Red Dawn: November 21

Film District releases this remake of John Milius’s Cold War wet-dream, which has been sitting on a shelf for two years, thanks to financial problems at MGM. America is invaded by foreigners who hate our freedom, but a bunch of freedom-loving young men and women teach those freedom-hating foreigners a thing or two, combating superior military force with guerrilla tactics.
Dan Bradley directed from a screenplay by Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore, based on the 1984 film written by Kevin Reynolds and John Milius, from a story by Reynolds. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, son of Odin) leads a cast that includes Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
RED DAWNThe plot seems slightly odd, coming from the world’s only remaining super power – i.e., the only country capable of projecting its strength around the world, which just spent the better part of a decade occupying another country, which used guerrilla tactics to fight back. Perhaps some “shoe on the other foot irony” is intended? Or perhaps not.
U.S. Theatrical Release: November 21, 2012.

Superman, The Crow & They Live: CFQ Round Table Podcast 2:14.1

L to r: THEY LIVE, THE CROW, Michael Shannon

This week’s edition of the Cinefantastique Round Table Podcast ran even longer than usual, so we are presenting it in multiple parts, beginning with theatrical news and release dates. On the table for discussion are the casting of Michael Shannon as General Zod in MAN OF STEEL, the directorial assignment of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 WEEKS LATER) to direct a reboot of THE CROW, and word that Matt Reeves (LET ME IN) is interested in making a film based on “8 O’clock in the Morning,” the short story that inspired John Carpenter’s political science fiction satire, THEY LIVE.
And if that is not enough news from the world of Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Cinema, don’t forget to check back for the second installment of this week’s podcast, the debut of CFQ’s Laserblast Home Video News & Reviews, in which Dan Persons Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski will look at everything from the new Blu-ray release of THE INCREDIBLE to Hammer Films’ new direct-to-video thriller, THE RESIDENT, starring Hilary Swank and Christopher Lee.


Del Toro discusses Don't Be Afraid of the Dark at Comic-Con

The 1973 TV version of DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
The 1973 TV version of DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK

Reuters has posted a Q&A interview with Guillermo Del Toro, who discusses upcoming projects, including DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and FRANKENSTEIN. The former is a remake of a 1973 tele-film starring Kim Darby, written by Nigel McKeand, and directed by John Newland (ONE STEP BEYOND); working with with Matthew Robbins (MIMIC), Del Toro co-wrote the new screenplay, which was directed by Troy Nixie, with Guy Pearce (MEMENTO) and Katie Holmes (BATMAN BEGINS) in the leads . Del Toro says it took twenty years to get the project to the screen, but it is one he wanted to do since he became a professional filmmaker, based on his experience of being terrified by the original, which he calls “one of the scariest movies” he saw as a child.
Says Del Toro of his remake:

“We are returning to a really classical gothic horror film with very, very interesting creatures. We are not going for the hardcore, borderline porn and gore of a teen movie. There are no teen protagonists. It’s closer to a fairytale gone horribly wrong. And the creatures are quite interesting and very faithful to the original creatures in the 1973 movie.”

Del Toro had nothing to say about his proposed FRANKENSTEIN, except that we should expect an announcement soon because he is finalizing a deal during Comic-Con. On the subject of remakes, he notes that it is a cliche to suggest Hollywood has run out of ideas; after all, some of the best horror films have been re-do’s of previously filmed material. What separates the good remakes from the bad?

“I believe a remake needs to be driven by a filmmaker’s passion to tell the story and not a studio’s marketing department. That is, I think, a huge difference. If you have a filmmaker who’s very passionate to tell a story — case in point, I am absolutely insanely passionate about redoing Frankenstein, the book — then there is a valid intent.”

'Logan's Run' Remake Have Legs?

According to The Hollywood Reporter
Warner Brother’s LOGAN’S RUN remake may be back up on it’s feet, with yet another director in talks to take on the project, long mired in ‘Development Hell’.

Carl Rinch, known mainly for commercials and the short futuristic film THE GIFT (watch at left) for Philips Electronics, had previously been up for the ALIEN Prequel — before producer Ridley Scott decided to direct it himself.
Apparently, Joel Silver (PREDATOR) and Akiva Goldsman (I AM LEGEND) remain in place as producers, though the piece suggests a new script will be commisioned.
In recent years, figures such as Byran Singer (SUPERMAN RETURNS), James McTeigue (1st A.D., THE MATRIX Trilogy) and Joseph Kosinski (TRON: LEGACY) have been in line to helm the film, but nothing ever came to fruition.
Logan’s Run began as a 1967 SF novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. It was made into a visually impressive, if not critically well-recieved film in 1976 by MGM.
The next year, it was spun off into a short-lived (14 episodes) CBS Televsion series, hoping to tap into some of the sci-fi interest generated by STAR WARS. Despite it’s low budget, it’s fondly remembered by some SF fans.
In both the movie and the series, people reached their “Lastday” at 30. In the book, citizens were terminated at 21. This caused those not willing to die to become ‘Runners’, pursued by ‘Sandmen’, a police force that will put them to sleep for good.
The book had two print follow-up novels by Nolan, Logan’s World and Logan’s Search. There’s also an e-novellette Logan’s Return.
There are a number of differences between the novel and the previous screen versions, some of which a remake could exploit to its advantage.

Piranha 3-D theatrical release date

Piranha 3-D (2010)Dimension Films releases this 3-D remake of the 1978 cult classic, originally produced by Roger Corman and directed by Joe Dante (GREMLINS). Sadly, the film was not shot in 3-D; it is being added in post-production (just like CLASH OF THE TITANS, and we all know how well that one worked out).
This time around, an earthquake unleashes swarms (schools?) of prehistoric piranhas, who make life miserable for folks living near the local lake. Elisabeth Shue stars as the sheriff trying to contain the situation, with support from Jerry O”connell and Dina Meyer, with appearances from Eli Roth, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, and Richard Dreyfuss. (Get it? Dreyfuss was in JAWS – don’t you feel yourself falling out of your chair with laughter?). Directed by Alexandre Aja, from a screenplay he worked on with Josh Stolbrg, Pete Goldfinger, and Gregory Levasseur. (What? No credit from John Sayles, who wrote the original?Aja still has fans based on HIGH TENSION, but one wonders who far they will follow him into the junkyard before finally giving up.
Release date: August 27.

Rebuilding Metropolis

InTheNews.Co.Uk alerts us to a remake METROPOLIS:

Fritz Lang’s science-fiction classic Metropolis is set for a 21st century remake, thanks to producers Thomas Schuely and Mario Kassar.
Alexander producer Schuely has now acquired the rights to update the silent masterpiece.
“With the overwhelming role technology plays in our daily lives, the growing gap between rich and poor, including the gradual elimination of the middle class, the story of Metropolis is a frightening reflection of our society that takes place in an all too possible not too distant future,” he told Variety.
Schuely told the industry newspaper he is negotiating with some of the world’s biggest directors to helm the picture, which should begin shooting in 2008.

I imagine lots of great filmmakers would love to get their hands on METROPOLIS, but I’m not sure we really need a remake. Sure, the themes are relevant, but many of them were already recycled in BLADE RUNNER. (Over here, Cyberpunk review makes the case for considering METROPOLIS the grand-daddy of all cypberpunk cinema.)

Despite my reservations, I can understand the temptation of wanting to recreate the old silent classic with modern special effects technology. The results – in color and widescreen, with stereophonic sound – could be absolutely spectacular.

Halloween Hypocrisy?

We all owe a good laugh to Final Girl for digging up this quote from Rob Zombie:

Q: How do you feel about big budget remakes of Dawn of the Dead and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?
Zombie: I feel it’s the worst thing any filmmaker can do. I actually got a call from my agent and they asked me if I wanted to be involved with the remake of Chain Saw. I said no fucking way! Those movies are perfect- you’re only going to make yourself look like an asshole by remaking them. Go remake something that’s a piece of shit and make it good. Like with my movie (House of 1000 Corpses) I have elements of Chain Saw in it because I love that movie so much, but I wouldn’t dare want to “remake” it. It’s like a band trying to be another band. You can sound like The Beatles, but you can’t be The Beatles.