Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review - Transformers Revenge of the Fallen

Two years have transpired since the events of the first film, and with Sam Witwicky just days away from heading off to college, he finds a sliver of the allspark that defeated Megatron. After touching the sliver, Sam is immediately implanted with visions and images of the origins to the ancient Transformers race. Decepticon forces, who have been hiding and watching, are instantly made aware of the ancient secrets that have been unlocked in young Sam's mind and take action to capture and take the secrets from him. Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots join forces with international armies to help protect Sam and the ancient secrets of the Transformers from the evil Decepitcons.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Academy Awards Adds Nom's

In major news, the Oscar's have decided to up the ante in the Best Picture category starting next year with the 82 Annual Academy Awards. Variety is reporting that the Academy has decided to have 10 Best Picture Nominations instead of the norm of 5, that we have been use to. This marks the first time in more than 65 years that the Best Picture Nominations have been greater than 5 and the change should prove to really open up the competition.

Last year everyone in and out of Hollywood was shocked that the year's top grossing film The Dark Knight was snubbed in the Best Picture category, however the change from 5 to 10 nominations should allow for the same thing not to happen again. One thing is for sure, this will definately increase the Oscar campaigning come November and on. Films that would have been on the cusp in years past, where studios would have decided to for go any campaigning, will now more than likely promote their films for contention.

Sid Ganis spoke about the change for the Academy and said, "Having 10 best picture nominees is going allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize." He then exclaimed, "I can’t wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February." Neither can we Sid...

What say you? Does this news excite you? Will the category be harder to predict with 10 nominations? What will this mean for our Academy Pool's? Strikeback...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fox Hires Writer for Hitman 2

IESB is reporting that 20th Century Fox has just landed the talented scribe Kyle Ward to pen a sequel to Hitman. The widely popular 2007 video game adaptation has grossed over $100 million and will be once again produced by Adrian Askarieh, Daniel Alter and Chuck Gordon. The original film is one of the better video game adapted films and was for the most part praised by fans, so the announcement isn't too big of a surprise.

If you do not know who Kyle Ward is, he is an very hot writer around Hollywood these days and just finished up "Kane and Lynch" for Lionsgate with Bruce Willis set to star. Ward has also recently penned "Fiasco Heights" for Universal. Eventhough Ward is considered a great writer, it is kinda hard to get super excited when none of his work has been seen or more importantly, been sucessfull at the box office. That said, the biggest question with the proposed sequel is whether both Timothy Olyphant and Olga Kurylenko will return. Olyphant seems like a must have for the sequel, while Kurylenko could very easily be replaced with another piece of tail.

What say you? Are you excited for a Hitman sequel? Where would you like to see the character go? Strikeback...

Depp Talks Hatter & Capt Jack

Over the weekend "Alice in Wonderland" images released of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Matt Lucas and Mia Wasikowska along with some amazing concept images for sets, but today I have the Mad Hatter himself talking about what it was like playing the character courtesy of Latino Review. During a press confrence for "Public Enemies", Depp's newest film where he plays John Dillinger, he spoke with Latino Review about a couple of his upcoming projects including "Alice in Wonderland". See what he had to say below...

First up Johnny Depp spoke about how much fun it was playing the Mad Hatter and how surprised he was he did not get fired. Fired? Depp said, "the Hatter was awfully fun, you know?" Well, considering how freaking nuts he looks in the released image, I wouldn't doubt it. Depp continued, "After doing something like a John Dillinger, it evolves where it's so overstrained because of the responsibility you have to that guy, that the Mad Hatter was like being fired out of a cannon." Depp finalized his comments on the Mad Hatter by saying, "The Hatter was great fun, and it's one of things where you're just amazed you weren't fired, you know?" I guess we can take those last comments to mean that Burton allowed the actor a lot of liberty with the role, let's just hope it's not similiar to the Michael Jackson impression Depp gave us in Charlie and the Chocalte Factory.

Depp also spoke with Latino Review about doing a fourth Pirates of the Carribean movie. He told the news outlet, "I think for me, because I love the character so much, and I enjoy playing the character so much and people seem to like him, that if there's an opportunity to try again, it's like going up to bat." He continued, "You wanna get back out there and try and try and I enjoy playing the character of Jack very much." Some might say that the Pirates of the Carribean series only became weaker each film they made, so why try again. Depp explained his reasoning. He said, "Call me a glutton. Honestly, if we can get the screenplay right to Pirates 4, because obviously virtually no cinema is perfect." So Depp is banking that script writers will be able to do better than the last two films. He continued, "Pirates 1 had its own thing. 2 & 3 I suppose had their own thing and you know it got a little confusing here and there in the story. Not that I've seen the movies, but I hear tales [smiles]." Depp has always said he doesn't watch his own movies, but we know damn well he has said his kids love the movies, and I'm sure daddy has sat down and enjoyed them as a family.

Finally, Depp also gave a brief update about being casted as Tonto in the "Lone Ranger" movie for Disney. He said, "I think we're still in the sort of super beginning stages so there's all kinds of possibilities, but I feel like I have some good ideas for the character that I don't think have been done all that much before." We shall see Johnny, we shall see. More news on Depp's latest films as they develop...

What say you? Out of these 3 roles which are you most excited for? Will Burton's Wonderland be amazing or another Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Strikeback...

Review - Angels & Demons

Symbologist Robert Langdon is asked to come to Vatican city to help solve at deadly threat that imposes the Catholic Church and Rome. The presiding Pope has just died and while the Conclave of Cardinals meet to select the next Pope, Langdon must race to unlock the mysteries of the Illuminati and an ancient threat made against the Catholic Church. The threat is only heightened due to the fact that thousands congregate in St. Peter's Square awaiting the announcement of a new Pope.

'Zookeeper' Talks to Stars

Some new details about Kevin James next childish comedy over at MGM called "The Zookeeper" have emerged that might make this film a bit of a guilty pleasure. Variety has revealed that "The Zookeeper" will take the Dr. Dolittle approach and have Kevin James talking to the animals he is caring for in the Zoo. (Yes, I know the first bit of the news is painful to read) Where this news flash becomes intriguing is just who will be voicing the animals within the Zoo. Adam Sandler, Cher, Jon Favreau, Sylvester Stallone and Judd Apatow all have been officially announced as the voices of the caged animals!

Let's just say right off the bat that I use to enjoy Kevin James comedy routine, his television show King of Queens was funny for the first few seasons, but more recently the actor has taken a huge drop in my eyes. Paul Blart: Mall Cop was insanely stupid and left me with the feeling that if the actor stayed on his recent trend of film choices, I was left with no desire to see any of the further films that James released. Then came news that he was making "The Zookeeper" which sounded like a dead ringer for a Paul Blart-esque comedy. After a heavy eye-roll, I quickly dismissed "The Zookeeper" as something I would dread my kids begging me to take them to see, but now a sliver of interest has been sparked with the quailty voice talents chosen for the Dr. Dolittle rip-off.

So just which animals will these talented actors and a director being voicing you ask? Adam Sandler will play the role of a monkey in the film, Cher will be voicing a giraffe, Jon Favreau is voicing a bear, Judd Apatow an elephant and Sylvester Stallone a lion. Jim Breurer, Faizon Love and Bas Rutten have also been cast as voice talents, but no word on which animals they'll be playing (it would be a sin to cast Breuer in a film playing an animal and not cast him as a goat though).

Another question that might come to mind is why the hell is this zookeeper talking to the animals? Well the answer is simple, to win the affection's of the woman of his dreams. Variety reports that the animals will help James win his true love by explaining their mating and dating habits in the wild. Rosario Dawson has been cast as the object of the zookeeper's (Kevin James) affections in "The Zookeeper" (lord knows she's mine). "The Zookeeper" is slated to begin shooting at the end of summer for a October 8th, 2010 release date. The film is being directed by Adam Sandler favorite Frank Coraci (Waterboy, Click & The Wedding Singer). More news as it develops.

What say you? Does The Zookeeper sound like it could have potential or be a guilty pleasure? Did you enjoy Paul Blart: Mall Cop and are looking forward to more of James's childish hijinks? Strikeback...

Trailer: The Last Airbender

The teaser trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender" has hit the net almost a year before it is due to release next July 2nd, 2010. The first trailer is impressive to say the least and comes with a few surprises that one might have never expected from Shyamalan. Number one, the film looks to have a lot of cgi. Clearly to bring a story like Avatar: The Last Airbender to the screen, it is necessary. The second aspect may be overlooked by some, but "The Last Airbender" looks to have some a epic apsect ringing through. This film is the first of a proposed trilogy and Shyamalan looks to have stepped up his game with "The Last Airbender" and could very possibly have a Lord of the Rings-esque trilogy on his hands. I know, this is again only a teaser trailer and we still are over a year away before the film even releases, but I love Shyamalan's work (Yes, even Lady in the Water and The Happening) and truely hope that he can fall back into favor.

The official "The Last Airbender" synopsis reads: The story follows the adventures of Aang, a ten year old successor to a long line of Avatars, who must put his childhood ways aside and stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations. Checkout the trailer below...

What say you? Does The Last Airbender intrigue you? Will this series bring him back into favor? Strikeback...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Amazing 'Wonderland' Images

Some absolutely breathtaking images from Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" have surfaced over the weekend via USA Today, however I have them here for you below. The brand new images are absolutely amazing and definately allow the on-looker to know they are dealing with a Tim Burton film. I have been very skeptical of this film however after seeing these new images I am sold that Burton's Alice adventure is gonna be mind boggling!

USA Today reveals that "Alice in Wonderland" finished shooting back in December however it still will not release untill March 5th, 2010. After 40 days of shooting live-action the film has moved to a merge stage where the live-action footage will be merged with CGI animation and later converted to 3D. The news outlet also revealed that Burton's Alice adaptation will be something of a sequel instead of just a re-telling of the classic Lewis Carroll novel. "Alice, 17, attends a party at a Victorian estate only to find she is about to be proposed to in front of hundreds of snooty society types. Off she runs, following a white rabbit into a hole and ending up in Wonderland, a place she visited 10 years before yet doesn't remember."

The released images gives us a eye-popping look at just how crazy Burton has invisioned his Wonderland. The images feature a look at The Mad Hatter played by Johnny Depp, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum played by Matt Lucas, Alice played by Mia Wasikowska, the White Queen played by Anne Hathaway and the Red Queen played by Burton's wife Helena Bonham Carter. There are also three detailed images of Alice throughout Wonderland including a white rabbit we all know, some very talkitive flowers and two brothers who are quite odd. Checkout all of the wonderful pictures below. More news to follow on "Alice in Wonderland" as it develops...

Click any image for higher resolution
Checkout USA Today where you can zoom in and see the detailed landscape up close!!

What say you? Does Alice in Wonderland look too over-the-top? Will you be taking your kids to see Burton's Wonderland? Strikeback...

Review - The Proposal

Margaret Tate, a very tyrannical boss of a New York publishing firm, has broken the jurisdiction of her U.S. visa and as a result must go back to Canada for one year before she can re-apply for a new visa. When the opportunity arises to lie and say that her executive assistant Andrew Paxton and her are engaged, she grabs the opportunity. Following through with the scheme however, becomes far more difficult than anticipated when the two go to visit Andrew's family in Alaska.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review - Confessions of a Shopaholic

Rebecca Bloomwood is a 25 year old writer who lives in New York City with her best friend and dreams of writing for Alette magazine. Rebecca has an endless shopping addiction. She will find any excuse to buy something and because of her shopping habits, she has a stack of unpaid debit that is quickly growing along with debit collectors trying to pin her down. By chance Rebecca lands herself a job writing for a financial magazine and catching the acclaim of thousands including her new boss Luke, by writing innovative comparisons and unconventional metaphors for economics about the very consumer caution that she herself is not following. When Rebecca's debit finally catches up with her, she is tested by her true ambitions and her condition of being a shopaholic.

Friday, June 19, 2009

More Hunter S. Thompson!

We all know that Johnny Depp has finally stepped back into the role of Hunter S. Thompson in the currently filming "The Rum Diary", but this week comes news that we may be in for more of Thompson's work hitting the big screen. The Oscar winning writer of Traffic and director of Syriana Stephen Gaghan, has been hired to adapt Hunter S. Thompson's novel "Hell's Angels" into a shooting script. MTV learned that Gaghan was selected by Tony Scott to pen the script, which Scott could both produce and direct "Hell's Angels".

The highly praised non-fiction novel "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs" written by Hunter S. Thompson was a pivatol look inside the nototrious biker gang and the activities that went on within the gang. Thompson embedded himself with the Hell's Angels for about a year in order to write the book. During this time he saw events including gang rape, that went on to peak the book's interest levels. Thompson was later severly beaten by the gang because of a remark ill made towards the group, however he did remain close with certain members of the gang for some years and always showed a general love of the lifestyle. "Hell's Angels" was Thompson's first published book while also being his first attempt at non-fiction and was the launch of a highly effective career for the journalist also known as Gonzo.

It is not certain who exactly will direct "Hell's Angels" when Gaghan completes the script, although the strong money says that Scott will only serve as producer, allowing someone else to direct. In the book, Thompson is a far more reserved character than previously seen in Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, allowing the notorious biker gang's lifestyle to provide all of the titillation and intoxication. With Johnny Depp currently filming another Thompson novel it is doubtful he will portray Thompson here in "Hell's Angels", but anything is possible. More news to follow on "Hell's Angels" as it develops...

What say you? Would you like to see Thompson's Hell's Angels novel on the big screen? Have you ever read the book? It is a worthwhile read! Strikeback...

Poster: Youth in Revolt

Today I have the first poster for "Youth in Revolt" courtesy of Cinematical. The poster is a nice representation of the classic cover to the C.D. Payne novel and Michael Cera looks the part despite his real age. "Youh in Revolt" releases October 20th and is directed by Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl). The misadventure comedy stars Michael Cera as the lead Nick Twisp, Steve Buscemi as his sex-obsessed father and Jean Smart as his neurotic mother. The rest of the well rounded cast is filled by Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Ray Liotta, Fred Willard, M. Emmet Walsh and stars Portia Doubleday in her breakout performance as Nick Twisp's love interest Sheeni.

Youth in Revolt is a flawless book that follows a life a typical cynical and sex-driven 14 year old teen named Nick Twisp written by C. D. Payne. Having read the book while in college, I absolutely love the story, it is a hilarious read and the absolute perfect portrayal of what lengths a pubescent teen will go to in search of love or the loss of their virginity. If you have not read Youth in Revolt I highly recommend you pick yourself up a copy, you wont regret it. Anyways, checkout the poster below....

Click the poster for higher resolution
What say you? Have you read Youth in Revolt? How perfect is Michael Cera for this part despite not being 14? Strikeback...

Trailer: World's Greatest Dad

To be perfectly honest when I saw Robin Williams starring in a new movie called, "World's Greatest Dad" I quickly discounted that the film would be another terrible family comedy from the not-so controversial comedian. However after seeing the red band trailer, I have a whole new attitude towards the film and can't wait to see Williams in an R-rated comedy. "World's Greatest Dad" was a hit at this year's Sundance and is written and directed by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait. The film also stars Daryl Sabara from Spy Kids, who has definately grown up. The raunchy comedy looks absolutely hilarious and wonderfully dark. "World's Greatest Dad" releases August 21st. Checkout the trailer below....

What say you? Isn't nice to see Williams not starring in a family comedy? Strikeback...

Trailer: Cold Souls

Yesterday I gave you a look at the first poster for Paul Giamatti's newest film "Cold Souls" and today I have the delightful trailer for you below. I am a huge fan of Giamatti and would watch him in any film he does regardless of content, but "Cold Souls" looks like a quality film that will be both hysterical and thought provoking. "Cold Souls" releases August 7th in limited theaters. Checkout the trailer below....

What say you? Will you be searching out Cold Souls in theaters? Strikeback...

Poster: Halloween II

A new poster has been released for Rob Zombie's sequel to Halloween and in it Dimension unveils the title change from "H2" to "Halloween II". The new poster displays Michael with some unfortunate sole's hair in one hand and a very familiar item in the other. The new poster is decent enough, but the new tagline added, "Family Lives Forever" only re-resonates the disappointment we all faced when we saw Zombie's wife, Sherri Moon Zombie returning for the sequel as Michael's mother in the last trailer. Despite my hold-up's with the trailer I will definately be seeing "Halloween II" come August 28th. Checkout the latest poster below....

Click the poster for higher resolution
What say you? Are you excited for Halloween II? Strikeback...

Review - Street Fighter The Legend of Chun-Li

The origin tale of Chun-Li tells her early aspirations of becoming a concert pianist as a child, while also learning the martial art of Wushu from her father. Years after Chun-Li's father is taken by a rival buisnessman Bison and his henchman Balrog, she is given an ancient Chinese scroll. The scroll may be the only answer that will unlock her true talents and be the key to finding her long lost father.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review - Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian

The night security guard is back in the sequel to the highly successfull Night at the Museum. This time all of the exhibits are being shipped to the Smithsonian for storage. The Smithsonian is the world's largest Museum and with the magic tablet now at the Smithsonian, a ton of new exhibits have come to life, including Kahmunrah an evil pharaoh wanting to use the tablet for evil. Larry the guard must enlist the help of new exhibits in order to stop Kahmunrah before it is too late.

Trailer: Zombieland

Throw a zombie into a plot and you got my attention, add some quality actors, a good zany sense of humor and Van Halen's Everybody Wants Some and you have me praising the zombie gods. Today I have the pleasure of presenting you with the first trailer "Zombieland" directed by newbie Ruben Fleischer. "Zombieland" stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Amber Heard and a zombie cameo by the legendary Bill Murray. "Zombieland" is slated for a October 9th release date for Columbia Pictures. The official synopsis reads: The horror comedy Zombieland focuses on two men who have found a way to survive a world overrun by zombies. Columbus (Eisenberg) is a big wuss -- but when you're afraid of being eaten by zombies, fear can keep you alive. Tallahassee (Harrelson) is an AK-toting, zombie-slaying' bad ass whose single determination is to get the last Twinkie on earth. As they join forces with Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin), who have also found unique ways to survive the zombie mayhem, they will have to determine which is worse: relying on each other or succumbing to the zombies. The trailer is everything you'd expect and more, plus the priceless inclusion of Van Halen's Everybody Wants Some is absolutely perfect. Checkout the hilarious trailer below....

What say you? How great does this film look? "You guys want some Purel?" Strikeback...

Trailer: 2012

Roland Emmerich definately likes to destroy stuff! The newest trailer for his latest disaster flick "2012" hit the net and I have it here for you below. Emmerich is no stranger to disaster flicks, having done both Independence Day, and The Day After Tomorrow, but his latest looks to have upped the ante for state of disaster films. Call me a sucker, but I always seem to enjoy even the worst of the disaster flicks and add the fact that John Cusack is the lead, I am really excited for this popcorn grinding film. The trailer is definately impressive and Emmerich looks to have nailed the worldwide aspect of the theory's behind the 2012 predictions. "2012" releases November 13th. Anyways take a gander at the impressive and destructive trailer below....

What say you? Will you be seeing 2012? Strikeback...

Another 80s Remake: Teen Wolf

The next in the long list of classic 80's films being remade has been announced. "Teen Wolf" is in early development over at Warner Brothers. Moviehole is reporting that WB are currently, "looking for the craftiest reinterpretation of Rod Daniels’ 1985 hit." The studio not having a completed script or decision on exactly how they want to deliver a redo definately means there is no director or actors attached at this point. However we all know damn well, that WB already has Zac Efron on speed dial for this one.

The original Teen Wolf followed Scott Howard, played by Micahel J. Fox, a teenage high school student who discovers his family hertiage involves becoming a werewolf. Howard becomes an icon as his alter-ego the "Wolf" on his basketball team and around campus, however his new found fame begins to dismantle his long budding relationship with friend Boof.

The original film was and is, a classic piece of 80's nostalgia, and it is a real shame that WB is actually developing the remake. I use to watch this film religiously as a kid, and never tired of it. Michael J. Fox was box office gold back then and when Teen Wolf came on the coat tails of Back to the Future, I remember begging my mom to take me to see again and again. I still have my old VHS copy of the film that the local video store owner gave to me because, he said I rented it more than anyone else and I deserved to keep it at home. It seems nothing of the 80's is sacred and I fear that this trend will continue until Hollywood is once again remaking the 2010 version of "Teen Wolf".

What say you? Would you want to see a Teen Wolf remake? Why not just make "Son of Teen Wolf" with Michael J. Fox playing Zac Efron's father?(note the sarcasm) Strikeback...

'Red Dawn' Undergoes Rewrite

While I am still completely against the idea of a Red Dawn remake, the film at MGM just may have found a glimmer of light. Latino Review is reporting that writer/director Tony Gilroy has been hired by the studio to do a re-write of the script. In fact the acclaimed writer of the Bourne series has already turned in a 107 page draft dated 06-01-09.

"Red Dawn" slated to begin shooting in September, isn't the first time director Dan Bradley and Tony Gilroy have worked together. Bradley served as the 2nd unit director in the Bourne films which Gilroy wrote. The remake was originally scripted by Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore and based off the 1984 film where a group of teenagers help to fight off invading Russian and Chinese forces in the U.S.

"Red Dawn" has landed a couple of decent up and coming actors and now it has a worthwhile scribe creating, what we hope is a quality script. I still feel that a Cold War invasion film might miss the mark in our current times and see no need of remaking the cult classic film, however having Tony Gilroy onboard has definately perked my interests a little. Guess we will find out come September 24, 2010.

What say you? Does having Tony Gilroy doing a script rewrite change your mind about a Red Dawn remake? Strikeback...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trailer: Whiteout

The teaser trailer for Kate Beckinsale's latest film called "Whiteout" has finally hit the net. The film is based on the comic of the same name and has been sitting on a shelf since 2007. I remember a panel at Comic Con in 07' for Dark Castle Pictures that covered both "Whiteout" and One Missed Call where an iphone was given out to a lucky attendee in the panel. The trailer despite the horrific voice-over work looks okay. I hope that considering the film has sat this long and combine the fact this trailer leaves something to be desired, doesn't mean the film is a piece of trash. Guess we'll find out come September 11th when it releases. Checkout the trailer below...

What say you? Does Whiteout look like something you'll be rushing to see? Strikeback...

Portman is Aronofsky's 'Swan'

Director Darren Aronofsky's newest film just may be "Black Swan". The director has yet to sign on to a new project since finishing The Wrestler and no current news on the Robocop update he has been working on for MGM has developed at all. This week however came news via various sources including THR that Natalie Portman is now attached to play the lead in the suspense thriller Aronofsky has had in development since 2007.

Since 2007, when "Black Swan" was intially optioned at Universal, the film has made it's rounds through the various studios, gone under a script re-write by Mark Heyman, director Aronofsky has risen to critical acclaim and now Natalie Portman beefs up the star power of the film all leading some to speculate that the film could begin shooting as early as this fall. The film follows "a veteran ballerina (Portman) who finds herself locked in a competitive situation with a rival dancer, with the stakes and twists increasing as the dancers approach a big performance. But it's unclear whether the rival is a supernatural apparition or if the protagonist is simply having delusions."

Darren Aronofsky is a brilliant director and adding Portman definately bolsters the interest in the thriller. What should prove to be a better element to the film is Aronofsky is unlikely to give a cliche ending that makes everyone happy. Instead he will deliver a film that questions what exactly is reality in the film and what is just imagined. More news on "Black Swan" as it develops...

What say you? Does a ballet thriller helmed by Aronofsky sound intriguing? Strikeback...

Poster: Cold Souls

Paul Giamatti is one of my favorite working actors. He always seems to bring a certain flare that is downright enjoyable. Giamatti newest film releasing this year is "Cold Souls" and I have first one-sheet here for you to gander at via Cinematical. "Cold Souls" is described as a metaphysical comedy in which souls can be extracted and traded like commodities. In the film Giamatti plays an actor named Paul Giamatti, who is struggling with his current role and has thought to put some of his soul into deep freeze so he may better portray the role of Uncle Vanya. From there Giamatti's sole is taken by a no talent soap opera actress who Giamatti must confront in order to get his soul back. The film has obviously been referenced with The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, but looks to at least be an intriguing entry from newcomer writer/director Sophie Barthes. I have also included a clip from the film where Giamatti is meeting with the soul-freezing company for the first time. Checkout the new poster and clip below. "Cold Souls" releases August 7th on a limited run.

Click poster for higher resolution

What say you? Does Cold Souls sound and look like something you'd seek out? Strikeback...

'Three Stooges' Without Penn?

Yesterday came news via Variety that actor Sean Penn would be taking some time off from acting to work on his marriage with actress Robin Wright Penn. Penn's withdrawl from his obligations left the film's "Cartel" and "The Three Stooges" with an important decision to either re-cast or hold production for the Academy Award winner. With "Cartel" adding another actor seems easy enough (and that is the direction the studio is taking), but when it comes to the 'Stooges', finding another actor like Penn for Larry seems highly unlikely.

The Three Stooges are one of those iconic figures that fans are absolutely rabbid about. Like many, prior to any casting news I thought a Three Stooges film would never work. Then casting news began to leak out and the casting's were pretty remarkable. I mean Benecio Del Toro as Moe, Jim Carrey putting on 4olbs to play Curly and then the icing on the cake, Sean Penn as Larry. The Farrelly brothers had struck casting gold and "The Three Stooges" could actually prove to be a faithful and worthy adaptation of the three knucklehead's we love.

Now we have the current news of Penn dropping out for at least a year to work on his family and "The Three Stooges" doesn't sound golden. MGM could move forward with the film without Penn, but I doubt they would find anyone of note close to Penn to fill Larry's shoes. MGM hasn't committed to anything yet either, they may just wait it out for Penn, which would seem like the best option for the film to actually prove profitable. Sean Penn deserves the time to save his marriage or simply time away from Hollywood. Surely if, "The Three Stooges" has waited this long, it could wait another year or so.

What say you? Would you want MGM to move forward without Sean Penn? Can they find somebody else who could pull off Larry? Strikeback...

Trailer: Fame

The first full length trailer for "Fame" has hit the net and I have it here for you below. "Fame" is a remake/update of the 1980 film and television series of the same name and follows a group of young students at a New York based Performing Arts Academy. I have always been a huge fans of musicals and stage production and was a fan of the original series and film. The update looks to have nailed the tone of the original series while updating the film to modern day. I am sure for many out there "Fame" looks like a waste of time, but I for one, am hopeful it will be an pleasant surprise in 2009. "Fame" is set for a September 25th release date and is directed by music video director Kevin Tancharoen. Checkout the trailer below...

What say you? Will you be seeing Fame come September 25th? Or will you be dragged by your girlfriend come September 25th? Strikeback...

Trailer: The Stepfather

Once again I am writing about yet another remake. One genre of film I have been less resistant to remakes is the horror genre and actually this remake might not be too bad. That said the original is still a kick ass film. The update stars Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) as the new stepfather, Sela Ward as the unsuspecting newly wed wife, Penn Badgley as the suspecting stepson and Amber Heard as his girlfriend. "The Stepfather" is slated for a October 16th release and is directed by Nelson McCormick. Checkout the trailer and one sheet below...

What say you? Does The Stepfather remake look worth a viewing? Strikeback...

'Red Dawn' Remake Adds 2 More

Entertainment Weekly delivered some bittersweet news this week concerning the dreaded Red Dawn remake. Actors Josh Peck and Adrianne Palicki have joined Chris Hemsworth in 80's red scare invasion film. Josh Peck has spent most of his younger years on Nickelodeon in the tv show "Drake & Josh," but has more recently made some quality indie films including The Wackness. Peck will play the role of Matt Eckert, originally played by Charlie Sheen. Matt is the star quarterback of his high school and the younger brother to Jed Eckert who is being played by Chris Hemsworth. Palicki will play Toni Mason (originally played by Jennifer Grey) one of two sisters who survive the Soviet invasion and escape to their grandfather's farm. Production on "Red Dawn" is scheduled for September with first time director Dan Bradley at the helm.

I hate the idea of a remake to this film, more so in some ways than the current list of upcoming remakes. The original was perfect for it's time during the Communist Red Scare and Cold War, it was controversial when it came out and it also launched quite a few careers. The remake isn't an update, and having a current film set in the 80's with Russian and Chinese invading American soil just sounds stupid. The Red Scare is over and so is the Cold War, it has been for a long time and most of the younger generation are not too familiar with it's meaning. The generation who watched the original Red Dawn had all of the anti-communist propaganda around and were generally fearful of a possible communist attack. This current generation only knows what they have slept through in history class.

I have been hesitant to cover anything concerning a Red Dawn remake because I love the original, and frankly it makes no sense why Hollywood just keeps remaking great movies only to become lesser features. I will admitt Chris Hemsworth shows potential and I can't wait to see him as Thor. Josh Peck is a good actor, but I am just not interested in seeing this story retold. There have been a few remakes I have enjoyed, but they have been strictly in the horror genre and in franchises that had (to coin a bad term), milked the cow dry, and a reinvention of the characters seemed logical. Most of the recent optioned remakes are absolutely great films that do not warrant remakes. They are timeless films and are still worthwhile viewings. Films like The Karate Kid, Short Circuit, Red Dawn, Videodrome, Footloose, The Birds, Rosemary's Baby, Weird Science and Top Gun, which all are in current remake development, are just fine the way they are and younger generations would enjoy them just as much as we did.

What say you? Does adding Josh Peck and Adrianne Palicki raise your interest of Red Dawn? Strikeback...

Monday, June 15, 2009

'Predators' Headed for Descent?

While I am completely against the idea of a Predator prequel, news comes that may ease the pain a little bit. Bloody Disgusting broke news last friday that The Descent and Dog Soldiers director Neil Marshall is one of 7 names on a short list of directors Robert Rodriguez is looking at to direct the prequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger hit Predator for 20th Century Fox. AICN talked with RR and while he did not want to reveal any of the other names at this time everybody on the list wants the gig real bad.

Neil Marshall is a pretty kick ass director. I loved what he did with Dog Soldiers and The Descent was one of the better horror films of this decade. His last film, Doomsday was a joke and a piece of shit, but I still have hope that if anybody could bring a quality story and film to a Predator prequel, he can. Granted I'd like to know who the other names are, but with only Marshall's name out there, I am a little less fanatic about this prequel getting made. More news to follow as it develops....

What say you? Would Neil Marshall make a good candidate for a Preadtor prequel? Should this movie even happen? Strikeback...

Friday the 13th Sequel Talk

The guys over at CHUD had the opportunity to talk with producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form about the possibility to a sequel to Friday the 13th remake. Fuller and Form reveal that the film has definately not been greenlight yet, but that hasn't stopped them from developing the script anyways. The producers who are currently working on a remake of "A Nightmare of Elm Street" starring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger say that time is tight but they like to develop the a sequel to Friday the 13th for next year. Read more of what the two producers had to say below...

Brad Fuller and Andrew Form first told CHUD they aren't sure it will even happen. Andrew Form said, "I don’t know if we have the time to be ready for it. If it does all happen, it’ll happen quickly because the film does need to shoot before the winter does come and cause the date would be summer next year." Clearly the producers would once again shoot for a Friday the 13th opening in August of next year. They next shared that their idea was to bring the sequel to theaters in 3D, which could pose more potential time constraints. Form explained, "We’ve talked about how much time to get ready for the 3-D and then how much post time you need which is a lot longer than a non-3-D movie to get it into the theaters and then financially. But I mean from day one when we started talking about the sequel we talked about it being in 3-D." Ehh, I could care less if the film is in 3D or not, personally I just want to see more of what they started over. Furthermore, shouldn't part 3 be in 3D anyways like the original series?

Fuller and Form next said that they would really like to bring something new to the sequel that Friday fans haven't seen before. You ask what they may be. Fuller explains, "One of the things that they haven’t seen before is Jason in the snow. They haven’t seen that before." Jason in the snow? Really, I guess I could see Crystal Lake covered in snow. Fuller quickly added that the film won't be entirely set in the snow. "I can tell you this, the movie itself will not take place in the snow. I don’t want to sit in Winnipeg with [Andrew] for two months in the snow. We did that once, I don’t want to do it again," Fuller joked. CHUD questioned that this idea could be another possible prologue, which could be a real nice treat.

Finally the producer duo told CHUD that they intend to address some of the fans complaints about "the kills" in the sequel. "We can bring more clever kills to the second one, that’s what we’re going to do. [But] I don’t think that turning him into a space-going astronaut would be the direction that we’re going to go in," Fuller expressed. Thank god for that!

So meeting the time constraints might be a hard task, but Fuller and Form are definately trying to get it done. Hopefully all goes smoothly and we "Friday the 13th: Part 2" come August 13th 2010, if not I am sure we will see it within the next year. More news as it develops...

What say you? Does a snowbound Jason sound like a good idea? Do you want to see another Friday the 13th? Strikeback....

Another Bad Sequel - Wanted 2

Wanted was a terrible film! The comic was a cool story and was very light, however the film took itself ultra seriously and the outcome was absolutely dreadful. As with any film that has a decent pull at the box office, studios quickly move to sequelize the film, some instances of this process have been good however most have been very bad. I'll say right now that a sequel to Wanted would be just as bad if not worse. Despite mine and others negative feedback Universal Pictures is moving forward with "Wanted 2" and Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov spoke with a russian media outlet about developing the film. Scroll down to read about "Wanted 2"...

Bekmambetov tells the russian news outlet that he should begin prepping the sequel in July and start shooting by late fall early winter. "In July we will start preparation for the film. I think in the late autumn or winter shooting will be performed," Bekmambetov said. Timur says the sequel will shoot in various worldwide locations including, "America, India and Russia." The director also says that he wants to bring Angelina Jolie's character Fox, back from the dead in order to return in the sequel. Timur said he wanted to, "revitalize" Jolie's character. This has to be one of the most stupid ideas ever! I know Angelina Jolie may have some box office draw, but to just ressurect her for the sake of a sequel is just plain stupid! Will they just throw her corpse into the milk bath and poof, she's back to life? Who knows, but I for one am sick to my stomach just thinking about it. Why couldn't we see more of McAvoy's character Wesley Gibson? He delivered the only worthwhile performance in the first film and seeing him as a top agent sounds more intriguing than watching Angelina Jolie return to her type-cast roles. Bekmambetov also stated that he would consider bringing the Exterminator back too. He explained, "As for the character played by Kostya Khabenskiy, we’ll think about it. We might possibly resurrect him as well." Lastly the russian director said that "Wanted 2" would most likely have the same $150 million dollar budget as it's predecessor.

What say you? Did you enjoy Wanted? Would you go see a sequel? Strikeback...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gambit Headed to 'Mars'

Walt Disney Pictures has just landed their two stars for the live-action adaption of "John Carter of Mars" being directed by WALL-E director Andrew Stanton. Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins who just played Gambit and Kayla Silverfox for Fox's summer blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine will join together again as John Carter and Dejah Thoris. The first of many fantasy epic novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, "A Princess of Mars" was first publish in 1911 and will be the basis of Disney update. Variety reports the film is set to begin shooting early next year off a script Andrew Stanton and Mark Andrews wrote together. Scroll down for more news on "John Carter of Mars"...

Taylor Kitsch is still somewhat of a unknown only having his big screen breakout in this summer film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but just recently wrapped shooting the lead role in a "The Bang Bang Club" directed by Steven Silver. Kitsch also had a lead role on the somewhat television hit "Friday Night Lights." Kitsch who isn't extremely ripped is not the first actor that comes to mind when I think of Carter, but should definately fill the role out nicely. The question is, if he will be a reason for people to go see the Disney adaptation? I doubt it!

John Carter in the story, is a damaged Civil War veteran who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, where his involvements with warring races of the dying planet lead him to rediscover his humanity. Lynn Collins will play the Princess of Mars Dejah Thoris and the love interest to John Carter. Her character is a strong willed woman who is ultimately always faced with mortal danger and a centeral figure to the John Carter of Mars stories.

It remains to be seen whether Disney will keep the scantly dressed John Carter and Dejah Thoris, who like something out of Conan and Heavy Metal, but I'd suspect that they tone down the partail nudity to make the film a bit more family friendly. More news to follow as it develops...

What say you? Does Kitsch have what it takes to play John Carter? Is Collins sexy enough for Dejah Thoris? Are you excited for a John Carter of Mars movie? Strikeback...

Review - Moon

In the near future, a Helium3 minor stationed on the Moon is finishing a 3 year contract for Lunar Industries and eagerly anticipates going home to his wife and child. As the days tick by, with only his computer GERTY to keep him company, Sam begins to suffer from halucinations and physical deterioration. With just under two weeks left, while doing a routine Helium3 deposit extraction, Sam comes face to face with a predicament that will question his very exsistence.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Review - Dead Snow

A group of medical students head to a secluded cabin in the Norwegian mountains for spring break. The group is met by a old man who warns them of mysterious inhabitants that stem back to the days of the holocaust. Before long the group come to find that they are being hunted down by Nazi zombies who intend to devour their flesh but are also in search for gold they lost at the end of World War II.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trailer: Shutter Island

The first trailer for the Martin Scorsese directed thriller "Shutter Island" has finally hit the net and I have it for you below. The trailer does give a good overall picture of the story, setting and tone of the film, however it may be one of many trailers that tends to give away too much of the storyline. The suspense drama is set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island. "Shutter Island" marks the fourth time Leonardo DiCaprio has starred in a Scorsese film. Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Max von Sydow and Jackie Earle Haley co-star in the Paramount Pictures suspense thriller. "Shutter Island" is set for a October 2nd release. Checkout the chilling trailer below...

What say you? Does Scorsese's latest look devistatingly good? Strikeback...

Review - Land of the Lost

Dr. Rick Marshall is the laughing stock of the scientific world because he believes in quantum palentology and that he can prove the existence of time warps. After years of ridicule, a cambridge student who believes in Dr. Marshall's research, pushes him to continue his study of a tachyon amplifier. The two scientist's take their research on a expedition to Devils Canyon, a location which has shown a high source of tachyon energy. Dr. Marshall and his assistant Holly Cantrell, hire the help of local tour guide Will Stanton to take them through the caves rich in tachyon energy only to be sucked through a time warp. Now stuck in an alternate universe, they must try to find away back if they can first survive this strange world of deadly dinosaurs and Sleestaks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Two Actors Enlist in A-Team

News has come down the pike this week that the long rumored "The A-Team" film may have found two of it's stars. Both Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper are in talks to star in the 1980's television adaptation feature film for 20th Century Fox. The report debunks the claim that Cooper would not be starring in the film. "The A-Team" will be directed by Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces) with production set to start in August for a June 2010 release. Scroll down to see just who Neeson and Cooper are in line to play.

First off, Liam Neeson is in final negotiations to play the A-Team leader Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith. Of the names that have been thrown around for Hannibal, Neeson hasn't been one of them, so the announcement is a bit of a shock. Intially I wasn't to sure on the idea of Neeson smoking a stoggie and leading the group of mercenaries, but after a bit of thought, I think this just might work. One thing is for sure, Neeson looks nothing like George Peppard, but that doesn't mean he couldn't fill the role of Hannibal in grandiose fashion.

Second up is Bradley Cooper. Cooper would play Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck. Bradley Cooper who has proven to be a upcoming commodity after recent success with The Hangover should prove to be a perfect Faceman. The role was originally played by Dirk Benedict.

Still left to be casted are Captain H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock and Sergeant Bosco "B.A." Baracus. Rumors had earlier reported that rapper turned actor Common was in talks to play Baracus (which isn't too far fetched considering Caranhan and Common worked together on Smokin' Aces). I hate the idea of Common as Baracus but, the options are pretty slim. He definately would be better than Tyrese Gibson or Ice Cube (both also rumored). I know this next idea might be a sin in some circles, but Carnahan may want to abandon the entire "Mr. T" gimmick altogether. There is only one "Mr. T" and no real need to try and replicate him.

"The A-Team" will retain the original television show premise of: Four war vets wrongly convicted of armed robbery escape from a military prison to become do-gooder mercenaries. Variety reports the difference will be that the film will lose the campy nature and replace it with a tone similair to Ocean's Eleven. I hope that means an intelligent "The A-Team" that is equally witty.

What say you? Do you like the idea of Neeson as Hannibal and Cooper as Faceman? Do you trust that Carnahan will make a quality A-Team film? Strikeback...

Favreau Reveals Whiplash!

Courtesy of USA Today I have our first look at Mickey Rourke in character as Whiplash in the upcoming Jon Favreau directed "Iron Man 2". Rourke plays Ivan Vanko, who in the comics, was a weapons designer working for Stark's rival industrialist Justin Hammer. The image below gives us a oustanding glimpse of Vanko's own version of a power suit complete with energy-charged whips (I'd definately say this is an early prototype of Whiplash's power suit, look for Whiplash to have a more armoured suit at some point in the film). In the image, Ivan Vanko is at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix and unfortunately that is all director Jon Favreau was willing to reveal regarding the plot points seen in the image. Favreau however, did talk a bit about Rourke's character and the design of the suit. Read what Favreau had to say and checkout out Rourke in character below...

The first thing you might say when looking at Rourke in character as Whiplash is, "isn't that the same power pack on his chest that Tony wears?" Favreau answers that question specifically. He said, "The technologies are definitely related. That's part of the core theme of the film." Favreau continued, "Ivan has constructed his own version of a suit." Mickey Rourke commented on his role by saying, "Whiplash is going to light them up!" Favreau also hinted that his Whiplash may be a bit different from the comic. He said, "We like to play into and against the expectations that people might have, so we mixed it up a bit." The last thing Favreau talked about concerning the character of Whiplash, was the decision to go with Mickey Rourke. He told USA Today, "It was very important that the villain be as compelling as can be. … Once I thought of Mickey in that role, it made me understand how to shape the story."

What say you? Do you like the look of Rourke as Whiplash? Could this be an early prototype that Whiplash designs or is this what he will battle Iron Man in? Strikeback...

Marvel Film Lineup Details

Marvel comic fans are eagerly awaiting the onslaught on upcoming feature films and a couple days back First Showing got a chance to get some first hand details from Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige on some interesting developments for "Iron Man 2", "Thor" and "The First Avenger: Captain America". Checkout the details by film below...

"Iron Man 2"
  • The sequel will have much of the same sense of humor and tone from the first film.
  • They wanted to tell a simple story allowing them to focus on characters and mythology.
  • To improve the sequel, they've added more characters and upped the action.
  • Scarlett Johansson's character in the film will be close to the comic. She will have two sides. She is introduced as Stark's assistant and is later revealed as the Black Widow.
  • Scarlett Johansson and Sam Jackson are both signed on for multiple Marvel films
  • The film is more than halfway through filming. Most of the dialogue has been shot and the second six weeks will focus completely on the action of "Iron Man 2"
  • Kevin Feige confirmed both Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) are signed to mulitple film contracts.
  • Feigs added that he felt it necessary that a classic villain that could be sustained over the course of many films and provide the hero with a challenge while also being a mirror of that hero himself.
  • "Thor" will take place on both Earth and Asgard.
  • Dr. Donald Blake (Thor's human form) will be apart of "Thor".
  • There will be no classic Shakespearian dialogue like in the comics.
"The First Avenger: Captain America"
  • It will be primarily a WWII period piece.
  • They want the same level of fun as Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Kevin Feige says Captain America is director Joe Johnston's movie he has been leading up to his whole career and will feature a little bit of The Rocketeer, lots of October Sky, and a little bit of the ship designs that Johnston did for Star Wars.
  • Captain America's sidekick Bucky, will be featured to some degree in the film.
Kevin Feige also revealed that Marvel studios currently has Edgar Wright penning a second draft of Ant-Man and the studio will look at it after he finishes filming, "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World". He added, "Having an idea is one thing, bringing an idea to life is another." Feige also dropped a huge bomb saying that Marvel will announce another film slated for 2012. Wait a second another Marvel film? Fuck yeah! Feige did not say if this would be something that has already been done (like Blade, Daredevil or Fantastic Four), a sequel or a whole new character. Any ideas? I'd love to see a sequel to Edward Norton's attempt at Incredible Hulk.

What say you? Do you like the sound of where things are going in Marvel Studios? Could Loki be a possible villain in the Avengers film? What Marvel superhero would you most like to see in 2012? Strikeback...