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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Paxton’

Near Dark, 1987 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 22, 2010

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein

Score: 6/10

Reviewed by pjowens75

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS, BUT WILL BE CLEARLY MARKED.

I’m a sucker for vampire films. But I’m also a vampire purist and hold to the vampires of Bram Stoker and Nosferatu. I hold Anne Rice responsible for destroying the vampire genre by making them romantic figures. If she’d just left it alone after “Interview With The Vampire” (which I read and enjoyed), everything would have been fine. But somehow the notion caught on and now we have women of all ages (and some men too, I suppose) swooning over what should be an ugly, wicked, decaying, and thoroughly foul creature. But no matter what they’ve been made into today, one fact should always remain: they MUST kill to survive.

Kathryn Bigelow gets that right in her first film as a solo director, NEAR DARK. Using an imaginative script, some interesting camera angles, and recognizable actors, she put together one of my favorite modern vampire movies. It went nowhere at the box office, unfortunately, because it was up against LOST BOYS, an equally enjoyable movie that was more successful because it was aimed at a younger, hipper audience and had better marketing.

NEAR DARK starts out like a twisted classic love story: boy meets girl, girl bites boy, girl takes boy home to meet the family. In this case, the family that Mae (Jenny Wright) takes Caleb (Adrian Pashdar) home to meet is a family of vampires. And these are a far cry from the romantic figures we see today. These are cold blooded killers who rejoice in the mayhem they incite, especially Bill Paxton’s Severen (“Howdy. I’m going to separate your head from your shoulders. Hope you don’t mind.”). Bigelow shows us the dark, ugly side of vampirism, where the main focus is to survive. And for that to happen, the family must kill.

So before they will accept Caleb into the fold, he must make his first kill. Of course Caleb is reluctant, and wants nothing more than to return to his father and little sister who, unbeknownst to him, are hot on his trail. And this is where the movie shines, showing us the contrasting, but equally strong ties among the two completely different families. The relationship between Caleb and his sister is strong and totally different than the relationship between Mae and “brother” Homer, a 50 year old man trapped in a 10 year old’s body. And the devotion of both father figures, both Caleb’s own real father, and the vampire family’s father figure (brilliantly underplayed by Lance Henriksen, looking remarkably like Keith Richard), shows an unspoken affection and possessiveness for their respective clans.

NEAR DARK is a fun, bloody thrill ride from beginning to end, and is well worth watching for everyone. However, there is one thing that prevents me from giving this a higher score, and if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it, go get it and watch it now. If you like your vampires cold, blood thirsty, and wild, you’ll love this movie.

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE!

Why, oh why, oh why, did Kathryn Bigelow choose to shoot herself in the foot with the outcome in this movie? After all the tension, after all the reflection on the downside to being immortal and having to kill for survival, we find that all it takes to cure vampirism is a simple transfusion. WTF?!?! Then why all the angst? Why not just have Jesse and the family walk into the nearest doctor’s office and say “Look, I don’t want to be a vampire anymore, so could I get a blood transfusion please?” One of the things that makes being a vampire so terrible and, yes, sympathetic, is that THERE IS NO CURE. In that one seemingly simple script decision, to cure Caleb and Mae with just blood transfusions, Bigelow takes away all the dramatic tension she spent the first 90 minutes building so masterfully. And, indeed, takes away the crux of the entire movie.

So in the end, despite being taken for an exhilarating, fun-filled ride down the long dark road to vampirism, we find that, in truth, we really have been “taken for a ride”.

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Reach – Music video directed by James Cameron starring Kathryn Bigelow, Bill Baxton, Lance Henriksen and Judge Reinhold

Posted by LiveFor on February 5, 2010

Before we get Cameron and Bigelow going head to head at the Oscars let’s head back to happier times when the West was wild, hair was big and all you needed to do to escape the law was to rock out and look cool. I honestly had no idea that this existed until today. Crank up the awesome. Avatar has nothing on this.

In 1988, Actor Bill Paxton and vocalist/guitarist Andrew Todd Rosenthal formed a short-lived rock duo Martini Ranch. They recorded and released just one album entitled Holy Cow, which included inputs from Devo members Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Casale and Alan Myers (all of whom contributed to the album’s hit “How Can the Labouring Man Find Time For Self-Culture?”), along with Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s as a back-up vocalist and actor Judge Reinhold is credited as a whistler on “Reach”. The video was directed by James Cameron, director of Terminator & Aliens. It is remarkably, the only music video he ever shot.

The video includes cameos from director Kathryn Bigelow, as well as Aliens and Terminator alumni Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser and Jenette Goldstein, Judge Reinhold, and Adrian Pasdar who had appeared in Bigelow’s Near Dark.
Source: Heat Vision

Posted in Action, music, stuff, Western | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Twister sequel anyone?

Posted by LiveFor on January 8, 2010

Bill Paxton revealed that he recently had a meeting with producer Kathleen Kennedy about making Twister 2 according to MovieWeb. This would a be a sequel to the original Twister that featured Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes and Jami Gertz in 1996.

Apparently, the idea began to percolate in his mind when he visited the Ozarks with Scott Thomson who played Preacher in Twister. Here is what Paxton had to say about the project:

“We spent the night, and the next morning we got up and we started tracking the trail of the most famous tornado that ever hit the country, which was the Tri-State Tornado of 1925. It still holds all of the records. It was called the Tri-State because it was a mile wide when it came down from the sky on the afternoon of March 16, 1925, and it was a rural area, but, boy, before it was through, it crossed the Mississippi, it cut across southern Illinois, where it hit a lot of towns. The biggest one was Murphysboro, which was…it literally looked like Hiroshima after it hit. And then it went across the Wabash, into Indiana, staying on the ground three and a half hours and cutting a damage path 219 miles long, killing about 700 people. There’s actually footage that I found in Murphysboro at their historical society. They had footage from a biplane that the government sent down, just to do aerial footage of all of the destruction and the damage. So we just did that to kind of get some ideas, and from that I kind of extrapolated an idea for a sequel. And I kind of put that together into a format, and now we’re kind of waiting to see if that’s going to move forward. That would need Steven Spielberg’s blessing, ultimately, and they probably won’t take it to him ’til there’s real studio interest, but I think the 3D applications of that could obviously be pretty amazing.”

Twister was okay in a big blockbuster kind of way, but it has never been one of my favourites. However, Bill Paxton is a great actor and at the very least, a sequel would make for some great summer viewing.

Do you want a Twister sequel?

Posted in Action, Film, news, rumour | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Arnie will be back…to the future?

Posted by LiveFor on February 9, 2009

Almost as soon as news of a fourth “Terminator” movie began to trickle out years ago, fans and haters alike started wondering if the original T-800 cyborg and current Governor of California would be joining in on the action. This weekend at New York Comic-Con, “Terminator Salvation” director McG gave his most pointed admission yet that Arnold Schwarzenegger will in fact be making an appearance in the film—but who knows what form that appearance may take.

“I don’t want today’s Arnold Schwarzenegger,” the director told a packed hall after screening a sizzle reel from the May 2009 release (McG also responded to the unearthed on-set Christian Bale tirade here). Referencing the original film, he said, “I want the idealized, Griffith Park, Bill Paxton, tire-track-on-the-face archetype and we’ll see what we can do about that.”

Might he be working on some “Benjamin Button”-esque special effects to take the somewhat flabby 61-year-old Arnold of today and digitally sculpt him into the jacked badass Arnold of 1984? McG refused to delve much into the details, but he did say he’s enlisted the help of two-time Academy Award-winning effects master Charles Gibson and the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic to create a look that has never been seen on screen before. The ultimate goal, McG explained, is to “figure out how to blur the line between a human character and a synthetic character to the point where you just can’t tell where one begins and one ends.”

Ambitious to be sure, but McG understands that after James Cameron split the T-1000’s liquid metal head in half in “T2,” any director who takes on the “Terminator” franchise has an insane amount of pressure on his shoulders. “I think it’s the responsibility of a ‘Terminator’ movie to push that ball forward,” he admitted.

Schwarzenegger agrees. “If [McG] has the T4 and the kind of shots that has the audience thinking, ‘Now how did he do that?’—then it is ‘Terminator’ and you can blow everyone away and every record at the box office,” he told the LA Times last year. “I do hope it creates a spectacle on the screen. That is what James Cameron created.”

McG, my friend, one person you do not want on your bad side is the Governator. Nor, for that matter, Cameron, who neither gave his blessing nor an outright condemnation to the franchise reboot. McG, though, seems well on his way to making his predecessors proud, which has always been a high priority for the guy whose credits include two “Charlie’s Angels” flicks. Toward the end of a media roundtable at the Con, McG promised, “I intend to honor those who are the reason why we are here.”

Source: MTV

Cheers to One2Watch for this one

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