Netflix Showdown checks out the relative merits and flaws of two ostensibly comparable things seen on Netflix streaming. This time we have two SFnal dog films, C.H.O.M.P.S. and Paws.
Most of you haven’t heard of Shank. On some level, that’s probably a good thing. Though low-budget can sometimes produce remarkable results, Shank is a film which suffers from a feeling of inexperience, overexertion, and disjointedness. Set in a depression-rattled London in 2015, Shank follows a ragtag group of young men who are trying to earn enough money to do…something. It’s never made clear exactly why they need to raise the money to go wherever they’re going, and this fact becomes irrelevant when Junior’s (Kedar Williams-Stirling) brother, Rager (Ashley “Bashy” Thomas — the UK rap artist), is murdered by rival gang leader, Tugz (Jerome Holder). His dreams crushed, Junior sets off on a journey to get revenge, bringing along his family of gang members: Kickz (Adam Deacon), Craze (Michael Socha, who looks suspiciously like Jake Gyllenhaal), and Sweet Boy (Jan Uddin). [Read more…]
Trollhunter (2010)(Trolljegeren in Norway) is André Øvredal’s most popular film, though it is, I’d argue, sorely overlooked by American audiences. Originally released in October 2010, the film was eventually transplanted to U.S. audiences via the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011. The premise is fairly simple:
Under the guise of presenting secret footage, Trollhunter follows a trio of student journalists who arrive in the mountains in order to interview and document the actions of a mysterious man named Hans who locals suspect is illegally killing bears. In their attempts to catch the man in the act, they follow him and discover that Hans is actually a trollhunter, protecting the borders between human and troll territories with a UV light gun and other clever amenities. Invited to ride along, the trio document Hans’ journey to determine what has caused a recent series of violent troll events, only to realize that they’re in over their heads. [Read more…]
Netflix Showdown checks out the relative merits and flaws of two ostensibly comparable things seen on Netflix streaming. First up, two talking animal family films, Vampire Dog and A Talking Cat!?! [Read more…]
Warning: there are some graphic images in this post. NSFW.
Not too long ago, I set myself the goal of viewing every SF/F film released in 2010. It figures that the first non-American film I decided to view would be one of the most ridiculous, violent, and bizarre films I have seen in a while. After being bullied by her classmates, high school student Rin (Yumi Sugimoto) returns home to discover that her father is actually a humanoid mutant known as a HILKO (or hiruko — the subtitles use HILKO, but descriptions of the film use “hiruko,” so I’m not sure which one is correct). But before she can take in this surprising news and its implications for herself, she and her parents are attacked by an anti-HILKO military unit. What follows is an all out bloodbath as Rin tries to escape not only the military, but the blood-thirst of her home town. Later, she is picked up by other HILKO members and trained and indoctrinated into a violent counter-revolutionary force run by Kisaragi (Tak Sakaguchi), who believes his pack of teen girl HILKOs are the perfect fighting force for making Japan a human-free zone. [Read more…]
One of the things I enjoy about horror is its connection with fairy tales. Anyone who has actually read Grimm’s Fairy Tales is aware of this association. It’s one of the reasons why Andrés Muschietti’s 2013 film, Mama, attracted me.
The story has a mundane, if tragic start fed to the audience in the form of a car radio news story — a dramatic stock market downturn results in the suicides of several members of a prominent investment firm. The abandoned car is parked in front of a beautiful house and there is a gunshot. The camera pans closer and the next scene is of a little girl named Victoria dressed for school. Her one-year-old sister is in her crib nearby. Their father arrives. His clothing is speckled with blood. Victoria asks, as all Fairy Tale heroines do, all the right questions, but her father, who is insane with grief, brushes her questions aside. He collects the girls and drives off into the wilderness with them. The car wrecks in the snow and they end up in an abandoned cabin, which is, naturally, haunted. Their [Read more…]
Reuters reports through Yahoo AU that the DVD sales of Game of Thrones have crushed a previous sales record for HBO. From the article in question:
Season one DVD sales reached about 350,000 units in the first seven days following its March 6 release, the network said on Thursday. That pace ranks ahead of other popular HBO series including “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City” and “True Blood.”
Cue a geek celebration of enormous magnitude. There is something deeply satisfying about this news. As a fan of the TV series (and, now, the books), I worry about things like ratings and sales. There is so much story left to tell. With so many TV shows coming and going, I’m always afraid that HBO will pull the plug after the second season, or the third, or, dare I think it, the season right before the final moments of George R. R. Martin’s enormous story! That would be awful.
But we’ve got good news. Huge DVD sales. Good job, geeks! Now we just have to wait until April for Season Two…
Producers Ilene Kahn Power and Elizabeth Stanley have secured the rights to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s renowned “Darkover” novels and are currently developing a multi-platform television series around the saga, the pair announced today.
A gifted and prolific science-fiction and fantasy writer, Bradley, who garnered the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2000, was the author of over 66 books and 105 short stories.
More good news, right? Of course, this news is far from the real news we want to see: Darkover to the screen! But it’s a big jump in the right direction! Marion Zimmer Bradley is one of the most important authors in SF/F and one who well deserves a debut on our television screens. Let’s hope this comes true!
And Darkover does seem to be in good hands: Ilene Kahn Power is perhaps best known for producing TV Movies and miniseries, such as Traffic, Gia, Buffalo Soldiers, and Roswell. Elizabeth Stanley produced The Dark Path Chronicles and Trailers From Hell. We wish them all the success in the world for bringing this to the small screen!
ComingSoon.net has some quotes from Power and Stanley, which might be of interest to you all, in part because they demonstrate a certain love for the books on the part of the now-producers. I think it takes a bit of love to make something like this work, don’t you?
From the man himself:
Warner Brothers has optioned Terry Brooks’ best-selling MAGIC KINGDOM OF LANDOVER series of books for Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Pictures and Andy Cohen’s Grade A Entertainment. Goldsman and Cohen will produce with Weed Road’s Kerry Foster and Alex Block overseeing for Weed Road. Warner Brothers’ Matt Cherniss brought the book series into the studio and will run point. Brooks was represented by Anne Sibbald of Janklow & Nesbit Associates.
Weed Road is in preproduction on A WINTER’S TALE written and to be directed by Goldsman. Recent credits include PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 and FAIR GAME.
Cohen last produced UNTRACEABLE starring Diane Lane. He’s currently working on the stage show, HEATHERS – THE MUSICAL and the indie film, IN SIGHT.
I’ve said it before: this kind of news always makes me grin. Brooks is a widely read author. While I haven’t read any of his novels, I did read his book about writing, which I found incredibly fascinating (more autobiography than writing text). If you’re of the writing persuasion, I’d recommend it.
And since I haven’t read Brooks’ novels, I have to ask:
Have any of you read them? If so, what did you think? Do you think Magic Kingdom For Sale will make a good movie?
The comments are open to all of you!
If you haven’t heard already, Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to Tad Williams’ science fiction series (Otherland). From Variety:
Warner Bros. is heading to “Otherland,” acquiring feature rights to Tad Williams’ sci-fi book series and setting it up with Dan Lin to produce.
Studio has tapped John Scott III to script the film, based on the four books published by DAW-Penguin USA between 1996 and 2001 as “City of Golden Shadow,” “River of Blue Fire,” “Mountain of Black Glass” and “Sea of Silver Light.”
Good news? You bet. Some of the folks attached to this project have been involved in Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, Gangster Squad, Terminator Salvation, The Departed, etc. John Scott III is currently penning an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel, which better turn out great if he knows what’s good for him…
The good thing about this is that it shows how valuable SF/F has become to the Hollywood community. There have been so many announcements for pending or currently-being-produced adaptations in the last five years that it’s rather surprising there are any properties left to snatch up (hyperbole police, anyone?). And if we’re really lucky, maybe Philip K. Dick won’t be the only classic SF/F author to have over 10 of his works adapted for the small or big screen (I’ve intentionally taken H. G. Wells and Jules Verne out of the equation because, from a generic standpoint, they are only SF/F authors in retrospect; science fiction was not codified as a generic tradition until decades after Well and Verne had released their most popular genre works. But you can ignore me on this point and include Wells and Verne as high contenders for the SF/F-author-with-the-most-film-adaptations Award.)
In any case, Tad Williams is a fairly recent author. I haven’t read any of his work, but I’m told he’s quite good. Have any of you readers/listeners read the Otherland series? Do you think it will make a good movie? Why or why not?
More importantly: what do you all think about all these film adaptation announcements?