Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Grrr! Juggernaut! Grrr!

I Watch Stuff posted this really encouraging pic of Juggernaut. Just look at the raw power. Sigh. Poor guy, he looks ridiculous. I can't even settle on a joke, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, know that some of them are "leather daddy" and "Robert Altman's Popeye." I feel like a publicity team on the ball would never let such a photo get taken, or especially distributed. The generic motel room background really kills it. Then again, these would be the same people who thought up this yawn-inducing add campaign, so maybe all this pic needs is the words "take a stand."

James Cameron is obsessed with the ocean

From Darkhorizons, "Aliens" and "Titanic" helmer James Cameron has set Laeta Kalogridis ("Alexander", "Pathfinder"), who is co-writing "Battle Angel" with him, to write "The Dive," the true, tragic love story of freediver Francisco "Pipin" Ferraras and his wife Audrey Mestre reports Variety.

He plans to direct the film for 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment, although "The Dive" won't be the next directing effort for Cameron. That film is a 3-D project entitled "Project 880" which many speculate is either of his long-awaited "Avatar" or "Battle Angel" project.

"Dive," which would begin after that project, will tell the story of two pre-eminent free-divers who, with but a breath of air in their lungs, plunged to unimaginable depths before swimming back to the surface. She died during an attempt to better her world record to 557.7 feet.

From Aintitcoolnews, "James Cameron has announced a project he will do! But only sometime after Project 880. This project is called THE DIVE and is another tragic love story set around a true story and the ocean.
Cameron has brought on BATTLE ANGEL screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis to script the story about freedivers Francisco "Pipin" Ferraras and his wife Audrey Mestre, who hold world records for diving over 500 feet with only the air in their lungs.
20th Century Fox will put up the dough and Cameron will direct... sometime after 880. This is probably one of the 5 feature projects he told me he was teeing up. This is the less geeky cool of the projects known, but still... I love the way the man handles romance in his films... From TERMINATOR to TRUE LIES to TITANIC and (my personal favorite romance) THE ABYSS. Don't worry, we'll get our geeky cool projects... and probably before he tackles the love story."

Star Trek XI cancelled

From Darkhorizons, "The latest issue of Dreamwatch spoke with producer Rick Berman's assistant Doug Mirabello who revealed that the Erik Jendresen "Star Trek: The Beginning" script had been scrapped and that there isn't likely to be any Star Trek in movie theatres or on Television for quite some time says Trekweb.
He also says that to his knowledge there are no plans for using Patrick Stewart in any forthcoming TNG movie projects. "It's more likely that some executive had a casual conversation with him and brought up some hypotheticals which he ran with when some reporter asked him about Star Trek. There's a chance that someone else at Paramount is planning something huge and keeping us out of the loop. From what I've heard, Patrick wouldn't do another Trek movie unless they paid him Professor X money."

Now that the merger between UPN and WB is in full swing, Mirabello is not optimistic about a small screen future either - "The TV side is now technically in control of the franchise's future, and Les Moonves hates all things Sci-Fi. However, I think this is actually for the best - the public needs to want to see Star Trek again. The best way to achieve this is to take it away for a few years and then bring it back and do it right. The franchise needs a totally new creative team, some time off, and a cool new approach"."

Monday, February 27, 2006

Basic Instinct 2 edits

As expected that provocative cut of Basic Instinct 2 has been edited down to an "R" rating. This would be more intereting if I gave a rat's fart. From Moviesonline: The fellas behind Sony Pictures' "Basic Instinct 2" have cut a rather steamy 'Ménage à trois' from the upcoming sequel in order to to get an "R" rating. The film was threatened with an NC-17 rating because of that scene, but was handed a "hard R" once it was excised from the finished product. Curiously though, another sequence where Stone's character is pleasured by a man as she is driving a sports car through the streets of London happens to be allowed. That's Hollywood for ya.

"Basic Instinct 2" is due in theaters March 31, 2006. You can expect the Uncut and Unrated Basic Instinct on shelves by the end of this Summer.

MaFarlane on Spawn 2

Why does this man still have a career? He's been a cancer on the toy and comic book industry for years. His influence single-handedly ruined the way action figures are conceived, sacrificing style over substance, or is it substance over style?. This is not hyperbole, right Octopunk? [Damn right! --O.]From Moviesonline, "Todd McFarlane spoke about his involvement with the sequel to his comic book creation Spawn which he produced in back in 1997. Though he plans for a 2007 release of a Spawn 2, he does confirm that there will be most definitly be a sequel.

"I'm in the middle of the script and will have to do some rewrites, but I'm hoping by the end of the year, I'll be behind the camera," says McFarlane. "You can do wonderful movies for under $10 million...I've got the money, so I'm going to write it, produce it and direct it." You can read the rest of the article right here.

McFarlane also notes that the second film will focus mainly on a character named Twitch. If this is so, where is Twitch's other half, Sam? Twitch and Sam are a duo villain pair. Twitch is the brains of the two who is also an superb marksmen.

One of the most popular independent comic books of its decade was transformed into this dark, bloody adventure intended to launch a profitable superhero franchise. Michael Jai White stars as Al Simmons, a corrupt assassin betrayed and murdered by his evil government supervisor, Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen). Sent to Hell, Simmons is offered a chance to return to the earthly plane if he will become a "Hellspawn" ("Spawn" for short), one of many super-powered creatures assigned to encourage living souls along the path to damnation. Simmons hastily agrees to this deal and becomes a twisted, scarred version of his former self, living in a dingy alleyway, with no hope of regaining his life, as several years have passed and his wife Wanda (Theresa Randle) has married his best friend, Terry Fitzgerald (D.B. Sweeney). Despite the best efforts of his mentor, a demonic clown (John Leguizamo), Spawn performs mostly heroic acts, though he is not above seeking revenge on Wynn. Despite the film's middling box office take, plans for a sequel were announced. The same summer that Spawn was released, the comic was also the basis of a well-received cable TV series."

More on that Wicker Man remake

bloodydisgusting posted this interview with the Christa Campbell "Donna" from the upcoming Wicker Man remake,

"BD: You have six movies due out this year including the TV movie, “Deadly Water”, directed by your “Mansquito” director, Tibor Takacs, and “The Wicker Man” with Nicolas Cage, Leelee Sobieski and Ellen Burstyn. What can you tell us about these two movies, particularly “The Wicker Man”? And have you seen the original “The Wicker Man” with Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland and Ingrid Pitt?

CC: Of course I’ve seen the original “The Wicker Man”! I own it! I love it! It was very erotic, I thought. The remake is different in some ways - the island is all women, scary women! This will be a huge release, apparently it’s very scary! And Nic is always amazing, the rest is hush- hush. Deadly water - geez I was thrown off a boat in Vancouver, at 3 am in the freezing, pouring-down rain and had to drown. Oh, by the way, you can only be in there for a few seconds or your body will freeze over! Did I mention I can barely swim? Oh yeah, I didn’t tell the producers that. They said you’re going into the water and I replied yeah!! Let’s do it! And I’m scared sh*tless! But it all worked out in the end.

BD: Would you give us a brief description of what this version of “The Wicker Man” is about? And what your character Donna does in the film?

CC: I’m in the opening scenes of the movie with Nic, before he goes to the island, before…things happen! Oh, I just can’t tell!

BD: That must have been quite exciting, working with Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn, both Oscar winners. What kind of experiences did you have while filming “The Wicker Man”?

CC: My experience was wow! Am I glad to be here, just try not to get myself fired!In a remake of the 1973 British horror thriller of the same name, Nicolas Cage plays a reclusive sheriff who goes to search for his estranged daughter after she mysteriously disappears on a secluded island. When he arrives, he senses something more is amiss among the island's secretive residents as he starts to uncover a mystery involving strange sexual rituals, a harvest festival and possible human sacrifice."

Rocky Balboa script review

From aintitcoolnews comes the first script reveiw of Rocky 6, "Rocky Balboa". I realize that most will be tempted to give me a wedgie for giving this any attention, but I actually like these dumb movies. Sure they follow a predictable formula, but I'm a sucker for those training montages accompanied by the cheesy, throbbing Survivor soundtrack.

"Hey folks, this is Tregs here, and I had the recent privilege of reading the script for "Rocky VI" or "Rocky Balboa" –the official title. Any doubts I had about the validity of the script were instantly dashed once I had read the first few pages. Being in the writing profession, I couldn't help but groan at the glaring spelling and grammatical errors. I knew right away that the script was written by the man, Sylvester Stallone. He never claimed to be a Rhodes scholar, but he does toss around big words (not in this script) quite a bit in interviews, so I was concerned that someone didn't edit the script more closely. Who's gonna correct him anyway?

Anyway, let's get on to the script. We all knew there would be another Rocky film one day. Hollywood barely has an original thought in their collective head, so why not? Watch how many "Brokeback" copies you'll see in about 8-10 months from now. I was excited to get this copy of the script (inside friends) simply because of the 'secrecy' factor surrounding the project. Come on… any one of us could guess at the plot and its outcome and be close to accurate. This review will include SPOILERS, so if you think you're going to be treated to something new, stop reading now.

There were a few revisions to the script, so at times it seems disjointed, something I'm sure they'll fix in the editing process. The film opens up with a fight scene featuring the latest heavyweight champion, Mason "The Line" Dixon taking out another inferior opponent. The crowd is disgusted. It seems there's no one left for this man to fight and it's become tiresome (irony?). This is all written as if our ADD-riddled country is still interested in boxing. Don't get me wrong, I loved "The Contender" last year simply because it was real and bloody. But I also know why it failed.

Cut to Rocky, in a graveyard, mourning. Who's dead, you ask? Probably whoever said no to this project (see Talia Shire). Yes Adrian (that's how Sly spells it) is dead and Rocky makes periodic visits with a lawn chair to sit at her grave and talk to her. This was all probably dialogue that was supposed to be interactive until she declined involvement. He also drags Paulie along but he hates it. Surprisingly, Burt Young was available! Not only was he available, but he also gets more screen time in this film than he did in any other outing. Is this a good thing?

So Rocky owns a Philadelphia restaurant and basically every night people want to hear Apollo Creed stories. I, myself, would rather hear Mr.T stories because that was a better movie, but that's another story. Meanwhile, Rocky's son, Robert (oh no! shades of Rocky V!) is kind of embarrassed by him and keeps his distance. This puzzles me because who wouldn't want this guy for a dad?

Meanwhile, the rocket scientists at ESPN have designed a computer program that pits current fighters against the classics. After using CGI to pit Mason Dixon against the Philly slugger, 'analysts' realize they have a great fight on their hand.

Back in Philadelphia, Rocky has befriended a single mom. She has the obligatory, disgruntled son who also doesn't care for Rocky. If you've seen a movie before, you can guess how that relationship develops.

After hardly any prodding, Rocky decides to fight Dixon and re-applies for his license. There are subplots about Dixon arguing with his manager because he's too good to fight a has-been and Paulie and the meat factory (he's still there??).

Actually, the script's not as predictable as you think and I don't want to give away too much more out of fairness to the filmmakers and Mr. Stallone, a man whom I admire and respect very much. His success story in Hollywood is legendary. I will tell you this- I am going to be there on opening day exclusively because of the last shot in the film, which I won't give away. It's so good that it gave me goose bumps and made me wish that the rest of the script had lived up to its ending. Honestly, as a screenwriter myself, I don't know how I would or could have effectively revived the series. You have to be true to the franchise and basically the idiots that make up Middle America like their stories simple and spoon-fed to them. So, get ready for Dukes of Hazzard II, coming soon to push all the intelligent films out of the theater. This is Tregs, see you in 2007 (why?) when this movie comes out."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Man Forced to Marry Goat

This is from the good folks at the BBC: A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his "wife", after he was caught having sex with the animal. The goat's owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders.

They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi.

"We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together," Mr Alifi said.

Mr Alifi, Hai Malakal in Upper Nile State, told the Juba Post newspaper that he heard a loud noise around midnight on 13 February and immediately rushed outside to find Mr Tombe with his goat.

"When I asked him: 'What are you doing there?', he fell off the back of the goat, so I captured and tied him up".

Mr Alifi then called elders to decide how to deal with the case.

"They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife," Mr Alifi told the newspaper.

What's that you say? "What does this have to do with horror movies?" That's a good question. A very good question indeed.

Goblin return!

From Darkhorizons, "Our own Billion$Baby sent over word that Goblin, the legendary prog-rock band that provided the soundtracks for Dario Argento's Suspiria, Deep Red, and, of course, Dawn of the Dead, have announced that members Fabio Pignatelli, Massimo Morante, Maurizio Guarini and Agostino Marangolo are reforming, and releasing the first new record in years.

"Back to the Goblin 2005" is one of the band's precious few non-soundtrack releases, and the group hopes to do some live shows to support the release."

Potentially huge Spider-Man 3 update

Aintitcoolnews provides the first "official" photo of Spider-Man, reportedly wearing the "black" costume. Below is also our first glimpse of Venom, although its authenticity hasn't been verified. The interview with the source of the Venom photo is replete with spoilers so read at your own risk.

Q1. Who are the villains and how much screentime does each one get?

A. Venom,Sandman, and GG2. Sandman is the main one, building up to venom at end. GG has a good amount, though not sure how much time. He's in 2 major battles.

Q2.Does the GG look cool,how much green does he have on him,is his black snow suit have a black hood that covers the top of his head,do the belts on his legs hold pumpkin bombs,is his goggles yellow lens,does he wear gloves of any kind,and why does Harry go with this suit instead of the one his father used?

A. He looks cool as an individual idea. But again, nothing remotely goblin like about him except the weapons, glider and some green on him. No hood, the belts hold two swords. One long one on his back, a smaller one on his right leg. Pumpkins bombs are in his glider. Goggles are black. He has a green mouthmask. Gloves are black. No idea why. Possible to make it more to his liking, a way to "improve".

Q3.Does Venom fight in this movie or does he just show up as a cliffhanger?

A. Yes he fights. Again, he will fight Spidey with Sandman at the end, the movie leads up to this "battle royale" at the construction site. GG will also join in the fight, but not on the sides of Ven/San. GG fights with Spidey instead.

A.I've seen the costume of Venom (yes hes in it, but only towards the end) and its extremely cool. Think all black latex with veins all over his upper half, reaching over onto his arms. However the veins also shape into the Spider thats on his chest in the comics (no white). Venom will be a little larger than. spidey. Basically the bad version of spidey. Venom has nasty teeth, no where near exaggerated in the comics. Just really sharp yellow teeth, very fang like, it will be prosthetics. Tongue will be CG.

Q5.I'm kinda confused,does spidey wear the symbiote before Brock gets it?

A.Yes. After his date with MJ, the symbiote clings to his shoe and waits for Parker in his room one night. He then wakes up upside down on the side of a building wearing the symbiote costume.

Q6.If spidey does wear the symbiote,what does it look like exactly?

A.The same costume as blue/red only black with all the scale detail and webbing over it. Not impressive. It looks like this because it stuck onto his old costume then it clung on Peter.

Q7.And how long does he wear the suit?

A.For right now, a good chunk since the movie is about Peter and how the symbiote possesses him, and the decisions he has to make.

Q8.Who does he fight with it?

A.Sandman, robbers, and Harry

Q9.What makes him take it off?

A.Bell Tower.

Q10.What kind of things does Sandman do in this movie power wise?

Grows a lot. Sandstorms. Hand as a sledgehammer and mace. The FX will raise the bar.

Q11.Where do all the fights take place on/at?

A.All over. In the air/Alley, underground subway, armoured truck in the streets, construction site.

Q12.Is there a cliffhanger at the end of this movie?

A.Not currently. But there is one scene that leaves questions opened about the return of the symbiote.

Q13.Who does Bruce Campbell play?

A.He has a cameo as somebody named Quentin Beck.

Q14.Where does the symbiote come from?

A.An astroid.

Q15.Does spidey wear his regular red and blue spidey suit in the movie?

Yes. At the beginning and end of the movie.

Q16.Is S-M3 and S-M4 being made back to back?


Q17.Is Venom going to be the villain for S-M4,or is S-M3 going to be it for him?

A.End of the line for Brocks version of Venom, but not the symbiote itself.

Q18.Are there lots of fights/action in this movie?

A.TONS. Four BIG fight sequences. All very fun, and clever. Wont be disappointed in that department. Be prepared for A LOT of fight sequences including a revisit to the subway fight sequence (only underground this time).

Q19. What is that church for?

A.The church sequence is used when Black Symbiote Spidey attempts to tear his suit off by the ringing of the church bell. Unknown to him that right under him in the church Brock is walking in where pieces of the symbiote land on him and then bond with him.

Q20. Do GG2 and Spidey ever face off?

A.Yes. I will mention one fight scene at the beginning of the movie in particular. Harry in full GG Glory first attacks peter, and tosses him into the side of the building. This also where they have a huge airal fight sequence leading to a chase into an alley where (yes as a previous plot spoiler had reported) Harry is knocked out and Peter saves him and brings him to a hospital.

Q21. How much screen time does Dr.Connors have,does he mention anything about lizard experiments?

A. Connors studies the symbiote sample. So we see the inside of his lab. A lot of Lizards references.

Q22.Who dies?

[This answer moved to the Comments section, in case you care]

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pan's Labyrinth

From Iwatchstuff, "some scans from a European magazine showing some images from Guillermo del Torro's new horror, Pan's Labyrinth, and man are they terrifying. The film tells the story of a young girl who travels with her family to rural Northern Spain, where her imaginary world begins to take over. Besides revealing how amazing the grotesqueness of this film looks to be, I'm pleased that there's finally proof that other kids had imaginary pale scrotum men that ate big novelty peanuts for them. I told you, mom."


From Aintitcoolnews, "Here's some info on a new film based off of a Philip K. Dick story. This time we have Lee Tamahori helming an adaptation of Dick's story THE GOLDEN MAN. The adaptation is called NEXT and stars Jessica Biel and Nicolas Cage. Cage plays a dude that can see future events and their outcomes who is being pursued by the FBI. They want to use his abilities to prevent a global terrorist attack. Biel's the love interest and apparently in the clutches of the evil terrorists.
I have not read the short story, but after a quick search I found a blurb saying it's about the purging of mutants before they affect the human gene pool. Mutants, terrorists... whatever. Hopefully there's a solid script beneath this one. If not, we can always look forward to Richard Linklater's A SCANNER DARKLY, eh?

Marebito on DVD March 14th

From Moviesonline, "Tartan Asia Extreme will be releasing the sick, twisted and ingenious creepfest (Paper Magazine) "Marebito" from acclaimed international director and master of horror Takashi Shimizu ("The Grudge"), which stars Shinya Tsukamoto,Kazuhiro Nakahara and Shun Sugata onto DVD. The film will be presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, along with Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Surround tracks. English subtitles will also be provided. Extras are listed below. The disc will be available to own when it hits store shelves March 14, 2006.

Masuoka is a cameraman possessed by the craving to understand fear--what it is and where it ultimately leads. He wanders the Tokyo streets, a voyeur, hungrily looking for clues. Obsessing over the haunted expressions of the faces he has captured in his daily filming, in particular a man who committed a grisly suicide on the metro.

He returns to the scene to better comprehend the dead man’s reasoning.

Following his final gaze leads Masuoka to a door, an entry into a bizarre, cavernous underworld. Here among the ghosts and the subterranean robots called DEROs he finds a beautiful young girl chained to a rock. Saving her from her imprisonment he takes her home.

But watching her from his web-cam at work each day he begins to suspect there is something truly inhuman about this girl with sharp teeth and who walks on all fours. When he begins to uncover her horrifying secrets Masuoka realizes that he has found the key to gaining the terrible knowledge he so craves...

DVD Details:

1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
DTS 5.1 Surround
English Subtitles
Interview with Director Takashi Shimizu
Interview with Actor Shinya Tsukamoto
Director’s Discussion of Ju-On, The Grudge and Marebito
Original Theatrical Trailer
Tartan Asia Extreme New Releases"

WB is already planning the next installments to Batman Begins and Superman Returns

From Superherohype, "Warner Bros. Pictures is already planning the next installments to Batman Begins and Superman Returns, with respective helmers Christopher Nolan and Bryan Singer in line to return, reports Variety.

While neither director's deal is closed, the studio has hired Jonah Nolan -- Christopher's brother -- to write the screenplay for the untitled "Batman" project. The studio has options on "Begins" star Christian Bale and "Returns" star Brandon Routh.

Next installment in the Caped Crusader franchise is further along in the process since "Begins" was released last summer; Singer's "Returns," now in post-production, doesn't get released until June 30. "Batman" and "Superman" sequels could make their debut in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Legendary Pictures, which put up half the financing for both "Begins" and "Returns," is expected to board the sequels and split the budgets 50/50 with Warner Bros. In return, Legendary would split all profits, also 50/50.

One idea being tossed about is for Singer to direct a "Superman" sequel soon after he finishes with Warner's remake of sci-fi thriller Logan's Run, which he's also expected to direct.

The trade says Logan's Run is tentatively scheduled to begin shooting this fall in Vancouver. If Singer did pact to direct the "Superman" sequel, that film could be shot in Vancouver as well.

Singer is also set to direct The Mayor of Castro Street, which is in development at Warner Bros.

"Begins" co-writers David Goyer and Christopher Nolan wrote a treatment for the sequel."

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Jurassic Park IV in 2008

I know I'll be crucified for saying so, but I thought Part III was fun. From Iwatchstuff, "As if the franchise hadn't been bled enough as it is, producer Frank Marshall said in a recent interview that Jurassic Park IV "has a good script now, so we should have that one up and running next year for release in 2008."

The way they're treating Jurassic Park reminds me of an old folk tale in which a man finds a tree with the best apples he's ever seen. Everyone loves the apples, so he keeps going back for more to sell every day, but the village keeps liking them less and less because he's run out of the good fruit and he's forced to pick the rotten and not-yet-ripe apples. Then, they make three sequels to this folk tale, and they're all pretty shitty and about dinosaurs."

What about Roger Rabbit?

From Iwatchstuff, "In a recent demand by China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, content depicting human actors with animated characters is no longer allowed in the country. Those pieces that have already been approved, luckily, will continue to be aired, allowing another generation of Chinese boys to secretly masturbate to Jessica Rabbit and Cool World.

"These human live-action, so-called animation pieces will not receive distribution or distribution licenses," read the order, issued Feb. 15. However, films and shows that have already received permits will continue to air. CGI and 2-D characters alongside human actors jeopardize "the broadcast order of homemade animation and mislead their development," according to a report from the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Well, goddammit. How are we going to disseminate our capitalist agenda without sending another Space Jam to China? You've won again, Commies."

I got your love right here, JPX

Where's the love, Octopunk?

Uwe Boll is not a hot chick

And that's enough of that enthustiastic German. I cropped this from the The Fog desktop image I snagged off the website in October. I didn't use it because it's a publicity image and I thought a screen shot would be better. Now I just want the pain to stop.

Uwe Boll's Next Project: SEED

From Moviesonline, "Dr. Boll has a new project in the works. Dr Boll is currently attached to a new project called "Seed." He will act as producer, director and writer for the horror feature. The focus is based on a real story about a serial killer who survived the death penalty. The character's name will be John Seed (not his real name).

Seed escaped the electric chair. There is a Law in the USA that states that if you survive the electric shock for 15 seconds on the Electric Chair, three times - they have to let you go. The electric chair failed to work well when it was first established. Some people got burnt but not killed. Boll explains that the "main character survives but they do not want to let him go - so they bury him alive...." When asked if this film will resemble "The Green Mile" or "Shawshank Redemption", Dr Boll replied "No. It is a Horror Movie." All you people giggling in the front row reading this news item SHUT UP lol."

I found this petition online:

"To: Dr. Uwe Boll
We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that Uwe Boll give proper weight to the wishes of the video game community, the horror community, and the film going community in general and stop directing, producing, or taking any part in the creation of feature films. His distasteful handling of the subject matter and lack of acknowledgement of his failures simply cannot be abided any longer.

Mr. Boll has repeatedly shown a complete lack of comprehension regarding the videogames he has dragged, kicking and screaming, to the silver screen and his ham-fisted approach to horror has soiled future possibilities for anyone else who may attempt to bring videogames to film.


The Undersigned"

I disagree. I hope this guy keeps making crappy films forever. Octopunk had a Uwe Boll "marathon" last October, which included all 2 of his films at the time. It's amazing to me that 4 months later the guy has put out 2 more films and has several more lined up. Go Uwe!

Ki ki kill ma ma mom

From Darkhorizons, "Jonathan Liebesman ("Darkness Falls", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning") is in negotiations to direct Platinum Dunes' remake/prequel of "Friday the 13th" for New Line Cinema.

Set to explore the origins of serial killer Jason Voorhees, the remake will incorporate components of the films, Jason will wear the mask, and the action will be set around Crystal Lake.

Mark Wheaton penned the script with production on the fast track to get it in theatres by October 13th, 2006."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Night Watch

(2004) ***1/2
This just made its American debut last weekend, but Nochnoy dozor hit the big time in Russia two years ago. When we meet our hero, Anton, he's heading into the apartment of what counts as a witch in 1992. Small room, red walls, lots of pictures pasted to the wall. Not posters, but placemat-sized landscapes, postcards, all jumbled in a casual collage. And I thought "Ah, good...this is such a Russian apartment."

I've never seen an actual Russian apartment, but I had a Russian landlord once, and through him I came to understand the utterly charming vibe of well-meaning, sometimes clumsy functionality that seems to permeate the Russian experience. A feel for street-level opulence, and certainly a good sense for using interior space thriftily. If you've ever lived in a tiny apartment, you know what I'm talking about. It's like living in a boat. This is what Night Watch has in spades, this wonderful humanity. Like the Tick and Arthur, these superheroes have apartments and refrigerators.

Things in the old babooshka's apartment take a crazy turn, the spell goes sideways. Anton comes to and sees the witch (seriously, this woman looks like someone who could've worked with your mom once) being interrogated by a fat bald guy and a fat hairy guy, both wearing dirty utility jumpsuits and sunglasses. "Who are you guys?" says Anton.

"Whoa, he can see us?" Enter the good guys. The set-up is deceptively simple: certain people are special beings called Others, the powers vary from Other to Other, and upon gaining their powers each Other gets to choose which side to fight for. The powers of Light and Dark have been holding a shaky truce for 1,000 years, due to the even balance of power that is slated to be tipped. I realize how similar that may sound to X-Men, Underworld, etc. but trust me: the imagination at work here is eyebrow-raising original. The rules of this supernatural universe are creepy and fun.

There's also a neat bag of tricks at work with the subtitles, with words emerging from behind passersby or dropping out of sight. It's not too heavily done, and it adds to the grimy groove of the movie.

If my rating were just about getting you to go see it, I'd give it a four and a half, easy. There are some slow snags at a couple of spots in the story, and the ending does get muddied a bit, with a bit too much whipping the camera around for my taste. But the vision is solid, it's a very original film and you should go see it.

You can check out the trailer and other good info at the website, there's also a good bunch of pictures at this Russian website I like.

Perfume trailer

From Iwatchstuff, "The teaser for Perfume, the newest project from the director of Run Lola Run, is now available in a convenient, downloadable format. The upcoming German film features Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman, though only a girl and a terrifying freak are shown in the clip. If you think being secretly sniffed by a man from behind isn't scary, you haven't seen this trailer. Or been on the subway, for that matter." I really liked this book and the trailer suggests that the tone has been appropriately captured. Go here to watch a woman be sniffed.

Two men who spend a lot of time (insert joke here)

Jordan notes, "Given the content of the Star Wars prequels, I find this picture
ironic and kind of fascinating."

From Yahoo, "George Lucas and ILM President Chrissie England Among Recipients of National Medals of Science and Technology at White House. Industrial Light & Magic is First Entertainment Company to Receive Nation's Highest Technology Honor.

President George W. Bush will present the National Medals of Technology and the National Medals of Science for 2004 in a White House ceremony at 10:40 a.m. (EST) on Monday, Feb. 13. Among the recipients will be Lucasfilm Ltd. founder George Lucas and Industrial Light & Magic President Chrissie England. Monday's ceremony marks the first time an entertainment company has received the National Medal of Technology. San Francisco-based Industrial Light & Magic is nominated for two Best Visual Effects Oscars at the 78th Annual Academy Awards, for its work on War of the Worlds and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Creepshow 3

From Moviesonline, "The first real Trailer for the upcoming "Creepshow 3" is online. It is for the epsiode called "Alice" and you can watch a Quicktime and Flash version on the official site's Media section. The third installment to the George Romero/Stephen King original, this time directed by James Dudelson and Ana Clavell ("Day of the Dead 2: Contagium"). To watch the trailer for "Alice" just go here (http://www.creepshow3.com/).

Alice is a snotty sixteen year old with an attitude problem,particularly towards her oddball neighbor Professor Dayton, an inventor and, quite possibly, a mad scientist. Then her Dad buys a strange remote control that seems to affect time and space. Everytime her Dad presses a button the real world changes, and so does she, all for the worse… Is Alice getting her just rewards or is it just her perception of things?

The film is based on the format of the orginal, featuring five new creepy and campy stories to add to the already classic anthology. Besides "Alice" the movie includes the storys;

"Rachel the Callgirl" - Rachel is a sexy, savvy, serial killer with a taste for men looking for paid sex. Victor is a sexy, savvy vampire with a taste for call girls. A match of titans?"

"Professor Dayton's Wife" - A lifelong bachelor, Professor Dayton announces he’s going to get married. He’s such a prankster nobody believes him at first, including his two favorite students, John and Charles. Then they meet his fiancée Kathy – a perfect young blonde with a sexy accent- and they have no doubt that he’s pulling their leg –again. They decide it’s their turn to pull a fast one on the joke-seeking professor, and they set out to dismantle Kathy.

"The Haunted Dog" - Dr. Farwell has no bedside manners. As a matter of fact he doesn’t give a damn about his patients: all he cares about is partying! His uncaring ways get him into supernatural trouble when he unwittingly causes the death of a transient, Cliffie, with a contaminated hot dog. From that moment on he has no peace as Cliffie starts haunting him around the clock. Then again, the good doc may be taking too many self-prescribed medications?

"The Radio" - Jerry is a part-time security guard, full-time loser. He has no goals or dreams other than drink himself senseless and listen to the game on the radio. When his radio breaks down he buys a used one from a street vendor. He soon discovers that this is not ordinary radio. Not only can it have a conversation with him but it can tell him how to get wealthy. Jerry obeys his new “friend”, to the point he does truly terrible things. Yet his undoing may not be his bad actions but his crush for Eva, a prostitute.

The film is scheduled to be released in 2006."

King Kong out on DVD March 28

"Time for some chest-thumping
By Thomas K. Arnold, Special for USA TODAY
DVD fans can really go ape on March 28.

Naomi Watts and King Kong in Peter Jackson’s blockbuster remake, which arrives on March 28.
Weta Digital Ltd/Universal Studios

That's when Peter Jackson's big-budget remake of King Kong arrives on DVD, along with a zoo's worth of other simian and monster movies to capitalize on what Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau hopes will be "Kong mania."

"It's long been a popular practice in the video industry, piggybacking on some high-profile new release," says analyst Tom Adams, president of Adams Media Research.

"It dates back to the 1980s, when Disney began releasing their animated classics, and a budget supplier called UAV put out a $4 or $5 clone with the same title but different animation."

The big enchilada March 28 will be two different editions of the new King Kong: a movie-only, single-disc version ($30) and a lavish two-disc special edition ($31). Typically, the major discount chains slash prices on new releases while pricing special editions more in line with the suggested retail price. The single disc probably will be available for about $15 its first week out, while the two-disc edition should be selling for around $25.

Kong's DVD case doesn't use the theatrical art but rather specially designed original art by Weta, the production company behind the film's visual effects. The special edition includes a personal introduction from director Jackson, along with nearly three hours of new post-production video diaries, a mock documentary on the fictional Skull Island and a tribute to the 1930s New York City immortalized in the original Kong.

Says Universal's Kornblau: "From the first frame, Peter Jackson and his team take us on an unforgettable adventure that not only thrills but also touches us on a deep emotional level."

Universal is mounting one of the most ambitious promotional campaigns in studio history, highlighted by a media blitz involving television, radio and print, Kornblau says.

Not to be outdone, Warner Home Video, also on March 28, will release a single-disc DVD of the original 1933 King Kong, using the same restored version that was the centerpiece of fall's collector's edition. This one is short on bonus features, but Warner's Jeff Baker says the film will be available in retail stores for less than $10. He's hoping that will be cheap enough for consumers drawn to stores by the new Kong to buy the old one, too.

Analyst Adams agrees. "Consumers love getting movies for 10 bucks or less," he says. "I suspect they will do very well with that."

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is preparing a 14-disc Planet of the Apes Ultimate DVD Collection ($180) that includes all five original Planet of the Apes movies, the 2001 remake, the animated TV series and even a collectible bust of a giant ape.

Fox's marketing campaign plays off King Kong with the taglines "It takes more than one ape to rule" and "Who's the king now?"

"With that big monkey movie hitting retail, everyone is thinking about apes," Fox's Steve Feldstein says. "It's the perfect opportunity for us to finally give Planet of the Apes fans what they've been clamoring for."

To further entice collectors, Fox is releasing only a few thousand sets, all of them numbered.

"When they're gone, they're gone forever," Feldstein said.

Adams calls this approach "an innovative wrinkle, trying to parlay the ape factor."

The mania isn't limited to giant apes. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is preparing a "monster edition" of Godzilla that includes three episodes from the TV series as well as bonus materials such as a never-before-seen production art gallery, a commentary from the special effects supervisor and an All-Time Best of Godzilla Fight Scenes featurette.

"With King Kong coming out, monsters are in the spotlight," Sony's Lexine Wong says. "And two of the biggest monster icons in movie history are King Kong and Godzilla, so how appropriate to service both fan bases on the same day."

Indiana Jones 4

From Spielbergfilms, "February 20, 2006
-Spielberg confirms ‘Indiana Jones 4 ’ to follow ‘Munich’
Unless some very powerful fates finally conspire to do Indiana Jones in once and for all (and he’s beat some pretty tough foes in his day), the long-awaited fourth film in the “Indiana Jones” franchise is full speed ahead for production this year (and release next year, according to series creator George Lucas).

While director Steven Spielberg remained largely silent on his work on “Indiana Jones IV” during the busy days on “War of the Worlds” and “Munich,” Spielberg finally broke the silence in a recent interview with Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

“I haven’t given up making entertaining films, but over the last decade I have been making some films that express the respect I have for history,” Spielberg said.

“I am about to make ‘Indiana Jones 4,’ which is, as far as I am concerned, the sweet dessert I give those who had to chow down on the bitter herbs that I’ve used in ‘Munich.’”

I think that about says enough to set the ‘net ablaze with talk tonight!"

Friday, February 17, 2006

Return of the Jedi deleted scene

Jordan got me thinking about all the missing scenes from the Star Wars Trilogy that we've only heard about. I did a little digging and found these sandstorm pictures that Jordan mentioned:

"Return of the Jedi: My sentimental favorite. I saw this one in theatres twice during it's first run. The first time I spent watching it backwards through the reflection in the old projector because I was so afraid of Jabba...the second time we arrived late and I flat out refused to go in because Jabba was already on screen. I lived, breathed, and ate this movie for my entire life. Purists don't consider this one all that great, mainly because of the so-called Ewok marketing ploy...but for me, this movie was Star Wars.

One notable deleted scene takes place after the good guys succeed in rescuing Han and blowing up basically everyone associated with Jabba the Hutt. Before Luke and the rest of the Rebels go their seperate ways in space for a little while, there's a scene with them meeting up near the Falcon on Tatooine during a sandstorm.

Of course, technology then wasn't what it is today, so they created an actual sandstorm to create the scene. Ultimately, most of what they shot was too blurry to even use. And after some inspection, Lucas felt it hurt the flow of the movie, so it was altogether dropped.

The scene shows Luke explaining to everyone about how he had some 'business' to take care of before they go onto the Falcon. Of course, Luke's referring to his impending return to the Dagobah System so he can complete his Jedi training with Yoda. Obviously, Luke needs a little more training. He didn't even have the foresight to realize that Yoda would die five minutes after he got there. What a waste of time!

The most unfortunate part about this scene not making the final cut is that we didn't get a chance to see how silly Luke looks trying to be all serious while wearing these ridiculously exaggerated goggles."

Kelly Osbourne scares me

Berry can't escape 'Catwoman' during award

"Berry can't escape 'Catwoman' during award
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Halle Berry had to write "I will not make Catwoman II " on a chalkboard four times Thursday in order to earn her pudding pot as Harvard's Hasty Pudding woman of the year.

After promising in writing that there will be no Catwoman II, Berry was allowed to claim her Hasty Pudding pot.
AP photo

Berry's performance in the 2004 action bomb earned her a worst-actress award in last year's Razzies, a spoof of the Oscars that trashes Hollywood's worst.

Berry also shook her hips in a comic faux dance competition to prove her superpower skills and to jokingly test her abilities as an action star.

Before she was given the traditional brass pudding pot during a roast at Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theater, Berry danced suggestively with a Harvard student dressed like a French poodle, which Berry's presenter's dubbed Dogman.

She also acted out scenes from Monster's Ball, a film for which she won an Oscar and a SAG award in 2002.

Berry, 39, said she takes her Hasty Pudding award "very seriously."

"It's going to go right next to my Oscar," she said.

Earlier Thursday, Berry rode in a silver Bentley convertible in the traditional parade through Harvard Square, flanked by two male Harvard students dressed in drag.

Berry, who also won an Emmy for her performance in the HBO film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, will reprise her role as Storm in X3, the third installment in the X-Men series, due May 26.

Richard Gere is to be honored Feb. 24 as the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year.

The awards are given by Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe.

Peter Dodd, one of the Harvard students who participated in the roast onstage with Berry, said the actress was picked for the Hasty Pudding honor because "she's just such a good role model for anyone interested in the arts ... and she's just so fun."

Last year's Hasty Pudding winners were Catherine Zeta-Jones and Tim Robbins." Associated Press

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Holy crap, Silent Hill looks really promising!

Wow, I just checked out the trailer for this upcoming flick and it looks really creepy - kind of a Hellraiser meets The Ring hybrid (link at end of post).

From moviesonline, "The film tells the story of a woman who, desperate to save her dying child, finds herself trapped in an alternate reality as she searches for her daughter in a dangerous world of demons. Rose cannot accept the knowledge that her daughter Sharon is dying of a fatal disease. Over the protests of her husband, she flees with her child, intending to take the girl to a faith healer. On the way, she ends up driving through a portal in reality, which takes her to the eerie and deserted town of Silent Hill.

Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) disappears in Silent Hill, and Rose (Radha Mitchell) follows what she thinks is her daughter's silhouette all over town. It's soon clear the town is not like any place she's ever been. Is's inhabited by a variety of creatures and a living darkness that descends and literally transforms everything it touches. The human inhabitants (the ones who are left) are trapped and fighting a losing battle against the Darkness.

Joined by a cop named Cybil (Laurie Holden), who has been sent to bring her and Sharon back, Rose searches for her little girl while learning the history of Silent Hill and that Sharon is just a pawn in a larger game. To save her daughter, Sharon makes a deal with a demon in the form of a little girl....."

Trailer link: http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_7208.html

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


From Iwatchstuff, "New stills from Silent Hill have emerged online, including this horrifying image of a woman with some kind of metal pyramid head, wearing a dress made of a patchwork of flesh, hauling off with a bloody child. It's funny how something you didn't know existed one minute can the next minute be the very reason you're buying a gun."

Jordan muses on all things lightsabers

I've been thinking a little bit too much about Star Wars and I've got three minor complaints/observations about lightsabers.

1. The glow from the blade doesn't shine on anything. There are only two exceptions: a) digital characters like Yoda or Grievous reflect a glow from their own sabers, since as CGI renderings they're reacting to a fictitious lighting environment including the glowing saber; b) a couple of tight close-ups of Dooku fighting with Obi Wan or Anakin were done with practical "glow tube" saber props to get a glow on their faces.

2. Ewan MacGregor in particular likes to do this "baton twirl" move with his saber, where you pivot the entire saber in a wide vertical arc around your wrist. He's doing it from the very opening of Phantom Menace all the way through the end of Sith. You know what I'm talking about; the saber goes "WOM...WOM" as he pivots his wrist and the saber spins like a propeller blade. It's not really a fight move; more of a "vamp" in between blows. It looks fantastic. The only problem is that it's completely impossible with a "real" saber because the blade is made of light and doesn't weigh anything. A Star Wars lightsaber prop has a long steel stick that's balanced like a sword; a "real" lightsaber would feel like a flashlight in your hand. I understand that the blade kinetically behaves like a solid object (albeit a really sharp, hot one) but that doesn't mean it weighs anything. Oh well.

3. The discharge from a "blaster" is basically a visual amalgam of a sci-fi "ray gun" and a bullet; Lucas obviously thought ray guns were hokey and wanted something more romantic. So you get the Star Wars blaster which has recoil and makes a lot of noise (the props were made from real handguns) but you get the great animated visuals of the red bolts flying across the screen. It's so well done that it sells the Star Wars concept immediately in the first two minutes of the movie, when all those stormtroopers come in, blasting away. But here's the problem. Han Solo calls them "laser blasts" (another example of a terrestrial word ending up in Star Wars without anyone thinking about the implications, like "I'll see you in hell" -- do they really have a "hell" concept and all the attached religious beliefs? but I digress) but, like "phasers," the beam actually moves slowly enough that you can frame-by-frame and see its progress. Poetic license? No, because if the blaster discharge actually moved at lightspeed there would be no way in hell a Jedi could see it coming and move fast enough to deflect the blast with a lightsaber. Okay, maybe the Jedi is looking at the muzzle of the gun and is so good that he (or she) can anticipate where the blast will go. Or maybe they're using the force, like Luke did with "the blast shield down." But still, if someone's firing a "laser" at you, and your defense tactic is that you're planning on moving your arm fast enough to block it, it doesn't seem like it's physically possible to move that fast. Those "laser blasts" must be slow as hell.

Okay, that's quite enough of that