Reject Recap: Scary Movie Tournament, ‘Skyfall’ Reviewed and Pros and Cons of Being a Brand-Name Director

In Defense of Tim Burton

In his latest Boiling Point column, Robert declared himself still in the pro-Tim Burton camp following his recent box office disappointments, Frankenweenie and Dark Shadows. On part of the reason the filmmaker is often scrutinized: “Michael Bay puts out movies that are all definitely Michael Bay films, but they don’t have quite the same degree of visual similarity (especially in design) as Burton, so he gets more of a pass. Plenty of directors turn out the same types of movies but with different faces, so they get a pass as well. Burton’s faces always seem the same, as many times they literally are the same actors, or the design is the same.”


6 Filmmaking Tips From John Carpenter

John CarpenterThis week’s list of filmmaking advice comes from a selection of statements by John Carpenter. Related to Burton’s “problem” of sameness, Cole commented on Carpenter’s success in becoming a brand: “One of the riskiest/smartest things Carpenter did early on was to give up money in order to have “John Carpenter’s” appear before the word “Halloween.” In doing so, he ensured that he would be tied to the franchise in an inextricable way. If the movie had flopped, it would have been a fairly bad bet (even with the relatively low budget involved), but since Myers and Friends caught on, Carpenter cemented himself as the true author of the work in a serious way and had a nice bit of protection for his vision.”

Chuck Klosterman’s ‘Downtown Owl’ Optioned by Adam Scott, not the Coens

Nathan reported that actor Adam Scott and his wife, Naomi, are producing an adaptation of Chuck Klosterman‘s Downtown Owl. And although they’ve hired a screenwriter already, we can still hope for a certain directorial duo to helm the project. In a reposted Print to Projector column, Neil wrote: “Chapter upon chapter, I found myself imaging this as a Coen Brothers movie. There’s something about the town of Owl that would feel so right in the universes they seem to be creating. Perhaps it is that it feels like a 1980s version of the environment in A Serious Man (only decidedly more Catholic and less Jewish). There is also a level of humor and an unironic wit to the book’s dialog that is perfect for the tone that the Coens have struck with their more suburban works. It would be a perfect fit to see them write the screenplay, possibly with a little help from Klosterman himself. They could then deliver a film that captures the town’s state of pop culture arrested development, moves incredibly well, and has an interesting aesthetic (few directors could make North Dakota look so good as the Coens). To me, this was obvious as I read the books. This book is rich with unique and interesting characters and situations that would be perfect matches for a Coen-esque romp through 1983 rural North Dakota. See — even that sounds fun.”

Hey Vern, Who Should Play the ‘Son of Ernest’?

Jim Varney may no longer be with us, but his “Ernest” character will continue on the big screen — or, at least the character’s son will be getting his own movie. The title will, obviously, be called Son of Ernest. Commenting on the news, Nathan had an actor in mind for the spin-off: “At least all involved seem to be self-aware about what a ridiculous idea this is and how unlikely it is anyone will greet it with enthusiasm. Probably whether or not this thing is even given a shot by audiences will depend on who they get to fill Ernest’s blue boat shoes…and so far they’re being tight-lipped on who they have in mind for that task. As far as I can tell, there’s only one person who could both get audience’s attentions as well as pull the role of son of Ernest off, and that’s stoned James Franco.”

8 Terrifying Movie Man-Eaters That You’ll Never See Coming

This week’s edition of Cinematic Listology had David Christopher Bell highlighting the element of surprise in horror films. Bringing back Spielberg’s name this week, he included the raptors from Jurassic Park: “They were designed by nature to withstand horns and tail lashes, to penetrate the thick scaly armor of creatures much larger than themselves – so basically, to them, human beings are delicious little jokes. We’re like bacon to them. Clown meat. They probably don’t even consider us a rite of passage to kill. Can’t stress that enough – the dumbest, smallest, and slowest raptor in these films can still probably kill your average action movie star.”


Rather than a reject, Christopher Campbell is a film school dropout. But he has since gotten a master’s degree in cinema studies and has been blogging about movies since 2005. Earlier, he reviewed films for a zine (a what?) that you could buy at Tower Records (a what?). He is married with two children.

Read More from Christopher Campbell
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