Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Visions of Hell

Eric Draven may have returned from the grave to take revenge for his own and the murder of his young bride, but before he comes to what he thinks to be the end of his hunt he has to descend to hell, where he meets for the first time his true nemesis throning above it, as befits a devil.

When ex-cop turned small time crook Lenny Nero receives a warning that his former love Faith is in danger he doesn’t hesitate to help her, but in order to do so he first has to descend to hell and face his nemesis who resides on top of his rock music hell.

The Crow and Strange Days share remarkable similarities*, most notable of which is the likeness not only of their heroes paths but of their images of hell. Or rather purgatory as these are not the pits but the flames they have to go through to reach either redemption or final damnation.

This imagery of the realms of hell as modern night clubs probably owes more to the Marcel Camus classic Orfeu Negro, in which a modern Orpheus has to make his way through the Brazilian Carnival, turned into his personal version of hell, in a vain attempt to save his Eurydike, than it owes to Jean Paul Sartre’s observation that “hell is others”.
Still, the truth behind these visions,
as What dreams may come (a further take on the tale of Orpheus and Eurydike) points out in a less subtle manner, presenting the gateway to hell as a ships graveyard in which the souls of the damned man the rotting skeletons of sunken tankers and battle ships evoking memories of Exxon incidents and uncountable armed battles, is always the same: Mankind is the world’s scourge; Hell, that is not others, it is all of us.

*Incidentally both Strange Days and The Crow were scored by Graeme Revell, maybe we should check for a cloven hoof.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


A gallery of sorts, three times Tyler Perry comedies and a thriller with Lindsay Lohan.
Not sure where the comedy element comes in play in the design, but the longer I look at them I have to say that they ain't just the cheap Photoshop work they seem at first glance, they all show a certain finesse.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art comparison

It's no coincidence that saving private ryan and No Country For Old Men look like twins, they had the same parents; read they got made by the same ad company.

The Devil's Rejects and Hostel on the other hand show beautifully how two different companies can explore a similar concept idea.

A case of great minds think alike...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Casaro's Bogey

I don't think anybody can doubt the huge influnece Casaro's work had on the movie poster market of the 80's.
Same as you can't get round Humphrey Bogart if you have even just a fleeting interest in Ganster cinema, let alone that there's simply no excuse not to have seen Casablanca at least once in a cinema.

On the left we have one of Casaro's famous designs for the Munich Filmfest posters; below is his famous Casablanca illustration, truly amazing work; and The Maltese Falcon, of which I'm honestly not so sure, while he captured Bogey's face in usual perfection I think the Falcon to look a tad too Indiana Jones (on a side note: you will recognize that same style on his poster for "Over the top").

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bravo Patrick

Going through some old stuff I should have thrown away long ago I found these from German teen magazin legend "Bravo". Silly stuff actually, but I'm allowed to post silly stuff on this page, right?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In memoriam Patrick Swayze

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Patrick Swayze, whose hunky good looks and sympathetic performances … made him a romantic idol to millions, died Monday. He was 57.

Sad news, I liked the movies he made a lot (yes even Steel Dawn gained a certain nostalgic worth by now).

Dirty Dancing is a great legacy to leave behind though, and I cherish the memory of countless legions of boys claiming to have been forced by their girl friends to watch that movie. Personally I loved it, it’s one of those I watched several times in theatre.
Patrick Swayze was certainly the perfect choice to play the part of Johnny; charismatic, attractive, but not too handsome, not girlish like a lot of the ‘Rebels’ following in his footsteps.

Tiger Warsaw (Called Dirty Tiger in Germany *g*), I never saw that movie, I admittedly didn’t take that much notice of Patrick’s work beyond Dirty Dancing, mainly stays in mind for it’s obvious try to make money from his Dirty Dancing stardom.

Ghost, that's my sisters favourite of his movies which she likes even more than Dirty Dancing, is the movie that made him probably most prominent and it is among the few that I can’t help but feel to be a typical Chick-Flick (if you excuse me using that term) in the sense that it is a great movie but one that really seems to be best understood and most adored by women (although I can easily imagine millions of men, and some women, too, no doubt, picturing themselves in Patrick’s place in the famous love scene).

Red Dawn, another classic, silly movie, a typical cheesy 80’s actioner that I probably would have long since forgotten if it wasn’t for the stupid rallying of certain groups against it, calling in all but words a capitalistic offence against eastern states.
Some people take entertainment far too serious.

And who of us 80’s could ever forget the phenomenon that was North & South?
Fond memories, all of them.

Goodbye "Orry" we already miss you…

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

...but where do they build their nest?

I love this poster, it reminds me of the saying

A bird and a fish can fall in love,
but where do they build their nest?

It's a touching, heartbreaking picture.
Lovely tagline, too: Sometimes love is right outside your fishbowl
Close enough to touch and yet never to be reached ... or maybe they just mean to remind us that we all feel like the proverbial fish out of water when it comes to the matters of the heart.
Whatever they meant to say with this, to see the tragedy of this lovers couple forces a sad sigh out of me.
But they also do say that love will find a way; I do hope that they will find theirs, I really do.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood sure changed a lot over the course of time, these days it's the Big Bad Wolf that has to take care!
Yes, in some cases it even seems that Little Red is in truth the Big Bad Wolf our parents tried to warn us from.
"Hey Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are looking good..."

Big Bad Wolves (A 13 min. Short Satire)
Rotkaeppchen (Fairy Tale, Realmovie)
Hoodwinked (Animation, Comedy)
The Company of Wolves (Fantasy, Horror)
Brothers Grimm (Fantasy)
Cry Wolf (Thriller)
Hard Candy (Thriller)

Red (Online Teaser Poster, Thriller?)
Rotkappchen (Online Teaser Poster, Thriller?)

SL8N8 (DVD cover, Horror)

I love, love, love, this poster.
The powerful imagery of blood and snow, death and innocence, gets perfectly enhanced by Amanda Seyfried ("...what big eyes you have, the kind of eyes that drive wolves mad...") posing in a red cape pooling out into a puddle of blood.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Off the wall

I used to have a rat as pet a few years back, called Tamara, but the poor animal got cancer and had to be put to rest before her time.
However, because of their likeness in colouring and to keep her company I had a standee for Willard/Ben put up on my wall during her lifetime.

I also had put up the ad for Deadly Eyes for her viewing pleasure, a neat poster for a decent ‘giant rats attack’ movie. Only why they claim that script to have been based on James Herbert’s highly entertaining debut novel The Rats will remain a mystery for me, all that movie and the book have in common with each other is that they feature rats. Deadly Eyes is also one of those movies where the German distributer thought it necessary to come up with a new English title: Night Eyes, makes complete sense to do that, no?
Funny Germans.

Lucky numbers

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dead Brothers

I think it was King who once said that every author has a button in him he likes to push.
I think he meant a kind of readily written plot-point for all purpose use, like the one we find prominently in his work: The death of a brother.
If you read through Kings body of work you will notice this recurring theme. It is plot essential in his short Sometimes they come back and his novel The Dark Half, makes the opener for It, and is one of the more memorable shock moments from Tommyknockers.

The list could be continued on, and I hazard to say that we could make a case in which we would find a variation of this in all of his writing, for all of his major characters. I’m not sure if King himself ever gave a definite answer to the question if this is just that to him, a plot vehicle, or if there is something personal to it.

On a side note.
The tag on Sometimes they come back reads:

With Pet Sematary and Misery Stephen King scared you to death.
Now he's going to scare you back to life.
Ladies and Gents we have a new member for the not so elusive Stupid Tag Club!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Picture perfect moment

When Sergio Corbucci was asked what he thought about the political messages some of his colleagues had in their movies he said that “there is nothing political about the Italian Western”, yet one can’t help but wonder about his sincerity when watching Django with the ‘Colonel’ and his henchmen looking suspiciously like fascists.
Corbucci himself says about the mask they wear that Django had such a late casting that he only got the leftovers as supporting cast, men so hideous he had to hide their faces.
And maybe that is all there is to it, and we just happen to see the veiled political statement that we want to. Because one thing is for sure, Corbucci had never much use for subtlety in his movies.

Enzo G. Castellari was Italy’s Sam Peckinpah. A fact that can be best observed in Keoma, here he took his death ballet approach the farthest and combines it with a rough driving score that narrates the movie and gives it a very literal Horse Opera feeling.
He uses a refined style over story approach with this movie, which is not to say that the movie doesn’t have a story, it just takes a far second place with primary attention put on carefully choreographed violence and Castellari’s inventive use of camera.

Both in their personal ways explored and defined the borders of the Italian Western myths, with Corbucci putting the focus on defining the characters and ultimately succeeding in reducing them to their essentials in Il Grande Silenzio and Castellari showing a clear preference for style and iconography. Castellari never managed to put forward a equally defining work as Corbucci but he got close with Keoma, which while being far from polished makes for a perfect style study.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jennifer's Body

I don't like Megan Fox much, or more to the point I don't like how she promotes herself or let's herself be promoted to horny young teenagers in a way that emphasizes the notion that actors are just whores.
Which they are, but then again we all are in a very strict sense selling our bodies to make a living so who am I trying to blame here?

Getting off-topic, though.
What I do love is this new poster for the movie, it's every school girl stalkers dream (even though it ain't promoting an Anime) and it up's the intensity from the former design without recreating the 'cheap soft porn' look.

So, hell yes?
Hell Yes!
Because no matter what I think of Megan, the movie is written by the genious Diablo Cody who already scripted Juno and it stars the adorable Amanda Seyfried, what can go wrong there?
Absolutely nothing I tell thee...