proyas_broods

Last week, we asked /Film readers to provide questions for a special question and answer blog with director Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow, I, Robot, Knowing). We sent Alex the submissions, and he has personally picked nine of the questions to respond to. Read the answers below.

1. TerrenceV: “Mr. Proyas when you are developing the visual style of your films with the various camera angles, framings, and lighting do you storyboard heavily with your cinematographer so that you reach your vision, or do you find that you improvise more? Are your visual choices pretty instinctual?”

I do storyboard, but not with my DP – these days I usually throw away the boards on the set and go for something more spontaneous. My choices are in fact based mostly on instinct – but every scene in a movie is different and requires a different approach so some are more structured than others.

2. JordanFRAV: “Alex, in one of your last posts, you spoke about the influence the film and the William Blatty novel ‘The Exorcist’ had on you as an aspiring film-maker, I was just wondering if you had considered creating a ‘supernatural horror’ or a film in the ‘horror’ genre in the foreseeable future?”

Yes I’d like to do a horror movie as many of my films have elements of “horror” in them. I’m working on a script based on a Heinlein story, THE UNPLEASANT PROFESSION OF JONATHAN HOAG, which I see as a horror movie.

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proyas_broods

There’s a whole lot of Alex Proyas around the web at the moment, what with the imminent release of Knowing. Of course, Mr. Proyas himself is blogging here on /Film, which gives him a direct route to you, like a syringe to your brain, but he’s also being quoted here, there and everywhere. Some fascinating possibilities are being dug up, as well as the odd BIG RED SIGN of priceless advice for all filmmakers, up and coming or otherwise.

MTV are quoting Proyas on the matter of a Dark City sequel, and Chud have the dirt on why Proyas will never work with Fox again. Jump over the fold for the good stuff.

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Revisiting Dark City

Editor’s Note: You probably know Alex Proyas as the director of films like The Crow, Dark City, Garage Days, I Robot and Knowing, but for the next couple weeks the filmmaker has agreed to become a guest blogger on /Film. Proyas will be blogging a couple times a week, talking about his inspirations, the state of sci-fi cinema, Dark City, and his upcoming film Knowing.

dark city

Peter asked if I wouldn’t mind re-visiting Dark City. It has been over 10 years since I completed the film, though the recent director’s cut was an interesting process to go through. It was fascinating going back and watching the old cuts of the film before they were “tweaked” to satisfy test audiences and studio pressure. I was surprised to see a much more confident and satisfying film before it was compromised.

Although we have made huge leaps and bounds in terms of technology and visual effects, I think the reason why this film seems to hold up today is because of its ideas. I think it resonates even more so today than it did all those years ago.

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In this epic-long episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, and Adam are joined by Dan Trachtenberg from the Totally Rad Show and together they question if Ben Stiller is ready to take on a courtroom drama, debate the effectiveness of the MPAA’s ratings board, and delve into a review of Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In. Alex Billington from Firstshowing.net also joins in to discuss Trick ‘r Treat, an upcoming horror film.

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next next week as we review Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

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This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

The Good

HAROLD & KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Editions)
From White Castle to Guantanamo Bay, Harold & Kumar’s adventures have grown just a tad more ridiculous since the last time we saw them. The clever balance of high brow/low brow gags and biting racial commentary are intact though, and those two things (along with John Cho’s and Kal Penn’s engaging performances) help immensely in making this one of the funnier and more respectable comedies of the past year.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The two disc edition includes two commentaries, 27 additional scenes, a short documentary, and an interactive feature where you can alter the course of the film.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Three Mini Posters
Where? Best Buy

SHINE A LIGHT
Directed by Martin Scorsese, this documentary gives an up close and personal look at the rock and roll band The Rolling Stones as they deliver two 2006 performances that took place during their A Bigger Bang tour. This should be a no brainer: if the concept sounds appealing to you, you’ll like it, and if it doesn’t, you won’t.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Four extra songs.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $19.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Save $9 when you buy both DVD and soundtrack.
Where? Best Buy

WARGAMES (25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
Perfectly balancing elements of humor and suspense, this classic ‘80s thriller starring Matthew Broderick takes an improbable premise (a teenage slacker inadvertently starts what could result in a Nuclear War by hacking into a Defense Department computer) and makes it work. An improvement in terms of extras, video, and audio, this DVD is a must buy for fans who haven’t yet gotten their hands on a copy.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: A commentary and four documentaries.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $9.99 $14.98 $9.99

DARK CITY (DIRECTOR’S CUT)
Alex Proyas received major acclaim for his work on The Crow, but one movie everyone seems to gloss over is Dark City, a truly fantastic sci-fi thriller. If you haven’t yet checked it out, here’s your chance, as the film is now being released as a director’s cut that runs 15 minutes longer and features improved special effects and a new sound mix. According to everything I’ve read so far, these things have taken a great film and made it even better.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Three commentary tracks, an intro by Alex Proyas, two featurettes, and more. Apparently the DVD also holds the theatrical cut of the film, but the only confirmation I’ve been able to find on that is for the Blu-ray version.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $14.99

The Bad

DOOMSDAY
While Neil Marshall brought back terror and suspense to the horror genre with The Descent, one of the best movies of the past few years, Doomsday has no intention of maintaining that sense of quality. Instead, it harkens back to various classic B-movies, paying homage to films like Mad Max and Escape from New York. This might’ve worked, too, but the film is far too uninteresting and derivative to engage you on the same level that those films did.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Both the unrated and theatrical cuts of the film, a commentary, and two featurettes.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $17.99 $19.99 $19.99

NEVER BACK DOWN
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Editions)
A perfect follow-up to the cinematic fart that was Step Up 2 The Streets, Never Back Down is equally inept in all the right ways, amounting to yet another hilarious and satisfying “Shit Movie of the Week” (which you can check out on this past week’s After Dark podcast episode).
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The single-disc edition will include a commentary and deleted/extended scenes. The two-disc will also include those things, plus both unrated and rated cuts of the film, training webisodes, and 2 featurettes.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $17.99 $15.99 $19.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? 3-Disc Edition with bonus disc ($22.99).
Where? Target

LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE
Having not yet seen this long-awaited sequel to The Lost Boys, it’s probably a little presumptuous of me to assume it sucks. So be it. If you had watched that trailer, you’d be presumptuous too.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Two featurettes (one of which is “Edgar Frog’s Guide to Coming Back Alive”), alternate endings, and four music videos.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $17.99 $19.99 $19.99

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
The Band’s Visit – Witchblade (The Complete Series) – Stargate: Continuum – WarGames: The Dead Code – Freakazoid (Season 1) – Beverly Hills, 90210 (Season 5) – The Hills (Season 3) – Inglorious Bastards (3-Disc Special Edition) – Law and Order: SVU (Season 7)

Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?

The Specials
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.


Exclusive: Deluxe Edition of The Hills (Season 3) with photo book and bonus footage disc ($29.99).

$18.99 – Heroes (Season 1), Battlestar Galactica (Season 2.5)
$9.99 – Northern Exposure (Season 1)


$4.99 – Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Clerks II, Super Troopers, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bottle Rocket, Go, and much more…

$12.99 – The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monster’s Inc, Toy Story (10th Anniversary Edition)


Exclusive: 50 free songs and 1 free audio book with purchase of The Hills (Season 3) ($26.99).

$3.99 – Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, The Punisher (Extended Cut), Lord of War (2-Disc Special Edition), Jarhead, The Player, The Mask, Brokeback Mountain, Friday Night Lights, Mad Max, Runaway Jury, Inside Man, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Unleashed, Doom, Bruce Almighty, Waiting, Cujo (20th Anniversary Edition), Cinderella Man, Bug, Accepted, Hoosiers, Bend it Like Beckham, Akeelah and the Bee, The Interpreter, Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), Dirty Dancing (20th Anniversary), and more…


$3.99 – Big Trouble in Little China, All the Right Moves, Cocoon, and more…

$4.99 – Man on Fire, Alien 3, Donnie Darko, Die Hard, and more…

$6.99 – The Full Monty (Fully Exposed Edition), The Hustler (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition), The Verdict (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition), The Passion of the Christ, All That Jazz (Music Edition), Napoleon Dynamite, X-Men 1.5, and more…

Dark City Director’s Cut

Dark City Director's Cut on DVD

Dark City BlurayWarner Home Video has announced that they will be releasing a director’s cut of Alex Proyas’ cult film Dark City on July 29th 2008 on both DVD and Blu-ray. The original 1998 release ran 96 minutes and the new director’s cut is about 15 minutes longer, clocking in at 111 minutes. The new cut supposedly has improved special effects and a new and improved sound mix.

Dark City has a huge cult following within film industry insiders and cinephile circles. Roger Ebert named Dark City the best film of 1998, and was even featured on the original dvd release in a commentary track, which is considered by some film enthusiasts to be one of the best DVD audio commentaries ever recorded. Ebert supposedly recorded a new audio commentary for the forthcoming release before his health problems.

The studio’s press information states that the new release also features two additional commentary tracks that “take you deeper than ever before into the world of one of sci-fis most exciting and revered tales.”  No other information is known at this time.

source: ropeofsilicon

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