Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Hercules film on the way

From cinemablend, Hercules is climbing Mount Olympus and returning to the silver screen! Variety says Millennium Films is developing a new movie for the sandal wearing, half-man, half-god mythological hero. The son of Zeus has been done on screen many times before, and of course he had his own TV series in the nineties starring Kevin Sorbo as Herc. But the character is timeless and it’s about time he had a modern, theatrical redo. The 1997 Disney animated version just didn’t cut it. I’d love to see a new Hercules movie, I just hope a smaller operation like Millennium is up to the task of delivering the kind of massive-budget, blockbuster magic a quality Hercules movie requires.

Also cause for concern is the guy they’ve bought their script from. It’s written by Sean Hood, an experienced direct-to-DVD writer whose best script credit is Halloween: Resurrection. Maybe the guy has a good Hercules movie in him, but from the guy who wrote Cube 2: Hypercube and The Crow: Wicked Prayer doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. For now though, this is great news. 300 has really gotten the ball rolling again for the sword and sandal epic, and in that genre Hercules is the Cadillac character to go after. It should be great to see him back taking on the gods, no matter who ends up playing him.

New Fantastic Four 2 trailer

From iwatchstuff, "Judging from the latest trailer for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, most of the movie is centered around the quartet trading around superpowers like a high school clique swaps STDs. It seems kind of gimmicky, but my expectations are so low from the first film that I'll let them take a stab at whatever they want at this point. Want to give Thing laser eyes? Sure, why not? Couldn't hurt after that shit sandwich you made me eat a few summers back.

And the "rise" of the Silver Surfer is looking more and more like just flying around, showing off how you can pass through matter. Believe me, Surfer, I've seen better rises."

Hulk 2 plot revealed

From moviesonline, The plot for HULK 2 has finally been revealed by Cinematical ( via Filmstalker ). Hulk 2 find's scientist Bruce Banner living in shadows, scouring the planet for an antidote. But the warmongers who dream of abusing his powers won't leave him alone, nor will his need to be with the only woman he has ever loved, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler).

Upon returning to civilization, our brilliant doctor is ruthlessly pursued by The Abomination (Tim Roth) -- a nightmarish beast of pure adrenaline and aggression whose powers match The Hulk's own. A fight of comic-book proportions ensues as Banner must call upon the hero within to rescue New York City from total destruction. And on June 13, 2008, one scientist must make an agonizing final choice -- accept a peaceful life as Bruce Banner or the creature he could permanently become: The Incredible Hulk.

The fact that Edward Norton and Tim Roth star in the sequel has me very excited! Here is hoping for a HULK movie worth watching after the drivel that was the first one.

'Lord of the Rings' set traps actor's leg

LONDON, England (AP) -- A London performance of the "Lord of the Rings" musical ended abruptly with actors dressed as Hobbits, elves and dwarfs rushing to help a screaming cast member whose leg was trapped in set machinery.

The producers of the stage adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy saga said in a statement they had canceled preview shows scheduled for Thursday and Friday to modify the set to prevent further accidents.

Previews were due to resume on Saturday, they said. The show's official opening is June 19.

"Due to an incident which occurred during last night's performance of 'The Lord of the Rings,' resulting in Adam Salter (playing a Ranger) injuring his leg, the creative team are today and tomorrow looking at modifying the staging," the statement said.

Salter shouted out, "My leg! My leg," as actors were making a stage exit on Wednesday night, The Evening Standard reported. The newspaper published a photo of Salter being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher outside the stage doors.

He was treated at a local hospital for an injured leg, but he suffered no broken bones, the producers said.

The $23 million show premiered in Toronto, because no theater that was large enough was available in London. The show, based on Tolkien's literary trilogy about a Hobbit named Frodo and his quest to rid Middle-earth of evil, has been trimmed and reworked since its Toronto run, which earned mixed reviews. The Toronto production closed last week after a six-month run.
The Theatre Royal in London's West End was closed for four months while the stage and set were built. The 45-foot, $2 million stage features 17 hydraulic lifts underneath it.

The stage jammed during the show's first British performance earlier this month and the sound cut out on Aragorn, played by Jerome Pradon, in mid-battle cry. The curtain was hurriedly drawn before normal service was restored.

From the "I don't get the appeal" files (see also Elvis, country music, and The Who)

From AICN, "Hey folks, Harry here... I'm a big SPEED RACER fan. And I have to say, USA TODAY's Story on SPEED RACER hit the right buttons. I love that the Wachowski's are doing the free-thinking theme with the character, because that's SPEED RACER, he wasn't no sell-out corporate bastard. He was a rubber-burning rebel with a monkey! What else do ya fucking need? It was pretty much a no-brainer that the Brothers would nail the Mach 5... the key is to see it in motion and see how they capture or adapt that crazy anime light speed looking motion. Here's the Pic, click on the above link to read the whole story!!!

How I imagine Octopunk lives

By Shanon CookCNN

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Nathan Sawaya's workspace is an explosion of color.
Clear plastic crates stuffed with LEGO bricks in every hue are stacked high against the walls. A computer sits on the floor, but it's not functional. The red, yellow and blue replica is made entirely of LEGO.

In fact, everything in the room is made of LEGO; a cash register, a monkey, a bowl of fruit, a vase of flowers.

Here in Sawaya's Manhattan studio, the 33-year-old artist snaps bricks together to create sculptures, big and small. His medium may be a beloved kid's toy, but some of his signature pieces are incredibly grown-up. (Gallery: A sampling of Sawaya's LEGO art)
Now people can get an even closer look. Sawaya's national touring exhibit, "The Art of the Brick," is making the rounds. The collection was viewed by tens of thousands at the Lancaster Museum of Art in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Its next stop is the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois, on June 15; it will stay there until September 3. (Watch Sawaya hit the bricks )

Sawaya, who abandoned a career as an attorney in 2004 to take on LEGO sculpting fulltime, spoke to CNN about his quirky craft.

CNN: How is a LEGO artist different from a LEGO hobbyist?

SAWAYA: I get paid! In all seriousness, I've tried to take LEGO in a direction it's never been before. I've tried to put it in a museum setting, and I've created very large-scale sculptures that are on tour for the next couple of years. And that's something that I think is a little different from your average hobbyist who's really just building for fun

CNN: What does LEGO capture that other media do not?

SAWAYA: LEGO is something that almost everyone has played with at some point in their lives. I notice a lot of times when people go to my shows they want to touch the sculptures.
I receive many e-mails from people who have seen my work and are then inspired to get down on the floor with their kids and build. In fact, the museum show also has a building area for kids who are inspired to build their own artwork after seeing my pieces.

CNN: Does LEGO (the company) give you a discount on the bricks?

SAWAYA: They allow me to buy it in bulk, but I have to pay for my LEGO like everybody else.

CNN: How difficult was it to make the decision to switch from full-time attorney to fulltime LEGO artist?

SAWAYA: It wasn't very tough. I worked with great people at the law firm, but my passion was always for my art. As more and more people were commissioning pieces and collecting my artwork, it became clear to me that I should focus on my art full time.
New York corporate attorneys are known for working the long hours. I find myself working long hours now as well, but I'm doing something I love. ... The worst day in the art studio is still better than the best day in the law firm.

CNN: Has it been a challenge to make ends meet?

SAWAYA: I have had some great large-scale commissions that have kept me financially secure for the most part. Currently my pieces are selling for up to tens of thousands of dollars, so the future looks bright.

CNN: Which piece are you most proud of?

SAWAYA: All of my pieces have special meaning to me, but I am particularly happy with a sculpture I did for the New Orleans Public Library. After the Katrina devastation, I was commissioned to build a permanent work of art for the library that would focus on the rebuilding of New Orleans. As part of the project, thousands of drawings by children from across the country were collected in which the children were asked to draw what they thought would be important for the rebuilding of the city. I then interpreted these drawings to create the sculpture.

CNN: What's the weirdest thing you've ever been asked to build?
SAWAYA: I've built monkeys for both the talk show host Craig Ferguson, and the magician David Copperfield. I've also built a functioning industrial air conditioner.

CNN: You mean it actually churned out cold air?

SAWAYA: Well, it produced a slight breeze.

First Transformers review


From AICN, Let me elaborate. I will not lie to you, is Transformers a great movie, brilliantly written, completely devoid of a feeling of big-screen toy-advertisement?

No, it isn't.

Are all the robots a great design? Well, this will split people I'm sure but Megatron sucks for sure. Have they picked great actors doing it for the art? Ha, Turturro's manicness and Voight's phoning in leave you with a sense of them dancing around their paychecks off screen with glee.

There's also this little robot (kind of the equivalent of Ravage and Laserbeak in the cartoon) that is played for comic effect that is incredibly irritating. But somehow - maybe because I had no expectations and with so maybe sequels these days expectations are hard to silence - I got past all these flaws and just enjoyed it for the sheer entertainment. And damn is it entertaining.

The film wastes no time getting down to business. That much touted helicopter transformation that trashes the army base present in some sense since the first trailer is the first scene of the whole film. In fact it moves back and forth between kick ass action (usually involving army guys and Decepticons) and the "human" story (Shia, Megan) nicely for the first 40 minutes or so.
The film has nods to the cartoon (a VW bug sitting next to Bumblebee in the used-car lot, the corny more than meets the eye line comes up at least twice, the cartoon transforming noise is in there) but is mostly its own thing.

The "human" more comedic side is actually pretty good. Often these days films can't get the balance of these things and they feel forced in and just make you wish they'd get back to big fuck-off robots battling (which is why we're there anyway). I think the reason they get away with it is LaBeouf. I had only seen him in Holes and Bobby prior to this and hadn't understood why there was such a buzz on him but his comic-timing is superb. He is just so effortlessly likeable. It's like Tom Hanks in Big, Will Smith in Independence Day, Michael J Fox in Back to The Future, he's effortless and gives a great performance.And the reason I think this is why these bits work is simple: it's not the script - I know this because there's also another "human" story involving "sleeping throught the movie" Jon Voight and a bunch of tech geeks. And these bits are painful.

There's this one Aussie actress (if she warrants the term actress) who is almost as wooden as Keira Knightley. None of the actors in this section can do anything with the banal dialogue they are given, they simply don't have the talent. Thankfully there's not much of them. Shia just brings the whole thing to life, he is a true joy to watch and i look forward to other films he's in. Megan Fox is of course also in most of his scenes and she's fine. She is not bad at all and she's gorgeous but any reasonable actress her age could have done just as well. Shia is working on another level from those around him.

The print I saw had no score just temp tracks from The Rock, American Beauty and something else I couldn't place. I hope the real score is great because the American Beauty bits (which kicked in everytime Megan and Shia appeared on their own) were really distracting.
But what you want to know is robots, right? We've all seen the designs and for me they work fine. They are a bit busy but they have a sense of the real to them. Realism no. This is a movie about giant fuck-off robots, there's no room for realism but in a way they make sense, it feels right that they are what they are. As for what the Transform into, this is explained away in a Bumblebee scene when we see him as a beat up car scan another car and instantly upgrade to look bad new. The reason he's not a VW? That's not what he scanned. So essentially all these robots could become anything. The only thing they never really explain is why all the Decepticons seem to be able to fly while none of the Autobots can. Maybe, they just don't chose to.

The thing on here the other day about the trailer with Bumblebee's voice - not Bumblebee's voice. Bumblebee doesn't talk - his voice unit was damaged in a war - and he communicates through his radio. Peter Cullen is great as Optimus Prime but, maybe it's just me, but he didn't sound much like he did in the cartoon. I don't know why they bothered getting Hugo Weaving in for Megatron. For a start Megatron's barely in the film - he's in maybe the last 20 minutes - and it could be anyone voicing.

The thing that really had me awed though is the transformations. When one of the robots transforms mid movement is looks incredible. Barricade (a Decepticon police cruiser) is first to do it, chasing Bumblebee and Shia in robot form and transforming into his car form in mid-stride. There are more instances in the non-stop action finale - the best of them being Starscream mif-flight transformation to land in robot form and enter a fray. These are the moments that really took me, that transported me back into my 10-year-old self. I got so excited by it. As I say I probably haven't been genuinely excited by watching a blockbuster since The Matrix. It was a feeling I remember having for Jedi as a kid, Batman and T2 as a teenager.

I'm not saying Transformers is as good as T2 but it was a real surprise. It has plot weaknesses and some shakey performances but it is hugely entertaining both in the frequent battle set pieces, whether human vs robot or robot vs robot, and in the Shia LaBeouf moments. Even some of the comedy (Optimus trying to hide behind a house he's twice the size of) worked for me (although my friend this scene a little over the top). But that's just it, like the first Pirates movie it is the over-the-topness combined with great set pieces and superb special effects that make it so enjoyable and help you see past the flaws. I'm sure those more invested in the 80s show will have issues with things I either didn't notice or don't get (why is flames on Optimus a big deal? - though I get the Optimus mouth thing, that was weird) but then that's like comic-book movies to me, I never read them so I don't care if Venom's a great or sucky character in Spider-Man I just want to be entertained for a couple of hours.

Transformers did that for me. Best of this years crop so far (not that the disappointing Spider-Man 3, dull At World's End or abyssmal Shrek the Third set the bar high mind you!) by a long way.

Will we have to run into concrete to find this place?

By LINDSEY TOLER

LONDON (AP) - Universal Studios is opening up a Harry Potter theme park in Florida - complete with the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade village.

"The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," will open in late 2009 in Orlando, officials said Thursday.

"The plans I've seen look incredibly exciting, and I don't think fans of the books or films will be disappointed," said author J.K. Rowling, who has been working with a creative team to make sure the park resembles the books and films.

More than a dozen artists and designers lead by Stuart Craig, the production designer of the movies, have set up house in the studio where the movies are being filmed to make sure every detail is considered, according to Scott Trowbridge of Universal.

"We're really going to the people who know this world best to ensure that level of authenticity," he said.

The Potter park will allow visitors to view the iconic locations in Rowling's magical world, like Dumbledore's office in Hogwarts and the shops in Hogsmeade. Some locations may be in upcoming books, Trowbridge said.

Trowbridge said while there would not be any character lookalikes at the park, fans wanting to see Harry Potter and his magical friends wouldn't leave disappointed.

"This is Harry's world," said Trowbridge. "Most every fan wants to have an encounter with the star of the show."

The Harry Potter book series has been translated into 65 languages with more than 325 million copies sold in over 200 territories around the world.

The fifth film in the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," will be released in theatres on 13 July. The seventh and final book of the series will be released on 21 July.

Leathernecks

From iwatchstuff, Shooting has just wrapped on Leathernecks, a 1920s football movie directed by George Clooney and written by Clooney and Steven Soderbergh. The plot, according to co-star Jonathan Pryce:

George plays for a ragtag, over-the-hill football team. They attract John Krasinski, star college football player to come and play. I’m [his] sleazy agent and manager,” Pryce divulged. “[There’s a] bit of a scandal involved. Renee Zellweger, ace reporter, is dispatched to expose [it].”

My only hope on this one is that everyone talks like they're in a 20s gangster movie, or the Hudsucker Proxy.

"Lookey heah, see? I though I toldja to button hook. Now hand me the pigskin, and make it snappy, see?"

8 lessons we learned from 80s cartoons

From Cracked,

LESSON: Knowing is half the battle.

The other half of the battle is kicking Cobra’s terrorist ass. And with the coolest soldier codenames ever --Snake Eyes, Duke, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck-- winning the war on terror should be no problem. Good will always win out over evil, because good guys work together (Team Work! Cooperation!), while bad guys are ruthless cowards who turn tail and run whenever G.I. Joe’s laser guns get to zappin’. As Sergeant Slaughter once said: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people and neither do we.”

Now that’s some good strategery.

How it affected us as adults: Actually, we’re pretty certain that our strategy for the Iraq War was conceived after a two day long G.I. Joe marathon in the Pentagon. They just implicitly trusted that the good guys were going to win, that firing off our guns would make the bad guys run for the caves and that giving everyone cute nicknames was somehow endearing. When things didn’t turn out the way they’d planned, the administration placed the blame on faulty intelligence, or in other words: “Knowing is half the battle, and we unfortunately didn’t know shit.”

Hmmm, I say stop at 3

From worstpreviews, Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke to The Age to reveal that the "Shrek" franchise will end after the fifth installment.

According to him, the fourth "Shrek" film is in the works, scheduled for release in 2010. While the fifth is being planned as well, it will be the last one in the franchise.

"It's a finite story, has been from the beginning and I think that's part of its integrity, part of its strength, that we're not thinking this up as we go," said Katzenberg.

"Ultimately we will come back to understand how Shrek arrived in that swamp. We will reveal his story."

From what we have heard, there is still a "Puss in Boots" movie and a "Shrek" TV Christmas special which will run every year. If these films continue to succeed like they have, I have a feeling Katzenberg will be taking his words back.

No more Hostel sequels?

From darkhorizons, The "Saw" movies may be headed for their fourth incarnation, but don't expect the same of the "Hostel" franchise says director Eli Roth to MTV Movies Blog.

"There are no more 'Hostels'. There is 'Hostel' and 'Hostel 2' and that's it" he says.

The upcoming sequel directly follows events in the first film, a seeming tribute to one of Roth's favourites - "Halloween 2."

Why stop the cash cow?

"I hate a lame third sequel, and I don't want there to be one... I wish 'Beyond Thunderdome' didn't exist... with 'Spider-Man 3' I was really disappointed when I saw that film; that will never happen with 'Hostel.'"

Fox Forbids Mention Of Old Die Hard Movies

From cinemablend, Things just keep looking worse for Live Free or Die Hard. First we had the news that this will be the first Die Hard movie which won’t be hard. They’re rating it PG-13, which means John McClane can’t even use his traditional, profanity-laced catchphrase. That’s pretty bad, but to me this is almost worse: 20th Century Fox doesn’t want Bruce Willis to mention any of the previous Die Hard movies when talking about this one. They want to pretend none of the other Die Hard movies even exist.

Apparently Bruce Willis was in Dallas doing junket interviews to promote Live Free or Die Hard this week. I say apparently, because I’m only hearing about it secondhand. Yeah, we’re based in Dallas but we’re a lousy internet site and not worthy to be in the Bruce’s presence. I can’t blame them. In fact, I agree with them. We’re not worthy. But I heard whispers from a couple people who were going that there seemed to be a lot of unusual red tape. This morning that was confirmed this by The Jagger Show, a local radio program here in Dallas. In their morning broadcast they broke the news that before being allowed to talk to Bruce, they were ordered not to mention any of his old McClane movies. In their words, Fox reps told them “they don’t want any reference to the previous Die Hard films”.

This really blows my mind. How can Bruce Willis possibly promote a new Die Hard movie without mentioning that other movies existed before it? Wouldn’t you want to do that to remind existing fans of how much they love these movies and need to see this one? Or is Fox afraid that the PG-13 teenager crowd they covet so desperately won’t be interested if they find out that Live Free or Die Hard is part of something older than they are? During their broadcast, The Jagger Show crew indicated that the impression they got from Fox’s representatives is that the studio feels like they’re taking a page from Batman Begins and starting the Die Hard franchise over. Um, a couple of questions for Fox: Have you hired someone new to play John McClane? Is this a prequel which picks up McClane’s story before we first met him? No? Then you haven’t started over, you’re just pretending all the time we invested in this character didn’t happen in order to pander to a PG-13 teenager crowd who doesn’t care about your new Die Cushy movie anyway.

Woody's latest finds a home

From CHUD, Woody Allen experienced his third creative renaissance whilst partnering with Miramax in the 1990s, so perhaps it's a good omen that his latest picture, Cassandra's Dream, will, according to Variety's Anne Thompson, get rolled out by The Weinstein Company. Or maybe it just means that Harvey outbid everyone else gambling that he's got the next Match Point instead of Another Scoop.

Woody's thirty-sixth feature stars Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell as financially struggling brothers who are seduced into a life of crime. This is apparently Woody in full-on serious mode, which used to be a bad sign (sorry, but I get nothing out of his unleavened-by-humor Bergman exercises), but now might augur brilliance (if he continues to mine Dreiser as he did with the beautifully constructed Match Point). Though I thought Scoop was his best comedy since Small Time Crooks, it was also about as good as Small Time Crooks (absent anything as special as Elaine May's performance).

He's still a phenomenally funny essayist, but his comedic films have been off to varying degrees since the sublime Bullets Over Broadway, so go with drama, Woody, if that's what's keeping you engaged creatively.Cassandra's Dream will also be Woody's third straight film shot in England. The great Tom Wilkinson will co-star. As it sounds like the movie will bow at this year's Venice Film Festival, expect a November release if it's well-received, and a winter 2008 dump if the reviews are mixed.

More funny books coming to the big screen

From CHUD, Warner Bros is going team crazy – just months after announcing that they were developing a live action Justice League movie (note that ‘developing’ and ‘making’ are different things) comes word that they’re also working on a live action Teen Titans film.

This is sort of weird news – the Teen Titans are a bunch of sidekicks, and many of them are sidekicks to characters nobody at the Mall of America ever heard of – but it does actually make some real sense. The Teen Titans were, before the rebirth of The X-Men in the 80s, the most popular comic book out there. And lately the Titans have gotten a new visibility with a new audience thanks to a successful, if awful, show on the Cartoon Network. First one of you to email me defending the Teen Titans cartoon gets a purple nurple.

The film is being produced by – gasp! – Akiva Goldsman, who introduced moviegoers to Teen Titan leader Robin in Batman Forever. He’s not writing though – geek-friendly name Mark Verheiden is scripting. You may remember him as the creator of The Mask and Timecop, as well as being being a writer and producer on one of my favorite shows, Battlestar Galactica. So what’s a Teen Titans movie look like? The book has a number of phases – it began as a Justice League Junior in 1964 with Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Wonder Girl and Speedy, the ironically named sidekick to Green Arrow (well, not really ironic since he got hooked on smack, which is not a form of amphetamine. But it’s still a drug reference). The book was mega-popular in the 80s when many of these characters came back as college aged or young adults and some, like Robin, having new hero identities (he was now Nightwing).

New characters were introduced who had no sidekick history, like Cyborg, Starfire (a hot alien) and Raven (a lame mystic). Also added to the mix at some point there was Beast Boy, a shape changer who got his start with The Doom Patrol.Warner Bros is saying the movie will be a serious film, like Batman Begins or Watchmen (those are the examples used in the Hollywood Reporter piece), which is sort of too bad. A Teen Titans movie should be fun, not dour, even though some of the classic Titans stories are the epitome of dour. Hell, their headquarters is a big letter T. The only character specified to appear in the film at this point is Nightwing; whether his connection Batman will be part of his character or if he’ll just be a teen hero isn’t clear. There’s no clear date on this one, and I would put it in the ‘in development’ folder with the Justice League movie.

Sin City 2 still happening

From SHH, A few days ago, Michael Madsen was quoted saying that the poor performance of Grindhouse might affect whether Sin City 2 will be made. Not true, according to words from Frank Miller in a new interview at Rotten Tomatoes:

Of course, by stroke of coincidence we learned just before we sat down with Miller that Robert Rodriguez had been signed onto a remake of the classic sixties sex flick "Barbarella."

So what of "Sin City 2"? Rumours swirl that the project has been stalled by the breakdown of Rodriguez' marriage. "Sin City 2 is still likely to happen," says Miller, "just not right away. The script is written and Robert and I are raring to go, but it looks like I'm going to be doing The Spirit first and Robert's going to be doing Barbarella first."

Click here for more of the interview.
[JPX] Bounty hunters are cool.

Transformers to debut at random film festival

From iwatchstuff, "According to the Hollywood Reporter, Transformers will have its world premiere at Sicily's Taormina Film Festival. It's nice to see that some film festivals haven't forgotten what film festivals are supposed to be all about: giving lesser-known filmmakers the exposure they don't get at the multiplex.

It's kind of like me. See, I'm used to spending all day dating supermodels and not wearing pants. But every once in a while I'll throw on some pedal pushers and snog a hairlip or two, just to bring deformed smiles to a few faces. I'm like what Mother Theresa would be like if she could choke out a tiger. Wait, what were we talking about again?"

M. Night Shyamalan creating new crap

From bloodydisgusting, "Zooey Deschanel (pictured inside) has signed on to star opposite Mark Wahlberg in M. Night Shyamalan's natural-disaster actioner The Happening for 20th Century Fox, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Penned by Shyamalan, the story revolves around a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity. With plot details being kept under wraps (although B-D has learned it involves killer trees), the studio would only confirm that Deschanel will play the female lead. Shooting is scheduled to begin in August in Philadelphia."

Why am I always filled with murderous rage when I see Celine Dion?

From thesuperficial, "Celine Dion posed on the cover of Hello magazine with her six-year-old son, Rene Charles. Wait, son? That must be a typo. A horrible confusing typo."

Gee, really?

From the superficial, David Hyde Pierce (the guy who played Niles on Frasier) has officially come out of the closet after an AP story appeared on CNN saying: "Pierce got to Los Angeles in the early 1990s when his partner, actor-writer-producer Brian Hargrove, wanted to write for television." Pierce's sexuality has always been an open secret in Hollywood although he's never formally come out. AfterElton.com contacted a rep for Pierce about the AP story, and they confirmed that Hargrove is indeed Pierce's life partner.

Well this is just shocking shocking news. If you told me he wrestled bears all day and won a tree chopping competition then, yeah, that makes sense. But gay? No, no, that just doesn't sound right at all.

Space Chimps (I'm annoyed just looking at the poster)

From darkhorizons, "Vanguard Animation and IDT Entertainment have announced the launch of production of their new all CG-animated feature film, SPACE CHIMPS. The comedy, which follows the galactic misadventures of a hapless descendant of the first chimps in space, will be distributed domestically through IDT Entertainment’s multi-picture deal with Twentieth Century Fox. IDT Entertainment is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), an international telecom, entertainment and technology company."

To be reviewed in October's Horrorthon

From AICN, "My biggest regret from Sundance 2007 was missing this film. From Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga and the director of HELL HOUSE comes one of Rav's favorites from the fest. We almost always saw the same movies, but I was probably at an interview or got a hold of a single ticket for one of the regular festival (ie non-press) screenings when this one ran. I just could not fit it into my schedule and I'm kicking myself now.

Rav loved it (CLICK HERE TO READ HIS REVIEW!) and from the sounds of things, this flick would have been so up my alley. A quirky, OMEN-like flick... starring Sam Rockwell? Yep, my alley is definitely interested. Thank the movie gods that Fox Searchlight picked it up, so we'll be able to see this one in theaters July 6th. Be sure to click on the poster for the mega hi-res version."

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Octopunk Gleefully Falls for Ridiculous Marketing Campaign


So there I was in line when the rack of Doritos' X-13D flavored chips jumped out at me. The small print says "This is the X-13D Flavor Experiment." Now how in the holy heck could I pass up that opportunity? I threw 99 of my hard-earned cents their way and took part in this scientifically historical event.

I think the way it works is some lucky genius wil name this dazzling new taste experience and get a year's supply of X-13D (can you tell I'm pretending to say that part in a booming voice? I totally am).

Anyway, they taste like fast food burgers. For real, the taste -- and even the aftertaste -- is exactly like that combination of mustard, pickles, ketchup and onions you'd get from eating a McDonald's hamburger.

So..."Burger Time?" "Hold the Pickles?" "Drive-Thru Daze?" The mind reels.

Why I Don't Much Care for Kevin Pollack

Exhibit A:



Kevin Pollack has gotten under my skin for many, many years now. Just take a nice long look at that picture please. He's saying "Look at me. I'm not funny. My acting skills are mediocre at best. But I'm still in the movies! Ha ha ha!"

Kevin started his career as an unfunny comedian. When this didn't work out, he tried to be a serious actor. When this didn't work out, he found a nice little niche for himself in crappy-pappy sequels such as Waynes World 2, The Santa Clause 2, Dr. Doolittle 2 and the Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.

Kevin Pollack bothers me.

He'll 'be back' briefly

From dark horizons, An Austrian muscle man turned Governer is set to be replaced by a Swedish former underwear model.
Marcus Schenkenberg has scored a role in the fourth "Terminator" film project reports Coming Soon.

Schenkenberg revealed on Dutch talkshow "Jensen" that he booked four new movie roles in Cannes last week, one of them being the fourth "Terminator" which was announced a few weeks ago.

On top of this, he also mentioned that Arnold Schwarzenegger would have a 30-second cameo in the project.

The 'Almighty' Dollar

From iwatch stuff, Evan Almighty, the not-awaited sequel to Bruce Almighty, has taken a page out of Eric Cartman's book by positioning itself as a film with a religious theme in the hopes of making a buck.

Mindful of that market, Universal Pictures has teamed up with Grace Hill Media, a public relations firm that reaches out to religious groups, to publicize the mainstream film “Evan Almighty.”

Scheduled for wide release on June 22, it stars Steve Carell as a politician who abandons Congress in order to build an ark, taking off on the story of Noah. Universal has held several screenings of “Evan Almighty” with religious leaders, hoping that they will recommend the film — with a PG rating and a protagonist who heeds a call to change the world — to their congregations.

This might be a tough sell; I bet a lot of folks will be angry that Evan Almighty ripped off the "guy can't stop growing beard" plotline from The Santa Clause.

Oh yeah, and in the movie, God is a black dude. They'll love that in Mississippi.

Epilogue: In case I ever have to defend my lifestyle to St. Peter (or a giant spaghetti monster) I'd like to point out that I got through this entire post without a single pedophilia reference.

Ultimate Boba Fett fan?

From USA Today, One of the biggest moments of the (Star Wars) weekend belonged to a guy in a Boba Fett costume who was brave enough to strap a jetpack to his back, walk outside and blast off. The feat was such a hit, he performed it a couple times, though I always missed it. This is my greatest regret.

Here's video of flying Boba!

Great Moments in Gratuitous Sci-Fi Nudity

The name Lycia Naff doesn't ring a bell? How about 'the chick with three boobs'? Ah, now the light comes on.

Summary:

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a regular Joe who is married to Sharon Stone for some reason. He longs for excitement, so he buys an artificial memory in which he's a secret agent from Mars. But then it tus out that he really is a secret agent from Mars. But then it tus out that it's all in his head. Or is it? Either way, he eventually meets a woman with three boobs. Ample experience to be goveor of Califoia.

Defining Moment:

Stone to Schwarzenegger: "That's for making me come to Mars."

[She kicks him squarely in the balls.] "You know how much I hate this fucking planet!" Analysis:

This movie is memorable for several things. There's Schwarzenegger in drag, a chick fight that includes a young, pre-crazy Sharon Stone, and all kinds of eyeballs popping out of people's heads, to name a few. But it's the woman with three boobs that people remember most. Yes, one of them is only foam rubber, and yes, if a woman actually did grow a third jug as a result of radiation poisoning, it would probably sprout out the side of her head and look like a deflated basketball. But audiences managed to suspend disbelief, and as a result, they can remember this movie for something other than the deeply disturbing sight of Schwarzenegger in a muumuu.

Indy 4 begins filming

From worstpreviews, The official Formula 1 website spoke to George Lucas at The Monaco Grand Prix last week, who briefly talked about the filming of "Indiana Jones."While discussing his love for racing, Lucas mentioned:

"I plan to go to Indianapolis as well - if my schedule permits it, as I start shooting 'Indiana Jones IV' next week. If the production is running as planned you will find me there."

Following the shoot that Lucas is talking about, the production will move on to Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, where they will spend several days from June 28th - July 6th.

Read more about that here.

Newman goes out with class

From CHUD, ABC’s Good Morning, America is one of those shows that broadcasts to folks a couple generations ahead of me. People who saw The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in their first runs. This might, in part, explain why Paul Newman chose a relatively quiet appearance on the show last last week to announce his retirement from acting. I had to read it in a fancy rag like The Guardian.

This is a bold move. Most people would just stop without saying anything. We don’t treat our elderly well in America, and there’s no faster road to unwanted sympathy than admitting you can no longer get the job done. Must be an even more difficult thing to undertake when your five-decade career has powerhouse material like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on one end and still commanding appearances like Road To Perdition at the other.

Few actors have retired and stuck with it – Joseph Cotton comes to mind – but Newman is likely a man of his word. Walking away is not an easy thing to do, and no matter how off the cuff his decision may seem (Good Morning America?) this doesn’t seem like something he’d undertake lightly. And, of course, the retirement announcement pertains only to films – Newman is still engaged in his food venture and philanthropic work.

Just a year ago, Newman talked up vague plans for another feature, which even then he identified as his last hurrah. But his comments on GMA make plain that he feels he doesn’t have the chops to make that film happen.

"I'm not able to work anymore... at the level that I would want to. You start to lose your memory, you start to lose your confidence, you start to lose your invention." In case you think he’s not quite serious, his final statement on the subject is plain: "So I think that's pretty much a closed book for me."

If Newman follows through on his intent to step away from the screen, Cars will be left as his final picture, but we’ll always have Road To Perdition as his last live-action movie role, and Empire Falls as a satisfying televised coda.

No Sin City 2?

Premiere.com has posted some interesting comments from Michael Madsen. The actor says that the bombing of Grindhouse might have halted progress on Sin City 2. Both Grindhouse and Sin City were co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and released by Dimension Films:Some of the other things that you have got coming up include Sin City 2.

They haven't shot it yet. I don't know if they ever will. I am not sure [about] the franchise. I think the Grindhouse thing didn't kind of work out......as well as they had hoped. Certainly not in the States.I don't know what effect that is going to have on making Sin City 2. Sin City was Mickey [Rourke]'s film. Mickey is f**king incredible in that f**king movie. He is the movie. And I am happy for Mickey. Mickey is the real deal. Mickey is Mickey. And you can't f**k with that.

And he did a tremendous job in that thing. The only reason I did it was because Robert Rodriguez said that if I took that little part I would get a bigger role in the sequel, that Bob would have more to do in the sequel. So I said: "Okay, fine." I am sitting on an apple box [in front of a green screen] and then when you see the movie, you're in a car. I don't understand it. I don't know how to do that. I don't get it.

Click here for the full interview.

Princess Diana movie in the works, world couldn't care less

From iwatchstuff, With the controversial book Diana and the Paparazzi at the center of a bidding war at Cannes, possible producers are already considering who would play the biography's subject, Princess Diana of Wales. Keira Knightley, who tabloids tell me may be "wasting away," is reportedly most wanted for the role. Producer Quentin Reynolds says word around Hollywood is "get Knightley [more food--she's wasting away]!" He later explained studios' desire for the book, adding, "For every pound The Queen makes, a film about Diana will make ten," possibly alluding to the pounds wasting away from the starlet.

Can you see Knightley in the role of Princess Di? Will you see her at all if she continues wasting away?

Wolfman remake

From bloody disgusting, It was revealed via Variety this evening that Universal Pictures' remake of The Wolfman is prepping for a December shoot to keep it on mark for it's November 14, 2008 release. Mark Romanek is set to direct off a script by Andrew Kevin Walker. Like the 1941 original that starred Lon Chaney Jr., new pic will be set in Victorian England. Del Toro will play a man who returns from America to his ancestral homeland, gets bitten by a werewolf and begins a hairy moonlight existence.

Creepshow 4 in the works?

From bloody disgusting, One of the most deceiving and terrible films to hit DVD this year was Taurus Entertainment's Creepshow 3, which had be calling on my buds in Chicago and begging them NOT to rent it. I guess video sales went well because the great deceivers themselves have greenlit Creepshow 4, according to Moviehole.net. With a remake of Creepshow in the works, you have to wonder if these horrible sequels will hinder the remake from even happening? Good riddance to all I say.

Cannibal Holocaust Synopsis Revealed

From moviesonline, Our friends at Bloody-Disgusting just got word on the synopsis for the Cannibal Holocaust Sequel. The film is about Professor Harold Moore, a New York anthropologist traveling to the wild, inhospitable jungles of South America to find out what happened to a documentary film crew shooting a film about cannibal tribes. Ruggero Deodato can be seen in Eli Roth's "Hostel: Part II", which will be in theaters on June 8th.

I have not seen the first one, and dont really plan to see the sequel but no doubt you DIE hard horror fans will be all over it!

Shia LaBeouf to adulterate Death

From dark horizons, If all goes well, acclaimed comic author Neil Gaiman will be directing his first feature film later this year - an adaptation of his "Death: The High Cost of Living" mini-series.

Gaiman met with Guillermo del Toro a few weeks ago over the project reports Film Ick who adds that shooting will likely begin Late Fall in the UK.

Shia LaBeouf remains the favourite to play the male lead Sexton Furnival, and that Death, or Didi as she calls herself in her mortal form, has snagged the interest of one famous young actress who'll be announced soonNo news at all on who will play the Eremite or Mad Hetty.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More proof that the Japanese will own us some day

This mecha version of the Nissan DUALIS SUV was designed by anime creator/mecha designer Shoji Kawamori and stands stands 3.5 meter tall. It will be on display at the Nissan Gallery in Ginza from May 23 to June 13 and at the Sony Building in Ginza from June 25 to July 1. Check out a few videos of the DUALIS Powered Suit in action after the jump, although there's no way the real thing moves like that. Because if it did, Japan would've already unleashed these on the world and conquered us. I suspect the real thing moves similar to this or not at all.

Continue Reading "Nissan DUALIS Powered Suit"

Let the finger-pointing begin

From worst previews, Harvey Weinstein spoke to Variety and explained what he thought of Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) and his earlier comments.

Besson claimed at Suicidegirls.com last week that the Weinsteins butchered the release of the animated family film "Arthur and the Invisibles." "Its American distributor was the worst I have worked with in my entire life, in any country, because they changed so much of the film and tried to pretend the film was American," said Besson.


Harvey responded in the New York Daily News by calling Besson a "has-been" and offering him $1 million if he could prove that he made the film for the $85 million he originally claimed.

Mr. T realizes that he doesn't have a lot going on

From cinemablend, Any story about Mr. T inevitably pities some fool. Writers just can’t help themselves and no matter what the point of the article, a fool is pitied. You half-expect that T’s obituary will state, “I pity the fool that misses the open casket viewing at 10am this Saturday!.”

For several years now it has been Mr. T’s career that’s been dead, but never mind, I pity the fool that would try to get him into the movie version of 'The A-Team.' Crap. In keeping with some other 80’s action television stars, Mr. T told MTV that he would never do a cameo in a movie based on his most popular artistic endeavor. While claiming he has no hard feelings against the film’s producers, Mr. T said “it’s insulting me to ask me to be in it [as someone else]. It’s just like my ex-girlfriend saying ‘Why don’t you come out to dinner with my new boyfriend?’”

I guess that would depend on how hungry you are. Mr. T has been fasting for quite awhile. You’ve got to admire Mr. T’s commitment to his twenty year old character, but let’s be serious for a second. This is a guy who did pro-wrestling. He can’t claim artistic integrity. Take the money, Mr. T! The 'A-Team' was probably his last legitimate acting job and that ended almost 20 years ago. These days he does phone company commercials. It’s not Hamlet he’s talking about protecting, it’s a guy who wore gold chains and growled at the camera.

Small Screen Star Wars

From CHUD, A few days back, the masters of CHUD let out a pentagasmic critique on the pinnacle of movie disappointment: Star Wars: Episode One. Every last entry nailed at least one panging facet (sans the whole toy collecting hobby) I've felt since the onslaught of the Star Wars prequels eight years ago. Still, the whole affair is a gift that keeps on giving.

With a pair of Star Wars TV projects assembling themselves relatively quietly in the background, the franchise is laying plans to keep itself percolating in the public consciousness, fueled by the apparently insatiable appetite of Star Wars die-hards across the land. As the machine Lucas built continues its moneymaking work (very well, thank you), it's now giving a glimpse at the first of the two announced Star Wars TV projects- Clone Wars.

Despite my Star Wars interest level pulsing weakly at close to a flat-line, new projects inevitably give a jolt to the system and a faint spark of hope. Thanks to the skilled hand of Trailer Editor # 3, the Clone Wars CG series at least looks interesting (which shouldn't be too hard as it's all action beats) for what looks like a Saturday morning cartoon. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated the style and skill of Genndy Tartakovsky's 2-D Clone Wars on Cartoon Network but the whole attempt felt like the usual far-flung ditrius of the expanded universe: official- yet not quite Star Wars.If you haven't seen it yet, yelp with joy, stifle a yawn or search your own feelings by watching the trailer on the official Star Wars site here.

Lindsay doing her usual thang

X17 Online got pictures of Lindsay Lohan early this morning, passed out drunk while her enabler friend Samantha Morton drives them home from another night in the clubs. I dare you to try this crap if you’re not famous and in LA, where the cops have proven time and time again that the rich and famous will not - under any circumstances - be made to follow the law. I dare you to get drunk, crash your car, flee the scene only to have the cops find coke in your car and then have to track you down, then get smashed the very next night in full view of the world. In the real world, the cop wouldn’t even approach you before he opened fire. He’d just shoot you right though the glass. And I think it might be legal.

Where can I get my copy?

From bloody disgusting, Two weeks before its release Sony Screen Gems and Lionsgate's Hostel: Part II has been spotted on the streets by a writer for Movieweb, who reports that "While looking for a pair of cheap sunglasses and a velour leisure suit down in Santee Alley, I ran across a man in the middle of the street selling a pile of Hostel: Part II DVDs," he continues, "The flawless studio quality version contained on the five dollar disc is indeed Hostel: Part II. The words "AK-Bigel Entertainment Property of Screen Gems" obscure the lower portion of the screen, but other than that it is of superior quality."

Depending how far these bootlegs go, this could mean a serious blow to the release of the film on June 8. All I know is that this movie NEEDS to do well, our beloved genre is hurting pretty bad right now and I'll be damned if some peddler is going to f-ck it up for us. I for one will be in the theater opening weekend supporting Eli Roth's latest effort... you should too.

The 7 Worst Fictional Towns In America

Here's an excerpt from a funny article,
DIVERSITY:

With its uniform blue skin tone, Smurf Village may very well feature the least diverse population of any town in the universe. As for demographic statistics that people outside of college admissions offices care about: the male to female ratio is a cross between the worst keg party you’ve ever been to and a daycare center in mainland China. And the fact that there's only one female doesn’t just suck for the guys either—we’d imagine that every day was about as relaxing as a walk through the prison yard at San Quentin for the perky blond Smurfette. Let’s just say she probably had to lock her door when it was closing time at the local bar.

LANGUAGE:

Commentators have often wondered about the drugs the show’s creators must have been on, but when you get down to it, the village was a very conservative, somewhat Fascist environment. Everyone held the same values, everyone used the same language, and with its insistence on substituting “smurf” for every other word, their native tongue may very well have been the most annoying and down right confusing code of communication ever created (Other than Hawaiian. What the fuck’s with all the vowels, Hawaii?) In Smurf Village, “My husband’s smurfing” could mean anything from “My husband’s eating” to “My husband snapped and now he’s hunting smurfs!” Unfortunately, there’s no way to know because Smurf language is about as clear as a Door’s song.

OH, ALSO, IT'S BASICALLY A CULT:

If Papa Smurf had emerged from his house one episode and told everyone that he was actually the reincarnation of Christ, and that they had missed the passing comet they were supposed to catch so all Smurfs had to kill themselves, we’re not sure if we would have batted an eyelash.
Go here for the original article, http://www.cracked.com/index.php?name=News&sid=1960

Movie studios continue to hate Woody

From dark horizons, "Match Point" may have revived his career, but it was only a temporary reprieve for Woody Allen.

"Scoop," his effort last year starring Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson, failed to get a UK release despite the talents involved.


Now according to UK Teletext, his new film "Cassandra's Dream" - which was available in Cannes - has also failed to sell not just in Blighty, but all over.Described as "an even more sober affair than Match Point," it stars Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell and Tom Wilkinson.
Rumours persisted about a US deal throughout the week, but nothing concrete was finalised as the festival closed.

Pirates made some dough

By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY

Another weekend, another instant blockbuster.

As expected, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End crossed the $100 million mark in its debut.

The question now is whether it can avoid the curse of the "threequel."

Pirates took in $156.1 million over the Memorial Day weekend, a record for the holiday, according to estimates from Nielsen EDI. But can it maintain momentum next week? Its big-budget predecessors this month, Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third, opened huge but saw precipitous drop-offs in ticket sales, losing more than half their business the following weekend.

"Certainly, it's big to have three movies open to more than $100 million," says Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com. "But these don't have the word of mouth that the previous movies did. A lot of fans believe the 'threequels' are the worst of the franchise."

Pirates fell short of Spider-Man 3's record opening —Spider-Man took in $151 million in its first three days, and Pirates earned $115.1 million — but Pirates still set the Memorial Day weekend record by eclipsing last year's X-Men: The Last Stand, which opened to $122.9 million. Worldwide, Pirates has taken in $401 million.

"We have a chance at having a respectable hold" next week, says Mark Zoradi, chief of distribution and marketing for Disney, which released Pirates of the Caribbean. "Obviously, there's a significant amount of franchise films out there. But audience response has been great."
Shrek the Third, which opened to $121 million last weekend, took second place with $69.1 million over four days. Spider-Man was third with $18 million and has taken in $307.6 million. The horror film Bug was fourth with $4.2 million.

Not all films are struggling with the long haul. The Keri Russell comedy Waitress cracked the top five in its fourth week of release. The movie did $4 million in only 510 theaters over the weekend for a healthy $7,800 per-theater average. The Sundance Film Festival darling has earned $6.5 million since its release a month ago.

"With all of the big action movies, I think people want films with a little meat on them," says Sheila Deloach of Fox Searchlight, which distributed Waitress.

Dark Knight IMAX


From AICN, So, we've seen the scarred Joker pic at the viral website a week or more back, now here's a couple production stills released along with the news that Chris Nolan is filming four of the big action sequences in THE DARK KNIGHT with the Imax 70mm cameras, including the introduction of the Joker. Check out the pics below and click it to visit USA Today (thanks to KevinInChains for the heads up), where the news and pic broke!

Clone Wars poster revealed