Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Jimmy Scripts and stuff...

Random post of randomness...

I finished the Jimmy Fight treatment at 2.15am yesterday morning. Had a day away from it, read it through today and it makes sense, just about. Now I'm waiting for feedback.

In other news I joined twitter. I don't like not knowing what things are. Now I know what it is. Lots of people have been asking why so many people joined twitter this past week. It's because Stephen Fry got stuck in a lift. Everyone, me included, is now twitter-stalking (twalking?) other celebrities in the hope that they also get stuck in lifts so we can follow the drama in real time. There are also lots of other writers on there finding new ways to procrastinate so it does make you feel better about not doing any work. Should you wish to follow me on twitter in case I get stuck in a lift I am here.

Someone has been reporting the more spiteful Ten Dead Men comments on imdb as they have slowly started to disappear (2 have disappeared in the last couple of days). I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think we're better off with them there. As I have always said, my main issue with the bad comments was that they were on there before the film had been released. So it was people downloading it illegally, watching ten minutes then trying to put people who might be legitimately interested off watching it. Now the film's been released and we have a healthy stock of well-written and overwhelmingly positive comments I'm not so bothered by the bad ones. Plus, if there are only positive comments on there all it does is provoke a reaction and add weight to the argument that the nice comments are part of some kind of conspiracy. I know I reported a couple of the initial comments myself, but as I said on here I regretted it afterwards. As far as I'm concerned, we were better off with the worst of the bad ones as well as the best of the good ones as it's a more balanced view.

Until we get more bad ones...then I'll be calling for them to be taken off again.

Some random thoughts from the last couple of days...

Neil Gaiman makes a good point about the genius of Henry Selick being mistaken for the genius of Tim Burton. Hopefully Coraline will redress the balance.

I finally watched Outpost which I enjoyed although it wasn't quite as good as I wanted it to be. That said, the practical effects are fantastic, it looks great throughout and when the undead Nazi's attack it's ace, but it takes a long time getting there. For some reason, I never really got on with the horror/war sub-genre. The Bunker was okay but took a long time to get going, Deathwatch I enjoyed but it's not amazing...R-Point is probably the best and even that I probably wouldn't sit through again. Actually, The Keep is a horror/war film and that's amazing, and I guess you could include Predator at a stretch...and maybe the segment of Heavy Metal where the plane crashes in the Bermuda triangle - that was good. So maybe it's not a completely useless sub-genre...I've just argued with myself and won.

There is also a tradition of Nazi zombie films but most of these are rubbish and not worth mentioning.

Other good things about Outpost - Richard Brake, who I recognised from Soul Searcher, was really good in it. There aren't many performers like him around these days and I think he has a great career as a character actor ahead of him. Brett Fancy who plays a Russian soldier is also worth a mention, in a name-dropping kind of way as he was in a play that Andrea produced in Brighton a few years ago.

But the main reason I wanted to see the film is that the director Steve Barker made what I regard as the greatest short film ever made, Sally Kerosene. Unfortunately that BFI link is the only thing I can find on it - it's not available on the net anywhere. I have a well worn VHS copy taped off Channel 4 from the good old days of The Shooting Gallery and if I didn't have that I might have trouble proving it even existed. Essentially, it's a British cyberpunk thriller that manages to be huge in scale and scope whilst never over-reaching it's meagre budget. And the title character is super cool.

So I'm really happy Barker is getting films made. I hope he has some of the success Neil Marshall has had, and I hope Outpost was his Dog Soldiers.

More rambling about films - Lucy wrote an excellent post about female stereotypes in films here which I wanted to mention partly because it's ace, but also because she makes an interesting point that roughly one in five of the scripts that she reads will be written by a woman. Interesting because the other day I was watching Stop-Loss which was okay, I enjoyed it but I wasn't particularly satisfied with the ending - I wanted it to make more of a big angry point, when it actually settled for a kind of 'this is how things are - how do you feel about that?' ending. Anyway, it was directed by Kimberley Peirce and I was watching one of the extras with her directing this really intense action scene from the beginning of the film. And there are all these soldiers and things exploding and she's there surrounded by big, tough-looking men and telling them all what to do. At first I thought that was really cool, that there's this woman filming a very masculine scene with a crew made up almost entirely of men and she made it work - the end result is fantastic. But there's something kind of sad about that, and about what Lucy said about writers too - that there aren't more women getting involved in filmmaking. I can mention a few directors - Kathryn Bigelow, Rachel Talalay, Allison Anders - and could probably list some more if I really thought about it. But the proportions don't seem to be changing anytime soon - not if the demographics of the various film courses I've done over the years are anything to go by. I'm not going to go on about it - it's not really my place and I'll end up saying something stupid, but I think it's a sad state of affairs.

On a lighter note, I took up the recommendation from a comment on one of my previous posts to watch my first Bollywood film and am now halfway through the 1978 version of Don. Enjoying it so far, particularly the bit where the title character shoots someone because he doesn't like his shoes, but it's about 5 hours long so having a break. Anyway, on the DVD I saw the trailer for this:

So for ages now people have been going on and on about how terrible it would be if Hollywood remade Oldboy, meanwhile there's what looks like a shot for shot Bollywood remake already out there. The difference is, I'd actually watch the Bollywood verson in the hope that they turn the hammer fight into a huge dance number, and maybe there will be a song about incest.


reelcitizen said...

First Charlie Brooker, now you're joining Twitter? Is no-one safe?!

As for Nazi horror war films, I think the Wolfenstein games have done it do death although they keep trying to emulate them. Have you seen the marketing campaign for that 4th Reich film on Facebook?

Was also wondering what happened to Antonia Bird? Ravenous is one of my favourite horror/war movies.

Chris Regan said...

I figured if people as cynical as Charlie Brooker and Richard Herring thought it was okay, then it must be okay. How does the mantra go in Freaks again?

I keep seeing that 4th Reich thing about but haven't properly looked at it yet.

I can't believe I missed out on such an obvious connection between the two random points! I completely agree - Ravenous is an excellent horror/war film and Antonia Bird is an excellent director. Looking on imdb she spent a few years working in TV after Ravenous, but has a new film in pre-production.

FILMNUT1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FILMNUT1 said...

The original Don is OK. Sholay is better. That's the one you need to see. I prefer more contemporary Bollywood movies because of the higher production values. Check out the remake of Don. It's excellent. Feels more Hollywood than Bollywood but there are songs and they're excellent. I've got the soundtrack!

Zinda's good. Features some swordplay and music from one of the Spider-man movies if I recall correctly. Otherwise quite a fairthful remake. Except in the final act. The original film's twist would never have been acceptable!

Loved Outpost. Was very pleasantly surprised by that one. It's like Event Horizon without the blockbuster budget. They make a great double bill. Unless you don't like Event Horizon of course. Personally I love it and prefer it to Alien.

Chris Regan said...

Cool, I will check out the remake also. They do make 'em long though! Am definitely going to watch Zinda.

I need to see Event Horizon again - can't even really remember if I liked that film or not.

Christopher said...

Twitter is ok if you follow some good ones but I find that most of the time I am bored to death. I add and subtract people all of the time. Even some of the authors I like give in to Twitter madness. I don't really care that you are going to use the restroom.