6 items from 2015
These days, we're used to the marketing hype for a major film building up about two years ahead of release. Visitors to Comic-Con got a preview of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, for example, more than two years ahead of its due date. Our collective hunger for a first look at major forthcoming films is such that, it seems, studios are keen to show off their work-in-progress earlier and earlier.
But there are ways of teasing a forthcoming movie without showing a frame of the finished product, which is where the following list comes in. They're all examples of promos that manage to get across the flavour of a future film without going into story details. Some of them were made before a foot of celluloid was exposed, »
When a DVD gets a reissue, its distributor tends to change the artwork. Er, not always for the better...
Movie studios love having large catalogues of older movies. They guarantee a revenue stream after all, through TV sales, streaming services, and the occasional repackaging of a DVD and/or Blu-ray edition.
But new packaging means new artwork, and a star who was hot when the film first came around may have faded since. Plus, audience trends change. Plus, there's the added bonus of luring people to buy two copies. Marvellous!
Most of the time, artwork updates go without a hitch. But in recent times, particularly with 90s movies we've noticed, some of the updates, er, 'dumb things down' slightly. Most of these exhibits are from the UK, we should note. If we broadened it more than we had into the Us - which we may do in a future piece »
Terrific action movies like Die Hard entertain us with white-knuckle suspense, larger-than-life villains and expensive set pieces, but they’re about as rare as intellectuals in the political system. Once you’ve spent a few years watching multiplex movies, you learn to be grateful every time a half-decent popcorn flick comes down the turnpike.
Hell, even The Expendables 3 will do, and that movie was so routine that even Bruce Willis didn’t want to do it. We don’t want Great Art, just two hours of escapism that doesn’t leave us feeling like we’ve been had.
Action cinema went off the rails when the likes of Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Seagal became mega-successful and turned their back on the glorified B movies that made them famous in order to appear in overblown junk. Instead of The Terminator, First Blood and Above The Law, we got Last Action Hero, »
- Ian Watson
Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture: Photographer Edy Harjo does wonderful things with superhero toys. Below is a depiction of Spider-Man's first day with The Avengers. Find more over at Geekologie. This 8-bit animation from Dorkly drives home how much Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have in common (via THR): The latest Birdman fan art comes via Redditor SirJediPanda: Screen Junkies put together a supercut of fake movies in movies, including classic parodies from Tropic Thunder and Last Action Hero: This Japanese robot nurse is like a real-life version of Baymax from Big Hero 6, but with a bear...
- Christopher Campbell
Samus Tribute by_Wen Jr.
In his not-quite seminal but still very good 1998 essay “F/X Porn,” David Foster Wallace dissects the lasting legacy of James Cameron’s mega-blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day. (Well, more accurately, he examines the enduring stain left by Cameron’s film on the modern action movie, but whatever.) The essay doesn’t offer much in the way of profundity regarding CGI-addled blockbusters or Arnold Scwarzenegger, though it does have that singular Wallace wit; the appeal of the breezy essay lies within Wallace’s digressive musings on Aliens, Cameron’s previous film, to which the writer dedicates just as many words as he does to the purported subject of the essay.
For the uninitiated, Aliens is Cameron’s lean, mean sequel to Ridley Scott’s body-horror classic Alien. An ostensible testosterone-fueled flick, replete with guns and gear and gruff military types spitting out phrases like, “Stop »
- Greg Cwik
As a kid growing up I can safely say we were dirt poor. When all the kids were playing the Atari 2600 I was stuck playing “Tennis” and “Football” on a hand-me-down Grandstand plug and play (think of Pong with 4 games rather than one); I did have a cousin who had the system but he wasn’t the sharing type. So the entire early-to-mid 80s Atari phenomenon kind of passed me by. It wasn’t until years later, towards the end of the 90s, that actually ever played my first Atari 2600 game – on a very early emulator no less. In the years that followed, as the internet grew and the retro video gaming “community” grew along with it, the story of buried E.T. video games – the last remnants of Atari’s stranglehold on the video game market of the late 70s/early 80s – went somewhat viral, which was the first »
- Phil Wheat
6 items from 2015
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