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January 2006

January 2006: Phoenix



  • EMG News:
    January 2006
  • Wombat Droppings:
    Poking the Gravid Chicken
  • Healthy Green Artists:
    Artmakers as Friends of the Earth
  • Behind the Art:
    Fighting Artist Blocks with Brainstorming and Thumbnails
  • Cosplay101:
    An Introduction to Cosplay Costuming
  • Myths and Symbols:
    The Two-Headed Phoenix


  • Rising From the Ashes
  • Online Marketing Part I


  • Critique Corner: Phoenix
  • PA Spotlight: Crackle character from Camilla Grow


  • Movie: Aeon Flux
  • Movie: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
  • Movie: The Fog
  • Movie: Ringers: Lord of the Fans

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  • The Fog
    Movie Review
    by Andrea Tan

    Genre: Horror, drama, mystery, thriller
    Director: Rupert Wainwright
    Language: English
    Cast: Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, DeRay Davis, Kenneth Welsh, Adrian Hough, Sara Botsford, Cole Heppell, Jonathon Young, R. Nelson Brown

    Forgive the pun, but my memory was rather "foggy" about the 1980 production of The Fog, a Jamie Lee Curtis-and-Janet Leigh-starrer, written and directed by John Carpenter. I was much younger when I saw it. Though the movie wasn't so scary, I admit it was creepy in a way -- especially on foggy mornings (and the Malaysia haze season) -- that makes one ponder "what if" on the possibility of the unknown lurking within.

    Due to this vague memory, I will not attempt to make comparison between the original and the remake version. It wouldn't be fair.

    The 2005 remake by director Rupert Wainwright Carpenter now takes the role of producer) follows almost exactly to its original. Set in a quaint seaside town of Antonio Bay, the story flows back and forth between present day and the olden days of the town's founding fathers.

    Descendants of the founding fathers, most still living in the town, are preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary -- though not all of them are exactly thrilled about it, namely Nick Castle (Tom Welling) and Elizabeth Williams (Maggie Grace). One would figure how ungrateful these younger generation who have no respect when it comes to their roots. But as the story moves along and more of the past is revealed, the townsfolk realize a little too late that their home was built on lies.

    A mysterious thick fog suddenly engulfs the town from the sea, leaving a trail of dead bodies at its wake. Little do the townsfolk know that ghostly entities lurk within the menacing fog, all seeking revenge for sins of the past.

    The film's entirety saw people escaping the fog and the peril it brings, and Elizabeth's attempts to piece together the puzzle of the founding fathers' secret past. Though I like the fog concept in this simple ghost tale, the remake didn't quite make an impact. Scary, it is not.

    With the improved effects (as compared to the late 70s when Carpenter filmed the original), the audience -- especially those who have been spoiled with so many Hollywood and Asian horrors the past years -- would expect a better remake. Unfortunately this is not the case. Sorry to say, the story is nonsensical and tries a little too hard to be dramatic.

    The casting was pretty, though. There's the beautiful Selma Blair portraying the lighthouse radio DJ Stevie Wayne, and TV's familiar faces like Welling ('Smallville') and Grace ('Lost'). When you have beautiful people in the story, what do you do with them? Easy. Put them together in a sensual shower scene.

    I was surprised that the Malaysian censorship board didn't snip off this sexy scene between Welling and Grace. It was a useless scene, after all, but not that I'm complaining this time since this was the only memorable part of the film. After that, 'The Fog' just gets everyone watching so lost in its story that no one would bother checking if there's any sense lurking within it.

    Andrea Tan is a writer living in Malaysia. She and her dog have a love-hate relationship.

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