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The Rewind: They Live

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April 28, 2014

they_live_xlgTHEY LIVE
“You might see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.”

THE YEAR: 1988
THE DIRECTOR: John Carpenter
THE WRITER: John Carpenter (screenplay as Frank Armitage), Ray Nelson (short story)
THE CAST: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster

THE INTRO:
Often hailed as a classic of the genre, a marriage of the action movies of the eighties with the alien invasion movies of the fifties and sixties, John Carpenter’s They Live has rippled through pop culture for more than twenty-five years. But is the movie the classic it’s touted as, or have the nostalgia and tributes created some ironic rose-colored sunglasses that are distorting reality?

Let’s hit the rewind button and reveal the truth… (more…)

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The Rewind: Doctor Mordrid

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April 21, 2014

211848.1020.ADOCTOR MORDRID
“Master of the Unknown”

THE YEAR: 1992
THE DIRECTOR: Charles Band, Albert Band
THE WRITER: C. Courtney Joyner (screenplay), Charles Band (story)
THE CAST: Jeffrey Combs, Yvette Nipar, Brian Thompson

THE INTRO:
We talk about adaptation a lot here on The Rewind, but what happens when you have to un-adapt your movie? Yes, it’s a word. Work with me here. Originally developed by genre movie icon Charles Band’s production company Full Moon Entertainment as an adaptation of the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange, the company’s option for the property rights ran out prior to filming. Band was left with the choice to either abandon the film or to rework it into something new. Band obviously chose the latter and Doctor Mordrid was born. But did it work?

Well let’s hit the rewind button and see what was conjured up… (more…)

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2670

The Rewind: Ghost In The Shell 2 – Innocence

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April 14, 2014

InnocenceposterengGHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE
“When Machines Learn To Feel, Who Decides What Is Human…”

THE YEAR: 2004
THE DIRECTOR: Mamoru Oshii
THE WRITER: Mamoru Oshii (screenplay), Masamune Shirow (manga)
THE CAST: Atsuko, Tanaka, Akio Otsuka, Koichi Yamadera

THE INTRO:
In a future where the only cars are a century old and the only dogs are basset hounds, a sequel to one of the most influential films of its genre was made. Except it wasn’t a sequel according to the director, it was a stand alone film. Except for all of the returning characters. And all of the continuing plot threads. Exactly like a sequel would have. A follow-up in whatever regard should have seen some huge fanfare. Instead, the film was a bomb at the box office and has seemingly fallen by the wayside.

So let’s hack some cyborgs and have them hit the rewind button… (more…)

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The Rewind: Ghost In The Shell

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April 7, 2014

cH4ZJwVFMyI8J2MWJkX48cQv3ebGHOST IN THE SHELL
“It Found A Voice… Now It Needs A Body.”

THE YEAR: 1995
THE DIRECTOR: Mamoru Oshii
THE WRITER: Kazunori Ito (screenplay), Masamune Shirow (manga)
THE CAST: Atsuko, Tanaka, Akio Otsuka, Koichi Yamadera

THE INTRO:
The first anime film to hit theatre screens worldwide on the same day. A landmark piece of science fiction that has influenced numerous Hollywood directors. Based on a comic series by manga royalty, Masamune Shirow. But despite the huge splash that it made, and the influence it continues to have, how much does it owe to its source material? And how well does it hold up today?

So let’s plug in and hit the rewind button… (more…)

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The Rewind: Hulk (2003)

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March 31, 2014

Hulk_movieHULK
“Smash.”

THE YEAR: 2003
THE DIRECTOR: Ang Lee
THE WRITER: James Schamus, Michael France, John Turman
THE CAST: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Josh Lucas

THE INTRO:
So in 1990, fresh from the end of the beloved television series with The Death of the Incredible Hulk, a big screen, big budget reboot was put into pre-production. And there it stayed for twelve tumultuous years, passing through no less than ten writers (including JJ Abrams) and at least two directors (sadly not JJ Abrams). But at the end of the day the project was being helmed by an acclaimed director and filled with a solid cast. Green giant destroys everything in sight, seems simple enough. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, let’s smash the rewind button and see how the dust settles… (more…)

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The Rewind: Fist of the North Star (1995)

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March 24, 2014

fist-of-the-north-star-movie-poster-1995-1020203811FIST OF THE NORTHSTAR
“The Ultimate Battle Is About To Begin.”

THE YEAR: 1995
THE DIRECTOR: Tony Randel
THE WRITER: Peter Atkins, Tony Randel
THE CAST: Gary Daniels, Costas Mandylor, Chris Penn, Malcolm McDowell, Dante Basco

THE INTRO:
The legend says that North Star and Southern Cross should never fight. It should probably also say that anime is often near-impossible to adapt to live action, especially for North American audiences. But that doesn’t mean that a number of ambitious production companies haven’t tried. If any title had a shot at success at translation, arguably it would be Buronson’s martial arts-heavy, post-apocalyptic series Fist of the North Star. While it did more than make back its (admittedly meagre) budget, the 1995 live action film left fans feeling as if they were already dead.

So let’s hit the rewind button one-hundred times per second and see what happened… (more…)

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The Rewind: Final Fantasy – The Spirits Within

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March 17, 2014

1361536594_p1FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN
“Unleash A New Reality.”

THE YEAR: 2001
THE DIRECTOR: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Motonori Sakakibara
THE WRITER: Al Reinart & Jeff Vintar, Hironobu Sakaguchi
THE CAST: Ming-Na, Donald Sutherland, Alec Baldwin, James Woods, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi

THE INTRO:
With the promise of a pioneering, photo-realistic computer animation process, highlighted by what was being touted as the first ever completely digital actor, paired with one of the most beloved and successful video game franchises of all time, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was poised to be huge. I mean, game-changing HUGE. Instead, it spirited away with little to no notice.

Slip on your motion capture suits and let’s hit the rewind button… (more…)

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2006

The Rewind: Enemy Mine

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March 10, 2014

936full-enemy-mine-posterENEMY MINE
“Enemies because they were taught to be. Allies because they had to be. Brothers because they dared to be.”

THE YEAR: 1985
THE DIRECTOR: Wolfgang Petersen
THE WRITER: Edward Khmara (screenplay), Barry Longyear (novella)
THE CAST: Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett, Jr., Brion James, Bumper Robinson

THE INTRO:
Science fiction is arguably at its strongest when it shines its mirror back to us in present day. When it tells us something about our current condition. Sometimes what gets shone back is uncomfortable. And sometimes that mirror is even a little ahead of its time.

Adapted from a Hugo and Nebula award winning novella, starring two huge proven Hollywood stars and helmed by an acclaimed director with several Academy Award nominations under his belt, Enemy Mine was poised to be a classic in the genre. Instead, it ended up a disastrous financial failure.

So let’s hit the rewind button and see what happened… (more…)

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1228

The Rewind: Judge Dredd

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March 3, 2014

184068.1020.AJUDGE DREDD
“In the future, one man is the law.”

THE YEAR: 1995
THE DIRECTOR: Danny Cannon
THE WRITER: Steven E. de Souza, William Wisher
THE CAST: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Max Von Sydow

THE INTRO:
When discussing great misfires in the realm of comic book-to-film adaptations, it won’t be long until the topic of the infamous crash and burn of the Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd movie gets mentioned. Without question a slap-in-the-face to anyone who watched it, but especially to fans of the original books who left theatres angry and disillusioned.

So let’s hit the rewind button and see what happened… (more…)

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