Bastard in the Flesh—If you like to support local filmmakers, or if you just have a really sick and twisted sense of humor, I suggest you get down to Burning Paradise Video (800 Central SW) this weekend. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, BP will be hosting a signing party for the new Science Bastard double feature DVD. The DVD includes two short films by local filmmaker Scott Phillips (The Stink of Flesh). “Science Bastard” and its recently completed sequel “Scream, Science Bastard, Scream!” are a pair of twisted superhero parodies that feature such delights as trepanation (look it up), go-go girls and hypnotic porn stars. Chalk this one up as a shameless plug, since your humble Alibi film editor stars as the titular Bastard. (One viewing of the films is more than enough to prove that “shameless” assertion.) Writer/director Scott Phillips will be on hand to absorb your abuse and costar Billy Garberina will be there showing off his sweatpants. Buy a DVD and we promise not to breathe on you.
Having nabbed himself an Oscar for penning 2001's drug war drama Traffic, screenwriter Stephen Gaghan has turned his ambitions up a notch to take on the task of writing and directing the structurally similar ensemble drama Syriana. Shifting his addictive subject matter from drugs to oil, Gaghan uses former CIA case officer Robert Baer's nonfiction book See No Evil as loose source material, spinning off a complex, interwoven set of (fictional) narratives that highlight various elements of today's international oil-based economy.
There are times when remaking a classic Hollywood film is appropriate, and there are times when it is not. The intentions of the filmmakers are important. The degree to which the original is beloved is important. The amount of time that has passed between original and remake factors into it. In the end, though, history judges by the final product. For example, producer Dino De Laurentiis' silly 1976 remake of King Kong is pretty much an example of how not to do a remake. But, with the bad version out of the way, there's room for a good one.
Long before Jar-Jar Binks took his first pratfall into a pile of poop, there was another disturbing tremor in the Force, like a million Star Wars fans crying out in anger and frustration.
“Giganto: The Real King Kong” (History 7 p.m.) Desperate to find some way of glomming on to this season's biggest movie blockbuster, History Channel digs up a documentary on the prehistoric ape Gigantopithecus.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (KOAT-7 7 p.m.) Because once is never enough.