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Ouarzazate, Morocco. Officially, the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate is nicknamed "The door of the desert," resting south of the High Atlas Mountains and on the edge of the Draa Valley. Thanks to the presence of Atlas Studios, though, Ouarzazate is perhaps more appropriately known as The Hollywood of Central Morocco, or perhaps even The Hollywood of Morocco. Ouarzazate has a population of just over 50,000, but in late October of 2014, that population includes a disproportionate number of Jesuses, Judases and an absurd number of Marys, both Jesus' mom and of the Magdalene variety. It's late October of 2014 and Ouarzazate is the beating heart of TV's Biblical world. "It's a very holy town right now," laughs Haaz Sleiman, one of the Ouarzazate Jesi -- Yes, that should be the name of a fantasy baseball team -- specifically playing the title role in National Geographic's "Killing Jesus," the project that has brought me to this region. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Three films in, and Jon Wright is very much a director whose output is worth keeping an eye on. His first full feature, Tormented, was an effective horror with some strong moments, but it was Grabbers where he really struck gold. It remains, along with Tucker & Dale Vs Evil, our favourite horror comedy of recent times. Wright has taken a different turn for his new movie, Robot Overlords, a sci-fi movie aimed at a family audience. And he spared us some time to natter about it...
Can you put into words how you're feeling, on the eve of your film's release?
Well, I'm a bit nervous about the release, as you would be. Hoping it goes well. And I'm reading all the press that people are writing, which I actually think is very interesting. »
As the Robotech film moves ahead, we look at the anime's history, knotty rights issues, cultural impact, and earlier failed film attempts.
"In the year 1999, high above Macross island in the South Pacific, a phenomenal event occurred in the skies which altered the cause of human history..."
With a blaze of animated light, a huge alien space craft bursts through Earth's atmosphere and collides with a city, reducing its buildings to atoms in an instant.
That dramatic opening heralded the arrival of Robotech - and American television had never seen anything quite like it. Here was animated show which told a sprawling saga set across multiple epochs, full of alien invaders and exotic transforming robots. Its characters seemed low-key and somehow real; there were brave pilots, nervy new-recruits, romances and love triangles. There was action, but also comedy, tragedy and pathos. It even provided a generous helping of bubblegum pop music. »
We all know about Harrison Ford’s brush with aviation disaster two weeks ago, but not everyone is hip to the fact that he’s been flying planes for nearly half a century. And he is well known to moviegoers as an onscreen pilot: Think Air Force One, Six Days Seven Nights, the opening scenes of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, even Star Wars (Ok, an admitted stretch). So who better to narrate the upcoming National Geographic Studios giant-screen film Living In The Age Of… »
It’s pretty safe to say that Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala never thought they’d be the subjects of a movie, even as they were making their own. When the two were 8-years-old, they decided to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark shot-for-shot – and then stuck to their guns for the next 30-something years. Now in their 40s, the duo finally finished Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation with a Kickstarter-themed, fully-color corrected, professionally-shot version of the infamous airplane-fight scene done, and a documentary about the whole process in the
- Jeff Miller
In 1981, when Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark was released, everyone was changed by the world of Indiana Jones. However, few changed as much as Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala. The then teenagers decided they wanted to remake the film, shot by shot and did so over the course of the next seven years. It’s a story […]
The post ‘Raiders!’ Review: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made [SXSW 2015] appeared first on /Film. »
- Germain Lussier
There’s a good reason why TV and movies have adopted the disclaimer “Remember kids, don’t try this at home.” As inventive as they were impressionable, pint-sized super-fans Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb nearly killed themselves on multiple occasions attempting to remake the first Indiana Jones movie, breaking it down shot-for-shot and filming each scene as best as their limited resources would allow over the course of eight summers. The result has become the stuff of fan legend, inspiring magazine articles, movie deals and what feels like the perfect Hollywood ending, which the geek-bait documentary “Raiders!” reveals for the first time, as the original trio reunite a quarter-century later to finish the airplane scene they deemed too difficult to film as kids. Often poignant, occasionally pathetic, but never short of entertaining, “Raiders!” captures the obsessive hold movies have on young people’s imaginations, as exemplified by such pics as “Son of Rambow, »
- Peter Debruge
The 2015 SXSW Film Festival kicks off this week, and one film screening there is a documentary called Raiders!, tracking one duo's attempt to complete a lifelong project that began back in 1982: to film a shot-for-shot recreation of Raiders of the Lost Ark. For Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, the project began when they were around 11 years old and continued for seven years, at which point they had shot everything except the film's iconic airport fight scene. The documentary -- as well as the below Vice report on the two -- chronicles those early days in the '80s, as well as their reunion 30 years later to complete the final missing scene. Our favorite bit of trivia about this whole thing is that the kids recreated the entire film from memory since they...
- Erik Davis
“In 1982, 11 year-old Chris Strompolos and 12 year-old Eric Zala decided to film a shot-for-shot remake of 'Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.' ” goes the opening scroll to this latest documentary from Vice. They did not finish for seven years, and even then, the film was considered complete despite the lack of one crucial scene. As kids, Zala and Strompolos took it upon themselves to reshoot 'Raiders' from start to finish, an ambitious endeavor that would consume most of their adolescence. Why remake not just any movie frame-by-frame, but “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in particular? The answer is quite simple, really. They see it as a perfect film, the only one that merits such devotion and reverence. Though both continued making films as they entered adulthood, neither saw the remake as a project that would live beyond its own completion. The end goal was a full-length adaptation, nothing more. »
- Zach Hollwedel
In a scene straight out of one of his own movies, Harrison Ford narrowly escaped death the other day when his World War II-era plane crashed into a Los Angeles golf course. Against all odds, he survived the impact with relatively minor injuries and should be in fighting shape when it comes time to promote the next Star Wars movie and film the upcoming sequel to Blade Runner.
Now we have a question for you: What is Harrison Ford's single greatest movie? Feel free to vote for a classic »
Harrison Ford injured in plane accident (image: Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff in 'Ender's Game') Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark actor Harrison Ford was supposed to be in critical condition – later reports have upgraded that to "fair" or "stable" condition – following an accident with a small airplane on Los Angeles' Westside. Earlier this afternoon (March 5, 2015), a vintage, one-engine two-seater crash landed at the Penmar Golf Course, located in the Los Angeles suburb of Venice, not far from the Pacific Ocean and just west of Santa Monica Airport. Its pilot, 72-year-old Harrison Ford, was found "seriously" injured. He was alone on the plane. There were no injuries on the ground. As explained in the Los Angeles Times, "fire officials would not identify the victim of the crash but said he was conscious and breathing when paramedics arrived." Ford was later transported to an unidentified hospital. Eleven »
- Zac Gille
Ford flying a plane in Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Harrison Ford was rushed to hospital this evening after the plane he was flying crashed onto a golf course in Venice, California. He was given immediate help to stabilise his injuries by two doctors who happened to be playing on the course.
Ford was initially described as being in critical condition but doctors now say that his injures are moderate. He had lacerations to his face and is thought to have bone fractures, possibly in the leg he injured last June after an accident with the Millennium Falcon on the set of Star Wars Episode 7. Ford's work on that film is now believed to be complete but he has been expected to appear in two further sequels and he recently thrilled fans by announcing that he was signing up to make a Blade Runner sequel.
The actor was flying a »
- Jennie Kermode
"The Big Bang Theory" did an episode in which Amy ruins "Raiders of the Lost Ark" for Sheldon by pointing out that for all of the action and adventure, "Indiana Jones plays no role in the outcome of the story. If he weren’t in the film, it would turn out exactly the same." I've watched "Raiders of the Lost Ark" subsequently and, thankfully, Amy didn't actually ruin the movie. I can't dispute her regarding the main character's agency, but it's still an awesome movie, one of the genre's most thrilling achievements. You cannot, it turns out, ruin "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by pointing out a structure flaw. You also, fortunately, cannot ruin "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by doing a dreadful story about nefarious forces searching for the Ark of the Covenant, or Ark-adjacent artifacts. But if you could ruin "Raiders of the Lost Ark" merely by desecrating its dramatic objective, »
- Daniel Fienberg
"Dig" premieres on USA tonight at 10 Pm, and I'll preface my thoughts on its first episode by saying A) only one was made available to me, and I know it takes a few for a show to find its footing, and B) it's been a long winter, and I'm not in a "giving the benefit of the doubt" mood. Those caveats given, I have a few bones to pick with this vaguely supernatural and religious thriller based in Jerusalem. And it's not because of any of those aspects; I was raised on "Raiders of the Lost Ark," so the fact that they actually used the phrase "they're digging in the wrong place" within the show’s first half-hour warmed my heart immensely. But that was then (1981, to be exact), and this is now, and what rankled me was the portrayal of women in "Dig," which comes from the executive producers of "Homeland" and "Heroes. »
- Sara Stewart
It's like Boyhood meets American Movie: In 1982, a pair of 12-year-old best friends, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, embarked on a journey to create a shot-by-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark on a shoestring budget with a cast of friends and non-actors. With Strompolos portraying Indiana Jones and Zala serving as director and the villain Rene Belloq, it took the two teenagers seven years to complete their adaptation of Raiders; the viewer watches them age from 12 to 19 as the film moves toward its Ark of the Covenant-opening end. »
Writer-producer Tim Kring likes telling a certain kind of story, incorporating far-flung locales, disparate characters and a vaguely supernatural element, with the connections only becoming apparent over time (and sometimes, not completely even then). That approach produced “Heroes,” an NBC hit for a while; “Touch,” a short-lived Fox series; and now “Dig,” on which the producer teams with “Homeland’s” Gideon Raff, embarking on a global conspiracy whose biblical-inspired implications yet remain fuzzy after three episodes. Some will no doubt lose themselves in the mystery and casting, which includes Jason Isaacs; others, feeling twice burned, might decide to break ground elsewhere.
“Dig” opens with Orthodox Jews in Norway inspecting a red calf. “The prophecy has begun,” one says, dispatching a wide-eyed young man (Guy Selenik) on a mission of great importance but unclear intent.
From there, it’s off to Israel, where American FBI agent Peter Connelly (Isaacs, adopting a »
- Brian Lowry
It’s usually hard sci-fi pics like Interstellar or Gravity that spark scientific discussion, but in truth you can look at just about any film through a scientific lens. You could consider the cognitive science behind cons while watching American Hustle, or try to sort out archaeology fact from fiction while watching Raiders of the Lost Ark. And this year’s Science on Screen […]
- Angie Han
The documentary film "Raiders!" is a curious exercise in meta-narrative; it's a film about a film that is a remake of another film. Co-directed by Jeremy Coon (producer and editor on "Napoleon Dynamite") and Tim Skousen, "Raiders!" tells the story of two Indiana Jones fanboys who embark on an adventure that rivals the legendary explorer's onscreen exploits. Here's the official synopsis: "In 1982, two 11 year-olds in Mississippi set out to remake their favorite film: Raiders of the Lost Ark. It took seven turbulent years that tested the limits of their friendship and nearly burned down their mother's house. By the end, they had completed every scene except one... the explosive airplane scene. Thirty years later, they attempt to finally realize their childhood dream by building a replica of the 75-foot "Flying Wing" plane from Raiders in a mud pit in the backwoods of Mississippi... and then blow it up! This is the story behind the. »
- Shipra Gupta
It must be obvious that you shouldn't read these reviews if you're Amazon-Priming Angel for the first time; but if you are, you really shouldn't read this one.
For the first few minutes, Hero looks set to be something of a light-hearted romp. We fade up on an imaginary advert in which Cordelia pictures a great promotion for Angel Investigations – complete with Angel looking straight into the camera, announcing: “You can count on me – I'm the Dark Avenger!” It's pure comedy silliness, only exaggerated by Doyle recoiling at the thought of his boss dressing up in a superhero costume.
The daftness continues as Cordy elects to opt for the 'common man' approach. Armed with only a camcorder and hastily rigged cue cards, Cordy's chosen her representative for Angel Investigations. Doyle's stumbling, fluffed attempts at enticing punters to Angel's business isn't exactly award-winning material. What with the low rats and the weasel factor, »
Just days ago we were declaring Power/Rangers absolutely fantastic, but it may have its work cut out for him in the documentary Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made. Set to premiere at South by Southwest in March, Raiders! tells the story of two 11-year-old kids who in 1982 became obsessed with Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark and sought to remake it shot for shot (take that Gus van Sant! That’ll teach you to remake Psycho).
Though they worked for seven years, sadly, the kids never finished the project with only one scene remaining to film, and went their separate ways. A tape made its way into the hands of Eli Roth and subsequently Ain’t It Cool News’s Harry Knowles, who screened the fan-made remake at a festival. Raiders! ultimately follows the two kids, now grown, as they get back together »
- Brian Welk
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