ROBOCOP: THERE WILL BE…TROUBLE-FILMING REMAKE PROBLEMS

Across the internet now and as I saw, over on SciFiNow website report, the director of the ROBOCOP remake, Jose Padilha is experiencing some major issues surrounding the production shoot of this anticipated remake. The studio seems to be very difficult and controlling over scenes, cuts, direction and more which is driving Jose crazy as he just tries to make a remake that a cinema audience will enjoy.

Perhaps there might be a lot connected to the basis of the concept which is the cause of trouble for them-we have a science fiction movie using a cop, a futuristic cop. The movie has potential to be a statement about American police and law enforcement, a metaphor for today’s current law issues, the public’s view of police, corruption, law enforcement on the streets, corporate influence on law and police.

The film certainly could serve to focus on our trust in police, the ways police operate, and the political pressures on them and a number of other serious issues. It could again, like the original, directed by that master of mainstream yet clever and satirical action movies Paul Verhoeven be a platform to hint at many of these topic and socially relevant issues. Or it could be stripped down to being just an even more simplistic ultra-violent blood bath action popcorn flick.

If the director can work with the studio, and the numerous new cast members still being revealed and added, it should still be due in some way, shape or form around August next year.

And they still have to include ED-2O9 right?

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Cronenberg’s Videodome to be reborn

Is this idea simply absolutely wrong from the start? Really? Or could it become something like the present TOTAL RECALL reinvention?

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The new flesh will live again in Universal Pictures remake of David Cronenberg’s 1983 mind-warping thriller Videodrome.

Commercials helmer Adam Berg has been signed up to direct the Erhen Kruger scripted revamp. The original movie starred James Woods as a cable television programmer who is drawn into a mystery involving a pirate TV station seemingly featuring snuff movies.

The remake will ‘update’ the concept, turning it into more of a big budget action thriller featuring nanotech. Berg won the Film Grand Prix at the Cannes International Advertising Festival. Kruger has previously written the screenplays for Scream 3 (2000) and the Philip K. Dick inspired Impostor (2001), as well as two Transformers movies.

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BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER-BILL AND TED 3?

All over the internet about now, there reports of Keanu Reeves having spoken out about some of the plot ideas which may just be contributing toward what might be the very long awaited next BILL AND TED movie. With this I am well pleased.

But how long? It’s around over twenty years since the previous movie, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey hit cinema screens, almost totally unbelievable I know-I was just a little rock dude myself back then-and so could a new sequel really work and seem to continue where the last one finished?

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and sequel Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey were two very enjoyable dumb but great fun teen drop out comedy movies, where time travel took our dim-witted but very likeable duo off to all kinds of crazy places, meeting many famous historical figures, and even themselves in various ways with hilarious results. They created a number of iconic catchphrases, and unforgettable scenes fondly remembered.

But a question that has been around for a good few years now, increasing as time has passed, after the mega success of The Matrix trilogy for Keanu and well, not too much else for Alex Winter. Are the two lead actors just too old to be the iconic heavy headed rock dudes again?

It seems that Keanu thinks the new film would, as he has stated in the past, follow the duo as they have become older, worn out, and uninspired. But his new remarks suggest much better ideas that could be great, which actually sound more along the lines of the first movie, time travel back but with the quest element of the second. I so much hope that it will get the green light and help it needs to hit our screens, as it has been far too long without these two most excellent bodacious dudes around.

Party on, and be excellent to each other!

ZOMBIES BE FREE:ROMERO AND SEQUELS

I’ve been thinking back over the last few years and how the master of the living dead, George A Romero returned, at first to the cheers and wonder of all nerds and horror geeks worldwide, and then proceeded to put out a new series of zombie movies which divide and frustrate the many fans he has amassed over the decades since the initial genre mighty classic Night of the living dead.

I have still yet the watch Diary of the Living Dead (2008), though it sits in my room waiting to be seen. A few weeks ago I viewed the much criticized Survival of the Dead (2009) and I think I found it to be yes, fairly weaker than the previous two new zombie sequels of his, but I felt that it in some ways was gradually returning to a more simpler, basic approach, focusing on the smaller groups and quieter with still some lingering scenes of suspense and chills. It has it’s problems definitely, and is certainly not great, but I see an honest attempt from Romero to move on perhaps, and tell some different tale, but maybe he should have tried it without the zombies.

It would seem that the real big turning points over a decade ago now, were the movies 28 Days Later and then Shaun of the Dead, both from here in the UK, and the first Resident Evil movie. After those, the grounds were laid, audiences were freshly excited by the new post-modern revival of the well known stumbling and unstoppable monsters called Zombies.

Romero eventually returned, with the eagerly awaited Land of the Dead (2005), with much anticipation and nervousness from all interested, hoping to see a new masterpiece from the original master of zombie splatter movies. Land of the Dead, was a complicated beast, thematically difficult, brave, and darkly fearsome. At the time it had some relevant views on the Bush administration and class tensions to offer, and this maybe gave it too much from the returning film of Romero coupled with zombies after so long. Generally though, most people were very happy with this next installment in his zombie series.

While the gore master of social horror metaphors came back and gave us more, around him as the zombie trend and interest build and gathered pace, numerous other cheaper movies were released featuring zombies with usually terrible quality levels. The Resident Evil series of movies continued, though most over the age of fifteen would agree that those movies had brilliant visuals but absolutely lacked a decent script between them, after the first.

We have had dozens of bloody zombie movies, usually with the word Dead in the title, or Living, trying to desperately seem related to the films of Romero. It seems sad and a waste to see so many sloppy, bloody flicks offering zombie horrors to then just be another terrible no-budget, no-script pile of waste. If only Romero had gained the chance to finally direct and write his Resident Evil movie…

Here are some recent bizarrely named offering in the world of living dead: Bong of the Dead, Juan of the Dead, Caustic Zombies, Condition Dead, Colin-with something like two hundred pound budget, The Crazies Remake-scripted by Romero, The Living Corpse, Dawn of the Living Dead-so what they did there, Day of the Dead 2:Contagion, Day of the Dead 3:Epidemic, Dead Girl, Dead by Dawn, The Dead Undead, Dorm of the Dead, Enter the Zombie, Electric Zombies, Gay of the Dead, House of the Dead- from the reliably terrible director Uwe Boll.

We did eventually get the mega-budget latest version of the classic novel I am Legend starring Will Smith. Looking fantastic, while taming down the contaminated hoards-not actual zombies it was arguably the peak.

All usually greatly inspired by the first trilogy of classic Romero zombie films, and just about all of these cheap horror movies barely worth sitting through until the half way mark, just when will the this trend come to a fitting demise? In some way, yes the never ending zombie onslaught does seem to be gradually thinning out as other less explored sub-genres of horror are taken up and filmed.

But with George A Romero, will we get a last stunning masterpiece of zombie goodness to top all others once again? The dead don’t stay dead for long…

DAREDEVIL: DARE STUDIOS RETURN TO THE COMIC AGAIN?

I’ve been hearing, reading, seeing various information and news about the possible reboot/remake/reimagining of Marvel Comic’s Daredevil. Now, did any of you like or even really love the previous version, staring Mr Ben Affleck back from 2003 ?

I do remember of course, that actually very many people did not enjoy the film even disliked it many ways, and it gained a fair amount of criticism and was I think very unfairly written off too soon. Many joyously mocked Affleck, his crimson costume and little devil horns, but when I saw it, yes it might not have been as prominent in setting new standards like Raimi’s Spiderman or the first Blade movie over ten years back; but this was still a very good interpretation of a much admired and worthy title less known from the Marvel world.

You see, I think that the 2003 film did look really fantastic, visually it just about did match the comic book stylings very closely I thought. The area where it slipped, and where I am sure most fans likely were not all too happy, would be seeing that their beloved Daredevil was perhaps not very close to the regularly dark, gritty, realistic street urban chaos and danger from the comic. I agree that this did not make it over into the film, and there was probably very predictable reason for that-money, box office, etc.

So originally having 30 Days of Night director David Slade recently jump ship, now DD seems to have gained…Joe Carnahan, director of A-Team the movie. Hmmm.
Could that work at all? Better than 2003 version of DDevil? Really?

There is trouble between Fox studios,Marvel and other parties over rights to various characters related to and around Daredevil still which seems to be pulling things down into even more difficult troubles. If there is to be some kind of remake or new interpretation of the horned vigilante on the big screen, it really could be after some time and much navigated problems ahead. But…make mine Marvel.

THE WATCH:STILLER DOES SCI-FI FUNNY?

Who has seen the trailer for this nutty new movie THE WATCH, featuring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and then unexpectedly Richard Ayoade? It might turn out to be a very surprisingly fantastic over the top crazy sci-fi adventure flick, along the lines of recent SF comedy staring Simon Pegg, Paul. But is there a difficult mix of American and British comedy running through this bizarre new SF movie?

As it features Stiller and Vaughn, it does already bare similarities to previous movies of theirs, slapstick and dumb but hilarious visual comedy and one liners as seen in the likes of Zoolander, Starsky and Hutch, Wedding Crashers. Also entering to among these two champions of American modern comedy, we have one of the younger fine comedy sleaze princes-Jonah Hill. Star of modern legend dumbass teen movie Superbad, could have possibly become a little too serious lately, having lost a good deal of weight, though I don’t really wish to judge on image. But here he is again, the crazy, wild laughs could be back again.

But the real interesting element here, is the inclusion of UK’s Richard Ayoade. In Britain, he is now very well known and admired for his fantastic role as a super IT help nerd in TV comedy show The IT Crowd, but then has also more recent put out his own directorial film debut Submarine, which was actually a very surprisingly very dry, intelligent, profound and engaging, drama.

Now, it is fantastic and really great that I am guessing Stiller admired Ayoade and much Brit comedy and they became friends, similar to the exporting of Ricky Gervais previously. It is great that American audiences seem to really like some British comedy shows, often cult shows over here, even while the shows might seem possibly too specifically British to click with or understand fully, with references to Brit pop culture and jokes.

I do honestly hope that with Ayoade included in this very large Hollywood budget comedy sci-fi flick it will continue to merge international pop culture and respect and interest in US and UK stars and the talent from both countries.

Then also is it too soon after an film like the alien contact comedy Paul?

Well maybe big impressive SF comedies like this are simply a very good thing in general and they should just be appreciated even before we look too closely and pick them apart. Akiva Schaffer directs THE WATCH and will being the tough guys down on the intergalactic beings soon enough…

Personal Fiction…

Right now, the latest issue of KULTUR magazine for August is on sale, via the website. Having previously had two horror shorts featured in the previous two months, now this issue has the first part of a horror fiction short series I am writing for them, called ‘Alterna-Dead’. It centers around a group of youths with alternative lifestyle interests-music/fashion/art and a mysterious dark event takes place in the local building where they all meet up, their sanctuary and place of inspiration. All bloody hell will hunt them and use them if it can…

Follow the series now in KULTUR magazine-a great mag focusing on alternative music/fashion/art/fiction.