Monday, August 30, 2010

Bizarro Re-Make of the Week...

Famous sixties director Jean-Luc Godard once famously said "All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun."

Apparently not, as this rather odd Asian remake of The Coen Brothers' Blood Simple attempts to prove:

Kodak 1922 Kodachrome Film Test

An incredibly early example of colour motion picture film, even predating the 1927 colour footage of London I posted last year. Astounding, magical, long live film (although RIP Kodachrome).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Viral Exorcism

Wicked viral marketing for the horror flick The Last Exorcism, using Chatroulette to spook unsuspecting peeps. Simple but effective, and FUNNY.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fly My Nikes

I think we might need a "For the Back to the Future Fan with Everything" category soon... check this out, a patent has been filed for automatic-lacing Nike sneakers like the ones Marty McFly has in Back to the Future II! Here's hoping the Hoverboard isn't too far away...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Satoshi Kon - R.I.P.

Sat0shi Kon
1963 - 2010

Visionary Japanese animator Satoshi Kon succumbed to pancreatic cancer, at the early age of 46, on August the 24th 2010. Kon leaves behind a legacy of incredibly imaginative and visually stunning films, including the following:

Perfect Blue
Millennium Actress
Tokyo Godfathers

Along with the critically acclaimed surrealist anime series - Paranoia Agent.

Here's an amazing mash-up of how incredible Inception might have been, under the guidance of Satoshi Kon's furious imagination:

In Cinemas This Week

Piranha 3D - (pick of the week) Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) returns to familiar gory ground with this remake of the 1978 killer fish epic, Piranha, in eyeball gouging 3D! The trailer is grizzly, cheesy excess, so I am hopeful this new re-telling has all trashy hallmarks that made the original (and its James Cameron sequel) such fun. The fantastic cast of b-movie regulars includes Jerry O'Connell (Sliders), Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future), Elizabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction) and a cameo by Richard Dreyfuss in very special nod to Jaws. Let this one sink its teeth into your eyeballs this weekend at a cinema near you!

Avatar 3D: Special Edition - As if James Cameron didn't make enough money off it the first time, an extra eight minutes has been added to Avatar's already weighty run-time. It's really unclear what this extra footage is going to add to the story or if it's just more beautiful scenery and eye-popping cinematography of sci-fi/fantasy flights of fancy. I guess this one is for those who like a bit of completeness in their movie-going.

Beneath Hill 60 - Australian war-time drama, based on the true story of Oliver Woodward, who finds himself on the Western Front in WWI, despite having no training. The Queensland miner is torn from his life & family and forced to confront the horror of wartime carnage and the bleak claustrophobia of the trenches. He and his comrades must defend the labyrinthine tunnel system from approaching enemies by packing it with highly charged explosives. Directed by Jeremy Sims (Last Train To Freo), starring "name" Australian actors Brendan Cowell (Noise), Steve Le Marquand (In The Winter Dark) and newcomer Harrison Gilbertson.

It's A Wonderful Afterlife - Indian/U.K co-production from Gurinder Chadha, the director of Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice. This comedy centres on an Indian-Punjabi widow who is trying to set up her suicidal daughter with eligible bachelors. The guys all prove unworthy so she schemes a plan to kill them all off with curries. Surprisingly, the ghosts of the men come back to haunt her, unable to be reincarnated until their murderer dies. Sounds like it might be an original concept and screenshots of the film itself look interesting. Bollywood style shenanigans always look fun, so this should be a hoot.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work - Grand ol' dame of stand up, Joan Rivers, was followed by a small crew documenting her 75th year. The result is a hilarious wrenching insight into the cruelty and pain of showbiz in the modern world. A hit at this year's New Zealand International Film Festival and with many of her fans, this documentary apparently gives a lot of insight into the life of this complex woman who many have accused of being "one-note" in her approach to stardom. Fascinating stuff.

Predicament - Another fresh pick, directly from the New Zealand International Film Festival, is Jason Stutter's (Tongan Ninja) highly anticipated adaptation of Ronald Hugh Morrieson's (Came A Hot Friday) last novel to be filmed. This small town caper novel set in the 1930s involves a teen who hires two misfits to blackmail adulterous couples in the township. Stars Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones), Heath Franklin (The Ronnie Johns Half Hour), and a great cameo from singer Tim Finn.

Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue - Disaster strikes as Thomas' friend Diesel finds himself in danger on the edge of a cliff top. Thomas saves Diesel and, as a reward for his daring rescue, gets to visit the mainland - his first trip off of the Island of Sodor. But when the raft carrying Thomas becomes separated from its tugboat, he ends up stranded and alone on the mysterious Misty Island... (Screening exclusively at Hoyts Cinemas)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Ever Happend To...?

With the new remake of Karate Kid currently clogging up the multiplexes, we've been wondering what happened to the star of the original franchise, Ralph Macchio.

Wonder no longer...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Random Stuff #6

Do You Want Some Eyeballs With That?

Kudos to Roadshow for one of the most amusing marketing gimmicks I've seen in ages. This is a ticket for their screening of Alexander Aja's sleazy, killer-fish gore-fest Piranha 3D which opens in theatres this week.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

'70s Home Movie Radness

Movie-lovin' kids in the '70s making their own charmingly crude Super-8 versions of Star Trek, Alien and King Kong. The King Kong one is particularly fantastic, no-budget innovation at its best. There's no way digitally shot movies will have this kind of nostalgic, crumbling celluloid charm and beauty in 30 years time...

In Cinemas This Week

Harry Brown - Sir Michael Caine (Inception, Get Carter) stars in this crime drama about a mob hit carried out on the best friend of the titular character and the ensuing unique revenge that ensues. Caine has been winning some pretty major kudos from critics for this lately for his performance as an ex-marine and it is great to see him working with a fresh first-time director (Daniel Barber) on something with so much meat on it bones. This looks to be a return to the sort of things Caine worked on in his early career. Also featuring Emily Mortimer, Iain Glenn.

Ong Bak 3 - More kick-ass martial arts action from one of the greatest practitioners of Thai Boxing, Tony Jaa, this promises to be, like the previous to films, a fight-fest par-excellence with plenty of social and environmental morals thrown in for good measure. The story picks up directly after the second film with Tien (Jaa) saved from captivity and near death by a group of villagers. They proceed to teach him the ways of meditation and he in turn protects the town from his enemies who are intent on re-capturing him. But this time he must face his toughest challenge to date, in the form of the King's Golden-Armored Guard.

Salt - Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a C.I.A operative running for her life after being accused of being a Russian spy. She must use all of her wits, skills and experience to out-run her pursuers, protect her husband and prove her innocence. This looks like a great vehicle for Jolie to pack a wallop in and has all the makings of a potential female "Bourne" franchise with high emphasis on the action.

The Concert - French comedies seem to be a dime-a-dozen at the moment. Here's another one about a cleaning man for the Bolshoi orchestra in Moscow who was fired as a conductor for hiring Jewish musicians. He concocts a plan to return to his old fame when he intercepts a fax from Paris inviting the orchestra to play at the Ch√Ętelet Theater. He puts a rag-tag group of musicians together in a effort to pass themselves off as the orchestra, and hilarity ensues... apparently.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th: Special Screening!

If you're in Auckland tonight and at a loss for something to do...

(from the facebook event)

Old School Horror on the Big Screen for Friday 13th

Venue : Academy Cinema

Tickets : Oldschool Price - $9.99

Available from Box office in Academy Cinema, under the Auckland City Public Library in Lorne Street,
on the 13th from 1pm.

When the Incredibly Strange team were young we used to look forward to every Friday 13th on the calendar year because that meant a horror film would be on the big screen.

However somewhere along the way distributors simply couldn't be fucked in providing some thrills for the kids on this very special day. So here at Incredibly Strange HQ we find that lack of showmanship pretty damn dire and to prove a point, we're going to screen some old school 35mm horror for the movie fiends in Auckland.

From the prolific and diverse mind of Umberto Lenzi (one of Italy's greatest genre directors), comes the deranged zombie flick NIGHTMARE CITY aka CITY OF THE WALKING DEAD. A zombie pic that delivers the meaty goods in a kooky pic that breaks all the rules of the walking dead. For starters these zombies are fucking fast and they're no dummies either, they're happy to either chow down or use a machine gun on your arse.

The film has none of the mean-spiritedness of his MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY but contains the utter lunacy and high gore factor of Lenzi's EATEN ALIVE and IRON MASTER. It has an inept lead who producers forced onto Lenzi, not exactly what you'd expect from the 'heroic male' lead.

******BONUS BONUS*********

Roadshow Distributors are releasing an upcoming film that all incredibly strange fans will want to check out. They're supporting old school horror by giving us 100 dbl passes to give out to fans.

So the first 100 people to buy a ticket on the night will receive a free double pass (worth $36) to Alexandre Aja's kickass PIRANHA 3D

Friday the 13th: ch-ch-ch-ha-ha-ha?

Friday the 13th: The Origin of The Sound

"There was one scene where there was a close-up of Jason’s mother’s mouth going,Kill her mommy,’ and then all at once it switched to little Jason’s voice saying, Kill her, mommy.’ That’s the thing that gave me the idea. Most people think I’m going,Chh, chh, chh,’ but I’m saying the letter k and the letter m -kifor killand mafor ‘mommy,’ see? Then I used some various voice processing. That’s actually me making that sound into a microphone."

- Harry Manfredini, composer

Lights, Camera... 11-Year-Old Critic!

This guy just came to my attention. He's only 11 and a celebrity Emmy-winning film "critic" in America. He publishes his reviews on his own website, which boasts the claim that he began his career at age 7 1/2. This is a clip of him reviewing Inception and Salt. Not quite the next Ebert yet, but kid's got (somewhat annoying) charisma, I'll give him that.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In Cinemas This Week

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World - Michael Cera is the titular character who must defeat the seven ex-boyfriends of the girl he has a crush on in order to win her heart. The latest from Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), this has been winning rave reviews from fans and critics alike, especially for its comic-book excess (indeed, it is based on a graphic novel), well executed action sequences and knock-out cast. I've been looking forward to this one for a while, because it just looks like pure fun that should be seen in a cinema with a crowd looking to enjoy themselves.

The Collector - I've always thought that the Home Alone storyline would lend itself quite nicely to a horror scenario. Turns out I was wrong. Having seen this recently, I'm going to chalk this one up as yet another entry in the "torture porn" genre of recent times. There are few jump scares and very little tension. Art direction is nice though, with great credit sequences and nice colour saturation to make it look all gloomy and gritty. For horror aficionados only.

Beauty & The Beast 3D -Back for a limited run, Disney's beautiful romantic musical returns in eye-popping 3D. Revisit all of the favourite characters and bask in what I am sure will be a stunning realisation of the animation as you've never seen it before.

Eden Is West - Greek refugee Elia pays to be smuggled on board a ship bound for France. He jumps ships when authorities board the vessel and he finds himself washed up at a nudist resort. From here the plot involves his desperate flee to Paris and the characters he meets along the way. Looks charming. And based on Homer's The Odyssey... apparently.

I, Don Giovanni - Sumptuous period drama about Lorenzo da Pont, composer, who collaborated with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on his opera Don Giovanni. This seems to cross over into material explored by Anthony Schaffer in Amadeus, as rival composer Salieri tricks Mozart into hiring da Pont thinking the you lyricist will screw it all up. Things work out differently however, as the two collaborate on one of the greatest Italian operas ever written.

Random Stuff #4

The Fest From Hong Kong

Good news for fellow fans of Asian Cinema as the 2010 Hong Kong Film Festival explodes into Auckland this week. With a fist full of HK's best and brightest, it looks like we are in for a real treat this year. Healthy doses of Romance, Action and Drama abound - including the Pang Ho-Cheung double header, Love In A Puff and Dream Home, fresh from a roaring success at this year's International Film Festival.

Here's a few trailers to whet your appetite:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Life After Lost

It hasn't been easy the last few months, following the finale of the dearly departed LOST, but I've been coping fairly okay... until now. A bunch of Lost-related news have surfaced to remind us fans that yes, it's really over folks, and we need to move on:

If you're a memorabilia collector type, and want to have a physical piece of the show hanging/sitting in your living/bedroom, you'll have the chance now to bid on all sorts of stuff at the Official Show Auction of Lost. Like for instance, a piece of Oceanic 815:

And the Dharma Van, Locke's Wheelchair, Juliet's Jumpsuit, Dharma Beer, Sawyer's Beach Camp Chair, you name it - it's probably there. Good news for non-US fans is that you can also join the bidding online through

That's all relatively normal compared to Pitchfork's report today that a photo of Jorge Garcia, who plays Hurley, will grace the cover of nerd-rockers Weezer's next album. Naturally, the album will be called Hurley...

For those who missed the finale on TV, Season 6 is due to come out in October and you can add it your queue here. Here's a teaser of the very last footage of Lost we'll ever see, a 12-minute epilogue called The New Man in Charge that'll appear as an extra on the release:

After watching that, I'm craving for some sort of spin-off action. But for now, goodnight Lost.

For The Star Wars Fan With Everything... #11


Monday, August 9, 2010

Trailers: Jackass 3-D + Unstoppable

Good morning, two new trailers to kick off Monday for you. First up, Jackass 3-D: it was bound to happen sooner or later, and the trailer promises more of their wildly irresponsible stunts and antics. Some of it looks pretty amusing, but I also can't help but feel a little meh - like the novelty's worn off. For example, the bit where the gorilla enters the living room of Bam Margera's long-suffering parents' house... look at his mum's reaction... the surprise on her face doesn't even look convincing anymore, and almost feigned.

Secondly, 20th Century Fox's Unstoppable, another Tony Scott/Denzel Washington collab, and the 2nd train movie they've done together following last year's mediocre remake of The Taking of Pelham 123. I'm more excited about this one, I'm getting a real Runaway Train vibe from the trailer (though perhaps minus the existentialist stuff). I doubt it'll be as great, but it'll be entertaining at very least. Star Trek's Chris Pine also stars.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Siskel & Ebert Play a Video Game

Film critics Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel challenging each other in a Sega motion-controlled boxing video game. Amazingly, this was back in 1993 - not 1986, which it looks like. Hilarious and bizarre.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Cinemas This Week

Step Up 3D - Another 3D dance movie in as many months? I'm sure there's an audience for this kind of thing, but I think this might be overkill. It remains to be seen how many of the standard genre plot cliches get reused in this one. This won't be no Flashdance, so best to give this one a miss unless you like watching sweaty 20-somethings bumpin' & grindin' to the latest hip-hop.

Skin - Feature debut from director Anthony Fabian about Sandra Laing, an African girl born to an Afrikaner family who are unaware of their black ancestry. She grows up blissfully unaware of the apartheid around her, but disquiet sets in in later life. Featuring Sam Neill, Alice Krige and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) as the older Sophie. Has divided many critics, but looks to be an insightful slice-of-life family drama tackling difficult issues in a unique way.

Soul Kitchen - Hipster foodie comedy by director Faith Akin (The Edge of Heaven, Head-On) tells the story of a young restauranteur who is facing a crisis with falling patrons, a distant girlfriend and a bad back. Fortunes pick up when he discovers a new culinary sensation, but again turns disastrous when he leaves it in the hands of his crooked ex-con brother. Could be a great mouth-watering pre-dinner aperitif. Or it could be just another insipid Euro-comedy. Go see it and make up your own mind.

Tinker Bell & The Great Fairy Rescue - Is it still the school holidays? I would have thought this would have been released to get the best of the bums-on-seats for the primary school set to get mums and their pre-teen daughters bonding? Nonetheless, this looks like a fun wee addition to the "Tink" franchise. Lots of familiar voice talent and some bright nicely realised animation. Get the fairy in your household out of you hair for an afternoon!

For The Star Wars Fan With Everything... #10

Our resident Star Wars nerd, Joel, came in sporting this awesome little number this morning, knitted for him by a lovely lady from the USA. We all gasped in collective fan jealousy!