Tag Archives: blogathon

Spinoff Blogathon

spinoff

Sati’s awesome debut blogathon asked us to choose a peripheral character we’d like to see become the lead in their own film. This caused somewhat of a problem for me, in that I have a rubbish memory. Therefore, trying to recall the smaller, less celebrated characters in a film was going to present a problem. I’m lucky if I remember who the lead was, let alone the lesser characters. So I had a good think and the only minor character who really stuck out was the legendary Jesus from the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski. This guy…

Now, there have been rumblings ever since The Big Lebowski came out in 1998 that Jesus could get his own spinoff film, but it hasn’t, as of yet, materialised. So why Jesus?

Well he’s just such an enigma; you could do practically anything with the story. We know that he loves bowling. We also know that he spent 6 months in prison for exposing himself to an 8-year-old and had to go door to door telling everyone he was a pederast.

For my story, I’d start at the beginning showing him as a child and how he developed his obsession with bowling. His father will also have been a keen bowler trying to win some kind of championship, and one night a group of no-gooders turn up to the bowling alley and kill his father. Standing there looking at the corpse, his father’s personalised bowling ball (with a cross on it) rolls towards him. He picks it up, looks at the cross and there and then Jesus is born. Or something like that.

Despite that very serious sounding beginning, the whole thing would be laced with the same dark, stoner humour that is rife in The Big Lebowski. We would be privy to the incident in which Jesus exposes himself to a young boy, but it would be as twisted and disgusting as it sounds. In fact, I’d make it so that he didn’t actually do it at all, but the whole thing was a misunderstanding or the boy was making it up.

liam-o-brien

After he gets out of prison, we’d see Jesus going around the houses in his neighbourhood telling people he’s a pederast. We’d see him getting beaten up a few times, but then come across a woman (maybe a younger Bunny) who’s so stupid she doesn’t know what a pederast is, so he lies to her and makes up something impressive and the two strike up a relationship.

He starts to rebuild his life, getting a job somewhere like a deli. Or maybe has a school janitor, which would be pretty twisted considering his conviction. It’s in his job that he meets Liam, who becomes his bowling partner and the two become focused on winning the championship his father was trying to win when he killed.

Spending so much time bowling, Jesus has no time for his girlfriend and she leaves him, although he’s so focused on the bowling that he barely notices. It’s suggested that Liam has a Waylon Smithers-style thing for Jesus and is happy at this news. This is all shortly before this story and The Big Lebowski intersect, although there could be a few more crossovers. Perhaps the thugs who killed his father are somehow related to those who do the Dude over.

The beauty is that this could go in a million and one different directions. It could take this form, as a part prequel, or it could run in tandem with The Big Lebowski, or it could be a sequel of sorts featuring the ‘little Lebowski’. The possibilities are endless.

And remember – no-one fucks with the Jesus.

So that’s a pretty specific story in places, and very basic but it’d be a start. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d do with the character…

Tagged , , , ,

Blogathon announcement – Debuts

debuts banner 2

So I’m busy wasting time on Twitter when a message pops up in my inbox asking if I’d like to jointly host a blogathon. Having never done so before, I jumped at the chance.

That message came from the inimitable Mark Fletcher at the outstanding Three Rows Back and that blogathon is ‘Debuts‘. Unsurprisingly, ‘Debuts’ will focus on directors’ first features (shorts not included), whether that be some little known feature no-one’s heard of or a breakthrough piece that catapulted them to stardom. We (well, Mark originally) thought it’d be interesting to see how a director’s first feature film compares with the rest of their filmography. Have they got better over time? Or have they gone steadily downhill, never able to recapture their original form?

And this is, of course, where you come in. Do you have a director whose debut you think deserves to be put in the spotlight? Maybe you’d like to look at Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs? Or Jean-Luc Godard’s A Bout de Souffle? How about Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead or Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane?

Mark and I are getting our choices in early – perks of hosting a blogathon and all that. I’m going to be looking at Stanley Kubrick’s Fear & Desire whilst Mark will be tackling Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Aside from those two, the world of directorial debuts is your oyster.

We’re looking to run the blogathon starting Monday 2nd September, probably for about a week or so. If you’d like to contribute (and we really hope that you do!) or have any queries at all then drop me an email at chris1039@hotmail.com or you can send one to Mark at threerowsback@gmail.com by Sunday 25th August letting us know who you’d like to write about (just so we don’t get duplicate posts) or for any other info.

We’ll stick out a few reminders over the coming weeks, but as we may well put a cap on the number of entries, we advise you getting in early to avoid disappointment (ours as much as yours).

We’re pretty excited about this and hope we get some wonderfully insightful entries from some great bloggers. Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from some of you soon! GET INVOLVED!

Tagged , ,

My Movie Alphabet

My Movie Alphabet is a blogathon started, as it says in the above graphic, by Mettel Ray and really encapsulates the true meaning of the word ‘blogathon’. In others words, it’s taken me bloody ages to put this together. Not that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed it, of course! This is a pretty changeable post, to be honest, and if you were to ask me to do it again in a couple of months, it may well change, but for now, this is how it is. For more info on how to get involved, have a gander here. So, without further ado, here are my entries.

Yes, numbers technically aren’t part of the alphabet but it just wouldn’t be fair to leave out some great films, just because they they’re different. I’m not a numberist. This is the first of several Stanley Kubrick entries and where better to start than 2001? It’s one of the finest sci-fi films ever made and contains some of the most recognisable shots in cinema. It’s a film that amazes and intrigues and if you claim you completely understand it, well, you’re lying.

In contention: 28 Days Later, 21 Grams

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Nostalgiathon – Ghostbusters II

This post is part of Nostalgiathon 2012, an excellent blogathon from the brains of Andy at Andy Watches Movies and Misty over at Cinema Schminema. Very briefly, The purpose of Nostalgiathon is to relive things from your childhood through the eyes of an adult. For more information on how to get involved, click here.

So yes, the first Ghostbusters is probably the better film, but when I was younger it was always Ghostbusters II that I enjoyed the most and would watch on repeat. Like, literally on repeat. Apparently I would watch it and then as soon as it finished I would put it on again. I also had all the toys, the Proton Pack, the trap thingy. Yep, I was ace. My parents must have gone out of their minds.

I’ve not actually seen Ghostbusters II for quite a while but I can still recall it pretty much scene for scene – an honour held by only a select few films. From start to finish it’s filled with scenes that invoke pangs of nostalgia, from seeing the crew have normal every day jobs and Dana’s pram go hurtling down the street to all the ghosts showing themselves around New York and bringing the Statue of Liberty to Life. Absurd I know, but when I was seven or eight it was pretty cool.

However, probably the scene I always looked forward to the most was the courtroom scene. The Ghostbusters are on trial for causing a blackout in New York and generally just being a nuisance (in the eyes of the lawholders). As the judge gets more and more irate, the jar of slime, that is affected by negative feelings, starts to bubble until it finally explodes releasing the ghosts of two murderers whom the judge sentenced to death by electric chair. Sweet. I always found this the most exciting scene in the whole film and loved how freaky the two ghosts were.

I always thought the big bad guy, Vigo was really quite frightening, especially when he started to emerge from the painting, but Janosz did do my head in a bit. You’d think an evil spirit of a 17th century Carpathian tyrant would pick someone a little better to do his duty. Still, Janosz gets the job done, I guess, and you can’t really be that picky when you’re trapped inside a painting. Thinking about it now, what would Vigo have done had he actually have possessed Dana’s baby? Would the baby have adult thoughts? If not, presumably Dana would bring him up to be an upstanding member of society, thus negating the effects of Vigo’s evilness. And times have changed, tyrants of old wouldn’t stand a chance in today’s world. Chances are, some kid would come along and pop him one a la Omar in The Wire (apologies if I’ve just spoiled The Wire for you).

Still, Ghostbusters II remains one of my favourite childhood films. There was no Stay Puft Marshmallow Man this time around (another massive childhood favourite of mine) but it’s still a rollicking good time. Bill Murray is as witty as ever, Janine (Annie Potts) is still strangely attractive, and Rick Moranis saves the day and gets the girl. Good ol’ Rick Moranis.

There’s been plenty of talk of a third Ghostbusters film but I really hope it doesn’t happen. Apparently Murray has said he doesn’t want in and Dan Aykroyd is up for replacing him with someone else. I couldn’t think of a better way of completely destroying a franchise without using the words ‘Jar Jar’. If they absolutely have to do it, they should completely reboot it with new actors and leave the old films as they are. Even better, they could just leave everything as is and leave this part of my childhood in tact and unspoiled.

Chris

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Small Roles… Big Performances Blogathon

This is a cracking Blogathon from Ruth over at Flixchatter that I’m hoping I can squeeze onto the end of. She’s had a hell of a response and there have been some great choices. The aim of the blogathon is to:

“Shine a spotlight on the ‘unsung heroes’ if you will, the overlooked performers who add so much richness & entertainment value to the film no matter how brief their appearance is, but yet they don’t get the credit they so deserve.”

Mine is a little offbeat but I hope it still fulfills the criteria. There were a few in consideration but I wanted to keep with Horror Movie Month and therefore decided to go with…

Bruce the shark – Jaws (1975)

There are few non-human characters who have had such an impact, not just in cinema, but in popular culture in general as Bruce. Named by the Jaws crew after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer, Bruce was quite the diva. He had over 40 technicians working on him at Rolly Harper’s Motion Picture & Equipment Rental in Sun Valley, California and would be driven everywhere he went. His failure to work when asked also caused the film to go massively over budget and on his debut he sank to the bottom of the ocean. His hydraulic system also exploded. Weird how sharks have evolved.

However, despite the problems, Bruce helped Jaws become one of the most beloved and influential films of all time despite only actually appearing on screen a few times throughout the film. The thing with Bruce is that he doesn’t need to appear on screen, most of his best work is done when you can’t see him but know he’s there – now that’s acting! But when he does show up, you certainly remember it. From that initial mauling at the beach to the iconic moment when Brody’s tossing food into the sea to his devouring of Quint, Bruce is never on screen for long, but when he is, he makes it count.

Bruce has not worked since Jaws, mainly because he was blown to smithereens by an oxygen tank, and although others have tried to take on the mantle, no other sealife before or since has matched his performance. He’s the reason you were scared to get back in the water (only Kevin Costner has been involved in a scarier movie out on the ocean) and is now embedded into movie folklore until the end of time.

Just in case you needed reminding, here’s some of his best work…

Tagged , , , , , ,

Movie Confessions Blogathon

So this is a blogathon. I haven’t done one before, so thought I’d give one a whirl. This comes courtesy of Myfilmviews, and more details can be found about it here. So let’s get on with it.

Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why?

I watched Godard’s ‘Weekend’ as part of my uni course and just didn’t get it. Apparently it’s a big deal French surrealism/New Wave cinema but it did nothing for me. ‘La Règle du jeu’ was also one that I couldn’t get on with. I haven’t watched them again since though, so maybe I should revisit them, or maybe I’m just culturally inept.  I also can’t stand The Sound of Music.

Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen yet?

Wow, this could get ugly. There are a number of classic films that still haven’t found their way into my eyes, and I really need to remedy that.

1. Schindler’s List

2. Apocalypse NowI hang my head

3. The Godfather: Part II

4. 12 Angry Men

5. Dumb and Dumber

6. Metropolis

7. To Kill a Mockingbird

8. The Great Escape

9. Platoon

10. The Deer Hunter

I intend on starting a new feature soon entitled ‘Films I Should Probably Already Have Seen But I’m Only Just Getting Around to Watching’. Or something like that. Hopefully a few of these can make it onto that.

Have you ever sneaked into another movie at the cinema?

I can’t say I have to be honest. How very boring.

Which actor/actress do you think is overrated?

I think maybe Johnny Depp, but that could be due to his playing virtually the same character in every film over the last few years. I think he’s a good actor but needs to diversify a little. I’m not a fan of Jude Law, but I don’t know whether he’s rated enough to be classed as overrated. In terms of actresses, I think Julia Roberts is overrated. Good in ‘Erin Brokovich’ but I’ve not seen much else to convince me of her greatness. Happy to be proved wrong though.

From which big director have you never seen any movie (and why)?

I have never seen a George Romero film, probably because horror isn’t my favourite genre, and I haven’t seen anything by David Lynch, Federico Fellini or Akira Kurosawa. There are also a few other directors whose catalogue of films I have barely scratched the surface, such as Woody Allen and David Cronenberg. Need to get cracking.

Which movie do you love, but is generally hated?

Well when I was younger I loved ‘Armageddon’ and I still would probably watch it if it came on TV. Could be to do with Liv Tyler though. Back off Affleck.

Have you ever been “one of those annoying people” at the cinema?

Never. I don’t even like my friends talking to me when we’re watching a film. I seriously don’t understand people who go to the cinema and spend their time talking or checking their phones. Go. Home.

Did you ever watch a movie, which you knew in advance would be bad, just because of a specific actor/actress was in it? Which one and why?

I don’t really pay a huge amount of attention as to who is in a film in terms of deciding whether to watch it or not, but I may have watched ‘One Night at McCool’s’ because of the aforementioned Liv Tyler.

Did you ever not watch a specific movie because it had subtitles?

The only time I have done this is when I’m tired and can’t be bothered reading the subtitles. Other than that, I’m more than happy to watch a subtitled film.

Are there any movies in your collection that you have had for more than five years and never watched?

Quite a few I think. I tend to purchase films on a regular basis purely because I will probably want to watch it at some point in the future, but then never get round to it. I bought Hitchcock’s ‘Strangers on a Train’ after I got in trouble at uni for missing the screening of it, but still haven’t watched it.

Which are the worst movies in your collection and why do you still own them?

I have ‘Broken Flowers’ with Bill Murray that I thought was terrible, and there are a few others that made me want to hurt small animals, including ‘Changing Lanes’, ‘Hard Candy’ and ‘Closer’. I don’t like getting rid of films just in case I have a sudden urge to watch them. I’m a bit of a hoarder in that way.

Do you have any confessions about your movie watching setup at home?

No confessions as such. I used to have all my films in alphabetical order but I got fed up of people deliberately mixing them up. I tend to try and watch Blu-Ray more than standard DVD if I can now after watching ‘Alien’ on Blu-Ray and being blown away by the quality of it.

Any other confessions you want to make?

My cinema snack of choice is chocolate covered raisins.

Tagged , ,