Saturday, 25 December 2010

The Saturday Screen Shot #17

Merry Christmas! Tis the season and all that, so this screenshot comes from my favourite non-traditional Christmas movie.

Shot from the Screen: Die Hard

Screenshot: Tony (Karl's brother)'s body propped up on a chair in the elevator

Shot from the Scene: After John McClane kills Tony in a struggle, he decides to send his body down in the elevator. Riding on the roof, he is able to hear some pieces of information, while showing the bad guys that there is someone loose in the building who they don't want to mess with. The Santa hat placed on Tony's head, and the writing on his shirt (Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho) send a lovely Christmassy message. Mince pie Hans?

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas from SYD!

Hope you all have a great Christmas; get lots of great presents, eats lots of tasty food and watch lots of festive movies with family and friends.

Here's a Christmassy montage to get you in the mood...

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

My 5 favourite... Movie t-shirt websites

So, it's the festive season, and one of my favourite gifts to receive is definitely a movie-inspired t-shirt. There are some great ones about at the moment and I seem to be building up quite a collection. Here are my 5 favourite websites that sell awesome movie t-shirts;
Last Exit To Nowhere ( This website creates "unique T-shirts that pay homage to the most memorable places, companies and corporations in cinema history." My current favourite is this Weyland-Yutani design, which goes very nicely with my new Alien Anthology on blu-ray.

Dark Bunny Tees ( This guy does some amazing limited edition movie t-shirts. His mission is "to find something in my favourite movies that I could put my own spin on." I'm really looking forward to this Inception design, due out in January.

Wake Up Time To Die ( These guys win the best name competition with a Blade Runner quote. Their t-shirts are "based on fictional companies, corporations, places, people, and events, all from some of your favourite movies of days gone by." I absolutely love this Die Hard-inspired t-shirt.

8ball ( This website has a vast array of music, tv and movie-related merchandise. You'll be spoilt for choice! I really like this Off-World Colonies t-shirt inspired by Blade Runner.

Nerdoh ( Nerdoh boasts a great range of movie t-shirts and "creeps into the fictional realms of movie corporations, places and subtle references only the avid fan will know." This Zombieland t-shirt with the list of rules printed on the back is my favourite of theirs at the moment.

So those are my 5 favourite. There are many more to browse too, just do a google search of some of your favourite movies and chances are there'll be an awesome t-shirt relating to them.

What are your favourites? Have you discovered any cool t-shirt designs you'd like to share? Drop me a comment.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Short Story / Movie comparison: Second Variety / Screamers (Philip K. Dick blogathon)

Whereas Screamers (the film adaptation based on the Philip K. Dick short story Second Variety) takes place on another planet, the story itself is set on Earth, a world that has been destroyed and ravaged by war. Instead of the two sides fighting because of a dispute over mining resources, it is Americans vs Russians, an idea which would have seemed a lot more relevant at the time of writing than it is today. A nuclear war between the two nations has transformed the surface into an almost uninhabitable wasteland. For the film this was changed and updated, it was set on a different planet (Sirius 6B) where scientists and miners working for the N.E.B. Corporation refuse to continue work after they discover the mineral gives off radiation during the mining process. War breaks out between the workers and the N.E.B. who want them to keep mining.

One of the main characters in the film, the young soldier Jefferson, does not appear in the story. Instead, Hendricks (as he is known in the story, changed to Hendricksson for Screamers) as commanding officer, sets out on his own with the hope of bringing an end to the war.

Philip K. Dick said of this story, "My grand theme: ‘who is human and who only appears (masquerading) as human? ‘ emerges most fully. Unless we can individually and collectively be certain of the answer to this question, we face what is, in my view, the most serious problem possible. Without answering it adequately, we cannot even be certain of our own selves. I cannot even know myself, let alone you. So I keep working on this theme; to me nothing is as important a question. And the answer comes very hard."

The film has essentially kept the same themes and ideas that are present in Second Variety, it has just placed events in outer space on another planet instead of on Earth, added a couple of extra characters and changed the end of the film. Most of these additions are welcome, except maybe for the final moments of Screamers, where too many alternative endings are all used at once. This gives the impression that the film is trying too hard to include lots of twists to boggle the minds of the audience, when just one twist (as in the short story) would probably have had a greater, subtler effect. All in all though, both the short story and the film are successful works which can be appreciated separately but also complement each other.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Saturday Screen Shot #16

Shot from the Screen: Edward Scissorhands

Screenshot: Edward creating an ice sculpture and Kim dancing in the snow

Shot from the Scene: Kim notices the snow outside and heads out into the garden where she finds Edward making an angel out of a huge block of ice. As he chips away, she twirls and dances slowly, reaching out and catching the falling white flakes. A beautiful scene and a great film to watch this holiday season

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Review: Screamers (Philip K. Dick blogathon)

In the year 2078, the distant planet Sirius 6B has become a vast wasteland, devastated by war. What was once a mining planet, controlled by the N.E.B. Corporation, became a warzone. The miners and scientists discovered operations were causing deadly radiation and refused to continue. The N.E.B. sent forces to change their minds. Autonomous robots called ‘Screamers’ were developed for the miners by an alliance on Earth to help neutralize the war. However, after they dumped them on the planet and left, these robots began multiplying and have now developed new, modified versions, which hunt down any living creature with only one aim: to kill.

World-weary commander Hendricksson (Peter Weller), leader of the small force left on the planet, receives peace terms delivered by an N.E.B. messenger, who is unfortunately torn to shreds by Screamers just outside their base. A military transport ship then crashes nearby, a ship which had claimed to be a civilian vessel and had asked for permission to land. There is only one survivor of the crash, a young soldier called Jefferson, who tells them their war on Sirius 6B has been forgotten about on Earth. The N.E.B. Corporation has discovered ore on another planet and has set out to claim it, leaving Hendricksson and the other survivors here to grow old. They certainly wouldn’t want them returning to Earth where they could tell all about how they have been treated. Hendricksson decides there is no point in fighting anymore and sets out with Jefferson to the N.E.B. headquarters to make peace with the other people on the planet. The only thing standing in his way is the Screamers that were created to help his side. And he discovers the modifications they have made are far superior to what he could have imagined, there are even some that seem almost...human.

Screamers has an interesting, multi-layered plot, with lots of twists and turns. The screenplay was co-written by Dan O’Bannen, who also co-wrote Alien and Total Recall. The paranoia and ambiguity of not knowing who to trust are effective, if a little over-played in the final scenes. Peter Weller is well-suited to the worn and heroic figure of Hendricksson, a man forgotten about on a distant planet. The dialogue is also note-worthy, his dry wit and sarcasm fit the character perfectly. When Becker (one of the N.E.B. soldiers, with a penchant for Shakespeare) quotes: “When he's best, he's a little worse than a man, and when he's worst, he's little better than a beast." Hendricksson replies: “Oh, that's real good, Becker. I never knew they put Shakespeare in comic books.”

Overall, the film shows us a great vision of a futuristic dystopia, where big corporations travel the solar system in search of resources and riches. The deceit and betrayal suffered by our protagonist provide a sense of despair and isolation. And the Screamers add threat, uncertainty and fear. All of these elements combine to make this an intriguing film about one man’s fight for survival when all hope seems lost.

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