Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home to pirates and giant apes

Not many people like the 1976 remake of King Kong but I love it. So it was while watching a movie recently I instantly recognised a familiar landmark.

When the lifeboats of the Petrox Explorer land on the beach of Skull Island, pretty rescuee Dwan (Jessica Lange) is so taken with the beautiful surroundings (in reality Cathedral Beach, Kauai) she runs off towards the natural stone arch at the end of the beach. Concerned, stowaway wildlife photographer Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges) runs after her, chasing her under the natural stone arch and up the steep rocky hill beyond until the rest of the party catches up.

Much more recently, when Blackbeard (Ian McShane) sends Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) off to find the shortest route to the Fountain of Youth in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Captain Jack pauses to talk to himself. After realising there's nobody to listen to him, Jack continues along the beach towards the very same geological feature, the 90 foot high Honopu Arch.

Famous as a movie location (and closed to the public), the Honopu Valley was also home to scenes in Six Days Seven Nights - which also featured the arch - Honeymoon in Vegas and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

He flies, he loves... He kills.

This isn't the deepest trivia you'll ever read on, but did you know the legendary director behind 1984's The Last Starfighter (legendary if you love the film as much as we do, anyway) also played a very iconic movie character called The Shape?

Who's The Shape, you ask? None other than Michael Myers - not the one who played Austin Powers, but the one who terrorised Haddonfield when he came home one night on Halloween...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kubrick really let this through?

Like every other shot in Stanley Kubrick's moody take on Stephen King's bestselling book, the opening titles of The Shining are grandiose and arresting, preparing you for the slow-moving but chilling mood of the film and giving you a gasp of fresh mountain air before the snows start to close in on the Overlook and make everything feel a lot more claustrophobic.

We follow the yellow VW Beetle owned by the Torrances as Jack (Jack Nicholson), Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and Danny (Danny Lloyd) drive through some stunning Colorado landscapes along open, winding highways running alongside gorgeous shimmering lakes, the edges of knee-trembling drops and towering, cavernous forests of fir trees.

And if you're quick, just a few seconds before the words A Stanley Kubrick Film start rolling up the screen, you can see the shadow of the chopper on the ground that carried the camera crew.

See for yourself.