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‘The Manchurian Candidate’ (2004)

The Manchurian Candidate (2004) Pre-screening comments, Apr 10, 2004
I’ve given this a little thought, and the ‘Manchurian Candidate’ (2004) might end up being the film we need as we ramp up to the Fall elections.

I too, am a fan of the original. But before you diss this remake out of hand, remember that Demme comes from an artsy, NY, Indy film background. He’s seldom just a ‘hired gun’. If he’s chosen to maintain the original title, IN SPITE OF the change in locale and time-period, it’s for *artistic* reasons. I suspect that the original title is being maintained as a self-conscious *metaphor*, rather than a *literal*.

Given the current political climate, our current U.S. adventures in Afganistan and Iraq, and the long-standing Bush legacy in the Oil States, this film might end up being MORE on-point than any of us could suspect. After all, George W. did give the go-ahead that allowed members of the bin Laden family to be the only persons flying in U.S. airspace on September 12, 2001. And Neil Bush was tied up in the BCCI banking scandal back in the ’80′s. [Read more →]

‘Lifeforce’ (1985)

‘Lifeforce’ (1985) Space vampires — gotta love ‘em!

Genre screenwriter of the ’80′s, Dan O’Bannon wrote ‘Lifeforce’ in 1984. A USC classmate of John Carpenter, he assisted the director by writing both their Masters’ Theses and the theatrical expansion of the film ‘ Dark Star ‘ (1974). By 1985, O’Bannon’s previous big deal was the groundbreaking ‘ Alien ‘ of 1979. Because it and ‘Star Wars’ introduced the stylistic approach of ‘Used’ or ‘Dirty Space’ in art-direction for these kinds of features doesn’t mean that this was the only way to produce them. [Read more →]