Face/Off

Coma patients

In the movie If I Stay, Chloe Grace Moretz plays a teenage girl who winds up in a coma when she’s in a car accident with her family. As her body lies in a hospital bed, her consciousness stands to the side, able to observe what’s going on in the room. She can watch her loved ones visit, see her boyfriend play her a song. And she also flashes back to past events while contemplating whether or not she should wake up and stay alive. Her choice, apparently. Do comatose patients actually have out-of-body experiences? Some claim so, but OBEs are not really scientifically recognized, at least not as anything other than a dream. Movies aren’t subject to the rules of accepted science, though, and that goes for depictions of comas in general. In 2006, a doctor conducted a study of 30 movies featuring comatose persons (not including Liz Garbus‘s solid HBO doc Coma, made after the study) and concluded that only two of them were accurately portrayed: Reversal of Fortune and The Dreamlife of Angels (the study is published in the medical journal “Neurology”, which you can pay to read here; but you can download the data-supplement list of movie titles here). That was mainly for what comas are like externally and for the patient afterward, however. There’s not really much to go on as far as what it’s like internally from the perspective of the person in the coma. So, this week’s edition of The Movies Tell Us is only briefly focused on […]

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Face Off Movie

When Face/Off came out in 1997, I was in my senior year of college, and I vaguely remember finding it to be a pretty terrific action movie. Directed by John Woo, who had garnered much acclaim for his hyper-violent melodramas such as Hard Boiled and The Killer, it was a hit with both audiences and critics, making an impressive $245M worldwide. But here’s the thing — we’ve lost sight of the fact that 17 years ago, a movie was made that starred John fucking Travolta and Nicolas fucking Cage. Did we somehow forget this? Have we collectively ignored what an absolutely bananas confluence of events this is? I myself just recently realized this and decided that on those two factors alone, it deserved a rewatch. Holy fucking shit, you guys.

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1200

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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There’s good news for everybody who loves bad acting and silly hairdos: Nicolas Cage and John Travolta are looking to reform their winning Face/Off team. The last time we saw these two film giants on screen together they were stealing each other’s faces and parroting each other’s wackiest acting tics. Since then they’ve gone on to individually star in about a gazillion too hip for their age range acting roles. Cage has been experimenting mostly with multi-colored weaves, while Travolta has been dabbling mostly in pointy looking facial hair. So what are they planning on doing if they get back together? Well, it could be one of two things. The first possibility is a film called Shrapnel. It is about a Bosnian soldier who is seeking revenge against an American who wounded him in a deadly bit of back woods trickery. Shrapnel was written by Evan Dougherty, it was voted one of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood back in 2008, and studio execs are looking to get it moving for a June start date. The second possibility would be a thriller called Sea Trial. It is an adaptation of a Frank De Felitta novel that has been adapted by his screenwriting son Raymond De Felitta. I found a weirdly worded description from the back of a paperback version of the novel that describes the story thusly:

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geekgasm-60sbooksheader

Artist Mitch Ansara has created what could be called one the first geekgasm of 2009: 1960s-inspired paperback book covers of novelized movie adaptations. Okay, so it might not sound so cool at first, but you’ve got to check some of these covers out.

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