Posts Tagged ‘comic’

Money For Old Rope

October 9, 2009

Hollywood as we are all aware, has strong liberal sentiments. We watch the armies of Prius scurrying round the globe; vocally promoting the most progressive of causes. An endangered lab rat in Dubai, a boycott of a well known chocolate vendor or political conflict in a far far away land. But when it comes to progression within their own industry, Hollywood is the perfect example of cultural conservatism. Any person who has scouted the papers or dubya’s over the past year would be hard pressed not feel a strange sense of deja-vu. Film and Television it seems, has become obsessed with the past, redressing themes from the old to the damn near pre-pubescent.

tids

Now you can forgive me if some of what I say appears just as unoriginal as the summer Blockbuster offerings. But the trend of remakes, re-drafts and reboots is becoming more and more frequent. The list of upcoming recycled properties is pretty staggering, especially when you look at the great filmmakers behind the texts. Filmmakers who have proven they have the artistic ambition to do something more original – have begun embracing nostalgic, more familiar material.

harvey

Step forward Steven Spielberg, the most successful filmmaker of all time announced that he will be ‘reimagining’ Harvey, the 1950 comedy starring Jimmy Stewart. Next we have Robert Zemeckis, another filmmaker with near-perfect credentials. He will be breathing new life into the iconic Yellow Submarine animation. Looking further, we have Bryan Singer’s upcoming remakes of Excalibur and Battlestar Galactica; while rocker turned auteur, Mr. Rob Zombie; still bloodied from the second Halloween set, is trying his hands at the tongue-in-cheek horror The Blob, the films third offering to an ever forgetful public.

blobbb

Shoot ‘Em Up director Michael Davis is trying on Outland for size. Screen Gems is moving ahead with a new take on Peckinpah’s classic Straw Dogs. Believe me when I say, I wish I was finished – damn you hyperlink! Studio wise, were getting a Columbia Pictures remake of the 1990 sci-fi film Total Recall. Hancock director Peter Berg will have a look at Lynch’s Dune, Brett Eisner will reinvent Flash Gordon and Danny ‘Bhangra’ Boyle’s DNA Films is planning a new Judge Dredd movie. Terminator Salvation director McG will plummet 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, while Twilight filmmakers Summit Entertainment are having a ganders at the Highlander franchise.

blade twi

There are countless remakes already on the studio release slates. MGM has a new version of Fame sitting atop mount box-office; with a remake of Red Dawn in the works. Sony, which gave us a remake of The Taking of Pelham 123 this summer, has a vehicle for Will Smith Jr in Karate Kid; coupled with our chubby cherub Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet next summer. Mr Murdoch will also be throwing a few flicks in the mix. New versions of Gulliver’s Travels, The A-Team, and yet another Predator offering. Universal has updates of both The Wolfman and Robin Hood, the latter with Russell ‘fighting round the world’ Crowe taking lead and Ridley Scott behind the camera.

crowe hood

No, still not finished. Paramount will have us tapping our feet to Footloose next year and begging Murphy to call it a day in Beverly Hills Cop. Warner brings up the rear with Sherlock Holmes, Clash of the Titans and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Sadly, the only thing new and exciting audiences will get from Hollywood over the next few years are creative justifications for what is essentially – money for old rope. In an attempt to distance himself from the original Blob, Rob Zombie insisted, ‘My intention is not to have a big red blobby thing – that’s the first thing I want to change,”. Thank you Rob, very nicely put. The only thing I would question is why you would want to call it The Blob then. Just a thought.

So, why are there all these bloody remakes? Apathy? maybe. Economic woes? quite possibly. Is it familiarity? That detective, is the right question.

lanning

The figures speak for themselves sadly. Since January 2007, the ten highest grossing films at the box office have all been sequels, reimaginings of established franchises or action movies based on comic book characters. The marketers would suggest that we live in an environment so full of Jeremy Kyle and clutter that having a picture with a little spice of nostalgia is a crucial selling point. If you can sell a film around some form of familiarity, something the audience can latch onto, then you might just hit the jackpot.

blart

We live in a world where the whole concept of originality is being reinvented. Artists are simply hitting the replay button, spending more time re-imagining, rather than rethinking, redefining and re-re-re-re…

If you would like to read this again please press PLAY.

Dré

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Citizen Camera – Sabina House, Uganda

September 29, 2009

As media communication becomes ever more sophisticated and influential in the development of Western societies, the disparity between first and third worlds has never been starker. Economic wealth has divided the globe for centuries; solutions to solving debt and poverty mired by politics, colonialism, religion and corruption. However, there is no such reason as to why the technological gulf cannot be stemmed.

Post-based ‘Cash for Mobile’ schemes enable unused handsets to be reused in the third world. Why can’t the same principle be applied to computers, monitors, motherboards, mice, keyboards, digital cameras and wire? Without these parts and tools, any chance of real technological infrastructure being implemented in developing countries seems all the more unlikely. It’s a simple case of supply and demand.

To be able to create ‘meaning’ that can be quickly shared and duplicated across the globe (I.E. media products such as photography, film, art and writing) people of the third world have little chance of competing economically in the future.

Therefore, it warms my heart to see organisations like Winchester-based Citizen Camera going to Uganda and teaching children there photography and film-making methods. As the video below details, their brief, but ultimately beneficial workshops enable these Ugandan children – many of whom have never even touched a camera before – to create their own meaning, to tell their own story.

This short piece by the children of Sabina House, is an enriching watch. The material within is not completely alien to me, after all, I’ve seen comic relief appeals many times. However, it is refreshing to imbibe their world, their experiences and life without emotionally-charged charity messages blurring my understanding.

So as I sit here in Southampton, blogging on my Dell workstation, I can watch and appreciate Ugandan life through the eyes of the children who live there. I only hope for more initiatives like this.

Watch the Sabina House film here

Many thanks to Mr Karin Stowe.

Kristian

Marvel Mandem

September 25, 2009

uurgh uuuuuuurgh!

“you f**kin cheat, hadouken-spamming $*%”*%”

We at the fold love a bit of SF, so when Capcom Unity announced on their blog that they’re looking for ideas regarding the next “Capcom vs” release, we tiger uppercut the nearest street urchin, then skipped to our nearest wi-fi spot . Considering how many tears of nostalgia we shed for the re-release of Marvel vs Capcom 2, coupled with the upcoming Tatsunoko vs Capcom, it would be marvellous to see the Capcom franchise expand their horizons.

So, what do our readers think?

Obvious choices go to DC vs Capcom and BBK vs Capcom.

Send your ideas here.

Erm

Dré

Now For Something Completely Different…

September 15, 2009

Here’s some music, it’s not grime, dont freak out:

Also, because I love you, have another little story:

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(click for hella big)

Martin