Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Shoot Him Again, His Soul's Still Dancing"

When word hit that Nicolas Cage was producing and starring in a remake of Abel Ferrara's 1992 scuzzy and NC-17 rated cult classic Bad Lieutenant, the news was greeted with the typical eyerolls and proclamations of Hollywood's further abyss into unoriginality. Then we learned that the film, to carry the subtitle: Port of New Orleans; would be directed by none other than Werner Herzog. Would this be a cynical Hollywood paycheck for the distinctive German filmmaker and all around madman, an opportunity to fund his next documentary about competing prostitution rings in the moors of Scotland (which I would totally see)? But very quickly things got interesting, Herzog said that not only would his film not be a direct remake of the 1992 film, but the first in a franchise of Bad Lieutenant films (next up: Bad Lieutenant: Downtown Wichita?) and besides he had never even seen the original or even, unbelievably, heard of Abel Ferrara!

And now we have the trailer, and it's a work of insane inspiration. If I see a crazier trailer this year...nevermind, not going to bother finishing this sentence, I will not see anything like this, Enjoy:

Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans, which strangely enough fits within Herzog's overriding directorial theme of the effects of environment on the mental stability of its inhabitants, opens in December.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Trailer (s) of the Week: The Percy Rodrigues Edition

In the pantheon of great trailer narration, my favorite has always been the Jaws narrator who gravely intones this choice simile: "It's as if God created the Devil and gave him...JAWS!" After hearing his voice in another trailer posted on another blog, I decided to seek out a little more about the person behind the voice.

The narrator is Percy Rodrigues, a character actor of mixed African and Portuguese decent whose most famous role is as Commodore Stone on the Star Trek season one episode "Court Martial". His great deep voice provided him a long career in voice over work throughout several decades before he passed away in 2007.

Here are some Percy Rodrigues narrated trailers that I have tracked down.

The original Jaws trailer

Universal was smart enough to rehire him to voice the 1979 sequel, Jaws 2, where Rodrigues would make another intense proclamation, one that would long out live the repetitive mediocrity of the film: "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water"

Universal also hired him to narrate the trailer to John Badham's 1979 remake of Dracula starring Frank Langella as the titular bloodsucker. Surprisingly, I've never seen the film, but let's give credit to Rodrigues for giving dignity to the trailer's awkward claims of being "the story of the greatest lover who ever lived, died and lived again"

In 1979, after the success of Star Wars, Disney tried to get into the sci-fiction game, the underwhelming result was The Black Hole. I've haven't watched the film in about ten years, but remember being bored both times I tried to get through it, but damn if the trailer with it's retro graphics and yes, Rodrigues narration, piqued my interest in "the journey that begins where everything ends"

And finally, for the time being at least, Rodrigues was asked to narrate the trailer to the interminably delayed (delayed as in three people who were interviewed for the film: Rodrigues, Peter Benchley and Roy Schieder have since past away) documentary about the Jaws phenomena, The Shark is Still Working. The trailer is in itself a homage to the original.

That's all for now, hopefully I can hunt down more to share with you soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Semi-Annual "Why I'm Not Blogging" Excuse Blog

Excuses: My wife and I bought a house and I temporarily took a job shift that is more exhausting then I had imagined. Plus my laptop died.

I may do some filler posts between now and then, but expect this blog to return to it's more traditional schedule in June (ie more frequent filler posts!) just in time to completely ignore Transformers: Return of the Fallen Transformers That Had Previously Fell.

I am also flirting with the ideas of twitter (the pet rock of '09) and flicker (sorry, flckr) accounts as an annex to this blog. And yes, I do have a Death Wish IV review in the works that surely will continue to illicit the same reaction as the first three: no response. Yay!
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