Fantasy Flim-making Camp for Kids


In the summer of 1982, Eric Zala (13), Jayson Lamb (13), and Chris Strompolos (12) began their 7 year quest to create a shot-for-shot remake of the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I had the pleasure of watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation" and was amazed by the production and inspired by their dedication.  The remake is incredibly faithful and an absolute pleasure to watch.  Even through the grainy betamax recording and sometimes garbled audio, the cast and crew's enthusiasm shines off the screen.  The scenery, props and stunts are particularly impressive: from the giant boulder that chases Indy in the opening scenes to the bar-fight complete with the set and cast members on fire.  During the Q and A Eric Zala (Director) and Chris Strompolos (Indiana Jones) talked about making on summer vacation, and it occurred to me that they should start a summer film-making camp for kids (maybe between 8 and 14).  Each summer the camp directors could choose a classic to remake, like Back to the Future or Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, and the campers would do everything from making props and scenery, to directing and acting.  The camp could introduce kids to the process of making a film, and even give kids an opportunity to focus on individual skills or facets of the production.

Attack of the Clones


I just came back from Blades of Glory (funny, Romany Malco is quickly becoming my hero), but I seriously wanted to walk out before the movie even started because EVERY preview was for the THIRD movie in a series or a remake.  I had to sit through previews for Spiderman 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, Shrek the Third, Ocean's 13, and finally Disturbia (a remake of Rear Window).  I love going to the movies and I don't have anything against remakes, but this just about made me want to puke.  It seems that roughly since the Matrix Trilogy, no big movie studios want to make a big-budget film unless they can squeeze three features out of it.  Worst of all, as The Matrix Trilogy proved, only the first film has to be halfway decent and people will see the other two out of some twisted sense of brand loyalty.  Plus the profits are out of control because they film multiple films at the same time to reduce production costs.  The butchering of classics is just as bad.  Disturbia is perfectly emblematic of our youth-obsessed culture, it's Rear Window set in the surburbs with teenage characters and somehow lots of girls in bikinis.  I don't really have a suggestion on this, I'm just fed up with crappy trilogies.

Ok, as much a I hate to admit it Ocean's 13 does look like it has potential thanks to Steve Soderbergh.

Three Days of the Condor: A remake waiting to happen


Usually Hollywood's insistence on remaking perfectly good films just because they're a few decades old or not in English makes me want to wretch. But if a remake is what it takes for more people to see Three Days of the Condor, then they should totally remake it. In addition to being an excellent thriller, it's eerily relevant to current events. So, rent it, buy it, whatever. Just watch it, you won't be disappointed. The Wikipedia article has a great synopsis, but be warned, it's full of spoilers.