Saturday, January 31, 2009

Six New Movie Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl ads are one of the best part of the huge event and with a game, like this year's game, it's the only reason to watch. Below I have a handful of the Super Bowl ads that are regarding some of the upcoming big movies we all want to see. Namely, Pixar's Up, Star Trek, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, Year One and Race to Witch Mountain. Checkout the spots below...

What say you? What do you want to see the most? Is Tranformers 2 going to be as good as the first? How great is David Cross in Year One? Strikeback...

The Muppets and Jason Segel

Jason Segel has just signed on to co-star in "Guliver's Travels" but the unbashfully naked star of last year's Forgetting Sarah Marshall is knee deep in Muppet material right now. Last March the tv and film actor revealed that he intended to bring back the Muppet franchise in a new film. The long time Judd Apatow associate would try to bring some life back into the once famous characters. It appears that Jason Segel will use his contacts to help boost some of the interest in his new Muppet movie.

"I’ve told all of my friends that I’ve written parts for them," Segel told MTV. "But I have way less friends than you imagine." Scoff, scoff Segel. Allow me to clear my throat and just say James Franco, Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader and Neil Patrick Harris are a few friends that would definately highten most anyone's anticipation to see them alongside the Kermitt the frog or Fozzy Bear. Can't you already imagine Rogen and Fozzy yucking it up? Or Johnah Hill trying to flirt with Miss Piggy? Segel's british co-star from Forgetting Sarah Marshall would be hilarious coinciding with Animal. It's pretty easy to see how much fun this project could turn out.

So how far into the script and development is Segel on his Muppet feature? "We’re several drafts in. And just waiting to see if it’s going to come together," he commented. Segel continued to comment on how excited he was working on the project. "I’m really happy with what we’ve written," he said. Segel however knows what is at stake with the franchise. "It’s a big decision to try to bring back that franchise," he stressed to MTV. We don't want this project to end up like Muppets Treasure Island, that's for sure. With Segel writting however, its pretty much a sure thing, it won't.

More news to come on Segel and his adverntures in Muppetland as they become available.

What say you? Are you game for a Apatow and company Muppets movie? Will Segel be doing any nude scenes with his Muppet counterparts? Let's hope not! Which Apatow team member and Muppet make the best match? Strikeback....

Aronofsky Talks Robocop Reboot

Unfortunately this story does not reveal that Darren Aronofsky's remake of "Robocop" is ready to shoot and everything is a go. Instead, it seems that a lot of thought and ideas have gone into the development, but there is no certainity that "Robocop" will ever actually get made. While at the Golden Globes Darren Aronofsky spoke MTV and had a few things to say about his long rumored project.

The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler director said, "The thing that’s exciting for a filmmaker like me about [“RoboCop”] is that it’s not as iconic as some of the other titles out there, so there’s room to do stuff with it." Aronofsky remarked on how much insight the original had on the future while remaining comical and continuing to be "a masterful film." Regardless of the filmmaker's opinions of the original film, he did seem ready to take on the project. He commented, "The world has so changed—how much every one of us is somewhat of a cyborg at this point with cell phones hanging out of us, with implants of all different types."

The acclaimed directors next comments can be a tad bit disheartening on how sure it is that Robocop actually see's light of day. His dialogue futhermore, really begins to question how real is the targeted 2010 release date. Aronofsky said, "I think there’s a lot of really timely ideas in it. If it comes together, it’ll be great, but who knows?" Yeah, that "who knows" bit at the end is pretty clear that there is no definate greenlight for Aronofsky's Robocop. Although it could be that the acclaimed director is remaining very coy about the project, untill he is completely happy with what they intend to shoot.

Lastly MTV asked if any plans included asking Peter Weller (original Robocop) to have a part in the remake. "I can’t make any promises," he assured, "but I’ll show as much respect to the fans as I can." Paul Verhoeven's original film is spectacular and highly rewatchable, even today, but I can't wait to see what Aronofsky can do with this reboot. He doesn't have to remain loyal to the original film. He has enough credit, in my book, to do whatever the hell he'd like to it. This is a focused director, who has a special eye and whatever he presents, will no doubt be a sight to see. Fortunately, Aronofsky isn't going to make Robocop just to make it, he will only move forward with a worthy project. At least that much we can be thankful for. I'd rather no reboot at all, if the result doesn't surpass or at least measure up to the original.

What say you? Do Aronofsky's comments lead you to believe Robocop is coming sooner than later? How true to the original do you want Aronofsky to stay? Does Weller have to be in it? Strikeback...

Super Bowl Ad Land of the Lost

Universal has "Land of the Lost" releasing June 5th and the studio definately took the opportunity to pump up it's latest TV adaptation during the Super Bowl tomorrow. Just how good the film will be, remains to be seen, but the less than 50 second promo definately has a few laughs and a lot of CGI. Land of the Lost was one of my favorite saturday morning tv shows back in the day, I just hope Will Ferrell's over the top humor doesn't spoil what could be a real fun movie. Ana Freil and Danny McBride also star with Brad Siberling directing. Checkout the promo trailer below...

What say you? Are you trying of Will Ferrell's schtick? Will Land of the Lost be on of the first good TV adaptations? Strikeback...

Super Bowl G.I. JOE Promo

Super Bowl is tomorrow and "G.I. JOE: Rise of Cobra" is still over six months away but I have our first teaser for the new movie directed by Stephen Sommers. This week we have seen 6 new character posters and a few identification cards including a few Cobra characters yet to have seen. The Super Bowl promo is only 32 seconds long, but it gives a decent snapshot of what to expect from the action cartoon adaptation. "G.I. JOE: Rise of Cobra" releases august 7th. Checkout the promo below...

What say you? are you sold on G.I. JOE: Rise of Cobra based off this 30 second spot? What the hell is that green stuff destroing the Effiel Tower? Strikeback...

The Black Freighter DVD Specs

If you have never read the "Watchmen" comic book you probably have no clue what the sam hell, "Tales of the Black Freighter" is. It is a companion comic that is embedded within the pages of Watchmen as a story within a story. The story tells a tale of a marooned mariner who must endure a deathly trip to his home town. WB felt the best option for the companion comic was to do a striaght-to-dvd cartoon to tell the story and landed Gerard Butler to voice the grizzly story. Warner Brothers in aligment of the Watchmen movie release have decided to release the dvd on March 24th a few weeks after Watchmen releases. The dvd will include "The Tales of the Black Freighter" & "Under the Hood" along with a couple of extras including a deleted scene that will not be seen in the Watchmen theatrical release. Checkout the press release for all the details below...

Click the release for higher resolution

What say you? This is a must have for any Watchmen fan! Will you be buying the dvd March 24th? Strikeback...

Transformer Twins Revealed!!

Remember this set still of two new Autobot Transformers that would appear in "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen"? They are Chevy concept cars titled Beat and Trax that, in the film, are twins and can even join together to create one alternate mode. Yesterday, the official Transformers video game website revealed the robot or transformed form of the two siblings. The design is flawless like all of the other Transformers to date. Check out the twins below...

Click the twins for higher resolution

What say you? Will the twins be the comic relief in Transformer form? What do you think of the design? Just what will the two look like combined? Strikeback...

Scripting Batman 3 & The Flash

Comic book properties have been riding a wave of endorsement for a few years now with every major or indie studio trying to grab a piece of the pie. Warner Brothers who have DC comic properties locked down, have been somewhat quiet since the explostion that was last year's The Dark Knight. Since then, WB and DC have put alot of their projects on hold and were making absolutely sure that each property would be well thought out and not just crap out sequel or shitty movie one after the other. Case and point Superman, WB is nursing this property like nobody's business. They just cant figure out what to do with the man in blue. However, two properties that have had some momentum are beginning to heat up over at Warner Bros., so here's the rundown for you below...

Although speculation has been rampid on a sequel to "The Dark Knight" little to nothing had been done, up untill now! Producer Chuck Roven confirms that Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and Daivd Goyer are now hard at work penning a third film in Nolan series. Roven exclaimed, "The creative driver of the project at this point is Chris. There’s really nothing more for me to say about that. When he feels that he’s got something to talk about, then we’ll be able to talk about it." IESB asked Roven if he had any knowledge of who the possible villains could be and all the executive could do was muster up a smile and a chuckle.

Another DC comic that has been trying to transition to screen for some time now is, "The Flash". A few scripts have been written, but nothing that WB wanted to greenlight. Multiple sources have revealed that a new writer is going to take a crack ultra-fast superhero. Dan Mazeau, who has apparently just finished a kickass "Johnny Quest" script for WB, will get right to work on "The Flash". Let's hope he does indeed whip up an outstanding script, so we can see the human lightining bolt racing into cinemas soon than later. Producer Chuck Roven also spoke a bit about The Flash, "I was always a big fan of the comics. I was around for… Gosh, this is embarrassing, you know, the last two Flashes. The Flash that was the policeman and Kid Flash, Wally, and his uncle. Those are the two Flashes that I grew with, so I was excited to have the opportunity to try and see if I could actually translate those characters to the screen."

More to come of these two popular comic characters as news becomes available...

What say you? Excited for another Batman? Who do you want as the villain? Are you a fan of The Flash? Which version of the character would translate the best to screen? Strikeback....

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hellboy 3 & B.P.R.D. Spinoff?

Guillermo Del Toro is hard at work prepping the Lord of the Rings prequel "The Hobbit," but that doesn't mean he has forgotten about his favorite red demon. Del Toro recently spoke with MTV and talked a bit about the possibility of a third film to the franchise. Check out what he revealed below...

With Del Toro working on a pair of films to tell "The Hobbit" story he is a few years away from starting ground work for a third Hellboy. The visionary directed said, "We’re three, four years away from anything happening—so I don’t think anyone is, you know, in a big hurry." Del Toro knowing that Hellboy 3 is quite a ways away, the director commented that he wouldn't be against another director starting a spinoff to Hellboy franchise following the B.P.R.D. or Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.

What's this, a B.P.R.D. spinoff? Fuck yeah, get the ball rolling! I can't imagine a better way for Universal to keep fans of Mignola's outstanding franchise happy and to make a bit of extra cash at the same time! The possibilities are endless for a spinoff which could be a prequel to the first Hellboy film or jump around anywhere in the B.P.R.D. timeline dating back to 1944. Consider me amped for the chance to see Mike Mignola's world developed even more!

For those of you who need a rundown on the B.P.R.D., here you go. The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense was founded in 1944 by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm to combat various occult threats uncovered in operations against Nazi Germany. Despite Hellboy being the B.P.R.D.'s go to agent, he only appears in one of the many books that were written. Instead the B.P.R.D. comics, focused on the other "enhanced talents agents" of the team including, Liz Sherman (pyrokinetic), Abe Sapien (amphibious man), Johann Kraus (ectoplasmic physical medium), Ben Daimio (team leader), Nyaida (vampire), Sidney Leach (detects and manipulates metal), Panya (ageless mummy) and a lengthy list of human agents. There have been 16 B.P.R.D. comics either mini series or one-shots over the course of the last 7 years.

What say you? Are you game for a Hellboy spinoff? Would Hellboy need to be involved for you to be excited? Who could be a worthy director for B.P.R.D.?

6 New G.I. JOE Posters

The publicity team behind Paramount Pictures upcoming release of "G.I. JOE: Rise of Cobra" is sure trying to sell the outfits the Joe team wears. Every poster that has been released, one after the other, has been nothing but character posters or something we would find in a clothing catalog. It appears they really want to get the viewers attached to the characters they grew to love growing up or introducing them to a new generation. G.I. JOE was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid and eventhough Stephen Sommers has directed the adaptation to film, I am very eager for the August 7th release date. Below, I have 6 new character posters of containing both members of the Joe team and Cobra. The posters are nothing special and only dwindle my anticipation, but regardless I got them for you below. Enjoy....

Click any of the poster for higher resolution

What say you? Despite the tacky clothing ads, do you want to see G.I. Joe? Can Sommers pull off such a loved franchise? Strikeback....

Latest Watchmen Poster!

Warner Brothers adaptation of "Watchemn" the greatest living comic book, has finished all of its leagal battles and will keep it's March 6th release date. This has to be one of the most anticipated comic book films to ever release and what Zack Snyder has done looks phenominal. There seems to be a new poster hitting every week for this movie and amazingly each one has been also fantatstic. The most recent poster that I have for you below, focuses on the entire Watchmen team instead of some of the other posters that have taken aim on only one member. Enough blabbering, checkout the kickass poster below...

As always click the new poster for higher resolution

What say you? Are you amped for Watchmen? Will Zack Snyder become even more full of himself after the acclaim the comic book adaptation is sure to get? Strikeback...

Review - Nothing But the Truth

A Washington DC journalist writes an controversial article that explodes in a whirlwind of media and judical ramifications. The explosive article reveals a covert CIA agent that was involved in a government scandal. The reporter is demanded to reveal her source by a special government prosecutor and when she doesn't the journalist finds herself behind bars trying to defend the principles she based her career on.

X-Men Origins Wolverine Poster

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" despite the recent reshoots is heading our way May 1st and below I have the 1st One Sheet for the upcoming prequel. The film is directed by Gavin Hood and stars other than Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Monaghan, Lynn Collins, Danny Huston and Taylor Kitsch. The film will chronicle Wolverine's early days prior to joining the X-Men team illustrating his time with Weapon X and his loyality turned hatred for Victor Creed aka Sabretooth. As for the poster, it is simple and bold. 20th Century Fox knows full well that Wolverine does not need alot of gimmicks and the first poster is a perfect example of just that. Scroll down to see the first poster for the next mutant installment.

Click the poster for higher resolution

What say you? Will you be seeing "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"? Jackman has gone on record saying that if fans hate this prequel he is finished as Logan. Strikeback...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gulliver Impedes Black Widow?

Rising star Emily Blunt may not get her chance to star in "Iron Man 2" as the Black Widow due to impeding production on Twentieth Century Fox's "Gulliver's Travels." It appears FOX holds an option on the actress that was apart of her deal to co-star in "The Devil Wears Prada" that could potentially prevent Blunt from starring in the Jon favreau directed sequel.

At the present moment, Variety reports, Blunt's rep's are trying to figure out a deal and schedule that will allow her to star in both. The 20th Century Fox production on "Gulliver's Travels" is set to begin shooting in March on location in the UK and "Iron Man 2" potentially is set to start as soon as April in Manhattan Beach, California. Earlier this week it seemed that Marvel would in fact need to recast the role of Natasha Romanoff, but by today it became more clear that something should be worked out so she may star in both.

Emily Blunt will play a Lilliputian princess who becomes the love interest of Lemuel Gulliver. The lead role of the film was previously casted late last year with Jack Black as Lemuel and Nicholas Stoller set to direct. Universal has set a July 9th 2010 release date for "Gulliver's Travels." In other Gulliver casting news, Jason Segel will reunite with his "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" director as Horatio, Gulliver's best friend from Lilliput who helps rescue him.

I truely hope that a deal can be worked out for Blunt to be in "Iron Man 2", it would be a true disappointment to not have the beautiful and talented actress involved.

What say you? Which film would you rather Blunt stars in if she could only do one? She really is a perfect Black Widow. Strikeback...

The Thing Prequel Defrosting!

Back in September, I announced that Mark Abraham is producing a prequel to the 1982 classic horror film "The Thing" and today Variety reports that Universal is heating things up with the project. The studio has announced that Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. will be directing the prequel that will lead up to the events of the original Jon Carpenter masterpiece.

Ron Moore has been lined up to pen the script, while director Matthijs van Hejningen will be making his shift from commerical directing into film. Van Hejningen, who in the past has only directed commericals for companies like Pepsi and Toyota and a short film called "Red Rain," is currently in pre-production on "Army of the Dead" for producer Zack Snyder. Making the prequel to "The Thing" his next project after Snyder written and produced zombie flick.

As reported in September, Variety confirms the prequel will folow the events that led up to the original film. For those of you who have not seen the 1982 classic, an American research team finds a rival Norwegian team slaughtered by a shape shifting alien. The prequel will chronicle the Norwegian teams run-in with the deadly alien.

A prequel to "The Thing" has a ton of potential, but one thing that worries me, is the updated look the film will no doubtly have. The original was completely filmed without computer graphics, but the update most likely will. Gone are the days of puppeteer work and creating movie magic with props, everything nowdays is done in CG and this prequel may hinge on just how well the effects team pulls off the look of the alien.

What say you? Are you excited for a prequel to The Thing? Should Kurt Russell make a small cameo? Should CG be utlilzed or make it like the original? Strikeback...

Fox Sets Sail with Narnia

A month ago Disney jumped ship on the third film in the Chronicles of Narnia. Today 20th Century Fox scooped up the franchise and intends to set sail with "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" shooting start by end of summer for Holiday 2010 release.

The final details are being worked out between Fox and Walden Media, but a general commitment has been solidified to develop the project. The two companies will split the production costs for "Voyage" with a projected budget at $140 million. This appears as a big dip from the last Narnia film which had productions costs of $215 million, but was considered a bit of a failure at the box office.

The directing and production team is set with Michael Apted directing and Mark Johnson and Andrew Adamson producing. The original cast members are still signed on to star including Ben Barnes from the last Narnia film "Prince Caspian." The first addition to the cast is Will Poulter (Son of Rambo), who will portray Eustace Clarence Scrubb. The only snag, Variety reports, comes with the script. Richard LaGravanese has penned the majority of the script for "Treader" but may be unavailable due to working on "Water for Elephants" for Fox 2000.

What say you? Excited for more Narnia? Have you been a fan of the previous two films? Is the family friendly Fox the right fit for the Narnia films? Strikeback...

Ghost Rider Sequel Revving Up

If you were a fan of Marvel's "Ghost Rider" released in 2007, you're in luck! Columbia Pictures have announced they are currently seeking writers to pen a sequel. Bloody Disgusting is reporting that Nicolas Cage will return in the role of Johnny Blaze for the sequel as well.

I enjoyed Ghost Rider quite a bit, sure it had flaws, but it was none the less an enjoyable ride. With a sequel currently in development it is time to make very clear that someone other than Mark Steven Johnson should direct it. This guy has done so-so jobs on both Daredevil and Ghost Rider, let someone who can really knock our socks off take a crack at it. It's not that Mark Steven Johnson is terrible with comic movies, he just does not allow the character to live up to their full potential. Both Daredevil and Ghost Rider could have been so much better, so let's not waste any time with the sequel and keep Mark Steven Johnson as far away from the project as possible!

The fact that Columbia Pictures is currently seeking writers bodes well of no Johnson return. Mark Steven Johnson did write and direct both of his other efforts. Let's hope Columbia takes a new road with the sequel and makes a much different and less campy Ghost Rider sequel.

What say you? Will see you another Ghost Rider? Should Nic Cage stay Johnny Blaze? Do you like the campy or should the sequel be given a darker tone? Strikeback...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Review - Defiance

Four Jewish brothers are forced to take refuge in the Belarussian forest escaping from a Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. In order to protect themselves and 1,000 Jewish refugees, the brothers seek an alliance with Russian resistance fighters while building and maintaining a small community hidden inside of the forests.

Tintin Finds it's Lead & Villain

"The Adventures of Tintin" has found it's lead and villain for the first of three films in a new trilogy brought to us by Dreamworks Pictures. The first film has also revealed its full title, "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn" and will be directed by none other than Steven Spielberg. The film will be shot utilizing 3D motion capture and has a targeted release date for 2011.

The first casting news reveals why Daniel Craig passed on Marvel's upcoming project "Thor" being directed by Kenneth Branagh. He instead chose to star as the villain Red Rackham in the popular comic series adaptation. Red Rackham is a vicious pirate who attacks the ship called the Unicorn captained by Sir Francis Haddock.

For Tintin this is a awesome casting, for Marvel, this sucks! Craig would have been a perfect Thor, also an actor who could bring along some clout and box office insurance. Who knows who will finally be casted in Thor, but Marvel will be hard pressed to find such a talented actor like Craig who has the chops to pull of the Norse god and also bring in some revenue.

The second bit of casting news I could not be more happy about. Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell will star as Tintin the the motion capture trilogy! Bell who recently co-starred with Craig in Defiance is a perfect choice for the journalist hero of the 80 year old comic series. Daniel Craig and Jamie Bell join Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook who have already been casted for the film.

What say you? "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn" is one of the first Spielberg directed films in a long time I am so eager to see. Do you like the castings? Should Craig have passed on Thor for a villain in Tintin? Strikeback...

Machete Finally Happening?

Word is floating around the net that Robert Rodriguez's faux trailer "Machete" from Grindhouse may finally be getting the feature treatment as discussed and rumored since the release of the double feature box office flop in 07. The film will be based off the full length trailer that was shown in Grindhouse and is an idea that Trejo and Robert Rodriguez have kicked around since Desperado. Back in 2007 RR said a script was finished. Now we have word that "Machete" may begin shooting later this year.

Machete is an ex-Federale who works for a organized crime syndicate in South America. After he is betrayed by his employer, Machete sets out on a revenge-filled killing spree aimed at his old boss. In the faux trailer, Danny Trejo played Machete and will here too in the feature length film. It is believed that the film will only recieve a direct-to-dvd release, but who knows, Weinsteins may get a wild hair up their asses and decide to give it at least a limited release. No way it would recieve a wide release, especially after how poorly Grindhouse did at the box office. Checkout the trailer below...

What say you? Are you in for "Machete"? Did you see Grindhouse in theaters? Trejo looks like the mexican Charles Bronson or Chuck Norris in this one. Bring on the ass kicking! Strikeback...

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Ram at Wrestlemania!?!

Leave it to Vince McMahon to rape an amazing film of all it's redeeming qualities, just to make a quick buck! It appears that the owner and C.E.O. of WWE has offered Mickey Rourke an opportunity to appear as Rodney "The Ram" Robinson at Wrestlemania 25. It get's worse....Yes, Mickey Rourke is actually conisdering doing this. Here's the lowdown...

While at the SAG Awards last night, Rourke revealed to Access Hollywood that he has been asked to participate in Wrestlemania 25. "The boys from the WWE called me and asked me to do it," Rourke commented. He then added, "I said, ‘I want to.’ I’m talking with [WWE legend] Rowdy Roddy Piper about it." In usual WWE flare Rourke growled, "Chris Jericho, you better get in shape... Because I’m coming after your ass!" Oh boy...

First off, this whole endeavor is nothing but a cheap way to get some money for both Rourke and McMahon. As publicized, McMahon's insiders have said the WWE boss disliked the film and were quoted as saying, "the word negative isn't strong enough to describe Vince's reaction." That isn't a surprise considering McMahon denies the reality that Darren Aronofsky's film presents. Vince McMahon will deny up and down the obvious and accurate image that "The Wrestler" presents of professional wrestling. Regardless of McMahon's opinion of the film, the shrewd businessman knows when he see's an opportunity for some extra revenue, and he has jumped at it!

Vince McMahon's actions are not surprising in the slightest, Rourke's however are a bit puzzling. The talented actor finally has some notarity again and he is going to muck it up with is? What for? Attending Wrestlemania will do little to highten his Oscar chances, it would more likely do more to lessen them. Mickey Rourke undoubtbly will recieve a nice payout plus some ppv money, but is it worth cheapening the pinnacle performance of 2008?

On the other hand, the idea of seeing Rodney "The Ram" Robinson actually wrestle at a venue like Wrestlemania, is pretty damn luring. I hate to say it, but it is true! I loved "The Wrestler" and I was a huge fan of professional wrestling, for close to twenty years, so the enticement is there. Imagine Rourke coming down the runway with his Oscar in hand ready to beat the shit out of Chris Jericho? Priceless...I think so!

So as the post clearly points out, I am completely perplexed. I hate the fact that McMahon wants to make a quick buck on a film he hated, but see's the marketing dollars, but the idea of actually seeing a live match of The Ram is pretty damn cool!

What say you? Yes or No? Would you buy the PPV event if The Ram is on the bill? Will Rourke actually wrestle? Strikeback....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Review - Paul Blart Mall Cop

An overweight, mild-mannered, New Jersey mall cop who aspires to become a New jersey State Trooper is tested when his mall falls under seige by a gang of criminals. The hyper glycemic and inept single father must on his own defeat the odds and save his beloved mall from the organized criminals.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gentleman Holmes, No More!

The New York Times recently got a chance to get a full scoop on Guy Ritchie's upcoming "Sherlock Holmes" film for Warner Brothers set to release this November. The in-depth exclusive gives us an understanding of just how Ritchie and the producing staff have updated the Arthur Conan Doyle novels. Once thing is clear, gone is the stuffy gentleman Sherlock Holmes.

Guy Ritchie who is most known for his choppy, fast paced storytelling, stylized and quick talking films set with criminals, low-lifes and London's underbelly will most definately be bringing that style to the new film. "We thought he had the capacity and the ability to make a big, fun movie," producer Joel Silver said. Jude Law added, "Guy brings an energy and an expertise at physicality and action while being faithful to the period."

Both the look and attitude of Sherlock have been updated and adapted for the Ritchie film. "I never agreed with the idea of the fairly stuffy Edwardian-type gentleman," Lionel Wigram who conceived and wrote the update said. He added, "A much more modern, more bohemian character, who dresses more like an artist or a poet." The typical deerstalker hat or the inverness cloak are completely absent and replaced with a figure who is covered in bruises and dirt, unshaved, unkempt and with clothes askew. The rougher Holmes is a bare-knuckles boxer, an expert with a gun and also an expert swordsman. He is a man of action, who chases criminlas and beats them to a pulp. He still will however, remain abnormally intelligent with unexplainable intuition into criminal activity. Holmes is also described as a bit of a ladies man who has a big gambling problem (the gambling addiction has replaced Holmes's cocaine addiction).

Sherlock Holmes is not the only character recieving a new look and regiment. Watson is definately no longer a fat and slow side kick to Holmes. Jude Law explained his role to to the New York Times. Mr. Law said, "He’s a man who left the military a few years ago and who takes a military approach to situations." Continuing he said, "He’s slightly more strait-laced than Holmes but certainly no less brave and certainly not stupid."

With all of the characters changes I'm sure you have begin to ponder that the classic stories would too be changed or updated? Well, your right. "Even though the stories are a joy to read and reread, they do tend to be fairly small, contained murder mysteries," Lionel Wigram said. He added, "And so for the big mainstream audiences these days, I knew we would have to come up with something where the stakes were bigger and that had a big fantasy element." Hold the phone...did he just say fantasy? Oh no. Here's where you may become a little bit disappointed...

Upon further reading of the NY Times article it appears that the script see's Holmes and Watson deal with supernatural powers. The synopsis given to the NY Times explained that the film will open with Holmes apprehending a murderer and master of the dark arts named Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) — a character based, Mr. Wigram said, "on the notorious Victorian occultist Aleister Crowley." As he is led to the gallows, Lord Blackwood pledges to come back from the dead and continue his evil ways. He does just that, and the rest of the movie follows Holmes and Watson as they try to foil his plot. Oh dear god, this could end up being either really bad or really good.

With the supernatural angle to Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes," what will happen to Holmes's logic? Magic does not follow the laws of logic or human behavoir, so where does that leave Holmes and his deductive reasoning? Hopefully this doesn't sour the film completely. Ritchie's last film RocknRolla fell very short for me and felt just like a rehash or his old ideas. At least here with "Sherlock Holmes," eventhough we will same the usual stylized Ritchie faire, a added supernatural angle poses something new for the English director. Good or bad "Sherlock Holmes" releases November.

What say you? Do the Ritchie changes scare you or excite you? How eager are you to see a new Sherlock Holmes film? Strikeback....

Distribution Found at Sundance

Taking a film to Sundance and finding distribution and buzz is clearly the main goals of the festival and so far this year a few films have generated enough talk that studios are moving quickly at picking them up. Bids are flying back and forth so below I have a rundown of a handful of the films that have been nabbed up for theatrical releases to this point. Enjoy...

Directed by Lynn Shelton
Starring: Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard
Synopsis: Two guys take their bromance to another level when they participate in an art film project.

Distributor: Humpday has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures for a mid-six figure deal. The film in an unorthodox release plan will release in July on VOD one month before a limited theatrical release in August.

"Black Dynamite"
Directed by Scott Sanders
Starring: Michael Jai White
Synopsis: The Man killed his brother, pumped heroin into local orphanages, and flooded the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor. Black Dynamite was the one hero willing to fight.

Distributor: Sony Bought the rights to Black Dynamite just under $2 million dollars and intends to seek a theatrical partner in Screen Gems. Sony believes Black Dynamite to have franchise potential. No release date has been set.

"Dead Snow"
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Charlotte Frogner, Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen and Ørjan Gamst
Synopsis: Eight Norwegian friends take a ski vacation and find that they aren't the only people on the mountain. They find themselves surrounded by bloody thirsty Nazi zombies!

Distributor: IFC Films acquired the rights to Dead Snow's U.S. distribution. IFC plans on releasing the tongue and cheek horror flick in 2009 and can expect a VOD to coincide with the theatrical release.

Directed by Duncan Jones
Starring: Sam Rockwell
Synopsis: A helium miner is isolated on the Moon for 3 years and has a quintessentially personal encounter awaiting his return to his family on Earth.

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classic have assumed the role of distributing Moon with a June release date planned. The film had been pre-bought by Sony prior to the festival and the two will work in tandem for the theatrical release.

"The Winning Season"
Directed by James C. Strouse
Starring: Sam Rockwell
Synopsis: A comedy centered on a has-been coach who is given a shot at redemption when he's asked to run his local high school's girls basketball team.

Distributor: Lionsgate has picked up The Winning Season for both North American and UK releases in 2009. No other release information has been made available by Lionsgate Films.

"In the Loop"
Directed by Armando Iannucci
Starring: Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini and Steve Coogan
Synopsis: A British government minister who inadvertently supports a war while on primetime television.

Distributor: IFC nabbed the rights just hours before the films premeire at Sundance and are very excited to introduce American audiences to Armando Iannucci. The film is likely to see a late 2009 release date.

"The Mysteries of Pittsburgh"
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Jon Foster, Sienna Miller, Mena Suvari, Peter Sarsgaard, and Nick Nolte
Synopsis: 1980s Pittsburgh, story follows a teen's transformative summer with his mobster father, sometime girlfriend, a beautiful debutante and her thug boyfriend.

Distributor: Peace Arch picked up the rights to the Michael Chabon adapted story. The film actually premeried at last year's festival and will see a release this spring.

Directed by Max Mayer
Starring: Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne
Synopsis: A man with Asperger syndrome who falls in love with his neighbor.

Distributor: Fox Searchlight acquired the rookie writer/director's romantic film following its Monday debut with a modest offer. The film is slated to release late 2009.

"An Education"
Directed by: Lone Scherfig
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper and Alfred Molina
Synopsis: A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.

Distributor: Sony Picture Classic spent $3 million on "An Education" in a heavy bidding war that included Lionsgate, Overture, The Weinstein Co. and Focus Features. The film will release with Award contention in mind late next year.

What say you? Any of these films jump out at you? More to come from Sundance as it develops. Strikeback...