RIDLEY SCOTT BUYS BACK DVDS

HOLLYWOOD – In an unexpected but enormously generous move, Ridley Scott has offered to buy back all non-Director’s Cut DVDs of any of his films.

The move comes after years of criticism that Scott has received for releasing the theatrical cut of a film only to be followed months later by a purportedly definitive director’s cut, causing many fans to shell out twice.  

I know it’s a little late, but better late than never. I realized I’d effed it up. You see, Kingdom of Heaven, the theatrical cut was pretty ropey and so you practically had to buy the director’s cut and then there’s Black Hawk Down, The Counselor, Robin Hood and for Blade Runner you have about sixteen cuts, more or less. So what I’m offering is this: if you’ve bought both, then bring them to my house in West Hollywood. Come round the back and knock on the glass cause sometimes we don’t hear the bell. I’ll let you in and pay you back for the one you don’t want. No questions asked.

Is the offer open to people who want to return Prometheus?

I didn’t do a director’s cut of Prometheus.

But still…

Well, okay. Why not? After all, its only money. Right? 

Ridley Scott’s new film Exodus: the Bob Marley Story will be released in 2015. 

HEAVEN’S GATE: REVIEW

 HEAVEN’S GATE: REVIEW – Michael Cimino once told me he made The Deer Hunter, then immediately began production on Heaven’s Gate after only a day or so in-between.

Once that was done, he’d been making films non-stop for three full years, but at the end of it he finally knew how to make film. He had become, he said, a film director. Problem was, no one would ever give him the artistic freedom to make one again.

Heaven’s Gate passed into legend as the film that sank United Artists, a behemoth production that after 6 days of shooting was 5 days behind schedule. Inaudible dialogue, a confusing plot and an epic Western released in 1980, it would come to epitomise the end of an era for big ego auteur excess and (it has to be said) some pretty high quality New Hollywood product. But the remastered, re-edited and reissued blu-ray and DVD, which I first got the opportunity to see at the Venice film festival, is a revelation. 

Kris Krisofferson plays Jim Averill, the Havard educated Marshal who finds himself in the middle of a violent dispute between the new immigrants from Europe hoping to settle and the cattle barons who see them as a pest and will use any means to be rid of them, including murder. Old friends and new loves are caught up in the violence as Averill tries to see justice done even while the law and the guns are on the wrong side. 

The cast is stellar: Christopher Walken, Sam Waterson, John Hurt, Isabelle Hupert, Jeff Bridges, Joseph Cotton and a young scene stealing Mickey Rourke. Cimino’s eye for a set piece is as  grandiose and anarchic as the West he seeks to portray. If there is confusion and noise here it is because the subject is in a state of becoming, torn by conflicting needs and loyalties. Cimino’s revisionist Western is the whisky drunk cousin to Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, a dark and pessimistic view of American history. 

I won’t say it’s perfect, but as far as flawed masterpieces go, it’s one of the best.     

AMERICAN GRAFFITI: THE BLU RAY SPECIAL EDITION

Are you ready to rock around the…DIGITAL clock???

Writer-director George Lucas is gearing up to revisit his 1973 coming of age classic, American Graffiti, but with a twist. Using the vast array of digital technology at his disposal, he will be updating the film for a modern audience and changing its setting from 1962 to 1987.

Some of the changes include:

  • Gone the 1960’s clothing, the old-school American diners, the classic cars and the rock & roll soundtrack. Now, the kids are wearing batwing sweaters, leather ties and stonewashed denim. 
  • Modesto will be alive with neon lights and porno theaters, with DeLoreans, Chevrolet Camaros and Dodge Plymouths cruising the strip. 
  • And the musical bedrock of the film now reverberates to the sounds of Wang Chung, Def Leppard, Duran Duran and Madonna. 
  • Wolfman Jack’s voice will also be replaced with Howard Stern (TBC).

Lucas explains, “The events of American Graffiti take place over a single night in 1962. But when I originally wrote and directed the film, I had always wanted to set it the 1980s, but the technology wasn’t yet available to enable me to do this. Now, forty years on, it is the ideal time to revisit the movie and update it for a whole new audience who are now nostalgic about the 80s. I also wanted to alter the fates of the core characters, so that they are more in keeping with that decade. So, for example, the title card at the very end of the film will no longer tell us that Toad disappeared in Vietnam, but that he lost a fortune on the stock market and jumped out of a window.”

George Lucas yesterday

Special Edition producer, Rick McCallum, who has rejoined Lucasfilm especially to oversee this project, sighed, “It’s George’s thing. He can do what he wants with it, I guess.”

Asked to comment on the changes, cast member Ron Howard said, “He’s doing WHAT?”

The special effects wizards at Lucas’ own Industrial Light & Magic have already begun the mammoth task of updating the film. Zak Jones, 39, has spent the last five months painstakingly replacing Richard Dreyfuss’ famous check shirt with a “Smiley face” t-shirt, frame-by-frame. Jones said, “I saw Star Wars when I was a young kid and ever since then all I ever wanted to do was work for ILM on a George Lucas movie! And now I want to die.”

When asked if he’d be giving American Graffiti‘s lesser-known 1979 sequel, More American Graffiti, the same treatment, Lucas responded, “I don’t think so. NOBODY would want to see THAT!” He then paused for a moment and cut short the interview to make an urgent phone call.

American Graffiti : The Special Edition will be in theaters as soon as is humanly possible.

DIRECTOR’S CUT OF DARK KNIGHT RISES ‘WILL OFFER ALTERNATIVE ENDING’

MONTREAL – The Dark Knight Rises: Director’s Cut will be released on Blu-Ray in early May and it promises some fantastic behind the scenes documentaries, a commentary by Christopher Nolan and – of course – a wonderful chance to see the film in high definition.

But it also includes fifty minutes of previously unseen footage and an Alternate Ending, the details of which Studio Exec can exclusively reveal.

Controversy has raged for months after the release of the concluding part of Christopher Nolan’s celebrated trilogy – riots in Pakistan, fistfights on football terraces in England and Palestinians and Israelis exchanging rocket fire on the Gaza strip – all of which conflict can be summed up in one question: does Batman die at the end of The Dark Knight Rises?
Was the autopilot fixed?
How would he have time to rush around leaving notes for someone to water the cat and feed the plants if he had really bought the farm?
Was Alfred’s vision of Bruce and The Devil Wears Prada girl just a vision?
Wait, how many questions was that?
Now Studio Exec can reveal that in the new extended edition, everything is resolved. We see Batman running around and sorting out all his little errands and, when Alfred spot Master Wayne in Italy, he approaches the table and sits down and says, ‘So Master Wayne, you’re alive!!’
To which Bruce answers, ‘Yes I unambiguously am.’
All laugh in way that becomes a little creepy at which point Bruce Wayne leans forward and puts something on the table. ‘Or AM I?’ he says, and spins the top. It spins off the table and everyone has to get off their chairs and on their hands and knees to look for it and see if it is still spinning or not.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND ARRESTED FOR TORTURE AND ILLEGAL KILLING

HOLLYWOOD- Film actor, Donald Sutherland son and all round furniture sitter on-er, Kiefer Sutherland was arrested today in Paris, France by Gendarmes serving an outstanding warrant from the International court of Human Rights in Brussels.

Sutherland had been relaxing in his hotel waiting for a journalist from the French Culture magazine Chapeau when officers broke the door down threw tear gas grenades into the luxury M. Hulot Suite and restrained Mr. Sutherland who tried to fight them off ‘with girlish open handed slaps’, according to one witness.

Mr. Sutherland is accused of 268 cases of homicide in incidents spanning from November of 2001 to late May of 2010, as well as accusations of torture, illegal detention, reckless driving, grievous bodily harm and inappropriate and protracted use of a husky voice. Mr. Sutherland responded to these accusations saying that he was playing a fictional television character called Jack Bauer in a popular series called 24, but the defence didn’t convince the prosecuting judge at the initial hearing, who stated: ‘c’est real! It is so realistic. It cannot be other than the truth.’

Prosecutors say that they have amassed a wealth of evidence, mostly comprising of ‘DVD box sets’:

‘We would have pounced earlier,’ said Maurice Hammier, ‘but we were waiting for the Blu-Ray.’ 

SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION COLLECTOR: ERNIE SPANK

Spank
Collector’s Edition

LONDON – Ernie Spank is the Special Collector’s Edition collector extraordinaire. And this is his DVD/Blu-Ray Collector’s Edition Interview with interactive menu and TV spots. Read it!
Ernie, when did you start collecting collector’s editions?

Well, Chad I suppose it was round about Gladiator or the Phantom Menace, or maybe it was Starship Troopers. The point was at that point DVDs were just beginning to become really popular and I had nothing to live for. My wife and children had all died and I was self-harming. And then I saw it: the Collector’s Edition of Snake Eyes. The single disc edition was pitiful. Special features were the interactive menu and scene selection. I wanted a commentary and a behind the scenes feature-ette.

So what happened next?

I just bought everything that said ‘Collector’s Edition’, because you know I was a collector and so if I saw on the packaging the words ‘Collector’s Edition’, I thought, that’s for me, specifically. If it had said, ‘Family Murderer’s edition’, I probably would have done the same. Or ‘hears voices in his head promising to reward murder with colourful lights and choral music edition’.

 Who is your favourite director?

I love Ridley Scott. It’s almost as if that man makes films crap on purpose so he can have the biggest run up to the Special Collector’s Edition market. And then he lets rip with two disc, three disc, back to two disc and then four disc with the Japanese cut including eye gouging scene. That guy is the only director working who seems to think the DVD release is more important than the theatrical. Bless you Ridley!


And what is your most cherished disc?

I’d have to say the first Alexander by Oliver Stone. Because you buy the official Special Collector’s Edition and you think I’ve got it. The commentary, the docs. Trailers. The lot. And then he pulls out a director’s cut. Not much on this but you know. And then before the dollars are even cold in his wallet BANG Definitive Final Edition, motherfucker! To be followed by another edition. This guy has stones man. This guy made World Trade Center and he still goes around calling himself a director. Kudos.

CRITERION TO RELEASE SPICE WORLD BLU RAY

NEW YORK – The Criterion Collection are proud to announce the release of a Special Edition Blu-Ray of Spice World: The Movie. A pristine new transfer has been accomplished to bring out the colors of this amazing pop crossover comedy/musical/political satire and the soundtrack has been completely digitally remastered to reveal in their full glory songs such as Wannabe and Spice Up Your Life.

The Criterion Edition will also reinstate the infamous Gary Glitter deleted scene in which Gary – ‘the leader of the gang’ –  falls in love with Baby Spice. Also included is a newly recorded commentary by Slavoj Zizek and Camille Palgia in which the two intellectuals embarrass themselves gushing over who is their favorite Spice.
A three hour documentary by Errol Morris Zig-A-Zig-Ah is also included, charting the socio-historical significance of  the group through a series of talking head interviews with Norman Mailer, Martin Scorsese and Helmut Kohl.

ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE BLU-RAY STARS CONNERY

LONDON – To celebrate James Bonds’ birthday celebrations and to coincide with the imminent release of Skyfall, United Artists are re-releasing the 1969 007 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service on blu-ray, but with one major difference: George Lazenby will be replaced by a CGIed Sean Connery.

Peter Hunt’s film has long been considered one of the best Bond films despite the presence of one of the least convincing Bonds. Australian wide boy George Lazenby conned his way into the role by turning up to the audition dressed entirely in broccoli.

‘Cubby was flattered and Harry was hungry,’ says Lazenby, whose name is German for ‘painfully irrelevant’.

Sean Connery – who was in a dispute with the producers and had abandoned the series to play more serious roles like Zardoz – apparently played the whole role for friends and that footage has been digitally altered and then CGIed onto Lazenby’s feckless body.

The New Sean Connery version of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service will be released on blu-ray Tuesday.

INDIANA JONES BLU RAY ‘ANOTHER MISSED OPPORTUNITY’ SAYS LUCAS

HOLLYWOOD – The new Indiana Jones blu-ray – the box set of which recently went on sale – has been adjudged a ‘missed opportunity’ by George Lucas.

‘Spiely’s muffed it,’ spat Lucas, fuming. ‘He had the opportunity to CGI Tom Selleck’s face onto Harrison Ford and totally didn’t.’

Other changes the Phantom Menace director suggested in a note to his former friend (now worst enemy) included:

  • a new scene with the full sword fight put in, getting rid of that embarrassing pulling the pistol and shooting the Arab joke
  • CGI snakes doing loads of stuff and flying too
  • in Temple of Doom more racism, ‘much more funnier’
  • Sean Connery replaced by Samuel L. Jackson
  • 3D? durh
  • and where are the prequels?

To the last question Studio Exec reminded Lucas of his own Young Indy Chronicles which the beard-flapped swirl-quiffed visionary seemed to have forgotten. He waved a hand impatiently, ‘Never heard of them.’

Indiana Jones 5 is due for release in 2016.

PROMETHEUS DELETED SCENE REPAIRS ALL

HOLLYWOOD – It has been revealed that a seven minute deleted scene which will be restored to the Director’s Cut Extended Special 2 Disc Edition Blu-Ray, to be released in October will address many of the perceived failings of Ridley Scott’s much anticipated return to the Alien franchise.

The scene which is reported to come at the end of the film involves Noomi Rapace as Elisabeth Shaw waking up from hyper sleep to find the whole film has been a dream and the mission has yet to begin.

She describes to David (Michael Fassbender) the events of the film/dream, as he – unbelievingly – comments, ‘But that doesn’t make sense. Why would we take our helmets off?’

Ridley Scott – who has placed the blame for what he called ‘a fiasco of a film’ at the door of screenwriter Damon Lindeloff – says the scene was filmed prior to the theatrical release but had been edited out because he had deemed it ‘lame’.

‘In retrospect,’ the GI Jane director muttered, ‘It made a lot more sense than the actual film.’

Many fans have anticipated what is already being dubbed the Dallas solution, a reference to the return of apparently dead Bobby Ewing when his absence proved too much for the series. Some have also contested the chronology of the filming.

‘David’s dialogue actually quotes several of the more negative reviews,’ says Zooey Lodereck, writer for allpissedoff.com, who has seen a sneak preview of the material. ‘And his hair is all wrong. And both actors appear to be laughing.’

After all is said and done, Prometheus did make troughs of money and so the question is how will this scene effect the development of the sequel?

JAWS BLU-RAY HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT, SAYS LUCAS

HOLLYWOOD – George Lucas came out today in a scathing attack on his ex-friend Steven Spielberg on the occasion of the release of Jaws on blu-ray. 

‘I gave Steven notes on this and he ignored them all,’ said the genius behind The Phantom Menace and Howard the Duck. ‘This was an opportunity to improve a film with all sorts of CGI brilliance and gee-gaws, but I’m afraid my friend Steven is definitely a talent on the wane.’

According to our source, the Lucas – Spielberg relationship never really recovered from arguments about casting Raiders of the Lost Ark. Famously, Lucas would have preferred Tom Selleck in the role of the whip-cracking archaeologist and when the opportunity to create the blu-ray of the Indiana Jones series, even suggested CGI-ing Selleck’s face onto Harrison Ford’s body. A mutual friend told Studio Exec, ‘It’s been years now that whenever George speaks, Steven just smiles and nods, smiles and nods.’

Some of George’s Jaws Suggestions.  

CGI the goddam shark, Stevie. CGI the hell out of that asshole. Then you can add it to all the scenes, from the very beginning. And because it’s CGI and you don’t need to worry about gravity and what not, you can make it like leap out of the water and fly around like I did with R2D2.

With more shark footage you can skip all those dialogue scenes, which you yourself thought of as filler I recall. Ditch the Indianapolis speech for example. It goes on and on and who cares? It was olden day stuff anyway.  

Everyone loves the Johnny Williams score but why not spruce it up. Add some lyrics. ‘Ja–aws, Ja–aws, the shark is coming with his great big Ja-aws.’ I’m spitballing here but you know what I mean.

Instead of Hooper, why not a character to give a bit more ethnic color? Pedro the Mexican oceanographer, gets into scrapes, lots of fun. Like JarJar. ‘Chief, I don wanna get een the caaaaage!’

Finally Robert Shaw’s performance is the weakest part of the film. Frankly embarrassing nd very difficult to understand. Why don’t we overdub him with Morgan Freeman’s voice? And while we’re ADRing, we can add some explanatory dialogue. The first victim can say something like ‘Argghhh I am being eaten by a shark. Not good.’ Or Chief Brody can say at the end ‘Oh I know, I’ll fire at the air cannisters and that’ll blow him up.’