Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This looks freaking outstanding

Rejoice, Simpsons Fans: You Can Go to Springfield!

From time, Welcome to Springfield, the town television fans have always dreamed of actually visiting. Now compacted into a 30,000-square-foot space in Universal Studios in Florida, the real-life replica of a famed made-up place gives us our first version of The Simpsons’ Springfield — even if it is technically in Orlando.
The new attraction had its official launch last week and expands on Universal’s previous Simpsons-themed offerings, like the Simpsons ride that has been available at Universal Studios locations for a few years now. It opened a fresh world for park visitors, offering a new outdoor ride, water-play area and a bevy of Simpsons-themed edible treats from the likes of Duff Brewery (where the beers do actually taste different from one another) or Krusty Burger — and don’t fret, there’s plenty more food in the new section too, including Luigi’s Pizza, The Frying Dutchman, Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror and more. Moe’s Tavern goes authentically The Simpsons, with the Love Tester machine and Isotopes pennants. As  USA Today reports, the red rotary phone in the bar even offers up prank calls from Bart Simpson.

The Ol 'Holy S#it You're Being Chased By A Raptor' Prank

From geekology, This is a video from (where else?) Japan of a guy in a super-realistic looking raptor costumechasing an unsuspecting victim in an office building. The dude seems genuinely concerned that he's being chased by a dinosaur. And can you blame him? Of course you can, dinosaurs went extinct 65-million years ago and we haven't come anywhere close to cloning them yet. Live in reality, you nutjob.

Daily Spider-Man: Spoiler Alert! I don't trust that Rodrigo fella

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Original Wicker Man's Director Will Finally Complete His Trilogy With The Wrath Of The Gods

From cinemablend, There was a 38 year gap between British director Robin Hardy’s excellent 1973 debut The Wicker Man and its 2011 sequel The Wicker Tree. And even though Hardy will turn 84 years old in October, I still expected at least another decade to go by before he started on The Wrath of the Gods, the third film in the Wicker trilogy. However, the director has told ScreenDaily that it won’t be long at all before he begins working on it. The only other film Hardy has directed was 1986’s thriller The Fantasist, so it’s hard to tell whether we should be excited about this news or wary. 

"I am just at the opening stages of financing it, and hope to make it next year," Hardy announced to the site. He’s actually been planning to make it for the last two years, but he seems more assured about it this time around. “The first two films are all about offers to the Gods. The third film is about the Gods. I use the vehicle of the final act of Götterdämmerung,” translated as “Twilight of the Gods,” which is the last opera of Richard Wagner’s four-part Ring Cycle, on which this series is loosely based. He says this new film won’t be “heavily Wagner-esque,” but will continue exploring the themes of the trilogy’s first two films - including Pagan rituals and their consequences. 

What's more, the original film is getting a newly discovered “final cut” that will be released as a 40th anniversary Blu-ray in October - though right now it only looks like it will be coming out in the UK. Check the art below. 

Daily Spider-Man: What, these little blue lightning bolts? They're nothing. Don't mind me, I'm having a little quiet time.

Five new J.D. Salinger titles will be published by 2020, authors claim

From ew, So maybe we will find out what happens to Holden Caulfield after all.
In Salinger, the new oral history of the Catcher in the Rye novelist, David Shields and Shane Salerno claim that the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust—controlled by Salinger’s wife Colleen and his son, Matthew—will release five new Salinger works between 2015 and 2020, all approved for publication by the author himself before his death in 2010. (Salerno also directed a new documentary about the reclusive writer that is due in theaters Sept. 6.) The new titles are:
—an anthology, The Family Glass, which will include the existing Glass family stories along with five new ones as well as a Glass family geneaology.
—a World War II novel inspired by Salinger’s enormously complicated relationship with his first wife, Sylvia, who may have been a Gestapo informant.
—a manual of the Hindu Vedanta religion, which Salinger followed for the last 50 years of his life.
—a novella based on Salinger’s own experiences that, according to the authors, “takes the form of a counterintelligence agent’s diary entries during World War II.”
—“a complete retooling” of Salinger’s unpublished Holden Caulfield story “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans,” which will be packaged with the existing Caulfield stories as well as new stories and The Catcher in the Rye, “creating a complete history of the Caulfield family.”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ben Affleck Is Batman for 'Man of Steel' Sequel

Ben Affleck will join Henry Cavill in Warner Bros.' Man of Steel sequel, the studio announced on Thursday.

The project was announced at Comic-Con earlier this year, prompting much speculation surrounding who would play the Caped Crusader. Zack Snyder is back in the director's chair for the project, which places 

Batman and Superman together on the big screen for the first time.
The film is slated to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.
The announcement comes a decade after Affleck's largely disappointing Daredevil, the 20th Century Fox pic based on the Marvel character. Released in 2003, the film grossed $180 million worldwide on a budget of about $80 million.
In 2006, Affleck played George Reeves -- who starred in the1950s TV series Adventures of Superman -- in Hollywoodland
Man of Steel has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date.
"We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics' most enduringly popular superheroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent, and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character," said Greg Silverman, Warner Bros.' president of creative development and worldwide production.
Added Snyder: "Ben provides an interesting counterbalance to Henry's Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him."
The move furthers Affleck's relationship with Warner Bros. after last year's Academy Award-winningArgo, as well as his next directing vehicle, the upcoming crime drama Live by Night.
Said Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing and international distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures: "We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.' remarkable legacy with the character of Batman.  He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes."
The as-yet-untitled superhero film is being scripted by David S. Goyer from a story he co-created with Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers. Production is expected to begin in 2014.

Fifth "Pirates of the Caribbean" Gets A Title

From darkhorizons, "Kon-Tiki" directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg have been doing the promotional rounds for the Blu-ray release in the U.S. of their Oscar nominated film.
During these interviews, they reportedly told This Is Infamousthe name of the upcoming fifth film in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise which they are directing.
That title? "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales".
The pair are reportedly working on the script which will be a combination of a stand-alone story, and adding to the "overall mythology of the series" (so likely not as stand-alone as "On Stranger Tides" but not as mythology heavy as the first two sequels).

Star Wars Episode 7 To Be Shot On Film, Not Digital

From slashfilm, Cinematographer Dan Mindel ASC, BSC will be reteaming with JJ Abrams to shoot Star Wars Episode VII. That comes as no surprise as Mindel worked with Abrams on the Star Trek films and Mission: Impossible III. The big news is that Mindel says that Episode 7 will be shot on Kodak film stock 5219 film, NOT digital cameras like the last couple prequel movies. The Phantom Menace was the last Star Wars film to be shot with film cameras (although some trivia fanatics will note, the movie did include a digitally photographed shot).
What does this mean? Here are a few things we can extrapolate from this information:
  • The movie will not be shot natively in 3D, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the film won’t be post converted (which is what happened with JJ’s Star Trek Into Darkness).
  • We also all know about JJ’s love for anamorphic lens flares, something not possible now with digital 3D camera rigs. So while film would allow him to use (or overuse?) this visual style, I’m guessing (and I could be wrong) that JJ will employ a look for Episode 7 more in line with the original trilogy.
  • Who knows what this means for IMAX, but JJ has shown an excitement for the company in addition to shooting a couple kew scenes of Star Trek Into Darkness with IMAX cameras. Disney has a deal with IMAX, so the movie will likely be released in IMAX theaters (what event movie would forgo the extra cash on the table?).
Abrams had previously stated his preference for film vs. digital at the PRoduced By conference earlier this year:
“I have not yet shot a movie digitally. Film is the thing I am most comfortable with. If film were to go away — and digital is challenging it— then the standard for the highest, best quality would go away.”
 Mindel is also known for his collaborations with Tony Scott on Enemy of the State, Spy Game and Domino, as well as Andrew Stanton’s John Carter and Oliver Stone’s Savages. Mindel just got done shooting The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
The news comes from bobafettfanclub via TheFilmStage. Mindel reportedly confirmed this information today at an American Society of Cinematographers event in Los Angeles.

Four of the Fifty Biggest Box Office Bombs Are in Theaters Right Now

From slashfilm, Summer 2013 is on track to become the best ever at the domestic box office, but you wouldn’t know it from the number of flops that have limped through theaters over the past few months.
Indeed, by some measures, this season includes five of the fifty biggest flops of the past two decades. Moreover, of those five, four are in theaters at this very moment. Hit the jump to find out which ones, and just how terribly they’re doing.
Wikipedia‘s analysis only goes back to 1995 due to changes in “ticket-price inflation, population size, and ticket purchasing trends.” It should also be noted that they only take into account each film’s production budget and worldwide gross. Marketing costs, home video revenues, and other components that go into Hollywood math are not considered.
With that in mind, they report that the year’s biggest losers, in order are, in order, The Lone RangerR.I.P.D.Jack the Giant SlayerWhite House Down, and Turbo.Reddit user jaxsedrin was the one to point out that with the exception of this spring’sJack, all of these titles can be found in multiplexes right now.
Granted, since they’re still in theaters, these worldwide grosses aren’t final yet. But the odds of them turning it around at this point are vanishingly slim.
Assuming all five of these stay on the list (and there’s no reason to think they won’t), that makes 2013 tied with 1999 and 2001 for having the most box office bombs. It gets even worse once inflation is factored in. The chart of the top 10 bombs of all time features two titles from 2013, R.I.P.D. and The Lone Ranger. No other year has more than one entry.
One possible takeaway here is that Hollywood should think twice about these ever-increasing budgets. The Lone Ranger actually earned more than almost all of the other flops on the top-50 list, but still holds the #1 position for biggest bomb because it cost a whopping $250 million to make. $217 million would be a respectable take for a mid-budget film, but The Lone Ranger had to be a smash hit to turn a profit.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much reason to hope that lesson will stick. Summer 2013′s record revenues come in a large part from sequels, most of which cost big money to make. Top earner Iron Man 3, for example, cost $200 million. Also contributing to that big pile of cash are higher-than-ever ticket prices. Average admission in the U.S. hit anall-time high this year, coming in at $8.38.

Daily Spider-Man: "Que dice, amigo? I can't hear you over the screams of those doomed men."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Birthday JPX!

It's that time of the year again!  AGAIN?  Yes, the co-founder of the ludicrous contest that is Horrorthon is marking another year on the planet today.  I hope he's taking a day off and going to the beach.

In addition to failing to get a fresher picture of him, I'm going to slack further and re-post some stuff I said in last year's birthday post:

"JPX and I have been friends since fourth grade and have therefore shared the most ridiculous adventures life offers (when you're not yet old enough to drink). Like the time he inspired me to climb successfully out of his upstairs window by aiming a drawn arrow at my face, or the time he discovered a jellied mass of fish eggs and without a moment's hesitation threw it at a friend of ours. Wait a second, he's a jerk!

Well sure, but there's also the way we were never bored because there was always another building in town we could scale. Or how I walk the cool aisles of toy stores today and always feel like he's there next to me. Or the fact that his taste in music is rooted forever in the sounds of 80's pop and 90's techno, just like mine."

All still true.  He really is a jerk.  Please provide some birthday props!

Daily Spider-Man: Wow, Spidey really hates helicopters this week

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Escape From Tomorrow Will Bring The Dark Side Of Disney To Theaters And VOD

From cinemablend, As a general rule, when I get incredulous about a film getting released it’s because it’s a useless sequel or remake... or it has Adam Sandler starring in it. It’s an entirely different story when it comes to Randy Moore’s one of a kind surrealist fantasy Escape From Tomorrow. It made big waves at Sundance, but because it was filmed discreetly inside both Walt Disney World and Disneyland without the company’s permission it didn’t seem likely that general audiences would ever legally be able to see it. Amazingly, however, Producers Distribution Agency (PDA) has picked up the rights to the film, according to the Los Angeles Times, and they’ve partnered up with Abramorama and FilmBuff to release the film theatrically in select cities on October 11th - coinciding with a VOD release on the same day. I just went from not knowing if I’d ever see this flick to knowing that I can watch it in less than two months. I’m so used to being disappointed by 2013 that I’m unsure if this feeling is joy, or if I'm dealing with some sort of gas leak situation. 

It should be noted that the theatrical and VOD release won't be the same version of Escape From Tomorrow that audiences, including our own Katey Rich, saw at Sundance in January. One of the criticisms the film received was in regards to its length, so Moore has recut the film and chopped out about 15 minutes. It’s currently listed as being a quick 103 minutes on IMDb, so I guess the new version will end almost precisely at the hour-and-a-half mark. I’m sure it must have been mildly heartbreaking for the director to cut the film seeing as that footage was probably incredibly hard to shoot, but still… 

There's still time for the other shoe to fall in regards to this film, as Disney has yet to make any official comment on it, either negative or positive. It’s possible that set distribution plans could be what Disney's team of lawyers has been waiting for, but it's been said that the company’s name isn’t outrightly damaged during the film, as it was based on Moore’s emotional ties to the park as a child. But some people came away from Sundance saying it had an anti-Disney vibe, so maybe that will be all it takes. Regardless, insurance has been purchased, which should protect the film against liabilities. 

Escape From Tomorrow follows a man (Roy Abramsohn) and his family as they spend a day at the theme park. Unfortunately, the day turns into a surrealist nightmare as the family dynamic splits and the man becomes interested in two French girls (Annet Mahendru and Danielle Safady). The park attractions and workers turn sinister, but he isn’t sure if it’s actually happening, or if he’s having a mental breakdown. 

The production stories behind the film are pretty amazing, and it makes sense that a company like PDA is putting it out there, given they released the Banksy documentary Exit the Gift Shop, along with the chess doc Brooklyn Castle and Senna, the biographical documentary about the Brazilian Formula One champion Aryton Senna, widely thought to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, race car driver of all time. 

The IFC Center in New York is definitely hosting the film, while other cities will be announced. FilmBuff is putting out the VOD, which should make it available to just about everyone. 

Legendary Author Elmore Leonard Dies at 87

From slashfilm, We constantly bash Hollywood for their lack of originality, but one good thing they did when borrowing ideas was use the works of Elmore Leonard. Leonard wrote the original books for what would become Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, the show Justified and many others. His brand of hard-boiled, but silky smooth dialogue with unforgettable characters made him a literary legend. Unfortunately, that legend is no longer with us. Elmore Leonard passed away Tuesday at the age of 87.
A film adaptation of Leonard’s novel The Switch, retitled Life of Crime, will premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Hopefully, that won’t be the last of Leonard’s forty plus novels to make their way to the big screen.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Daily Spider-Man: GROSS! Oh, grooooooss! "Splopt?" I have to live with "Splopt" now?

Full Cast And Plot Revealed for ‘The Expendables 3′

Here’s the full confirmed cast for The Expendables 3:

  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Jason Statham
  • Jet Li
  • Dolph Lundgren
  • Randy Couture
  • Terry Crews
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Wesley Snipes
  • Antonio Banderas
  • Mel Gibson
  • Harrison Ford
  • Kellan Lutz
  • Ronda Rousey
  • Victor Ortiz
  • Glen Powell
In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.
[via slashfilm]

Daily Spider-Man: I guess every team-up has the "superpowers pissing contest" part

Alfred Hitchcock's Driver's License

From bloodydigusting, Brought to my attention on Twitter via @FinnAtFox, here’s a haunting look at the California driver’s license for one Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, which was sold for at auction back in 2008 for a mere $8,000.
It’s a bit of old news, but it’s such a weird experience looking at his license, and seeing the master of suspense at such a vulnerable and real emotional state, that I had to share.

Harrison Ford angrily points at things

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Box Office

The butler did it.

From usatoday, Despite a clutch of new films in theaters this weekend, Lee Daniels' The Butler topped them all, serving up $25 million, according to studio estimates.
The victory came as a surprise to some analysts, who expected summer's latest superhero flick, Kick-Ass 2, to whip the competition.
But TheButler trounced the newcomers among critics, and connected solidly with fans. About 73% of reviewers recommended the movie, while it scored an 81% approval rating among moviegoers, says survey site The movie earned an "A" among audiences, says pollsters CinemaScore.
The Forest Whitaker drama also benefited from canny timing, says Box Office Mojo's Ray Subers, who notes that similar August dramas including Julie & JuliaEat Pray Love and The Help all enjoyed August debuts above $20 million.
"One of The Butler's biggest advantages is its very strong release date," Subers says. "After a few months of big-budget, male-skewing blockbuster fare, female-skewing adult dramas have consistently done good business" at summer's close.
The Butler's distributor, The Weinstein Company, strongly marketed the film to the black faith-based community, creating a scripture guide and special trailer.
Kick-Ass 2, the comic-book adaptation expected to vie for the weekend box office crown, mustered just fourth place and $13.6 million. Analysts expected at least $19.5 million, the amount the original opened to in 2010. Critics pounded the film: only 28% gave it a thumbs-up.
The Jennifer Aniston comedy We're the Millers landed at No. 2 for the second straight weekend, this time with $17.8 million, followed by the sci-fi thriller Elysiumwith $13.6 million.
The Disney animated film Planes rounded out the top five with $13.1 million.
The two other major newcomers of the weekend, Jobs and Paranoia, made little impact in theaters. Jobs, the biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, took seventh place with $6.7 million. Paranoia, a corporate thriller with Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, mustered just $3.5 million, nowhere near the top 10.
Final figures are due Monday.

Daily Spider-Man: Asking Spidey along for your superhero adventure is like inviting your grandmother to your keg party

Friday, August 16, 2013

Rumor: Ewan McGregor Will Return in ‘Star Wars Episode VII’

From slashfilm, The gang at Latino Review are at it again. Earlier this week, they started a very interesting conversation with their belief a major Sith Lord would return in J.J. AbramsStar Wars Episode VII. Now they’re reporting that a very famous Jedi will return as well.
Latino Review is reporting Ewan McGregor will return as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode VII.
According to the story, McGregor will return as a force ghost, which is exactly how Obi-Wan Kenobi was last seen in the original trilogy and how they believe Emperor Palpatine will come back to help motivate a new Sith apprentice. It’s not much of a surprise, frankly, because the appearance of deceased Jedi in this manner is well established in the series.
They’re also reporting McGregor would like to make a Kenobi standalone movie.
We’ve reported in the past that McGregor was definitely open to returning to the Star Wars universe, and that he had an idea for a standalone movie. If, in fact, either or both of these are true now it certainly makes sense. McGregor is a legitimate movie star and his character is one of the few who has been shown to have the ability to use the Force and come back to assist younger Jedi. Plus, young kids are much more familiar with McGregor as the character because of both the prequels and the Clone Wars TV show. (McGregor doesn’t voice that character, but it sounds and looks like him.)
A few additional thoughts. Bringing back McGregor and not the late Alec Guinness is a move dangerously close to George Lucas’ decision to insert Anakin Skywalker intoReturn of the Jedi when it was released on Blu-ray. He obviously could have chosen to replace Guinness too, but did not. This move also all but assures we’ll see Yoda as a Force Ghost, and maybe even Anakin Skywalker too. Heck – while we’re at it, bring Qui-Gon Jinn back.
There’s no timetable on when or if we’ll find out if this rumor is true or not but, three independent sources reportedly confirmed it to Latino Review so it’s certainly worth thinking about; do so below.

It's That Time Again

If you are out and about this Saturday night my brother and I will be performing at the Holy Angels Italian Festival on Maple Avenue in Barrington. We go on around 6 and carry it til the festival closes.  Come have some good food, fun &!knock back a couple of beers while listening to our soothing sounds. Hope to see some of you there.

I don't know about you but I'm excited about this!