Tag Archives: james cameron

Terminator: Dark Fate – First Trailer and New Featurette!

Paramount has released the first teaser trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate, the sixth Terminator movie but the first to have the direct involvement of original mastermind James Cameron since the first two movies.

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Three “Avatar” Sequels in the Works

“No one ever dies in science fiction.”

James Cameron—blockbuster film director, deep-sea diver, and old lady diamond necklace fetishist—said this in the fall of 2011 when it was confirmed that Sigourney Weaver would return in the sequel to the 2009 mega-smash Avatar, despite the fact that her character died in the first movie.

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Grizzly Review: The Raid – Redemption

I’ll be the first to admit that good action films have definitely taken a backseat to the almighty dollar. Instead of taking time and money to coordinate fantastically coordinated action sequences, the “shit blows up” mentality has completely taken over Hollywood and forced American viewers to drastically lower their expectations when it comes to the definition of the word “cool”. Slow-motion and big budgets have completely taken precedence over precision and stylish filmmaking. I mean, how is it that we live in a world where one Michael Bay movie makes more than Guy Ritchie’s entire career gross combined? It’s a little sickening if you ask me.

But the question can certainly arise, what is a good action film? Is violence more important than story? What about the writing? Does it have to be as good as Pulp Fiction or can it safely reside in James Cameron territory? If you want an answer from me, I’d have to say that I’m a purist when it comes to action films. I like good violence, great camerawork, and I can definitely live with a lack of fantastic storytelling and writing or acting. But it’s true that original and simple premises make the best action films. In my honest opinion, Crank is one of the best American action films to come out in the past few years.

I also think it’s true that most of the great action films aren’t even from this country. And after seeing The Raid: Redemption, my opinion was proven. In terms of pure, unadulterated violence, The Raid is one of the best action films…of all time. Starring all Indonesian actors with a script and direction by a Welsh filmmaker, the film tells a culturally Asian story with the eye of an innovative European. The result, simply put, is beautiful.

The premise is simple. A SWAT team is sent in to the most dangerous apartment complex in all of Indonesia. They’re sent to take down the most powerful drug lord in the entire nation, who lives on the top floor. But to get there, they have to face 15 floors full of gun-toting and drugged-out henchman who will stop at nothing to make sure nobody makes it out alive.

Led by Jaka (Joe Taslim), the team’s captain, a slew of rookie SWAT are sent in basically to be murdered by the seemingly countless men who pop out of every corner. The real star of the film, though, is Rama (Iko Uwais), a rookie member of the team who is a master of martial arts. In pursuit of Rama is Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian), a psychotic and unfairly skilled martial artist who is literally a human killing machine. A fun fact, the actor who plays Mad Dog was also the stunt choreographer for the film alongside Iko Uwais, the other star of the film.

The Raid: Redemption knows that its premise is pure video game, and it exploits this fact. By realizing that the nameless and faceless make the best victims, the film sends them out to our young hero not in groups, but in waves. He takes out entire hallways full of men armed with every hunting machete known to man. Countless action sequences highlight the stars’ talents, and the choreography of the fight sequences could be misconstrued as interpretive dance if it were performed on a stage.

In a decision that I support fully, The Raid is very short on story, instead putting much more focus into the perfection of the action. And let me tell you, the action really is perfect. The second half especially becomes much more intense, as there are less characters and more time for us to get to know the few people left alive. It all leads up to a truly breathtaking climax that will forever grace my mind with fond memories of a film that is truly unbeatable.

The camerawork is some of the best I’ve seen recently, with all angles exploited as Rama and Co. make their way up to the top of the building from Hell. It reminded me a lot of the Navy SEALS docudrama-action Act of Valor, but without all the…awfulness. Writer/director Gareth Evans knows exactly what he wants here and he makes it happen, with the results bordering genius.

Sure, when all is said and done, The Raid is a rather exhausting experience, but it’s the exhaustion that I rather liked. I felt changed as I walked out of the theater. Like something inside of me knew that that is what an action film is supposed to look like. Of course, I knew that at the exact moment when Rama takes a victim’s head and does a fly-back, pulling his neck and body into a line of wooden spikes created from a broken door.

4.5/5 Bears

The Hobbit in 48fps Demos Film Evolution, Pissed Some People Off

As you can tell, we here at Grizzly Bomb take our snobbish film elitist roles very seriously (duh, we’re on the internet immediately judging and shoving our opinion into people’s throats because we’re empowered by the web). We are also major geeks/nerds that will drool at the prospect of seeing The Hobbit hit the screen in two films. Sometimes these two things do not work in harmony though. We have the capacity to geek out, but news has come out today that will definitely be a talking point until The Hobbit comes out in December. What’s the issue? Peter Jackson has embraced the ‘evolution’ of filmmaking and filmed in 48fps. He decided to screen 10 minutes of the film to various critics at CinemaCon 2012. The problem? Everyone thinks it looks like it was filmed for television. Not even like good television. Like the afternoon soap opera with the motionflow on 120hz TVs. This…is an issue.

According to EW and FilmDrunk, many critics have taken to twitter to give their thoughts on the change and it’s easy to say that most have been very mixed. Kind of like a good news, bad news deal. Here are some thoughts:

“Saw ten minutes of Hobbit in 48fps 3D. Very exciting, but I’m now very unsure about higher framerates #CinemaCon” -Peter Sciretta, SlashFilm

“Great Scott, THE HOBBIT in 48 frames-per-second is a thing to behold. Totally different experience. Not all will like the change” – Josh Dickey, Variety

“Saw 10 min of THE HOBBIT in 48fps. It’s def a drastic change from 24fps and many are not going to be on board with it. #thehobbit” -Steve Weintraub, Collider

“Oh no. Not a fan of 48fps. Oh no no no. […] Listening to Cinemacon people – theater owners – this 48fps demo sold NOBODY. […] THE HOBBIT, frankly, did not look cinematic.” “Here’s what The Hobbit looked like to me: a hi-def version of the 1970s I, Claudius. It is drenched in a TV-like — specifically ’70s-era BBC — video look. People on Twitter have asked if it has that soap opera look you get from badly calibrated TVs at Best Buy, and the answer is an emphatic YES,” -Devin Faraci, BadassDigest

“It’s literally like being on the set next to the actors as they’re performing. […] Once audiences get to seeThe Hobbit screened at the 48 frames per second rate when it’s released in theaters on December 14, 2012, I can guarantee moviegoers are going to demand all films be presented at 48 fps.”- Rebecca Murray, About.com

“Saw the 10 minutes of raw The Hobbit footage in 48FPS 3D. Intriguing, the footage looks amazing, but the 48FPS experience is an odd change” – Alex Billington, Firstshowing.com

Soooo yeah. Let’s tackle the apparent good first. This is huge for film because this was done to make the picture as crisp and realistic as possible and from all apparent signs, it has accomplished that. Film is usually filmed in 24fps so it has a certain look to it where it does not look real life in terms of movements with the camera and the action. Everyone says it is the sharpest picture they have ever seen. However, you are also undoing the look of film over the last several decades. Film has a certain quality to it and to change that look completely is completely jarring. So much so that Peter Jackson himself said he screened 10 minutes because it takes the eyes awhile to adjust to the new look.

Now let me add, I have not seen the footage and can only judge on my experience on watching movies with the motionflow feature. If it is anything like that, which some people on twitter have compared it to, I will have a conniption. Motionflow is great for smoothing out high movement shows like sports. It is terrific for hockey and basketball in my opinion because you want to feel like you are there in the bleachers without having any artifacting or stutters on the screen. However, watching Saving Private Ryan or Thor with this feature on feels…off. It does have a soap opera feel and takes you out of the experience. Storming the beach at Normandy felt like it was filled on a flip cam. It did not feel like a movie. Again, I do not doubt that this will look beautiful, or that this is probably the way filmmaking may go. But we are so used to having one thing and we all know how we all react to change. It is going to divide people and that is good. Filmmaking will always be debated down to the details and it will help “evolve” film whether by frames per second or certain details like film vs digital. I look forward to witnessing this for myself as will the rest of you. I also look forward to the debate at Dennys with Dr. Kronner after the midnight showing on whether it looked great, looked like garbage, and whether films should move in that direction or not. As it should be. Then we will probably get in a fight with someone at Dennys too. Because that’s how we roll at Grizzly Bomb.

Dr. Sleep: Stephen King Writes Sequel to ‘The Shining’

The Shining is a classic movie by all accounts, and bridges the gap between horror and thriller genres allowing it to be heralded by geeks, fiends and “the thinking man” alike.  It’s a movie that is extremely quotable and therefore quite often lampooned and even though it was a product of the 80’s it is still watchable and relevant today. The Shining came in at #29 on AFI’s “Top 100 Thrills” list and more importantly is #2 on The Grizzly Bomb’s list of “Top Horror Movies of the 1980’s”.

The Shining was of course based on Stephen King’s book of the same name and it seems that King has finally returned to the Torrance family with the announcement of his new book Dr. Sleep. According to Wikipedia and other online rumor millings Dr. Sleep follows a grown up Danny Torrance who is using his mental powers to help terminally ill patients move to the beyond. On his current promotional tours Stephen King has been reading the first chapter of Dr. Sleep which catches up to an 8-year old Danny Torrance. Danny and his Mom have moved to Florida where they keep in touch with fellow Overlook survivor Dick Hallorann {he doesn’t get axed in the back in the book} and, as we soon find out, the woman from room 217 haunts more than one bathroom in the world. By doing some quick math we can extrapolate that Dr. Sleep will likely be a modern tale. The Shining takes place in 1977 and Danny is four and if Dr. Sleep follows him at age forty, as rumored, that would set the tale in 2013.

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Terminator is Back… And so is Arnold Schwarzenegger

I am one of those who actually liked Terminator: Salvation. It was taking us into the territory of the Terminator franchise that so many of us wanted – a whole movie based on  The Resistance war against Skynet and the machines. I thought it was done very well, with all new terminators, a decent grouping of actors and a not too shabby storyline, given the fact that the writer’s strike was happening at the time. I just wanted a movie finally taking place after Judgement Day with the war already in its beginnings and Salvation gave that to me.

Although it didn’t perform as well as the studio had predicted, they were still supposed to go on with making two more sequels, but after money woes and auctioning off the rights to Terminator, chances of that were slim. It was like taking a couple licks off your blue moon ice cream cone and the rest gets knocked out of your hand by a psychotic Easter Bunny.

Now comes news via Deadline that the franchise is not only on track to be revived and continued, but it will involve one of the two men who made Terminator and Terminator 2 such a success: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes I know James Cameron’s vision made the first two movies so spectacular, but Arnold was the other major reason for the movies’ success. Here’s a little from the article:

Arnold Schwarzenegger is attached to star in a rights package that CAA is shopping today that will revive The Terminator, one of Hollywood’s most iconic scifi franchises. The agency is dropping the package on studios this afternoon. I’m told that already, Universal, Sony and Lionsgate, and CBS Films are looking hard at the package. There is no screenwriter attached at this point, and Robert Cort is producing. This is the first real activity on The Terminator project since February 2010, when the property emerged from a bankruptcy auction and into the possession of Pacificor.

Not only is this awesome news that the Terminator story will continue, but I’m also glad to see Arnold returning to a project that will put him back in the main spotlight. I’m sorry, but the Governator just ain’t gonna do it for me. I want Terminator! True Lies 2! Jingle All The Way 2! Well, scratch the Jingle All the Way bit… you get the point.

What does everyone think of this? Is Arnold “too old for this shit”, or are you ready to see him back as a T-800 breaking faces? I say hell yeah to the second part of that question. Comment below or Skynet will find you…