New York Comic Con

NYCC Cosplay photo
NYCC Cosplay

NYCC: Cosplay photos from the floor


The good, the bad, and the weird
Oct 12
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
If you live in New York, you're probably used to walking pretty quickly to get from points A to B. This makes being in a packed convention center like the Javitz Center during the increasingly popular New York Comic Con absol...
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NYCC: Dreamworks panel featuring Home and Penguins


So many children
Oct 12
// Matthew Razak
The last true movie related panel of NYCC is now over. The movie stuff wrapped up with Dreamworks Animation presenting a panel for both Home and Penguins of Madagascar for our viewing pleasure. The panel consis...
Sexy Freddy vs. Jason photo
Sexy Freddy vs. Jason

NYCC: So... someone made "sexy" female Freddy vs. Jason figurines


But I'd totally pay to see this movie.
Oct 12
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
You know what I've never once thought? "There should be female versions of Freddie Krueger and Jason Vorhees!" And even if I had, I certainly wouldn't have followed that thought with, "Let's put them in skimpy outfits and sex...

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NYCC: Up close with Ben Affleck's Batman cape and cowl


Full of weighty goodness
Oct 11
// Matthew Razak
At New York Comic Con they're celebrating Batman's 75th anniversary and part of that celebration bring us our first chance to get up close to the cape and cowl that Ben Affleck will be wearing when he takes over the role in B...
NYCC photo
NYCC

NYCC: Tomorrowland toy gives another look at the movie


Oct 10
// Nick Valdez
While we've got our first in motion look at Tomorrowland thanks to a New York Comic Con panel yesterday morning (more on that later), the revealed teaser was a small look at what's going on. Thanks to an exclusive toy spotted...

NYCC: Thoughts on Disney's Tomorrowland panel

Oct 10 // Nick Valdez
Big Hero 6 was also a headliner during the panel, but unfortunately there's still not enough present to make me believe that's it going to be more than its recent glut of trailers. While the newest trailer focuses on someone other than Baymax for once (adorable as the squishy robot is, there is a limit), it's certainly telling that we were really waiting for all of the Tomorrowland details to kick in. At the panel, we were shown Tomorrowland's first teaser (found here), but after a surprise appearance from George Clooney (who's made his first comic-con appearance ever) we got an even better look at his character. Through the clip, he seems to be an ornery old man named Frank who seems to know a lot more about this "other world." He lives in a booby trapped house (the clip showed his many traps and fighting robot abilities. Yes there are robots), Casey (the girl in the trailer) is alluded to be a fugitive (as gentleman in black suits come to Frank's house to find her), his bathtub is a rocket ship, and sorry I couldn't remember the clip in greater detail. Basically, I'm not sure what to expect from Tomorrowland. The tone seems to work okay (as in, everything is serious without seeming overtly dark), Brad Bird seems to be excited from the project, and George Clooney even showed up to prove how much he's invested in one of the, what he dubs, larger projects he's been a part of (although he stated Batman & Robin turned him off completely) At least we won't be draped in mystery for long as Tomorrowland releases May 22, 2015.
NYCC Disney photo
More like George Swooney
Yesterday morning was the official start of 2014's New York Comic Con. What was originally a press day was opened to the public thanks to the other three days filling up so quickly. We'll have smaller impressions up throughout the weekend, but for now, I'm going to dish out some details regarding the big opening panel: Disney's Tomorrowland.

We're at NYCC photo
New York Comic Con is Go!
New York Comic Con is back again and Flixist is here to bring you all the movie news you can handle. Can you tell how excited we are? OK, that picture isn't actually representative of the excitement we're feeling with chances...

Tomorrowland Trailer photo
The future is full of wheat
If you're not excited for Tommorowland now is the time to get there because at the New York Comic Con Disney started the hype. Nick will be supplying us with a full rundown from the event itself, but above you'll find o...

NYCC Interview: The screenwriter and stars of Oldboy

Oct 16 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]216674:40803:0[/embed] Prior to speaking with the Oldboy talent at the convention, I was treated to two exclusive clips from the film that established the relationship between Brolin's character Joe Doucett and Imperioli's character Charlie. They speak with surprise and unease inside of a very-enclosed-feeling bar. "It's ironic because I own a bar and he has a drinking problem, so that's kind of a tricky thing, right?" Imperioli said. During the actual panel for the film, Protosevich commented that the name "Joe Doucett" was his attempt to evoke Oh Dae-su, the name of main character in the Park Chan-wook film. In one of these two exclusive clips, I also got a glimpse of Sharlto Copley's character and his henchwoman played by Klementieff. She busts out some martial arts and brings Brolin to the ground. Klementieff didn't have a fighting background prior to the shoot but trained diligently, three hours a day for two months. Now a purple belt in Taekwondo and continuing to improve, the regimen and physicality of the role was so intense that she lost a toenail. "It was really ugly. I lost it after the movie because I'm really professional. I put a bandaid on it with Angry Birds to make it more cute." As for Copley's character in the clip, the thing that stuck out most to me was his voice. It's so peculiar, grating, nasally, and probably in the way that Lee had intended. The way I described it to our own Alec Kubas-Meyer is that if the villain's voice had a face, I'd punch right it in the nose. Protosevich has been with the project the longest. After writing the 2007 adaptation of I Am Legend, Will Smith contacted him to do a remake of Oldboy with Steven Spielberg attached to direct. The project fell through, but after starting some work on it, Protosevich was hooked. "I'd worked out a 30-page treatment and had the movie clear in my head," he said. "The producer still wanted to go forward and I'm like, 'I'm in!' This one really meant something to me." Even after Lee became involved, Protosevich's screenplay has remained mostly intact. (During the panel, he noted that Lee respects writers.) He stressed that both he and Lee have nothing but respect for the original film, and they likened the remake process to doing a cover song. "I like Neil Young's 'Like a Hurricane,' but Roxy Music does this awesome cover of it," Protosevich said. "And so, you're honoring the original, but you're trying to make it your own as much as possible." There may be a similar sense of owning the material when it comes to the script itself. This is Imperioli's sixth film with Lee, though his last role with him was in 1999's Summer of Sam. He noted that Lee likes to let his actors improvise and revise their lines as part of the rehearsal process, allowing them to make the characters a bit more their own. "People are surprised when they hear that because they think he runs a very tight ship, which he does," he said, "but you can be as creative as you want." Part of this creativity extended to the name of Klementieff's character. After being cast in the role, Klementieff texted Lee from Paris trying to figure out just the right name. She went through an online dictionary of Asian names, picking some of her favorites letter by letter, texting suggestions to Lee. "I sent them to Spike and he was like 'Keep them going,'" she said. "So I sent B [names], then C [names]. I'm professional, I'm very motivated, I'm going to do all of the alphabet!" An hour and the alphabet later, Lee asked, "How do you say 'happiness' [in Korean]?" And she became Haeng-Bok. "In the original drafts of the script she was just referred to as 'The Asian Woman,'" Protosevich laughed. The obvious question with the Oldboy remake (other than the implied "why" applicable to most remakes) is if this film will get as dark and as the original. Prostosevich stressed that the film doesn't wimp out. When he first got involved with the remake, Spielberg told him, "My son will kill me if we don't make this movie as intense as the original." There have been some stories circulating around the web that the ending of the remake is even darker than the Park Chan-wook film, though that remains to be seen. It doesn't seem as if they'll shy away from violence. The infamous hallway tracking shot may be in the film -- my hope is that they turn the tracking shot into the signature Spike Lee dolly shot, which would be audaciously nutty if paired with excessive violence. The clip they showed the audience at the NYCC panel featured Joe Doucett smashing a few faces in with a hammer. He then tortures Samuel L. Jackson's character. Strapped down, Joe draws a dotted line along the man's neck, cutting out little chucks of skin. He tells his captive that he'll remove enough flesh to rip his head off with his bare hands. While there's a grimness and ugliness to Oldboy, Imperioli takes a philosophical approach to the material, even though he admits he still hasn't seen the original. ("I'd rather go into it just completely open -- no preconceptions.") "To me it's about karma," Imperioli explained. "This guy [Joe] was not a good guy -- he was kind of an asshole. Does the crime deserve that kind of punishment? I don't know, but I think you realize that you set certain things in motion through your actions in the world."
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Writer Mark Protosevich and co-stars Michael Imperioli & Pom Klementieff bring the hammer down
Spike Lee's upcoming remake of Oldboy has drawn many strong opinions from our staff. While it's one of our most anticipated films of the holiday season, it's also a movie that makes us question how a remake can negatively aff...

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NYCC 2013: Cosplay Photos


Some of the great costumes of the con
Oct 14
// Hubert Vigilla
Another New York Comic Con means a whole lot of great cosplay. In my days at the con, I was able to snap a fair amount of pics, the best of which I'm sharing here. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the convention on S...
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Flixist's NYCC 2013 Wrap-Up: Saturday, October 12


Also, Hubert talks about the Oldboy remake
Oct 13
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
So, Matt, Hubert, and I are at this year's New York Comic-Con. We were planning on telling you earlier, but the internet at the Javitz Center is terrible at best, so it didn't happen. But we're going to be there again today,...
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At the Superman 75th Anniversary panel most of the discussion was on the legend of Superman and the comic book itself, but we got to check out two things from the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of Man of Steel, which lands on N...

Review: Zero Charisma

Oct 11 // Geoff Henao
[embed]215045:39792:0[/embed] Zero CharismaDirectors: Katie Graham and Andrew MatthewsRating: N/ARelease Date: October 11, 2013 (VOD/iTunes, New York) Scott (Sam Eidson) is a late 20-something living with his grandmother while hosting a weekly tabletop RPG with his friends as the sometimes overbearing Game Master. When an opening comes up in the three-year-long game and with no interest from any of Scott's other "friends," he desperately recruits Miles (Garrett Graham). However, when his friends begin to gravitate towards the much cooler, hipper Miles, a psuedo-rivalry is started between the two. Zero Charisma hones in on these two drastically different types of nerds, as Flixist Editor-in-Chief and I defined as the nerds and "the nerds."There's Scott, who is sometimes narcissistic, constantly demeaning towards his friends, and a generally unlikable guy. Then there's Miles, who's cool, calm, and collected, yet prone to moments of being "holier than thou" with his undercover nerdiness.  The funny thing about Zero Charisma is that these characters are people I've both known and seen in my life. Their portrayals are extremely accurate, right down to the wardrobe choices of Scott and Miles. They contrast between Scott's metal-inspired vests and shirts and Miles' cardigans and band shirts. But beyond their physical appearances, their performances were remarkable. You can't help but laugh when Scott goes into a hissy fit, yet immediately feel terrible about it right after. It's this sincerity that helped make Zero Charisma so good. Scott is unlikeable character from beginning to end, but you can empathize with him. Again, this might be due in part because I'm accustomed to people like him, but you understand that his personality isn't rooted in bad thoughts but in a troubled past where he found an escape in tabletop gaming. Once that is taken away from him, you feel for him. He's still rotten and acts outrageously, but at least you can understand why. Zero Charisma is a funny film that has just as much heart as it does laughs. Honestly, I wasn't really expecting a heartfelt, feel-good film going in, but I'm glad that it ultimately was an entertaining film. Considering the process the filmmakers went through to create the film, it's great that Zero Charisma was an ultimately good film. Alec Kubas-Meyer: I wrote about Zero Charisma before it was finished, back when it was running a second IndieGoGo campaign hoping to raise finishing funds to get it to South by Southwest. I asked the filmmakers some questions and did something both because I found it interesting and because I hoped it would help out. But somewhere in the back of my mind was a nagging fear that the final product wouldn't have been worth my time or my readers' money. When the first reviews came out of SXSW, I breathed a sigh of relief, because I didn't want . I was excited for the film to come to NewYork, so I could see for myself what I had recommended to people.  Fortunately, the film had its New York premiere at Comic-Con. I honestly can't think of a more perfect place to play it. The press was corralled together in two rows while the regular moviegoers were scattered throughout the audience. I only mention this because it was interesting to see what different groups laughed at. Sometimes the critics would laugh hysterically while the rest of the room was relatively quiet. But there was constant laughter, not because it was bad (like the subject of the Best Worst Movie, Troll 2, which was the directors' previous project), but because it was genuinely funny. I know nothing about Dungeons and Dragons; table top RPGs have never particularly appealed to me even as several of my friends have joined a weekly game and told me of their exploits on the high seas. It's one of those areas where most of the people in that room probably grasped some of the subtleties a lot more than I did, but it didn't make a difference in the end. This isn't really a story about the game, even if that is the apparent focal point. It's a story about the people who play the game, and what it can make them do, and what it means to play games. It's a strange film, in part because its main character never really grows up. He's an aging man, but he acts like a teenage brat, and that's true for almost the entire movie. The ending gives him the slightest bit of redemption, but for the most part it's an unending downward spiral. Scott does something stupid, then something stupider, then something stupider, and Zero Charisma follows him down that rabbit hole. But that's how people are sometimes, and the interplay between him and the others was consistently fascinating, even if it hurt me to watch some of the more awkward scenes. But even then, I laughed and laughed and laughed. The film is a celebration of nerd culture that will appeal to people who aren't nerds. That's one hell of an accomplishment. 81 - Great
Zero Charisma Review photo
+9 Hilarity
There are nerds, and then there are nerds. Nerds may like to flash a retro gaming shirt or spout Star Wars trivia, whereas nerds tend to obsess over their interests and fascinations. It's cool to be proud and comfortable...

Interview: Barry Levinson

Nov 02 // Hubert Vigilla
[Editor's note: I omitted or reworded some questions and responses in order to avoid spoilers.] So did you decide to do to this project because of its ecological information or because you just wanted to do something that scared the living shit out of people? No, it didn't start out-- because I wouldn't know how to approach a frightening, scary movie like, "I gotta think of an idea." What happened is I was up in Baltimore-- Well, that'll scare anybody. I was approached about doing a documentary about the Chesapeake Bay because it's 40% dead and it has all those ecological issues. And so I gathered information and went, "Ah, this is really frightening." And I thought, I don't know if a documentary is the way to go. But I began to think about it and I said, "Well, I do tell stories -- why don't I take all the information and then weave it into a story so it could become more credible?" And that information that floats out there seems credible and then [becomes] frightening. So it began to evolve that way. Did you have one science guy that really tipped you to these creatures? We gathered a lot of stuff and then Mike [Wallach], who wrote the screenplay, came upon the fact that the isopods are a parasite that move from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and they've been changing. When we started to look into it, we went, "Holy god!" It was truly frightening, and we thought this was a nice element to bring into [the film]. It's the next step into it. You start playing with what the bay is -- it's like a stew of disaster -- and you bring [the isopods] into it, you can play with it. So you have 85% factual information. Doesn't matter if you want to pay attention to that or not, it just adds a credibility to the piece. So that's how it evolved. You're the second high-profile filmmaker I've spoken to this month who's decided to do a found footage film, the first being Rob Burnett who did We Made This Movie. Thing is, he decided to use a RED camera and gunk it up in post. I understand you decided to actually use consumer cameras. In retrospect, good idea or not? No, I think it was the best thing to do because it is 100%-- We did a test by taking a high-end camera and degrading it. To me it looks like a high-end camera that's degraded. To my eye, it didn't look real. So we took about 100-some cameras and we just kept testing them and projecting them and seeing what they do. And then out of that we picked like 20-some that seemed like, "All right, we'll use this. We'll use the Sony for underwater things, you know, with the kids, and they can go under and whatever. We'll use this. We'll use the iPhone." We just picked and choosed so we had this visual palette. And that to me became as real as you could make it because it is real. Was there any particular camera that you got out into the field and discovered, "Uh-oh"? And how did you work around that? Well, the "uh-oh's" came from the fact that if you take an iPhone and you're going to give it to someone to shoot something, you had no video playback. Right? You can't see it at the time. So you'd send a girl into the other room and tell her what to do and how to do the thing -- and you'd have to get in the other because you'd be in the shot -- and then afterwards you come back and you look at it. "That's good. Next time, can you do it like this. Da-da dadada!" And then a couple times with some of the actors, you go to look at it and there's no playback because they didn't hit the record button. [laughs] [laughs] That's why they're actors and not technicians. And the other thing is, if you went to a RED camera or one of those things, there's a difference between that camera and the consumer camera you hold in your hand. You can't hold the RED camera the same way. It's subtle, you know, and maybe some people [don't notice], but to me it didn't look real enough. When you see somebody grab a camera from one person to another, exchanging the hand, you cannot do it with a bigger camera. So that's what we went with, and you had to hold your breath initially because everyone was nervous about that idea. You have to be very careful. You gotta take that camera, you gotta download the chip, because you could lose all this information. As far as the cast, you went with unknowns. What did you look for when you were casting? I was looking for people that you could just believe as being as real as they can be. It's like, if you put Matt Damon in a role, then the whole movie goes out the window. He can be a great actor, but it tweaks the credibility. So you try to put together this group of people that seemed like, "Oh, we found them." It's like when we talk about the movie, I guess it falls into the found-footage genre, but it never occurred to me about this found-footage genre. I was thinking, "If a catastrophic event happened to a town, and there was no media, how would we know what happened?" And because of all this, now we'll get an intimate look into a town and its people that we never would have had in the history of mankind. All this stuff gives an intimacy that never existed before. So Pompeii. We say, "Oh, Pompeii," but what was happening to two people in the street? What were they talking about? So that's what I was thinking about. I mean, it sounds stupid and naïve, but I wasn't thinking "found footage"; I was thinking "How do you document it?" Sort of like [it was] anthropological or archaeological. How do you gather this to see what the people were talking about, because they don't know what's going on. The structure kind of reminded me of citizen journalism with the girl saying, "This is what I saw. This is what I was able to gather." Is this a continuation of how you looked at the way journalism tells stories in Wag the Dog or PoliWood or Man of the Year, even? I wasn't really thinking of it. I was thinking of... If you had some intern with a little thing who got most of the stuff incorrect and was caught up emotionally in it, because... I was fascinated by the fact that in the beginning -- you know, because I worked in news in the beginning -- and so you have to look at news as a professional and not get caught up in [what you're covering]. And she gets caught up in the emotional aspects of it, because that's where you are in the beginning. I thought, I'm just looking for the human behavior of it all. So the irony is that she stopped filming! She got so scared she couldn't even film anymore. I just liked the idea: she didn't quite understand what was going on, and she couldn't make that step. So I was looking at the human dilemmas of it. Following up on that, what I think made the film work better than a lot of other found-footage films was the sort of overarching narration that she provided. So is that a conscious decision to help tie it all together? Yeah, yeah. I though that I needed some connection. I'm a bad student of film in terms of "If I can apply this to that, and if I can do this to that, and so and so did this, and blah, bluh, blah." I don't know how to utilize it, but the one little thing that hovered in my head was, of all things, and we actually used the music for a moment, Our Town. Because in Our Town, The Narrator-- not The Narrator, The Stage Manager. He says, "That's young So-and-So," you know? "He died in World War One. I remember the first time..." He died in World War One? Now I'm going to watch the whole show, and he died in World War One! And there he is! He's in it. So if you watch the movie, in its own little subtlety, they're playing Our Town. [The Stage Manager] says, "All right, that's enough of that. People don't want to hear that music. [Let's have] something more upbeat." Our narrator [in The Bay] says, "That's so-and-so couple. They died at 2:20." You go, "What?" So that would be my only reference. I was using Our Town in that way. In the process of making the film or in the writing of the script, did you know how much you were ratcheting up the horror of it? It has this Exorcist-like effect. You go in not knowing what you're going to get and then suddenly it gets worse and worse and worse. Did you go, "Let's make it even worse! Let's torture them even more!" [laughs] What we did is we went along to find a few things and say, "Is it possible that we can do this?" It's part of the fun of it. You're shooting fast and loose and whatever, but there was an added thing, for instance. We had some puppetry [-- the guy who made it was terrific --] and there's a thing where [a woman's] washing her face. And I said, "Wouldn't it be interesting if we have a guy who's lying there, you think he's dead on the other side and they go around." He had this eyeball or whatever. I said, "Could the eye just move just a little. It scares the shit out of her, or whatever." [laughs] [laughs] He says, "Yeah, we'll try that, all right!" So we had a guy there and they put this head on him, and the eyeball just moved the slightest amount. And we went, "Oh, that's good, let's try that!" There was a couple times we were saying maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. Because of all the found-footage films that started coming out, they started almost repeating each other. And one thing that you did that I love is that instead of having one camera that was found and showing that story, you took it from several different cameras and pieced it together. I think that's what really makes this film stand out. Was it written that way? No, it was designed that way. As you were saying, there were all these different stories and this collection of all these cameras, so some things evolved out. For instance, the iPhone girl. Originally she was supposed to say [to her friend], "Look! I don't know what this is." And that was the end of it. But I sent her in the room and gave her some backstory. I said, "Just talk like you've got your friend [on the other end]. Just talk." And she talked, and I probably kept 30 seconds of it. And I said, "She's so great she's got a video camera on an iPhone, why don't I send her to the hospital, because that's where she's going to go anyway?" Now I've got another camera [when] she's out at the hospital. Look what's going on here. It allowed me to get-- So we built up her role as we went along. The funny thing is I said to her one day, "I'd like to use you on another scene." And she said, "Well..." "So you're not that interested?" She says, "No, I'd like to, but I'm going to need a note from school." [laughs] [laughs] That girl also brought a lot of human emotion into it when she's talking to her friend. "There's nothing else to really say, but I don't want to be by myself." I thought that scene was great because it brings that meaningful emotion rather than just people who are running scared. That was part of the thing. Found footage certainly has its labeling devices, but when you went past it, you find the strange moments of behavior that are completely outside of the box. No one had to be there to video her -- she was there with a camera talking. The intimacy of it. She doesn't really understand what's really going on, and she just desperately wants to hold on to somebody. And that was the other thing: everyone watching it knows what's going on, and no one else does. And no one really does until the reporter pieces it all together. Yeah. While not Baltimore you're at least going back to Maryland, but ironically you shot in South Carolina. If you had the opportunity, would you have shot in-state? And what kept you from doing that? Um, money. [laughs] Because [Maryland] didn't have the tax incentives and South Carolina did. As it turned out, South Carolina was actually the perfect spot because this town that we shot in was so accessible that rather than getting in a car and driving to the location, we would literally walk over over here and walk over there, we'll go around the corner here. And we were able to move around so fast. The logistics of it were incredibly simple. And we found-- One of the policemen told us, "Well, you know, there's this quarry that's got this water, and it's pretty clear. You can see under it." Because we were wondering how we were going to do this underwater stuff, and that quarry turned out to be fantastic, and, you know, it was five minutes away. We pull up there, and we're able to jump into the water and do some of those things that otherwise, if you got into the Chesapeake, you can't see that far. You have to see a little bit more. What movies scared you? In my lifetime? Yeah. Could be a political film, but, [you know]. I think the movie that scared me the most when I first saw it was The Thing -- the original Thing. [Editor's note: This is the 1951 Howard Hawks film The Thing from Another World.] Oh, the original Thing. The original Thing, when they start to open the door and the hand came out. I remember as a kid going, "WHOA MY G--!" That just scared me to death. That was the first one. And the other thing, which was not a scary scene, but it was a very high-tension scene -- and I remember seeing it as a kid on TV because I didn't see it in the movie theater -- was the original Frankenstein when he comes upon the little girl. And I remember the kid. [Editor's note: At this point, one of the other journalists at the table said almost inaudibly "That's Bride of Frankenstein."] A they're there, [and I'm going], "Oh my God, he's going to kill her. And he's playing, and whatever." And I thought that was so fascinating, that the monster's just going, "Huur-uuhurm," you see this other moment of [the monster], and then obviously then he ends up killing her, but you don't quite see it. And I remember as a kid thinking, "That's really great!" Because it's not just the shock-moment of it, it's like, [wondering] what's going to happen. And I thought that was fantastic. For The Bay, you got lucky with the logistics, but it must have been a lot of planning because of all the different cameras you used before you started shooting. How long did that part of the process take? It took a while, because as I was saying, we went through like a hundred cameras. You know, we kept testing them, we would look at them, we would go back into the screening room, we'd look at this, we'd compare this camera to that camera. And so it was a whole thing. What do we do, what's going to work? The Google camera -- the Google phone -- it's got a colder temperature, and this one's got this, and you're just whittling it down to those choices. And also, you're trying to figure out what the reliability is going to be for some of these cameras. You know, didn't always hold up. So when you were shooting, were you shooting multiple cameras during the course of the day? Yeah, oh yeah. Sometimes, in scenes like the pool party with all those kids, it was probably like seven cameras in there. I gave it to the kids! Said, "Here, play with the thing!" So you'll see the shots where [the camera] goes underwater and coming up, and it's all bizarre stuff. And what you have to do as a director... Obviously a director's got to have control, but you also have to cede a certain amount of control to see what's gonna happen. So you don't know what the hell some of that stuff is, and you can't examine every one of those cameras. You have to take it back and hope that you have something there because you just don't have the time to go through every camera shot. Some of it is-- You don't know. And, I have to tell you: when I was shooting that pool party -- these were all extras from South Carolina, and the kids are screaming of whatever -- they were so good that I would just sit back and watch them. It's weird because you don't have the camera where you're like, "Oh, okay, good take." Literally, you're watching all this stuff going on and you're hoping that the people you gave cameras to are actually catching what's going on, because we can't cover it. We'd be in the way. So, you've got these cameras and you see those performances, it seems about as real as I could imagine it'd be. And sometimes we'd slip Josh [Nussbaum], our cinematographer. I'd slip him in [a scene] assuming I wouldn't get this and this, and then he would have to be equally as much of an amateur as them, otherwise that camera's going to look better than the others. So you have to deal with that, so sometimes you've got a finger on the lens just to mess things up a bit. But that was the fun, [playing] with the cameras. Oh sure. We would lose a few things, and some cameras would jam and break, and as I said, sometimes it never shot -- nothing. Or drop in the water? Well, in the water we had these waterproof things, but things would happen. You have to be prepared that you're going to lose [footage] and something's going to go wrong because you're playing with a degree of the unknown. Do you think you could affect change with this movie? It really emotionally affects you. Well that's great. That's what I would hope. It's one of the dilemmas of doing this kind of movie where studios want movies to be [one genre]. "Well it's a horror film." And you go, "But it's not a pure horror film." And how do you define [genre] and whatever, and you go, "Look, it's a sci-fi/thriller/horror whatever." It is what it is. I mean, you can't set out to be so defined as a genre for a selling tool. Can it affect anything? I don't know; I never know. Sometimes all I know is that the Chesapeake Bay is 40% dead, and you can fix it, but you don't. And there's a million reasons why it's not taken care of. Somebody said, "Well, you know, is that going to upset the recreation department and all that stuff?" I don't know, but at some point you either don't say anything until it just tips over and it's all dead or maybe somebody says something and they begin to do improvements. First obligation, you gotta get people to see it, enjoy it, talk about it. So the takeaway here is to drink more bottled water? [laughs] You're in the pocket of big Brita! You're helping Coca-Cola and the plastics manufacturers! Exposed! [laughs] I had a question about the logo at the end of the film. It's very reminiscent of the old 70s B-movies. Was that intentional of was it just a cool design? Well you know what happened was I think it was probably when we were going to show it one day. And Aaron [Yanes], my editor, and one of the other guys, David [Editor's note: I'm assuming it's David Andalman, who was assistant editor on the film], I think they were just screwing around on Final Cut just trying things. I said, "Well that looks kinda nice." Slightly kind of cheesy good, right? Something about it. I think that's where it came from. So I don't think we even went to a title house. I think between the two of them they ended up with it, which is one of the fun things about this radical shift that's taking place: there's so many things you can play with, and it's eventually going to change storytelling. We are looking at probably the greatest revolution in the history of film. It's happening now. Classical forms have changed, the distribution patterns are going to be completely rearranged because you no longer have to carry all the cans [recording inaudible] in order to see it, you know. The internet's going to be carrying all this information; you can see movies when you want to see movies, how you want to see movies -- big screens, small screens. It'll be an interesting time to see where it goes and how this all evolves. But think about in the past: there were people who had stories but can't get those big cameras. So now, you take one of these and you can tell it in any way. Can you tell it better? Whatever. It's like pen and ink came along and someone says, "No, I'm sticking with carving into rock. I'm not changing." Do you have one of those creatures, a plastic version? I do, they gave me one of those. And my wife keeps hiding it from me. [laughs] They are absolutely frightening. Well you know the funny thing is the first time I showed the movie, I said [to a couple of friends], "You know, the isopod is real." And they said, "Really?" And I said, "No, no, they're real. We didn't make them up" And they went, "Holy shit!" And then I thought, you know something, I could try to push this into the movie a little bit more. So that's where we put all those isopod images that come up, like the one that's two-and-a-half feet long. Just pushed it. Because initially we can't wrap our head around the fact that these things are out in the water, and [grow] from a tiny parasite. Now, in the movie there's a scene where a character's holding the tweezers, and he says, "Now this here is sometimes referred to as 'sea lice.'" That's not a special effect. That was [real] sea lice. We just pulled a fish out of South Carolina; we just pulled some fish out there and they had the sea lice on them, which is the early stages of the isopod. So that scene where he's holding [the thing up in tweezers] -- that's for real. We didn't have to CGI that. They're out there. Sea lice. So did you license [sea lice] already to a toy company? [laughs] [laughs] This guy's always thinking. Thinking ahead. [laughs] Now the one that crawls out of the fish is one that we had to CGI. That one we had to CGI. But that one in the tweezer [shot], that's real. The CGI is nicely matched to the video. Was it hard to get all the pieces to fit like that? Yeah it was. As I said to the CGI guys, a lot of movies don't look that real to begin with, so it's okay, and we just accept it. But here, it looks like it's 100% real so if these CGI things aren't spot on, we're dead. So we had to keep going back and playing and playing and playing so we can buy it. Did the fact you were should degraded video help? It did, it did. It gave us a little bit of tweaking afterwards if we just beat it up little bit. It would help. You know, this actually fits your style of storytelling. I think you pioneered a form of storytelling on Homicide: Life on the Street, a cop show we'd never seen done in that style. It's part of your style, essentially. I never sit down to figure it all out, but it probably has its things to it. The interesting thing about this form is that you know it's a movie and inside it we create our reality, and you cannot screw with the reality unless you want to knock it out. So for instance, like when the police go to the house and they go in, we can't go in [with them]. Because who's in there videoing this thing? There's nobody going to be taking video. All we can do is enhance the audio, and you hear the screaming and whatever, but you can't go it. It creates a certain frustration and anxiety. But if we went in, I think then we'd break the credibility. So what do you do after a movie like this? What's next? What's next is I'm in rehearsals for Diner: The Musical. Sheryl Crow wrote the music and we open in April. It's on Broadway. That's been going on for a long time, but that's actually in rehearsals right now.
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The veteran director talks about an archaeological approach to found-footage movies
Barry Levinson's career spans four decades, with acclaimed films like Rain Man, The Natural, Wag the Dog, Good Morning, Vietnam, and Diner under his belt, not to mention the show Homicide: Life on the Streets. It was a bit pe...

Interview with Silent Hill's writer/director and producer

Oct 25 // Sean Walsh
So, Michael, do you enjoy scaring people?  MJB: ‘Cause as a young man I liked scary movies,. And it’s what sticks with you. I remember…when video first came in, VHS cassettes, my dad hired a video machine from his company and we ended up renting some scary movies…and that’s sort of what started me off. I remember cutting school when I was a teenager and just getting big piles of video cassettes with my friends and spending all day watching scary movies. I got caught by my teacher, my head teacher once, and I had to go to his office, and he said to me, ‘What possible use to you is wasting your time with these movies?’ And I remember years later sitting in Wes Craven’s office, telling him the story. I’d cut school to watch The Hills Have Eyes, as a hookie video, and we were talking about doing the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, way back when, …and he was like, ‘Yeah, that was pretty useful.’  What movie was it your father was showing you, and how old were you?  MJB: I was young. The movie I wanted to see more than anything was Alien, because I was completely obsessed with Alien and I was too young to watch it. The movie we ended up getting out was The Exorcist.  You were how old?   MJB: Too young. Too young. It was one of those ones, where you just put it in, and you sat there watching it…kind of going, ‘…Woah.’   SH: I saw it in London and I was watching in the theater, and something happened in the balcony, and everybody, ‘Somebody has been thrown out from the balcony,’ There was just this, ‘Oh my God,’ so it was like very scary inside during the shoot…it’s a movie that I cannot see, and I don’t know why. It’s because maybe of this experience in the theater that something happened and somebody throwing themselves from the balcony and I say, maybe there is something there.  Is there a secret to scaring people? Is there certain things that really scare them more than others?  MJB: It depends what audience you’re going for, because, I think if you stop and think about horror, what horrifies you changes as your age changes as well, as your cultural values change. As a kid, I was really obsessed with Cronenberg’s stuff, because it’s all body horror, it’s how you are changing. Werewolf movies, it’s about how things change from one thing to another. I think it’s a mainstay of teen horror. Then as you get a little bit older, property threats, and threats to family…The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is horror to some people, it’s a thriller to others. It depends. You look at Paranormal Activity, a sort of home invasion concept in a way, it’s a domestic environment, nothing much happens, and yet you are threatened, and that’s, that’s horror. So I think there’s no key across the board, because horror is too big a genre, y’know, it’s not like sci-fi, it’s actually a framework in which you tell stories. What’s horror to some people isn’t horror to others. You’re not horrified by my movie, it’s not horror to you. So I think it really is about what it is you’re trying to do. With Silent Hill, that horror is a very specific kind of horror. It’s a horror of the mind to a certain extent. It’s body horror, so it fits into that Clive Barker/Cronenberg vibe of the metamorphosis and corruption of flesh. That’s one kind of horror. Now to some people, that’s kind of just silly monster horror, to others it’s very frightening because it speaks to what they are and how they feel about themselves. So I think to try and find what is the key to horror is too hard to get into in this specific environment but…well, there are things to not knowing what’s around the corner. Horror’s about not knowing.    I was curious, given your early collaboration with Andy Serkis, I mean you could so see Andy fitting in, prosthetic-wise, into any of those creatures. Was it a discussion you had?    MJB: No, Andy’s off doing Peter Jackson’s stuff all the time so he’s, getting his availability is the last thing in the world, BUT that physicality that you want, the nature, for the performance to come through the costume, is very, very hard to find. I mean, Roberto, who plays Pyramid Head in this, he’s a dancer, he’s a movement guy, and he, he’s like Andy Serkis. I mean, Andy’s an actor, I mean he can act, a fantastic actor, you put him on screen and it’s him, he’s brilliant. Roberto’s all about movement and he, across the board, he dealt with the nurse movements for us, and the other monster movements. You’d just come up to him and say, ‘Show this person how to move,’ and he would say, ‘Okay, now I’m gonna be the brain monster guy, this is how you should move.’ Now, he’s a big, built guy, so Roberto couldn’t do it, but he would show that performance and give the creature a character. I think that’s hugely important…and it’s really an underappreciated art, creature performance.  They definitely translate incredibly well from the video game. Anybody who’s a fan will watch this and see Pyramid Head and completely appreciate what you guys are doing.  MJB: I hope so, I hope so. It’s the weight, y’know, because he’s carrying this…it’s a big sword.    It’s huge.  MJB: It’s not a real metal sword, you can move it around, but he plays that weight, and he plays the pain, and I remember, he’s on the set, it was maybe the first couple days we were working with Roberto, and we’d done the first movie five years ago, and I wasn’t involved and that was Sammy, Sammy was there, and I saw Sammy scuttling onto the set, and saying to him, ‘More pain, more pain!’ Seriously, and just to play that and suddenly it’s like he remembered what it was and he just dropped and he played the pain of being that creature again. It’s fun.   Adelaide is such a wonderful discovery, and I know the story about how you bumped into her at Sundance, but now we see her on the screen… SH: You know, when I met her, I felt the same physical resemblance with the character of the video game. I was looking to the cover of the…he was casting in LA, and then I went to Sundance because there were lots of agents I cannot meet in LA…and I see this lady and I said, ‘Wow, she looks like the cover.’ …And obviously, I went to see her and I said, ‘Can I show you this picture? Are you coming to LA? Would you go to see my director to be cast to be in the movie?’ And she told me, ‘Yeah, yeah, sure, sure,’ not believing anything I was saying. MJB: ‘Hey, I’m a film producer.’ SH: But you know, what is important is that she was in a Japanese movie, she was Australian like Radha Mitchell, and she knew the world of Japan, because the video game comes from Japan, and she was speaking French and she lived in France, and I said, ‘There is three areas that we are hitting together,’ plus they look alike, so I said, ‘You should come.’ And she came. What about Kit? MJB: Oh well, Kit, we spent a lot of time looks for guys. Kit was one of the very first lads that came in to meet me in London, and from that first day, I said, ‘It’s gonna be Kit.’ Was that before Game of Thrones? MJB: He’d done Game of Thrones, but it hadn’t been broadcast, so he still, his only real credit was what was on the stage in London. Game of Thrones, ‘Hey I’m looking forward to that, how’s it gonna be?’ ‘I think it’s gonna be fine.’ Quite an understatement. But he…you can tell really, really quickly when an actor walks into a room, you do the full audition, you give them the full time, but I can tell in ten seconds if it’s, if this is the person I’m gonna warm to, like, they’re gonna have the talent to do what I want them to do and Kit had all of those things so I, for me it was very easy, it was just, he stared forefront of my mind through all the other fifty-odd other actors we finally met and it was always Kit. Partly, he’s a very handsome young man, as an actor he’s got real subtlety and flexibility, and the nature of the character that he plays, although it’s Vincent, who is a character from the third game, it’s really a very, very faint similarity between the two of them. I took this Vincent character and did something totally different with him, something some of the fans will obviously be a bit annoyed about, but I needed to get a guy who we liked, this notion of ‘love interest’ has to be played. It doesn’t ever go where you think it’s going to go, but that’s what you’ve got to think the job of his character is to be, and it becomes something different. So, yeah, with Kit, he’s a talented young guy, and clearly he’s a big name now, certainly when you’re walking through Comic-Con with him. When you met Adelaide, was it the same ten-second reaction you had with Kit? MJB: Yeah, Sammy had called me and said, ‘Come and meet this girl,’ and again…the physical similarity to me didn’t matter that much, I don’t think the idea of casting based on pixels is necessarily relevant. You’ve got to cast the person who does the job. …With Addie, what was interesting is that she is, she seems so vulnerable, y’know, she’s sort of willowy and slim, has this wonderful radiant skin, and it seems innocent, but you want somebody who’s got strength. This is not a character who is kind of reactive to horror, she plunges deliberately into this world to save her dad. The story of this movie is kind of completely unconnected reasons to the first movie, the first movie is parents looking for their kid, this is kid looking for parent. And I needed a girl who could do that and plausibly feel like she was in danger and was vulnerable, but at the same time we understood that her strength was there enough for her to do what was needed, and of course then, she has to be Dark Alessa as well. So there’s the other side of the character that is this kind of dark version of herself, who she also plays, so she plays against herself in one scene. So you needed to find somebody that could have that sort of…a little bit of inner darkness can be pulled out if need be, and Addie seemed to do all those things. There’s more of Michael and Sammy’s insights into the film available in the full interview, available for your listening and downloading pleasure here!
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Get inside the heads of Michael J. Bassett and Samuel Hadida
A couple weeks ago, at New York Comic-Con, I was lucky enough to sit down with four very important players from Silent Hill: Revelation 3D at two different roundtable interviews at the super-swanky Trump SoHo. The first in...

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NYCC: Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez talks changes


Oct 18
// Matthew Razak
Along with sitting down with Bruce Campbell at NYCC I also got the chance to talk with the director of the upcoming Evil Dead remake, Fede Alvarez. This is the guy who convince Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell that he...

NYCC: An interview with Bruce Campbell

Oct 16 // Matthew Razak
Were you starting to doubt you'd ever get to revisit this material again? A little bit. We're getting older and the idea is getting older. Sam (Raimi) is making big movies now and he may not always be able to take the time to do an Evil Dead movie. We're glad that Sam ran into Fede (Alvarez) and what they were working on originally got bogged down. Turns out Fede was a big Evil Dead fan and pitched a couple ideas to Sam that were very interesting. Then myself and Rob Tapert started to pay attention, and he pitched a full story and we liked that, and then he pitched a script and we liked that. We kept liking everything that was happening, and here we are today. How important was it for you to be one of the producers and how hands-on were you? Well I was a producer of the first one and so I was a producer on all three of them, so it was just natural that we would all be back again. We really enjoyed it. You have a lot of boring conference calls when you make movies most times, but the three of us agreed it was just really fun to be working together again. We've always had a really good association... and now Fede is the new sucker. You've said that this one is not funny like the others are. Nope. Can you compare... It's more like the first one. The first one was only funny because it was melodramatic dialog delivered by bad actors. You're not a bad actor. Uhhhh... yea. I'm less worse now. I have more experience now. But, you know, that had its own feel. You have to make a decision: how scary are we? Are we real scary? Are we funny scary? Are we just torture porn? Which, thankfully there's not a frame of torture porn in this movie. I feel that aside from just being offensive -- it's not scary -- that's bad film making. I hope we're coming out the ass end of torture porn and that it will never return. What made you think the film needed to be remade in the first place? We didn't. It sort of grew on us like a wort. Plus, when you see the chances of making a sequel receding every year like our hairlines you think maybe there's a better way. Let's get some young punks here and torment a whole new group. We'll use our experience from making three of them to help guide them to a new balls out movie that will torment people for the rest of their lives. And we think he did it. That's the funny thing.  You're not worried that the shift away from the more comedic angle will... No, because the first one wasn't at all. The first one was not designed at all to be really funny. Just as filmmakers we wanted to evolve so on the second one one of the writers named Scott Spiegel was just the funniest man alive. He and Sam would sit in a room writing Evil Dead 2 and just start cackling. They'd sit down the hallway from our old dentist's office and just start laughing. We'd ask if they were writing a horror film or a comedy and they'd say, "We don't know!" It's just what it became, but Fede pitched a straight version and that's what we made. I think it's great. The movie is very adult. There's nothing childish or immature or MTV-ish about its style. So what happens is when the shit hits the fan you start taking it much more seriously because the whole movie is. It's like "When Interventions Go Bad." That should be the tagline for this movie.  That's the premise. Fede came up with this unique premise of why they are at the cabin in the first place and we thought that was pretty organic. This chick is trying to shake a little habit and go back to the family cabin where she can scream and let it out for a couple of bad days. Problem is by the time things get too far along they've been thinking she's only in withdraw. It's a bit worse than that, you know. So what would you say the tone is? Is it a slow creeper? A jumper? It's not racing along at the beginning, it's a pretty straight opening. You know, it's a strong retelling of them visiting this old cabin and settling in while this girl solves her problems. Then when the dead is released it just gets relentless. You're going to wish you were watching the earlier part of the movie. How many monsters are we looking at? Well there's five kid so potentially five monsters. Where do you feel like this will fall in the pantheon of horror films? I hope that I am invited for the next 30 years to attend double bills at the Alamo Drafthouse. Show the first Evil Dead first then this one second at midnight for decades. I think they're great companion pieces. They're just two different versions of this creepy story.  Fede was very respectful to the original. There's a lot you'll get. You'll be putting on a nice comfortable leather shoe here. It's going to feel real familiar.  Are there Easter eggs? No because the tone wouldn't fit. There's no jokey cameo from me as the ice cream guy going, "Here's your two dollars back. You kids be careful at that cabin." That's not the movie. If it was Army of Darkness maybe -- that kind of tone. No, this is a throwback. This movie scared the hell out of us the first time we saw it.  As producer what sort of involvement did you have day to day? Well, when we were casting I felt as an actor I was a pretty good judge of actors. I also got to ask the question of how are you with special effects make up. Can you work in this stuff for extensive amounts of time. It's a serious question that boils down to how tough they are. Jane Levy is a tough little chick. I hope she becomes the new Ash. I hope she gets considered with the same respect and admiration that that idiot Ash does. People enjoy that character and we didn't want to put some unnatural burden on some new actor saying, "I'm the new Ash." No you're not. We didn't want to put him in that position. Just tell a new story. It's another bad night with a creepy book that they should have left alone.  Have you seen Cabin in the Woods? I have not. I've heard there are references. It's all good. So how violent is the movie? How violent? Yes. I know you said torture porn is crap so... It's fucking violent. This is a really fucking violent movie (ed. Judging from the trailer he is not lying).  Details? You're going to see it pretty damn soon. I mean how's a nail gun fight sound? Like with lots of nails. How about blood rain? Since you'd been through this before with all the make up and physical stuff did you talk to the actors about how to do it? I sent them an email at the very beginning letting them know what they were going to get into. I was being very fatherly. Don't party because you're going to wear out. It's going to be a long, long haul. We pushed every actor right to the brink... poor bastards. But it's good. They worked hard for their entertainment value. And Jane Levy is going to be a little... she's going to get work. She's a little hotty and real tough. Will there be anymore after this? There damn well better be.
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Ash goes to bat for the new Evil Dead
At NYCC I was able to fulfill one of my life goals: interview Bruce Campbell. The man did not disappoint. In a red sports jacket and black shirt he was walking around like he owned the joint (he basically did) and brashly dec...

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NYCC: Inside The Batmobile panel


Oct 15
// Hubert Vigilla
On Friday at the New York Comic Con, there was a world premiere screening of The Batmobile, an hour-long documentary about Batman's most wonderful of wonderful toys. A half-hour version of the documentary aired earlier this y...
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As promised, one final video about the Flixist experience of the New York Comic Con. This one was taken a bit earlier, because I had things to do, so it's just me and Hubert talking sort of vaguely about what it was like to ...

NYCC: Carrie remake panel recap

Oct 15 // Matthew Razak
We'll start with the teaser, which unfortunately wasn't much to go on, but did confirm that Mortez is going to indeed be covered in blood. The teaser opened with an aerial shot of a town that looked like a riot had gone through. Buildings on fire (most notably what looks like a high school) and just general destruction all over the place. As the camera flies closer into the town pushing down into a street a voicerover of a lot of different people talking about someone we can only assume is Carrie. Words like "Her Mother was a fanatic. I don’t know how she lived with her." Finally the camera has swooped down to the street with the music ramping up and it pushes in on Mortez covered in blood and looking very, very angry. There's also someone singing over the entire trailer. Moore said this was a hymn mentioned in a book that Carrie's mother sings. It was a solid teaser and also came along with the poster you see below, which emphasizes once again Mortez and blood baths. The teaser definitely hints at the closer adherence to the book. For one it's the entire town being destroyed not just the school. Moore's singing over the trailer also shows the greater focus in the film on Carrier and her mother. This is definitely the new major focus of the film with Pierce basically discussing it, and Moore and Mortez often diving in to their work together. Moore actually discussed the back story of Carrie's mother Margaret saying, "The character is rooted in isolation. She was in a religious cult and it wasn't strict enough for here so she left ... When she was pregnant, she thought the child was a cancer and delivered alone. She's a very isolated woman." It speaks to this focus that none of Carrie's tormentors in school were on the panel. What was discussed almost as much as Carrie and Margaret's relationship was the amount of blood being used. Pierce estimated that they used about 1,000 gallons of blood and Mortez pointed out that she was often caked in different types of blood (wet blood, dry blood, fire blood) and eventually she got "use to coming home covered in blood." In a humorous note Pierce detailed how incredibly difficult it is to aim blood, and that a lot of experimentation went into just how to cover Mortez in it. "It never hits the person you want it to," she joked. This also relates to the fact that the film is definitely R-rated. Producer Kevin Misher, who was also on the panel, said that having the R rating was pretty freeing. It does mean the film "legally" can't be seen by an age group, but he said the story demands the R rating. The crowd definitely liked this news. I was seriously not on board for this remake, but after hearing Pierce discuss the movie it's clear she wanted to make her own thing. The panel also admitted that they're rejiggering it for modern bullying (cyber bullying was mentioned), and a lot has changed since the original film came out in that respect so maybe it won't be the exact same thing. Plus, Moore and Mortez seem to be very behind it (Moore showing up at Comic-Con is huge), and if they believe then I'm a bit more apt to.
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Teaser, poster, the book and 1,000 gallons of blood
One thing was absolutely clear from the New York Comic Con's Carrie panel: they do not want this to be called a remake. Over and over again both director Kimberly Pierce and lead actors Julianne Moore and ...

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NYCC: Cosplay from Sunday


Oct 15
// Hubert Vigilla
The final day of New York Comic Con meant horrible musk on the main floor -- it was like the inside of a gym sock at the bottom of a laundry bag. It took a little time to acclimate to the awful smell. There was still a lot of...
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Hey guys, it's me again. I'm sure you've all watched (and loved) our first NYCC video recap, and here we are again with our second (and possibly final?) attempt at talking coherently into a camera. Today, Hubert, Sean, and I...

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NYCC: Cosplay from Saturday


Oct 14
// Hubert Vigilla
The busiest day at the New York Comic Con meant very little space to move around but a lot of cosplay. Here's a solid batch of pics I took while wandering the Javits Center and the area around the convention. One last batch of cosplay pics coming tomorrow.
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Michael Bassett sees plenty of opportunity for more psychological horror
Michael Basset, the director of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, is a pretty cool dude. I had a roundtable interview with him and producer Samuel Hadida today and the interview closed out with the obvious question of "Do you see a...

NYCC: First image/trailer recap for the Evil Dead remake

Oct 13 // Matthew Razak
The trailer opened on a very familiar looking cabin, though this one seems a little smaller and bit more dilapidated. We see our five victims entering the cabin and looking around as menacing music starts playing. They look around the cabin and then rip up a carpet where they find a panel in the floor (sound familiar) with a trail of blood leading down to it.  Cut to the basement of the cabin and a bunch of hanging dead animals, looking far creepier than it ever has and then one of those damn kids reads from the Necronomicon. As this is going on the movie continues to cut to text telling us that it's from the original creators and that they're rebirthing evil. Also of note is that the text read from the book is definitely the same words from the original movie, so well the overall feel looks far more brutal there are definitely nods to original film. Of course once the words are read all hell starts breaking lose and we jump from a bunch of cuts of people going steadily insane. The possessed in the new film look far less like the zombies of the original and more like they're seriously diseased. At first I was a bit concerned about this, but the new look is creepy as all hell and hints at a focus of a bit more insanity than the original. There's definitely a far darker tone to the entire thing, and it looked like people got more and more possessed and turned into more zombie/deadite creatures as the film progressed. You can get a taste of them from the image in the header. For those worried about them completing ditching the original the trailer pretty much confirms the existence of a possessed hand, a chainsaw, bodily dismemberment and tree rape. There were definitely two separate shots of a woman getting tangled up in vines, and star Jane Levy pretty much came out and said tree rape would occur. The trailer cut between a lot of shots of people getting possessed along with the classic Evil Dead camera shot as the evil careened through the woods. There's was plenty in the trailer paying homage to the original, but it didn't feel anything like it. I get the feeling that it's going to be far more disturbing than it was the first time around when it was already really disturbing. This might be the most intense trailer I've seen in a long time. It definitely had gallons of gore flying everywhere, and the closing shot was a girl slitting her tongue in half. The crowd went nuts as the trailer rampped up the blood and gore. This film is definitely going to be a seriously dark blood bath. Bruce Campbell, a man I'd trust with my life, gave us all a promise it's going to rock. 
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Bruce Campbell rocks the world
Update: Official image below. I just got out of the panel for the Evil Dead remake where director . Needless to say Bruce Campbell rocked the house, pretty much pulling the most cheers and being generally awesome. H...

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NYCC: Cosplay from Friday


Oct 13
// Hubert Vigilla
Here's a small batch of cosplay photos from Friday at the New York Comic Con. I took a few photos with one of Alec's cameras, which he'll upload eventually. I'm going to be taking a lot more the next two days, so keep an eye out for those. In the meantime, peep the pics in the gallery.
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NYCC: Legendary Comics/Pacific Rim panel


Oct 13
// Hubert Vigilla
Even though there was cool news about comics projects from Matt Wagner and Grant Morrison, the Pacific Rim portion of the Legendary Comics panel stole the show. The panel was moderated by Chris Hardwick and also featured Lege...
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So, you know, we're at the New York Comic Con and stuff, and it's pretty cool. But you know what's better than reading about what we thought? Seeing and hearing what we thought. That's right, for the first time (probably) ev...

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NYCC: The Image Revolution documentary panel


Oct 12
// Hubert Vigilla
Last night at the New York Comic Con there was a panel on the forthcoming documentary The Image Revolution, directed by Patrick Meaney and produced by Jordan Rennert. The film chronicles the rise of Image Comics in the 1990s...
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We're here! We're queer! We like movies!  Wait that doesn't seem right. We are here (here being the New York Comic Con), we do love movies as well. Maybe it's the middle line. No can't be that because we've got a Flixist...

Flixclusive Interview: Roger Corman

Nov 16 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
First up: How does it feel to be Roger Corman? Roger Corman: It's exciting, and it's gratifying, and to a certain extent, it inspires me to keep me in the game. I'm still making about four or five movies a year. Formerly I made ten to twelve a year, but I'm slowing down a little bit now. How do you feel about the so-bad-it's-good phenomenon, and how it's seen a resurgance in recent years thanks to thinks like digital video. What do you think about those films? Since you are in a many ways the creator of modern day exploitation films, you have a big part in that. Are you happy with that kind of legacy or do you regret that a little bit? No, I made exploitation films, and I think there's nothing wrong with it. Every film must be exploited to get it to the public, and I think it's very good that now with the digital equipment and the light and portable equipment that independent filmmakers are able to make films for such a small amount of money. Most of them, frankly, will not be very good, but some of them will be good. Why did you choose to just become a producer?  I didn't really make a decision to stop being a director. I directed, I've got 57 or 58 pictures in about 15 years and I just got tired, so I thought I would sit back and start a production and distribution company, and it became so successful that I just never got back to directing.  As a producer, how much control do you have over any given production? Are you really hands-on or do you sit back and let people do what they do? I'm very much hands-on until the first day of shooting. During the shooting, I step back, because then I believe it's the director's job. Are there some projects that you feel more attached to and that you think, "Well, I know this is my policy, but I'll break it just this once"? Well, we're doing a picture called Virtual Heroes, which is a Vietnam war picture in which the characters begin to realize late in the picture that they're not characters at all, they're characters in a video game, and I think it's a very original idea. G.J. Echternkamp is doing it. He's a young filmmaker just out of film school. Has there ever been any one dream film that you could never realize? I had two pictures I wanted to make. One was Robert E. Lee, the confederate general. The other was Crazy Horse, the great Indian warrior chieftan. I developed scripts on both of them, but they cost a little bit more than I had to spend. I may still go back to them.  I know that Death Race came back a couple of years ago; are there any other films from your body of work that you'd like to see remade and shown to a new generation? Well, Ron Howard's first picture for me was Eat my Dust, and Ron and I are partnered in doing a remake of Eat my Dust, which was a comedy car chase film that was very successful. How do you feel about where Little Shop of Horrors has gone? It's nothing like your original film, but it's a huge phenomenon. I'm very pleased with it, because I get a percentage of the profits, and I thought the musical was very good. I'm possibly going to make a sequel myself to it. You've been a major player in a lot of documentaries lately. I recently saw Machete Maidens Unleashed (I thought it was amazing) and now you're in Corman's World. How do you feel about documentaries about you or in general? I think this one, Corman's World, is a very good documentary. I think she did a very good job, and she got more people who I worked with in the early days to reminisce and tell stories and she cut them together with clips of the film, so I think it all worked out well. Any interest in making a documentary yourself? I've never worked in documentaries, and I don't have any plans. Is there anybody in particular that you'd like to work with that you haven't, actor, director, anybody? No. [Note: The following anecdote came from Mark Thomas McGee's book Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures.]  One of my favorite anecdotes about you is that when you were working on Dementia 13, after Francis Ford Copolla told you it's the dirtiest, most violent thing in the world that after you saw it you broke your pencil and stormed out of the room, and then hired Jack Hill onto the picture. That is totally false. I thought Dementia 13 was an excellent picture,but it was a little bit short, and Francis had gotten a job at Warner Bros. and wasn't available, so he suggested Jack Hill come in and shoot three or four more minutes to lengthen the film. I was very pleased with the film. This is an example of stories about me that have no basis in reality.Last question: you've worked on Sharktopus, Crocdawhatever, and now Pirhanaconda. What's next in the mutant-animal hybrids? Pirhanaconda is the last for the moment. I may do a sequel to Sharktopus. Fantastic. Thank you so much. It was really a pleasure. Thank you, Alec. You're the best. If you ever want to make movies, you know who to call.* *Didn't actually happen.
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So it's finally come to this. At this year's New York Comic Con, I got to interview one of my personal heroes, Roger Corman. He was there promoting the upcoming documentary Corman's World. I learned about it approximatel...

Way too late NYCC wrap-up

Oct 21 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
News:Crank 3 a matter of where and whenRoger Corman thinking about Sharktopus 2Nicolaus Cage originally considered for Crank Panel talk:The Avengers PanelBatman: Year One Panel Video:Interview and massage with Joe Cornish, Attack the BlockTwo new Red Tails clips Photos:Cosplay from Friday and SaturdayMore cosplay from the show floorCosplay from lazy Sunday
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So, last weekend New York Comic Con happened, and five of us were there, as you can see above. For some of you, this will be your first time seeing the staff in dazzling, poorly-lit color! From the left: Hubert, Sean, Alec, D...

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In a recent interview with the legendary exploitation producer/director Roger Corman (the entirety of which I hope to be able to post soon), he divulged that, after the upcoming Piranhaconda is released, he will be takin...

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NYCC: The Batman: Year One panel


Oct 17
// Hubert Vigilla
There's been a lot of anticipation for the release of Batman: Year One tomorrow, and for good reason. It's an animated adaptation of one of the best and most influential Batman stories out there (written b...
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NYCC: Cosplay from lazy Sunday


Oct 17
// Hubert Vigilla
Sundays at big comic cons tend to be the lazy family days, which means you need to be extra careful when you're walking around lest you want to be muderized by angry parents. For me, Sunday is the day I show up a little late,...
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NYCC: More cosplay from the show floor


Oct 16
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
Earlier today, Hubert brought you some pictures of some of the more interesting characters populating the New York Comic Con show floor, and, though the Con may have ended, we must still sit hunched over or laptops sorting th...
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I think that we can all agree that Crank is an action movie masterpiece and that Jason Statham's awesomeness is one of the reasons that it is. But what if Statham hadn't been in the film? What if Chev Chelios had actually bee...

NYCC: The Avengers panel

Oct 16 // Matthew Razak
As for the clip we saw it made me really and truly excited for the movie, which is especially impressive because I wasn't as excited as I thought I would be after the trailer. Why did it get me so excited? Because it wasn't an action sequence and it was still amazing. The scene involved Bruce Banner and the Black Widow (Scarlet Johannsen) talking after Banner was tricked into following a little girl into a home on the outside of town. Widow had just tracked Banner down (well, they'd always been keeping tabs on him evidently) in what looked like India and was there to bring him in for S.H.I.E.L.D. Of course Banner was quite dubious of the reason for them to bring him in, thinking that they simply wanted the monster inside him. It ran about two minutes and didn't feature any action except for the drawing of one gun, but the play between Banner and Black Widow was fantastic and there's a moment when Banner gets a little angry and it worked so amazingly well. The scene just built fantastically and you could actually feel the fear behind Black Widow as she thought the Hulk was about to jump out at her. I was never in doubt that the action in Avengers was going to be at least solid, but from this clip it looks like the drama is going to be fantastic too and that's where the best superhero movies really shine. As any comic nerd will tell you, the action is great but the reason you get drawn in is because the characters are so great. From the clip I saw it looks like Whedon and company really get that. Hopefully it lasts throughout the entire film.  
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This weekend's big event at NYCC was definitely The Avengers panel in which Kevin Feige (President of Marvel Studios), Chris Evans (Captain America), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Cobie Smulders (Maria H...

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NYCC: Cosplay from Friday and Saturday


Oct 16
// Hubert Vigilla
It's been a long, strange schlep through the Javits Center for this year's New York Comic Con, which included a random encounter with Tom Scharpling of WFMU's The Best Show, the exchange of money for more comic books than I h...
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NYCC: Two new Red Tails clips


Oct 15
// Matthew Razak
If I wasn't excited for Red Tails before (I was) I am now. At NYCC the producers, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen and two of the film's cast walked us through making the film. They laid down some pretty interesting stuff, esp...

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