Fan remake of Star Wars is made of fun

What did technologist, Casey Pugh, get when he asked fans to recreate fifteen second slices of Star Wars and then stitched them all together into a director’s cut? You get Star Wars Uncut: Director’s Cut, two hours worth of awesome, collaborative creativity.

So if you have the time to spare, kick back and relax as you see a galaxy far, far away unfold in bizarre, and hilarious, ways. Now what would the Godfather be like…

Tomb Raider Rebooting

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The Tomb Raider movies were alright. They weren’t “great”, but they were entertaining. Even though there were only two Tomb Raider movies, there have been a number of games to help carry on the legend of Lara Croft, give or take a dud or two. I’m still trying to forget that Angel of Darkness had ever happened. It was bad, but I’m not so sure it was to blame for the soft box office returns on her second film, Cradle of Life, which Paramount did. Cradle just wasn’t that great.

A safe eight years later, it looks like someone is thinking about bringing Lara back to the silver screen. According to Inside Movies, it seems that Graham King (producer of films such as The Departed and The Town) has snagged the rights through his company, GK Films, to do a reboot.

It also means that you can likely forget Angelina Jolie returning to the feature role, though I wouldn’t be surprised if she does a small cameo for her fans of the character. After seeing her in Salt, she still has the chops to beat anyone down.

King apparently intends for the heroine to return to the screen in 2013. As for what direction it will follow, that’s anyone’s guess. If the heroine is going to be anything like the new Lara Croft in her own upcoming video game reboot, you can probably expect her to be darker, grittier, and a lot less glamorous – which is fine by me.

Blade Runner could return

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According to the Hollywood Reporter, Blade Runner may be making a “multiplatform” comeback if Alcon Entertainment manages to get the rights to the classic sci-fi icon.

If you don’t know what Blade Runner is, you owe it to yourself to watch it especially if you like science fiction and action in the same film. Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven) and released in 1982, while it wasn’t so much of a box office smash, it regularly tops lists today on being one of finest “dirty tech” thrillers to have ever been made.

Starring Harrison Ford as a ‘Blade Runner’ – a cop who specializes in hunting down renegade cyborgs that look just like humans – the film is set in a dystopian 2019 ruled over by corporate empires towering over crowded streets, bad fashion, cigarettes, and endless, dirty rain. A game even came out years later from Westwood Studios which followed the story in parallel and featured quite a bit of cutting-edge CGI for the nineties.

So that begs the question: is a game in the offing? Maybe, maybe not. All that I’m hoping for at this point is that if Alcon does get the rights, they quash some of the chatter about “rebooting” Blade Runner. The original was a solid piece of work that doesn’t need to be remade, but the world that it takes place in is filled with a lot of possibilities.

After all, this is a future where fresh eyes are ordered up like sunglasses and which had also acted as inspiration to one particular up-and-coming games designer by the name of  Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid series). Now if only he’d come up with a new Zone of the Enders…

UPDATE (3.4.2011):
io9 landed an interview with the producers and it sounds like they’re not doing a remake, period. More like an expanded set of stories around the whole Blade Runner universe which could be awesome. Check out what they have to say at this link.

I watched Skyline

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Skyline is easily the worst movie that I’ve seen this year, and one of the worst that I’ve ever seen. If you’ve watched the trailers, that’s literally everything that you have to look forward to.

Skyline is about an alien invasion of earth as giant ships arrive to vacuum up humanity thanks to their ability to mesmerize us and have us gather at convenient “pick up” points. The premise certainly sounded interesting: why do these aliens want us? Where did they come from? Will the film show us some neat scenery?

Well, I’ll answer the first question because the answer is incredibly stupid: they’re here for our brains.

After leaving the theater, it certainly felt as if they took mine.
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Bond Back in 2012?

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The famous words “James Bond Will Return” at the end of his films is usually a promise kept. That is, until MGM had run into money troubles that ultimately led to the storied studio filing for bankruptcy. It didn’t bode well for the projects under its roof such as Daniel Craig’s run as Bond. But now there’s word that he could be back in 2012.

Dark Horizons reports that as a part of MGM’s plan, they’re looking to shoot a new Bond film in 2011 in time for a 2012 release. Not only that, but also plan to release a new Bond every two years after that in order to keep money wheel turning. That’s pretty ambitious.

I’ve got mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’ll be great to see Bond back on screen but the talk that Daniel Craig may have to be replaced in order to meet this schedule isn’t that encouraging. And promises in Tinseltown are a dime a dozen.

Bill Murray is decked out…

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…in his Ghostbusters gear at the Spike Scream Awards. According to the Ghostbusters III Blog, a site set up by fans tracking everything that they can find out on the new movie purportedly still in the works, Bill Murray showed up at the show in full gear to accept two awards; one for his cameo in Zombieland, and another for the movie winning “best horror movie”. Zombieland was a great movie, but “horror”? I’m still trying to figure that part out, but you can check out the rest of the pics on the site.

There’s been a lot of talk this month on the script for the new flick with Sony apparently happy with it. The big question on everyone’s mind seems to hinge on whether Bill Murray likes it or not. Akyroyd is positive that he will, so all that we can do is wait and see what happens next.

As for what it it’s going to be about, your guess is as good as mine. Over the years, bits and pieces have rumored that it was going to involve the Ghostbusters fighting an overflow of souls from Hell hitting New York City to Bill Murray returning as a ghost. But the ones that seem to have the most steam behind them are the ones that call it out as a sort of ‘passing of the torch’ kind of thing to a younger generation of Ghostbusters.

Right now, the film is rumored for a 2012 release if everything works out, so keep those streams crossed.

Come with me if you want to be animated

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The next Terminator feature might not be live action, but a 3D, PG-13 rated animated feature called Terminator 3000. A number of sites are reporting that distribution company Hannover House had allied itself with Red Bear Entertainment to produce the movie budgeted at $70 million.

Story details are under wraps as usual, but they are also thinking about reducing the violence to keep it under PG-13. How soon we forget the last stab at making Terminator a PG-13 feature with the sleep inducing Salvation. I’m still trying to forget the ending.

But seeing it as an animated feature? It’s different, but it could work. In the right hands and with the right story, it could get past that PG-13 stigma and give us something great. The Secret of NIMH is rated G, but watch it today, and you might think twice about that.

Then there’s G.I. Joe Resolute which managed to be a mature update to the franchise that turned out to be a fantastic move. With examples like these, there’s some hope for this fan that it could turn out better than I expect. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed on this one, especially if it has the potential to bring an animated Governator onscreen.

UPDATE (8.14.10): According to Deadline, there’s a future war brewing over the film. Pacificor, the outfit that owns the rights to the Terminator franchise, apparently didn’t know about this until the announcement by Hannover House and so have sent a cease and desist letter. Hannover House, in turn, claim to have certain rights that allow them to make an animated film outside of a live feature. Who is right? I guess we’ll just have to see what happens next.

Let’s watch Inception

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One of the first movies I thought of when I heard about Inception was the afterlife flick starring Robin Williams and based off of the book of the same name, What Dreams May Come. It touched on the idea that the afterlife is literally what we make it and stood as an incredibly imaginative film that didn’t quite do as well at the box office. I also lamented about how no one had yet come out with a decent adaptation of Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Now comes Inception, a smartly slick sci-fi thriller from Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Memento) that has made hacking into other people’s dreams a new trade for a future eerily close to our own. And it is awesome.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, an “extractor” whose talents allow him to take part in people’s dreams and literally steal what they hide within their deepest thoughts when they are asleep. Thanks to technology developed by the military to train soldiers by killing each other within their heads, it’s now out in the wild and entrepreneurs like Cobb make a living in plying their trade for the highest bidders such as a corporation that wants in on a competitor’s plans.

He’s aided by a team of experts, each one trained to be the best at what they do, but the latest job goes wrong leaving Cobb and his people on the run from an employer that doesn’t accept failure. That’s when things get even more interesting.

The same man, Saito (Ken Watanabe), that Cobb was supposed to be stealing from now offers him a counter-proposal: inception. Instead of stealing an idea, he wants Cobb to plant one in the head of Robert Fischer, Jr. (Cillian Murphy). Everyone believes it’s impossible, but Cobb believes it can be done. That, and his benefactor has promised to clear the way for him to return home to the United States to see his family without being arrested like a criminal. After living in exile for so many years, it’s almost too good to be true.
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Rollercoaster Tycoon is going to be a movie

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The Heat Vision blog for the Hollywood Reporter notes that Sony Pictures Animation has bought the rights to Atari’s game, Rollercoaster Tycoon. From what the article says, it’s going to be a “live-action/CGI hybrid”, which immediately reminds me of the Wachowski’s Speed Racer.

Hollywood has been testing the waters with a buying binge of rights related to games despite the stigma of fail that they’ve been trying to get away from. But, once in awhile, something actually pans out. Just look at the Resident Evil series. Story-wise, they have little to do with the games, but you can’t really go wrong in mixing together Milla Jovovich, bullets, and zombies. Most other adaptations, though, only enforced what gamers have always known.

Not every pick had made sense, either. For example, there’s Universal Studios having picked up the rights to Asteroids last year. Asteroids is a vector-based game involving one ship shooting rocks in space leaving more than enough room for a creative scriptwriter to fit a story in there somewhere. But by itself, a movie? Really?

And now we have Rollercoaster Tycoon which is a sim-type game where you manage and build a roller coaster themed fun park. How is that going to turn into a movie? I suppose it can expand in any number of directions, though. Like Asteroids, there’s a story somewhere eager enough to star in it.

If Super Mario Bros. has taught us anything about Hollywood, it’s that it will always find a way to make it work.

Movie: 2012

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Director Roland Emmerich’s movies are usually hit or miss, usually in trying to explain just what is going on to try and suspend your disbelief. It also looks like he’s looking to become King of the Disaster Movie. His other film which froze everything north of the equator, The Day After Tomorrow, was just a warm up…no pun intended…for this one.

But when you forget that there’s supposed to be a story behind all of the snazzy CG that he uses to wreck his worlds with, it’s almost as fun as watching Sean Connery and Natalie Wood nearly drown in chocolate milk in 1979′s, Meteor.
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