There hasn’t been much news about lately a new Twilight Zone movie, based on Rod Sterling’s original TV series. But now that Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, has decided to pick up the film in conjunction with Warner Bros, there is finally some movement on the project. It was recently announced that Rand Ravich will be penning the script for the film, which will be a fresh take on the classic sci-fi show.
Ravich only has a few things under his belt, and coming into a project like this, they are surprising. He had both written and directed 1999’s The Astronaut’s Wife, along with a sequel to Candyman, and his latest work was writing for NBC’s Life. No other details have been released about the film’s writers or director, but with Appian Way, who produced 2004’s The Aviator and this year’s Public Enemies, you can believe that DiCaprio takes his producing job seriously and will have inut on the director.
Twilight Zone has been in and out of the public eye on TV for decades, with resurrections in 1985, 1994, and 2002. Many recall the 1983 film as well, which was an anthology (very big at the time in movies), consisting of several old Zone storylines, re-imagined by the likes of John Landis, Stephen Spielberg, and George Miller.
The film was also the focal point of some controversy as actor Vic Morrow and two children died on the set while shooting a scene. No word yet on when production will begin on the new film, but with a writer now attached, more details are sure to follow.
Back in 2007, Michael Bay accomplished what seemed to be a miracle in the film community: he took a nearly dead property that was built off of a line of action figures, and made it into a highly successful–and one can even say decent–film for both old and new fans. Sadly, with Revenge of the Fallen, Bay and his team try to top themselves with a grandiose successor, and come up pretty short.
The plot follows Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), two years after the events of Transformers. Sam’s now off to college where he and blah blah blah…does any of this matter? Let’s face it, you’re going to see this movie for one reason, and one reason only: to see gigantic robots beat the crap out of each other. I’m happy to say, you get what you come for, but that’s about it. This movie is pretty much identical to it’s predecessor, now with 30% more character development, mass murder, and zany humor. Oh, don’t forget a brand new track by Linkin Park, which sounds exactly like the last track by Linkin Park.
There are some pretty embarrassing moments for a film of this caliber. One of which is the use of racism in the form of CGI robots. The racism isn’t very blatant, as it is overused stereotypes that are meant to be funny, but come out laughable, and not in a good way. Two characters, Mudflap and Skids, stand out above the rest. They are designated as the “urban” Autobots, donning two gold front teeth and illiteracy. There is also a Mexican ice cream truck at the beginning of the film that sets the bar pretty low. And those who say that Jazz in the original cartoon set a precedent for characters like Mudflap and Skids should know that Scatman Crothers, who originally voiced the character, transcends race.
A major downfall for the film, which seems to be a complaint across the board, is the massive 150 minutes of the film’s length. There is definitely a period where the audience, as a whole, glances at their collective watch. Without knowing the true story, I wouldn’t doubt that the film had a much darker first cut and the studio decided to amp it up with things like jive-talking sidekicks and robot balls (yes, there are robot testicles in the film). There’s definitely a dark film in those 2+ hours, and it would be interesting to see that cut someday.
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