Logan’s Run

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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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Ryan Gosling with Nicolas Winding Refn

According to Variety’s Justin Kroll, Ryan Gosling won’t be involved in Nicolas Winding Refn‘s remake of Logan’s Run after all. It was set to be the third collaboration between the pair following Drive and the forthcoming Only God Forgives, but now the project – which is set up over at Warners – is in need of a lead. There’s not much information here, so trying to come up with a reason would be pure speculation, although Gosling is planning on directing for the first time with How to Catch a Monster in just a few months, so it could be a simple scheduling issue. The original, based off the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, told the story of a future that’s (surprise) Dystopian in nature. Michael York played Logan 5, an enforcer charged with killing people who have hit their 30th birthday but have refused a ceremony called “Carrousel” which might be a chance at reincarnation or a front for pure population control. When they run, he chases them down. While the original film is a lot of depressing fun, a remake wouldn’t be such a bad prospect, especially with an insane person like Refn at the wheel. With Gosling gone, though, it seems all but certain that someone like Colin Farrell will fill the position. Did it just get more generic, or could a new actor bring an even better angle to the project?

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Fantastic Fest: Alex Garland

In many ways, Alex Garland is not dissimilar from Judge Dredd. He’s tough, he’s fearless, and he doesn’t mince words. Arguably, no one was more qualified to reboot the 70s comic book antihero than Garland. Not only is he a fan of the source material, but he’s also proven time and time again to be one of the most interesting voices in cinematic sci-fi. Films like Sunshine, Never Let Me Go, and now Dredd form quite the imposing catalog. When we sat down with Garland during Fantastic Fest, like Dredd walking into Peach Trees, we got more than we bargained for.

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The Hunger Games

Maybe our science fiction writers have failed us with all their damned pessimism, or maybe we’re all just obsessed with the world ending because it’s definitely going to stop spinning this year. Either way, everyone on this doomed planet is currently obsessed with the cold, distant Dystopian futures of hits like The Hunger Games. Now it’s time to figure out what it all means (which also means a bit of psychoanalysis). Good thing the Jennifer Lawrence-starring flick has people hungrily dissecting it for meaning. The results? Old Jewish heroines, our cinematic past, Occupy Wall Street, unspoken sexuality and the anti-Twilight.

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Looks like Hollywood has picked their next big action director, and they’re not wasting much time setting him up with his next project. Daniel Espinosa likely made Universal very happy with his first English-language film, Safe House, which has already grossed $135m, and now Warner Bros. wants in on what the Snabba Cash helmer is dishing out. The studio is reportedly in negotiations for Espinosa to direct The Outsider, “a gritty action film” that centers on “a POW in Osaka in WWII who goes to work for the Yakuza.” Grit? Action? Bad people? Yup, that’s Espinosa’s wheelhouse. The script’s been written by newcomer Andrew Baldwin, and he comes with his very own pedigree. While Baldwin hasn’t seen one of his scripts hit the screen yet, he’s a hot commodity in Hollywood. Last October, he was hired on to rewrite the Logan’s Run remake that Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling have been all over, and he’s been on the Black List twice – once with The Outsider in 2011 and once with The West Is Dead in 2008. When it appeared on the Black List, the logline for the film read “In post World War II Japan, an American former prisoner-of-war rises in the yakuza,” so yeah, that’s about what we’ve got for now.

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Tonight during a hilarious Q & A with Nicolas Winding Refn‘s for his near-perfect film Drive — yes, it’s about as a perfect as a movie can get — the rising auteur dropped two interesting stories. For one, apparently Ryan Gosling will soon be working with Terrence Malick. Refn briefly mentioned that Gosling may do the project after he’s done with Only God Forgives, and before Logan’s Run. Obviously, this news means we’ll be getting the remake a little later than expected. Fortunately enough, Refn has another project to keep himself busy during that time.

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Culture Warrior

Warning: this editorial contains spoilers for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (and, for that matter, the original Planet of the Apes). Consider yourself warned, you maniacs! The original Planet of the Apes lends itself quite readily to allegory. 1968, the year of the film’s release, was the peak of one of the most tumultuous eras in American social history. Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down in April of that year, and Robert F. Kennedy’s death followed a mere two months later. Student resistance and campus demonstrations grew increasingly violent in their opposition to the Vietnam War, the Chicago DNC broke into an all-out war, and racial discord mounted. Of course, none of this had happened yet when Planet of the Apes went into production, but the intersections of intent and circumstance that permit the film to be read so heavily, so variously, and so often in allegorical terms enrich the original film and its sequels with resonance that outlives whatever else may date it. Beyond entertainment value, the Planet of the Apes series has lingered in the popular imagination not because of any strong connection to a specific associative meaning, but because of the many possible allegorical readings it is capable of containing. One of several reasons that Rise of the Planet of the Apes succeeds where previous reincarnations of the series did not is its reclaimed capacity for allegory.

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For those of you new to the column, I am recalling pivotal events in my life that contributed to what I am today: A Special Make Up Effects Artist searching for relevance in the 21st Century. I had learned about liquid latex; I had my Super 8mm camera. Now, all I needed was the spark, the inspiration to push me. I am 15 years old… High School is a major adjustment for everyone, and I was no different. Archbishop Shaw High School in Marrero, Louisiana was not known for its liberal arts education. It didn’t have the reputation for being an Ivy League prep school. It was known for its football team. Consisting of an all-male student body you can imagine what life for a pudgy, sci-fi/horror loving, non-athlete was like. I was lucky, however, that when I entered the school as a freshman, my brother was already a senior. I had fallen in with a group of friends that carried over from grammar school that had similar interests, but for the most part, we knew we would have to keep a low profile in order to survive. That was Fall of 1976. America had enjoyed its big 200th birthday party that July and we movie lovers had a pretty good summer between King Kong, Logan’s Run, and The Omen. Hidden in my books were copies of “Starlog” and “Cinefantastique” magazines, and the margins of my notebooks were illuminated with sketches of creatures and space ships. We still had a […]

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Keanu Reeves’ The Day The Earth Stood Still remake got us thinking about other impending re-imaginings of science fiction classics. That in turn got us thinking about “classic” sci-fi films that should never get remade. Which in turn got us thinking about a few that probably should.

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Hunter Prey

To be honest, I had only heard of fan auteur director Sandy Collora once before today — but that is likely to change, as his film Hunter Prey looks pretty damn cool.

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