Escape From New York

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It may not be the biggest hit at the box office this weekend, but Escape Plan could wind up a cult favorite. As our review states, it’s “entertaining” and “gloriously silly.” And truth be told, it’s the first movie for either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone in about 20 years that deserves a sequel. Or needs one, because personally I found the team-up of these two 1980s action heroes a little less fun than I’d hoped. Honestly, I dozed off a bit in the middle. But Escape Plan 2 could be bigger and even more entertaining and much sillier in an even more glorious way. For starters, I’d like to see a follow-up where the actors are actually equal, dual protagonists rather than seeing Arnie as a sidekick along for another one of Sly’s adventures. Maybe the sequel could instead reverse the premise and have it be Schwarzenegger’s character’s story. Instead of coming up with original ideas to pitch to the makers of Escape Plan, and potentially just have them stolen, I’ve selected 10 plots that already exist in other movies, which could be remade for Escape Plan 2, Escape Plan 3, etc. And the good thing is many of these titles are already in line to be remade. Just tweak the scripts with some one-liners referencing both stars’ past hits, and you’re good to go!

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IntroPrisons

Prison sounds like hell. You’re locked in one room, barely going outside while you are forced to sit around all day and like… read and watch TV and shit. I hear there are movie nights and exercise equipment as well. You’d probably get really fit, and hell – you’d be socializing for once in your life. Okay, when I describe it like that, prison sounds all right. In movies it varies, especially when the film doesn’t exactly take place in our own reality. They cane be comedic, nightmarish and, in some cases, musical. They can also be like hell. Here are the ones that look like the biggest pains to reside in – places where, in a world where you have to either get busy living or get busy dying, the latter would probably be best.

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georges-st-pierre

What is Casting Couch? It’s obsessed with the future, and never dwells in the past. Who cares about what these actors have accomplished already, what are they going to be doing next? Today we have some real news along with some anonymous speculation about who could be the new Snake Plissken. Today’s big news concerns a major casting for Marvel’s upcoming star-spangled sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Latino Review is reporting that UFC Champion and French-Canadian fellow, Georges St-Pierre, is going to be stepping out of the octagon and onto a movie set to play one of Cap’s villains. The obvious joke here, since St-Pierre is pseudo-French and a fighter, is that he would be playing super-lame Cap villain, Batroc the Leaper, whose only real powers are that he likes to do jump kicks and he’s got a French accent so strong that it triggers his gag reflex, but obviously a film version of Captain America would never…wait…he actually is going to be playing Batroc the Leaper? Oh, man. He grows the pencil-thin mustache or we riot.

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Snake

Back in July of 2011, our own Rob Hunter rejoiced with the news that New Line and Warner Bros. had let their option on the rights to that Escape From New York remake no one really seemed to want expire and thus, there would be no remake! Ha! We spoke too soon! Now Deadline Hollywood reports that Joel Silver, along with his Silver Pictures and Studio Canal have teamed up to remake the Kurt Russell-starring, John Carpenter-directed cult classic with all manner of attached buzzwords. The first film will be a “retelling” of the story that will somehow also be “an entirely new take on the material” with an eye to kicking things off with an “origin story” that will launch a new franchise, most likely a trilogy. And that, my friends, is a Hollywood remake bingo. Back when Warner and New Line were making their new Escape with producer Neil Mortiz and director Breck Eisner, a number of names were bandied about to take on Russell’s epic Snake Plissken role, including Gerard Butler, Jeremy Renner, and Tom Hardy. Weirdly, Deadline Hollywood also seems to think that Liam Neeson could make a good Snake – probably because Silver and Studio Canal produced his Unknown and the upcoming Non-Stop, and certainly not because he’s in any way age appropriate (he’s just two years younger than Russell).

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Escape from New York Commentary

It’s time to round out this trifecta. We’ve already covered John Carpenter and Kurt Russell talking about their collaborations on The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China, and today it’s Snake Plissken’s turn. As with the other collaborations – Elvis and Escape From L.A. don’t count, since Carpenter and Russell didn’t provide commentaries for them – Escape From New York is arguably their best, creating an iconic character in Plissken and ratcheting out a gritty but intense sci-fi actioner that continued Carpenter’s trajectory as A-number one in the hearts of movie geeks all over. Like the previous commentaries, this one is sure to be loaded with information from behind the scenes as well as what has to be one of the best examples of camaraderie between an actor and director in recent history. It’s the kind of collaboration that makes you want a third Snake Plissken movie even now, 16 years after the character surfed down a flooded Sunset Boulevard. Yeah, that was dumb, but we’ve gotten over it. Until that day comes when Plissken – The name is Snake – strapped the leg holsters back on, we’ll have to fall back on this action classic made fresh with a solid commentary running over it. So let’s get to it, shall we? All 31 things we learned listening to the commentary for Escape From New York.

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So, Barack Obama is keeping his job as our next President of the United States. Neat. While morale is no doubt varied because of this, I’m sure the one thing we can all agree is that 100% of us would rather see our mother get punched in the face than deal with another second of politics. So to ease us back into reality and adjust our eyes to the light, here is a list of made up presidents in films. Guys who, no matter what party affiliation, we can all agree would beat out either of this year’s candidates. And by “beat out,” I mean with fists.

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Ernest Borgnine Oscar

Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine died Sunday in Los Angeles, according to Variety. He was 95. The consummate character actor was the oldest living Best Actor recipient (having won for his brilliant turn as a love-seeking butcher in 1955′s Best Picture winner Marty). Throughout his career, he played a wide spectrum of characters – getting to strangle Lee Marvin, calling upon his own military experience for several roles, and escaping from New York with Kurt Russell. He played towering figures and bit parts with equal gusto and shared a grand sense of passion and dedication to his art. There are more than a few of his films available to watch instantly, and Quint over at AICN (who had the privilege of speaking with the man) has a fantastic feature honoring Borgnine, There are few actors so skilled, humble and beloved. It’s funny, then, that is last role should be in The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez as a bitter old man looking back on a life lived without meaning. From the way fans, friends and family speak of him, it’s easy to see that that final role might be the furthest from his true personality. He will be greatly missed.  

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An adaptation of Gears of War and a remake of Escape from New York are tricky projects. The hit video game series is huge in scale, and if was translated right, it would make for a very, very hard-R picture. As for taking on John Carpenter’s cult classic, who could actually fill the shoes of Snake Plissken? Well, to answer that question, it was almost Lost‘s own Josh Holloway, a pick no sane man would disagree with. Total Recall director Len Wiseman was once attached to both projects a few years ago. While speaking with him today about his upcoming flick I had to ask what they might have been like. As it turns out, if he didn’t have his way, we could have gotten a $60m version of Gears of War starring wrestlers. Now there’s a film no fan wants to see. So what would they have been like?

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When Zoolander came out on September 28, 2001, the production had digitally removed The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers from the New York City skyline in an effort to avoid displaying a devastating image in the middle of a comedy about the world of fashion. If they’d have left it in, it wouldn’t have been the first time the buildings had been featured on film or television. Since they didn’t, it marks the first time the buildings were ever erased. With the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 coming this Sunday, it’s impossible not to be consumed a bit by the gravity of an action that killed so many and lowered a different world view onto all of us. Landon and I talked on Reject Radio regarding the effect that the day had on movies and movie-watchers, but that mostly dealt with the last decade – the world that came after that morning. As a counterpart, here’s a simply-edited montage of the past. Dan Meth has built a view to the movies where the Twin Towers either stood proudly in the background, made prominent appearances in the front of the action, or acted as the set. It’s stirring in its matter-of-factness, and it’s more than a little moving, but it’s ultimately a celebration of a symbol that no longer (physically) exists. Check it out for yourself:

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For every ten unnecessary remakes that make it to the big screen it’s worth remembering that once in a while we dodge a bullet. The most recent example being the big budget reboot of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. Carpenter’s admittedly goofy but entertaining as hell classic from 1981 has been on track for a remake for some time now. Every few months names of newly rumored directors and stars would hit the blogosphere including Brett Ratner, Len Wiseman, Gerard Butler, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hardy, and Breck Eisner. Of those only the last was really appealing in the slightest as Eisner turned in a fine horror flick with his remake of The Crazies, but this was never an endeavor to getting excited over. The original film is set in the far away future of 1997 where the island of Manhattan has been turned into a walled prison (still a great idea) that no one ever exits. Air Force One crashes inside and Snake Plissken, an ex-soldier turned convicted bank robber, is given a single shot at freedom… get in, find and rescue the US President, and get him out alive. There’s a lively supporting cast including Donald Pleasance, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Van Cleef, and Adrienne Barbeau, but the real stars of the film are Carpenter and Kurt Russell. It’s a fantastically fun ride that mixes action, cynical humor, and social/political commentary into an entertaining B-movie. Per Deadline New Amsterdam, New Line and Warner Bros. […]

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I like these twitter Q and A’s. The best one so far to speak of is the video Q and A with Werner Herzog, a man that could probably still give existential and out there answers to the dumbest of questions. He’s a guy I could listen to all day. Another guy I could listen to all day? The very friendly John Carpenter. From 2:00-3:30 p.m. (PST), the director behind too many to count classics will be participating in a twitter Q and A. Sadly, this not a video one like the Herzog’s. But considering it’s been quite some time since the horror icon’s Ghost of Mars(…) and the fact that it may be a few more years until we get a followup to The Ward, it’s still a rare treat. Here’s all you have to do to throw a question to Carpenter: Send your questions to @ARC_Entertain and make sure to include #theward in your tweet. And for those of you who didn’t know, Carpenter is already an active participant on twitter: @TheHorrorMaster The Ward is now in limited release and on VOD.

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Remember a few years ago when news first broke about plans for a remake of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York? Roughly three years ago actually. Well someone still thinks it’s a good idea.

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We all love seeing the Earth blow up in movies, even if it rarely happens. We’re in this fight together, and if we all pitch in just a little bit, we’ll be able to witness the complete death of our Earth many times during our lifetime.

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Carpenter seems untouchable these days, and he’s only getting started. See what he’s got up his sleeve inside…

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Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the other white meat. Yes, this is the questionable truck-stop diner of the information super highway. Each week I serve up greasy, fattening cinematic Grand Slams in the hopes that your otherwise healthy viewing habits may be corrupted.

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We won’t be wasting breath discussing the unnecessary inanity behind remaking John Carpenter’s still awesome and highly entertaining 1981 classic, Escape From New York. No, we already did that back in 2007 when it was first announced. Instead we’re just going to update you with the latest news on the project and ask who you think could possibly fill Kurt Russell’s shoes.

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Top5Dunstan

Six years ago, Marcus Dunstan was working at Blockbuster Home Video. Within the past four years, he and writing partner Patrick Melton have become major go-to’s in the horror world. On Friday, his directorial debut opened on 1,325 screens. Today, he shares his Top 5 Films with The Rejects. And now, in his own words…

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