Anything happen this week to revolutionize the film industry? What, you don’t know? You must need the Reject Recap, our weekly rundown of the best and most important news and features any movie fan must read. Yeah, most of it is our own content, but we also look outside the FSR borders for great film-related (and sometimes TV-related) pieces elsewhere. If you see something you think should be included in the Recap, please email me.
Over the past seven days, in spite of a major film festival going on (well, maybe because of this), a lot of very interesting things happened or came out. The Internet continued to alter the business of cinema and we heard about long-awaited sequels to ’90s movies. Obligatorily, we also thought more about the next Star Wars movie. And once again we include a few must-watch videos. So, in honor of what’s gone on this week, put on David Bowie’s “Changes,” sit back and play catch up with us.
Obviously the biggest thing to happen in film this week was the record-breaking Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie, also the first major studio crowdfunding effort. Debates ensued, and Scott laid out some great points about how this isn’t really a big deal. He also recognized this to hardly be different than most Kickstarter projects: “Was it easier for Veronica Mars than the average, aspiring unknown? Of course. Of course. But even with its massive leg up, it’s still a creator selling the public on a vision and appealing to whether they think it’s worthwhile or not. Thomas is going to have a lot easier time with distribution, but the grounding factor is that this is a story that fans clearly want that would not have gotten made without them. Yes, Warners could have made it, but they didn’t, and they weren’t going to, and them’s the breaks. Now, Veronica Mars is going to be in theaters in 2014.”
Continuing to uphold their status as the best video streaming and sharing site on the Internet (and one of the coolest tech brands, as we’re always reminded while watching a movie in their theater at SXSW), Vimeo announced this week a new distribution platform through which they allow users to put a price on their films and other uploaded works. Scott commented on the news: “It’ll be interesting to see how the concept plays out in the real world with filmmakers attempting to market their Vimeo page, small distribution companies leveraging the service beyond a VOD/Netflix/iTunes/Amazon release, and potential fans searching through unknown names and titles to find something good. After all, filmmakers will still have to find a way to build buzz for their product regardless of where it’s available. But even so, it’s a new door that’s been swung open, and that can only be a good thing. This really could be big.”
All week long we’ve been reviewing, interviewing and Drafthousing from the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, and you should definitely check out all our coverage here. Just to summarize a few things: some of our favorite films so far include I Am Divine, The Punk Singer, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, Scenic Route, Drinking Buddies, Some Girl(s) and Spring Breakers. And we’ve talked exclusively with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Pat Healy, Danny Boyle, Vincenzo Natali and Shane Carruth, who shared some details about his next film.
This is also more from SXSW, actually. While down in Austin, director Danny Boyle claimed this week that his Trainspotting sequel, now only loosely based on Irvine Welsh’s Porno, is chugging back into action with John Hodge writing the thing. He missed the chance for the planned 10-year-after return and is looking at the 20th anniversary for a 2016 release. Nathan responded simply: “Obviously any chance to get Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Johnny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle back together for anything would be an opportunity well worth taking.”
Whether or not it’s the beloved franchise he teased about a while back (the one we presumed was Star Wars), newcomer Colin Trevorrow has been named as director of Jurassic Park 4. Neil weighed the pros and cons about the choice: “The inherent upside to a guy like Trevorrow: he’s smart, talented, untainted by years in the studio system so he’s not just a “yes” man, and like many of you who will undoubtedly excited about this project: he’s a fan. That matters. The potential downside: Trevorrow isn’t seasoned enough yet to avoid becoming Steven Spielberg’s “yes” man, should it come to that”…”it would just be nice to have the magic of the first film back. At this point, we can most comfortably entrust such a task to a younger filmmaker who has grown up with the originals.”
Yes, we do have a Star Wars slot this week, though it’s focused on Star Trek Into Darkness, which got a new trailer last weekend. And that trailer may intentionally be showing fans why we can trust J.J. Abrams with the Star Wars Episode VII — or at least trust that he’s seen the old movies. I pointed out the obvious homage: “There’s a scene in which Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) are in a small ship being chased around what looks like a trench on the surface of the Death Star, and they squeeze through a tight spot reminiscent of when the Millenium Falcon eludes two TIE Fighters on a large asteroid in The Empire Strikes Back. Also, the Enterprise crew appears to venture underwater… Maybe they’re looking to recruit Jar Jar Binks?”
Monika Bartyzel’s Girls on Film column has moved over to The Week, and her first entry over there is on the issue with Hollywood not trusting superhero movies to women. She wrote: “There is, perhaps, no genre that offers a more telling example of Hollywood’s gender imbalance. If studios only selected directors with proven technical experience and box-office success for superhero films, the discussion wouldn’t be about women directing them — it would be about women directing the action films and pulp fare that would lead them to superheroes. But that’s not the case. Women with similar resumes to the men listed above aren’t even considered for these high-buzz films — let alone given the opportunity to sign on or refuse.”
In another of their hilarious and pointed movie lists, Cracked highlighted 6 Movie Plots That Could Have Been Solved in Minutes. One of these is Raiders of the Lost Ark. The easier and shorter course of the story would have resulted in the swift end of the Third Reich, a la Inglourious Basterds: “Instead of stealing and re-stealing the Ark from the Nazis, Indiana Jones and the U.S. Army should have been rooting for them to find it. Their best case scenario is that the Nazis mission goes exactly according to plan: find it, ship it off to Germany and open it in a lavish pageant in Berlin with the whole Nazi high command in attendance. That was what they had planned to do all along. All the top Nazis in Berlin, including Hitler, front and center at the grand opening of a device that has a reputation for melting the faces of anyone in its vicinity.”
Landon’s latest Criterion Files column was tied to the release of the new David Bowie album, as he looked at the singer’s movie career through the Criterion Collection, including his being covered in Portuguese in The Life Aquatic. On his supporting role as Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ: “That Scorsese (according to his Criterion commentary) considered casting Sting as Pilate speaks to the unique ability of popular musicians who act in films to bring a certain gravitas to a cinematic performance without making a living primarily or exclusively through that medium. And I can’t think of a stronger case for this phenomenon than Bowie himself.”
One of the most interesting lists yet from David is this week’s look at recycled movie props, mostly for the purpose of homage and often as barely noticeable Easter eggs. He noted ties between Predator and Terminator 2, Batman and Little Shop of Horrors, and Die Hard and The Hunt for the Red October. And here’s the link between Psycho and Halloween H20: “Not only do we have Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role in a Halloween movie, but we also have her doing it across from her mother Janet Leigh, yet another iconic horror queen. Sure – it’s not the first time mother and daughter did a scary movie together, just look at The Fog, but it is the first time we get to see Janet Leigh get in the very same car that drove her to the Bates Motel all those years ago.”
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