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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Michaels’

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

Monday, October 18th, 2021

“I don’t think so.”

In the early ’90s, FRIDAY-THE-13TH-part-I-only director Sean S. Cunningham found himself stuck again. More than a decade after intentionally not sticking around to make FRIDAY sequels (instead directing movies including THE NEW KIDS and DEEPSTAR SIX and producing HOUSE I-IV) the director-turned-honcho was moving the chess pieces around to set up his dream of a FRIDAY THE 13TH / A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET crossover. But New Line wasn’t ready to play yet, so in the mean time he was gonna have to keep Jason in shape.

A couple of problems: the audience seemed kind of sick of Jason. And Cunningham (who had only really worked with Jason’s mom) had never really liked him anyway. So he hired 23-year-old recent film school graduate Adam Marcus, who did like Jason, but was excited to do a drastically different chapter – easily the least FRIDAY THE 13THy of any FRIDAY THE 13TH movie. Marcus has often claimed that Cunningham asked him to get rid of the hockey mask (an allegation Cunningham denies). Whatever the truth of it, the movie manages to have mask-wearing Jason in the opening and closing, but for most of the movie he body hops between ordinary non-scary-looking people wearing ties and stuff. Instead of working like the other FRIDAY THE 13THs, it’s sort of a re-enactment of THE HIDDEN with considerably less momentum, tension, style, production value, atmosphere, characterization, story, entertainment value or creature FX. But 100% more some parts with Jason. (read the rest of this shit…)

Point Break (30th anniversary revisit)

Monday, July 12th, 2021

July 12, 1991

Hot on the heels of James Cameron’s TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY came the other most important action movie of summer ’91, Kathryn Bigelow’s POINT BREAK. Cameron was famously married to Bigelow at the time, and is credited as executive producer, and the film has parallels to his in its technical perfection and intensity of action. The pair had reworked an original script called JOHNNY UTAH by W. Peter Iliff (PRAYER OF THE ROLLERBOYS), co-story credit to Rick King (director of PRAYER OF THE ROLLERBOYS), with Cameron doing a last minute pass to improve the action scenes before immediately shifting to T2. “She basically is 100% responsible for the final film from that point on,” Cameron reportedly said at a convention in ’91. And clearly it’s Bigelow’s combination of impeccable craft and counterintuitive artistic choices that made POINT BREAK a hit, then a cult favorite, then an enduring classic.

The choice that seemed crazy at the time, and prophetic now, was her insistence on casting Keanu Reeves as the college football legend turned overachieving FBI rookie Johnny Utah. By all accounts Bigelow had to fight for Reeves, because producers wanted someone else. That’s understandable – he’d been in the dark indie thriller RIVER’S EDGE and the period piece DANGEROUS LIAISONS, but was best known to the world as Ted from BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, with whom he inescapably shared a lovable stoner airhead sounding voice. On the other hand, when the movie was almost made by Ridley Scott a few years earlier he’d had Matthew Broderick in the role. You’re telling me that made more sense!? (read the rest of this shit…)