Monthly Archives: August 2014

Breaking Bad Boys and Julia Louis Dreyfus in “Barely Legal Pawn” [6 Min Short]

Barely Legal Pawn is a 6-minute short film (ad for the Emmy’s?), starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Julia Louis Dreyfus as herself. It’s a hilarious send-up of reality TV shows, celebrity, and yes even Breaking Bad (watch for Paul’s very last line). 

Brad Pitt is “Fury”-ous [Trailer]

David Ayer’s new WWII drama stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson). It looks like this one’s aiming to be a big player come awards season.

 

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Maps to the Stars [Trailer]

David Cronenberg directs Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, and Mia Wasikowska in one of his more surreal thrillers.

And that’s saying something: Cronenberg thrives on surreal thrillers.

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Original, Unedited “Star Wars” on Blu-ray: Will Millions of Voices Suddenly Cry Out in Ecstasy?

Star Wars Limited Editions

UPDATE 2/18/16: Sorry folks, this appears to be completely unsubstantiated. 18 months later, I have heard virtually nothing else about this. It’s a rumor that appears to crop up occasionally, either by bloggers hoping for an easy viral post or by overeager fans searching the depths of the internet for any possible edification of their hopes and dreams. I assume this because, a year and a half after publishing it – even taking almost a year off posting altogether! – this post still gets one or two hits almost daily. And as an overeager fan myself, even though I was skeptical, I was clearly duped enough to write a whole post about it. But if you, dear reader, ever hear of anything more concrete on this matter, please post about it in the comments section. Until then I will join the rest of you waiting with baited breath for Disney and Lucasfilm to come to their senses.

ORIGINAL POST 8/16/14:

Disney is apparently planning to finally release the unedited, non-Special-Edition versions of the original Star Wars Trilogy. The news comes from an “Exclusive!” article just published by Comicbook.com. If this is true, it’s wonderful news… IF it’s really true. Somehow, I get the feeling that “if” is a little too big for comfort.

The general consensus among those old enough to know the original Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi from before the late 90’s – when Lucasfilm began releasing the “Special Edition” versions into theaters – is that all the new scenes, altered scenes, and computer-generated special effects ended up replacing much of the heart and soul of what made the film so beloved in the first place. While the decidedly one-sided “Han shot first” argument may never die, I personally feel the real tragedy was in replacing gritty, home-made environments and practical puppet aliens with the SE’s overly clean, incongruous computer generated characters and images that pulled the viewer away from the story just to ogle some (not-that-)pretty pictures.

After the prequels were released Lucasfilm decided to make even more changes to the originals, most famously replacing Anakin Skywalker’s aged ghost the end of Jedi with an image of the younger Hayden Christiansen. Besides not making a lick of literal sense, even within the fictional realm of the Star Wars universe, it further served to infuriate fans. Even the casual, not-so-die-hard-fanatic viewers were incredulous. But the studio stuck to their guns and released the DVD’s anyway.

In 2006 however, in one of their very few not-so-terrible decisions of that time, Lucasfilm decided to give in and give their fans what they wanted: Limited Edition DVD’s of the original trilogy in which each film included a second DVD containing the original unedited versions of the films. It was a very limited production run, but at least they placated the fans (slightly). Placated, that is, until Blu-ray became a big hit. Ever since, the heat has been on among Star Wars nerds to convince the studio to release an HD version of the unedited originals.

Which brings me to today’s news. While I have no reason not to trust Comicbook.com – a blog I’ve never actually read (I’ve nothing against the comic book community, but my own geekery has never really gone far in that direction) – my journalistic Spidey-sense is tingling. I may not have much training or experience with investigative journalism, but I’ve seen enough movies about the press to know that you should always check your sources. When I post news articles or other interesting online curios to this blog, I always try to link to the original source.

Unfortunately, in this case at least, Comicbook.com is not so diligent. The most they offer up for proof of their “Exclusive!” is this line:

Comicbook.com has now confirmed with two independent reliable sources that just such a plan is under way.

The author refers to “our sources” four more times in the span of two short paragraphs, but never gives any hint as to what those sources might be. Of course if this release doesn’t happen, their tracks are conveniently covered:

Our sources indicate that the project has been under way for quite some time, but it’s been challenging because of some damage to the original negatives they are utilizing… Our sources did not have an exact date as to when the original cut of the Star Wars Trilogy would be released on Blu-ray, due to the challenges Disney has encountered in pulling everything together.

I don’t know. Perhaps true comic book fans know this blog as a trusted source of reliable journalism. But how hard would it have been to give a little proof of this really incredible claim? It just makes me skeptical, is all.

Jarwalker

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Twin Peaks as You’ve Never Seen Before: in 8-Bit!

YouTubers The Filthy Frackers have gone and made an early-90’s nostalgia dream by rendering the the original Twin Peaks intro sequence entirely in classic Nintendo-style 8-bit, including Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic theme music. Why? Why NOT?!!

Thanks to Welcome to Twin Peaks for bringing this to the world’s attention.

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The Cinematography of Roger Deakins

Roger Deakins is one of the most talented Directors of Photography working today. Most will know his work collaborating with the Coen Bros., but that’s just the beginning.

DEAKINS: Shadows in the Valley is a 5 minute compilation of shots from several of the most celebrated films he’s worked on. See below for a list of films represented in this video, which is just a fraction of his complete filmography.

FILMS:

Barton Fink
Doubt
Fargo
Jarhead
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Kundun
No Country for Old Men
O Brother Where Art Thou
Prisoners
Revolutionary Road
A Serious Man
Skyfall
The Man Who Wasn’t There
True Grit
In The Valley of Elah
The Village

MUSIC:

“Song for Bob” by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
From “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”

DEAKINS: Shadows In The Valley from Plot Point Productions on Vimeo.

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10 Awesome Unintentional Trilogies

Contagion-Outbreak-poster

“What 3 completely unrelated films, can you put together to make a great trilogy?” Reddit user OneManSidekick1 asked this question in a recent thread on the subreddit, r/movies. The responses were hilarious, insightful and amazing. Some people gave explanations, and others were self-explanatory. Some actually make sense given the plots and/or actors involved, while some are just clever puns on the titles themselves.

Here, in no particular order, are my 10 favorite Unintentional Trilogies…

Outbreak
Contagion
World War Z
The virus keeps being “cured” but really the cure is just a band-aid. It keeps coming back and becoming more advanced each time. There’s just no stopping that crazy shit from coming back and wiping us out.
by user: wsconce


Her
The Terminator
The Matrix
by user: Awesomesmasher


…or, similarly…

The Terminator: Robot assassin travels back in time to stop freedom fighters from winning against robots in war
The Matrix: Robots win said war, now keep humans for power source.
Cars: Eventually lose humans as power source. Evolve to more simple machine life form.
by user: BW_Bird


Beethoven
Cujo
Pet Sematary
by user: PointOfFingers


American History X: Ed Norton is a violent Racist who tries to turn his life around.
Fight Club: Following the end of AHX Ed Norton becomes Jack, slightly unbalanced but leading a “normal life”, until he meets Tyler.
The Incredible Hulk: Ed Norton has now completely lost his shit and for some reason is also the hulk.
by user: FullAhBeans

User bogdaniuz points out that in this scenario, Tyler Durden is the Hulk…

“Hey, remember when in Avengers, Banner says: ‘I tried to shoot myself in the mouth but he spitted out the bullet’
And in Fight Club he shoots himself into mouth, seemingly killing Durden…but Durden just got stronger.” [sic]


E.T.
Independence Day
District 9
by user: naughty_vixen


Se7en
Deep Impact
Bruce Almighty
Morgan Freeman starts off as a good guy detective that has seen too much, eventually becomes the president of the US and leads them through a major world disaster while giving them hope, ends up God.
by user: itsahhmemario


Edge of Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow
28 Days Later
(The original user must have deleted this one, but I remember reading it and LOLing)


Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Kill Bill
Ted
by user: BaconBoob


And my absolute favorite…!

Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day
by user: chrismikehunt


(P.S. I know this is a very “Buzzfeed-esque” style post. I encourage you to give the original posters the credit by visiting the original thread.)

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The Screen Life Returns!

were-back-baby

It’s no secret that posts on this blog have been simple, few, and far between for a while now. It’s been a crazy few months. Since May, I quit my job, got married, honeymooned in Disney World, moved to Grand Rapids, applied and interviewed for countless new employers, and finally… got a new job!

That last part was the key. I couldn’t allow myself to spend much time or energy on this blog – which doesn’t exactly pay the bills (at least not yet!) – until I found a way to actually make money first. But now that I have a real job, I’m returning to The Screen Life with regular posts.

So tell your friends and spread the word. TSL is back online!

-Aa

 

R.I.P. – Robin Williams

There’s absolutely nothing I can add to this conversation that hasn’t already been said a thousand times. But for anybody in my generation that loves movies and comedy, Robin Williams is an idol. He went too soon, and the hole he left is evidenced by the enormous wealth of reporting on his death, from every corner of the internet. He may have slipped out of the limelight in recent years, but it’s clear he was never forgotten by the multitudes who loved his work.

 

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