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Author Topic: Films with gimmicks
Damian
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by 1crazybob:
Does anyone remember Comin' at Ya! ?

NOBODY seems to remember it. It was 1981, and I was 12 at the time, so I hope I have described it correctly.

I remember seeing it. It has become a bit of an ongoing joke in my family. Any movie that forgoes a decent script or quality acting and just relies on a gimmick is known as a "Coming at ya".

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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
Carol of the Dells


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Sorry if these have been mentioned:

In Ghostworld there is something green in every shot. At one point, Enid is actually wearing green lipstick.

Similarly, in the remake of The Pink Panther the make-up artist who worked on Beyonce (sp?) had her wearing some type of pink make-up (blush, eyeshadow, nailpolish) in every scene.

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crazybob
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Damian:
quote:
Originally posted by 1crazybob:
Does anyone remember Comin' at Ya! ?

NOBODY seems to remember it. It was 1981, and I was 12 at the time, so I hope I have described it correctly.

I remember seeing it. It has become a bit of an ongoing joke in my family. Any movie that forgoes a decent script or quality acting and just relies on a gimmick is known as a "Coming at ya".
Thanks. I almost thought I imagined it.

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loki7
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I liked how, in Gosford Park, Robert Altman had all the actors wearing mikes. It created a beautiful layered sound in which you could listen to the backgroung conversations. Also there was at least one servant in each scene.

It seems this sound set up is used by Altman in several films, beginning with A Wedding.

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Loyhargil
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Ahriman:
MOON CHILD as far as I know the only organised crime
and Vampire movie combined, and it was done as a culmination of a series of Albums by one of he leads. It also starred two of the biggest musical stars in Japan.

Probably a very different movie, but another that combined vampires with organized crime is "Innocent Blood." It starred Anne Parillaud (from La Femme Nikita) as a vampire who, if I recall correctly, only killed criminals. Among her attacks was an organized crime boss played by Robert Loggia. Only he survived her attack, "crossed over," and proceeded to bring his cronies over, too, so they'd be a massive unstoppable crime organization. Don Rickles was also in it.

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robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Loyhargil:
Probably a very different movie, but another that combined vampires with organized crime is "Innocent Blood." It starred Anne Parillaud (from La Femme Nikita) as a vampire who, if I recall correctly, only killed criminals.

You do, in fact, recall correctly. [Smile] That was a pretty good movie, I thought.

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Santa Mari-a
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I thought of another: the 1967 Wait Until Dark. There was nothing unusual stylistically about the film itself, but during the last 20 minutes or so, the movie theater was darkened to the legal limit to heighten the terror of the climax, which took place in an almost totally darkened apartment.

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Radical Dory
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Okay, I just saw a brilliant one this weekend. I went to see the Student Academy Awards at NCSA this weekend, and one of the films was "Knock Knock."

It's hard to describe, but basically there is a split screen. The one on the left runs a split second ahead of the one on the right. So, when something is said on the left, it's immediately repeated on the right.

Got that? Okay, here's the fun part. All of the dialogue is made up of words that are repeated. For example, the characters in the film are "J.J.", "Lulu", and "Zsa Zsa." But, the word is only said once. So, when a character says "Bora" on the left half of the screen, it repeats a second later on the right half, and comes out as "Bora Bora."

Sounds strange, but was actually very clever and funny. It was definitely one of my favorites.

Here's an article on the awards, including a teeny bit about "Knock Knock."

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Kahdra
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Mari the Snowperson:
I thought of another: the 1967 Wait Until Dark.

That was the scariest movie I've ever seen. How am supposed to turn off the lights and go to bed now?

Apologies for the hijack.

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Duck 182
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I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the movie that the Monkees made, called Head. Mainly that they didn't show any movie credits or even the film's title until the end of the show.
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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Kahdra:
quote:
Originally posted by Mari the Snowperson:
I thought of another: the 1967 Wait Until Dark.

That was the scariest movie I've ever seen.
Hell of a good film. Who knew Alan Arkin could be terrifying?

When my husband and I watched it on TCM I turned off all the lights in the apartment and forbade him to put any on unless it was an emergency.

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Lady Moon
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Oh I LOVE 'Wait Until Dark'! That's one of my all-time favourites!

And I thought "Head"'s biggest gimmick was it was non-linear and made no sense!

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faceless007
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I thought about Wait Until Dark, but after thinking about it for a while, I wasn't sure it had a real storytelling or visual "gimmick" that fits into this thread. True, the protagonist is blind, but that isn't in and of itself a gimmick. And the climax, while terrifying, is essentially just a trapped woman in a locked room, which is almost a staple of horror movies (but rarely done as well as Wait Until Dark). Her blindness might add to the tension, but it doesn't make the scene really unconventional the way a true gimmick would.
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Binxi
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Xia:
quote:
Originally posted by Damian:
There was a movie a few years ago called "Run, Lola, Run" which was filmed in real time.

I was going to mention Run Lola Run not for that reason but because of how it repeated the same 20 minutes of "real time" over three times, with slight differences happening each time that change not only her own outcome but that of the people she comes in contact with.
Run Lola Run is one of my favourite movies! I love the way that each time the story is told, she 'remembers' what happened last time and changes her actions accordingly. Can't think of an example at this moment but will try to remember and add later.
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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by faceless007:
I thought about Wait Until Dark, but after thinking about it for a while, I wasn't sure it had a real storytelling or visual "gimmick" that fits into this thread.

I guess we're also getting a bit confused as to whether a gimmick is intrinsic to the film or not. Odorama is not *quite* intrinsic, though you'll still see the numeric cues for the card on the film, but do William Castle in-theatre gimmicks like Percepto (the joy-buzzers-in-seat biz for The Tingler) or Emergo (running a skeleton on a wire track in the theatre for the original House on Haunted Hill) count as part of the original poster's question?
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TheBobo
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The Blair Witch Project has an interesting gimmick: Virtually the entire movie is filmed by the actors themselves.

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MissEltoe
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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***slight hijack***
Wait Until Dark was excellent!!!!!!!!!
I never thought I could be so intrigued by an "old" movie like that....
I remember watching it early one morning around like 7 a.m. when I couldn't sleep, and my boyfriend was snoring like crazy.
(I also am nerdy because I was slightly excited by the fact that they mention Asbury Park, which is close by where I live.)

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Illuminatus
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by TheBobo:
The Blair Witch Project has an interesting gimmick: Virtually the entire movie is filmed by the actors themselves.

It goes further: reportedly the directors only gave the actors bare minimums of direction (ie: "You lost the map") and let them adlib the majority of the dialogue.

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Clarkone68
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Actually those movies were rip-offs of Kurosawa's films Yojimbo and Sanjuro, from what I've heard. I've never seen the Eastwood movies.
Yes, but wasn't Mifune's character named Sanjuro? And, didn't Kurosawa "rip-off" John Ford?

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Brad from Georgia
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I feel as though I should be confessing this to a priest, but in my younger, carefree days, I actually went to see The Green Slime in a theater...and they were selling cups of "green slime" (a concoction compounded of lemon-lime soda and some kind of geloid substance, curiously like icy mucus), and God forgive me...I drank one!

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Spikey
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Ahriman:
MOON CHILD as far as I know the only organised crime and Vampire movie combined

What about From Dusk Till Dawn?

As imdb says,
quote:
Two Desperado-type brothers and career criminals take a preacher and his two teenage stepchildren hostage and flee to Mexico where they end up at a local strip bar which is populated by vampires.


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Tantei Kijo
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Clarkone68:
quote:
Actually those movies were rip-offs of Kurosawa's films Yojimbo and Sanjuro, from what I've heard. I've never seen the Eastwood movies.
Yes, but wasn't Mifune's character named Sanjuro? And, didn't Kurosawa "rip-off" John Ford?
Yes, Mifune's character in Yojimbo and its sequel, Sanjuro, called himself Sanjuro (though, if I remember correctly he makes up the name on the spot).


I suppose films based heavily on cameos like Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World wouldn't be considered an elemental gimmick?

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Ratboy
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Clarkone68:
quote:
Actually those movies were rip-offs of Kurosawa's films Yojimbo and Sanjuro, from what I've heard. I've never seen the Eastwood movies.
Yes, but wasn't Mifune's character named Sanjuro? And, didn't Kurosawa "rip-off" John Ford?
I definitely wouldn't say that Kurosawa did John Ford rip-offs. Leone took Kurosawa's story (which he had adapted from a Dashiell Hammett novel for Yojimbo) and just changed the setting to make it a Western. Kurosawa only took stylistic inspiration (picture composition, etc.) from John Ford's movies.
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Sister Ray
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by A Guy Named Goo:
quote:
Originally posted by DrFraud:
The Creeping Terror (which features a laughably-bad "alien menace" that looks much like a giant oven mitt) has only two or three lines of spoken dialogue. For the rest of the film, a narrator does a running commentary while the actors go through their paces.

And then, of course, there's The Crying Game, with its transvestite main character.

I am rather ashamed of people lately when I say someone "pulled a Crying Game" and no one gets it. Seriously, where's the love for the classics?

What's worse is when people hear this, but forget it's in the middle of the movie, changing it from a IRA terrorist film to a strange love story. I've seen the movie tons of times (there are only a few movies I love, and that's one of them) and wonder why they forget there was at least 45 minutes of film after the "suprise".

The entire cast of "The Others", except at the very end, are all dead. I won't go into my dirtrabe here where I explain how this makes sense in "The Others" but not "The Sixth Sense".

Sister "long winded" Ray

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faceless007
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I'm not sure which is worse--that this film hasn't shown up in the thread after five pages, or that I somehow forgot about it while reading this thread.

IMO, one of the cleverest gimmicks ever put to screen was Adaptation, a film ostensibly about the arduous process of adapting a very literary novel into a movie, and the agony of the screenwriter who tries to do it. But that's only part of the story; there's also the story of the novel itself, and the personal troubles of the writer, and the idea of the writer incorporating his own story into the screenplay, and the film layers all these themes together sort of like a self-referential Mobius strip. The whole third act of the film makes almost no sense on a literal level, but in a weird way, it actually makes perfect sense, given what the film is actually about.

And the film has another level to it when you find out that its premise is real: screenwriter Charlie Kaufman was really hired to adapt The Orchid Thief, and found that he just couldn't do it. So he wrote Adaptation instead, which is about his struggles to adapt the novel. And in the movie, his character decides to do exactly that.

It's hard to describe the gimmick of Adaptation simply, but believe me that it's there.

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christmas tree kitapper
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Mel Brooks's Silent Movie?

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Johnny Slick
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There was a movie that came out earlier this year called "Yes" that was written entirely in rhyming couplets. Surprisingly, you get used to it and it's not really off-putting at all. In fact, the form appears to free the director into delivering a longish monologue on germs that, because of the iambic pentameter, absolutely soars. I'm not kidding. This is the kind of movie that makes you feel smart while you're watching it.

Guy Maddin is really big on making films using old-style film stock and sound techniques. "The Saddest Music In The World" is a great example of this. It's set in the 30s, and the production makes it feel as though it was actually made during that time even though it's got Isabella Rosellini and that guy from Kids in the Hall in it.

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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Kind Hearts and Coronets where Sir Alec Guinness played all 7 (8?) heirs standing between the narrator and the fortune.

ki"I shot an arrow into the air/she fell to earth in Berkeley Square"tap

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Damian
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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"Dead on Arrival" starring Dennis Quaid sees the main character poisoned in the opening scene. He has 24 hours to live. He uses this time to solve his own murder.

"Frequency", also starring DQ, has a father in 1969 talking to his son in 1999 using a ham radio. How they do this is "explained" in the movie. They team up to solve some murders.

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KingDavid8
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Sorry if this has been mentioned, but "Nick Of Time" with Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken, was told in real time. I know a few already-mentioned movies have done this, also, but it is one I haven't seen mentioned yet. Also, "Phone Booth" is done in real time for the most part, except for a few flashbacks and a bit near the end where it jumps forward.

David

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pob14
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How about Chamber of Horrors, with its "Fear Flasher" and "Horror Horn" at the "Four Supreme Fright Points"?

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NeeCD
Happy Holly Days


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I haven't seen this one mentioned, but I think it complies with the topic: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It was made completely on a stage with a green-screen with the only actual props being things that the actors had to touch. Everything else was then inserted via computer. It created a certain tone and texture to the movie that, to me at least, was very unique.

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Eve MG
Happy Holly Days


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He Said, She Said shows the same story twice: once from the male lead's point of view, and once from the female's. There are two directors, one male and one female, and IIRC, they each directed half the movie.

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Dear Babby
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quote:
Originally posted by MovieGuy:
I've never seen it, but Woody Allen's "Melinda and Melinda" sounds rather gimmicky. It tells the same story with the same actors and all but one version is as a comedy and the other as a drama. Again since I haven't seen it, i don't know if the stories run parrallel or if one plays and then the next.

That was my understanding too until seeing this film recently. The gimmick was a little different. In the two stories, only the main character and the set-up is the same--"woman in distress arrives uninvited to a Manhattan dinner party". The two stories each play a little at a time and share some elements but they happen in different ways. The only actor/character in common is the lead, Melinda, and luckily she has a different hairdo in each story so you can keep track more easily. I found the movie fairly enjoyable but think it would have been a better gimmick if it was the way described above.
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Clarkone68
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
I definitely wouldn't say that Kurosawa did John Ford rip-offs. Leone took Kurosawa's story (which he had adapted from a Dashiell Hammett novel for Yojimbo) and just changed the setting to make it a Western. Kurosawa only took stylistic inspiration (picture composition, etc.) from John Ford's movies.
I know, it was a joke in reference to Leone ripping of Kurosawa. Would you call The Magnificent Seven a rip-off?

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"This site also demonstrates one of the great dangers of archeology, not to life and limb, although that does sometimes take place, I'm talking about folklore."

Posts: 40 | From: VA | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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