Update: Messing with Memories:’Conan’

Conan
Original: 1981
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger; Directed by John Milus
Remake: Scheduled for 2011

Behold you new Barbarian! Jason Momoa has been cast as the new Conan for the upcoming remake of the sword-and-socery epic. Born Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa, the Hawaiian Model of the Year (1999) will swing the famous barbarian’s sword next year for the reimagining of the comic legend.

The model turned actor is perhaps best known for his role in the latter days of Baywatch and the sydicated Stargate: Atlantis television shows.

Variety Magazine confirmed the report earlier this month and a 2011 date has been set for release.

Michael Bay protegé Marcus Nispel (he of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th reboots) is attached to direct.

‘The Last Starfighter’ with Catherine Mary Stewart

Title:
The Last Starfighter (1984)
Rated: PG
Written by:
Jonathan Betuel
Directed by:
Nick Castle
Starring:
Lance Guest as Alex
Robert Preston as Centauri
Catherine Mary Stewart as Maggie
Dan O'Herlihy as Grig 
Barbara Bosson as Jane
Norman Snow as Xur

 

By Bo Ransdell from Last Blog on the Left

Pre-screening memoriesSure, the plot seems familiar now:  A young man, trapped by circumstances of economics and class, struggles to be something more, something different.  He knows there’s an “out there,” a world that he could conquer if he could only get free and find the opportunity.  That’s the situation that Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) represents, and, to an eleven year old boy in 1984, it was a projection, quite literally, of everything that a pre-teen felt.   

Add to that healthy mix of angst the element of technology, specifically the home video game revolution, and you’ll find that same pre-teen, filled with a vague wanderlust, debating with his friends in the schoolyard whether the Atari 2600 translation of Donkey Kong could hold a candle to the arcade version (it can’t) or if Yar’s Revenge was the best in the 2600 library (it was).  So, when a movie made escape possible through the medium of video games, the scales had lifted from my eyes.  This was a movie I had to see.   

I saw The Last Starfighter a lot as a kid, where it found a lot of screenings thanks to premium cable channels and a brand-spanking-new VCR.  I still have the tape on which The Last Starfighter resides, alongside The Terminator.  Even as a child, I enjoyed juxtaposition.  At every viewing of the film, it reinforced the idea that you can truly excel, if only given the opportunity to do so, and it’s a belief I still subscribe to.

New memories: Seeing it as an adult, it’s hard to quiet the thrilled child still inside, the one who still believes everything is possible if given the chance and that Yar’s Revenge is the best Atari 2600 game.  Roughly halfway through my mature, well-considered viewing of The Last Starfighter, I gave up trying to silence him.  This was and remains a movie that encourages a sense of wonder, a sense of possibility, and, if you remembered it as a special movie when you were young, seek it out.  The optimism of the film is there, and a real sense of magic, managed by genuine emotion thanks to a very talented cast.  Sure, the effects, revolutionary at the time, haven’t aged so well, but they fit the imagination of the movie.  And it’s that part, the spirit of opportunity in the face of adversity that makes this a treasure. 

Download Natsukashi’s ‘The Last Starfighter’ podcast here

or venture to our online player below:

Our featured guest: Catherine Mary Stewart

Catherine Mary Stewart returns to Natsukashi to revisit yet another indelible role from her resume.

She had first joined us for a chat about Mischief and also spoke about her other cult classic of 1984, Night of the Comet, but Last Starfighter hold a special place in her memories for reasons she recounts for us in the podcast.

After taking a stretch to focus more on being a mom, Catherine is reigniting her career with roles Rising Stars, a film with Fischer that she describes as an anti-American Idol, and a just-announced A Christmas Snow, which she details on her Facebook page (where she personally connects with her fans). You can also follow her at her blog.

Catherine is always a fun, engaging guest and has several tales about working on the set of The Last Starfighter, and we thank her for letting us share them with her.

Kreativ Blogger Award

In a great start to the New Year, our friend Dan at Top10Films.co.uk has given us a Kreativ Blogger Award. The “award” is more a virtual pat on the back, which is actually much nicer to receive (well, that and a nice fat check). So, first, a big thanks to Dan and his hard work  across the pond. We are very grateful. Second, the award stipulates you must “pay it forward” by listing seven other blogs that you deem worthy of such accolades.

So, here is a list of bloggers out there whom I frequent and who have helped to make Natsukashi what it is today (which, I am not really sure what that is, but thanks nonetheless).

 Last Blog on the Left: Fans of horror, both mainstream and indie, need look no further than Last Blog on the Left.  Run by a true aficionado, Last Blog is serious about horror, but approaches it with wit and wisdom. It features reviews of theatrical releases, the latest in DVDs, interviews and podcast interviews with up-and-comers in the genre.

 He Shot Cyrus: A fun, irreverent exploration into the world of film from its host, El Gringo, whose approach to films goes beyond mere reviews. Gringo, who is also a contributor to Film Threat online and frequents festivals such as Sundance, covers films old and new, mainstream and independent with a zeal and passion that true film nerds would enjoy.

 Cru Jones Society: Film is just one of the passions of the crew at Cru Jones. They also looks at television, music, politics, and general online mayhem that make it tough to be focused throughout the work day. But it does not merely provide links and laughs, its thoughtful, engaging approach is what sets things apart at CJS.

 Castle Vardulon: The Count is always in, and seemingly always on in his witty dissections of film and television. Whether he is tearing apart the legend that is Indiana Jones, eviscerating “CSI: Miami,” or analyzing some of the greatest panels in the history of comics, Count is never at a loss for words. The site also provides aural candy as well, where Count and his partner in crime,The DiveMistress, deftly discuss horror, fantasy ans sci-fi.

Dear Jesus: Don’t let the title fool you. The only proselytizing this film does is in its worshipping at the altar of film. Whitney, one of the site’s contributors (Brian being the other), is also a writer for Film Threat and also ventures to  film festivals to report on the seldom-seen cinema and the emerging films screened within.  In her frequent “movie marathons” she gorges on celluloid from across the spectrum (expect such divergent films as “X-15,” “Dirty Harry” and “Rocky III” to be included in just one of them).

CinemaFist: Joe Campenella loves film. He loves watching it, he loves making it. See how both of his passions are covered in CinemaFist, where he devotes blog entries to both the creation  and the appreciation of movies. He’s also pretty damn funny.

Foywonder: Scott Foy wallows in film’s underbelly, plucking out the seamy obscurities few dare to witness. He rocks out with his schlock out, examining all the B-movies currently creeping under your radar that fill the vaults of such companies as The Asylum and those released directly to the SyFy network. It’s a tough job, but Scott approaches it with the right amount of enthusiasm and humor.

Now, the award also states that you must name seven interesting things about yourself. So here goes:

1) These lists always make me nervous
2) As a child, I was in a fashion show hosted by Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop
3) I was Spider-Man, a Care Bear and Big Bird — professionally (long story, and no, I was not a “furry”)
4) In high school, I got to interview John Frankenheimer, Halle Berry and Jerry Seinfeld.
5) I have been sky-diving and leapt from a hot air balloon.
6) I am friends with a guy who dated Uma Thurman… in the sixth grade.
7) I have never eaten a Twinkie.
 
Thanks again, Dan.
For those interested in the award’s origins, here’s some info.

Messing with Memories: ‘Meatballs’

 

Meatballs
Original release: 1979
Starring: Bill Murray, directed by Ivan Reitman
Remake release: 2011 (rumored)
Remake director: John Whitesell (Calendar Girl, Malibu’s Most Wanted)

The original: Before being sullied by a slew of non-sequitir sequels and off-shoots (extra-terrestrials, Sally Kellerman as a porn star, Corey Feldman), Meatballs was a quaint, moderately amusing camp comedy that helped kickstart the cinematic career of Bill Murray.

The proposed remake: Ivan Reitman, the original’s director, in apparently helping to produce a remake, which has been rumored since 2007. The director linked to be latest? John Whitesell, whose credits include Big Momma’s House 2 , Deck The Halls and who can forget his memorable television work in the four-part cliffhanger known as Blossom in Paris?

One of the rumored writers to be attached is Sean Anders, who directed the marginally entertaining Sex Drive.

No cast has been attached, and with the director’s resume, one can only only imagine someone like Dane Cook as the lead (only a guess, there are no rumors to support this). Expect it in 2011 at the very earliest, but with no real public announcements, casting or crew news right now ,classify this one as “cloudy…with a chance of ‘Meatballs.'”

Sources: Flixter, Digital Spy, Moviehole,

‘Flowers in the Attic’ with director Jeffrey Bloom

Title:
Flowers in the Attic (1987)
Rated: PG-13
Written by:
V. C. Andrews (novel)
Jeffrey Bloom (screenplay)
Directed by:
Jeffrey Bloom
Starring:
Louise Fletcher as Grandmother
Victoria Tennant as Corrine
Kristy Swanson as Cathy
Jeb Stuart Adams as Chris
Lindsay Parker as Carrie
Marshall Colt as Father

By Shelley Stillo

Pre-screening memories: As with most American households in the 1980s, Shelley’s family bookshelf had room for a few titles from V. C. Andrews. The author was on her way to becoming a vertible literary industry, not unlike a certain ‘Twilight’ author today.

But Andrews tawdry Gothic tales were much more enticing to young readers, like Shelley, who would pull the copy down, crack the spine and read aloud some of the book’s more lacivious passages with her young friends.

Their mix of Southern Gothic, romance, fairy tale and horror were like a literary burrito for young Shelly.

New memories: After watching the film for the first time in 20 years, did it result in a flood of raunchy memories of late-night readings with friends? And, perhaps more importantly, just why the hell was such a novel that featured rape, incest, child cruelty, incest, death and a little more incest so popular in the first place?

You can download Natsukashi’s ‘Flowers in the Attic’ podcast here

or you can simply head to our basement below to listen on the site

Our featured guest: Director Jeffrey Bloom

Jeffrey Bloom does not count Flowers in the Attic as a high watermark in his directing career. Bloom’s cinematic career began in the early 1970s, writing made-for-TV films such as Snow Job (aka The Great Ski Caper) and 11 Harrowhouse (aka Anything for Love).

His first time behind the lens was the 1975 comedy Dogpound Shuffle, followed by Blood Beach and a host of made-for-TV films.

Flowers in the Attic was the last feature film Bloom directed, and once you hear all the behind-the-scenes events that took place, you may understand why.

Jeffrey pointed us to a student-made video of the film Flowers in the Attic, which will gladly repost here:

Jeffrey is now a professional photographer in Studio City, California.

Messing with Memories: ‘Conan the Barbarian’

Conan
Original: 1981
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger; Directed by John Milus
Remake: Scheduled for 2011

Conan is set to wield his sword in this third outing, which is rumored to head back to the comic source for inspiration. And as The Governator has demonstrated in the last Terminator film, it may be possible to have him — or a computer-enhanced facsimile — at least grace the screen in a cameo.

Rumors of Brett Ratner directing are apparently out the window, now. Michael Bay protegé Marcus Nispel (he of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th reboots) is attached. Producer Randall Emmett (Righteous Kill) was recently quoted in mlive.com as saying he is prepping for a remake of “Conan the Barbarian” with producing partner George Furla (Rambo V)in February. Emmett is hyping it to be a “gigantic budgeted film”and ” it will be filmed in 85 days with a crew of 200.”

ComicBookMovie reports that Daniel Cudmore, Colossus from X-Men,  (pictured above)  is in the running for the head Barbarian.

For all you Conan completists, the duo are also filming a remake of Red Sonja, starring Rose McGowen.

IMDB has it listed as a 2011 release.

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