Saturday, 24 May 2008

Horror Talk.

Shutter, that horror film that deals with ghosts and whatnot, hit the cinemas a couple of weeks ago. It's another one of those Western remakes of an Asian horror film, because for some reason it is always decided that the Western audience ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO SEE THIS FILM! But in English. With white people in it. Anyway, the original Shutter was a Thai film, which pretty much proves that they (whoever 'they' may be) have broadened the term 'popular Asian horror film' to actually include movies outside of Japan.

Thank god? Well, not really. The original Shutter was about a photographer, who, after his girlfriend hit-and-runs, is haunted by the victim of the accident (who was actually his ex-girlfriend). Ghosts in photographs, vengeful spirits, etc. So given how closely most remakes follow the original film, you'd think it would be about the same thing, right? It is, sort of. Except for some reason, they decided to set the film in Japan and use the standard (or what has come to be the expectation of Japanese horror) ghost-girl-with-long-hair.

I'll be fair, I haven't seen the remake. I did see the original, which was disappointing especially since so many people told me it was one of the most frightening movies they had ever seen. But if I go to see a remake, haven't seen the original, was told it was a Thai film but get presented with Japanese horror archetypes, I'm going to have to recheck those facts. It's more than a little misleading. Incidentally, the Shutter remake was directed by Masayuki Ochiai, who is obviously Japanese.

I dislike remakes. I'm unkind about them in the sense that I don't see them as the movie industry trying to showcase the kinds of movies that other countries can put out. I see them more as 'You don't have your own ideas, so you're going to take the idea from a film from another country because only a few people in the Western realm would have heard about it'.

Take The Departed, for example. Very few people I've spoken to who have seen that film knew that it was actually a remake of Infernal Affairs, which, in my honest opinion, was far better. Infernal Affairs didn't rely on sex and swearing (and that much violence) as The Departed did so often. It's possibly one of the things that I will never be able to shut up about.

Anyway, saw [REC] at the Spanish Film Festival with Jordaan yesterday. The whole thing reminded me of a certain videogame, but I thought it was very well done. It certainly wasn't as corny as I thought it would be (and it gets a prize for making me go 'OH FUCK' at one point without using a jump scare!), but the ending wasn't as frightening as I was led to believe. It was well-filmed (haw haw) and well-acted too. But I guess it made me laugh a little too much, especially during the parts that were meant to be scary. [REC], I give you 8.5/10.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

DVD Fun #2: Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark

In honour of the new Indiana Jones film that just came out, I bring you DVD Fun #2.

"Join the ligendary hero Indiano Jones (Harrison FOrd of the reates screen adventures of all time now on DVD. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark has been meticulously restored and remastered frame-by-frame and features all-enveloping 5.1digital surround sond. Accompanide gby his feisth, independent ex-fiame Maria Ravenwood (Karen Allen), the two-fisted archaeologist embarks o a thrilling quest to locate the mystical Ark of the Convenant. Indy must discoverthe Ark before the Nazis do, and he has to survive poson, traps ,snakes and treachery to do so. Explore thedarkest ujngles of Soth America, the ustling marketplaces of Cairo, and a top-secret submarine base with Indiana Jones as your guide to adventure. And finally witnessthe power of the Lost Ark unleashed as Indy stays one step ahead of the Nazisn this classic rteasure on DVD."

Images later; this assignment is kicking my ass.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

DVD Fun #1: The Accidental Spy

Back with some actual content.

I have a family friend who has a massive box that is literally full of DVDs. Some are legit, but most (95%) of them are pirated. This box of DVDs is big enough for me to get excited about going over to their house. The first thing I do on arrival is run to the box and lift piles and piles of DVDs out, finding ones that I want to borrow. So the last time I went over, I borrowed The Accidental Spy, a Jackie Chan movie.

Or is it? Sure, it may star Jackie Chan, but "Produced by Jackle Chan"? I'm not sure I've ever heard of Jackle Chan! This calls for some Wikipedia!
Oh, what do you know, it's produced by JACKIE Chan. No problem, I'm sure it was a simple typo.

Not at all.

In case you didn't click the link above, it's a scan of the back cover of the DVD. And in case you didn't click the link above, I'm going to reproduce the blurb exactly as written-

"Own to strangely prepare to feel the ability from the small north of device sales man of do exercise to keep fitting of of, and hope earnestlies to one day become the matchless and super spy of extraordinarily brave.A certain, small north by dint of prepare to feel and nimble of hijacker that artistic skill, loot the bank to t here and then arrest, become the newspaper head's news person.It is an orphan that private detective know from the newspaper's report way inside the small north, and may be his a Korea customer dollar of lawyer for son for scattering m any years, taking the small north go toing seeing the positive dollar of .Under th e order abouting of curiosity, the small north decision go to Korea with lawyer t o look for the life experience's. When father and son meet one anothers it, the ol d father is already the date have no many, at time of death and before tell small the north have a pen a mint of money at Turkey, immediately the pass away."

AN OSCAR FOR STORYLINE. Not to mention that the Warner Brothers logo that appears about three times on the DVD packaging shouldn't even be there, because the movie was distributed by Golden Harvest in Hong Kong and by Dimension Films in the USA.

Then there are the credits, which seem to be for a film called To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday. I mean, I had no idea that this film, whose cover states that it was directed by Teddy Chan and stars Jackie Chan, Eric Tsang and Vivian Hsu, was actually directed by Michael Pressman and stars Peter Gallagher, Claire Danes and Michelle Pfeiffer. Whoops!

Another point I wish to make is the MPAA rating. You may be unable to see it due to the quality of my scanner (sorry!), but it says R: Vampire Violence. I haven't seen the film, but a quick gander on Wikipedia makes no allusions to any vampires being present in the movie (well, they mention a cross, but that's about as close as it gets). I checked out the page for To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, but that's not about vampires either. CRAZY!

You've really got to wonder though, how close the blurb matches up with the actual film. But somehow, with a description like that, I don't really feel like watching it any more.