Archive for the fantasy Category

Where Have the Wild Things Been?

Posted in adaptations, books, cast & crew, cult status, directors, fantasy, film, filmmaking, news, writers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by worldofmatmos

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Undoubtedly one of Generation-X’s greatest filmmakers, Spike Jonze is known to film geeks worldwide for his magnificent visual style and ability to evoke the beauty and the strangeness of the stories and characters he films. With the long-gestating production of his adaptation of Maurice Sendak‘s beloved classic children’s tale Where the Wild Things Are, Jonze and company seem to have crafted a jarringly beautiful representation of the prose. Despite studio interference, visual effects set-backs, and rumors of Jonze having to go back to square-one and shoot everything completely over, it looks like things may be on track, as the film is still looking at an October 16 release.

Whilst that is still months away, Jonze will have the time to perfectly craft the picture and hone the performances of the characters. Beautifully photographed by Jonze’s long-time collaborator Lance Acord, and shot in the Australian wilderness, Where the Wild Things Are will have a “look and feel [that] is very naturalistic—when our creatures knock down trees, they really knock down trees,” explains Jonze.

The production, which has been ongoing since 2006, has been plagued by studio interference on many of the artistic decisions. First, there were issues with the creature work – CG versus practical effects – and Spike’s decision to go with an unknown lead, 9-year-old Max Records, who plays Max, who apparently received ill reviews from some during an early test-screening last year. According to the production team, Records is fantastic as Max, and it will be his performance that will ultimately carry the picture. When will studio suits realize that when they’re dealing with an artist of Jonze’s caliber, they just need to sign the checks, sit back, shut the fuck up, and the let the man do his job? Seriously.

where-the-wild-things_lWith an excellent script (with much approval by Sendak himself) by Jonze and mighty scribe Dave Eggers, the film stars Jonze-favorite Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Lauren Ambrose, and Tom Noonan. This film will not only be embraced by fans of the book, nor only by film geeks, but it looks destined to become a children’s cult-classic in its own right. It will definitely be one of the most personal films of the year. Hopefully it will receive its dues and the studio suits that have denounced it will get their comeuppance.

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“Half-Blood Prince” International Teaser Online

Posted in action/adventure, fantasy, film, news, trailers with tags , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2008 by worldofmatmos

Over the weekend, TrailerAddict added a new International Teaser for the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for all of us Muggles to swoon over. The sixth in the epic series of books (and films) brings Harry ever closer to the climax of his destiny as the “chosen one”.  The film opens on July 17, 2009.

Warners to Adapt “Ninja Scroll”

Posted in action/adventure, anime, fantasy, film, horror, news, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by worldofmatmos

Yoshiaki Kawajiri has been one of the Japanese anime industry’s greatest influences for nearly 30 years, and his seminal period piece Ninja Scroll (Jubei ninpuchou) is another one of his masterful works adored by fans worldwide. So, it’s only natural Hollywood wants to cash in on a live-action adaptation.

According to this past Sunday’s article at Variety, Warner Brothers in association with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production house will produce an adaptation by the currently red-hot scribe Alex Tse. The production will be co-produced by Madhouse. Tse pulled writing duty for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Watchmen and has also adapted Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man for Snyder. Appian Way is also currently making headway with their adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterpiece Akira.

On a personal sidenote, this news comes as bittersweet. Sure, it is cool that Hollywood has the ability to make such films these days, and there is undoubtedly some talent working on these adaptations, but being that the original works are [to some] untouchable – or at the very least should have the input of the original creators, directors, and/or artists, all of which has been thrown to the wayside in lieu of remaking these projects for American audiences.

Hopefully, Appian & WB will pioneer this with their joint production with Studio Madhouse, the original anime production team. As of yet, there has been no word on the level of their involvement, but hopefully if these great talents play a major role on these live-action anime adaptations, it may ensure that these projects do not ultimately fall prey to cinematic acculturation.

SciFi “Sanctuary”

Posted in action/adventure, fantasy, horror, reviews, sci-fi, suspense/thriller, television with tags , , , on October 27, 2008 by worldofmatmos

Sanctuary (SCIFI, Fridays 10/9C, TV-14)

The Fall schedule this year is full of new and interesting sci-fi, fantasy, and horror projects, and the premiere of the new series Sanctuary on the SciFi Channel has quickly become a part of the top ranks of the genre. The fascinating horror hybrid is a look into the otherworldly titular organization run by the mysterious Dr. Helen Magnus, who collects and studies that which has been all but forgotten in the human world. Cryptozoological monsters and other supernatural beings are “residents” at the Sanctuary for All.

The very well-produced series from creator Damian Kindler (Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Stargate: Atlantis) includes a variety of great effects work, ranging from the subtle (lots of green-screen composites that are seamless) to great make-up and other practical effects. The cast is well rounded and have good writing to guide them through the dark corners of the Sanctuary world. Amanda Tapping is Dr. Helen Magnus; she is revealed as the proprietor of the Sanctuary for All, where she protects the secrets of the world (and netherworld) with her daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup), a headstrong ass-kicking young lady who stalks the creatures of the night and helps her mother with her research. At the center of the story is our main character Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), a forensic psychiatrist who has been searching for answers to a tragedy that had befallen him as a child, and whose secrets are revealed to him by Dr. Magnus when he crosses the threshold towards his newfound destiny. Dunne is likable in the role; his keen sense of perception is an asset to the team, and he is equal parts nerd and hero. Henry Foss (Ryan Robbins) is the goofy yet brilliant tech expert at the Sanctuary, and provides the comic relief in the series. The rest of the cast is equally good, and the pilot sets up future relationships with them. Will must now divide his time between the world and the Sanctuary, and hopefully survive the team’s future encounters.

I look forward to reviewing this series, as it seems like a lot of fun and could go somewhere. However, I have only watched the pilot episode, but look for more on here soon.

 

James Cameron’s “Battle Angel” Concept Art & Pre-Production Updates

Posted in action/adventure, concept art, fantasy, film, news, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by worldofmatmos

James Cameron’s live-action adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita was discussed with the guys at MarketSaw3D in an interview with concept artist Mark Goerner. Goerner has worked for years as a concept artist in the game and film industries, and had the opportunity to work on concepting for Battle Angel at Lightstorm Entertainment for about a year-and-a-half before moving on to work on Cameron’s Avatar.

Although it is speculated that this is Cameron’s next project after Avatar, don’t expect to see the post-apocalyptic world of GUNNM anytime soon. A possible 2011 release is being buzzed around online communities. At least we have Avatar to look forward to in 2009 to keep us satiated for the time being.

Evil Dead 4!? (The Sam Raimi ComicCon Interview)

Posted in action/adventure, fantasy, film, horror, news with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2008 by worldofmatmos
Is Ash coming back after all these years?

Is Ash coming back after all these years?

Back on July 28th, the great Sam Raimi was interviewed during the San Diego ComicCon whilst promoting his new horror film Drag Me to Hell starring Alison Lohman, and offered up some interesting tidbits on the possibility of resurrecting Ash in a new installment of his Evil Dead series. The last outing was in 1992. It’s been a long time, Sam. A very long time. Groovy.

*NOTE: Bruce Campbell also confirmed in an August interview that he and Raimi were in talks, however nothing has been confirmed as of yet. He went on to explain that if their respective schedules allowed it, that he would love to; on one condition…only Sam is at the helm. Obviously.

Who watches the Watchmen [new trailer]?

Posted in action/adventure, fantasy, film, news, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by worldofmatmos

The film adaptation of Alan Moore’s iconic cult graphic novel is shaping up to be something quite spectacular. Director Zack Snyder has done a great job translating those pages to the screen. Of course, there will always be its critics, but check out the world premiere trailer that just aired on SpikeTV’s Scream Awards and decide for yourself. Watchmen opens on March 6, 2009. Awesome.