To me this film is not about the action, it’s about the R-rating and the most gung-ho macho expression fathomable. If Marshall or Gens snags it, my attention automatically refocuses on Matthew Vaughn’s shoot-the-moon take on Thor.

Who do you want to bring Conan back?

Frank Miller’s The Spirit Getting Two Sequels?

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The word over at Superhero Hype is the Lionsgate has already negotiated with Frank Miller to direct two sequels to his Sin City-style green screen comic book caper The Spirit. If true, this would indicate tremendously sweet buzz on the project, as the main character, a detective who fakes his death to more vigilantly pursue the criminal element, and the property, created in 1940 by Will Eisner, have less name value than a Dick Tracy or Green Hornet. Comparisons to The Shadow are apt and we all know how that turned out for Alec Baldwin. And title star Gabriel Macht (The Good Shepherd, The Recruit) is less known and box-off tested than an actor like Christian Bale pre-Batman Begins.

But the supporting cast is cake: Sam Jackson as megalomanical villain The Octopus and then there’s the Playboy Mansion grotto-stocked bevy of foxes including Scarlet Johansson, Jaime King, Eva Mendes, Paz Vega, Stana Ketic and Sarah Paulson. Actually, those ladies are beyond Hef’s grotto; more like rsvps to the Fountain of Youth. But as you can see from the film’s teaser poster, Miller isn’t updating The Spirit’s Mad Men-like duds, with the fedora, tie and a domino mask (which personally, I think should always stay in comic books) are intact.

Keeping the new trend of genre fare in January sizzling (i.e. Cloverfield, Rambo), The Spirit opens on January 16, 2009, less than two months before Zack Snyder’s similarly risky-old school comic adaptation Watchmen. Lionsgate being so sure that Miller’s film will connect with a mass audience, enough so to propel two more films just surprises to me, not to come off negative. Is The Spirit on your must-see list for 2009 and can you see it being a smash hit?


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Residents of Middle-Earth should pop some Advil, as already-troubled New Line Cinema has been sued by the Tolkien estate, which seeks $150 million plus in damages in the mega-lawsuit. Peter Jackson‘s The Lord of the Rings trilogy did over $6 billion in world-wide receipts, but the estate claims that not a drop of gross profit participation has come its way. Moreover, the suit seeks further damages and, here’s the real killjoy, the right to take any other J.R.R. Tolkien works (i.e. The Hobbit films) elsewhere.

The estate released the following statement via its U.S. Counsel, Bonnie Eskenazi, practically writing the word “ludicrous” in the sky for all of the films’ and books’ fans to sigh at…

“New Line has brought new meaning to the phrase ‘creative accounting.’ I cannot imagine how on earth New Line will argue to a jury that these films could gross literally billions of dollars, and yet the creator’s heirs, who are entitled to a share of gross receipts, don’t get a penny.”

This huge “penny” hangs over last month’s once-optimistic news that fanboy favorite and Peter Jackson friend Guillermo del Toro was nearly a lock to direct both Hobbit flicks simultaneously. All of this after New Line and Peter Jackson settled their own notorious disagreement about boatloads of LOTR money back in December.

However, del Toro has more recently expressed doubt that the films are a sure thing, while playing up his multiple, rad spinning plates like Frankenstein, his H.P. Lovecraft pet project At the Mountains of Madness, and even Marvel’s Dr. Strange. What is going on over at New Line, I mean, really. This suit could not have come at a worse time, what with Business Week even suggesting that Warner Bros. fold the studio altogether.

Source Link: Variety

Roy Scheider dies at age 75

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Life has a very strange way of playing out. Most creative people will explain to you the law of threes. Stories, jokes, art, movies, everything happens in threes. And I’ve noticed the same thing in life. Things happen in threes. First there was Brad Renfro, than Heath Ledger, and now Roy Scheider is dead at age 75.

The actor best known for playing police chief Brody in Steven Spielberg’s JAWS died on Sunday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock a hospital. The cause of death has not been disclosed, but the actor was diagnosed with myeloma in 2004. In memory, let’s take a look at some of the popular films in Scheider’s 44 year history in the business:

  • Klute (1971) – Frank Ligourin
  • The French Connection (1971) – Det. Buddy Russo
  • Jaws (1975) – Police Chief Martin Brody
  • Marathon Man (1976) – Henry ‘Doc’ Levy
  • Sorcerer (1977) – Jackie Scanlon/”Juan Dominguez”
  • Jaws 2 (1978) – Police Chief Martin Brody
  • All That Jazz (1979) – Joe Gideon
  • Blue Thunder (1983) – Officer Frank Murphy
  • 2010 (1984) – Dr. Heywood Floyd
  • Naked Lunch (1991) – Doctor Benway
  • Romeo Is Bleeding (1993) – Don Falcone
  • The Rainmaker (1997) – Wilfred Keeley
  • The Punisher (2004) – Frank Castle Sr.

Scheider was nominated for two Academy Awards, one in 1972 for Best Supporting Actor in The French Connection, and another in 1980 for Best Actor in a Leading Role in All The Jazz.

Corey Haim Joins Lost Boys 2!!!

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Man-Thing No. 2, got it.”

Some of you are no doubt slumming it in the gutter of your manse’s bowling alley this weekend nursing a fifth of vodka and eternal questions, but right now the Monkees’ “Now I’m a Believer” is ringing in my ears like percussive cheese because: Corey Haim is filming his scenes for The Lost Boys 2! He’s in it to win it. Break out the peach trench coat and bring back the Giant Bedroom Swatch Watch! The photo above is happening again, and right now some dude is getting the image tattooed across his shoulders as a M.U.S.C.L.E. Man squeals on the sax on the beach. What happened to : The Tribe, you ask? It’s dead to me. The well-lit ’70s-era marquee in my head is a trend setter.

STYD reports that Haim has returned to his best character, Sam Emerson, and is now filming scenes for the film that were originally in the script. Director P.J. Pesce is filming the additional scenes, and co-star Corey Feldman is said to be involved, which means that the duo’s ongoing tension is not botching the reunion. Can you imagine a film where both Coreys appear but don’t share a scene like Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman? The world knows no such lows.

Corey Feldman dropped some foreshadowing, ruby-colored chum in the deep waters on his meta-blog, The Feldman Journal, a few days ago saying…

“I did my ADR for the film a couple of days ago and it looks really good all cut together. Rumor is circulating that we may be doing some additional photography for the film, assuming pick ups or scenes from the script that we didn’t initially get around to. Which to me is a very good sign, because the studio usually doesn’t bother if they don’t really likea film. So it seems your positive energy is working. I also got a chance to see some of the treatments for the comic book series and I can promise you it will help fill the gaps between films in a very cool way…..you will not be disappointed!!”

He additionally implied that The Lost Boys 2 is headed theatrical…

“I want to say that I have been shocked and overwhelmed with the movement that you all have created on behalf of LB2 going theatrical….it’s amazing how dedicated you guy’s are to the cause. Apparently there are several on-line petitions going on created by you the fans and they are really gathering momentum. I would like to thank each and every one of you who has taken the initiative to do this. It has been so overwhelming that last week we received phone calls from the studio asking if I was behind this.”

He went on to not mention Slash Film’s (Hunter’s) deep undercover involvement in this campaign. I’m giving it all I can, Captain. And filming for the second season of The Two Coreys is ongoing, which, in my opinion, is an amusing, genuine, and amazing marketing stunt for The Lost Boys 2, but don’t quote me in Blog Court.

Why does this film matter? Let me say this: After watching Rambo (10/10) and a few days later watching There Will Be Blood (10/10, um, I’m trying to review it) incredibly stoned, I want theatrical Nirvana in my lifetime. I want to sit on clouds and bask in colorful ’80s pulp dug up from amazingly confident dirt and given neon injections + I want to shiver in the glory of only-in-’07/’08 There Will Be Blood life-slap bug-outs. During my first visit to the DMV, I remember the smells, the instructors, the videos. I remember looking at my friend who passed when I didn’t (due to “negative attitude”), and I remember thinking W.W.C.H.D. I am able to drive an Audi because of Corey Haim. I want to watch him smile again with his mouth half-agape, eyebrows raised and the sound of a “Ahh, Ahh, aHah.” That sound/(emotion?) got me many a hot girl when I was too young. Warner Bros. better release this in theaters. That is nearly a threat.

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An image for Terry Gilliam‘s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has appeared online; actually, only half of the image, as the other half will apparently be conjoined on the film’s official site this weekend. A source close to the film purportedly told Quick Stop that the massive influx of web traffic caused its site to crash earlier today. I experienced this firsthand, though several friends on both coasts and outside America did not. The image, as is, is worth a look after the jump.

I remember the first images I came across early on for Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm, and they gave me a flop-type vibe. In contrast, this image and the set design, the detail, gives me an optimistic feeling. Might it be clicking after all? I particularly like the “Eye of Providence” at the top of the stage’s marquee, and the cardboard topiary is at once creepy, ethereal and believably makeshift. The mannequin-like display here, the druid-like illustrations, it’s all antique haunted house vibes via a nomadic-sage-stage. Gilliam’s vision feels cohesive in the construction. It’s just half a pic, though, obviously. Just my gut speaking. Hi gut. Your gut’s thoughts?

Whatever its are, this film’s marketing strategy seems to have taken out a different page compared to The Dark Knight; increasing its exposure online and keeping it consistent with the flood it received shortly after lead star Heath Ledger‘s untimely passing. It’s an indie affair, so I don’t find it tasteless, just curious. Will this film be good? Can it be?

View the image after the jump…

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“The voice is mine.”

Oooh, K.I.T.T. voice draaama! Friend of the world’s beaches and former Batman and Real Genius, Val Kilmer, has signed on to voice the smooth-computin’ automobile in the latest TV-reboot of Knight Rider for NBC and Universal. Will Kilmer’s K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Three Thousand) do a passable Elvis impersonation and fire a laser that pops a billion golden kernals? I don’t know wise guy, but I do know that actor Will Arnett (Arrested Development) is right bummed right now. Arnett had already finished recording all of his voice work for the rebooted show, which premieres in just two weeks, see? And before you swipe Kilmer’s jolly hand away as it attempts to steal Arnett’s gooey, delicious voice of K.I.T.T., know this: it isn’t Kilmer’s fault, see?

In one of the silliest signs of a world run amok in corporate Brawndo tie-ins, Arnett has done commercial voice work in the past for General Motors, and K.I.T.T., see, is a Ford Mustang. Kablowski! That invisible line in the industrial sandbox? Well, Arnett just crossed it. But he still had time to jump back over said line, cover his tracks and allow Kilmer to swing in using a vine made from his absolutely batshit resume to save the day and grab a nice payday (PayDay?).

“I was very excited at the prospect of playing the part of KITT in the new ‘Knight Rider’ movie,” Arnett said to Variety. “However, because of a long relationship with General Motors as the voice of GMC Trucks, I had to respectfully withdraw from the project.”

So, all is well. The two-hour Knight Rider TV-movie-slash-pilot will still air as scheduled on February 17th, 2008. In fact, now you’re probably going to watch it. Right?

Ha ha ha. Showbiz casting finesse, people. So natural is it to Kilmer that he should scribe a mantra-filled business tomb like Norman Podhoretz’s classic Making It. And the man also needs to introduce his own suntan lotion and popcorn with his mug on them a la Paul Newman. And maybe the tanning butter can be edible-slash-a-condiment. Did I mention that Kilmer also cut a country album with a cover that ripped off Nirvana’s font/’90s imagery? You can stream it here. It’s pretty good, pritty, pritty Kilmer. I sent the link to Peter a while ago, but he didn’t respond. He was biz.

Will you respond? How about writing a haiku to/about Val Kilmer in the comments? If you do it, I’ll do it, and then maybe Val will do it and we can make a movie about the global sensation and dance underwater with a talking car.

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