Thursday, January 31, 2008

Woody Allen makes movies faster than (I can't think of anything funny but, damn, the guy makes a lot of movies)


From darkhorizons, The Weinstein Co. has picked up North American distribution rights to Woody Allen's romantic comedy/drama "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Patricia Clarkson, Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson reports the trades.

Kevin Dunn and Chris Messina also star in the story of two American women (Hall and Johansson) vacationing in the Spanish city who become part of a chain of romances involving an artist (Bardem) and his nutty ex-wife (Cruz).

The film also contains a steamy menage a trios sequence between Bardem, Cruz and Johansson. A release later this year is planned.

Why doesn't my computer look like an ice cube?


From geekology, Zeus Computers, which I'm pretty sure was a company set up to steal money from stupid rich people, is selling two ridiculously priced ridiculous computers. The first one is platinum and is studded with diamonds to resemble constellations. It is stupid and costs about $750,000. The second computer, priced at a modest $560,000 is gold with diamond accents. What kind of computer bang do you get for that buck?

Intel’s 3GHz E6850 Core 2 Duo CPU, 2GB of DDR 2 memory and a whopping 1TB hard drive. Zeus clearly hasn’t made its mind up over which format will win the HD war, so it includes a dual Blu-ray/HD DVD drive. The PC runs on Windows Vista, Ultimate edition of course, and ships with a 24in 1920 x 1200 resolution monitor.
Pretty impressive huh? Nope, it's not. I swear if anybody buys one of these I will hack the company's database, get the customer's information, hunt them down and steal their computer. Then I'll do something sensible with the machine, like melt it down and make a wicked set of grillz. Then I can finally make the video for my rap song. It's called I Love Dem Gadget N Gizmo Hoes.

Prince Caspian would make good money


From iwatchstuff, The good thing about Chronicles of Narnia posters are that, once the movie is done, we can replace these faces with U.S. presidents and it would make a great new currency design. Switch the castle with the Capitol Building, too, but keep the lion, for the hell of it.

Madballs Update



So not only did I find the Madballs I've been obsessing over for the past 2 days, but I discovered that in addition to the remakes that the X-Entertainment guy discussed, there is also a "Sick" version for a dollar more. Pictured above is Oculus Orbis in all his revolting glory. I highly recommend this wonderful product. For $6.00 a pop, how could you afford not to?

Padawan Ahsoka Joins the Star Wars Cast; file under, 'boring Star Wars news'


From starwars, In 2008, Star Wars: The Clone Wars expands the Star Wars universe with plenty of surprises. This week, Lucasfilm begins offering a glimpse at some of these surprises during the annual Toy Fair events around the world. As it unveiled many of its upcoming toys and collectibles, including those from the Clone Wars TV series, among the familiar characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin and Yoda is a mysterious new Padawan named Ahsoka Tano.

This young Togruta is eager to prove herself as a worthy Padawan to her bold Master, Anakin Skywalker. Able to wield a lightsaber and pilot a spacecraft with great talent, Ahsoka promises to become a worthy Jedi.

There is much more to learn about Ahsoka and the role she plays in the epic Clone Wars adventures and the Star Wars saga. Keep checking StarWars.com as more news comes to light about the series and this intriguing new Padawan.

Watchmen update, opening credits described


From cinemablend, I’m a little jealous of the fellows over at MTV Movies Blog. They’ve gotten to visit the set for Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Watchmen, one of the most anticipated movies on the horizon. While they aren’t allowed to talk about a lot of the things they saw while visiting the set, they do have a bit of an edge above those of us who haven’t been in figuring out how to ask questions from those who can talk about the production, like when they recently ran into Carla Gugino at the SAG Awards.

Gugino plays one of the original vigilante heroes in Watchmen’s universe, titled “The Silk Spectre.” Costumed a bit like Bettie Page while fighting crime, the character has quite the range from the movie, starting as a 25 year old crime fighter and winding up at age 67 before her story is done, with butt kicking and even a rape sequence in between. Gugino admits, “I kick a small amount of ass. I don’t kick as much ass as some people do in the movie, however. But I get to play an old lady, which was just, for me, the most fascinating thing. To start as this young crime fighter and end up an alcoholic woman in her late 60s was for me enough of a challenge; let’s put it that way.”

As for the rape sequence, Gugino is excited, but not too excited by the prospect. “The rape scene is pretty crazy that Jeffrey Dean Morgan and I have. Not that I would say that’s the one I really want you guys to see. … The title sequence of this movie is going to be extraordinary. We spent many weeks over the time of the shoot shooting it. That’s going to be a very, very special thing that wasn’t scripted, that will be really empowering.” Apparently the title sequence uses CG enhanced footage to create the differentiation between the world we live in, and the close-to-reality world of the Watchmen, inserting the fictional heroes into images of reality. “It incorporates real history and the fictitious world of Watchmen, and so it’s very cool. We meet Nixon and all sorts of people.”

Even if this is just a little tidbit on the opening credit sequence, it’s exciting enough for me. I’m eagerly awaiting Watchmen, which is still over a year from release. Hearing that the cast is getting so excited about the movie as well, however, is just a bonus

PX-3600: Thanks, It's Just What I Wanted!


From geekology, While many of you probably got Wii's, PS3's or 360's for Christmas, my loving parents got me a, um, PX-3600. I know, I know, you're jealous. And rightfully so, this is a next generation console, and I have it now. The wicked PX-3600 comes with two old-school 9-pin controllers (one of which vibrates), and, well, that's about it. Thanks mom and dad! It's just what I wanted. Hey, they disk tray on top doesn't open. How am I supposed to put games in? What's that? All the games are built-in? Wow! Talk about future technology. I'm gonna start playing right now! post this on eBay immediately.

'Entertainment Tonight' pulls Heath Ledger party video after PR firm applies pressure


In response to industry pressures, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider have pulled a planned segment on the late Heath Ledger, according to a spokesperson for the shows. Celebrity PR firm ID Public Relations had released a statement on Wednesday, condemning the Paramount-produced TV shows for planning a segment that was to feature a video of Ledger allegedly under the influence. IDPR, which has represented Ledger, contends that ET "purchased [the two-year old video] for a large sum of money in the hopes of stirring up a salacious and exploitive story about Heath, which would win them big ratings on the first day of sweeps." Reps for ET had no further comment.

When contacted by EW.com before ET announced it would not air the video, ID partner Mara Buxbaum explained via e-mail that "those who knew Heath know he was a kind-hearted, immensely talented artist, and a devoted father. He tried to live his life quietly and with humility. Certain media outlets' attempts to exploit and profit from his death is shameful and in the poorest of taste. We implore the media and the public to let this grieving family bury their son in private and with dignity."

In its statement, ID included the e-mail addresses and office numbers of ET executive producer Linda Bell Blue and Paramount executive Brad Bessey in an effort to "pressure" the shows to pull the planned segment, which was due to air tomorrow. Although ID represents a raft of A-list talent, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Ellen Page, and Ben Stiller, Buxbaum would not comment on whether that pressure might have also included a boycott of the show. —Adam B. Vary

'Leatherheads' Poster Possesses No Rules


From iwatchstuff, I'm confused as to why the marketing department for what appears to be a screwball romantic comedy set around early football decided to push the film's actual football playing as the sole selling point. Superbowl Fever? And now I'm torn which supplement would best finish the tagline: "...in love", "...until she came around", or "...actually, I guess there were still some rules."

Shutter

Non-spoiler LOST tidbit


By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY

Boy, do we need this now.

Returning with a heart-stopping, perfectly pitched episode that fulfills all the promise of last season's stunner of a finale, Lost is an oasis in a strike-parched TV desert.

This is Lost on a fan-friendly fast-forward, offering a tense, emotional outing in which secrets are revealed, questions are answered — and yes, inevitably, new questions are raised.

[deleted]

Paramount sows 'Cloverfield' sequel


By MICHAEL FLEMING

Matt Reeves is in early talks with Paramount to direct a "Cloverfield" sequel, and he has also made a deal with GreeneStreet Films to direct "The Invisible Woman."
Timing of the projects will depend on how quickly Paramount can complete discussions with Reeves, producer J.J. Abrams and scribe Drew Goddard to scare up another monster tale for the "Cloverfield" sequel. There's a good chance the sequel will be Reeves' next film, in which case he will direct "The Invisible Woman" afterward.

"Woman" is a Hitchcock-style thriller that probes the mind of a former beauty queen who turns to a life of crime to protect her family.

Reeves wrote the script and will produce with Abrams and GreeneStreet's John Penotti, Fisher Stevens and Tim Williams.

"Matt has created a truly original and compelling character and story," said GreeneStreet's Penotti.

GreeneStreet will finance "The Invisible Woman," and GreeneStreet Intl. will sell overseas territories.

With a $25 million budget, a strong concept and cast of unknowns, "Cloverfield" scored a $46 million opening frame, which was a record for a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Paramount gave away almost no first-dollar gross, making the film a bargain for the studio.

GreeneStreet recently completed two films: the John Polson-directed "Tenderness," starring Russell Crowe, which was just set for distribution at Lionsgate, and "Bill," directed by Melisa Wallack and Bernie Goldmann, whichwill be distributed by First Look Studios.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Man, Johnny Carson isn't looking too good these days...

Shock the monkey!

Indiana Jones and the Big Gun

Paramount and Lucasfilm have provided us with a brand new, exclusive image from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which you can see below and which is printed in full in the new issue of Empire, on sale Friday, along with another new still of Cate Blanchett in action as Agent Spalko. We also spoke with producer Frank Marshall about the fourth film in the Indy franchise.

"This picture is locked," Marshall told us of the current progress. "Steven's pretty much done editing. And we're going into the phase with John Williams where he starts scoring the movie. He's really writing now and then we'll start scoring in February".

When asked where this movie sits tonally with the rest of the series, Marshall said: "I would say it's closest to the third one (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). It's all adults. I mean, you have the sidekick in Shia (LaBeouf), but you don't have a Short Round and I think the banter between the characters is as fun as it was in the third movie".

A new Last Crusade would be just dandy by us. When not discussing the finer nuances of Fassbinder or trying on Vulcan ears, we in the Empire office like to argue over which is the best Indy movie. There's currently a heated battle between the Raiders and Crusade teams.

One last piece of info: there will be an Indiana Jones Mr Potato Head. Greatest toy ever? Yes, readers, it just might be.
Update: Thanks to forum user morg1138 for poiting out that you can see the little spud here.

Kirk Gets Even Younger In Star Trek Movie


From cinemablend, thought we had reached the full extent of Star Trek casting news yesterday, when a pretty unknown actress was announced as a transporter chief. Apparently that wasn’t the end though, as today an eleven-year-old actor has been added to the Star Trek film. At least he’s playing a part you’ve heard of, though. No, he’s not a new version of the aliens from “The Corbomite Maneuver” (frankly, Clint Howard just can’t be replaced). Instead young Jimmy Bennett has been cast as a young version of James T. Kirk, according to Coming Soon.

I knew that we were going to see old Spock and a much younger version of the character in the same movie, courtesy of some time travel plot device that hasn’t been fully disclosed, but a pre-teen Kirk is a lot younger than any of us really need to see the Star Trek character. Think about it – seeing a similarly aged Darth Vader in the prequels didn’t exactly do wonders for the Sith lord’s image. Unless young Kirk is also adept at picking up space babes, why would we possibly need to see the character at this stage of development?

At least Bennett is somewhat of a known commodity. The young actor has already appeared in quite a few films, including Hostage, Evan Almighty, and The Amityville Horror. Still, I can’t help but hope this is the last big piece of casting news to come from the Trek movie, short of possibly tacking on the real Kirk, William Shatner, to give us the full spectrum of the character’s life.

LEGO Stop Motion Super Mario Is Awesome


From geekology, just discovered that watching LEGO Super Mario videos made with stop motion is a great way to start a Tuesday morning. So head to the employee lounge, grab a cup of coffee, fill it half with bourbon from the bottle you keep hidden in a desk drawer, and enjoy the show. Don't worry, if someone asks why you're watching Youtube videos on the clock just insist your kids made them. If they question why your coffee smells like bourbon take a stapler and drive a couple staples into the back of your hand while staring them right in the eye. If that doesn't send them on their way you may have to actually kill them.

See videos here

Star Wars poker anyone?


From geekology, There's pretty much no product that can't be Star Wars themed, and to prove it Sharper Image is selling these poker sets. For only $150 you too can be a proud owner. "The set includes 50 blue Luke Skywalker chips, 50 blue Obi-Wan Kenobi chips, 50 green Yoda chips and of course 50 red Darth Vader chips." It's also got a Death Star dealer chip and two sets of Star Wars playing cards. Perhaps the coolest thing about the set is that the chips are translucent and the case has 72 LEDs embedded in it, so when you open it the chips light up like two lightsabers. Neat. If I had $150 I might consider one. Except I'd decide to gamble with the money instead, because if doubled my money I could afford to get two sets. And that, my friends, is why I'm always broke.

First Look at Pixar's Next Gift From God, 'Up'


From iwatchstuff, To fully understand why it is so miraculous each time we behold a new glimpse of Pixar's film wizardry, you have to understand what goes into making a Pixar film. They make a big show of all the fun pools and air hockey tables and holograms and stuff that make up their massive compound, but that leaves out all the hard work done behind the scenes.

When you were in grade school, did you ever have to dissect owl droppings, hunting for bits of undigested rodent bones in the hopes of assembling a full specimen? That's what making a Pixar film is like, except instead of owl droppings, it's God's own shit, which the many skilled artists painstakingly shovel through in the hopes of finding enough lovable characters and heartwarming plot elements to construct a feature film. Above is a full element they excavated--a complete field mouse skull, if you will--and here is what they hope will eventually come of it:

Director Pete Docter described Up as a "coming-of-old-age story" about a seventy-something guy who lives in a house that "looks like your grandparents’ house smelled." He befriends a clueless young Wilderness Ranger and gets into lots of altercations. Says Pixar: "Our hero travels the globe, fights beasts and villains and eats dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon."
The first thing you'll probably notice is that this Pixar film is a departure from their norm, wandering into the realm of 2D animation. It asks the question, what has God been eating differently, and will it affect Toy Story 3? Only time will tell.

New Image From Disney-Pixar's 'Up' [Pixar Planet]

Paul, Ringo invited to play in Israel — 43 years later


LONDON (AP) — More than 40 years after it barred the iconic British band from playing there, Israel said it wants the surviving members of the Beatles to participate in a concert celebrating the country's 60th birthday.
But the Israeli embassy in London denied a report that the Jewish state had apologized for its original refusal to let the Beatles perform in the country. The band had been booked to appear in 1965, but the government refused to grant the necessary permits on the grounds that its music might corrupt the country's morals.

"Israel missed a chance to learn from the most influential musicians of the decade, and the Beatles missed an opportunity to reach out to one of the most passionate audiences in the world," Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor said in a letter addressed to Sir Paul McCartney. "On our 60th anniversary, we would like to take the opportunity to offer you a second chance to play in Israel."

The embassy said a letter was presented by Prosor to Jerry Goldman, CEO of the Beatles Story in the north England city of Liverpool. It was also sent to Sir Paul McCartney and Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr.

CG Ledger in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"


From AICN, A report emerged last week at The Sun that director Terry Gilliam was trying to get Johnny Depp to finish what remains of the late Heath Ledger's role in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus".

Ledger had been a little over halfway through filming on the fantasy project before his untimely death in New York last Tuesday. The role had the character falling through a magic mirror between separate worlds, and word was that at least one if not more actors would inhabit the roles in these different dimensions whilst Ledger's work would anchor it all.

Now though, People Magazine got in touch with Depp's representatives who say "there have been no official talks, and he is currently working on Public Enemies for Michael Mann for Universal."

Christopher Plummer, Ledger's biggest co-star on the project, tells the mag that Gilliam is working hard to find a way to finish the film and may even use CGI: "Terry's throwing himself into the job of trying to salvage the picture. [Gilliam is] trying to work out at this moment how to continue on. Fortunately, because the film deals with magic, there is a way, perhaps, of turning Heath into other people and then, using stills and I think they call it CGI... Terry was a very good friend [of Heath's]. He very wants to go on with the movie, and I can very much understand why. Because he wants to dedicate it to Heath, of course."

In other words it sounds like Gilliam will be using some kind of CG trickery to put Heath's face on other actors in order to finish some of Ledger's remaining sequences. It's certainly not unheard of, most famous the same trick was used when actor Brandon Lee died in an accident a week before filming ended on 1994's "The Crow" and Lee's face was digitally composited onto his stunt double.

Mark Romanek leaves WOLF MAN


From AICN, Hopefully we'll get some comment directly from Romanek in the immediate future, but in the meantime... holy crap! He left WOLF MAN!

I just posted that NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake story where I talk about it needing to have an interesting screenwriter and director to make me shake the bad feeling I had about remaking that film. It's projects like WOLF MAN why I don't have an automatic knee-jerk to remakes.

The original WOLF MAN is my favorite Universal Monster movie. I don't know why... I know I love CREATURE, the first three FRANKENSTEINS and the INVISIBLE MAN, too (never much of a Dracula fan), but Wolf Man was always my favorite.

You have a really damn good script by Andrew Kevin Walker, an interesting director like Mark Romanek and a great cast centered by the inspired casting of Benicio Del Toro as the title character. He was backed up by Anthony Hopkins (who plays his father... and after reading the script... I'd kill to see Hopkins play this character) and Emily Blunt (as his love interest, I'd assume). Add in Rick Baker coming back to the werewolf designing the Wolf Man and you have a geek boner of enormous proportions.

But now the word is he walked because of creative differences and a fight over the budget, already at $85 million (with another $15 million worth of tax incentives for shooting in the UK). I feel there's more to it than that. Romanek isn't exactly known for out of control budgets. Hopefully we'll find out more, but right now Universal's in an awkward position. I want to see that cast in this movie, but they must find a great director and not plug in a bland nobody. Romanek was an interesting pick and I think the movie hurts for him leaving.

If this doesn't happen, this project will go down as one of the biggest missed opportunities in cinema history.

Freddy's coming for you, again


From AICN,

New Line is making a deal with Platinum Dunes (the folks behind THE HITCHER, TEXAS CHAINSAW and the in-development FRIDAY THE 13TH remake) to remake A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. No writer is attached (and there won't be until after the strike) and no director is attached.

I will have a zero-tolerance for modern horror gimmicks (what Vern would call "avid farts") or cheap scares with this one. I don't care how shitty FREDDY'S DEAD was, if you're going to remake this movie you're playing with one of the best examples of horror in the last 30 years.

Much like with the FRIDAY remake, I don't understand why it's so hard to make a sequel or a relaunch that takes place within this established universe. Maybe that's the idea with the remake, I don't know, but I'm not really happy about this.

Are they going to recast Freddy? I can't imagine a Freddy without Robert Englund (although my buddy Kraken has been telling me for a year that whenever they decide to remake NIGHTMARE they should cast Ben Foster as Freddy and he's surprisingly fitting when you look at him with that in mind), so hopefully they don't do something as stupid as making a Freddy movie without Freddy Krueger.

And hopefully they don't treat the teenagers like retarded CLUELESS rejects (hello HALLOWEEN remake). And who can they get to be as badass as John Saxon?

I don't know. The original was so inventive, the remake is going to have to be just as inventive, but not a copy. It'll take a really interesting screenwriter and director for me to shake this bad feeling. You?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The woman from MASH is not looking so good

Luc Besson's Comic Book Adaptation


From worstpreviews, Eyeing its next movie franchise, Luc Besson's EuropaCorp has a deal for the bigscreen adaptation rights to Jacques Tardi's classic comicbook series "Aventures Extraordinaires d'Adele Blanc-Sec."

Published since 1976, with nine novels to date, "Aventures" is set between 1911 and 1922 in a Paris traumatized by World War I. Their heroine, Adele Blanc-Sec, a fetching popular novelist pursued by dumb cops, monsters, rancorous villains and wannabe lovers, is sometimes taken as an early feminist figure in French comic books.

EuropaCorp plans a three-movie bigscreen transition, the first being scheduled for delivery in 2009.

Rami's next project


From darkhorizons, Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi is teaming with Disney & ABC Studios on a live-action weekly fantasy series aiming to premiere this Fall reports Reuters.

Entitled "Wizard's First Rule," the series is based on Terry Goodkind's best-selling epic fantasy series "The Sword of Truth" currently eleven books long.

"Sword" follows the extraordinary transformation of woodsman Richard Cypher into a magical leader who joins with a mysterious woman to stop a bloodthirsty tyrant.

Raimi and Robert Tapert are executive producing the series. Production on twenty-two episodes is slated to begin in May.

King of Kong comes out today!


From AICN (excerpt), Bonus Materials

The bonus materials on this disc are fantastic as well. There is an absolute wealth of material here.

There is a slew of bonus footage including some festival Q&A stuff, extended interviews with damn near everyone involved in the project. A great piece on Billy Mitchell's hair stylings, music from Steve Wiebe and MORE FOOTAGE OF MR. AWESOME!!

There is a cool feature showing off art inspired by Donkey Kong that was collected by i am 8-bit and set to some kick-ass tunes. It'd be perfect to set up on a TV for a retro 80s themed party. (No, I've never held a retro-themed 80s party.)
There is an update entitled "The Saga Continues" that picks up some story where the movie leaves off. It goes on to explain the current state of the high score on Donkey Kong and the attempts that have been made to reclaim it. (I won't spoil that for you.)

A Really, Really Brief History of Donkey Kong is just that. A quick bite-sized animated history of Donkey Kong that would have fit in perfectly with the documentary to explain a bit more history behind the game itself.
There is so much more here including a glossary of commonly used arcade terms and an excellent side-by-side comparison of how Wiebe and Mitchell play Donkey Kong differently

Funny

Odd Hellboy 2 poster

Weird casting news, Dennis Quaid Leads G.I. Joe


From cinemablend, Dennis Quaid is joining the cast of G.I. Joe. He’s the first actor over 40 on the team, so it’s appropriate that he’s also playing the Joe’s leader General Hawk, according to Variety.

It’s no secret that I’ve never been a fan of the whole G.I. Joe thing. I was one of those poor, food stamp kids you used to throw stuff at in the lunch line for wearing clothes from K-Mart, and while there was a pretty good generic brand, discount version of the Transformers available in Go-Bots, there was no decent welfare-kid friendly version of G.I. Joe available, so it never caught my interest. It took me a year to save up enough money just to buy one Dino Bot, Cobra Commander wasn’t even on my radar.

So, rather than attempting to know what I’m talking about, here’s what Wikipedia, for better or worse, says about the character: “Hawk is the code name of Major General Clayton M. Abernathy. He is the commander of the G.I. Joe Team. Born in Denver, Colorado, he comes from a wealthy family whose influence enabled him to enroll in West Point where he graduated at the top of his class. He was even able to gain experience in the battlefield in several trouble spots.”

Quaid is the first actor to join the cast who my parents might have heard of. They’re not exactly Channing Tatum fans. The Tatum as Duke rumor which we reported on yesterday by the way, was confirmed this morning in the same Variety story as the Quaid announcement. So breathe a sigh of relief G.I. Joe fans, Duke will be able to out-dance Cobra.

Garth Merenghi's Darkplace




I showed this to Octo over the holidays, described it as Mystery Science Theater meets Spinal Tap.






No Full Star Trek Trailer Till Summer And Other Warp Speed Tidbits


From cinemablend, The guys over at Trek Movie have really managed to get themselves deeply embedded in the production of the new Star Trek movie. At least as deeply embedded as the ridiculously secretive production is going to let anyone get. They aren’t exactly fan friendly so far, are they? Star Trek really should have it’s own OneRing.net.

But the TrekMovie boys do their best, and they managed to get Star Trek co-writer and exec producer Robert Orci to show up and interact with fans on their site. Orci answered at least some of the questions we all still have, though the trailer cleared up some of the big ones. For instance we now know they aren’t painting the Enterprise pink and putting it on rollerskates. Most of what Orci was able to add to the Trek equation was actually pretty encouraging, especially if you’re a Trek fan… which I am.

Here’s a few of the highlights: Don’t expect a new, full trailer to replace the meager little teaser trailer we have now until sometime in mid-summer. Too long to wait if you ask me. They’re shooting for a PG-13 rating. They are trying to use real sets and location shoots instead of lame green screen as much as possible. A full on image of the Enterprise will be released to us fanboys soon. Greg Grunberg is busy on something else, and won’t get his cameo. Making of documentaries are being shot… but don’t expect to be allowed to see them until after the film is released, probably as part of a DVD set. Basically, what it all boils down to is Abrams is going to tease the hell out of this thing until he’s Cloverfielded everyone again. I just hope that doesn’t mean Trek will have the same, massive, “over it” 68% second week dropoff at the box office.

That’s just a few of the big points Orci made. For more surf over to our friends at TrekMovie, and while you’re there tell them to send some Trek awesomeness this fan’s way. Hey, I have Chris Pine’s autograph. Doesn’t that make him my best friend?

While I wait around for Chris’s phone call, CanMag also had some good news on the Trek front. They spoke with Anton Yelchin, the guy playing young Pavel Chekov in the film. It seems that Yelchin, unlike some of the other cast members (Zachary Quinto in particular) is actually a fan of Trek. He talks a lot about how much he really enjoys the original series and says, “ “Would I ever have thought that I'd be on the Enterprise? No. It's pretty great.” While Quinto is over in the corner getting all method, it’s nice to know there will be at least one person on the Enterprise bridge who’s geeking out as much as we would.

Yelchin also really seems to get Chekov, who let’s face it, was a pretty crazy character. If you’ve gone back and rewatched any of Chekov’s episodes recently, maybe in the remastered versions they’ve been running late-nights on the weekends, you know what I mean. But crazy in a good way. Yelchin gets that and says, “ “Chekov is the weirdest guy. Watching the old show really makes you realize just how strange, how incredible it was that they brought, first of all, a Russian character on right smack in the middle of the cold war. There's one scene where they're talking to Apollo or something, or the god that used to be Apollo in the old show. Apollo's like, 'I am Apollo!' and Chekov is like, 'And I am the czar of all Russias.' That's not how I choose to do the accent but they gave him these lines that he really is the weirdest, weirdest character so it's a lot of fun.”

Indiana Jones Home Theater Looking Okay


From geekology, I would actually consider this "Indiana Jones" themed home theater more of an "Egyptian themed" home theater with some Indiana Jones props strewn about, but whatever. It's still way badder-ass than my theater, which is a pair of binoculars I use to watch my neighbor's television.

That being said, the movie props they have are pretty cool, including the golden idol from Raiders. You know what pissed me off about that? That Indy replaced the idol with a damn bag of sand. That thing had to weigh way more than a freaking bag of sand. Man that made me angry. And then when the monkey died because it ate a poisoned date? That was pretty upsetting too -- until you realized it was in with the Nazis and deserved to die. But how about that line by Sallah? He catches it, points to the monkey and says "Bad dates." Fucking classic! And speaking of bad dates, I went on one over the weekend. What made it so bad you ask? Take a wild guess. Yep, she had a penis. It was way bigger than mine. It happened again. I swear, eHarmony sucks.

A ton more pictures here

Robot Spots Lost Shoppers, Scares Them


From geekology, Robovie the robot was designed to monitor crowds in shopping areas and assist anyone who appears lost. He can monitor approximately 1,000 square feet of space at once.

Relying on data from 16 cameras, 6 laser range finders and 9 RFID tag readers installed in and around the area, the robot was able to watch up to 20 people at a time, pinpoint their locations to within a few centimeters, and classify each individual’s behavior into one of 10 categories (waiting, wandering, walking fast, running, etc.).
If you fall into the "disoriented" category, which likely includes "drunk" and "stumbling" then the robot approaches you and asks "Are you lost?" If you answer yes he'll point and explain the directions to your destination. If no then he proceeds to recommend shops and eateries in the area. Or, if you're like me you won't answer anything. You'll be too frightened of the scary little bastard approaching that you'll either turn and run or kick him until he blows up.

Madballs!


Of all the '80s toy lines that could've potentially resurfaced, I don't think I would've ever put money on Madballs. Turns out, I'm a shitty gambler. Madballs are back, and they're every bit as gloriously gruesome and pointlessly pleasant as the obnoxious originals. (I'm a shitty gambler, but I'm awesome at Scattergories.

One of the most amazing things about this Madballs relaunch is the honest attempt by Basic Fun to market them as "toys for kids." Granted, that's what they are, but I have to suspect that most sales will stem from those in and around my age — people who grew up loving 'em, hoping to reclaim a lost glory or two. Though they're sold at many of the twenty-something hipster shops as sheer novelty acts, Basic Fun has somehow managed to persuade traditional toy store chains to carry the beasts. Will the kids of today respond so positively? Probably not, but I can't say that I mind walking through Toys "R" Us and spotting a shelf full of simple Madballs next to all of the toys with MP3 players and flash drives pouring out their asses.

While the new Madballs share names and appearances with the old guard, they're more detailed, feature better paint jobs, and if I was at all objective, I'd have to admit that they're superior toys. If I had to search for any gripe at all, I guess I'd say that they're a little less "literal balls" than the originals were…meaning that the extra details and shaping made for toys that are ball-shaped, but maybe not necessary real balls. That's a pretty awful and transparent gripe, loaded with testicular innuendo, and I can't even stand by it two sentences later. Toss aside the rose-tinted glasses, and they're every bit as suave as the originals.

Read the entire article here

Finally!


From iwatchstuff, Sometimes, when the violence and intensity of your Rambos and your Cloverfields get to be too much, it's nice to see someone is making a film about swimming around, having a good time, just being a dolphin or whale. I mean, come on, guys. Dolphins and whales, together? Classic combination.

Bibleman?


I'm probably really late to this observation, but this new shot from The Dark Knight is the first where I realized that the latest Batman mask is getting dangerously close to Biblman
territory. He's just a Willie Aames and a prayer away from a lawsuit.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Octopunk You Take Today Off?


Leave it to Google to inform through pictures. According to our search-engine friends, today is the 50th Anniversary of Lego Bricks. I apologize that I didn't get you a card Octo.

Are you guys done watching LOST yet?


???

Enhanced LOST season 3 finale [there are no spoilers in this excerpt]


From collider, But for those that aren't willing to sacrifice, ABC will be airing the two-hour season three finale, "Through the Looking Glass" in an "enhanced" version. There will be on-screen trivia facts and hints to catch up viewers. I'm not really sure who this helps. If you're a dedicated viewer who simply forgot the plot over the past eight months, then there's the 8-minute, 15-second review special available for free on iTunes. New viewers will probably still be confused and faithful viewers will just be irritated. It's a gimmick for an episode which proved that LOST, despite the naysayers, was more than just gimmicks.

To exchange challah and bagels for a snake in the mailbox, read the press release below:

Get ready for the Season Four premiere of “Lost” with a special presentation of the Season Three two-hour finale, “Through the Looking Glass,” enhanced with on-screen facts and back story about one of the most talked about dramas on television. Whether you already watched the amazing conclusion of “Lost” last season or this is your first time viewing it, the special enhanced “Lost” catches viewers up on the story of the Oceanic 815 survivors in a way you’ve never experienced before. Be there for the enhanced “Lost” Season Three finale, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30 at 9:00 p.m., ET/PT on ABC.

The enhanced version of “Lost” will include text on the lower third of the screen and will “let viewers in” on clues in the show, as well as give back story to catch new viewers up for Season Four.

Christmas Carol Targeted By David Zucker?


From cinemablend, I remember when David Zucker’s name meant some decent comedy, but there was quite a plummet between Airplane! and Zucker taking over the Scary Movie franchise. None of the rumored projects with Zucker involved sounded all that promising, from another Scary Movie picture to a superhero spoof, so I haven’t been heartbroken to see Zucker take his time to develop another picture. It looks like the next project is moving ahead, however, and it’s neither of those previously rumored options.

While Zucker is continuing the same parody comedy that has been the staple of his career for his next picture, instead of scary movies or superheroes, it appears the director will be taking on that Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. In their report, Moviehole suggests the decision may be linked to Robert Zemeckis’s more serious approach to the story, offering a window of opportunity for the parody Zucker will create. It’s not a bad suggestion – take advantage of a potentially built-in audience – especially if studio advertising can confuse viewers as to which movie they’re gong to see (if the two are released at the same time).

Apparently Zucker’s parody won’t be set at Christmastime, but instead around the 4th of July. The night before Independence Day the Scroogish figure is visited by three spirits who help him become more patriotic. Is it just me, or does this sound more like a picture to be released this year, during the presidential elections, than a rival for Zemeckis’s Christmas Carol?

No word on when the project starts filming or who will be involved, but, considering their history, it would be foolish to think Leslie Nielsen wouldn’t be attached in some way.

Nautilus Home Theater Is Freaking Awesome


From geekology, Inspired by Jules Verne's classic novel, the Nautilus home theater is truly a work of art. It was designed by Dillon Works Inc. for Dallas-based dentist Randy Moran and his wife. It looks unbelievably awesome and is nearly 900 square feet. I just showed it to my girlfriend and told her I wanted something similar. "Yeah, too bad you're 20,000 Leagues Under Debt." "Well listen, I'm entering an intense land race called 'Around Your Fat Ass in 80 Days', and if I win then the prize money should be enough to cover it." And that, my friends, is what you tell someone when you want your privates bludgeoned with a Wiimote.

See more coolness here

Mann he's popular


From CHUD, It's official: Michael Mann's next movie, Public Enemies, begins shooting March 10th in Chicago for Universal Pictures. That should be enough. But if you're one of those people who didn't see the brilliance in Miami Vice (the theatrical cut), here's additional reason for excitement: it stars Johnny Depp as bank robber John Dillinger and Christian Bale as FBI agent Melvin Purvis.

But you knew that already. Well, as you might expect, the involvement of Mann, Depp and Bale has attracted some substantial talent. La Vie en Rose's Marion Cotillard, currently losing every major Best Actress trophy to Julie Christie, will play Dillinger's lover, Billie Frechette (she was not the fabled "Lady in Red"), while Channing Tatum, fresh off of Oliver Stone's kiboshed Pinkville, will take on the role of Pretty Boy Floyd (who famously shot it out with police in my hometown of Bowling Green, Ohio). The rest of Dillinger's gang, however, is an odd assortment: Giovanni Ribisi (Alvin Karpis), Jason Clarke (John "Red" Hamilton) and Stephen Dorff (Homer Van Meter). Yes, the Stephen Dorff.

I have no idea what Mann plans to do with Dillinger's story (which is fairly well represented on film), but anything that puts him back in the period gangster realm makes me think of Crime Story. And I like thinking of Crime Story. I'm just surprised that Universal is diving back into business with Mann after the many... difficulties of Miami Vice. That Depp guy makes a difference, I guess (he says as Sweeney Todd underperforms).

But it ain't my money! As far as I'm concerned, Universal should spare no expense. And if they feel like flying my Mann-worshipping tuchus out to the windy city this spring, I believe that would be money very well spent.

'Prince Caspian' Adds Dreaminess, Smugness


From iwatchstuff, You know what my biggest problem with the first The Chronicles of Narnia chapter was? Not enough luxuriously-haired teen heartthrobs. As will happen when watching a movie, my mind wandered to thoughts of "Why can't this be more like a fantasy-themed Tiger Beat?" With Prince Caspian, the second film in the series, it looks like they've corrected the issue, plus they've definitely added some satisfied smugness with this goat guy.

Cloverfield 2 news


From bloodydisgusting, After exceeding expectations and destroying the MLK box office record by taking in more than $46 million over the holiday weekend, it's no shock that there is talk of Bad Robot and Paramount doing a sequel to JJ Abrams' Cloverfield (all reviews). Today I was reading the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly - featuring Heath Ledger on the cover - and there was a small article on the giant monster movie. Both producers JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk talk about sequel possibilities and where it might go. Read on for the skinny.

Bad Robot producer JJ Abrams tells EW that he's in no rush to get a sequel rolling because he wants to make sure it keeps the integrity of the original. "I wouldn't want to rush into it because of the heat on the movie - Id want to do something that is true to the spirit of what we made."

Producer Bryan Burk adds that the creative team "has fleshed out an entire backstory which, if we're lucky, we might get to explore in future films."

EW writes that possible plots include an attack on another city or telling the same New York event from another perspective.

In CLOVERFIELD, five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.

Jon Favreau talks Iron Man & Avengers


FRom moviesonline, We had a chance to talk to Jon Favreau over the weekend about his upcoming Iron Man movie which hits in May as well as the rumored Avengers movie that he might just take the directors seat in. First off he told us that shooting has wrapped and they are now doing the final touches on Iron Man!

We just locked picture on iron man, but locking is different on this kind of movie since every day more shots come out of the oven and you cut them in. It is a real treat for me. I am used to only having dialogue story and characters to cut with. With Iron Man every day is like christmas morning a new shot comes in and we cut it into the mvie. You realize these movies could surivive without good actors and without good story because the shots are so compelling and done so well. The guys at ILM they did pirates and transformers and that stuff is spectactular.

The stuff between Robert and Gwyneth and Jeff Bridges is really great stuff. There was so much freedom in story telling because they always knew it would be about iron man and flying so i had no pressure on the scenes and had a tremendous amount of freedom to tell a story in a tone that im very comfortable with.

In a way it was really the most creative freedom I can remember having on anything and it works. It is a very very good movie and I think peoples expectations will be met. Although its changing now, but with superhero movies, they are expecting an experience they are not expecting quality. They have a good time without a great movie. So if you deliver a great movie on top of something that is spectaclar to watch you can deliver a great experience. Because of the caliber of actors that marvel allowed me to hire its really been alot of fun. its a very long process it will have been 2 years when it comes out in May

Needless to say we are all pretty damn excited for Iron Man and it is awesome to hear how excited Jon is about it coming to theatres. I have every confidence this could be for comic book movies what Sam Raimi was for SpiderMan... awesome! Before we wrapped up he also spilled the beans on whether he would want to take on the Avengers movie.

I would love to if the epxerience is as good as this. They still need to make a few movies because avengers has Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man. I think they want a chapter for each character before they start playing with the idea of combining them. I think its very smart how they are cross pollinating the different characters like they have done in the comic book and now because they control all the characters they can do that free moving interplay that gives the spontaneous feel in the comics.

Look back later in the week for Sheila Roberts in depth interview with Jon for his other new project The Wild West Comedy Show starring Vince Vaughn. Of course we will bring you more Iron Man and Avengers updates as we get them!

Big-name films fail to find buyer audience


By Harlan Jacobson, Special for USA TODAY
PARK CITY, Utah — Nothing went as planned this year at Sundance. The buyers sat on their hands till mid-festival. The wallflower films were crowned prom king and queen, and the premiere films with the cool people faced shrugs of indifference.
Star-studded films were left without distribution, including father-son pairing Tom and Colin Hanks in The Great Buck Howard, Amy Adams and Emily Blunt in the crime-scene comedy Sunshine Cleaning, and Paul Giamatti's rocket-pack entrepreneur comedy Pretty Bird.

The only thing that was business as usual: There were a fair number of quality films, but the frenzy for parking spots and dinner slots seemed to consume more attention.

Still, some movies did walk away with deals. In the end, though, that is perhaps not the most important thing, as festival founder Robert Redford says, "Over the years, what happens is the films that come through and get the word of mouth … that's the best PR and marketing there is."

Among films that emerged from Sundance with distribution and which eventually may show up in theaters near you:

•Hamlet 2. Stars British comedian Steve Coogan (24 Hour Party People) playing a Tucson high school drama teacher staging a cracked sequel to "Shakespeare's bummer." Focus Features purchased for distribution for a reported $10 million, near the festival record.

•Up the Yangtze. A Canadian-financed documentary by Chinese director Yung Chang that examines the impact of China's Three Gorges Dam on the place where Yung's grandfather grew up. Zeitgeist Films plans to release it in April.

•Frozen River. By first-time director Courtney Hunt, it tells the story of two women in upstate New York: one white working-class, the other Native American. They sneak illegal immigrants in from Canada who want a piece of the American Dream, which has collapsed for the smugglers. The film will be released by Sony Pictures Classics.

•The Wackness. Writer/director Jonathan Levine's story of a wacked-out, drug-gulping shrink (Ben Kingsley) who trades therapy sessions to a high school drug dealer (Josh Peck) for pot. The odd couple goes out on the town, carousing at night, and by day pushing the kid's weed. It was bought by Sony Pictures Classics.

•Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. Marina Zenovich's documentary about the famous 1977 rape case that led Polanski to flee Hollywood for Paris. HBO purchased domestic distribution.

•The Black List: Volume One. A documentary by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, List features the likes of Chris Rock and Sean "Diddy" Combs talking about the black experience in America. The film was bought by HBO.

•Choke. Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston and Kelly Macdonald star in the adaptation of a Chuck Palahniuk novel about a guy (Rockwell) who fakes choking to scam those who try to save him. The film went to Fox Searchlight.

•Henry Poole Is Here. Stars Luke Wilson as a dying man with a stain on his stucco wall that neighbors think might be Jesus. Poole was purchased by Overture Films.

•Kicking It. Susan Koch's documentary chronicles the lives of seven soccer players at the Homeless World Cup games. It was bought by ESPN.

[JPX sez, Boba Fett is cool]

Horrible movie takes weekend box office


By Thomas K. Arnold, Special for USA TODAY

It was a good weekend for 20th Century Fox. The studio's Meet the Spartans opened at No. 1 with an estimated gross of $18.7 million, beating back stiff competition from fellow newcomer Rambo and holdover Cloverfield.
Spartans" showing is stunning; most prognosticators had figured the spoof comedy would bring in maybe $12 million and open at No. 3 or No. 4.

Sylvester Stallone appears well on his way toward repeating his Rocky box office comeback with a new take on his other famous on-screen character, released by Lionsgate and the Weinstein Co. Coming two decades after Rambo III, the fourth installment fought back a wave of skepticism for a strong No. 2 finish, bringing in $18.2 million.

It was another Fox film, the comedy 27 Dresses, that finished the weekend at No. 3, with $13.6 million.

Paramount's monster film Cloverfield, after a bigger-than-expected opening last weekend, experienced a bigger-than-expected drop of 72% this weekend to finish at No. 4 with $12.7 million.

Sony Pictures comedy Untraceable opened at No. 5 with an estimated gross of $11.2, breaking out of its expected female-oriented audience to capture a fairly even split.

And the season's little charmer Juno keeps chugging along, picking up another $10.3 million (good for No. 6) after its four Oscar nominations, to push its total box office take past the vaunted $100 million mark.

Another notable milestone: Alvin and the Chipmunks, Fox's attempt to revive a baby boomer franchise, passed $200 million.

It could be said everyone had a good weekend, as the box office overall is projected to be up 32% from the comparable weekend last year.

The rest of the top 10: The Bucket List, $10.2 million; There Will Be Blood, $4.9 million; National Treasure: Book of Secrets, $4.7 million; and Mad Money, $4.6 million.