Check out the trailer for ‘Grave Encounters’

3 12 2010

You guys seemed to love Chris Imms’ guest blog on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures—in fact, it’s one of Jess Blogs TV’s top ten most-viewed posts of all time. So, when I learned about the upcoming indie film, Grave Encounters, I figured you’d want to hear about it.

Grave Encounters features creepy “found footage,” in the vein of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. In fact, it looks like a cross between those types of movies and the two reality shows Chris wrote about, making it a must-see for me when it comes out. (The release date is currently unknown, but I’ll update if I hear anything.) It’s written and directed by the Vicious Brothers. Here’s a synopsis, provided by producer Shawn Angelski:

Lance Preston and the crew of Grave Encounters, a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, where unexplained phenomena has been reported for years.

All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera.

They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted—it is alive—and it has no intention of ever letting them leave. They find themselves lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, terrorized by the ghosts of the former patients.

They soon begin to question their own sanity, slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of madness, ultimately discovering the truth behind the hospital’s dark past…and taping what turns out to be their final episode.

Fair warning: A close friend spent the entirety of Paranormal Activity curled up with his head in my lap and his hands over his ears, while I sat there in the theatre completely unfazed. And the following trailer? Totally gave me chills.

Keep an eye on Darclight Films for more information!

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Rebooting ‘Buffy’ without Joss Whedon is probably a bad idea.

23 11 2010

This reboot is dead to us.

You’ve probably heard: Joss Whedon’s cult movie (which spawned the popular television show), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is getting a new reboot—and Joss isn’t invited to the party.

The official press release says, “Atlas’ Charles Roven and Steve Alexander will produce the feature film alongside Doug Davison and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring, How to Train Your Dragon, The Departed). Whit Anderson is writing the script. Warner Bros. Pictures optioned the rights from creators Fran and Kaz Kuzui, and from Sandollar Productions (Sandy Gallin and Dolly Parton), for Atlas and Vertigo to produce.”

It seems only the movie, not the television show, is available to reboot. I’m hoping that means that Xander, Willow, Giles, Spike, Angel, and the rest are safe, but there are very few details available right now. The movie’s release is slated for 2011 or 2012, so more information should be forthcoming.

I’ve been reading articles all over the Internet, and the general response among Buffy fans is overwhelmingly negative. Whedon himself has a dedicated following, and he isn’t behind the reboot idea either: “I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands,” he said.

David Boreanaz reacts to the news.

“There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return,” said producer Charles Roven. Too bad for him: we want Whedon’s character, not Whit Anderson’s. It looks to me like WB is grossly overestimating the movie’s potential fan base, since dedicated Whedon fans are already bowing out—and not gracefully or quietly.

This out-of-canon movie reboot is looking like the new Star Trek (you know, the Chris Pine/Zachary Quinto one) for Buffy fans, and we’re dreading it from the start. And if this gets in the way of WB following through on theVeronica Mars movie, which fans and the actors and the creator DO want, I will be very pissed off.

What do you think, guys? Does the idea of a reboot bother you, or are you okay with it? Would you ever see this movie, even if the new cast rocks?

Grave stone image credit: Dr. Insano, a user on io9. The original screen shot from the show belongs to Fox.
DB image credit: Hart Hanson’s Twitter.





Finally, a ‘Veronica Mars’ movie?

10 11 2010

The fans are behind it. The actors are behind it. Rob Thomas is behind it.
It’s only Warner Bros. who isn’t behind it, since low ratings led to the TV show’s cancellation in 2007. But what WB has continually forgotten about is the people who discovered the show after it was off the air—including me.

It all started when a friend, who had purchased several copies of Veronica Mars season one to give as holiday gifts, discovered she had a few without intended recipients. She offered to send them to people who were seriously interested in watching the series, and I requested one. I received it in the mail and was hooked within episodes. But this was after the show was canceled. I’ve since watched the series through at least three times and recommended it to several friends.

Now, according to TV Series Finale, WB has set up an email account to collect messages from the fans who have been demanding a movie. There’s no way to tell whether or not they’re serious, but even Rob Thomas is hopeful and sending an email takes, what, ten seconds? So, if you’re one of many TV lovers who are dying for more Veronica, send emails or petitions to “VeronicaMarsMovie@warnerbros.com” (without the quotes). You’ll just get a form letter back, but it can’t hurt to try!

Dear Warner Bros.: I will pay to see a Veronica Mars movie in the theater.





Guest Blog: Syfy wins (and fails) with ‘Sharktopus’

9 11 2010

by Chris Imms

Before it became Syfy, the Sci-Fi Channel was known for making the worst science fiction movies ever. Such titles include Mansquito, Anonymous Rex, and Gargoyles: Wings of Darkness. When the Sci-Fi Channel changed its name, I thought it was the end of these movies that are so bad they become great. And indeed, since the switchover, the Syfy Saturday movies have been pretty weak. Until Sharktopus.

There are certain factors that make a bad B movie a great B movie. The first is a weak plot. In Sharktopus, a company named Blue Water creates an octopus/shark hybrid named S11. They tried to make other hybrids, like the Sharktowhale and the Octofish, and on the 11th try they created the Sharktopus. In traditional monster movie fashion the Sharktopus escapes, then travels to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and starts wreaking havoc. The Blue Water Corporation sends the hero, Andy Flynn, and some sidekicks to capture him.

The second thing a B movie needs is a combination of bad writing and bad acting. It should have such bad writing that you think a bunch of drunken lemurs with brain damage wrote it while high and on fire. Thankfully with lines like, “everyone, everyone, there is a killer octopus/shark hybrid heading this way, please leave the area now,” Sharktopus has bad writing in spades. But writing is only half of it—you need horrible acting as well. Half the people in this movie act like they were just pulled off the street, given lines, and filmed their scenes in one take, which may have happened. Plus, since the Sharktopus was CGI (more on that soon), these actors had to act with nothing there, making their bad acting even worse.

The worst acting in Sharktopus comes from the classic character actor Eric Roberts and movie lead Kerem Bursin. Eric Roberts plays the CEO of the Blue Water Corporation and wants the S11 captured—not killed—by any means necessary. Roberts may be the best actor of the bunch but says his lines like he is just doing it for a paycheck. In fact, in an interview with Attack of the Show!, he and his publicist stated that if they knew the writing was as bad as it was, he would never have been in this movie. But Eric Roberts’s lethargic acting does not compare to Kerem Bursin’s. Bursin plays Andy Flynn like the typical main character in a monster movie—no personality, he just wants to kill the monster. Bursin is the worst actor in this movie because of what he does with his clothes. Every time Andy gets mad or has to face the Sharktopus, he takes off his shirt. Friend gets killed, he takes off his shirt. Has to save a little kid, takes off his shirt. Fighting the final battle with the Sharktopus, the shirt comes off. After every shirtless scene, the shirt magically reappears on him to signal we are done with the important action scenes.

The third thing that makes a horrible B movie is bad special effects. The S11 just looked wrong. It had the head of a shark, the tentacles of an octopus, a beak protruding from its belly, and spikes coming from its gills. Instead of S11 they should have named it “overkill,” because that’s what it looked like. I think they ran out of money after creating the Sharktopus because at times he looks superimposed on the screen which makes his killing scenes all the more silly. There are over 20 deaths in this movie. If this film does anything right it is that it varies the types of death. There are bungee jump deaths, car deaths, yuppie boat-sinking deaths, best friend deaths, zip line deaths, hotel performer deaths, sun bathing deaths, camera man and hot reporter deaths, villain deaths. It’s like the writer had a dart board and just picked the type of death at random.

Sharktopus is one of the worst made-for-TV B movies I have ever seen. It has bad acting, bad monsters, bad killings, bad writing, and bad directing, but all that bad makes it good. I wanted to see the next killing. I wanted to see Kerem Bursin take off his shirt in anger. I wanted to see the spectacularly stupid ending (I won’t spoil it for you, but it has to do with a river and a computer password). I wanted Sharktopus to prove to me that the Syfy channel still has the magic to make a bad movie, and by golly, they have made the worst of them all. Thank you, Sharktopus, for making my Saturday that much better with your horribleness.

For Chris’s bio, see his first guest blog.