Friday, 28 August 2009

Miami AdVice

Over the next couple of months, I will be off to Miami and South Florida. I'd be grateful for any tips on where to visit, especially Miami Vice related. :O)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Faster and Furiouser

This in from Vin Diesel's Facebook page;

For those wanting more Fast and Furious films...

Universal, a great studio to work with and a studio that always believed in me, is working hard to ensure the next two chapters are quality driven…

Gracias Universal.

Justin Lin, one of my favorite directors to work with, is all over it… holding strong to the trilogy mapped out at the beginning of the last film.

Is there really much more life left in thsi franchise? More Riddick! Less Dominic Toretto

Early News: Timeless

This bit of news, in from my favourite movie news website Twitch ;
Michael Bartlett and Kevin Gates came to our attention a little while back with The Zombie Diaries, an ultra-low budget affair that nevertheless managed to put a slightly different spin on the material, breathing some fresh life into the tired genre. While The Zombie Diaries certainly shows some of the limitations of its miniscule budget it also made it very clear that Bartlett and Gates were the real thing, very talented directors with a unique spin on genre material that made them very much worth keeping an eye on. And now they’re back.
Due to shoot in 2010, they’re next picture will be a time travel picture titled Timeless and while they’re keeping tight lipped about any specifics - as they should with this sort of material, no point spoiling your own film - they have released the initial key art and allowed the fine lads over at Quiet Earth to post some impressions on the script. Very few details in there but they’re very enthusiastic and this is definitely one we’ll be keeping close eye on.
I liked The Zombie Diaries. Whilst it wasn't perfect, there was some genuinely creepy tension at the farmhouse and I liked the twist at the end. So, Timeless could well be a good film. I'll be keeping tabs on the production.

Latest Pointless Remake: Excalibur

"Bryan Singer is developing a remake of the 1981 John
Boorman-directed fantasy classic "Excalibur" for Warner Bros, Pictures says The
Hollywood Reporter
The project, a retelling of the King Arthur legend, is in early stages with the remake rights only just tied up. Singer's involvement is still in the talking stage and it certainly won't be his next project which will likely be the action fantasy "Jack the Giant Killer" for New Line or the "Battlestar Galactica" film at Universal Pictures.
Legendary Pictures may come aboard the project. Singer, Julie Yorn and Polly Johnsen will produce."

Remember when Bryan Singer made innovative, deep movies? No? So you never saw The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, Valkyrie? The X-Men movies were a cut above average too. Well most of us will soon forget if he gets involved with pointless remake after remake. I suppose that he's involved in just developing them as opposed to taking on directorial duties. Incidentally, I liked Jack the Giant Killer, when I saw it as a young boy. Excalibur is one of my favourite movies. Leave it alone!!!!!!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Zombie Previews: The 4th Reich

I like the look of The 4th Reich! It stars one of my favourite actors, Sean Pertwee. Details are sketchy but a synopsis is at the official site. There are numerous links there too.

Dread Central

Preview: Straw Man

Another intriguing film that I'm waiting for, still not released. The movie stars Leslie Simpson (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday) and Axelle Carolyn (Doomsday, the upcoming 4th Reich)


Straw Man is the harrowing tale of one man, a lone soul in an empty world. To combat the loneliness of isolation he surrounds himself with people made out of straw, hand-crafted and moulded from faded memories of friends and family. They offer little in the way of company yet they hold insanity at bay. This Lone Man is a contradiction, his rambling thoughts battling against his need for structure and routine. In his quest for normality he spends each day teaching pupils, reading to them from the classics as they stare back at him with blank, featureless faces. But when the line between reality and fantasy is blurred by madness his ordered life is sent into a downward spiral.

Why do the straw people stare at him with blind judgement?
What are the children trying to tell him?
Who is the beautiful woman... ...and does she offer salvation?

The official site has the trailer and will hopefully follow with more detail. There was a myspace page but that seems to have been deleted. Watch this space for more news as it comes in.

*Please note that the image above is not official.

Invasion of the Not Quite Dead: Kent Newspaper Exposure

Kent News published a page article on the teaser trailer shoot for Invasion of the Not Quite Dead. I'm not mentioned, of course ;o)

Review: Avatar 3-D preview

Big Mike, dutifully put up my comments on Flash-Bang, this morning. Sadly, these were phoned in from the train, on the night of the preview, using a Nokia 3120 - not the best phone for writing emails. Had I known I'd have some time to elaborate, I'd have sent this off. So, the blog gets it.

Before I set across London to catch the Avatar preview at the Wimbledon IMAX, I'd heard that "fanboys" were moaning about the online trailer saying it looked like cut scenes for a video game. I was somewhat taken aback. So, Cameron's project that was supposed to revolutionise cinema is like a video game? After 14 years of development? Nah, can't be right I thought, so off I went.

Casually, I entered the Odeon IMAX at about 17:20. There were no tickets I discovered, you queued at a "control area" and handed over the print out from SeeFilmsFirst as you went in. It appeared that people were already queuing. I wasn't having any of that and went for a wander. I returned at about 18:10 and a healthy queue had formed. I was downstairs. I spoke to a couple of women in the queue and explained why I was there, to watch the preview and do a mini-review of it. One of them handed me a card (I need to get some cards done) for her website. Looks interesting for those who need managing;

Eventually, we got in and were handed the polarising, non-tinted, 3-D glasses that I recognised from attending the IMAX screening of Superman Returns. The cinema was not as crowded as I imagined. Maybe, South London is a bit far afield for most. (I was too late for the Waterloo IMX, irritatingly). the lights went down and the preview began.

Jim Cameron introduced the 15 mins, looking a little older now than I remember. Aren't we all? We first see a briefing about the planet. A grizzled vet with a face streaked with scars from huge claws puts the fear of god into the group listening. he is Col Quaritch (played by Stephen Lang) and he's warning them that they are going into hazardous territory. The scars on his face back up his words. Immediately I could see the appeal of the 3-D. At one point it felt as if we were part of that briefing, sitting in between some of the audience.

The next two clips are of Sam Worthington, as Jake Sully, in hospital. The first is with Sigourney Weaver as Dr Grace Augustine. Here she is analysing Worthington's character after an accident has rendered him a paraplegic. The next scene is when Jake Sully wakes in his avatar body. This is where we see the Na'vi for the first time. Anybody expecting photo-realistic CGI is going to be disappointed. It's not quite that but it's the best CG rendered humanoid creature that I've seen. Sully, against orders, gets out of bed and begins to walk like a newborn, tripping up and trashing expensive looking equipment.

The next scenes are made up of Sully training as his Na'vi avatar self. This is where the 3-D shows it's power over standard 2-D presentations. The planet of Pandora is nothing short of stunning as the 3-D is highlighted by Sully's avatar being chased by Pandoran predators and observing the plant and insect life in a separate clip.

The rest of the footage is more like a trailer with a flurry of clips. The human military technology is an extension of the tech that we saw in Cameron's 1986 movie Aliens with dropships and helicopters. the space technology mirrors future versions of vehicles we are familiar with.

The synopsis of Avatar is:
Jake Sully, a former Marine, is confined to a wheelchair following a war on Earth. He is chosen to participate in the Avatar program. His mind will control a healthy Na'vi body and travel to Pandora, a rainforest-covered moon with indigenous creatures that are both beautiful and deadly.
The Na'vi are sentient, humanoid beings, but considered primitive by humans as they attempt to take the moon by force. Jake has to decide which side he is on.
The movie opens on December 18th 2009.

Incidentally, what kind of article is this, I ask you? What does it serve to do? Is this what online journalism produces now? What an ignorant waste of space. One thing I hate it's rubbish reporting. I wish these talkback generators would stick to subjects they actually know something about. "Sycophants"? Offensive woman!

Rant over.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Zombies: Revenant Zombie magazine #0

Revenant has consistently been a good source of material for zombie genre lovers. Now they've got a magazine coming out, featuring Antony Lane's Invasion of the Not Quite Dead. Please support it as there aren't any other Zombie genre specifci magazines out there, that I know of.

BTW: For those of us in the UK, shipping is $7 so a total of $13.99.

From the site:

We have been working very hard on our print debut of Revenant Magazine and we are pleased to announce that we are now taking orders for issue #0 which will be out next month.

Issue #0 is a limited edtion printing and features some amazing content!

Our cover story is a very great interview with 'Invasion of the Not Quite Dead' director AD Lane' We also talk to Marc Price about his micro budget zombie film 'Colin'. 'Breathers' author S.G. Browne spills his guts.

This issue also features some amazing zombie fiction, artwork and comics. As well as reviews and artilcles covering the world of the dead!


Saturday, 22 August 2009

Invasion of the Not Quite Dead

It's been a week now since I helped film the teaser trailer for the above movie. It was a great experience and I met some new friends. The full report of this entitled "Blog of the Dead" will be up on Flash-bang sometime this week, with exclusive behind the scenes shots.

If you are indecisive about becoming a producer for this movie, then make a decision soon. From what I've learnt (and secrecy over the plot is surprisingly tight. I actually know little) this script is very British and full of snappy dialogue.

New DVD Reviews at Flash-Bang

Check out the new reviews of the following;

The Admiral
Max Manus
The Ungodly

DVD Review: Fight Night aka Rigged

Check out my review for this recently released DVD. For an unknown movie it's well shot, well acted and well written. Recommended if you like this type of movie.

Incident At Laboratory 19

Check out Michael J Dowsell's blog for more moody atmospheric stills.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

DVD Review: Haunting In Conneticut

I forgot to post that my review of the above DVD is up at Flash-Bang.
Based on a true story, The Haunting in Connecticut charts one family's real-life encounter with the dark forces of the supernatural. When the Campbell family moves to upstate Connecticut, they soon learn that their charming Victorian home has a disturbing history: not only was the house a transformed funeral parlour where inconceivable acts occurred, but the owner's clairvoyant son Jonah served as a demonic messenger, providing a gateway for spiritual entities to crossover. Now unspeakable terror awaits when Jonah, the boy who communicated with the dead, returns to unleash horror on the innocent and unsuspecting family...

DVD Review: Shinjuku Incident

Big Mike has posted a review of this period thriller, set in the 90s (the 1990s).


naive shy 'Jie' smuggle themselves to Japan on a container ship searching for a better life and Steelhead's lifelong crush Xiu Xiu, who has disappeared after moving to Japan a year previously. Once in Tokyo, the pair find themselves struggling to survive working for illegal labour bosses doing the worst kind of dangerous manual labour.
A chance meeting with another illegal, the excitable 'Hong Kong Boy', brings them into contact with some low level Chinese street Hoodlums. Steelhead quickly proves his reliability and courage and it is not long before he has gathered a crew of fellow Chinese together, and is moving up into petty street crime. The rest of the film follows Steelhead and the gang's rise and the inevitable collision course with the Yakuza.

Flash-Bang Action Movie Reviews: Shinjuku Incident

DVD Review: Knowing

Read what I thought of the Nic Cage movie "Knowing"
This is one of those movies that some people will find corny and a load of dross whilst others will enjoy the layered subtext within and the philosophical issues it highlights. Example: What is "Knowledge"?

Incident At Laboratory 19

Check out this moody teaser trailer:

Intriguing, and I look forward to more info on this one.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

BTS Clip: Survival of the Dead

One To Watch Out For: The Five Murders of John Dawley

I had the pleasure of meeting Frank Jakeman at the weekend who told me about a film that he is;

The Five Murders of John Dawley.

Check out the intriguing trailer below;

Synopsis (taken from imdb)

John Dawley is dead. The brutal patriarch of the notorious Dawley family is found shot through the head by his five estranged sons, during the night of a supposed reunion. Each brother has a motive and a gun and, as they try to discover the identity of the killer, past bitterness and repressed anger soon turns into a violent showdown

One To Watch Out For: The Fallow Field


Amnesiac Matt Sadler awakes alone in the middle of a wilderness with no recollection of the past seven days.


He finds his way home to discover a life rapidly falling apart: his wife is convinced he’s hiding an affair, the police are suspicious of his repeated disappearances and now he is plagued by terrifying nightmares when he closes his eyes.

As disturbing slithers of memory gradually return to Matt he retraces his steps to uncover his missing actions during
the blackouts.

Matt’s search leads him out of the city and in to the wild hills and harvesting fields of the countryside, to a remote farm owned by loner Calham. The cold farmer is suspicious of Matt but instantly sparks a dark sense of Déjà vu in his visitor.

But Calham turns on Matt, imprisoning and interrogating him, before forcing him on a terrible journey of abduction and slaughter to show the amnesiac the twisted games they used to play together.

As Matt’s fogged memory slowly begins to clear and he learns the two men share a violent history, the horrors of their past come skipping out of the darkness to greet them…

Check out the trailer at

News: MannMade Films

Two trailers well worth a look from MannMade Films (MannMade Films is a uk based film production company, dedicated to fostering homegrown talent, by the development of promising projects and through the direction and production of our own films and shorts.);

MannMade Films on Vimeo

First up, for The Tournament;

THE TOURNAMENT Every ten years in an unsuspecting town, The Tournament takes place. A battle royale between the world’s deadliest assassins. The last assassin standing receiving the $10,000,000 cash prize and the title of Worlds No1, which itself carries the legendary million dollar a bullet price tag. All fights are monitored 24hrs a day on redirected CCTV cameras and broadcast secretly to a ring of high stake billionaire gamblers. A gritty, multistranded action-thriller, The Tournament brings together international killers from every imaginable discipline in a blood-bathed contest to the death. We follow the competition favourites through stories of love, betrayal, revenge and redemption as they finally discover the true value of life.

Starring Robert Carlyle, Ving Rhames, Kelly Hu

It’s Christmas Eve and the residents of a British cul-de-sac are plunged into a visceral world of violence, terror and paranoia. Ring fenced by the military and ordered to stay indoors, a single mother must overcome all the odds to save her daughter.

Both movies are well worth keeping an eye out for.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

DVD Review: Cradle Will Fall

From the distributors;

Based on actual events, CRADLE WILL FALL, the debut feature from co-directors Lars Jacobson and Amardeep Kaleka, is a terrifying "stalk and slash" shocker with a very disturbing twist that combines elements of "The Shining" and ‘Flowers In The Attic".
For a group of four young children, danger lurks in the one place they would naturally expect to be safe: their home. Even worse, it comes in the form of the one person they would instinctively look to for protection… their mother.

With her trucker husband away on the road for much of the time, a young mother struggles alone to raise her three young children and newborn baby on their secluded farmhouse. Already suffering from a deep depression, the pressure of attending to the needs of her family finally causes her mind to snap and initiates a filicidal rampage from which there is no return. Faced with the unimaginable horror of the one person he loves most in the world threatening to kill him and his siblings, 10-year-old Jimmy is forced into protecting his little brother and sister while fending off the increasingly vicious attacks from their deranged mother. As the tranquillity of his once safe home rapidly turns into a blood-drenched night of terror, Jimmy must rely on both his wits and his courage as he prepares to take on the most unexpected enemy of all in an epic and harrowing battle between mother and son.

Loosely based on the true story of Andrea Yates, a Texan mother who drowned her five young children in the bath in 2001 while suffering from post partum depression, CRADLE WILL FALL takes the premise to "slasher" movie extremes resulting in a highly suspenseful and deeply disturbing viewing experiences.

Starring Colleen Porch (I Know Who Killed Me: Transformers; Starship Troopers 2) and Joel Bryant (Valkyrie; The Heartbreak Kid) as the children's parents, the film also features a standout performance from Ridge Canipe (Walk The Line; The Bad News Bears) as the young boy who is thrown into the middle of an unthinkable nightmare.

CRADLE WILL FALL (cert. 18) will be released on DVD (£12.99) by Momentum Pictures on 10th August 2009.
The movie is reviewed at Flash-Bang

News: Scientists Look at "Zombie Attack"

Thanks to

BBC News carry a report that Canadian scientists have been looking at the effect a zombie outbreak would have on the world. The full story is at the link below;

Science Ponders "Zombie Attack"

The paper referred to in the online story is "Infectious Diseases Modelling Research Progress". Now, hang on, surely Max Brook's book World War Z was enough "research" on this subject?

It sounds like Professors getting paid for being zombie geeks, something that really should provide me with a living (or unliving?) too.

Stay tuned for more zombie madness as I report from the set of the teaser trailer for Invasion of the Not Quite Dead. A great experience it was too.

This will be coming in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

TV News: The Walking Dead

Thanks to Iconogeek for the image

To say I'm ecstatic about this news is an understatement but Entertainment Weekly and no doubt everyone in the genre blogosphere are/will be reporting that;

Cable channel AMC is seeing zombies with The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont. Variety reports that AMC is about to seal a development deal with Darabont to write and direct a series adapting Image Comics’ graphic novel series The Walking Dead. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead series is about a group of zombie survivors of an apocalypse who seek a safe place to live with the help of a
police officer.
Joel Stillerman, AMC’s senior VP of programming, production
and original, said: “This is not about zombies popping out of closets. This is a
story about survival, and the dynamics of what happens when a group is forced to
survive under these circumstances. The world is portrayed in a smart,
sophisticated way.”