Thursday, 18 September 2008

Me Go Mental!!!

Ok, so obviously if I'm posting, I'm actually doing something else and this is just killing time. Yet again I'm updating my MP3 player. I know those with Ipods don't feel the need to change over because you can fit everything onto 1 ipod, but me I restrict myself to 1 or 4 GB. 1 in this case because I'M OFF TO NEW YORK. To cut a long story short, old mp3 player needs to be left behind at brothers house, needs better music.

So yeah, I'm off to New York on Saturday. And, as with everything I do, its all coming to its crashing crescendo. At least planning wise. Got to pack. Got to...well that was it really, but people kept ringing me and I had to finish of some title pages for my brother and his scripts. It all went a bit mad for a minute, and now I'm calming down by uploading my music.

When I return I'll get back into the blog a bit more, and the reasons behind it. Ranting and raving and Congo. Reviewing things here and there. And about writing, especially as I have to catch up on a project I thought had died.

For now I'm going "On the town, New York." and other On The Town musical numbers.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Too angry to post...

I'm going to watch Ghostbusters...
...segway into I watched an episode of The REAL Ghostbusters about Cthulhu being summoned. You can find it on YouTueb I think. Very strange seeign a kids cartoon featuring the Necronimicon, and Shoggoths. But very cool, especially summoning Cthulhu at Coney Island. Granted no one dies of fright, and they electrocute Cthuhlu to death, but I suppose its fari enough. That's now my second favourite episode. The first being one that is very simialr to the film. Can't remember the title but there's lots of "It's been nice working with you guys" and "Tonight the world ends" kind of stuff. Again, a bit more adult for a kids show...
... and on that note..I'm off.

Friday, 12 September 2008

This is me bascially moaning...

So I know I'm going to sound ungrateful, but its really the timing of the whole thing that's annoying me.

Let's backtrack a little...

I had this idea for a script ages ago, previously mentioned (or unmentioned for copyright reasons) on here and its been in my head ever since. Only recently its found its way to the surface. In the meantime though I've co-written a project with my brother Chris (what writes at midnight) and then was pointed in the direction of a shorter writing project, that needed a brief synopsis. So I threw something together (that took a little more effort than I've given credit) and sent the email. And that was that. My schedule was free to work on my own script.

Now the way I seem to work is to think. I think a lot. Way too much. Often over thinking on the simplest of subjects. Even down to what film I want to watch, which normally results in the time ticking away until I only have enough time to watch a 7 minute Looney Tunes cartoon. Anyway, as I said, I'd finally reached a point for the script where I could begin writing things down, when along comes the co-written project needing a quick rewrite and outline (which I am happy to do). Not only that but I get a reply from the shorts people saying they are interested but its taking a little longer than planned. So now, I'm about to put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, and then my own project gets thrown back on the shelf as now I have to finish off the other projects. Now I like doing this writing gig, bu I kind of have a one track mind. I can only focuss on one thing. So the three projects all line up. The other thing that I have noticed abotu writing or filmmaking is that its enjoyable when you have things to do, and really really depressing when you've got nothing. You feel like you should be doing something, but there's nothing to work on. In this case I'd finally got over this depression period, getting back into writing when a load of other stuff comes back my way, things I thought were either complete or forgotton. I only really complain because taking on three projects means the out of ideas depression is really going to be bad after it. Plus I seem to have lmiited time at the moment. Throw in having to go to work, a couple of personal things coming up, including a trip to New York, and the annoyance of extortionate train prices and my head is ready to explode.

As I said at the start, I think way too much.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Two in one evening...

So I could have just edited the original but I thought it best to post a whole It also isn't really the same evening as it is now 3 in the morning.

To pick up where I last left you I've just seen The Strangers. Now the confusing thing here is, despite what other people have told me, it is strikingly similar to Them. Granted there are slight differences between the two, but on the face of it they are one in the same. Even the reasons for the terrorizing is the same. I've been told that the writer-director Bryan Bertino stated he hasn't seen the french film, and that this film was conceived completely independently. Now I'm not saying he's made that up, but the similarities between the two films are there. Go see the film (on DVD though, it's not worth the ticket price) and then watch Them and you will count the differences on one hand.

I suppose with this though you could say, for example, that all zombie films are the same as they all feature zombies. All slasher films are the same. And I guess you'd be right. It's about the journey, but Them had a better ending. The design and music used in The Strangers was good as well as the choices in masks for the intruders. It did have the feel of an older film such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the early Wes Craven films.

In short, had I seen this before Them I most likely would have said that Them was ripping off The Strangers. Its kind of like Dante's Peak and Volcano, Armageddon and Deep Impact, The Illusionist and The Prestige. One is always better than the other. Even Congo had its rival in Primal Force; and that wasn't as good as Congo despite killer baboons and Ron Perlman.

In other news concerning my recent trip to the cinema. I was impressed that Disaster Movie (again I will now have to wash my mouth out) had no reaction from the audience. Not a single laugh. Hopefully this is a sign that the makers of these excuses for spoofs will now just STOP.

In other trailer news, Death Race, the remake of the Roger Corman produced 1975 Death Race 2000, actually looks quite good. Now I am a sucker for explosions and the like, and despite his questionable accents Jason Statham is watchable, and it even has Lovejoy in it. But i think most of all the draw is in the trailer itself. This trailer just looks cool. There was a time when trailers used to be exciting. Nowadays, in most cases, they've just become lazy, showcasing the coming movie, not caring how many twists are given away. But with Death Race, it serves its purpose. The trailer makes me want to go and see this film.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Burning once again...

If I'm not careful this is going to become a habit. I'm once again burning music for my MP3 player, mainly CDs I've just bought this time, which I hate doing cause I'd like to listen to the actual CD before the MP3, but at the moment I'm just not doing enough writing to get through all these CDs.

Special mentions today go to Along Came A Spider by Alice Cooper. This is a cool record. A lot better than his last outing Dirty Diamonds. With this one, Alice Cooper has returned to the concept album, which in this case is the diary of 'The Spider', a serial killer. Its good old dark and twisted stuff, just where Alice belongs.

Another album of interest, Deep Blue: Chaos from Darkism by Balzac, a Japanese punk band inspired by The Misfits. I came across this band from The Misfits website, they recorded a split single with each other entitled The Day The Earth Caught on Fire. As with the few Japanese bands I listen to I have now idea what they are singing, unless its in English, but you can't help singing along, especially with all the whoa's. Good stuff.

The rest is the usual stuff from within my CD collection, but I'll leave this short review with She & Him. This is the work of M Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel. Each track is different so I can't really label it nicely.

I can't really review music, mainly because it's all subjective. Even more so than films. So these CD reviews end here. This blog has basically turned into a massive mess of me talking rubbish. So to bring it back someway back on track, using notes from the last update.

Why are all the best horror films of recent years foreign. Naturally we have to excuse the British film industry as horror does not mean romantic comedies or period pieces with Keira Knightly. But even American horror isn't good. Their problem is they seem too hung up on wither gore or slasher films. Granted the main reason to see a slasher film is the gore but I'm separating the two.
Gore wise they continue to churn out Saw films. Now in the grand scene of things, the original Saw was a low budget, clever film. Yes it had the nasty elements but when I originally saw (ha ha ha) it I would never have thought a sequel would be made. And as usual the Law of Diminishing Returns prevails. Although they do have nice touches by the ends of each sequel, the bulk is mainly more of the same.
Slasher wise, Hatchet was an attempt to revive the horror icon. I think they were intending to start some kind of franchise but it just wasn't very good. The only English language film in recent years I can remember actually scaring me was Fragile, and that was directed by the Spanish Jaume Balagueró, and his films continue to be freaky. Take [REC] for example. This film also had its scary moments, and guess what. Hollywood has remade it, and I can easily predict, people will go in droves to see it, and it wont be as good as its Spanish original.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to cut this short, despite really combining two entries into one. I think I'm off to see The Strangers, which despite what people tell me, looks exactly like French film Them (Ils). I have tried to remain open minded about this but I think I'm going to need some convincing.

By the way, this was all brought on by The Orphanage. Not as jam packed with scares as expected, but due to subject matter and the odd creepy moment has convinced me that if I ever need a good scare again, I'll need my reading glasses.

Monday, 1 September 2008

I know, there's a problem with your face.

So its the first of a new month. I haven't been updating this thing (and as I've yet to truly embrace "the blog" it will be know as "thing") This isn't to say I've had nothing to write, I've got plenty I want to get off my chest, but I just don't have the time. And that's not the time to write, more that when I feel a rant coming on I'm either nowhere near a PC, or nowhere near a powered up PC. And there's the time thing. I can't be bothered wasting time booting up a PC to then spend ever so long rant and raving about something or other. But now, after neglecting this "thing" for so long, I've decided to make a special, albeit disjointed, entry. As old Jack always says...what the hell.

Big Trouble in Little China. Now this film is great, a classic. I can remember staying up to watch this one night when I was in Primary school, say around age 9 -11, and discussing it at great length in the playground the next day. Even watching it today, there are still parts of it and lines I never really picked up on before. This brings me to an age old rant. How come they just don't make films like this anymore. And it covers everything. Even the old '80s horror films that picked up on video. Their equivalent to day is of a far less quality. The straight to DVD market, although gems can be found, is generally dreadful. The output of Full Moon picture with the Puppet Master films, and the films of Stuart Gordon in the '80s are still watchable today. Unlike the crap Full Moon churns out now. But I'm drifting from my point. Big Trouble, from what I read, didn't open to great success. But it still opened, and John Carpenter continued making films. So why all of a sudden have we stopped seeing this kind of film these days. Its the same with the adventure film, Which Big Trouble also kind of is. Indiana Jones existed before Big Trouble, and Romancing the Stone, and King Solomons Mines. Yet today we have The Mummy, originally a remake, and now an Indy style knock off. And National Treasure. And that's it. Where's the rest of the average Joe getting tied up in an adventure. That's whats missing from cinema. We go in, buy the tickets, buy the popcorn and sweets and drinks to consume noisily (another ongoing hate fuelled rant that one is) and we watch, and we do only watch, some guy have an adventure. Although these days the guy is either super powered, or based on a 1930's counterpart, updated "for the kids". Now I'm not saying I don't go to these films. I do, and I mostly enjoy them, but watching Big Trouble again has made me realise that you kind of relate to Jack Burton. He's just a guy trying to get his winnings from his old pal and gets dragged into the ancient Chinese sorcery. He doesn't even get the girl at the end. He could have, but he doesn't because he has a life outside of the film. He can't just shack up with Kim Cattrall. He's got his job. He's caught up with his buddy, now its time to get back to reality, back to the 9 to 5. Just like us when we leave the cinema or turn off the DVD.

Real life heroes. That's what I want to see more of. Actually I'd like to see more of Jack Burton. I don't mind if they made a sequel to Big Trouble. I'm sure it would go down well now the films has DVD success. And why can't we catch up with ol' Jack. What scrapes does he find himself in further down the road. It's either this, or Hollywood will remake it. Just like they're remaking Robocop. Now why the hell are they doing that. To reboot the franchise. To update it for the kids. To give them a chance to see it, having not grown up with it. Hey Hollywood, I didn't grow up in the 1940's but I still think Abbott & Costello are ace. Or are you going to start remaking those now. Why else can you get all this stuff on DVD, why else have 5 million TV channels. If you haven't seen Robocop go out and rent a copy. Hell, buy a copy. It's that good. All remaking these films is going to do is piss off a lot of people with a load of CGI crap, that no matter how many times your tell me how good it looks, it never really does. I'm sure these guys cry themselves to sleep with all the lies they've told about how amazing there CG looks. They did convince Mr Lucas though. So they should cry, blame them for Jar Jar, among many other randomly flying creatures. CG does work sometimes. Buildings and backgrounds for example. But really, just build the thing, you can touch up with CG later, but at least have something. Especially if a real life person has to touch it. Common sense people.

After a major digression I'll wrap this up. Big Trouble in Little China is a great film. Better than Congo I'd say, definitely. This is what I want to see more of. More average guys taking on the world, and by average guys I don't mean teenagers. Or thirty year olds pretending to be teenagers. Just an average guy. Like you. Or me.

Look out for future blogs:

Neil Marshal: The next John Carpenter? and Why are all the best new Horror films foreign.

(Please note I have neither a problem with subtitles or foreigners. It's just a truthful observation.)