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Over on the SomethingAwful forums, a poster named Ben Solo has unearthed a 16mm workprint of notorious shlock film Manos: The Hands of Fate (for those of you who don’t speak Spanish, that translates as “Hands: The Hands of Fate”). The film is most well-known at this point for its exposure on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its perpetual placement towards the “top” of IMDb’s bottom 100 list, but some shots of individual frames of film taken by Ben reveal something that is surprisingly beautiful-looking after coming to know it through VHS and television broadcasts of exceedingly poor quality.

With that in mind, Ben has taken it upon himself to give the film a proper restoration, and to try his hand at releasing the film on blu-ray. Since it’s in the public domain, there are no legal roadblocks, and given its status as a cult classic, this could prove to be a surprise hit. Somebody should definitely get ahold of Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson in the meantime, in order to get this the exposure it deserves.

As a certifiable Scorsese fanboy, I’ve been waiting to hear what he had lined up after Hugo. Turns out his next film will be an adaptation of a Norwegian crime novel, The Snowman, by author Jo Nesbo. The story involves a hard-living, hard-drinking detective, Harry Hole, who hunts a serial killer who leaves a snowman in the yards of his next victim. Though Scorsese is no stranger to gritty crime films, it sounds like the film will be more David Fincher than Michael Mann. Given Scorsese’s recent predilection for genre-hopping, it comes as no surprise.

This announcement once again relegates Silence, the novel by Japanese author Shusaka Endo, to the backburner. The project was slated to be made after The Departed, but was set aside in favor of Shutter Island and Hugo. The story, which involves two Christian missionaries in Japan, seems right up Scorsese’s alley, and he’s been planning on adapting it for years, finally announcing his intentions in 2007. Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro were attached, but given the silence (sorry) surrounding the project, it’s a mystery whether they’re still on board.

For the ninth time, that is.

After last year’s fiasco of a performance by James Franco – who would have thought that ironic detachment isn’t a desired quality in an awards show host? – and the recent dropout by Eddie Murphy, the Academy was likely eager to seek out the safest possible choice. And while Crystal drips charisma and embodies a family-friendly schtick (pharmacy jokes, ho-ho!), it would’ve been nice to see Murphy in the spotlight, primed for a comeback with the late praise of his performance in Tower Heist. Hell, there are a million different directions the Academy could have gone. One of the many good late night hosts, a repeat performance from Jon Stewart (who I thought did great) – or Colbert, in character, which would’ve been fantastic – or even relatively new blood like the multi-talented Donald Glover. So while Crystal is likely to be enjoyable, it’s also pretty easy to envision a night of bland comforts. Which, really, is what the Academy defines itself by. I wasn’t even 2 when GoodFellas lost to Dances with Wolves but I’d like to think I was still somehow aware and pissed off.

There’s an extensive thread on SomethingAwful.com’s movie forum, Cinema Discusso, about the Alien film series, one of my favorites. One poster mentioned that looking at the very brief sequence where John Hurt’s character is attacked by the alien egg frame-by-frame was very revealing, showing us a point-of-view look at the creature attaching itself to Hurt’s face. So, being bored and a complete whore for Alien in general, I diligently snapped each frame using my amateur software skills and hosted them online. Check it out, it’s pretty interesting (and gross):

http://imgur.com/a/7Etal/facehugger

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