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Posts Tagged ‘Philip K Dick’

The Box, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on April 19, 2010

Director: Richard Kelly
Starring: James Marsden, Cameron Diaz, Frank Langella

Score: 8 / 10

Richard Kelly was behind the phenomenal Donnie Darko and the confusing flawed epic Southland Tales. Both featured deep far reaching ideas and, although the execution in the latter was a bit out of whack, you were left thinking about them for a long time.

The Box is no exception to this. It deals with choice and the dark places they can take you. Based on Richard Matheson’s short story, “Button Button” and with a healthy dose of Philip K Dick paranoia, the film opens up in the Seventies were Cameron Diaz and James Marsden are a happy couple with a young son. She is a teacher, he is an engineer at NASA hoping to become and astronaut and that set up is based on Richard Kelly’s life.

To upset the apple cart comes a disfigured Frank Langella with the titular box. Inside the box is a button and he informs the couple that if they press the button they will get $1,000,000 (Dr Evil would be so happy), but someone they don’t know will die.

The first part of the film deals with their decision about what to do with the button and fleshing out their world. It is this aspect that I thought Kelly handled really well. You get the feeling of their family and events going on around them. My problem with lots of films, especially high concept ones like this, is that it takes place in a tiny place with just the people involved. You don’t always feel as if the world is moving on a around them. Kelly gets by this by having quite a large cast of good supporting actors and setting it in the Seventies may also help that. It puts you in mind of Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives.

The scarred face of Langella is just part of the strangeness that slowly creeps into the film. People stare at Diaz and Marsden before suffering nosebleeds, events turn against them meaning they current lifestyle is at risk, and elsewhere a man shoots his wife and goes on the run.

I can’t go into the plot of the film too much without spoiling it, but needless to say the button is just the first choice they are given.

Marsden does an excellent job and gets further away from the cardboard cut-out that was Cyclops. Diaz does okay, but the accent she puts on gets in the way, yet you feel her anguish very well in some later scenes.

The main praise goes to Kelly for the whole look and feel of the film. Some standout scenes are the ones in the library – Marsden walking between the desks – and all of the ones with Langella who is just superb. We don’t get given an explanation as to what exactly is going on or who is behind it all, but what information is dripped to us sets light to the imagination as you try and figure out the purpose of the choice and what it means to us all.

I could go on, but run the risk of spoiling it for you. Go and watch it, then think about it and watch some more.

Would you push the button?

The Box (DVD) – Amazon.co.uk
The Box (Blu-Ray) – Amazon.co.uk
The Box (DVD) – Amazon.com
The Box (Blu-ray) – Amazon.com

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The Adjustment Bureau – First look at Damon and Blunt in Philip K Dick film

Posted by LiveFor on April 11, 2010

Been a while since I have heard anything about the adaption of Philip K Dick’s shot story, The Adjustment Team. Now we have a pic of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt looking at stuff.

Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in the thriller The Adjustment Bureau as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he’s ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York.

On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt)–a woman like none he’s ever known. But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart.

David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself–the men of The Adjustment Bureau–who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path…or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.

The Adjustment Bureau is written for the screen and directed by George Nolfi (writer of Ocean’s Twelve, co-writer of The Bourne Ultimatum). It is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick (”Total Recall,” “Minority Report” and “Blade Runner”).

Not read the short story, but Dick is always good (oh behave!).

The film is directed by George Nolfi. It also stars Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Michael Kelly and Terence Stamp.

Due out on 30th July 2010.

Source: Collider

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The Adjustment Bureau gets Lost with some Mad Men

Posted by LiveFor on October 2, 2009

daniel%20dae%20kimDaniel Dae Kim, Michael Kelly and John Slattery have joined the cast of The Adjustment Bureau, an MRC project that George Nolfi is writing and directing for Universal Pictures.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nolfi adapted the script from a Philip K. Dick short story, which centers on a congressman (Matt Damon), on the rise in politics, who meets a beautiful ballet dancer (Emily Blunt) only to discover that a strange organization is keeping them apart.

Kim (ABC’s Lost) plays a mysterious staffer at the Bureau of Adjustments, and Slattery (Mad Men) is a high-ranking bureau executive. Kelly (Generation Kill) is playing Damon’s best friend and campaign manager.

The movie is set to film this Autumn in New York.

Source: MovieWeb

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Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau

Posted by LiveFor on July 15, 2009

Emily Blunt will star opposite Matt Damon in The Adjustment Bureau, a sci-fi love story George Nolfi is directing Universal and Media Rights Capital.

The story, which Nolfi adapted from a Philip K. Dick short story, follows a congressman (Damon), on the rise in politics, who meets a beautiful ballet dancer only to discover strange circumstances keep them apart.

Blunt is playing the dancer.

The original story “Adjustment Team,” first published in 1954 is about Ed Fletcher, a real estates salesman who finds out that our world is really one big soundstage controlled by strange and mysterious guardians. So the film version sounds a little different.

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Open Your Mind! – Total Recall remake gets a writer

Posted by LiveFor on June 3, 2009

Lately it seems that all we are getting from Hollywood is remake after remake. This post does nothing to change that trend.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Ultraviolet) has signed on to write the remake of Total Recall for Columbia Pictures.

The original, which was based off the book “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Phillip K. Dick, starred Schwarzenegger as a man haunted by visions of Mars and, after getting a virtual Mars vacation from a company called Rekall, goes to Mars himself to fight with rebels trying to win back control of the air supply.

Neil H. Moritz is producing the remake and, although plot details weren’t given on the remake, it was said to be a, “contemporized adaptation.” Wimmer also wrote the upcoming films Law Abiding Citizen and Salt, which is currently filming.

Again, I don’t really see the need for a remake of this film, but what do I know.

As it looks like it is going ahead who do you want to see get their ass to Mars in the lead role?

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.

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Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland logo, the Tron logo and The King of the Elves based on a Philip K Dick short story

Posted by LiveFor on April 16, 2009

Disney had a presentation at ShoWest recently and had a whole host of logos and release dates on show. Thanks to Pam for sending me the above pic.

Of interest is the logo for Alice in Wonderland in the center along with Toy Story 3. The new Tron (was Tron 2) logo in the 2011/2012 column.
Don’t think I have heard anything about the Newt, Rapunzel and The Bear and the Bow, but they all sound good. King of the Elves looks very interesting as, according to IMDB, it is based on a story by Philip K Dick. Wasn’t aware of any such story, but a quick look on Wikipedia tells me the following:

Based on Philip K. Dick‘s 1953 short story fantasy King of the Elves, the film is about a band of elves and one dwarf living in the modern-day Mississippi Delta who name a local man their king after he helps save them from an evil troll

Sounds cool.

Leave a comment on this post below.

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