Tag Archives: indie

Review: Solomon Kane

Solomon Kane is a character created by Robert E. Howard. However, unlike Conan, he has remained a cult “classic”, being more of an adventure hero.

It looks like the movie
will follow a similar trajectory. It has been released in Europe, but it’s less and less likely it will get to screens in the USA. Of course, it will eventually end up on DVD (and video-on-demand), so you still be able to see it.

The movie starts with a great scene
where Solomon Kane is going after the gold, as a typical pirate. Much to his surprise, the gold is “guarded” by the Reaper who has come to claim Solomon’s soul. Obviously, his soul was damned for his many crimes.

Solomon manages to escape and retreats to a monastery. This is the new Solomon Kane, who has repented and wants nothing more but peace. We wouldn’t have a movie, if everyone got what they wanted, so Solomon is thrown into the world and forced to confront violence.

I wouldn’t go into spoilers but the story arc is very interesting and paints Solomon’s childhood in a harsh light.

It’s a nice little movie, with a budget that’s probably 10% of Prince of Persia’s. James Purefoy does an amazing job, as always. If you haven’t seen him in Rome, you should definitely do so.

Sidenote: If you’re a fan of the Diablo games by Blizzard, you gonna love it. It plays a lot like the Diablo movie that’s in the works!

Prince of Persia workout

Jake Gyllenhaal Prince Of PersiaNow, Jake was pretty ripped in both Jarhead and Brokeback Mountain.

He takes it to a whole new level for the Prince of Persia. The Jerry Bruckheimer’s production seems to be of epic scope indeed, since Jake has an year to get in character: note the hair, it’s not a wig (I think).

I find it amazing that someone in Hollywood has “underwritten” transferring Prince of Persia to the big screen – as a summer blockbuster too.

Effectively, this is a $150-million one-way bet on video games. Uwe Boll shot video game movies in Canada for 10M and barely broke even. Some even claim he did it for tax purposes, as German investors could write off the losses as an “investment in art.”

I can tell you right now what the NEXT game movie blockbuster is going to be. Sam Raimi was attached as Director to a World of Warcraft movie. Blizzard makes a billion a year in revenues from their hit MMORPG, I’m certain they can fork up $150 million.

Update: Gemma Arterton has been working out and tanning quite a bit too. She confessed she had to shed 10 pounds for the role of the princess. So it’s not just Jake that is a “serious” actor as Daily Mirror put it.

Droidmaker – free book download

droidmakerMichael Rubin, an author of books on Mac and editing, has decided to give away his Droidmaker book for free!

The book describes in detail the development of nonlinear editing (NLE) and computer graphics. The book is written from his perspective of working with Lucasfilm and Pixar.

I think this could be a valuable tool for independent filmmakers too, after all, the cost of doing computer effects has been falling steadily.

Polanski’s fate still undecided

Roman Polanski found himself in jail facing extradition to the USA, when he tried to attend a film festival in Switzerland.

According to the NYT: “Roman Polanski lost his first bid to win his freedom Tuesday as the Swiss Justice Ministry rejected an appeal by the 76-year-old to be immediately released from prison, an official said.”

Galli told The Associated Press that the risk was too great for the government to accept bail or other security measures in exchange for the release of the filmmaker who is wanted by U.S. authorities for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.

Polanski was apprehended Sept. 26 as he arrived in Zurich to receive an award from a film festival. Authorities in Los Angeles consider him a convicted felon and a fugitive, and Switzerland says there has been an international warrant out on him since 2005.

His legal representatives are also asking Switzerland’s highest criminal court to free Polanski. Galli said the Justice Ministry has submitted a letter to the tribunal explaining why it opposes release even on bail.

So the Oscar-winning director
remains in jail with very little chance to get himself off the hook (again, that NYT story). At the time of his arrest he was working on The Ghost, a movie starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor.

Sasha Grey admits to 200 movies

Sasha Grey recently starred in the indie movie The Girlfriend Experience. We now learn from her interview for CNBC that she did 200 “movies”… (straight-to-cd releases).

No wonder TGE was a bit of let-down for me, Sasha’s dead-pan performance is a result from her being overworked!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python are one of the prime examples of indie cinema. Look at this episode and tell me it cannot be shot on shoestring budget.

No fancy lighting, the camera is static (no dolly)… the list goes one but you don’t think about production values. You think about how a “farcical aquatic ceremony” cannot be the basis of a government system. Hilarious!

Man vs Wild

I must admit I’m a bit obsessive at times. This time it’s Bear Grylls’ Man vs Wild show that’s aired on the Discovery channel.

Check out this bit from a survival episode in the Alps. He jumps into a frozen lake to demonstrate how to survive if you ever get into one.

Now, talking about indie moviemaking (and documentary-making), this is one talent you’ll need to develop – getting a cold shower every so often. Think about what it takes HIM to do a half-hour show.