Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nothing is as it seemed...

Hopefully you are secure enough in your adulthood that you'll allow me to drop a bomb on your childhood.

Remember Super Mario Bros 2 for NES? Well then, surely you'll fondly remember throwing turnips at snakes jumping out of ancient urns. On the flip side, you'll probably remember how freaking weird that was... turnips?! The game definitely stretched plumber tropes way beyond your puny 1988 imagination.

Here's why... Mario Bros 2 is really Doki Doki Panic! Check it out:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Trailer Park: Where the Wild Things Are

Just in case you haven't watched this yet, watch it. [high quality or YouTube].

It's nice to have a movie on the horizon to get excited about. October 16 2009 - circle your calendars.

Apparently it's been in different stages of filming since 2006 and was originally supposed to come out in May 2008. Leading up to that Maurice Sendak personally approached Spike Jonze to direct before sometime before 2000.

Another interesting rumor is that co-screenwriter Dave Eggers is also writing a novel[ization] that will accompany the release of the film.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Perfunctory Movie Review: One Week

I'll begin by stating that Michael McGowan's Canadian road trip flick (starring Joshua Jackson) is hardly a movie at all. Un-cinematic to the point of stasis, One Week is more of a slide show put to music. A slide show put to music, narrated by a self-centered bore.

Not to imply that there's any inherent crime with that. I once put on a slide show with my friend of my trip through Tunisia. It was set to Destroyer. The thing is, it lasted all of 8minutes and we didn't charge admission.

Another key distinguishing characteristic of McGowan's slideshow is its ridiculous surfeit of overstretched patriotic/nationalistic images and stereotypes. I'm all for localization - the denial of which is typical of too many Canadian films - but this film takes it overboard. Seriously, we can do better than the Stanley Cup, cottage docks, and lovable Newfies.

To be fair, the film is cut and shot very nicely. And there are a couple cool enough musical cameos to grab your attention intermittently - Emm Gryner sings the timeless Un Canadien Errant (made famous by Leondard Cohen amongst others) and Joel Plaskett does a pretty rad version of his own A Million Dollars.

And if you haven't seen this advertisement yet, I think One Week has to be the first movie that sold the movie using pull-quotes from Twitter users.

That's definitely better than making up a fake reviewer, and it probably rates higher in my book than quoting hackneyed local affiliate critics or Larry King.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let The Right Subtitles In!

Ever watch a subtitled movie on DVD that you already saw in the theater and find it a bit of a different experience?

Well, it's not just the absence of a sticky floor. It is not uncommon that the subtitle track is considerably different from the one on the film print. I don't know why this happens, but it happens often and it can really diminish the subtlety and complexity of a movie's dialogue (I won't even get into the fact of the unreliability of translation in the 1st place).

To this effect, Icons of Fright have compared the subtitles of the Swedish vampire-romance film Let The Right One In. And seems the subtitles have suffered a substantial simplification from theater to home video. Check out the evidence of the crime here.

Both AVClub and Rotten Tomatoes are carrying this story and it just goes to show that thanks to the Internet, it's getting harder to get away these kind of cross-cultural mistakes/omissions/distortions/transgressions in film. Thanks be to the web. Now hopefully the DVD distributor retracts and corrects - something that would never have happened 10 years ago.

UPDATE!! Looks like the DVD distributor is going to reissue with the film with the original subtitles. Victory!

Happy Birthday Gloria Steinem

Read her very long wiki page.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pontypool Changes Everything

See this movie:

Probably the most surprisingly intelligent thriller I've seen in ages. Now I'm pumped to read the book it's adapted from.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Periodic Table of Fonts

Use it. Memorize it. Save it to your desktop. [click to enlarge]

What?! No Curlz? No Bradley Hand? No Papyrus? Yes. Use those and you shall be hunted down by the font police.

Table brought to you by Squidspot. Post brought to you by instantfundas. Blog brought to you by Garamond [G6].

Monday, March 09, 2009

Saturday Morning Watchmen

Can't bring yourself to watch nearly 3 hours of angst-ridden super heroes?

Miss the days of happy-go-lucky men in tights?

This one's for you. Watch out!

Instant Coffee/Everlasting Love

Remember the Gold Blend couple?

Featured in a series of commercials from 1987 to 1992 for Nescafé (or Taster's Choice in N. America), the couple was caught in a cat and mouse game of instant coffee drinking and upper-class romantic liaisons.

Over-the-top and truly hilarious, check out a compilation of all the ads:

If you want more, you can always track down a copy of the novelization, Love Over Gold, the 1993 literary adaptation/extrapolation of the couple's exploits. Yes! It exists and you can get it for a penny over at Amazon.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Watchmen Continues a Legacy of Leather

Watchmen debuts in theaters today, and it seems everybody is talking about how slavishly Zack Snyder has translated the comics to film.

I haven't seen it yet, and I'm sure the movie will fall short and/or verge away from the Watchmen comics in many ways, but I've already noticed an interesting difference: Silk Spectre's costume.

Seems Laurie Juspeczyk's flowing linen has been traded in for a tight latex number.

Of course, this seems like an inevitable decision considering the prominence of the leather/latex clad action heroine in the last decade or so.

The skin tight ensemble is the only option for the contemporary super lady. Starting as far back as Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman in 1989, it's been the go-to look for combining toughness and sexiness. It could be traced back even further to 1915 with Musidora as Irma Vep in "Les Vampires".

It doesn't get much more "to-be-looked-at-ified" than this. Encouraging a voyeuristic and fetishistic audience reaction, the skin-tight pleather/leather/latex clad action-heroine demands the gaze be glued to the screen.

To get an idea of just how prevalent this is lately, I prepared a sample continuum. Let me know what I'm missing [please click to enlarge:

Update: How did I forget Trinity?!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Tron + Daft Punk = Cyber Heaven

Yes, they are making Tron 2. Yes, Daft Punk is scoring the film.

It's such a fit that it feels like it already happened. Even the youtubes were all over it a year ago: