Yet another Indy IV photo drops the hint.

We have already seen the photo of Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood and Shia LaBeouf as Whoever, posing among some crates in a warehouse that looks extremely reminiscent of the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Today, MTV Movies Blog posted the latest picture released from the set of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — and this time, Indy himself seems to be climbing and crawling all over the crates. Is he looking for the Ark of the Covenant again? And if so, why? Rumours abound, but we’ll find out for sure May 22.

Classic special effects coming to Vancouver!

If you’re like me, and you like to catch classic films — especially classic sci-fi and fantasy films — on the big screen, then you might want to check out this series on innovative special-effects movies that is playing at the VanCity Theatre over the next few days:

  1. Thu Jan 31, 7:00pm — King Kong (1933)
  2. Thu Jan 31, 9:30pm — Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
  3. Fri Feb 1, 7:00pm — Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)
  4. Fri Feb 1, 9:15pm — Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  5. Sat Feb 2, 7:00pm — Tron (1982)
  6. Sat Feb 2, 9:15pm — The Matrix (1999)
  7. Sun Feb 3, 7:00pm — Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  8. Sun Feb 3, 9:30pm — Jurassic Park (1993)
  9. Mon Feb 4, 7:00pm — 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Of these nine films, there are seven that I own on DVD or Blu-Ray, and I have already seen all seven of them on the big screen — though it depends on whether you count Blade Runner, the only version of which that I have seen in a theatre is the “director’s cut” that came out in 1992. At any rate, while I would love to see any of these films in a theatre again, I could survive if I missed them.

That just leaves Close Encounters, which I saw on TV a couple decades ago and really should see again some day, and Jason and the Argonauts, which I may or may not have seen on VHS some years ago; I honestly can’t remember. So I’ll try to catch that one tonight, at least, especially since it is being introduced by Ken Priebe, who literally wrote the book on The Art of Stop-Motion Animation and sometimes writes for

Beliefnet nominates 2007′s best “spiritual” films

Beliefnet has announced the nominees for its own annual movie awards, and this year, I’m one of the judges. There are three categories — Best Spiritual Film, Best Spiritual Performance and Best Spiritual Documentary — and there are five nominees in each category, and each of the nominees is accompanied by an argument “for” and “against” the film in question. It fell to me to write the argument “against” Sarah Polley’s Away from Her.

Son of Rambow — the trailer is now online

Behold the trailer for Son of Rambow, the long-delayed Sundance favorite about a Plymouth Brethren boy who discovers the Rambo movies on VHS and decides to make his own with a camcorder. The film opens in the U.K. in March, and in the U.S. in May.
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

BC Christian News — February 2008

The newest issue of BC Christian News is now online, and with it, my film column, which includes brief, brief notes on There Will Be Blood, The Bucket List, The Golden Compass, The Hobbit and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Russian movie spoofs Russian movies

Gadzooks. It seems the Russian film industry has its own equivalent of Meet the Spartans and Epic Movie. Variety reports:

MOSCOW — A Russian comedy that spoofs the country’s recent string of hit domestic movies broke all box office records to take $19.5 million in its first week on release, distrib Caroprokat said Wednesday.

Very Best Film” (Sammi Luchi Film), which was produced by entertainment TV channel TNT, was released across Russia and surrounding former Soviet territories Jan. 24 on 702 copies and took $16.5 million it is first weekend alone.

The record-breaking average of more than $23,000 a copy marks a new high-tide mark for box office takings in Russia. . . .

The spoof, which pokes fun at such local hits as fantasy thriller “Day Watch” and Afghan war drama “The 9th Company” and was produced in association with popular TNT show “Comedy Club,” has been seen by more than 3.5 million viewers so far.

The film was made on a budget of $5 million and promoted through a $5 million advertising campaign that has put posters on billboards, bus stops, metro stations throughout Russia, in addition to television plugs. . . .

I wonder if films like this get shown to critics over there.