11 items from 2008
- Big ideas sometimes come in small packages. A couple of years back, my top film from the Sundance film fest was exactly just that -- a short film by a commercials director named Carter Smith. Bugcrush would go on to claim many international film awards and has set the one time photographer on a career path in feature filmmaking. They used to call the form the best calling card for an eventual feature length career --- now with the whole viral thing the short form complements an auteur’s body of work. 5,632 submissions were submitted this year with 96 short films making the cut including the impressive Next Floor from Denis Villeneuve (see pic). When I cover Sundance I usually don’t attend the short programs, I’ll occasionally catch When I’m not seeing the shorts that come right before select feature length films, I’ll attempt to grab as many screeners, »
A hearty list of healthy and horrendous yet heartfelt horrors arrives this Tuesday, July 8th, 2008...
American Zombie (2008)
Directed by Grace Lee
Set in an alternate reality where zombies are an everyday occurrence, a man decides he wants to make his name known to the film community by making a very important documentary about the undead. He brings on renowned doccumentarian Grace Lee, and together they set out to get the bottom of the real life of the undead. Not a bad concept, actually, and according to our American Zombie DVD review, one that’s pulled off pretty well. Buy it here!
Bat Without Wings (1980)
Directed by Chu Yuan
I’m confused by the title, but apparently this is a recurring villain throughout some martial arts films. In this one, after a five-year absence, the Bat Without Wings returns to the small village it’s made so miserable in the past, »
- Johnny Butane
By Alison Willmore
For the many ill-wishers out there, the most disappointing thing about M. Night Shyamalan's environmental thriller "The Happening" wasn't that it was a failure, but that it wasn't a spectacular failure. Critics went in with their long knives out, only to leave shrugging that they've seen worse. Having made $59 million in theaters, it's not even the box office bomb some expected after "Lady in the Water." All in all, "The Happening" is actually pretty successful, considering it's a serious horror film about trees... that kill! In honor of that dubious designation, here's a look at the spotty history of films about murderous botanic life that have preceded it.
Film: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978)
Directed by John De Bello
M.O.: Produce that, for no apparent reason, become massive and murderous.
De Bello's broad comedy mocked B-movie conventions while bearing its reported $90,000 budget like a badge of honor. »
- Alison Willmore
Paramount Home Entertainment sent us the official DVD artwork and release details for the upcoming Unrated DVD release “The Ruins”, by director Carter Smith and starring Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone (The Messenger), Laura Ramsey (Shrink) and Shawn Ashmore (X2). Hollywood, Calif. - Something deadly comes to life on July 8, 2008 when the terrifying thriller The Ruins debuts as an unrated DVD and Blu-ray disc from Paramount Home Entertainment. Based on the gripping best-selling novel by Scott Smith, The Ruins [...] »
- Brian Corder
Play the official “The Ruins” flash video game based on the upcoming DVD release of “The Ruins” by director Carter Smith and starring Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone (The Messenger), Laura Ramsey (Shrink) and Shawn Ashmore (X2). Synopsis: Bright sun, warm waters and sandy beaches beckon countless Americans every year, particularly young adults seeking inexpensive fun. Enter Amy and Stacy, two best friends who bring along their very different boyfriends–focused med student Jeff and free-spirited partier Eric. As the group’s vacation nears [...] »
- Brian Corder
Paramount Home Entertainment has announced both the rated and unrated editions of The Ruins, which stars Jonathan Tucker, Shawn Ashmore, Jena Malone, and Laura Ramsey. Each will carry an anamorphic widescreen transfer, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. DVD Active reports that no extra material will be included on the rated edition. The unrated DVD will include a commentary by Director Carter Smith and Editor Jeff Betancourt, 3 featurettes (Making The Ruins, Creeping Death, Building The Ruins), 5 additional scenes (Rain, Celebration, Going Over The Escape Plan, Alternate Ending, Original Theatrical Ending), and trailers. An unrated Blu-ray edition will also be available with identical features. »
- Thursday April 3rd:. NYC: Big visitor in town. Museum of the Moving Image suggests An Evening With Wong Kar-wai moderated by curator David Schwartz. Wkw talks about his NYC-set My Blueberry Nights. 7:00 p.m. Friday April 4th:. Carter Smith's directorial debut comes in the form of The Ruins. Dreamworks releases this horror pic wide. Saturday April 5th:. Pick your import night: Israel (Jellyfish) China (Tuya's Marriage) or France (Water Lilies). Sunday April 6th:. Screwball Sunday. Perhaps give George Clooney's Leatherheads a try. Monday April 7th:. Brooklyn, NY: What is a favorite film of Martin Scorsese, Jerry Garcia, and Luis Buñuel? 1965's three hour Polish film from Wojciech Has' The Saragossa Manuscript (Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie) is at the Bam. Click here for screening times. Tuesday April 8th:. DVD: I. Drink.Your.... Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece There Will Be Blood (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition) gets released. »
By Neil Pedley
This week is something of a nostalgia trip with a period comedy, Freddie Prinze Jr. and a concert documentary about a group of men who, by all the laws of man and nature, should not still be alive and walking around.
"The Flight of the Red Balloon"
After being nominated for the Palme d'Or an incredible five times at Cannes, it's no wonder that director Hou Hsiao-hsien has become a Francophile. In his first film outside of Asia, the "Three Times" auteur directs the country's first lady of cinema, Juliette Binoche, in a story about an overburdened mother who receives a much-needed lift from her son's Chinese nanny (Song Fang) as they turn the City of Lights into a magical playground for the 7-year-old Simon . a tribute to Albert Lamorisse's 1956 short. In French with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.
"Jack and Jill vs. the World »
- Neil Pedley
- I normally wouldn't care much about the latest horror flick - (I manage to only be interested in one out of every fifteen), but Carter Smith's directorial debut is an event I'm looking forward to partially due to the property on which it is based (Scott B. Smith's novel) but because I've been big on Carter's short film Bugcrush since I caught it at Sundance over two years ago. I've noticed lots of other sites get on the Smith bandwagon - and I imagine interest for his following project Come Closer will only intensive. Comingsoon's horror site got their hands on the one sheet - we can quickly grasp that the setting of the narrative plays an important part in the ultimate demise of this band of youths. The Ruins follows four American friends on vacation in Cancún, Mexico—Jeff (Tucker), Amy, Eric and Stacy—who meet a German tourist, »
- With Alexandre Aja no longer in the picture - officially going the large scale horror route with Piranha 3-D, the trades report that Paramount Pictures have decided extend their partnership with David Fincher setting the snubbed in 2007 filmmaker for the graphic novel to screen, teen angst project Black Hole. What sounds like good news for Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman who are both adapting the screenplay, familiar in theme to Carter Smith's short film BugCrush, this will be based on the 12-issue comic book (painstakingly written!) and illustrated by Charles Burns over a 10-year period. This will feature a young cast (perhaps calling back Panic Room's Kristen Stewart in the fold, she still looks like a teen). Fincher is probably in the final stages of post-production with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and will be choosing between projects - curiously a pile up of graphic novels »
- #25. The Ruins Director: Carter SmithWriters: Scott B. Smith adaptated his own novel Producers: Chris Bender (The Butterfly Effect 2), Stuart Cornfeld and actor Ben Stiller Distributor: DreamWorks Pictures The Gist: Based on Smith's novel, this follows four American friends on vacation in Cancún, Mexico—Jeff, Amy, Eric and Stacy—who meet a German tourist, Mathias, and persuades them to join his hunt for his younger brother, Henrich, last seen headed off with a new girlfriend toward some ruins. The four soon regret their impulsive decision after they find themselves lost in the jungle and freaked out by signs that they’re headed for danger. Fact: Carter Smith was a fashion photographer before his breakout award-winning short: View Bugcrush here. See It: This has all the makings of a typical crappy teen/young adult numbers dwindling down horror flick, but Smith is a filmmaker loaded with talent and promise. Release Date/Status? »
11 items from 2008
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