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Filmism.net Dispatch January 14, 2013

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I might be the only person interested in this, but Dean Devlin is making another disaster movie.

Who, you might ask? Back in the 1990s, he and director Roland Emmerich comprised an event movie production nexus that ushered in the modern idea of a 'big' movie. He was cast in Roland Emmerich's 1990 sci-fi flick Moon 44 before the pair teamed up, Devlin writing Universal Soldier for the director in 1992.

Their next major collaboration, 1994's Stargate, was well received and had enough cult appeal to generate a bunch of straight to video sequels and a TV series years later. But it was the juggernaut of 1996's Independence Day that made them bearers of the event cinema mantle. Who can forget the first time they saw this teaser on a big screen?

Coming on the thrilling cusp of the digital effects era (but with surprisingly more in-camera effects than you'd imagine), today it's regarded as just one of the many cheesy, American flag-waving alien invasion movies, but millions felt its visceral thrill. It was no accident Devlin (who wrote and produced) found himself on the Star Wars DVD extras along with the likes of James Cameron and Steven Spielberg talking about how the legendary space opera shaped him as a fan and artist.

So the news that he's not only involved with but directing a global disaster movie made me prick up my ears.

But I've been talking about Hollywood blockbusters way too much in the Filmism.net Dispatch, so I'd like to take a moment to mention one of my favourites. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was one of the best movie of the 2000s, leaving a studio full of blockbusters in the dust on a sliver of the budget.

Writer Charlie Kaufman and director Michel Gondry haven't worked together since, and while subsequent projects have been interesting, neither Synechdoche, New York (Kaufman) or The Green Hornet (Gondry) have set the world on fire. Kaufman's Frank or Francis is still planned, but there haven't been any details on it in awhile.

Eternal Sunshine has found itself in good company in recent years, alongside other sci-fi movies with nary a ray gun or invading alien in sight, the sublime Never Let Me Go and the heart-wrenching Another Earth. If you haven't seen them, do yourself a favour.

And if you played a videogame in the 1980s, you'll likely love Wreck-It Ralph.

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