Saturday, August 25, 2007

Perfect Creature

This one has been in the can since 2005 but don’t let that (or the ugly cover art) deter you. It’s set in one of those alternate universes where vampires are genetic anomalies and they’re the good guys! Sorta. Vamps are part of a religious order, the Brotherhood, who’ve been watching over man for the last 300 years. It’s all good until a Brother’s experiments to increase the Brotherhood’s dwindling numbers goes awry. He creates a virus that turns vamps and humans into murderous monsters. Throw in some forbidden lust between a Brother and a female cop, genetic experimentation, church cover-ups and you’ve got a pretty cool ride.
You could almost describe “Perfect Creature” as “Ultraviolet” with a brain. It also evokes comparisons to Kurt Wimmer’s first film, “Equilibrium”. Set in an “alternate” New Zealand and with just a 20 million budget, it’s not as slick as some recent films. Not a ton of action either. If I were a suit at the Sci-fi Channel, I’d be trying to develop this into a tv series; rather than trying to push FLASH! ARGGGGHH -- save us from the crappiness -- Gordon. It’s sci-fi but not enough to scare off the casual viewers they covet. There are some good ideas presented but the short running time (88 minutes) works against them. Still, it’s worth checking out if your a fan of the genre.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On the Lot Finale (pt. 2)

Good idea for a reality show that crashed and burned (especially the last two weeks). Sure, it ended on a note of extreme cheese but who wouldn't be giggling like a schoolgirl if Steven Spielberg said he's a fan of your work? Congrats to Will!

On The Lot Finale

Summing up the first 20 minutes...

What's up with the rockstar entrances for Will, Jason and Adam? I thought I was watching the MTV awards for a sec.

Another clip show featuring shorts from the castoffs?!!

Most uncomfortable question of the night (so far): Zach, are you surprised that you didn't make the final three?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Underworld Lite

“Blood and Chocolate” is the kind of film that disappoints all comers. Fans of the novel detest how certain story elements have been altered, romance fans don’t buy into the story (or the title) and horror fans are left wondering how they got duped into seeing yet another PG-13 werewolf flick.
It’s your basic story: boy meets girl, boy finds out girl can turn into a wolf, boy kills member of girl’s pack in self-defense, boy and girl take turns saving each other until end credits. Forbidden-love stories need strong obstacles to keep the leads apart, just wasn’t there in this case. Audiences didn’t respond to the marketing and it tanked at the box office.
I’m left wondering if the genders of werewolf and human were reversed, would the film have been more successful? The irredeemable bad boy archetype is a lot older than the butt-kicking independent babe. It’s a staple of many a teen movie. Just something to consider...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

OTL: Week 13

I would’ve written about Tuesday’s “On the Lot” earlier but what exactly can you say about a frickin’ clip show!? Maybe I should just cut and paste previous entries. The final three seem like nice enough dudes, equally talented but we didn’t need to drag this out another week. I am curious if Spielberg will show up for the finale. Hmmm, “On the Lot” or “Indy 4”. Decisions, decisions...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

All bark...

“Skinwalkers” made $175,000 on Friday. If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of the final nail being hammered into the werewolf movie coffin (that faint sobbing is me clutching my spec). After disasters like “Cursed” and “Blood and Chocolate”, the genre was already on life support but this probably sealed its fate.
What the “Underworld” and “Van Helsing” movies taught us is that werewolves are much better as second bananas rather than leads. Vampires are cool and sexy. Werewolves are dirty and mangy. What zombies lack in decaying charm, they make up for it with their vast numbers.

Werewolves used to be high on the terror inducing pyramid but they’ve seriously slipped. It’s not enough to be a hairy killing machine anymore.
The villain capable of the most horrific acts on screen has a human face. Much scarier than a guy in a suit.

Vampires have adapted, learned martial arts and with their cool clothes and regal homes, they’re almost interchangeable with the current crop of comic book action heroes. Maybe that’s a path to consider.

Next year’s “Wolfman” remake might have a chance to revive the genre but I have my doubts. I think we (me) need to rethink what a werewolf means to today’s audiences. Too much of it seems to hinge on creature effects and gore.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


As much as I enjoyed “Firefly”, I didn’t have a whole lot of love for “Serenity”. I mean, it was okay and all, just didn’t grab me. Great characters, not so great story. For a while, I’ve been on the fence about purchasing the upcoming collector’s edition DVD but now that the screenplay has found its way online, maybe a quick read might win me over. Have no idea when I’ll get around to it though. I still haven’t finished reading “Disturbia” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” -- which I should really pick up on DVD. Maybe that’ll be my mission this weekend.

And speaking of DVDs, the third season of “Doctor Who”is going to be available for ninety-freakin-nine dollars?! Thirteen episodes for ninety-nine bucks? It’s geek blackmail! Unless one of the DVD special features is to have Freema Agyeman show up and provide live commentary while simultaneously giving me a backrub, it ain’t gonna happen.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

OTL: Week 12?

Well, Zach finally got the boot. I can’t say that I was surprised. A sequel to a lukewarm short just wasn’t a good idea. Still, he had the best track record and the most potential out of all the "On the Lot" contestants. We haven’t seen the last of this guy. Even without Zach, last night wasn’t a disaster. America’s logline really brought out the creativity. I really liked Will’s “The Yes Men” and Jason’s “Oh, Boy!”.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Weekend Stuff

10 o’clock on a Saturday night seems like an awful time slot to premiere a tv series -- unless you’re dumping it. Can’t say that I was enthralled by “Masters of Science Fiction” for any length amount of time. Felt like a radio play with some sci-fi sprinkled on top. I’ll give it a couple more episodes though.

The “Fallen” mini-series on ABC Family was pretty decent. Good special effects. A lot more “intense violence” and deaths than you’d expect to see on a family oriented channel. The final hour dragged a bit. Who couldn’t see the reveal about his dad a mile away?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sexy Beasts

The folks behind “Skinwalkers” really mean it this time. Gearing up for the August 10th release, they’ve *finally* updated the official website. Sitting on the shelf for over a year is rarely a good sign but I am rooting for it.

The commercials aren’t exactly forthcoming when it comes to story details. They’re burying the whole “protect the kid” plot with shots of wannabe biker/werewolf dudes strolling around and quick cuts of chicks about to transform -- or was that a dream sequence? Big mistake not to feature Rhona Mitra. Bigger mistake to show the werewolves in action. Makes it look they’ve got something to hide... like a bad movie.

Natassia Malthe in werewolf form is decidedly different from most of the stuff we’ve seen in recent years -- maybe the look was inspired by Ron Perlman’s Vincent from the old “Beauty and the Beast” TV series? The costume lends itself to do some cool wire-fu stunts but I don’t think the film makers went that route.

So I’m in the home stretch of my own werewolf spec. Still have to fix a ton of scenes, but it looks like I’m done with major revisions. I have no clue when I’ll be finished/satisfied, could be a few more weeks could be a month, we’ll see.


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