You know by now that we around here are big fan’s of Paranormal Activity’s Katie Featherston and would love to see this under-appreciated actress get the roles she deserves. Katie recently appeared in a segment of an ongoing comedy web series about a 12 step program to help the loved ones of aspiring actors deal with their significant others’ chosen profession. In this skit Katie plays the wife of a wannabe actor trying to get the attention of her spouse… and this talented lady sure got ours! Check it out…
First off this is totally based on my opinion and at this time there is absolutely NO word or even distant rumors that this is even being considered. Wan is currently scheduled to direct Fast And Furious 7. It’s just MonsterZero NJ throwing his two cents out there. That being said…
It’s basically a fact that J.J. Abrams will not be returning to the director’s chair for Star Trek 3, which word suggests, Paramount Studios is hoping to get in theaters by 2016 for Star Treks’s 50th anniversary. The Into Darkness writing team appears to be returning and we’ve heard rumors of everyone from Attack The Block‘s Joe Cornish to Jon M. Chu to Rupert Wyatt to sit in the director’s chair. So, MonsterZero NJ asks… ‘why not Wan?’
James Wan is a good director with a great grasp of making familiar elements seem fresh. His haunted house movies like Insidious and The Conjuring took all the time honored elements of the haunted house thriller and gave them a new coat of paint and thus got an effectiveness out of things we’ve seen many times before. Perfect formula for keeping a 50 year old franchise from feeling like a… well… 50 year old franchise. Abrams’ 2009 Trek gave us fresh faces as endearing characters and added a time line shift to put a new spin on established events. It livened up a wilting franchise and as a long time Trek fan, I really think it gave this legendary series the shot in the arm it needed. I enjoyed Into Darkness, it has it’s critics and it does have flaws but, I don’t think it was damaging to the series as some hard core Trek fans believe. But, either way, keeping things fresh and moving forward is what needs to happen. I think Wan can do this.
One of the things I love about Wan’s films is he has a sumptuous visual style that would serve the Star Trek universe beautifully. His films look gorgeous whether it’s the haunting visuals of his Dead Silence or the gritty look of the original Saw, Wan creates some stunning visuals in his camera lens and could make a visual feast out of the next Trek. And while we’re mentioning Wan’s supernatural thrillers, why not a horror tinged Star Trek? Wan wants a break from horror but, why not give the next Trek a refreshing alternative to another vengeful villain with a big ship like we had in the last two movies and give us something more intense and maybe with a supernatural element too. The original Star Trek series had quite a few horror/supernatural themed episodes, Specter Of The Gun with it’s ghostly recreation of The Gunfight At The OK Corral, the Jaws-like Devil In The Dark with the crew facing a subterranean creature and the very Halloween-ish Catspaw complete with witches and a giant black cat, to name a few. None of the movies have gone anywhere near this type of story and it would be a new direction for the theatrical films and a great fit for Wan who could do a big budget sci-fi and inject it with some intense horror or supernatural elements. Who better to give us a Star Trek that’ll make us spill our popcorn and yet keep it familiarly Star Trek. In Insidious 2 Wan also delivered a nice mystery element and Trek has gone there before in the Wolf In The Fold episode where Scotty was accused of a series of Jack The Ripper-like murders. The idea of a scary Star Trek flick or one tinged in mystery intrigues the movie geek in me no end.
The characters are already established and the actors playing them know them by now and know how to play them. And once Trek 3 is ready to roll, Wan will have already worked with established characters from the Fast And Furious series so, he’ll have a little more experience with an ensemble cast of well know characters. Though his recent supernatural films have had a bit of an ensemble going on so he’s not a novice in that department. And let’s face it, when Wan gets a good actor, he gets a good performance. Look no further then Lili Taylor’s powerhouse turn in The Conjuring, Rose Byrne in Insidious or Kevin Bacon in Death Sentence. Wan gets good work out of a good cast and I think we can agree that the new Star Trek has a great cast. I don’t see a problem with Wan giving us the characters we love yet, taking them to new places that we haven’t seen them go yet.
Wan also can direct some intense action and handle drama, two things that fuel Star Trek. He can create some taunt suspense and the series could use a real white knuckle outing. There was some nice suspense in the last two but, nothing that would really get you gripping your chair armrests over and it would be nice to come out of the next Star Trek feeling like you’d just been on a roller coaster or in a really great haunted house ride. I remember how I felt when I left the theater after seeing Poltergeist. Imagine leaving Star Trek 3 feeling all numb and giddy like that?! I think Wan can do this. Obviously it depends on the script and where the writers take the story but, I think James Wan could give the series yet another fresh turn and not overshadow what we already like about it. The film would look visually beautiful and depending on the story, we could get some solid suspense and maybe a few scares too. Imagine a Star Trek movie where you’re actually covering your eyes in fear at points? As a horror movie fan and a Trekkie since I was a kid… I’m getting goosebumps at the thought of it. Paramount, give Wan a chance.
A couple of new items. First is a higher res picture of one that leaked online months ago with Tom Hardy as Mad Max from George Miller’s upcoming fourth entry in that series Mad Max: Fury Road…
…And next is the first trailer for the new Robocop remake which does not impress or interest me so far…
I dabble in video production (Big surprise there, a movie geek that dabbles in video) and would like to share this music video/slideshow I made for a friend’s son using Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Motion 4 to transform her 8 year old into his favorite hero with pics from his June birthday!
Obviously Iron Man is property of Marvel and “Shoot To Thrill” is property of AC/DC and Columbia Records.
Despite believing a movie should be judged based on it’s own merit and not by any gimmicks attached to it, I have always been amused and fascinated by all the gimmicks that have been used to sell movie tickets over the years. One of these gimmicks that I was able to experience personally and more then once was called Sensurround. Sensurround was a cheesy gimmick used briefly in the mid to late 70s by Universal Pictures to accompany certain releases to add to the theater experience and give a sense of realism to those event movies. It was basically two huge amps set up in the back of theaters which would amplify the bass in certain scenes making the theater literally rumble and shake during the appropriate moments to match what was happening on the screen and make you feel more like you were there. And as a dumb kid in the 70s, I fell for it and saw all of them!… in my defense the process did get an Academy Award so, I wasn’t the only one…
The first film to use this gimmick and the film for which it was created for was Earthquake in 1974. Earthquake followed the 70s disaster movie format perfectly by having an all-star cast lead by Charlton Heston along with the likes of Ava Gardner, George Kennedy and Lorne Greene. It basically had soap opera level melodramatic storylines going on between it’s large cast of characters till the massive disaster struck forcing them to into a fight for survival. In this case a massive earthquake hitting L.A. and when it did, the whole theater shook. The SPFX are pretty good for the time and the flick is good cheesy 70s fun but, not quite as good as the best of those flicks like Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure. When Earthquake premiered on TV, certain radio stations broadcasted the audio to be played while watching the movie to simulate the Sensurround effect. The first and best use of the short lived gimmick.
The second movie to be released in Sensurround was the all-star casted 1976 war drama Midway. Again, a who’s who of stars including Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn and Toshiro Mifune were brought together in a re-telling of the Battle of Midway where a hopelessly out-numbered American Navy (what was left after Pearl Harbor) handed the Japanese fleet their first major defeat of WWII. Most of the battle footage was stock footage from earlier films or actual colorized war footage spliced in between the new footage of the cast. The film was a bit long winded and filled with the usual melodrama for films of this era but, wasn’t bad overall and made decent use of the Sensurround sound system during the battle sequences.
The third film to use the Sensurround process was an odd choice. 1977′s Rollercoaster, despite being marketed like a disaster film, wasn’t an action flick but, a suspense thriller about a mad bomber (Timothy Bottoms) who is targeting roller coasters and is being hunted by an amusement park ride inspector (George Segal) who is doing a far better job at it then the F.B.I. It’s actually a fairly entertaining and suspenseful thriller but, one has to question the need to use this gimmick here other then Universal not having enough faith in the film to release it on it’s own. Good flick but, weak use of the gimmick as it only functions to enhance a few scenes featuring roller coasters and the bombers handiwork.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1979)
The fourth and final film to use the Sensurround gimmick is the 1979 Battlestar Galactica. A bit more appropriate choice of application then Rollercoaster but, still not as good as in Earthquake. Basically all Universal did was re-edit the three hour pilot that was aired on US TV and release it in theaters and attach the Sensurround gimmick to it. This theatrical version was released in ’78 as a movie in Canada and Europe, where they were not getting the TV show but, then Universal released it in Sensurround in the states in May 1979 to try to recoup it’s expensive cost as the show tanked and was canceled. The only differences are, it moves quicker then the bloated 3 hour TV episode and the villainous traitor Baltar is executed by the Cylons instead of given his own ship like in the show. As a use of Sensurround it was on par with Midway to enhance the battle sequences and the ship hurtling through space.
While it was never made, when Paramount and Universal were both preparing their own remakes of King Kong at the same time in the mid 70s, the plan was for Universal’s The Legend Of King Kong to be released in Sensurround as well. Paramount won the battle, apparently with some cash going Universal’s way, but, the audience lost the war as their remake is notoriously terrible and they had the audacity to make an even worse sequel, King Kong Lives 10 years later. But, hearing King Kong roar and beat his chest in Sensurround might have been cheesy fun! We’ll never know as Sensurround disappeared and Dolby Sound had arrived with Star Wars and seemed to accomplish the same thing.