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Dark Crystal sequel is go.

Posted by LiveFor on May 5, 2010

From the people what brung you Daybreakers – Here’s the press release. Personally I loved the original Dark Crystal and am intrigued to see what they do with a sequel.

In a joint announcement by Omnilab Media’s

Christopher Mapp and The Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson, Australian based

Omnilab Media is teaming up with The Jim Henson Company to bring the much anticipated fantasy sequel, “Power of the Dark Crystal” to the big screen in stereoscopic 3D. The highly anticipated film will be among the most ambitious projects to ever be produced in Australia.

Power of the Dark Crystal will be produced by the Australia based production arm of Omnilab Media, Ambience Entertainment. The Jim Henson Company’s executive producers are Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Jason Lust. Omnilab Media’s executive producers are Christopher Mapp, Matthew Street and David Whealy. Cinemarket Films’ Peter D. Graves (“Terminator Salvation”) rounds out the executive producer team.

Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, writers and directors of “Undead” and most recently, “Daybreakers,” have come aboard to direct the screenplay written by

Australian Craig Pearce (“Moulin Rouge,” “Strictly Ballroom,” “Romeo +

Juliet”) based on an original script by Annette Duffy and David Odell. The legendary fantasy artist Brian Froud will reprise his role as conceptual designer of the film, which will use a stunning mix of live action and traditional puppetry combined with visual and special effects produced entirely in Australia. Omnilab-affiliated Iloura

(“Where the Wild Things Are,” “The Pacific,” “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”) has already begun work on the film’s complex CGI elements. With this team in place, next steps will be to secure worldwide distribution.

“Power of the Dark Crystal is an exciting and ambitious undertaking and, having

worked on previous projects with the top-notch talent and crews that Australia offers, we know we have assembled the right team to deliver the sequel to one of the most enduringly popular titles in the Henson library. Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig are sure to create a film that will continue the legacy of the original and exceed the expectations of our loyal fans,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of the The Jim Henson Company. “We are especially enthusiastic to be working with Omnilab Media, a strong and growing force in worldwide film finance and production.”

“We are very pleased to be producing this wonderful and fantastical film in Australia.

The Power of The Dark Crystal will showcase the depth of talent Australia has to offer up on the international stage, including the extremely gifted directing team of Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig. The Jim Henson Company has consistently delivered an amazing range of entertainment over generations and is an iconic creative studio that we are proud to have partner with us,” added Christopher Mapp from Omnilab Media.

Michael Spierig said, “We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility in telling this story with the same meticulous care that Jim Henson and Frank Oz gave the 1982 original.” Added Peter Spierig, “This is a chance to take the world of puppetry into the modern age by using modern techniques (like motion capture CGI) and the tried and true methods (like puppetry and animatronics) to create a one hundred percent real world that is unique to ‘The Dark Crystal’.”

Set hundreds of years after the events of the first movie when the world has once again fallen into darkness, “Power of the Dark Crystal” follows the adventures of a mysterious girl made of fire who, together with a Gelfling outcast, steals a shard of the legendary Crystal in an attempt to reignite the dying sun that exists at the center of the planet.

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Daybreakers, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on January 7, 2010

Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill
Running Time: 98 minutes
Score: 6/10

This excellent review by the mighty babubhaut

Daybreakers is a slick action/horror that reminded me of the awesome Equilibrium in style, utilizing brand new technology to ease the life of vampires—the healthy ones that is, not those Nosferatu looking creepers starving for blood. The premise goes as follows: It is 2019 and most everyone has become a vampire. Their power and numbers become so vast that humans quickly go to the minority, hunted as cattle to use for sustenance and harvested for blood. Mankind has become extinct and although the government and scientists are working around the clock for a synthetic substitute, vampires are dying left and right. But before they do, the starvation process mutates them into winged creatures with pointy ears and shriveled skin, resembling those creatures of the dark we might have seen years ago; definitely not the refined ones as in “True Blood”. I shouldn’t use that comparison too much, however, as these vamps, while intelligent creatures “living and breathing” with the only difference from humans being their need for blood and fear of the sun, are more hybrids with the legends Hollywood has created. For example, early on we see our lead Hematologist, played by Ethan Hawke, mysteriously absent from his car’s sideview mirror, a myth not true in the HBO series.

Some of the population has become sympathetic to the plight of the humans—they were one once after all. Among these is Hawke’s character, a scientist doing his best to create a way to stay alive without the need of the dying race. His hopes are that once an alternative is found, the humans will be able to repopulate and live in harmony with them, hunting no longer necessary. That’s all well and good, but you can’t tell a bloodthirsty creature to stop lusting for a kill, and the government, it would seem, doesn’t want to either. Sam Neill plays the man orchestrating it all; I’m not sure if they blatantly call him it or not, but, for all intents and purposes, he is the President. Watching his numbers slowly devolve into uncontrollable beasts, monsters not even they can contain, his desire for a synthetic blood is at an all-time high. The necessity is so great that a trial is held prematurely, resulting in a great bloody mess, one the audience lapped up and cheered jubilantly for.

Seeing that the vampires have lost all resemblance of their former selves, Hawke’s Edward takes it upon himself to get out while he can, stumbling upon a band of humans, not surprisingly untrusting in his attempt to hide them from the authorities. When they see he is a man of his word and a friend to the cause, Edward is shown the holy grail of humanity’s last hope for survival, a man that has become a man once more, changed back from the vampiric state that once consumed him. As subject zero, Hawke must use his body and story to figure out a cure to the plague that has ravaged Earth. The solution may no longer be a need for a blood substitute, but now a way to turn everyone back into humans.

The story is strong and entertaining throughout despite its obvious ending and reconciliation. However, it is what makes up the duration that puts the film above the normal vampire action romp. I love the technology that has been invented, making life entirely vampire-proof. Every building in the cities have been fitted with connecting tunnels so people may move to and fro without the threat of sun, every window is equipped with a black out shutter, and cars are allowed to go into lockdown with front and side monitors for daytime driving. The brainstorming session to come up with these gadgets had to have been a ton of fun. I can just imagine giant white boards outlining each shortcoming to the vampire and then the multitude of ways to solve them. It is a decade of work by an increasingly growing population, so the fact that it all allows for the 24/7 travel of a vampire makes sense. They are the new humans, so a way to work long hours and not have to hibernate half the day away is key.

Some problems do exist in the need to glamorize and make everything visually interesting. One scene in particular looks beautiful, but makes you question the validity of survival in that situation. It’s a daytime meeting between Hawke, (who by the way plays the role perfectly; he does it seriously, a necessity for his Edward to be taken realistically as the Samaritan he is), and a rebel fighter played by Willem Dafoe, (again perfect, but so over-the-top that each one-liner met with rapturous applause, which could have also been because he was in the audience watching). Hawke is directed to park under a tree and get out to talk, deftly avoiding the rays of light peaking through the leaves above him. I guess only direct sunlight affects them. But hey, this is a horror film looking to entertain; one can’t take those things too seriously. It’s all about the exploding bodie, decapitated heads, and slomotion mass of humanity with biting, blood, and violence at the end—a truly stunning scene. The Spierigs play it right at every turn, making a helluva good time in a compact 98 minutes that could surprise the box office come January.

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Daybreakers – Trailer for Willem Dafoe vampire film

Posted by LiveFor on June 26, 2009

I love the concept of this – a world of vampires – and the trailer looks great. Puts me in mind of the Blade universe if Deacon Frost had won.

Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) is a researcher in the year 2019, in which an unknown plague has transformed the world’s population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race.

Check out the poster and photos for the film. Watch the trailer and let me know what you think.

Written & directed by Peter Spierig
Starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan

Out on 8th January 2010


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