New Fan Edit – Godzilla: Resurrection

The time has come, folks! Time for me to embark on my own fan edit!

For my first project, I’ll be tackling a fanmix of The Return of Godzilla and its Americanized recut, Godzilla 1985. While the original Japanese version of the film is still the definitive one, I’ve always held a soft spot in my heart for Raymond Burr’s scenes in 1985, and had always wondered what the final film would have been like had he been present in the Japanese cut.

This re-edit seeks to accomplish just that, while also streamlining the slower pacing of the original cut with suggestions from 1985 to combine the best of both worlds. The film will still be highly critical of both the United States and the Soviet Union, and will work to marginalize the more humorous aspects of the added Pentagon scenes. Finally, this cut will feature a brand new opening to the film, one that seeks to definitely tie the new Godzilla to the original beast in an eerie and unforgettable way.

To read more about the project, please visit my official page on it here, and keep your eyes peeled for a trailer on YouTube and Vimeo, coming soon. Until then, enjoy my custom poster!

Godzilla Resurrection - Coming Soon Poster

Godzilla: Resurrection will be available for viewing and download this fall.

New Video Series: Short Fan Edits

Hey there, true believers!

I have just launched a new video series on my YouTube and Vimeo channels, Short Fan Edits! Sometimes I feel the need to restructure just small portions of my favorite films; while the piece at large is fine just the way it is, perhaps one scene or two could be changed, either for the benefit of the narrative or just because it’s fun. This is the aim of Short Fan Edits. Each video will be a small sliver of a full fan edit, in many cases, probably the only change I would make to the film.

The first installment is my version of the deleted “bank robbery” scene of Escape from New York, placed before the opening credits to create a more natural flow. Check back on my channel, Temporal Productions, on YouTube and Vimeo for more!

Maestro’s Marathons: Star Wars Day 2017

maestrosmarathons

Rejoice, fellow denizens of that galaxy far, far away! Star Wars Day is once again upon us!

A now-recognized official fandom day by Twentieth Century Fox, Star Wars Day originally began as little more than a pun, “May the 4th be with you.” As these things tend to, it quickly spiralled out of control, becoming a day when Jedi and Sith, Rebels and Imperials alike celebrate perhaps the greatest cinematic saga of all time. This year, however, holds special significance, as it is the 40th anniversary of the original Star Wars film, and of the saga itself!

And so, in anticipation of this glorious day, I’ve prepared a special marathon for you all, revolving around the original 1977 film and its era in keeping with the 40th anniversary. Keep in mind, many of these suggested viewings are fan edits and preservations, so it will take some online hunting to acquire them. But don’t be discouraged, as it isn’t that hard of a feat to accomplish. After all, if Luke could blow up the Death Star…

Star Wars Begins: A Filmumentary by Jamie Benning
Beginning the marathon (pun intended) is one of Jamie Benning’s excellent ‘filmumentaries.’ What is a filmumentary? According to Benning himself, it is a format in which a “viewer can watch a film whilst additional material appears on screen including: deleted scenes, alternate takes, on set audio, text facts and information, audio commentary from cast and crew etc.” Far from being a rehash of previous Star Wars documentaries, Star Wars Begins includes such rare material as bloopers, an alternate opening crawl style, previously unreleased on-set video, in all a truly unique experience in behind-the-scenes archives, playing very much like a branching video commentary to the film.

How to get it: Simply visit Jamie Benning’s channel on Vimeo and watch away!

Star Wars: Puggo Grande


puggograndeposter
Once you’ve finished expanding your behind-the-scenes knowledge, it’s time for sheer entertainment! But since this is a special Star Wars day, we have to do something different. My recommendation is the Puggo Grande, a homemade preservation of two 16mm prints of the original Star Wars film. “Puggo,” already well known in Star Wars fandom circles for his preservations of two 8mm condensed prints, was able to acquire two 16mm prints, an American print most likely struck for educational purposes, and a Swedish print which he used for the audio and several shots during the Trench run, which were too damaged to recover from the American print. Scratchy and dirty, this version is nonetheless extremely charming to watch, and includes some little key differences in audio from most commonly available versions. I like to imagine myself in a grindhouse theater, or a library screening room whenever I watch it. Pure, cinematic magic.

How to get it: This one is a little tougher, as it is only available as a DVD disc image, meaning you will have to burn it to a disc. To find it, you will have to search through downloads, mostly torrent sites.

Decision Time! Let’s inject a little variety into the proceedings. Once Puggo Grande reels off the projector (cheesy, ain’t I?), pick any one of the other main saga Star Wars films. My pick:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I’m going with The Force Awakens, due to its narrative and spiritual similarities to A New Hope, and because, well, Rey is just about one of the best things to happen to Star Wars in ages. It also works as a great metric to see just how much has changed since 1977. Other than this one, I would usually go for either Empire or Jedi, but hey, I won’t diss the prequels today. There’s plenty of room for even them on Star Wars Day, plus, now that I think of it, Revenge of the Sith might be another good choice. The birth of Vader leading into the first introduction of Vader….Gah, I can’t decide! You could even really change it up by remembering that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is hitting theaters soon, and throwing in the first Guardians. Sure, it isn’t Star Wars, but it comes pretty close to being the Marvel remix of it, so why not?

How to get it: Uh…own them.

Decision time again! Your choices are:

The Star Wars Holiday Special
Image result for star wars holiday specialReleased on primetime television during the Christmas season of 1978, the Star Wars Holiday Special is quite the anomaly, seeming more an excuse to broadcast Bea Arthur and Art Carney skits than to advance the world of Star Wars. However, being the first “official” spinoff and hailing from the early era of the franchise, it makes sense to see what all the hubbub’s about. Just be warned; it’s as zany a Star Wars experience as you’ll ever find, with half of the cast appearing high as a kite, loads of reused visual effects shots, a plotline that more follows Chewbacca’s weird (and frankly creepy) family, and Carrie Fisher singing. Yes, she sings. No, it isn’t wonderful. Come to think of it, this one would be a hell of a basis for a drinking game. Note to self….

How to get it: It’s actually available on YouTube!

or

Star Wars: Droids


Star Wars Droids.jpg
If the Holiday Special is too crazy for your blood, then I suggest you try out a few episodes of the Droids animated series from 1985. Acting as a loose prequel to A New Hope, Droids depicts the early adventures of C-3P0 and R2-D2, that most lovable robotic duo of the galaxy, as they navigate the treacherous new Empire, and serve several different masters. Some noteworthy episodes to consider include “A Race to the Finish,” which features Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett, and the Roon arc of episodes that finishes the series.

How to get it: The entire 15-episode run is readily available on YouTube.

Double Feature:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / Star Wars
Star Wars Day 2017


Close out Star Wars Day 2017 with a truly epic double feature: Rogue One, and the original 1977 version of Star Wars! Click here to check it out in full.

How to get it: For Rogue One, go out and buy it!
If you don’t own or wish to use a VHS copy of Star Wars to view the original version (since it is unavailable officially on DVD or Blu-ray), I would suggest tracking down either Harmy’s Despecialized Edition, an HD reconstruction of the original theatrical version, or Team Negative-1’s Silver Screen Edition, a preservation of a real, 35mm print of the original cut. The Silver Screen Edition will be the harder one to acquire, as it is only available as a disc image that one must burn to a BD. Harmy’s Despecialized is available in several different packages; refer to this guide to acquire one.

And that would be a wrap! Now, of course, these are only suggestions, feel free to mix and match or go against the grain. Even if you cannot acquire some of the fan preservations here such as Puggo Grande or the Despecialized Edition, that’s okay. Star Wars even at its lowest point is still Star Wars. So enjoy the day, and May the Force Be With You!

Maestro’s Picks – April 5, 2017

How goes it, readers and cinephiles?

I’d like to take a moment to first announce some upcoming additions to the blog. As you can see, I’ve already been at work sprucing up the appearance, with a new background and banner. The remodeling will continue throughout the month. I will also be starting several new columns:
Casting Calls: Focusing on both upcoming projects and my own, hypothetical films and    TV series that I would love to see, Casting Calls will feature my own picks for the main
parts as well as the chief creative teams.
Fan Edits: a discussion of fan-made cuts of existing films. I will discuss the community      past-time in my first post, and then move on to reviews of fan edits and news on
editing projects of my own
Weirdo Cinema: a celebration of some of the strangest little gems of cinema.
Maestro’s Double-Bill Drive-In: the flipside of Maestro’s Marathons, Drive-In will
suggest double features for your viewing pleasure, complete with trailer choices and
custom-made posters.

In my review of Beauty and the Beast, I noted that Disney was definitely going to be continuing their live-action remake series for the forseeable future, good or bad. Well, Disney’s latest press release has confirmed that as many as 17 films will be released over the next 10 years, including:

  • Mulan, to be released November 2, 2018
  • The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau
  • Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton
  • The Sword in the Stone, written by Bryan Cogman
  • Prince Charming, Disney’s first “Prince” film
  • Aladdin, plus a prequel centering around the Genie known as Genies
  • Cruella, a prequel to 101 Dalmatians revolving around the titular villain
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Peter Pan, along with a Tinker Bell spinoff called Tink
  • Pinocchio
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and a spinoff concerning Snow White’s sister called Rose Red
  • The Little Mermaid
  • James and the Giant Peach

Whew. That was a lot to type, even more to fathom. It seems Disney might be overstretching itself, maybe? I certainly think so. It’s already incredible that they are going to try and push all of these remakes in a decade, but it’s even worse with some of their choices. Peter Pan has already had so many different live action adaptations done recently that most have become box office failures, and there’s already enough Tinker Bell. Ask any parent with Netflix–they’ll tell you. Probably my least anticipated of these are James and the Giant Peach and Aladdin. The latter will be especially difficult to stomach without Robin Williams; there is no replacing him. Period.

The Sword in the Stone on the other hand, that sounds promising.

While Marvel and DC carve out their respective corners of the superhero subgenre, poor Image comics still has yet to get back in the game after the 90s film Spawn. And while there are rumblings of a reboot in the works, it seems another Image work might be coming to the big screen: Invincible. Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, the writer-director duo behind This Is The End and The Interview, have signed to adapt the superhero comic written by The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman. Invincible is a comic I’ve long-wanted to see as a film, so I am hopeful. It won’t be easy, however: in addition to displaying Kirkman’s sense of dark humor, the comic is increasingly violent and bloody. Think Superman, Spider-Man, and Dragon Ball Z all rolled into one, with the violence level of the original RoboCop film. Best of luck to you, Rogan and Goldberg!

We have yet to see a trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but the rumors are that it will drop sometime next week. Until then, there are more rumors on who Benicio Del Toro is playing. The word is that his character is called D.J., and he’ll be a slimy criminal from a casino planet known as Canto Blight. Make of that what you will.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released December 15 of this year.

Any fans of the sci-fi novel Dune? I am one, and when I heard that Arrival and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve had become attached to direct, I was stoked. Now, Variety reports that Eric Roth, writer of Forrest Gump, has signed on to craft the screenplay. It’s coming together, folks!

We are now only a little over a month away from Alien: Covenant, and the marketing is kicking it up a notch. Last year, Fox designated an official ‘Alien Day,’ a special fan event which included exclusive merchandise releases and theatrical screenings of Alien and Aliens, provided by the Alamo Drafthouse. This year’s Alien Day will be even bigger, with a new official website already having been launched, complete with info on the event and a simulation of the Mother computer from the original film! It seems if you input the right information, you might be treated to some secrets….

Best of all, the new Alien Day will again include screenings, this time expanded to include Regal RPX locations. The films: Alien and Prometheus. Anybody planning on going?

I feel this is the perfect time to announce: I am planning my own Alien celebration here at the Movie Maestro for the week of May 15-21. Now that Alien Day is upon us, I will get something up that day, but my main ‘Alien Week’ will remain unchanged, and will feature reviews of all the franchise’s films, a special Casting Call, a few Fan Edit reviews, and a themed Double Feature. Hope to see you all then!

Catch you on the flip side!