Posts by Brent SImon

  • Déjà Viewing: “Star Trek Into Darkness” / “Margin Call”

    Brent Simon at Movie Talk11 mths ago

    In 2007, when director J.J. Abrams first started putting together the cast for his reboot of the "Star Trek" franchise, much attention naturally focused on who would fill out the Lycra uniform of Captain James T. Kirk, embodied so uniquely by William Shatner in the sci-fi franchise's previous incarnation. Chris Pine was eventually chosen, and minted a star - leading man roles followed in major studio releases like "Unstoppable," "This Means War," "People Like Us" and this December's forthcoming "Jack Ryan," opposite director Kenneth Branagh.

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  • Déjà Viewing: Why You Need to See ‘Moon’ Before ‘Oblivion’

    Brent Simon at Movie Talk1 yr ago

    All signs point to Tom Cruise's newest science-fiction action flick, "Oblivion," a collaboration with "Tron" director Joseph Kosinski based on the latter's unpublished graphic novel, making a significant splash at the box office this weekend. Set on Earth in 2077, following a nuclear decimation that was part of a last-ditch effort to fend off an invading alien army that had destroyed the moon, "Oblivion" tracks a restless drone mechanic (Cruise) who's overseeing matters in preparation for the resettlement to one of Saturn's moons of what has survived of humankind.

    It's a gorgeous-looking blend of several dystopian greatest hits, such as "The Matrix," "Total Recall," and "The Island." Yet "Oblivion" also echoes a few smaller movies. So for those seeking either a cinematic aperitif to "Oblivion" or a comfy home video capper to a sci-fi double-header, check out 2009's "Moon," the directorial debut of Duncan Jones, who earlier this year was announced as the director of the film adaptation of the Warcraft video game series, taking over for Sam Raimi.

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  • ‘Lords of Salem’ Director Rob Zombie Talks About Witches, Hell, and Strippers

    Brent Simon at Movie Talk1 yr ago

    When you take "Zombie" as a surname, you might seem to be limiting your career options, not unlike getting a face tattoo. Yet Rob Zombie, who burst onto the scene as frontman for the theatrical hard-rock act White Zombie in the late 1980s and early '90s, has carved out not only a successful entertainment career but also a varied one as a musician, multimedia producer, filmmaker, and graphic novel impresario.

    His latest film as writer-director, however, "The Lords of Salem," is a horror offering right in his experiential wheelhouse. When Massachusetts radio DJ Heidi Hawthorne (wife Sheri Moon Zombie) receives a package with mysterious music, it triggers headaches, hypnosis, and visions of her town's violent past. Is Heidi, a recovering addict and trauma survivor, slipping back into madness, or is something even more sinister afoot? Recently Rob Zombie spoke one-on-one with me about his film, sunny memories of Salem, what hell is to him, and what's next professionally.

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