All posts by jamesblakeewing

9 (2009)


Post-apocalyptic filmmaking is on the rise. With recent films like the animated WALL-E, and Terminator: Salvation as well as the upcoming The Book of Eli and The Road its safe to say we are caught in the upswing of a moviemaking trend. But it’s safe to say that none will be quite like Shane Acker’s 9. The complex narrative, distinct visual style and creative universe ensures that whatever else comes, 9 will remain a unique and distinct movie experience. Continue reading 9 (2009)

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)


You know what’s a great movie? Nosferatu. We should totally remake that film. But that crazy German director, Werner Herzog, already did that. We could remake it anyway, because, seriously, who watches German cinema anyway? We could do an American version with a remastered heavy metal soundtrack. O wait, there was that TV movie. So what are we gonna do then? How about we make a movie about the making Nosferatu. The film buffs and critics will eat up all that film stuff. And what if we make where the guy who plays the vampire really is a vampire? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Continue reading Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922)


What do you do when you can’t acquire the rights to Bram Stoker’s Dracula in order to make your vampire flick? You make it anyway, just changing the names and a bit of the plot. Yet F.W. Murnau’s iconic silent vampire film, for all its loose plagiarism, remains a rather singular cinematic work. Even its recreations have never been able to achieve the unsettling creepiness of the original silent Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror. Continue reading Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922)

Hero (2004)


Hong Kong and I are at odds at the moment. While I can appreciate the cinematic quality of such films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon the portrayals at violence turn me off to the action. I personally just don’t like the choreography of the fights. It’s too out there, breaking the very fabrics of reality and making scenes that rarely have any context in reality. Therefore, when the film tries to craft a human drama I find it hard to reconcile that to the fantastical violence I witnessed moments ago. So going into Hero I had a list of issues I was expecting and found a few more before the credits rolled. Continue reading Hero (2004)

Black Narcissus (1947)


If this film was made in the ‘90s it would be about a group of intercity African Americans who go to the championships of some high school sport—say basketball. They’d be led by their coach who tells them to believe in themselves. The only problem is that you’d have to explain the snazzy misspelling of “narcissists.” I suggest Pursuit of Happyness for inspiration. All kidding asides what the film is about ends up being far more fascinating than you’d think it would be. I mean how gripping can a film about nuns be? Continue reading Black Narcissus (1947)