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Posts About "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • July 8, 2011 11:14 AM
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Before "Project Nim" There Was "Project X"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • July 7, 2011 10:33 AM
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  • 3 Comments
James Marsh's new documentary, "Project Nim," is based on a true story. So is the 1987 feature "Project X." But in spite of their similarity in plot -- a chimpanzee is taught American sign language as part of a university study and then later winds up in a horrible government testing facility -- their origins are not common. I'll get to their respective source materials in a moment, but first I'll admit to being reminded of the 24-year-old Matthew Broderick vehicle while watching "Nim." It had been a long time since I'd seen "X," though, so I revisited the movie this week on the eve of the doc's release. The differences came through far more remarkably than its parallels. And those differences are interesting enough to think about from the perspective of someone who loved the feature as a kid and now loves the doc, because it's actually quite difficult to be a fan of both.
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Why Did Michael Bay Recycle "The Island" Footage for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • July 5, 2011 2:32 AM
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As we headed into the holiday weekend, I caught the video proving that "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" recycles two shots from "The Island." I was stunned that Michael Bay, who directed both movies, had the nerve to cheat us this way, even if the reused material is only about 1/2000th of the whole. Did he assume so few people had seen "The Island" it would pass unnoticed? Many people quickly joked how fitting this discovery is, given that -- as we saw with College Humor's recent one-minute summation of all of Bay's movies -- the blockbuster auteur is always repeating himself anyway. And it's nothing new to point out his consistency (with, say, a montage of his use of shots rotating around the hero) or his other known instance of reprocessed material (the aircraft carrier that appears in both "Pearl Harbor" and the first "Transformers"). Plus, if Disney can get away with something very similar in its animated classics (watch below), surely it's nothing for someone of lesser artistic prestige to recycle.
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"Footloose" and the Nanny State

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • June 22, 2011 6:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Many people are noting how unnecessarily faithful the new "Footloose" remake is to the 1984 original, based on the trailer released yesterday (watch it after the jump). But as we saw recently with "Let Me In," near-shot-for-shot remakes are not exactly redundantly without purpose. The film may not change much, but the audience has, or in the case of that "Let the Right One In" redo, a change in geographical context brings new meaning to the story. With "Footloose" it's more a temporal than physical, international shift. But couldn't we just watch the old "Footloose" through today's eyes? Yes, though it's not as directly relevant to apply today's issues to a 27-year-old film.
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"Super 8," "Let Me In" and "Attack the Block" - Revisiting '80s Monsters for Today's Contexts?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • June 20, 2011 5:08 AM
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"Super 8" opens on a safety scoreboard sign ("Days Since Last Accident: _____") at a steel plant, the number being changed to reflect a recent casualty. As we're reminded immediately, via the television, two months later the Three Mile Island accident occurred. And then a couple more months brings us to the film's primary narrative as an Air Force-owned train derails and unleashes a monster into that small Ohio town where the steelworker was killed. Bad things come in threes, of course, though the people of Lillian, OH, would not have experienced any of the problems of the Three Mile Island meltdown, which happened at least 200 miles away in central Pennsylvania. Instead this trio of accidents are layers rather than a grouping. The train derailment, with its subsequent military occupation and evacuation of Lillian, is a parallel for the nuclear plant disaster, while the steel mill figures in as both a lesser (in scope) and greater (in terms of immediate and personal life loss) correspondent. The message of the film: it's not others we have to fear; it's our own domestic misfortunes that will do us in first. Oh, and the literally stated: "bad things happen (shrug)."
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10 Worst Honeymoons in Film

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • June 13, 2011 2:05 AM
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This week I will be on my honeymoon. I'm trusting Daniel to fill-in with some content this week, but it might be relatively light posting for a few days. To kick off the week, I figured I'd share an appropriate list I compiled a while back for my wedding's website. I guess it was a little gloomy for the venue, but it's so much easier to find bad honeymoons than good ones in the movies. They make for better stories, I guess. Still, I hope my own is drama free, as well as bomb free, murder free, and lacking in all the following bad times.
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On DVD: "The Wild Hunt" Entertains, Disturbs, and Will Have You Begging for More

  • By Daniel Walber
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  • June 10, 2011 4:08 AM
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“The Wild Hunt” is a film so creatively conceived and hauntingly executed it will stick with you long after the first viewing. I caught it on the big screen over a year ago in Canada and have been waiting for a good opportunity to share it with American friends ever since. The film is available on DVD starting this week and I’m back in the US, so it seems a good a time as ever to rave. It’s also an oddly appropriate week to bring up “The Wild Hunt” due to the opening of “Trollhunter” in theaters. They’re both wildly entertaining and oddly compelling mash-ups of a number of different genres, unexpected thriller/comedies with singularly inventive narratives. While you’re waiting for the Norwegian “monster” movie to open in your city, check out “The Wild Hunt” on home video.

"Queen of the Sun" is a Fun Way to Introduce Yourself to the Issue of Colony Collapse Disorder

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • June 9, 2011 3:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
You know how competing biopics and asteroid flicks can be a pain for the producers involved? It must be even worse for documentary filmmakers working on the exact same subject or issue, especially if their points are for the most part the same. While you might prefer Toby Jones' portrayal of Truman Capote, even if seeing it after Phillip Seymour Hoffman's, or enjoy "Armageddon" more than its immediate predecessor, "Deep Impact," with docs you're rarely going to even bother with another film warning and informing about honeybees and colony collapse disorder if you've already seen one, let alone two. Taggart Siegel's "Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is the latest of these bee movies, of which I feel I've seen so many I can't keep track. But if you haven't yet seen any of them, this is a fun one to make your first, and maybe only.
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"League of X-Men" Mash-Up Recalls a Major Disappointment, Begs for a Reboot

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • May 31, 2011 3:31 AM
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Remember how disappointing the film adaptation of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" was? In addition to not doing justice to the brilliant concept of the comic books series by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, it is also the movie that made Sean Connery quit the business, having realized he had no radar for crap anymore. He had taken on the role of Alan Quatermain in this tale of an early super-group comprised of 19th century literary characters (including Captain Nemo, Mina Harker and Dorian Gray) after admittedly declining the part of Gandalf for the "Lord of the Rings" movies because he didn't understand them. That role of course went to Ian McKellan, who also played Magneto in "X-Men," and now here is a mash-up trailer that puts Connery in the part of Magneto for an alternate version of the new prequel "X-Men: First Class."

Spout About: "The Muppets" Back in Action; Summer Movie Trivia; "Star Wars" Meets "Withnail & I"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • May 27, 2011 4:23 AM
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Spout About is a daily look at what people are discussing related to the films currently in theaters and the classics we're still talking about. Have another topic worth addressing? Let us know.
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