Welcome back science fiction fans!
On February 11, 2012, we were treated to a wonderful new movie of the week, Jules Verne Mysterious Island produced by “K2 Pictures” from the classic 1874 novel.
In our “Mysterious Island” pre-review we discussed a wormhole time warp theme that proved to be very popular with the fans of the science fiction genre garnering over 2.4 million viewers on Syfy the evening it aired.
This healthy show of support proved that “Mysterious Island” was a destination of choice for many science fiction fans. Therefore we offer sincere congratulations to the entire cast and crew as well as the creators at K2 Pictures and Leverage Entertainment for a job well done on the Jules Verne classic!
This accomplishment is even more amazing when one considers that the 120 million dollar “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” (distributed by Warner Brothers) took in $27.3 million at the box office in the United States over the same weekend. Factoring in the average ticket price for movies these days, more people actually tuned in to watch “Jules Verne Mysterious Island” than attended the big screen rival last weekend in the Unites States!
As we have commented on previously, this reviewer finds that remakes of movies and television programs can be a wonderful entertainment phenomenon providing a good way for viewers to see many of their favorite actors, while crews and craft persons are employed bringing joy to the fans of dramatic, mystery and science fiction productions.
If presented in a thoughtful manner, a remake, even lower budget productions like Mysterious Island are most enjoyable.
Mysterious Island was produced by George M. Kostuch of K2 Pictures in association with Leverage Entertainment and shot on location in the United States. In the opinion of this reviewer, one of the many secrets of success for such a creation is the “chemistry” of the cast. The acting talent is critical to producing a willing suspension of disbelief.
In this area the “Mysterious Island” producers created an environment conducive the re-telling of the Jules Verne classic. Without such chemistry, no production, regardless of budget will succeed. Shot on location in Louisiana on the gulf coast “Mysterious Island” featured celebrities with just such chemistry. Beginning with the gifted and gorgeous Gina Holden [Saw 3-D: The Final Chapter, Alien vs. Predator Requiem, Sand Sharks, Harper’s Island] as “Jules Fogg”, handsome favorite Mark Sheppard [Doctor Who, Supernatural, Warehouse 13, Chuck, Battlestar Galactica) as “Young Captain Nemo”, screen legend William Morgan Sheppard [Star Trek [The Next Generation, Voyager, Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek 2009], Gods and Generals] as “Captain Nemo” the senior, athletic Susie Abromeit (Mothman, Battle Los Angeles, As the World Turns) as “Abby Fogg”, female heartthrob Lochlyn Munro (Dead Man on Campus, Xtinction: Predator X, White Chicks] as “Captain Cyrus Harding”, veteran actor Pruitt Taylor Vince [Drive Angry 3-D, Deadwood, The Mentalist, Constantine] as “Gideon Spillett” with supporting roles from J.D. Evermore, Edrick Browne, and Caleb Michaelson with supporting roles by Oren Hawxhurst, Tony Senzamici, Jacob Tolano, Lawrence Turner and Eric VanArsdale “Mysterious Island” hit the cast chemistry mark!
Mysterious Island succeeded in this adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1874 “The Mysterious Island” novel in part by merging elements of modern science and mythology with the adventure story most enjoyed since the original blockbuster in the 1961 production first hit the big screen.
Specifically the science of wormholes affecting time were juxtaposed with the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, adding a new element that made this version fun standing out on its own merit.
This review will not be a “blow by blow” of the film or a “going over” of the relationship with the original 1874 novel or the 1961 theatrical production. Instead we will touch upon several of the most enjoyable differences. Much like the original novel “The Mysterious Island” with adventure during ending days of the American Civil War, this version starts in the same place as the book..
In Richmond, Virginia, five people try to escape the war ravaged environment by hot air balloon. In the original, the female lead character is in the balloon during the escape. In the 2010 remake, the female characters are introduced a bit later after a harrowing escape by the male characters.
The Civil War escapees crash land on a previously unknown desert island. The female leads Jules (Gina Holden) and Abby Fogg (Susie Abromeit) arrived subsequently via a modern aircraft after flying back in time from their encounter with the Bermuda Triangle via wormhole or time warp to the shock of the Civil War soldiers. A nice touch that provided positive flavoring to Mysterious Island in the opinion of this reviewer.
Once upon the Mysterious Island, the banter between contemporary modern day ladies and Civil War era “gentleman” made for sequences with good humor when for instance the Fogg sisters want to know about the “war”.
The men from the past are incredulous over the flying machine but quickly find their attention focused when one of their own disappears, dragged off into the jungle. Later we learn than these monsters are in fact members of Captain Nemo’s crew who have resorted to cannilbalism to survive after 20 years of trying to escape.
These inhabitants failed in their numerous attempts to effect and escape from Mysterious Island. As in the classic 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’s we are introduced to a variant of “Captain Nemo”, creator of the famous Nautilus submarine.
First first witnessed on the screen in the 1954 epic Walt Disney film, the story differs from previous re-makes in that Nemo’s submarine has been rendered useless by a strange phenomena that renders all normal electrical devices non-functional, including the Nautilus. This story arc plot twist provides an enigma.
Exactly how are the islands visitors ultimately going to affect an escape?
In this version, Captain Nemo instead has developed a lightning powered static electricity technology similar to Back To The Future to power a device which will theoretically allow an escape through a wormhole breaking free of the electrical suppression field keeping everyone on Mysterious Island. That is if they can get above the envelop of electrical suppression that has trapped them all.
Can anyone say 1.21 Gigawatts and use the hot air balloon as a means of rescue?!
In this version, a different approach is the use of the backpack powered device to fight off the hideous former crew members who have become now cannibals. Nemo’s device is able to hold the meat eaters at bay!
While the Civil War soldiers of the group work with the ladies work to restore the hot air balloon to a serviceable condition, wonderful humor was injected into the story when Abby Fogg is confronted after applying “her face” using modern make up. Referred to as “painted like an Indian”, the gorgeous Abby explains it all to a doubtful “free” Union soldier!
Another is the flashback sequence Captain Nemo to his younger self recalling how it all happened whereby they were sent back in time themselves even before the Civil War.
The flashbacks explained to Jules Fogg from a younger Captain Nemo were portrayed by Mark Sheppard who also directed this adaptation of the Jules Verne classic.
What was interesting is that while tweeting with fans who were watching the movie, many were not aware that William Morgan Sheppard is the father of Mark Sheppard!
We quickly surmise during the flashback sequences to the younger version of himself that this older Captain Nemo is dying and will not survive the experience. Nemo ultimately sacrifices himself so that the other can escape the danger including an active Mysterious Island volcano that will roast them all alive!
During the flashbacks with Mark Sheppard, we learned of his past.
This version does not paint Captain Nemo as the fanatical madman as portrayed in the 1954’s release when the cold war was raging unabated. In this rendition of Mysterious Island, Captain Nemo is a softer character which dovetailed his motivations for a better world free of the horrors of war as described by Mark Sheppard during a chat with Jules Fogg and Cyrus Harding.
I was a bit disappointed being hopeful Captain Nemo would not be coming back to the present in 2012. With his genius, Nemo could to bring much needed energy technology to our own troubled times.
At first reluctant, Nemo helps the survivors escape the destruction that will erase Mysterious Island from all history from volcanic ash and lava.
This reviewer is hopeful the return in a second and third movie in this series. In the opinion of this reviewer the second should be a prequel about how Nemo and his crew got trapped.
The third movie I envision would be with the Fogg sisters returning to modern times with the Civil War soldiers and Captain Nemo’s time device to go back and save the dying Captain and perhaps rehabilitate the crew of who resorted to cannibalism.
My final suggested twist would be to envision the “Mysterious Island” human flesh meat eaters would become the Morlocks in an epic crossover from H.G. Wells classic “The Time Machine” in the next production by K2 Pictures!
We include the ratings press releases from K2 Pictures and Syfy as well as several of the available trailers below for your enjoyment!
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K2 Pictures Ratings Press Release:
K2 Pictures and Leverage Entertainment’s Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island Brings in 2.4 Million Viewers as a Syfy Saturday Original Movie making it the most watched movie since Sharktopus!
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Feb. 15, 2012) – Syfy’s Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, produced by K2 Pictures and Leverage Entertainment, became the second consecutive Saturday Original Movie to shatter the two million total viewers mark, snaring 2.4 million P2+ and 827,000 Adults 25-54, while averaging a 1.8 household rating during its premiere on Feb. 11.
“As one might imagine, we are very pleased with the viewer response and are quite grateful to all 2.4 million of them,” says producer George Kostuch of K2 Pictures + K2D. “Syfy really got behind the film and I am making sure it is not the last K2 Pictures title that premieres on the network.”
Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island was the most watched Saturday Original Movie since Sharktopus in September 2010, while posting the highest HH rating since Meteor Storm in January 2010.
“When George suggested back in 2007 that we start doing Sci-Fi genre films, I was a little surprised,” says Matt Keith of Leverage Entertainment. “The Syfy viewer numbers for Mysterious Island are really amazing, hopefully entrenching us in this market for a very long time.”
In Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, a group of travelers become stranded on a mysterious island. Confronting vicious pirates, terrifying creatures, and an active volcano, they must find a way to escape. The movie starred Gina Holden (Saw 3-D, Alien vs. Predator) Lochlyn Munro (Dead Man on Campus, White Chicks), W. Morgan Sheppard (Star Trek, Transformers, Gods and Generals) and was directed by Mark Sheppard (Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Firefly, Warehouse 13).
Green Apple Entertainment, who along with K2 Pictures + K2D secured the Syfy licensing deal, will bring Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island to VOD and DVD in May. For more information, visit the official web site.
K2 Pictures + K2D is a Baton Rouge-based production and worldwide film sales company, focused on genre-based titles that are independently financed and produced within the state of Louisiana. George M. Kostuch, president and CEO, along with Matt Keith of Leverage Entertainment have produced nearly 20 films under the K2 banner since 2005, including an ongoing slate of SyFy projects. Visit our company website for more information.
Green Apple Entertainment is a leading international distributor of quality, independent entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray, download and streaming platforms and cable VOD. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., Green Apple works directly with filmmakers to cultivate superior filmmaking for a variety of genres – including action, drama, romance, thrillers, horror/sci-fi, documentaries, family and animation – and fresh new viewing experiences for a diverse array of audiences. Green Apple was founded in 2005 by industry veteran Tim Warren.
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Extended Sneak Peek:
Updated Promo Trailer:
Cannes Film Festival Trailer:
Mysterious Island Behind the Scenes:
MOST WATCHED MOVIE SINCE “SHARKTOPUS”!
NEW YORK – February 14, 2012 – Syfy’s Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island became the second consecutive Saturday Original Movie to shatter the two million total viewers mark, snaring 2.4 million P2+ and 827,000 Adults 25-54, while averaging a 1.8 household rating, during its premiere on Saturday, February 11 from 9-11PM (ET/PT).
Mysterious Island was the most watched Saturday Original Movie since Sharktopus in September 2010, while posting the highest HH rating since Meteor Storm in January 2010.
The Syfy Saturday Original Movie Swamp Volcano – which starred Rachel Hunter (The Benchwarmers) and Brad Dourif (Lord of the Rings) – consumed 2.17 million total viewers and 724,000 Adults 25-54 during its premiere on Saturday, January 28 from 9-11PM (ET/PT).
In Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, a group of travelers become stranded on a mysterious island. Confronting vicious pirates, terrifying creatures and an active volcano, they must find a way to escape. The movie, a production of K2 Pictures, starred Gina Holden (Flash Gordon) and Mark Sheppard (Supernatural).
On Saturday, February 25, Syfy will present its first ever Fairy Tale Double Feature Movie, beginning at 7PM with Black Forest, starring Tinsel Korey (The Twilight Saga) and Ben Cross (Chariots of Fire), followed by Witchslayer Gretl, starring Shannen Doherty (90210) and Paul McGillion (Stargate Atlantis), at 9PM.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
About Mysterious Island (press release):
Mysterious Island was Filmed on location in Louisiana, K2 Pictures and Leverage Entertainment present a cinematic adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1874 novel “The Mysterious Island”, the story begins during the American Civil War, as famine and death ravage the city of Richmond, Virginia.
Five northern POWs make the decision to escape the war by hijacking a hot air balloon! Drifting through the night, they wake to find themselves marooned on a desert island, but they aren’t alone… Littered with wreckage, the island is home to a cast of survivors who have been lost in space and time, including Jules and Abby Fogg, two young women from modern times who become stranded while flying over the Bermuda Triangle.
Faced with defending themselves against vicious pirates, terrifying creatures, and an active volcano that’s ready to blow, they must find a way to survive and escape the island. Hope only comes when they encounter the island’s oldest resident, Captain Nemo himself. With his help, they set to work crafting an escape… but will they make it in time before the island claims them forever?
About K2 Pictures:
K2 Pictures + K2D is a Baton Rouge-based production and worldwide film sales company, focused on genre-based titles that are independently financed and produced within the state of Louisiana. George M. Kostuch, founder of K2 Pictures, has produced nearly twenty films since 2005. In addition to his on-set production experience, Kostuch consistently secures independent financing for projects, including an ongoing slate of SyFy Channel projects.
He also assists other productions with different levels of consulting and financing including tax credit financing and gap financing. With his intimate knowledge of the Louisiana Motion Picture Incentive Act, Kostuch has been part of countless film tax credit transactions and has served as a third party consultant on film tax credit-related matters.
Kostuch cut his teeth as a producer in Los Angeles by partnering with long-time friend, John Erick Dowdle, who directed Universal Pictures’ Devil and Sony Screen Gem’s Quarantine. Along with Dowdle’s brother Drew, Kostuch and John Erick produced two career-changing projects; The Dry Spell, a comedy which went on to win a special Grand Jury Award at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2005 and The Poughkeepsie Tapes, which was acquired at The Tribeca Film Festival by MGM in 2007.
After completion of these two Brothers Dowdle / K2 Pictures collaborations, Kostuch saw worldwide opportunity in the science fiction genre market and made the leap by producing two projects back-to-back in late 2007. The two films, Mutants and Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent, were both acquired by SyFy Channel for US television broadcast on the same day. Each project also saw brisk international sales in all major markets.
Kostuch then found the script for American Bully; an intense, racially-charged, indie thriller and could not pass up the chance to produce it. The critically-acclaimed fillm went on to win several awards including, The Golden Crescent Award for Best Overall Feature Film at the Charleston International Film Festival in 2009.
From there it was back to science fiction with Alligator X (aka. Xtinction: Predator X), a creature feature which was acquired worldwide by Mar Vista Entertainment and, to date, has cleared over $500,000 in worldwide sales. The film is currently available via Warner Brothers VOD in the US.
An adaptation of the Jules Verne classic novel, Mysterious Island, followed and is currently finishing post-production. Kostuch wrapped up 2010 with Paranormal Plantation, an eight-episode, historically-based television show which is also, currently in post-production. Paranormal Plantation is also being edited into a 90-minute, feature-length film version for distribution.
Finally, after years of watching international sales companies and distributors sell his films and consume the majority of the revenue, Kostuch founded K2 Distribution and Sales (K2D) in 2010.
Through K2D, Kostuch not only aquired the international sales rights back for Mutants and Lockjaw, he also became the exclusive worldwide sales agent for American Bully, Mysterious Island and Paranormal Plantation.
Kostuch launched K2D at the Marche Du Film in Cannes, France in May of 2011. In just a short time as sales rep for his own titles, Kostuch has closed on several territories for both American Bully and Mysterious Island, including acquisitions in the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and several Asian territories to name a few.
K2 Pictures is currently prepping several genre projects including Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale Heart, Excalibur Chronicles: Legend of the Questing Beast, Edge of Sanity and Terror Games.
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Comments on “Mysterious Island Movie Wins K2 Pictures and Syfy Ratings Acclaim!”
Dear Wormhole Team:
As to be expected when you set the bar so high from your first review – once again you’ve presented us with the most detailed, thorough and ACCURATE review and overview of the film. It is very obvious that you take the time and care to provide to your fans and readers the cream of the crop of information. And your participation by engaging the viewers as fans and us as filmmakers leaves me with no doubt that without your support the total viewer numbers of 2.4M would have been less without you!
Thank you and I’ve made notes of your suggestions for the next movies surrounding this storyline. Let’s see if @Syfy and @SyfyMovies see the value in doing some more Mark and Morgan Sheppard Nemo driven concepts!
George M. Kostuch
Thank you for the warn words. We are excited to see a sequel or prequel to Mysterious Island by your firm. As you know, I very much enjoyed your version of Mysterious Island. So much so I did not go see J2 that weekend!
Thanks again for allowing us to be of service.
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