Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up

October 31, 2012 at 10:18 am

Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up | What Will Episode 7 Be About?

STAR WARS EPISODE VII IN 2015!

Since I began this blog, I’ve tried to stay away from general news stories. My reason is simple. I go to other sites that report the news a lot better than I can. So I don’t report the news but I sure as hell react to it. Yesterday was one of the biggest game changing days in movie history. Disney purchased LucasFilm and immediately announced a new Star Wars movie we all thought we would never see.

This is a single announcement that will fuel internet speculation for years. Disney is poised to absolutely dominate 2015 with The Avengers 2 & a brand new Star Wars adventure!

… I’m still trying to grasp the reality that Star Wars Episode VII is happening.

Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up | What Will Episode 7 Be About?

3 BURNING QUESTIONS

  1. What will the new Star Wars movie be about?
  2. Who will write and who will direct?
  3. How will George Lucas be involved?

2 questions that, once answered, will be analyzed and debated non stop around the world. I’m a huge fan of the original trilogy and 2 of the 3 prequels. Having said that, I never really dug into the novels or details of George’s vision for the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.

Here are my theories on Star Wars VII Day 1:

  • Question 1: Based on George’s vision and not the novels.
  • Question 2: Steven Spielberg / Guillermo Del Toro
  • Question 3: He’s already stated that he will consult

WHAT WILL STAR WARS 7 BE ABOUT?

Just what did George Lucas have planned for Episode VII? Will Disney honor that vision? So over the last day, I’ve been searching online for answers. I certainly can’t speculate but there are plenty of experts out there who can. So I thought I’d pass along some of the most informative and FUN pages I could find:

THE LONG WINDING SHAPE SHIFTING TRAIL TO EPISODES VII, VIII, IX | THE OFFICIAL STAR WARS BLOG

STAR WARS MOVIE DREAMS | IGN

THE SEQUEL TRILOGY | WOOKIEPEDIA

5 SUGGESTIONS FOR WHO COULD DIRECT STAR WARS EPISODE VII | COLLIDER

HOW WILL STAR WARS BE DIFFERENT UNDER DISNEY & WITHOUT GEORGE LUCAS? | /FILM

SO, STAR WARS… WHAT HAPPENS NOW? | AICN

STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE STORY SO FAR | TOTAL FILM

THE FUTURE OF STAR WARS: POSSIBLE PLOTS FOR EPISODE VII | EMPIRE ONLINE

WHAT WILL THE NEW STAR WARS BE ABOUT & WHO WILL DIRECT IT? | MOVIEFONE

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED: WHAT WE KNOW AND SPECULATION | /FILM

LUCASFILM + DISNEY = MORE STAR WARS AND GREAT TIMES FOR FANS | THE OFFICIAL STAR WARS BLOG

HEY DISNEY! HERE’S HOW TO MAKE A GREAT STAR WARS 7 | MTV

HOW DISNEY COULD MAKE STAR WARS EPISODE VII AWESOME | THINKPROGRESS

WHO SHOULD & SHOULDN’T DIRECT STAR WARS EPISODE VII | FILM SCHOOL REJECTS

STAR WARS VII: WHERE CAN THE STORY GO FROM HERE? | HUFFINGTON POST

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN STAR WARS EPISODE VII | CINEMABLEND

TWENTY STORIES THAT WILL ABSOLUTELY RUN THE WEEK STAR WARS VII IS RELEASED | WDIY.ORG

FORCED TO EXPLAIN: 10 THINGS STARS WARS SHOULD RESOLVE | NBC TODAY

ON THE BRINK OF THE FUTURE | THE OFFICIAL STAR WARS BLOG

THEY’VE ALREADY MET WITH WRITERS? | COLLIDER

STAR WARS EPISODE 7 & DISNEY: 5 BURNING QUESTIONS | MTV

STAR WARS SEQUEL TRILOGY | WIKIPEDIA

7 QUESTIONS WE HAVE ABOUT STAR WARS EPISODE VII | VULTURE

STAR WARS ON TV: DISNEY XD COULD AIR FUTURE PROGRAMMING | IGN

STAR WARS EPISODE VII: IS IT A GOOD IDEA? | RADIOTIMES

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

This:

Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up | What Will Episode 7 Be About?

Or This:

Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up | What Will Episode 7 Be About?

Let the speculation begin!

XTRA | The People vs George Lucas vs Me

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons

October 30, 2012 at 8:57 am

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts | Scary Horror Movie Villains

The Exorcist, The Shining, Poltergeist, A Nightmare On Elm Street…  Classic movie ghosts and demons have terrified us for decades.  But what about the new ghouls and spirits that haunt our nightmares?  Since The Blair Witch Project, there have been tons of horrific entities that have terrorized big screen audiences around the world.

Here are 10 of my favorites:

DEAD SILENCE
MARY SHAW

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

Angry old women always make good ghosts don’t they?  Mix in creepy puppets and you’ve got a recipe for terror…  Just don’t let her hear you scream.

THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE
SIX!?

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

I can handle movies about possession.  There are plenty of great ones out there especially when you include legends like Pazuzu in The Exorcist.  In terms of recent movies, this movie has always stuck with me because Emily Rose is plagued by 6 demons including Lucifer.  It’s a terrifying scene when they finally reveal their identities…

So you get Lucifer, Legion, Belial and the unnamed demons who possessed Cain, Nero and Judas.  I was already scared of 3:33 AM and The Exorcism of Emily Rose made it worse.

Is it just me or is that a lot of demons?

THE OTHERS
THE OLD WOMAN

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

I suppose this “ghost” is debatable.  I don’t want to ruin the movie but if you’ve seen it you’d understand why.  Still, that grey eyed woman was creepy.

THE ORPHANAGE
TOMÁS

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

This movie sat on my shelf for years and I never gave it a shot until recently.  I sincerely regret waiting so long as The Orphanage is an extremely emotional and tense tale featuring the lost souls of children like Tomás.

INSIDIOUS
LIPSTICK

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

How could you not be horrified when Demon Darth Maul is chasing you?  Not to mention another ghastly old woman.

XTRA | Insidious Review

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
ELLY KEDWARD

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

She’s the witch that kick started an entirely new genre of found footage horror films.  Was it real or not?  That’s the question we all asked ourselves when the TV spots and trailers began appearing.  Admit it, the thought of being in that basement facing a wall scared you.

SINISTER
BUGHUUL

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

Bughuul caught me completely off guard.  I was expecting a scary movie but Bughuul instantly became one of my favorite horror villains.  The mere suggestion of his presence is creepy and the damage he ’causes’ in those 8mm films is absolutely brutal.

XTRA | Sinister Review

THE GRUDGE
KAYAKO

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

Okay… Meowing children is one thing but lifting up your sheets to find a horrific wide eyed ghost?  Classic.

THE RING
SAMARA

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

Samara is an extremely violent yet misunderstood ghost who terrified audiences in 2002.  Plus she crawls out of televisions…

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
TOBY

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

The first Paranormal Activity introduced us to a ruthless invisible demon who enjoys dragging people out of their beds while they sleep.  Watching this unseen evil was a blast to see in theaters.

XTRA | The Paranormal Activity Experience

Click here for more Movie Countdowns

http://theathleticnerd.com/category/movie-countdowns

10 Independent Film Projects: Short Films, Features, Animation and more!

October 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

10 Independent Film Projects.  Shorts, features, animated and more!

Have you watched a short film today?

PATHS OF HATE

I highly enjoyed this super stylish animated short film by Damian Nenow. I included a CGI breakdown that’s really interesting.

Click here for more.

THE GIFT

The tale of a troubled couple, visited by an ominous bird bearing hope and tragedy.  Directed by Andrew Griffin and featuring Kate Dickie (Prometheus), Davie McKay (My Name is Joe), Gary Lewis (Gangs of New York) & Lorraine Stanley (London To Brighton).

ADUMU

An animated short film by Adam Temple.  I’m a big fan of the animation style.

RED RIDING

An extremely unique take on the classic fairy tale.  Written and directed by Louis J. Parker & Dominique Miranda

“RED RIDING explores the terrifying notion that people may not always be as they seem. It is the story of a young girl who discovers the sinister intentions that lay behind an enticing smile. Using only environment, movements and human expressions, we aimed to create a visually striking piece accompanied by a powerful score from Icelandic composer, Biggi Hilmars.”

ARROWHEAD: SIGNAL

Here’s is a SCI FI short film full of fantastic visual effects directed by Jesse O’Brien.

The team behind this short is currently trying to get a feature film version off the ground.  Click here for more.

SYMBIOSIS

A clever animated short by Mitchell Counsell.

LA FAMEUSE ROUTE (The Notorious Road)

Written and directed by Adolf El Assal, this short was recently turned into a feature film called Les Fameux Gars.  You can check out the trailer here.

 

EVEN MORE PROJECTS:

The Silent City (Short – Animated/Live Action)

A scene adapted from the novel The Corruption of Michael Levitt. (Short – Live Action)

Irish horror feature film The Green Marker Scare. (Feature – Animated)

DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PROMOTE?

Email me at jason@17west.ca and be sure to include links to your project/website. (Note: I don’t review submissions)

Check out The Post archives here.

Want To Know More About The Paranormal Activity Demon Toby? Me Too…

October 27, 2012 at 7:09 am

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

Spoilers Ahead…  Seriously I like to avoid spoilers but this review has plenty.  You’ve been warned.

The Paranormal Activity Franchise has been a part of this blog since day one.  The original was one of the first movies I reviewed and it also happens to be the first movie I saw with my wife.  Since then, I’ve seen every sequel in theaters with her and we’ve been frustrated by rude audiences that ruined the experience.  I’ve written a lot about the importance of a good audience in films like Paranormal Activity.  The franchise depends heavily on atmosphere.  Part 2 & 3 were fantastic follow ups but it wasn’t the same because people wouldn’t shut up.  Would Paranormal Activity 4 follow the same trend?

XTRA | The Paranormal Activity Experience

THE PLAN

For Paranormal Activity 4, we decided to catch a 5:35 show.  The theory was simple: Movie idiots see later movies when it’s ‘cool’ and their witty banter will be heard by the maximum amount of people.  So we went to see the movie first and THEN went out to dinner.  We also waited a week to see it to avoid the initial rush of idiots.

The plan worked!  The theater was practically empty and we didn’t hear a sound throughout the entire movie.  Finally, we were able to enjoy a Paranormal Activity movie in peace.  (It only took 3 years)  However, right before the movie began I was a little sad.  A packed and interested audience is the reason why I loved the first experience.  I suppose you can’t always get your way.  I’d rather have an empty and quiet theater then risk sitting next to chatty people.

The stage was set.  We had great seats and silent surroundings…  Only…

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 WASN’T VERY GOOD

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

We can’t win!  The movies we liked were ruined and when we finally get a quiet audience the movie doesn’t deliver!?

Paranormal Activity 4 almost felt like the filmmakers were stalling to drag out the franchise as much as possible.  In fact, the first hour of this installment felt like they were stalling until the final ‘actually scary’ moments unfolded.  These movies are all about the tense lead up to terrifying finales. PA4 definitely has frantic and memorable final moments but the scares leading up to them just didn’t work.

“Is there going to be somebody behind the fridge door THIS time? No?  Okay that’s fine maybe Night #8 will scare me.”

WHERE IS TOBY!?

Each of the previous films added something unique to the mythology of Toby and his quest for a host.  The first film established that he wasn’t a ghost.  The second established that his goal was to take a little boy.  The third established that Toby was summoned by Katie’s grandmother who is part of a cult of creepy women.

The fourth?  Well…  The fourth really doesn’t add anything.  Katie returns and tries to help Toby possess Hunter once and for all.  But non of that happens until the film’s creepy final moments.  If they would have moved up the ending about 30 minutes and left room for more story, this had potential to be the best in the series.  You can’t just rely on the same gimmicks and then end the movie without bringing anything new to the table.

Paranormal Activity 4 plays on what you expect to see but doesn’t deliver any surprises.  Most of the suspense can be credited to our own imaginations because of scares we’ve all seen before.  That fridge door keeps opening and we were all ready for something.  Then the door closes and nothing happens.  A knife flies away and we all assume it’s not going to end well once it reappears.  Except nothing really happens when it does.  The biggest ‘scare’ moments are mostly false alarms.  And several are the cat’s fault.

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

What’s Toby’s plan if he does possess Hunter?  The creepy women cult seems to be a well organized force.  What’s that about?  I’m not saying I want hidden cameras in their meetings but give us something.  If you aren’t going to give us new scares then give us more story.

Who was Robbie?  Why bother with the adoption twist?  Also, is Toby able to possess women easier?  What’s going on with Katie’s super strength?  There is a clear set of rules when it comes to possessing Hunter but he’s possessed Katie multiple times.  Is that why only women are allowed in the CWC? (Creepy Women Cult)

Are all these women in debt to Toby?  Has he brought them all wealth in exchange for first born sons?  What are they gaining from this?  Better still…  Why isn’t anyone looking for Katie and Hunter from previous films?

THE ENDING NEARLY SAVED THE DAY

… Nearly. Remember the first time Toby dragged Katie out of her bed?  That was awesome…

The first movie didn’t lead to much but it delivered the scares and little details like Toby’s feet.

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

The final 10 minutes of PA4 definitely raise the tension but it happens too late and leads to nothing.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 5?

I love this series but here’s what scares me the most.  If Toby won.  Is that the end of the invisible haunted madness we all know and love?  With all those women, it can’t be his first victory right?

The point is, none of these movies are heavy on story but each of them added something to hold my interest until the next release.  I didn’t get that feeling with 4.

But all of that is somewhat forgivable if the movie delivers the scares.  Let’s face it, this franchise will never be around on Oscar night but that’s not the point.  We saw Paranormal Activity to be scared and it worked.  The second and third films delivered the scares and a little story to enhance the experience.

Unfortunately, Paranormal Activity 4 delivered neither with the exception of the final minutes.  Paranormal Activity 5 needs to raise the bar when it comes to Toby and the CWC.  I don’t want answers to all my questions.  The mystery surrounding these events must be preserved but at least provide an answer one or two!  The next film will most likely be better than 4.  I’m not saying it’ll be the best in the series but people pay attention.  The reviews aren’t positive and the box office reflects that.

With my luck, it’ll probably be great and we’ll be sitting next to idiots once again.

The search for the Paranormal Activity Experience continues…

Click here for more reviews.

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

The Athletic Nerd on Paranormal Activity | Paranormal Activity Horror Movies

Tomorrow I Finish The First Draft Of My Screenplay

October 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

Tomorrow I Finish The First Draft Of My Screenplay

July 11, 2012

Nothing worked.  No matter what I tried, I simply couldn’t relax enough to sleep.  So I leaned over and picked up my iPad to write this post.

I’m too excited!  Earlier today, I wrote 22 pages of my feature length screenplay.  I was so close to finishing but I had run out of time.  It had to wait until tomorrow.  I went to bed and watched a documentary on The New York Times thinking it would be interesting but not enough to keep me awake.  It backfired as I started thinking about the possibilities of this blog when it returns.

It didn’t matter what I tried.  I was wide awake.  So I grabbed my iPad and started writing this:

More than anything, I just can’t wait to type Fade Out tomorrow.  It means more to me than any project I’ve ever worked on.  Just over a month ago, I decided to test myself and see if I could truly commit to screenwriting and screenwriting alone.  Tomorrow proves that I can and that’s a big deal.  I put so much pressure on myself over the last few years and never stopped to fully appreciate how much I love to write movies.  Tomorrow is going to be so much fun.

I’ve already set an alarm.  7 AM.  That’s 8 hours from now.  8 solid hours would be perfect but it’s like Christmas Eve! Every time I close my eyes I see white pages full of action and dialogue.  I see the final page.  I see FADE OUT.

Tomorrow is the big day.  I’m going to be able to tell people I finished my new screenplay.  I’m going to be able to read it start to finish.  I get to start the rewriting process.  I get to fine tune my story.  I get to write.

I couldn’t be more pumped.  Part of me is thinking I should just get out of bed and finish it now.  I could work on it all night and not have to deal with this.  I don’t have to toss and turn wondering how it will all come together.  I can get up right now!  But I shouldn’t…

…  The point of my Summer of Screenwriting is to find a balance between my career, my personal life and my writing.  I have other missions to accomplish besides my script tomorrow so I need to sleep.  I just need to figure out a way to calm myself down, forget how important tomorrow is and relax.

So I’ll begin by saving this post, shutting down my iPad and closing my eyes.

Tomorrow, I finish my screenplay.

The Summer of Screenwriting: Looking Back

It took a while to finally relax and close my eyes that night.  I was so excited to write the final moments of my movie.  All I could think about was typing Fade Out and how much it meant to me.

That was over 3 months ago and I find myself writing something new and experiencing the same feelings all over again.  I’m no where close to finishing but I desperately want to get to end and feel proud all over again.  Until then, I get to work on my screenplay tomorrow.