Rodriguez remakes "Fire & Ice"

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Y’know what’s great about reporting on Robert Rodriguez movies? If you’re seeing SOMETHING visual from it, you know that about 70% of the movie is already done, locked-in and ready-to-go on a thumb-drive in Rodriguez green-screen-studio/garage. ALSO: That when he calls stuff like the image above “concept art,” he means “this is ACTUALLY what it will look like.”

In any case, one of RR’s 5 to 10 currently in-production projects is a live-action remake of “Fire & Ice;” a swords n’ sorcery animated feature from the 80s. It’s LEGENDARY among the relatively small number of young kids who rented it expecting something on the lines of He-Man and instead got 90 minutes of lovingly-rendered brutality, beheadings and barely-contained cartoon-cleavage (anime hadn’t really “happened” in the U.S. yet) but today mostly remembered for being a collaboration between cartoon-renegade Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta, the guy who pretty-much invented modern fantasy-art…

Yes, young animation-students in the audience: Those are hand-painted cels rotoscoped frame-by-frame off of live-action actors – keep that in mind the next time Flash makes your wrist hurt a little bit. And as a cel-animation-era attempts at making Frazetta’s signature style “move” go it’s pretty damn gorgeous; but as a narrative it’s largely reflective of the kind of stock high-fantasy schlock his work tended to appear on the cover of – arch, overwrought and sort of forgettable, though the astonishingly politically-incorrect mincing/woman-hating/momma’s-boy gay villain is good for a laugh.

I’m pretty psyched for this. Rodriguez is a Frazetta fanatic, and he’s been trying to make a movie in that style for a long time (he almost made the new “Red Sonja.”) He has his flaws as a filmmaker; but no one in the business is better at turning “unworkable” visual styles into moving images and, as a bonus, his knowingly-juvenile blood-n-boobs-by-the-bucket sensibilities is a perfect fit for the material. Much as I love the more “subtle” fantasy aesthetic of the LOTR films and their descedants… yeah, I’m soooo ready for the return of gore-slathered broadswords and amazons in bronze lingerie. And given how inhumanly shitty the new “Conan” continues to look, I welcome this sucker openly.

The original, incidentally, was put out on a REALLY good DVD set from Blue Underground awhile back that also included the excellent Frazetta biopic “Painting With Fire” (a must-see for aspiring artists) as a bonus feature. Worth picking up if you can find it around.

13 thoughts on “Rodriguez remakes "Fire & Ice"

  1. Arturo says:

    I hear that Rodriguez also wants to make Machete sequels (“Kills” and “Kills Again”), and he half-jokingly(?) said the third one will be a space opera.
    However, he says that if he wants to make another Sin City, he needs to get on with that right now.

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  2. Chris Cesarano says:

    Fascinating. The art looks pretty much exactly as it did for Bakshi's 70's Lord of the Rings animated feature film. Some scenes were actually done better than Peter Jackson's version (and, in truth, I wish he had taken some hints from).

    I'll see if it is on Netflix Instant.

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  3. Cartogriffi says:

    I think that first image may require close examination.

    I once heard someone say that rather than watch Fire & Ice it would be better to get a book of Frazetta paintings: the art is just as good and you'll enjoy the dialogue more. However a remake, especially with Rodriguez at the helm, sounds great.

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  4. Sarge says:

    I have a serious question. I hate to harp on this, but has Bob ever commented on a woman in a capacity beyond how physically attractive he finds her? Has he ever analyzed her acting without implying that how hot she is isn't more important?

    Is there ONE fucking example of this?

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  5. Chris Cesarano says:

    Technically the Twilight reviews, but part of that has to do with a seething hatred for abstinence-only education.

    MovieBob is very much a geek, and that's one aspect of himself he wears on his sleeve: he loves hot chicks.

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  6. Sarge says:

    Black Swan? You mean that time the entire goddamn review was Bob talking about the lesbian sex scene? You mean the part where they show Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis making out and set it to a chorus of “Hallelujah?”

    “What's wrong with saying that a super hot sex scene is a reason to go see a movie?” Nobody. People were just criticizing people who acted like it was the only important part of the movie. You know: critics who spent 90% of their reviews talking about that scene and audience's reactions to it.

    I thought he was supposed to hate Frat-Boy mentality, not embody it.

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