TimeCrimes

Mark Webber in 13 Sins

In almost every set of “dueling” movies, whether they’re competing biopics or similar-premise disaster flicks out within months of each other, there’s a right one and a wrong one as far as which you’re supposed to prefer. It’s okay to enjoy Michael Bay’s Armageddon, but you should recognize Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact as the better movie. Capote over Infamous. Observe and Report over Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Top Gun over Iron Eagle. Dantes Peak over Volcano. Tombstone over Wyatt Earp. 1492: Conquest of Paradise over Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. The Prestige over The Illusionist. Mission to Mars over Red Planet. Chasing Liberty over First Daughter. Leviathan over DeepStar Six, and The Abyss over both of them. Some pairs are nearly a draw as far as neither actually being worth a preference, such as Lambada and The Forbidden Dance. Here’s a more recent one: Cheap Thrills over 13 Sins. The former came out first (in March), which is often a plus financially but can also be in a movie’s favor with critics. It sure seems that way given the distance between their Rotten Tomatoes rating (88% to 58%). The latter opened in April and now is available on DVD and VOD as of last week, and it hasn’t been receiving nearly as much love. Well, maybe it’s because I actually saw it first, but I like 13 Sins better. They’re not really easily comparable outside their likeminded concept, both involving a desperate guy performing rising-stakes dares for rising sums of money. 13 Sins is richer (and sometimes […]

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Nacho Vigalondo Extraterrestrial

Let’s face it. When the alien invasion comes (and it will), most of us are going to be useless to help fight them back. We’re either going to be hiding or running for our lives into government-run bunkers. Nacho Vigalondo gets this, which is part of the reason why he chose not to focus on the heroes for his latest film, Extraterrestrial. His follow-up to TimeCrimes is a sci-fi flick married to a conversational screwball romantic comedy. He was gracious enough to give us a glimpse of his madcap mind – explaining his love for guilty characters, celebrating Invasion of the Body Snatchers and explaining the connection between his latest movie and the TV show Moonlighting. Extraterrestrial is out Friday, June 15 in select theaters, and you can demand it through Tugg.

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He’s already writing the script, so why not take a seat in the director’s chair as well? Steve Zaillian is probably best known as a writer (for modern classics like Schindler’s List and for this year’s double feature of Moneyball and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), but he’s also done some strong directing work with Searching For Bobby Fischer and A Civil Action. He’s already on board to write a remake of Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes, and now The Playlist is reporting that he’s considering directing as well. It would undoubtedly be a different sandbox for him to play in, but the biggest question is whether the magic of the original can be maintained in a domestic version from a man more known for broadly appealing adult drama. The original is rightfully hailed, but it’s also a cult movie for a reason. Plus, when Zaillian infamously remade All the King’s Men, he never saw the original film, and the result was disastrous. At least with Vigalondo’s work, there’s no other source material, so Zaillian had to watch it in order to write the script. You know, theoretically. And, yes, this is another foreign remake under Zaillian’s belt. It’s an interesting new line of work to go into.

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The prospect of remaking Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes might seem sacrilege to some who obsess over the cult film from the insane director (who is solely responsible for making “Chaos Reigns!” the catch phrase of Fantastic Fest 2009), but it’s a good candidate for a remake here in the States. This is the sort of project that gets people to go back and view the criminally under-seen original. For a while, Steve Zaillian was signed on to produce the flick, but now he’s taking over the writing duties as well. That’s a formidable match. The science fiction element of a man accidentally traveling back in time and knocking over the dominoes that lead to a horrific crime is something that, obviously, Zaillian hasn’t had a chance to apply his impressive talents to yet. But the man knows character and he knows tension and he knows drama. Plus, as Drew over at HitFix astutely points out, his involvement as the writer could get some heavy directors (like Cronenberg) to turn their gaze to it. As long as Vigalondo is still involved, this may be one of a handful of remakes that’s actually warranted.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

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2008review-editorspicks

As is customary this time of year, it is my duty (and honor) to present you my list of the Ten Best Films of 2008. And in the past year we’ve seen an interesting range of films, have we not?

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Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to look for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… Spain!

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FSR

Kevin Carr looks at Punisher: War Zone, Frost/Nixon and Timecrimes, in theaters this week with the FSR Report Card.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil drive a Cadillac through the War Zone and take some shots at David Frost and Richard Nixon. They continue with their proselytizing for the cause of Fatguyenatics and the Church of Fatguyentology, in which they canonize their first patron saint.

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