Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year!

Disney secrets revealed!

Disney Vault

Is anyone watching Heroes?

I keep hearing great buzz about this show but until now I never bothered to find out what it's all about. The description below sounds pretty cool. Have any of you guys watched it, and is it worth checking out? If so this will be a future DVD set to pick up so I can watch it all at once.

From Wikipedia,"Heroes is an American drama television series, created by Tim Kring, which premiered on NBC on September 25, 2006. The series tells the story of several people who "thought they were like everyone else... until they woke with incredible abilities" such as telepathy, time travel and flight. These people soon realize they have a role in preventing a catastrophe and saving mankind.

The series loosely follows the writing style of American comics by doing short, multi-episode story arcs that build upon a larger, more encompassing arc. Even with small story arcs that move the story forward, Kring said he mapped out where he intends the show to go for the next five seasons.

When the series premiered in the United States, it was the night's most-watched program among adults 18-49, attracting 14.3 million viewers overall and receiving the highest rating for any NBC drama premiere in five years.

On October 6, 2006, NBC President Kevin Reilly announced Heroes had been picked up for a full season. The show is currently on hiatus for the holiday season until January 22, 2007."

2007 horror happenings

The Invasion

The Invasion tells the story of a mysterious epidemic that alters the behavior of human beings. When a Washington D.C. psychiatrist (Nicole Kidman) discovers the epidemic’s origins are extraterrestrial, she must fight to protect her son, who may hold the key to stopping the escalating invasion.

The Reaping

In ‘The Reaping’, Hilary Swank plays a former Christian missionary who lost her faith after her family was tragically killed, and has since become a world-renowned expert in disproving religious phenomena. But when she investigates a small Louisiana town that is suffering from what appear to be the Biblical plagues, she realizes that science cannot explain what is happening and she must regain her faith to combat dark forces threatening the community.

I Am Legend (The Last Man on Earth remake)

Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a brilliant scientist, but even he could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable…and manmade. Somehow immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City…and maybe the world. But he is not alone. He is surrounded by “the Infected”—victims of the plague who have mutated into carnivorous beings who can only exist in the dark and who will devour or infect anyone or anything in their path. For three years, Neville has spent his days scavenging for food and supplies and faithfully sending out radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. All the while, the Infected lurk in the shadows, watching Neville’s every move, waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind’s last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But his blood is also what The Infected hunt, and Neville knows he is outnumbered and quickly running out of time.

Tick 'R Treat

It is said that Halloween is the night when the dead rise to walk among us and other unspeakable things roam free. The rituals of All Hallows Eve were devised to protect us from their evil mischief, and one small town is about to be taught a terrifying lesson that some traditions are best not forgotten. Nothing is what it seems when a suburban couple learns the dangers of blowing out a Jack-o-Lantern before midnight; four women cross paths with a costumed stalker at a local festival; a group of pranksters goes too far and discovers the horrifying truth buried in a local legend; and a cantankerous old hermit is visited by a strange trick-or-treater with a few bones to pick. Costumes and candy, ghouls and goblins, monsters and mayhem…the tricks and treats of Halloween turn deadly as strange creatures of every variety—human and otherwise—try to survive the scariest night of the year.

One Missed Call

What will it sound like when you die? In “One Missed Call,” a chain of people receive terrifying cell phone messages of their own final fatal moments. Though the messages can be deleted, their number is up. Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) is traumatized when she witnesses the gruesome deaths of two friends just days apart. Even more disturbing, she knows that both of them had received chilling cell phone messages—actual recordings of their own horrifying last moments. Impossibly, the calls were received days before they died, but each death occurred precisely when and how the messages foretold. The police think Beth is delusional—except for Detective Jack Andrews (Edward Burns) whose own sister was killed in a freak accident that bears a strange similarity to the deaths of Beth’s friends. Together, Jack and Beth work feverishly to unravel the mystery behind the ominous calls. But even as they get closer to the truth, Beth’s cell phone begins to ring with an eerie tune, and the readout says One Missed Call…

Where the Wild Things Are

The film will combine voice performances, live-action puppetry and computer animation to dramatize the ad-ventures of Max, a rebellious young boy who runs away from home after a fight with his mother and finds himself in a forest where the wild things roam.

Night of the Comet finally gets the DVD treatment

Night of the Comet: MGM Home Entertainment have just revealed that they will release the cult classic Night of the Comet on March 6th, 2007. What if the only people left alive in the world were Southern California teenagers? That's the premise of this enjoyable sci-fi tale of two sisters who must fend off zombie-like mutants and mysterious scientists after a comet's passing exterminates nearly all life. No disc details have been made available, but we expect an anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround audio. Retail is $14.98.


"Val Kilmer is in talks to star in a sequel to his 1985 comedy Real Genius, in which he played Chris Knight, a happy-go-lucky college student working on a powerful chemical laser that will, unbeknownst to him, be delivered to the government for military purposes. The sequel will hopefully wrap up the one lingering question from the original: How will Val Kilmer end his career?" [from iwatchstuff]

We wish they'd ... get (even) better

[excerpt] Contributing: USA TODAY's Ann Oldenburg, Anthony Breznican, Brian Mansfield, Karen Thomas, Elysa Gardner, Mike Snider, Bill Keveney, Ken Barnes, Alison Maxwell
With 2006 nearly over, it's time to get on with 2007. The coming year could be an even better year in entertainment, we're convinced, if only the powers that be would follow our wish list. Here it is, along with some sense of whether any of it will come true.
ABC's 'Lost'

Back story: The Others took the stage during the six-episode fall miniseason, and our first Lost friends (Hurley, Charlie, Claire, etc.) faded to the background. We want them back.

Will it happen? Producers say yes. When the show returns Feb. 7 at a new time (10 p.m. ET/PT) for an uninterrupted string of 16 new episodes, the first will wrap up some elements of the Jack-Kate-Sawyer captivity story and reveal much about The Others' doc Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell), says executive producer Damon Lindelof. "Once we're done with that, we'll be telling stories of the people who have been around since Season 1."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Royale is Bond royalty

One of the big guarantees of the James Bond franchise is that whilst domestic takes are usually good, it's the non-US markets where it always does big business.

Holding again to the usual ratio, "Casino Royale" has officially become the most successful James Bond film in history with its international gross again more than doubling its impressive domestic bow.

A $146.3 million US tally, combined with a $305.4 million international tally has landed th film with a $451.8 million worldwide gross figure - putting it easily ahead of 2002's "Die Another Day" with $431 million and still growing.

Domestically the film sits tenth on the 2006 box-office list, overseas it currently sits at sixth and looks set to quickly move to and eventually settle into fourth within the next week or so.

Please stop calling me, JPX

You never loved me, Octopunk

One Missed Call remake will suck, I'm sure

From bloody-disgusting, "What will it sound like when you die? In “One Missed Call,” a chain of people receive terrifying cell phone messages of their own final fatal moments. Though the messages can be deleted, their number is up. Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) is traumatized when she witnesses the gruesome deaths of two friends just days apart. Even more disturbing, she knows that both of them had received chilling cell phone messages—actual recordings of their own horrifying last moments. Impossibly, the calls were received days before they died, but each death occurred precisely when and how the messages foretold. The police think Beth is delusional—except for Detective Jack Andrews (Edward Burns) whose own sister was killed in a freak accident that bears a strange similarity to the deaths of Beth’s friends. Together, Jack and Beth work feverishly to unravel the mystery behind the ominous calls. But even as they get closer to the truth, Beth’s cell phone begins to ring with an eerie tune, and the readout says One Missed Call…"

People like movies

By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY
So much for the death of the cineplex. After a three-year attendance slide and dire forecasts that theaters would succumb to DVDs and home entertainment centers, going out to the movies is back.
With less than a week left in the year, 2006 appears to be on its way to an increase in ticket sales and an end to Hollywood's attendance slump.

And with a raft of franchise films coming out next year, including a trio of expected blockbusters in May, studio executives are looking at 2007 as a possible record-breaker.

"It looks like we're back," says Jeff Blake, vice chairman of Sony Pictures, which led all studios this year with 13 No. 1 films, a record, and more than $1.6 billion in ticket sales.

"It was easy to get on the bandwagon and say business was down and wasn't coming back," he says. "But the industry has started casting a wider net. It isn't just about young males and families. We're catering to more people, and it's showing in the business we're doing."

This year's comeback seems to bear that out. According to box-office analysts Nielsen EDI, ticket sales are at $8.8 billion for the year, about 3% ahead of last year's pace.

More important: More people are going to the movies this year. Since 2002, attendance had dropped steadily; 2005's ticket sales were the lowest total in eight years.

But after adjusting for inflation and rising ticket costs (the average cost is $6.58 this year, according to Box Office Mojo), theaters have sold 9 million more tickets this year than at this point in 2005.

What sparked the turnaround? Studio executives say the key to this year's success — and the secret to 2007 — may be in lowering their expectations.

Sure, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest shattered box office records, including the largest opening weekend, on its way to $423 million domestically.

But Pirates was the only movie this year to cross the $300 million mark, and only five films took in more than $200 million. In comparison with 2005, eight films raked in more than $200 million.

Instead, studios surged with mid-range hits such as The Devil Wears Prada, Nacho Libre and The Departed, movies that took in $80 million to $125 million by appealing to more specific audiences.

"I wouldn't call it niche marketing, but you can do well with movies that appeal, say, mainly to older women or men 18 to 34," says Clark Woods, president of distribution for MGM, which released Rocky Balboa last weekend to audiences that were nearly three-fourths male. "Everyone wants to hit a home run, but I think we're seeing success by hitting doubles and triples."

A big year ahead?

Next year's slate, observers say, could prove the most potent lineup of sluggers since 2002, which set the box office record with $9.3 billion in ticket sales in the USA and Canada. May will be the bellwether. The battle of the third acts will pit Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End against one another.

Many analysts give the early edge to Pirates, because the second film ended on a cliffhanger and comes just a year after this year's biggest movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

"But I wouldn't bet against any of these," says Paul Dergarabedian of Media By Numbers. "There's room for all of them. May could easily be the biggest month of all time at the movies."

Add to that new installments of Harry Potter, Fantastic Four, Die Hard and the Bourne series, and executives say there's reason to hope the three-year slump is over.

"I think we might have forgotten a little about Middle America," Woods says. "It's easy to make movies that will be hits in big cities. But your success is going to be in listening to what all of the country wants to see."

That, and market a little smarter.

Industry officials and analysts say studios can build on the success of 2006 by tweaking how they make and sell films in 2007 and beyond:

•Spread award contenders throughout the calendar. Hollywood typically saves award-caliber films for November and December in the hopes of staying fresh in the minds of critics and academy members. But several films released in September or earlier, including Little Miss Sunshine, The Departed and The Queen, were commercial successes and are expected to be Oscar contenders for best picture.

"There was a little revolution of films that people just supported and enjoyed," says David Poland of "The movies didn't arrive with all this importance attached to them, which builds expectations you can never meet."

•Drop the tent-pole mentality. Studios are on the constant prowl for "four-quadrant" hits: blockbusters that are equally popular with men and women, young and old. But those "must-see" films can disappoint, "because you have to impress people twice as much," Poland says.

"There's nothing wrong with a two-quadrant movie," says Blake of Sony, which had just one movie, The Da Vinci Code, do more than $200 million this year. "We did really well with midrange hits, which can last a long time in theaters."

•Tone down the hype. Even studio honchos concede they have over-marketed films in recent years and have been forced to scale back the fanfare behind their releases.

"People want to discover good movies, not be told that they're good," says Steve Gilula, chief operating officer of Fox Searchlight, which has waged a relatively quiet commercial and Oscar campaign for Sunshine. "The best advertising you can have is a parent talking about your movie, not you."

Family films rake it in

And no one talked about movies this year the way parents did. If any niche proved nearly fail-safe in 2006, it was the family film, particularly animated movies. Four of 2006's top 10 movies were animated, the most ever.

Expect another plethora of animated fare in 2007, including The Simpsons Movie, Happily N'Ever After and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

"I'm not even sure you could call animation a genre anymore, because it's become like any other type of film," says Chuck Viane, distribution chief for Disney, which had the year's biggest animated movie with Cars, which earned $244 million. "The good movies are going to work, the bad ones won't."

Says MGM's Woods: "Let's be honest: We didn't exactly come out with the best products the past few years. Fortunately, that's pretty easy to fix. You make better movies. That's the lesson you take from this year and into every one after that."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Rob Zombie's vision of this film is an entirely new take on the legend and will satisfy fans of the classic "Halloween" legacy while beginning a new chapter in the Michael Myers saga.

Optimus Prime is Covergirl

From iwatchstuff, "Aware that many fans are upset by the Transformer redesign, they've decided to put Optimus Prime in the dark for the cover of Empire Magazine. I find the lack of lens flares disheartening."

Return of the Living Dead 5 has at least one thing going for it

From bloody-disgusting, "Today Lionsgate released the DVD cover art for the long-delayed Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave, which hits retaiilers on March 20, 2007. Shot back-to-back with Necropolis in 2005, Rave to the Grave has Garrison’s nephew finding two secreted barrels of the chemical and manufacturing from it an Ecstasy-type drug that turns Halloween partygoers into crazed ghouls."

3 more Re-Animator flicks coming soon!

Below are the titles for the next three Re-Animator films, along with synopses:

House of Re-Animator: The sequel, which reunites the original team (director Stuart Gordon, producer Brian Yuzna, writer Dennis Paoli and lead actor Jeffrey Combs), focuses on a Bush-like president who dies in office. His staff covertly brings in Dr. Herbert West to reanimate the Commander in Chief, and the expected chaos ensues.

Re-Animator Unbound!: West would have his own feifdom amidst a war zone. There his experiments take him directly in conflict with religion and face to face with the Old Ones of Lovecraftian lore.

Re-Animator Begins: After having his mind pretty much erased by the trauma of Unbound! West is brought back to his senses (during which we get to see some of West’s boyhood) by a mysterious doctor who turns out to be his mentor Dr. Gruber’s niece. Back at the medical school in Switzerland (where it all began in the original Re-Animator) West recreates his early experiments, but makes the fatal mistake of breaking one of his basic tenants when he finds himself having feelings for... a woman.

Box Office Report Dec 24th

From moviesonline, "Dude here again, with some abbreviated weekend numbers for the holiday weekend. I'm bogged down with all my Decemberween festivities, so I'm sorry this isn't that exciting. Plus there are some films opening up tomorrow, on Xmas day. So all the numbers are going to be a little weird this week.

This weekend audiences chose Ben Stiller and an evening of history defeated all others, making twice as much as the number 2 film. Rocky also attracted a lot of people, but a lot of people ignored my buddy Matthew McConaughey and his new movie. It had heart. And possibly a robot. And sideburns. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available sometime later this week).

Night At The Museum (Fox) - $30.8, 3685 screens, week 1, $30.8 total

The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony) - $15.0, 2863 screens, week 2, $53.287 total

Rocky Balboa (MGM)- $12.5, 3017 screens, week 1, $22.2 total

The Good Shepherd (Uni) - $9.979, 2215 screens, week 1, $9.979 total

Charlotte's Web (Par) - $8.0, 3728 screens, week 2, $26.8 total

Eragon (Fox) - $7.15, 3030 screens, week 2, $37.6 total

We Are Marshall (WB) - $6.6, 2606 screens, week 1, $7.7 total

Happy Feet (WB) - $5.1, 2565 screens, week 6, $159.1 total

The Holiday (Sony) - $5.0, 2635 screens, week 3, $35.09 total

The Nativity Story (NL)- $4.65, 1824 screens, week 4, $31.3 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, I don't really have time to get into it all right now. I apologize, but there's a baked brie in the oven that's about ready to explode. With a lot of people on vacation for the holidays, everything will make a fair amount of money over the holidays, and it looks like Night at the Museum stands to make the most. Charlotte's Web held fast, and will rake in money. Everything else, there aren't very exciting numbers. They'll enjoy a post holiday boost, but will ultimately disappoint.

Below the radar, Letters From Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood's second WWII film in three months, opened on 5 screens, taking in $76,500. Also, Curse of the Golden Flower, with Chow Yun Fat, opened up on 60 screens to take in $489,000.

And in the "just because it's there and because I can" series:The Queen took in $433,000 on 302 screens, bringing it's grand total to $26,471,000 in 13 weeks. There you have my break down. A few things are opening up throughout the week, but nothing large, mostly awards consideration movies, including Pan's Labyrinth which looks awesome. Until next weekend...."

Silent Hill 2

From Darkhorizons, 'According to Christophe Gans, Roger Avary and fantasy author Neil Gaiman will team up to write "Silent Hill 2" reports DVD Rama.

Avary will get to work on the project just after he completes work on his "Driver" script.

Gans, who helmed the first film along with French genre feature "Brotherhood of the Wolf", may or may not direct the sequel as he is busy prepping his adaptation of "Onimusha".'

That FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER Trailer Explodes Onto The Internets

From AICN, "As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on this movie...although I suspect it will be a bit better than the first film (not that this would take much). I do, however, like the nature of this trailer; I wish more movies would promote themselves by showing extended sequences rather than barraging us with an endless array of sub-woofered smash cutting. This approach is an agreeable throwback -- I appreciate this, Fox.

A lot of folks are gonna be ripping on the Silver Surfer as looking like the T-1000 from TERMINATOR 2. To me, the T-1000 always reminded me of the Silver Surfer...which kinda came I'm not too sure how this situation/criticism can be addressed (unless one just says something snotty like "the Surfer came first, bitches!", and leaves it at that).

Of course, the CGI used to realize the chromed out, super powered, shiny dude in this preview doesn't appear to be a radical leap forward from what we got in T2 back in 1991 (at least, it doesn't seem to be from this trailer)...which will no doubt compound the controversy."

trailer found here.

Zombie picks his Michael Myers

From aintitcoolnews, "Just the other day, Zombie announced Malcolm McDowell as playing Dr. Loomis, a pretty nice choice. Now he's announced who Malcolm will be chasing down, the man behind the Shatner mask. Here's the heads up we got below, with the name! Enjoy!!!
Hey Guys, I just found news about who will be playing the adult Michael Myers from Rob Zombie’s myspace website…… It read as follows;

………….Here's more exciting news for the holiday break. Adult Michael Myers will be played by TYLER MANE.

I'm sure you all remember Tyler as Rufus from The Devil's Rejects, Sabretooth in the X-Men and the unstoppable Ajax in Troy.

Tyler is mean, lean and ready to bring you the most psychotic Michael Myers yet………."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Entertainment Weekly publishes article that should have come out in October

Unless you're a real horror nerd — the kind that goes to Fangoria conventions and paints Hellraiser figurines in your basement — the name Dario Argento likely means very little to you.

Let's do something about that.

Argento is most famous for three hugely important cinematic achievements and one much less important, genetic one: He co-wrote Sergio Leone's greatest spaghetti Western (which is really saying something), Once Upon a Time in the West; he directed the 1977 blood-and-ballerinas masterpiece Suspiria (featuring the genius tagline ''The only thing more terrifying than the last 12 minutes of this film are the first 92''); he collaborated with zombie maestro George A. Romero on 1978's Dawn of the Dead; and he fathered tattooed temptress Asia Argento.

Now, regardless of what you thought of his daughter's acting opposite Vin Diesel in XXX, you have to admit that's a pretty impressive list. But it doesn't even get at some of the greatest films on Dario Argento's résumé.

Nearly impossible to track down for years, Argento's first three films are an underappreciated trilogy of campy, stylishly bloodcurdling thrillers. Some fans call it his ''animal trilogy'' due to the films' titles: 1970's The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, 1971's The Cat O' Nine Tails, and Four Flies on Grey Velvet, also from 1971, and the only one that's still never been released on DVD.

Each of these films is what grindhouse geeks call a giallo, which means ''yellow'' in Italian, and refers to the color of the lurid, dime-store-paperback thrillers that Italians used to scarf down like peanuts.

They're also singlehandedly responsible for earning Argento the nickname ''The Italian Hitchcock,'' which to be honest would only really fit if Hitchcock had a sweet tooth for lithe Italian models in go-go boots and the kind of psychedelic freakout music that's one part Ennio Morricone and two parts European porno soundtrack.

All three of these early Argento films are fantastically stylish and also fantastically campy, what with their bad dubbing and cheesy Freudian back stories. Watching them is like sitting through The Good, the Bad, and the Sexually Pent-up.

My favorite of the bunch is The Bird With the Crystal Plumage. Why? Well, for starters, there would be no Basic Instinct without it. Or any of the other early-'90s erotic thrillers that sprung up like toadstools at the dawn of the Clinton era.

Granted, the age-old formula of scantily clad women getting it from fetishistic weirdos dates back to way before Argento (here, Hitchcock truly was the master). But making his films in Europe — and during the sexual revolution, no less — really cut Argento all sorts of softcore leeway.

But before I start to sound like some mouth-breather in a trenchcoat, let's get to the plot. Tony Musante, an American expat actor who resembles a young Joe Pesci or an uglier Mark Ruffalo, plays Sam Dalmas, a struggling writer who's moved to Italy in search of inspiration. One night, while walking past an art gallery on a deserted street, he sees a woman inside being stabbed by a dark figure dressed in black. Sam helplessly watches as she screams in terror. When the cops show up, they grill him about her attacker. What did he see? How much does he remember? Did he do it?

When he returns to his rented apartment and his beautiful British girlfriend (played by Julie Christie look-alike Suzy Kendall, better known as the onetime Mrs. Dudley Moore), he's haunted by images of the attack. And soon he finds himself being stalked by the man in black, who meanwhile has stepped up his killing spree.

Musante's Sam, a not very sympathetic character played by a not very sympathetic actor, starts to play detective, snooping around and chasing leads while no woman in a see-through negligee in the greater Rome area is safe to coyly brush her hair in front of the mirror.

If Argento were a more artsy director, the second half of The Bird With the Crystal Plumage might unfold like Blow Up or Peeping Tom. But he's not interested in highbrow, arthouse stuff. His agenda is straightforward: There's a nutjob killer, and there are a bunch of sexy bella donnas in peril.

Will Sam stop him before he eventually works his way down that nubile list to Mrs. Dudley Moore? Will Musante wipe the smug off his mug before the cops wind up fingering him for the crimes? And will we ever find out what the hell ''the bird with the crystal plumage'' is?

Damned if I'm going to say. But I will say this much: There's a hell of a twist at the end, and there are few more entertaining ways to spend an evening than kicking back with a bevy of European knockouts, badly dubbed macho actors, and the deft hand of the Italian Hitchcock.

Iron Man logo thrills

The flick goes into production early next year with Terrence Howard as Rhodes and Robert Downey Jr. as the man behind the mask himself.

The debut of Silver Surfer

From USATODAY, "The Silver Surfer surfaces in 'Fantastic Four' sequel

It's surf's up for next year's Fantastic Four sequel.

In June, the Silver Surfer jumps from page to screen in The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

With computer-generated imagery techniques similar to those used to create Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, the slippery Surfer, voiced by Doug Jones, "will look somewhere between gun metal and fluid metallics so you can see the body motion, the breathing, the muscle tone, the mood," says Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad.

The Surfer's mood is key to the story. After striking a deal with the evil Galactus to save his planet, the once-human Surfer wreaks havoc throughout the cosmos. "He is a highly emotional being, trapped inside fluid metal," Arad says.

Audiences will get a first look at the Silver Surfer this weekend in trailers before Night at the Museum."

From Iwatchstuff, "From USA Today comes the first look at the Silver Surfer in the new Fantastic Four. His smooth head and concerned eyes make him reminiscent of a young, silver Montel Williams, but only the real Montel is naive enough to believe in psychic Sylvia Browne so strongly as to bring her in every Wednesday (and sometimes Fridays, during the summer).

For those unfamiliar with the comic, Silver Surfer is an intergalactic herald to the powerful Galactus, devourer of worlds. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, he was based on the misjudged timeless popularity of surfing in the '60s, similar to the later creations of Golden Rollerbladeer and Captain Segwayer."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Grindhouse trailer packs even more cool

Check out Yahoo for an even cooler Grindhouse trailer!

Ocean's 13

Ocean's 13 Trailer.

From Iwatchstuff, "Ocean's 13 is the latest film to follow the hallowed Hollywood philosophy, "Even if it didn't start as a trilogy, it sure will be after we make a third one." In this installment, the Ocean boys prove they don't need the dolphin-toothed grin of Julia Roberts to continue the novelty of adding a number to the title of each sequel. With the addition of Al Pacino (Scarface, Scarface airbrushed t-shirts) to the ranks of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, and a host of others either too old or obscure to mention, this trailer shows that these hunky superstars will prove 13 won't be unlucky next June!*

*final clause written by staff of Extra."

Fantastic trailer?

From Dark Horizons, "The "Fantastic Four 2" teaser premieres in cinemas early Friday and online later that night, but for now 'Jeff' over at Undertaker's Lounge has provided a well penned description of it below:

"Much like the trailer for last summer's "The Devil Wears Prada", the cool approach that Fox has taken with this is to show a single scene - or at least an extended portion of a scene, as opposed to the usual barrage of quick cuts associated with action trailers.

We start at the wedding of Sue and Reed, with actor (and comic book fan) Brian Posehn as the preacher. Suddenly a silver streak splits through the sky. Reed directs Johnny to flame on and follow the object. The rest of the teaser is a high speed chase between Johnny and the Surfer.

We see the Surfer trying to shake Johnny off by using a power not seen in the comics - not to my knowledge, at least - wherein he's able to phase through solid objects (like the X-Men's Kitty Pryde or Marvel's android character The Vision). We see the Surfer phase through buildings and vehicles in an effort to outrace Johnny's pursuit. When that finally fails, the Surfer simply turns and grabs Johnny by the neck - stopping him cold.

The Surfer then wordlessly flies them both to the outer reaches of the atmosphere where the lack of oxygen snuffs out Johnny's flame. The Surfer then releases Johnny, letting him plummet to the Earth as the title card slams onto the screen - and the wait for next summer just got that much longer/ In less than a minute and a half, this teaser delivered more comic book action than the entire first film"."

Weird Harry Potter book title revealed

J.K. Rowling has today announced on her website that the title of her as yet undelivered seventh book is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Jack and Keith

From comingsoon, "Scooper 'Evan' sent in this photo of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Martin Klebba as Marty and Keith Richards as Sparrow's swashbuckling dad from the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (it's now officially "World's" and not "Worlds").

Directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the highly-anticipated third installment sails into theaters on May 25.

"At World's End" also stars Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush, Chow Yun-Fat, Stellan Skarsgård, Jack Davenport, Kevin R. McNally, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, Andy Beckwith and Reggie Lee.

Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott wrote the script."

Transformers looks like fun

transformers Final trailer movie

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Horrorthon 2007?

Black Christmas

Madman Finally Heading to Screens

From I Watch Stuff, "Only ten years or so after everyone lost interest in the pop-art comic, the Mike Allred classic Madman, long in talks for a feature, will finally be brought to screens by George Huang, director of Swimming With Sharks. So start reading the collections now if you'd like to the first one I punch in the theater for continually describing which scenes are or are not just like the comic"

Hardy Boy wannabe

From Iwatchstuff, "Here's the poster to the film adaptation of Nancy Drew, the premiere of which I suspect will be a Dateline pedophile raid. As the poster implies, this case features N.D. hot on the trail of finding out who shaved this fat little Ewok in the lower left.

Nancy Fact: In order to explain to those unfamiliar with the character that Nancy Drew is a detective of sorts, the poster is covered in ornate magnifying glasses, the official symbol of nosy teenage amateur detectives."

Coming April 2007

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tom Cruise not making cult moive

From Iwatchstuff, "Tom Cruise's rep is denying rumors he's making a Scientology movie called "The Thetan" and has cast Victoria Beckham in it. Which is too bad because I was really looking forward to two hours of mind-bending science fiction madness. I picture Star Wars, but slightly less believable."

Stephen King's top 10 2006 movie pics

From EW, "When the movie studios think about selling their product, do baby boomers still play a part in their calculations? Sure. Am I a good representative of that particular target audience? I think so. Still violently in love with motion pictures? Check. Got some extra time each week to go catch one? Check. And while I may be getting on a bit, I'm still not eligible for the Golden Ager discount at the box office and still like the things I always did: a drama that engages the brain and the heart (The Prestige), a belly laugh that bypasses the brain entirely (Borat, Jackass Number Two), a horror movie that scares the hell out of me (Hostel, f'r instance), and rip-ass action films (Déjà Vu, Waist Deep).

But if I am Mr. Ideal Baby-Boom Moviegoer, the studios may be headed for rough water, in spite of this year's uptick in grosses. The boomers aren't getting any younger, and it's not as easy to get us off our couches and out of the house. Complicating the problem is this simple fact: These days it's much more entertaining to stay in than it used to be. The Dukes of Hazzards are gone, sweetie. In their place have come shows like Jericho, Heroes, and Prison Break. Not to mention a certain bunch of castaways on an endlessly fascinating tropical isle...and this amusing guy named Earl.

Plus, there are intriguing new ways to get this TV bonanza (Bonanza's long gone too, replaced by the vastly more entertaining interstellar cowboys of Battlestar Galactica). And one of the old advantages the eightplex held over TV — multiple viewing opportunities — has been erased. Thanks to TiVo and iTunes, Constant Viewer is no longer a slave to the schedule. Even if you miss a whole season, no problem — there's the boxed set. Put it on your Christmas list. Viewers with HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax are even freed of the tyranny of network censorship (not that there's much anymore — check out this season's run of 24, where I keep expecting to see a theme park called Torture World).

As a result of the above, my own moviegoing has taken a drastic plunge since last we met for this particular year-end list: just 45 movies from Dec. 7, 2005, to about that same date in '06. Many were great, but not one had the cumulative effect of 13 back-to-back-to-back Prison Break episodes. The PB story may spend a lot of time in Gooney-Bird Land, but the cumulative effect is watching a Sam Peckinpah maxiseries.

So watch out, studios. There's trouble in paradise. And if you don't believe it, look at the grosses of the latest Clint Eastwood picture...and consider this: I write for an entertainment publication and never even saw it. I could have; I had the time, I had the money, and I loved Big Clint's last two pictures. Bu-ut...I was busy at home. Watching Jericho on my computer.

That said, here's my list of the best I've seen since last December. Not a critic's list, remember; I'm just another schlub in the popcorn line.

10. The World's Fastest Indian Anthony Hopkins as a motorcycle racer. What else do you need to know? Oh, the movie's great — funny and moving.

9. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Frakkin' horrible title. Great movie. Tommy Lee Jones channels Cormac McCarthy...and it works.

8. Waist Deep This is old-school urban action, honey, the way they don't hardly make 'em no more. Starring the immensely likable Tyrese Gibson.

7. Snakes on a Plane You got your basic snakes on a plane, you got Samuel L. Jackson doing his thing, and a good-humored, high-tension script that recalls the first two Bruce Willis Die Hard pictures. So, hey — what's not to like?

6. The Illusionist Two movies featuring magicians from the early 1900s came out this year. I saw both, liked both. What made The Illusionist special for me was Edward Norton dueling with Paul Giamatti, and an ending that compelled me back into the theater at once to see how I had been tricked.

5. The Descent The best horror movie of the year, beyond doubt. Possibly because the main characters are all adults, for a change? The sense of doom-laden claustrophobia this movie generates is intense and remarkable.

4. Casino Royale I came out of the theater thinking it was the best Bond since Goldfinger. A subsequent viewing of Goldfinger — for this column — has convinced me it's the best Bond ever.

3. The Departed Ensemble ''star power'' movies hardly ever work, but when they do, they can be cool. The Departed is can't-take-your-eyes-off-it entertainment. Matt Damon continues to amaze me with his versatility.

2. United 93 If this emotionally wrenching docudrama isn't nominated for Best Picture, the Academy should be ashamed of itself.

1. Pan's Labyrinth I happened to see this in July and was completely seduced by its beauty and emotional ferocity. Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Mimic, Blade II) directed, and to call this his best work isn't enough. I think this extraordinary R-rated fairy tale for adults is the best fantasy film since The Wizard of Oz. And while it's much darker than Wizard, it still celebrates the human spirit. Your Uncle Stevie thinks you will see this movie.

The question for studios and filmmakers remains, however: How many others will you see in the next 5 to 10 years?"

'Dark Tower' looms in graphic form

By David Colton, USA TODAY
Can Stephen King soar higher than Spider-Man?
That's what Marvel Comics is hoping as it unveils on Feb. 7 the long-awaited comic-book adaptation of King's seven-novel epic The Dark Tower. It's the first time the mega-selling author has cooperated in such an extensive graphic retelling of his work.

Given the size of King's audience, the seven-issue The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born "has the potential of being the biggest project in the comics industry within the past 20 years," says Dan Buckley, Marvel's president and publisher.

The Dark Tower novels were written between 1982 and 2004 and imagine a nightmare landscape of wizards and six-guns, as if Clint Eastwood were sent to tame Middle-earth. The comics will open with the untold origin of Roland Deschain, that world's last Gunslinger.

What persuaded King, 59, to take the leap into comic-book fantasy? "The time was right because the right people appeared," King says in an e-mail interview. "And since there will probably never be a Dark Tower/Gunslinger movie, this is the next closest thing. And it's a hauntingly pretty thing, as it turns out."

The series was delayed for a year to give King more time to devote to the project. But fans may be disappointed to see he is not the sole author; there's also well-known comics pro Peter David and Dark Tower expert Robin Furth. The art is by Jae Lee, whose delicate linework has illustrated Marvel's Sub-Mariner and Inhumans.

"I had a lot of involvement in casting the course of the narrative," King says. "Beyond that, I wanted to give a lot of control over to these other imaginations, which I had come to respect. The first few issues, I should add, are almost entirely drawn from the books. Readers will recognize them and hopefully be as thrilled as I am.

"Do I absolutely love everything? Nope. It's a collaboration. But I absolutely love a lot, and in an imperfect world, that's just about Nirvana."

Marvel expects to print "hundreds of thousands" of the first issue (48 pages, $3.99), which easily would make it a top-selling comic of the new year.

"We do expect to attract non-traditional comic readers," Buckley says. A hardcover collection of all seven issues will be available next fall.

For someone whose work has translated so readily to film and TV, King has done surprisingly little in comics. But he's a longtime fan.

"Childhood faves?" he asks. "That's easy. Plastic Man. Little Lulu. Uncle Scrooge (Donald never interested me in the slightest). Classic Comics. And of course the EC horror comics. The four-color world … has always had a strong influence on my work, particularly Salem's Lot and The Stand."

And the eternal choice: Batman or Superman?

"Batman forever, of course," King replies. "Supes was too darned perfect."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ricci blonde and in weird new movie

From Moviesonline, "In a small Tennessee town, two unlikely souls are about to be lured together at the sticky crossroads between rage and love. Found lying on the side of the road, beaten and nearly dead, is Rae (Christina Ricci), a 22 year old who has developed a reputation around town for having an insatiable "itch" for sex.

Her rescuer is Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson), an ex-blues guitarist who has grown used to life’s relentless strains of trouble and sorrow. Desperate for a change himself, Lazarus holds Rae prisoner, and sets out to "cure" her of her wicked ways. But to get to the deep, dark bottom of Rae’s mystery, Lazarus will first have to face the demons that reside in both their hearts, especially when Rae’s one true love Ronnie (Justin Timberlake), a Guardsman who was supposed to be headed for Iraq, comes looking for her. Against its Southern gothic background, "Black Snake Moan" unfolds in raw, revealing and ultimately transcendent shades of blue."

Box office, boring looking movie number 1

By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY
Will Smith, studio executives like to say, could film himself painting a fence and it would open at No. 1.
So it came as little surprise that The Pursuit of Happyness was the top film of the weekend — and Smith's 10th movie to open above $20 million.

BOX OFFICE: Top 10 weekend films

The rags-to-riches story raked in $27 million, according to estimates from Nielsen EDI. (Final figures are due today.)

Many analysts expected that the film's themes of poverty and homelessness would relegate Happyness to about $17 million and third place at best. But executives at Sony Pictures, which released Happyness, say those projections underestimated Smith's clout.

"When you open a movie with Will Smith, you're really not taking much of a chance," says Rory Bruer, distribution chief for Sony. "We knew it wasn't a typical movie, but he's not your typical actor."

Indeed, Smith's 10 debuts of $20 million or more is eclipsed only by Tom Cruise, who has opened 11 movies above that mark. And Smith's films make an average of $114 million, according to the Box Office Mojo website.

"He's got a lot of facets as an actor, but it's more than that," Bruer says. "People genuinely like him. They see him as someone who could be their neighbor or best friend. That translates at the box office beyond the movie itself."

The film did particularly well among older adults; about 57% of the audience was 25 and older, while 59% was female, according to Sony's exit surveys.

The fantasy film Eragon was a strong second, taking in $23.5 million despite savage reviews. Only 14% of the nation's critics recommended the movie, according to the survey website Rotten Tomatoes.

"The reviews weren't kind, but kids don't read reviews," says Bruce Snyder of 20th Century Fox, which released Eragon. "Given this was the weekend before Christmas, when everyone is so busy with other things, we're really pleased."

Other notables:

•Charlotte's Web did just $12 million, $10 million below expectations, though family movies often play well through the holidays.

•Mel Gibson's Apocalypto dropped 49% from its debut, falling to sixth place with $7.7 million.

•Dreamgirls enjoyed a strong debut in New York and Los Angeles, raking in $360,000 on three screens. It expands to about 800 screens on Christmas Day.

Fantastic Four trailer coming soon, world doesn't care

From, "20th Century Fox have updated us with some more information on how the teaser trailer reveal will play out next Friday (22nd). Whilst this information is accurate at the present time, it is tentative so keep your eyes on this page for any future amendments.

As it currently stands you will be able to catch the trailer in the US with Night at the Museum from December 22nd, obviously with as early a showing as you can book. We can exclusively reveal that it will then make its television premiere during Entertainment Tonight at 4pm (Pacific). Then, at around 5pm Pacific, it will be released online at More exact timings should be available to us a day or two before the trailer debuts.

We are also hearing that the big Silver Surfer reveal in USA Today that we spoke about recently may be pushed back until after the teaser trailer is released. It seems that Fox could want our first look at the Silver Surfer to be one of him in motion, and not a static image. Seems like a very wise decision to me given that the character is very much about energy and movement."

CBS Considering New Animated Trek Series For The Web

Star Trek may be set for a comeback into yet another arena, this time in the 2nd dimension. has learned that there is a new animated Trek project under consideration at CBS, but it has yet to get the green light. The series would most likely be broadcast on the web and be made up of ‘Clone Wars’ like 6-minute mini episodes. The yet-to-be-named project was originally pitched by long-time Trek producer David Rossi (well known to readers as a producer on Trek Remastered) along with his producer/writer partners Doug Mirabello and José Muñoz. Rossi sat down with for an exclusive look at how he and his partners hope to create a different kind of Trek set in the 26th century.

The idea for a new animated Trek started back around the time that Star Trek Enterprise was cancelled. Rossi and his partners didn’t buy into the notion that Star Trek ‘needed a rest’. "We wanted to spark a little life into Star Trek and to keep it alive in people’s eyes," explains Rossi. They knew CBS and Paramount weren’t going to be keen on a new (and very expensive) live action show so they decided that animation was the way to go. Their first notion was to do a show set in the Original Series era (but not on the Enterprise), however that notion didn’t sit well with the people at CBS. Rossi then took the advice he got from LeVar Burton on how ‘Star Trek should always be about moving forward and what is next in the human adventure.’ So the team came up with the notion of taking a big leap forward and setting a show 150 years after the time of Picard and Star Trek Nemesis, but in a very different and somewhat dark Trek universe. CBS were more open to that idea and over the last year and a half have asked the team (now formed into Zero Room Productions) to flesh out their idea. Although CBS have not committed to the series, they have asked the team to develop test artwork and scripts for 5 mini episodes.

Trek’s darker future…with a spark of hope
The Zero Room team felt that the time was right for a new approach to Trek. The setting is the year 2528 and the Federation is a different place after suffering through a devastating war with the Romulans 60 years earlier. The war was sparked off after a surprise attack of dozens of ‘Omega particle’ detonations throughout the Federation creating vast areas which become impassible to warp travel and essentially cut off almost half the Federation from the rest. During the war the Klingon homeworld was occupied by the Romulans, all of Andoria was destroyed and the Vulcans, who were negotiating reunification with the Romulans, pulled out of the Federation. The setting may seem bleak and not very Trek-like, but that is where the show’s hero Captain Alexander Chase comes in. Relegated to border patrol, Chase is determined to bring the Federation (and a ship called Enterprise) back to the glory days of seeking out new life and new civilizations.

The parallels with the real world are obvious. The view is that to be relevant Trek cannot skirt around issues. Rossi explains: "couching big social issues in allegories so they are more palatable is kind of passé now. Today shows deal with these issues head on, so we decided to make the entire show an allegory. The premise is an allegory for the post-9/11 world we live in. A world of uncertainty and fear." In addition to the attempt at relevance, the Zero Room team want to incorporate other modern techniques. The show will have an overall ‘arc’ related to the mystery of who perpetuated that ‘Omega’ attack which sparked the Romulan War (turns out it wasn’t the Romulans…ooops). As one might imagine, all of the above back-story is quite a lot to get across in animated mini episodes, but that is where the web comes in. On there will be a special sub-site for the show with crew logs and detailed histories of the Federation to get viewers up to speed on what has been going on since Picard’s day. The team also want to tackle the issue of how Trek does not usually lend itself to the action-oriented world of animated shows like Star Wars: Clone Wars. "We won’t have long diatribes, we are utilizing a clipped kind of writing and the editing is frenetic," explains Rossi. The overall approach is hoped to make the show have a wider appeal than Trek’s last foray into the world of animation.

A conflicted ship and crew
This new animated series would take place again on a ship called Enterprise, but the old girl has seen better days. Captain Chase’s Enterprise will be a ‘Bismarck Class’ heavy cruiser from the Romulan war and a bit out of date. Her mission will be merely patrolling the border, but Chase chose the Enterprise for a reason. As a student of the Federation’s glory days, he wants to have the Enterprise reclaim her legacy. Although they are not ready to share artwork, Rossi says the ship will be very different than familiar saucer/hull/nacelle designs while still being recognizable as a ‘Star Trek’ ship. Her crew will be a collection of humans and aliens including a chief engineer named ‘Mr. Zero’ who wears an environmental suit to survive. Life on the ship will mirror that of the Federation itself. "The Captain is more forward thinking and wants to go out and do some exploring but half the crew will be against that and want to just protect the border," says Rossi. Leading the ’stay the course’ faction will be Chase’s first officer, Commander Barric Holden who wants a command of his own and be a bit resentful of the his new captain. Rounding out the ‘big 3′ will be Lt. Kaylen Donal, a tough-as-nails security chief whose team of red shirts are all linked with Borg technology implants called ‘Biomechanical Utility Grafts or ‘BUGs’. The Zero Room team want to see this security squad kick some butt and not just be cannon fodder. Rossi draws the distinction with previous security personnel "they aren’t the hapless pajama wearing guys who get vaporized every time…these are going to be very thoughtful clever bad-ass soldiers."

A new look and a look back
When choosing a style for their new animated series, Zero Room chose a 2D style that was both modern and yet nostalgic. The designs are influenced by the work of Darwyn Cooke who made the recent retro-cool New Frontier comic series. "Although the show is set in the future the designs are founded in TOS, it is a throwback that is also looking forward," explains Rossi. From the designs of the uniforms to the phasers there is certainly an Original Series feel to the work, possibly harkening back to their original idea to set the series in the TOS period. Jeff Parker, an accomplished comic book artist currently working on Marvel’s on X-Men, has done most of the character design work. In addition to Jeff there are some others artists who have done work on the project and Zero Room are looking to expand the team as well.

So what is next?
One thing that should be made clear is that it is entirely unclear if, when or how this animated series will be seen. If the project gets the go ahead it will most likely be seen on, however the show would be made in a way so it can be also shown on broadcast TV as well as DVD. This is somewhat similar to the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series which was shown on as well as the Cartoon Network and then put out on DVD. One of the big hurdles seems to be the convoluted nature of the Trek license sharing deal between the former Viacom partners CBS and Paramount. Apparently when your name is not J.J. Abrams it is a bit difficult to work a new Trek project through the system. Currently the project is in a holding pattern and may remain so until the release of Star Trek XI in 2008. If CBS and Paramount want Star Trek to compete with other franchises like Star Wars, Superman, and Batman, then it makes sense for it to have an animated component.

Only time will tell if this project will see the light of day or end up like ‘Star Trek Phase II’ and other ‘Treks that could have been’. It is certain that this different take on the Trek universe will spark debate, but the people behind it are to be credited for attempting a daring take on the venerable franchise. The project does have the support of one of Star Trek’s most respected designers (and Trek’s semi-official historian) Mike Okuda (although he works with Rossi on Trek Remastered, Okuda is not inovled with the new animated project). Okuda tells "the concept offers fresh, exciting characters and stories, and the visuals promise to be cool…I hope it happens."