30 June 2005

Flash In Goyer's Pan

Hey guys, it's Donnie...my feelings are very up and down on David Goyer. I really enjoyed his screenplay for Batman Begins and give him huge credit for what he's doine to rebuild the franchise. At the same time, Blade Trinity is a huge pile of rotting garbage on so many levels that it hurts me to even think about it. And I really wanted to enjoy that movie too. For me, it was Goyer's to fuck up, and fuck it up he did.

He's directing a movie called The Invisible starting in September about a recently killed guy stuck in limbo and trying to find his body or something, (it's all very vague) but it's well established at this point that the next big project that he'll be writing and directing is The Flash. I've always thought that the Flash was a really fun superhero. In the Justice League cartoon he's hysterical. And Goyer has said on multiple occaisions that he really wants Ryan Reynolds to play the Flash, which is basically perfect casting. He was the only thing about Blade Trinity that was enjoyable (or even tolerable for that matter). He could handle the action sequences more than adequately, and he's also mindbogglingly funny. I think he would bring exactly the right charm and charisma to the character.

Goyer recently spoke to The New York Daily News and said that he's still working on the screenplay, but that it would include both Barry Allen and Wally West, two of the three different alter egos of the Flash over the years. Goyer then goes onto to say that the story will go into some of the more "cosmic aspects of the character from the more recent past." He's also working with someone from MIT on relativity and doppler effects and whatnot to really nail down the science aspect, which I find to be a really smart approach.

It sounds like Goyer's really working hard on this puppy, and I'm really hoping he'll nail it. Maybe he can work out his bad director demons on this Invisible project so that The Flash will atone for his past sins. Still no word on whether he'll have a hand in the next Batman, but I'm hoping he will, if only because he's been the only writer to turn out a script where the Bruce Wayne scenes didn't bore the hell out of me...

A Fistful Of Mutants

Hey guys, it's Donnie...more X3 tidbits came raining down from on high today.

First, it's been confirmed that Maggie Grace is in fact out as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat. She has yet to be relpaced, but according to genius writer and television mastermind Joss Whedon, Summer Glau, the girl who plays young River Tam in Whedon's upcoming Serenity recently read for the part and "got into a very intense groove", which isn't surprising considering that she was reading sides written by Whedon himself. Glau, particularly her character of River Tam, was a total "love it or hate it" aspect of Firefly. I enjoyed her storyline and how minimalistic all her character work was, whereas my old roommate hated her and would yell at the TV everytime she walked onscreen. I'm not to familiar with the character of Shadowcat, but I'd be willing to give her a shot.

Angel, his father Warren Worthington, and Gambit (who is, sadly enough, reported to be a minor role) have yet to be cast, although Mike Vogel of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Grind fame was apparantly in serious consideration for Angel until he decided he'd rather be Emmy Rossum's boyfriend in Wolfgang Peterson's The Posiedon Adventure, and really, who could blame him? Emmy Rossum is stunningly gorgeous and Brett Ratner is a turd.

Also, there's a rumor floating about that Fox is going to run an X3 teaser in front of the upcoming Fantastic Four, which is just stupid. They haven't started filming yet, they have nothing to show, and any teaser is gonna be like that Terminator 3 teaser where the Warner Brothers sheild melted into liquid metal and then turned into the giant capital T. What a waste. There's really no reason to put an X3 teaser out now other than to beat Superman Returns to the punch. (For the record, Superman Returns hits theaters one year from today.) I also think it's a bit of karmic foreshadowing that Fox is gonna rush to put a teaser in front of another major comic property that will probably fall flat on it's face.

So, for the love of all that is holy, is there any good X3 news? Well, word is that Daniel Cudmore will be returning to show us more Colossus, which is probably the most exciting news I've heard about this movie since Matthew Vaughn left production.

The shit continues to hit the fan my friends...

29 June 2005

Domnio Falls

Hey guys, it's Donnie...god what a slow news day. I spent the whole day checking and rechecking all my usual sources for something, ANYTHING of remote interest, and this just popped up about a few hours ago and I gotta tell you it makes me sad. Domino Harvey, the Ford's model turned bounty hunter and real life inspiration for one of my most anticipated films of the year, DOMINO, passed away yesterday. Ala Mitch Hedberg, she died of an apparant heart attack, possibly drug induced. However, she went in her bathrub in LA as opposed to a hotel room in Jersey.

It always makes me sad when someone goes through all the trouble to make a movie about a real person who's still alive and then that person shuffles off before the movie gets released, much like Herb Brooks died before the release of Miracle, which was actually a decent flick. I know if someone sunk serious money into a film about my life I'd sure as hell wanna see how it turned out. We'll see what impact Domino's passing has on the release of the film. Domino is directed by Tony Scott and written by Donnie Darko scribe Richard Kelly and stars Keira Knightly as the titular bad ass. It's also another step in the redemption/second coming of Mickey Rourke. Domino is scheduled for release this fall.

28 June 2005

Kong Lands And Kicks Your Ass

Hey guys, it's Donnie...and I really just...I have no words.

Non-believers repent!

Click on the image below and ye shall be saved...

V For Vendetta Poster-ness

Hey Guys, it's Donnie...The works of Alan Moore have been criminally mismanaged by The Powers That Be in Hollywood. From Hell was alright in some places and laughably awful in others. League of Extrodinary Gentlemen should have been an easy hit but, well, the best thing about that movie was clearly the Nautilus. Hellboy I actually enjoyed quite a bit, although it was far from perfect. I'm hoping that the sequel will really be something special, ala X-Men. And Watchmen continues to languish in development hell...

However, on the immediate horizon we have V For Vendetta, an story of a masked, anarchy-seeking terrorist/revolutionary struggling against a fictional, totalitarian Britain. The movie stars Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith) and a very bald Natalie Portman. (Sidenote, Natalie Portman is the only girl I've ever seen who can shave her head and still be mindblowingly cute.) The director, James McTeigue, is making his directorial debut after running the second unit for The Matrix trilogy, Star Wars Ep. II and III and one of my personal favorites, Dark City. I'm really hoping he can succeed where others have failed. (Note: The Wachowski brothers are producing and worked on the screenplay, and rumor has it that they've also done a little second unit work as well, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me.)

Anyway, the poster arrived today, and it's pretty damn fantastic. It's got one of my favorite taglines in recent memory, and if that's not appropriate to the times, I don't know what is...

It hits theaters this November, so keep it on your radar. This one is gonna be worth checking out...

X3 Update: Spinoffs and Layoffs

Hey guys, it's Donnie...New developments in the world of X3. First off, unconfirmed reports say that Maggie Grace of Lost fame is apparantly no longer playing Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat and is off the project for good. Rumor has it that the casting agents have already started posted the role and are actively looking for a replacement. I'm not familiar with Lost, but I've heard good things and good things about Maggie Grace in particular, so that's unfortunate. In an amusing sidenote, apparantly Ratner and friends are using The Astonishing X-Men comic book as an audition script instead of the actual screenplay. What makes it particularly amusing is that The Astonishing X-Men was written by Joss Whedon, who probably would have made a much better X3.

On another front, Zak Penn, who co-wrote the X3 script with Simon Kinberg has just negotiated a new deal with 20th Century Fox, a deal which includes Penn directing a film for the studio somewhere down the line. That film could possibly be an X-Men spinoff movie. No, not the Wolverine spinoff with Hugh Jackman, and no, not the Magneto spinoff with Ian McKellan and a younger Magneto to be named later, but a THIRD SPINOFF MOVIE. I can't help but feel that if Fox is really intent on bringing 2-3 spinoff movies to the screen in the next few years, then they really must not be interested in continuing the original X-Men franchise, which is just sad. I'd much rather see more X-Men movies then a bevvy of character spinoffs. I'm getting more and more convinced that X3 is going to be the franchise's swan song, and if that's the case, so be it. I just hope they can end the series with a little grace and class.

CRASH Into Your TVs

Hey guys, it's Donnie...While some of you have expressed a lack of interest in television news, I'm gonna keep posting TV developments that are directly linked to the big screen in some way. Thusly, I bring you news that FX is apparantly developing a series based on the fantastic Paul Haggis film Crash, which you should all go see if you haven't yet, although at this point I think it's out of most theaters.

I'm not sure if this is really gonna work as a cable TV show, in fact, I'm pretty sure that it won't. If it was HBO it might have a fighting chance, but I think that the strong language and themes just will not play out as effectively on TV, even on FX, which tends to gravitate towards the "edgier" projects. The only part of this announcement that gives me any sort of hope is that FX is apparantly courting many of the film's stars to reprise their roles on the small screen. Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Ludacris and Don Cheadle (Not Thandie Newton THANK GOD) are all apparantly in talks. I felt that the Fraser and Bullock characters didn't really have enough to do in the film, so maybe a series could flesh them out a bit and give us more dynamic characters. And, to be honest, if Don Cheadle gets onboard then I will most certainly tune in. Don Cheadle is one of those guys that could sit in a room and read a phone book and I'd probably pay to see it.

Let's see if FX can try to rebottle that lightning...

Sin City: Collect 'Em All!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Sin City was one of my favorite flicks of the year to date. In fact, it's at the top of my list, although I don't suspect it will remain there, and anyone who was watching NBC last night between 8:50:30 and 9:02:00 knows exactly what I'm talking about. Nonetheless, Sin City is at least 15 different kinds of awesome, and thanks to the ever decreasing turnaround time from big screen to DVD, you can all go out an buy your own copy on August 16th. (For those keeping score at home, that's a difference of just over 4 months from theatrical release to DVD release.)

We who were tracking the film before it's release spent months salivating over all those luscious character posters, and it looks like all that salivating will pay off. Much like the recent re-issue of Reservoir Dogs, the Sin City DVD will come in four available covers, each featuring characters from a different storyline. Also, the DVD will have a feature that allows the viewer to watch the movie as presented or to single out specific storylines, meaning you could watch the complete Hartigan storyline only without having to jump and skip all over the disc.

I don't know about you, but I will most certainly be getting the Marv cover. He was always my favorite. Oh yeah, and in case you've forgotten, Rodriguez and Miller have already started moving forward on the sequel, based on other graphic storylines that weren't used in the first go around. Knowing Robert, that probably means they'll be done filming before this one hits the shelves...

DePalma Retouches The Untouchables

Hey guys, it's Donnie...A while back we heard about a possible prequel to Mamet's 1987 masterpiece The Untouchables, the infamous story of Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and his group of "Untouchable" lawmen (Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, and the highly underrated Charles Martin Smith) tooth-and-nail fight to lock up the most notorious of notorious, Al Capone (Robert DeNiro). Aside from an obviously impressive cast, it also featured an incredible screenplay and probably one of the best directorial efforts in the carreer of Brian DePalma, the so-called Masterbater of Suspense. The prequel was to chronicle Capone's rise to power in 1930s Chicago as he clashes with young Chicago Police officer Johnny Malone (the character that won Sean Connery an Oscar) and was to be directed by world class hack Antoine Fuqua.

Well, Fuqua has blessedly departed and Art Linson has managed to bring DePalma back into the fold, apparantly in large part based on the merits of the script. The project is still in a mid-development stage, but things have certainly taken a turn for the better. DePalma just finished work on The Black Dahlia with Josh Hartnett and this could be just what he needs. All we need now is a young Robert DeNiro and a young Sean Connery...

Disney Makes 3-D Push

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I rarely find myself saying this, but go Disney!

Disney is developing some proprietary technology with Dolby that will end in the distribution of 100 new digital 3-D projectors to theaters in 25 major markets. It's being called Disney Digital 3-D and the rollout will coincide with the release of Chicken Little this November. Once Chicken Little has vacated the theaters, Dolby will begin working with other studios to release new projects on the new digital 3-D projectors.

This is good news for a couple of reasons. First of all, it will more than double the number of digital 3-D projectors in the market, currently about 80. Secondly, these new projectors will do away with the traditional and crapariffic "red and blue" glasses in favor of some new lens type, probably polaraized, which presents a higher quality 3-D image to the audience. Finally, while computer animated films are the obvious place to start for easy transfer to digital 3-D, the application of the process to live action films is intended to follow shortly thereafter, which is great news for pretty much everyone involved.

The film industry is crying out for the next evolutionary leap in filmmaking. From the advent of "talkies", to the glory of technicolor, one of primary reasons that audiences keep showing up to the theater is to see what filmmakers will come up with next. If anything, I think audiences are beginning to grow weary of CGI unless it's used EXTREMELY well, which usually means sparingly yet effectively, as opposed to gross overuse ala the Star Wars prequels. Sky Captain was fun but kind of left something to be desired, whereas Sin City kicked about 19 different kinds of ass. While 3-D had a brief run back in the late 70s and early 80s, it never really took hold because the cost to the theaters was just too great compared to the modest increase in revenue. While digital filmmaking and digital projection has most certainly been an important step, it's still lacking. Most theaters still don't employ digital projection, while those theaters that do usually have a single dedicated digital theater. (I think I've been to one theater that had two digital projectors, but I think they also had twenty some-odd screens) At the very least, if Digital 3-D can really start generating some profit it might drive down the costs on conventional digital projectors and allow theaters to start deploying more units on more screens. If Dolby can get on the ball and convince some studios to really start putting some serious cash into getting their films run in Digital 3-D, we could see a revolution in the theater-going experience. There are certainly enough filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron who would be willing to get on board. Both have already directed multiple films in Digital 3-D and have even developed special Hi-Def 3-D cameras specifically for this purpose. Bryan Singer is currently using the Digital Hi-Def "Genesis Camera" on Superman Returns. How fantastic would it be to see Supes in Hi-Def 3-D? Or, even more interestingly, what would it be like to see 3-D movies that weren't big special effects genre pictures. Imagine Requiem For A Dream or American Splendor in 3-D, or Lords of Dogtown for that matter. Jay Adams and Tony Alva skating around your head and doing jumps over the folks in the front row? Sign me up...

What do you guys think? Is Digital 3-D the future, or will it go the way of the laser disc?

27 June 2005

Monday is Trailer Day!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Today I've got a fistful of trailers for you, ranging across the genre spectrum...

First, we have the official trailer for Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown. I haven't been able to watch this puppy at work because it's hosted by MTV in some weird media player, so better luck to you. Once I get home I'm most definitely going to check it out. As I've said, I LOVED the seven and a half minute music video that Cameron put online last week. This movie is definitely near the top of my "movies to watch" list...Click here for Kirsten Dunst-love (or Orlando Bloom-love, your choice)

Up next, we have Transporter 2. I'm a little torn on this one. I thought that the first flick was alright. It was certainly a fun ride, I LOVE Jason Statham, and I really like the idea of a movie about the driver instead of about the theives, Unfortunately, I felt like the script was not particularly original and the action got a little bit too ridonculous after a while. That being said, I loved Louis Leterrier's Unleashed, so I'm willing to give him another shot with this one. I'm really hoping that this one can rise above the flaws of the first...Click here for fun with handcuffs and insane car jumps.

Finally, well, oh man. I have only three words: Doctor. Uwe. Boll. This guy is quite possibly the worst director I've ever seen, and yet I find myself strangely drawn to anything with his name on it. It's like I can't wait to see how he's gonna fuck up next. His latest cinematic disaster is (surprise surprise) another video game adaptation, Bloodrayne. It's about vampires in 18th century Transylvania and it stars the oh-so-tasty Kristanna Loken, (aka the Terminatrix from T3) Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez, Udo Kier, Meatloaf and Ben Kinglsey. I'm still bewildered about that one. There must have been some heavy drugs involved to get Ghandi to be Lord of the Vampires for Sucky McSuckerson. Also, Billy Zane makes a "Special Guest Appearance". How the fuck do you make a special guest appearance in a movie? It'd be one thing if it was a trilogy or a series of movies, but this....God I hate Dr. Uwe Boll. There are two trailers here, one that 1:30 and one that's about five minutes. You have to download the flash player to watch it, but it's a very quick and painless install, which is probably more than I can say for the movie itself...Click here for headache inducing shoit.

La Kryptonite Nikita

Hey guys, it's Donnie...quick send out from my Monday staff meeting.

Peta Wilson of La Femme Nikita and League of Extrodinary Gentlemen fame has used her feminine wyles to get herself onboard Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, and when I say onboard, I mean it literally. Her official website says that she's filming a small role as a flight attendant. We'll see what other info we can dig up.

The cast on this puppy continues to expand. IMDB lists Hugh Jackman as playing Jonathan Kent, but I haven't seen that discussed anywhere else, although he did visit the set a while back and is rumored to have filmed a brief cameo. Wolverine AND Cyclops in the new Superman? Oh man...
via my BlueBerry

Fox Inflicts Maximum Payne

Hey guys, it's Donnie...As I've said before, my expertise my extend to many fields, but gaming is not among them. I feel like I used to be really good at first person shooters like Quake 2 and 3, but when the controls got more sophisticated, I got suckier. I've just never been able to master the whole dual- joystick thing, making my performance in games like Halo 2 pretty pathetic.

However, I do remember a little game called Max Payne, mostly because of its liberal use of bullet-time. Seems the folks at Fox remember it too, because they've just signed off on a development deal with the game's creators to bring Mr. Payne to the big screen. The story of the game is very Punisher-esque, a rogue DEA agent on a killing spree to clear his name and punish the people who killed his wife and child. If they did this thing right, it could easily out-perform Tom Jane's comic book forebearer, which I thought was actually a pretty good revenge flick but a pretty crappy Punisher movie. Maybe they'll get it right the second time around. Getting out of Miami would be a really good start.

No one attached to direct or fill Payne's shoes. Stay tuned.

24 June 2005

MovieBooth EXCLUSIVE! Pink Panther!!!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...here with the first of a couple of exclusives. My spy network is growing and I've got some really interesting little items coming up, but this is the first real EXCLUSIVE NEWS ITEM I've recieved and we at The Booth are happy to share with you all.

My feelings on The Pink Panther remake are pretty well established at this point. I wish that Steve Martin circa 1989 was making this movie, not the current, family-friendly Steve Martin. Other than that, I think they've got a pretty good cast assembled (minus Beyonce) that will probably be utterly wasted. Much like Fantastic Four, I'd love to walk into the theater and be totally proven wrong, but at this point I'm not holding my breath.

SO, as we said a few weeks ago, Pink Panther had it's release date pushed back to next February and the official reason given had something to do with a marketing problem. However The Movie Booth has learned that THE REAL REASON stems from a ratings dispute. SK, our own spy in the field, has firsthand knowledge of the goings on. Take it away SK!
Steve Martin wants the rating to be PG to get a wider audience, but the MPAA says that with all of the sexual connotations that the movie should be rated PG-13. So they might have to go back and reshoot some of the more "sexual" scenes...so, moral of the story, they are trying to decide if they want to re-shoot scenes.

I think that most anyone with half a brain knew that after Sony had pushed back the release for the third time, it probably had nothing to do with the marketing. That said, I find this news to be disheartening to say the least. Martin's pushing for PG? I think that's a perfect illustration of why this movie will probably crash and burn. I don't have the slightest desire to watch Steve Martin doing PG comedy. I want to see him pushing the limits. The man seems to have grown complacent making big money movies that appeal to nine year olds. Maybe he'll be able to redeem himself with his upcoming Shopgirl, but he's got alot of crap to make up for.

Thanks again to SK. Hope to hear more from you down the line.

The Batman vs Spicolli?

Hey guys, it's Donnie...man, I'm really not sure how I feel about this one.

That final bit at the end of Batman Begins literally made the audience start cheering at my midnight screening, and for good reason I think. That's just a fantastic moment, perfectly executed. So, suffice it to say, Joker casting rumors have been flying back and forth across the internet, really since before Batman was actually released. I've heard some great names bandied about, including Tim Roth, Lachy Hulme, Adrien Brody, Mark Hamill (who did the voice of the joker in the Animated Series) and my personal favorite, George McFly himself, Crispin Glover. After seeing him as The Thin Man in the Charlie's Angels movies (which are pretty much trash if I do say so myself) I'm pretty much sold and I think he would be a great choice, if only because there's a big part of me that wants to see a Joker that is just completely unhinged, a completely warped psychopath, as opposed to Jack's iconic portrayal of the power hungry gangster that gets a little fucked up. I feel like Jack's Joker was a little too much in control.

Anyway, the latest TOTALLY UNCONFIRMED RUMOR is that Chris Nolan is courting none other than Sean Penn to re-invent the Joker. I enjoy the work that Sean Penn does immensely, even if I don't always enjoy the movies he's in. (Mystic River more than kinda sucks) However, I'm not sold that he's the best choice for Joker. I think that his portrayal might be a little too close to Jack's performance, and if they really want to keep the reinvention of Gotham fresh, they need to continue to differentiate this universe from the Burton universe. Plus, I think he may be too big of a name. I think that one of the strengths of Batman Begins was casting Batman and the baddies with actors whose faces and names are familiar but still not superstars ala Jack and Keaton.

Then again, this could be a totally fictional rumor. Someone claimed that a UK magazine has published that someone overheard an intoxicated Christian Bale at a Batman premiere speaking too loudly about who Nolan wants to get for the sequels, so this rumor most certianly must be taken with a grain (if not a shaker) of salt.

What do you all think? Who should don the purple suit next?

The Baxter Is A Little Gentleman

Hey guys, it's Donnie...No, The Baxter is not a spinoff movie featuring the adventures of Ron Burgandy's faithful sidekick after surviving that dangerous punt off the bridge. No, no, no, THE BAXTER is the latest from the creative cadre responsible for The State, Wet Hot American Summer, and the upcoming Comedy Central show Stella. These guys are funny as shit, and while I'm rather looking forward to the arrival of Stella, this new trailer for The Baxter has me really excited for a number of reasons. First of all, I'm excited about anything with Michael Ian Black. He's pretty much the reason I keep watching those I Love The 80's specials on VH1. Secondly, these guys can write this sort of nerdy, uncomfortable romantic comedy stuff in their sleep at this point. Michael Showalter may very well be the somewhat less intellectual heir to the classic Woody Allen character.

Also, I love Elizabeth Banks. Apparantly someone in my mother's family knows her and I'm really gonna have to look into that. Aside from the fact that she's freakin gorgeous, she's also got a veritable slew of upcoming projects. Heights has just arrived, and she's got Spidey 3 and The 40 Year Old Virgin on the horizon. She's got a really simple elegance, an understated grace in everything she does. I'm really excited to see her take a more comedic turn in the next few months.

Anyway, check this shit out. I think it looks pretty damn promising...

Click here to go to foggy Londontown...

23 June 2005

Superman: Untitled Awesome

Hey guys, it's Donnie...For those who haven't heard the story that will quickly become Superman lore, Brandon Routh, the successor to Christopher Reeve, is a huge Superman fan, has been for years. And so, a few years ago, he dressed up like Clark Kent/Superman for Halloween. And so, of course, once he actually got himself cast as the Man of Steel, the pictures of that fateful October evening found their way into the Incredible Edible Internet. So that's the origin of the above picture, which I've decided to run in front of all my Superman articles.

I am continually impressed by the ability of the folks at BlueTights.net to keep knocking the ball out of the proverbial park. They recently put up a bunch of nifty stills from the recent New York Licensing Show showing basically a quasi-teaser poster and some Metropolis signage. However, this morning they've put up the 17th Production Diary from Bryan Singer and.....wow.

This is phenomenal. This entry is focused on the screenwriters, Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty. After giving you an exclusive look at Supes' bestest robotic buddy, we get a flood of images, newspaper headlines, clips from shooting, and our first hi-res bit of footage, even if it is fairly unremarkable in and of itself. Personally, my favorite bit is at the very end. Talk about iconic imagery.

Man, this bitch can not get here fast enough. I may have to go back and watch the Donner flick again. I am most certainly going to watch the Superman and Superman II before the midnight screening in a year and a week.

"We put them together underwater..."

Welcome to Elizabethtown

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I'll admit it outright: I love Cameron Crowe.

His pictures just have an amazing sense of honestly, of vulnerability. He writes movies that are incredibly personal, and because they mean so much to him they almost always resound with audiences. Even something as complex and "high concept" as Vanilla Sky has, at its core, a huge heart thumping out a very simple story of love. As far as his use of music in his movies, well, who hears Peter Gabriel and DOESN'T think of Cusack with boombox raised high?

His latest project, Elizabethtown, stars Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, and a whole gaggle of others, including Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer and D-Day himself, Bruce McGill. Late last week we saw a few teasing stills float out online and earlier this week we got a taste of the teaser poster (Check it out below). Well we're finally getting some pictures that move.

Crowe put together a little montage music video of clips set to a fantastic song that really seems to capture the overall tone of the movie. Most of it is dialogue free and jumbled up and out of context, but it doesn't matter, it's still gorgeous.

It's an AICN exclusive, so click this link and check this out. I love it.

Why Oprah Sucks...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...So this is a little off topic from the usual ranting and raving on this site, but once I saw this....well, it's just so utterly ridiculous I can't really keep quiet about it and since this is my only pulpit of sorts....

Oprah, literary whore extrodinare, is claiming that she was denied service at a retail store because she's black. In fact, she's described it as her "Crash incident", referring to the excellent film about race relations written and directed by Paul Haggis. (check it out if you haven't already.)

So what's the ridiculous part? Well, as the man says, the devil is in the details. Seems Ms. No-Last-Name went to an Hermes Paris store (If you're not familiar with the store, it's the swankiest of the swanky. The location here in Boston has bellhops of all things.) in order to buy a watch for Tina Turner before meeting her for dinner. HOWEVER, she arrived at the store 15 minutes after closing, and was met at the door by a security guard who told her that the store was closed and was setting up for a private PR event. The guard then told her that she should return the next day.

Okay, so let's recap: It's not like Oprah went to a Wal-Mart and the door greeters stopped her at the metal detector and said, "We don't lahk yer kind here," and kicked her ass to the curb. No, she went to one of the most elitest stores on the planet, showed up 15 minutes AFTER THE STORE HAD CLOSED, and a security guard told her that there was a private function going on and she could not, in fact go shopping for Tina Turner and INVITED HER TO COME BACK THE NEXT DAY. Not to mention the fact that Hermes has it all ON TAPE!!!!

Besides the fact that the folks at Hermes would have to nine kinds of retarded not to let Oprah shop there unless there was a really good reason for it (like a private function going on inside the store and a lack of employees to ring up her purchases), but they'd have to be stupid beyond all belief to look one of the most famous black women in the world in the eye and say, "Negro get out of my store."

This is the stuff that makes my head hurt, if for no other reason than by referring to the whole nonsensical nonsense as "her Crash moment", she totally and utterly cheapens a fantastic movie with some really fucked up comments and representations of racism today.

See, this had something to do with movies......kinda.

If you want more details you can hit up CNN right here.

21 June 2005

Corey Feldman's Triumphant Return?

Hey guys, it's Donnie...In an alternate dimension somewhere, Wes Craven's lycanthropic crapfest Cursed was never re-shot and we the people got to see the original version co-starring Scott Baio and Corey Feldman. I totally would have gone to see that movie if it still featured Charles and Mouth, no matter how bad it was.

Either way, Corey Feldman is not the type to let a little thing like the studio throwing out all his footage and writing him completely out of the film stop his cinematic comeback. He's got a new flick making the festival rounds, (playing most recently at Cannes) and there's no way he can get cut out of this one...because he's the main character.

The movie is called The Birthday. It's presented in real time (although I don't think it was shot that way) and seems to be some sort of bizarre horror movie hybrid. We start off following Norman (Feldman), a quiet, introverted, practically stuttering loser with a girlfriend who's way out of his league. She invites him to an extravagant birthday celebration for her father at a local hotel and, surprise surprise, Norman is a total fish out of water and no one likes him. Just when things seem like they couldn't possibly get any worse, the film seems to take a From Dusk Till Dawn-esque turn, and suddenly Norman must fend off a sect of crazy waiters trying to bring about the end of humanity.

It's the first film by director Eugenio Mira and they've got a really well designed website up and running. Poke around and you'll find a trailer and a promo reel, both of which have some really fantastic visuals. I particularly like the shot of the balloons drifting around the empty dance floor. Plus Feldman seems to be playing seriously against type, and actually looks like he might turn in a very memorable performance. I'm not sure how this is gonna turn out, but if it finds its way to Boston I'll definitely be in attendance.

Check out the Trailer right here...

...and the longer, more detailed Promo Reel over here.

Buffy In Wonderland

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I'm not a very big video game nut, certainly not to the extent that most of my friends are. There are plenty of video game properties that I am totally unfamiliar with, and you can count this one among them.

American McGee's Alice is, apparently, an RPG that picks up where the Lewis Carroll books left off, except it is, apparently, really fucking dark. One description of the video game I found online described the plot as Alice being the only survivor of the destruction of her home and the slaughter of her family, thus returning to Wonderland to destroy the Queen of Hearts once and for all. So.....not really for the younglings.

At one point Wes Craven was heading up the project and looking to cast Natalie Portman as the intrepid young heroine. Now, after a round of the Hollywood shuffle, Sarah Michelle Gellar can look forward to doing battle with oversized playing cards under the somewhat capable direction of one Marcus Nispel, whose crowning achievement to date was directing the recent remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'll give Nispel credit for utilizing an interesting visual style to make a pretty awful script vaguely watchable, and this certainly sounds like a project that lends itself to some fantastic visuals.

I really like Sarah Michelle Gellar. I was a big Buffy fan, although I sort of stopped paying attention once they got out of high school. That being said, her projects of late have been less than stellar, and I really think she's due for a quality flick, something dark but not an outright horror movie.

Let's see where this one goes. It couldn't be much worse than The Grudge and the Scooby Don'ts...

Xavier's School vs Zoom's Academy

Hey guys, it's Donnie...You know I'm looking forward to the impending release of Sky High, but there's another, similarly themed project in development called Zoom. Based on the series of graphic novels entitled "Zoom's Academy", the story chronicles the adventures of a group of students at a school for young superheros. The project, to be toplined by Tim Allen, has been in development for quite some time, but a script was recently completed and a release date set for May 12 2006...a mere two weeks before the planned release of X3.

Well, suffice it to say that Fox and Marvel are plenty pissed. They have officially filed a lawsuit against Sony Pictures and Revolution Studios, the studios pulling the strings at Zoom. Fox and Friends claim that while the original graphic novels are substantially different, the screenplay adaptation is virtually identical to the X-Men franchise in regards to many characters and story elements. Marvel and Fox even drew up a laundry list of specific items from the script that they feel were less than original and sent it to the folks at Zoom back in May. While script changes have apparantly been made since then, Fox still isn't happy, especially in light of Zoom's recently announced release date.

As one would imagine with a release date so close, Zoom was scheduled to start lensing in about a month or so, so even if all parties involved can work out their problems (in or out of court) Zoom may be forced to delay production as a result. So Fox will still get their way. Go figure.

Doesn't matter. The way things are going, Superman will still kick their ass.

Will Luke Wilson Rule The Idiocracy??

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Last week I mentioned the Untitled Mike Judge-Luke Wilson project in which Wilson wakes up in a dumb-dumb future to find himself the smartest man in the world.

Well, the AICN has got the scoop from spy Albert E that the ever-mysterious project has finally found a title: Idiocracy. Not only that, but the release date has been pushed back to this coming fall, which is most definitely a positive as it was originally supposed to be hitting theaters this summer and we still hadn't heard a peep from the damn thing. I think I remember seeing some amusing but ultimately unremarkable production stills about 6 months ago.

This thing looks to have all the proper ingrediants for comedic genius, so here's hoping we see a trailer sometime in the next month or so...

20 June 2005

Family Guy DVD Movie Really Happens!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Well I've spent most of the day posting the news left over from Friday and the weekend and as the saying goes, "Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in!"

I've been thoroughly enjoying the new season of Family Guy. The writing is just as good as ever. The Rock Lobster song and the You've Got AIDS song from two weeks ago just about had me on the floor crying I was laughing so hard. American Dad doesn't quite do it for me, but there are certainly worse ways to spend a half hour on a Sunday night, plus it gets me that much closer to Justice League Unlimited at 10:30. All I need now is something to watch from 10-10:30. Any thoughts?

Well, I came across a little item today saying that the long rumored Family Guy movie will be heading straight to DVD and hitting the stores on September 27th. More importantly, the 83-minute flick entitled "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story" will be UNRATED, so those of you who have always wondered what Family Guy would be like without the bastards at Standards and Practices will find out soon enough.

Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story will feature guest voice actors Rob Livingston, Drew Barrymore, Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth, and Jason Priestley, making me wonder if there won't perhaps be a spoof and/or plot point about 90210.

"I want a Granny Smith apple...."

King Kong Stomps On Your TV

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Set your Tivos, program your VCRs, cancel your plans and tune the fuck in!

NBC/Universal has announced that while the King Kong teaser will be playing in front of War of the Worlds in two week, it will be playing on your television on the 27th. In a pretty much unprecedented move, the TWO AND A HALF MINUTE TEASER TRAILER will play simultaneously on every NBC/Universal network on Monday June 27th from 8:59:30-9:02:00 PM EST. Here's the official breakdown:

NBC - immediately following "Fear Factor"
USA Network - immediately following "Law & Order: SVU
SCI FI Channel - immediately following "Stargate-SG1"
Bravo - immediately following "West Wing"
Universal HD - immediately following "Airport '77"
MSNBC - immediately following "Countdown with Keith Olberman"
CNBC - immediately following "Cover to Cover"
Telemundo - immediately following "La Mujer en el Espejo"
Mun2 - teaser trailer will premiere during the two-hour block of "The Roof."

For those of you who, like me, spend way to much money on your own entertainment devices, that means that you'll be able to see the Kong trailer in High-Def, and my 42 inch widescreen will enjoy every second of it. For those of you who have yet to enjoy the beauty of HD Television, well, I weep for you.

You're all welcome at my place. I'll be having a mini-HD-Kong party...

Uh-Oh Underdog...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Remember that Super Bowl ad for the Visa card with all the superheroes? The best part of that ad was easily when Underdog showed up at the end. And you know what? I loved that even though all the superheroes in the first part were live people, Underdog was still a cartoon, and you know why?

Because Underdog KICKED ASS that's why. He was great. Mild-mannered Shoeshine boy by day, Underdog fought against the evil Simon Barsinister and for the affection of Polly Purebreed. Plus, whenever he was Underdog, he could only speak in rhyming couplets. This is great stuff, and in the midst of the superhero film revival, an animated Underdog movie should be an easy homerun.

So of course Disney is going to screw the pooch. Literally.

Still laboring under the delusion that talking animal movies are a good idea, Underdog will be coming to theaters as a live action film starring a real dog with "CGI enhancements." [Insert phallic joke here.] They story will center around a 12 year old boy who adopts shoeshine dog only to discover that a lab accident has given him superpowers and the two must protect the secret identity of Underdog.

I think I smells me another Garfield on the horizon....

MI:3 Gets Fishy...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Okay, so MI:3 has the official greenlight from Paramount, they'll be filming in China, JJ Abrams of Lost and Alias fame will be directing and Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames will officially be joined by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and Michelle Monaghan in unspecified roles, Keri Russell (Felicity) as a young spy in training (originally to be played by Scarlett Johansson before massive reshuffling) and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Evil Bad Guy of Evil. (Cruise wanted Hoffman, couldn't get him due to schedule conflicts, cast Kenneth Branagh instead, and then gave him the boot and got Hoffman anyway.)

And now another player has jumped onboard: Laurence Fishburne, playing "Ethan Hunt's mentor". Seeing as Fishburne really isn't all that much older than Cruise, I'm going to assume that means that Fishburne is going to be taking over the Anthony Hopkins role from the second flick.

I really don't know how I feel about Mission: Impossible. I really enjoyed the first film, thought the second was nonsensical at best (someone really needs to do something about John Woo and his ridiculous overuse of doves.) and this one has been going through the developmental revolving door pretty much since the last one was released. I think they've got a pretty solid cast here and JJ Abrams can pretty much do spy stuff in his sleep at this point. I'll be really interested once we start to hear plot elements find their way to the public.

The X-odus Continues...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...And the hits just keep on coming. Head over to alancumming.com and the top item reads: "Alan will NOT be appearing in X3. Fox has not picked up his option to play Nightcrawler for a second movie." (The bold and caps were not added by me. That's direct from his site.)

So what does that mean for those still anticipating X3? Well, those who have seen recent drafts of the script say that Nightcrawler is still in the story, but in a greatly downplayed role from X2. There has still been no official word from Fox one way or the other, but if the actor's camp is using such strong language then it probably means that either A) Cumming is out and Fox is slow on draw or B) Cumming wants a better deal and he's trying to put pressure on Fox. Unfortunately, I don't think he was ever really all that psyched about playing Nightcrawler, especially the make-up ordeal, so my guess is that he's probably out.

So, would we rather see Nightcrawler cut out of X3 entirely, or see Fox recast the role this time out? Personally, if he wasn't a major player to start with, I say they just cut their losses, although the loss of Nightcrawler is clearly tragic, as he was one of the best parts of X2.

Personally, I wanna see more Colossus...

Constantly Gardening The City Of God

Hey guys, it's Donnie...If you didn't see Fernando Meirelles's phenomenal City Of God, then stop reading this article. Get up from your computer, get in your car, go to Blockbuster, find a copy on DVD, go back home, put it in your player, shut off your phone, sit down and watch.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

doo be doo be doo...


I know, I know. Yeah, it's amazing.

You're welcome.

Well, now that you're primed and ready, Fernando Meirelles's next project will be hitting theaters in August and it's called The Constant Gardner. It stars Ralph Fiennes, Danny Huston, Pete Postlethwaite, and the lovely Rachel Weisz and centers around a diplomat's struggle to uncover a conspiracy about pharmacutical companies in Kenya in the wake of his wife's murder by these treacherous medical types.

Dance with sick Kenyans right here...

So far, I've only seen one review of this puppy and it was fairly negative, but it was a few months ago and most of his criticisms were concerning pacing and other such aspects which have undoubtedly been addressed since then. Plus, honestly, I don't really care. City Of God is such a ridiculously amazing film that Meirelles essentially has a free pass in my book in that I don't care how bad I hear this movie is gonna be, I'm still gonna go see it. His sense of visual and storytelling style is so elevated that I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for this exciting new filmmaker.

Your Flowers Are Broken There Bill Murray!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Anyone who saw Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes will probably tell you two things: the film varied greatly from scene to scene, and Bill Murray's scene with GZA and RAG was one of the best ones. Personally, I also found myself overcome with the desire to sit in a cafe with mass quantities of caffeine and nicotine and design my own Tessla Coil.

Anyway, Jarmusch is back, and he's brought Bill Murray along for the ride. His newest flick is Broken Flowers and aside from featuring a narrative storyline it also features a more than impressive cast including Jeffery Wright, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, Julie Delpy, Christopher McDonald and Mark Weber, one of my favorite up and coming young actors today. The story concerns an elder playboy of sorts who finds out that he has a son somewhere and sets out to find him.

Click it here to look for that pesky pink typewriter...

This film looks to be the latest chapter in the Bill Murray Renaissance and personally I couldn't be happier. I'm glad that Murray has found a few directors like Jarmusch and Wes Anderson that he's happy working with and we the public audience are assuredly reaping the benefits.

By the by, I just bought the extended cut of Stripes on DVD and it is fantastic. Most of the 18 minutes of new footage are contained in a 12 minute tangent scene in the midst of their training in which Ramis accidentally does acid (foreshadowing his turn in Orange County I suppose) and the two end up parachuting into South America and have to escape from some revolutionaries and a 4 minute extended sex scene with the girls in Germany where we get to see Sean Young in a bubble bath and a very topless PJ Soles, who I've spoken to on the phone and is a very nice woman. Check her out in Rob Zombie's latest opus The Devil's Rejects.

Steve McQueen (Kinda) Lives!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I think we can all pretty much agree that Steve McQueen is basically the epitome of cool. I'm serious, you watch just about any of his movies and he literally exudes coolness. Seriously, he had a PA whose job it was to follow him around mopping up all the coolness he was exuding all over the set. Jesus, even his mugshot is cool. "Yeah, I'm going to jail...and it's gonna be fun as shit!"

Well, McQueen may no longer be with us, but his progeny has been digging around dad's old trunks in the attic (no sarcasm, they literally went up to the attic and looked in dad's old things) and discovered 16 leather-bound books with 1,700 pages of script notes and storyboards for projects that Stevie never got to complete before his passing. Well, his son Chad has taken up the charge and struck up a deal with the folks at Warners to make his Dad's dream for a heist movie called Yucatan come true. The story will follow a crew of thieves looking for buried treasure in the Yucatan peninsula.

The script is being written by Paul Scheuring, the creator of the upcoming Fox series PrisonBreak, which has had a bit of positive buzz going for it. Meanwhile, The Steve McQueen Collection recently made its way into DVDLand, so feel free to check that out and bask in McQueen oozing coolness.

BlueTights In The Snow

Hey guys, it's Donnie...the boys at BlueTights.net have posted the latest video production diary from Bryan Singer and I think it's quite a bit of fun. I truly enjoy the way these dairies have been presented, giving us small tastes for the various aspects of production with maybe just a hint of storyboard or maybe a setup for a scene being shot, whetting our collective appetites without really giving us anything spoilerish. Plus Bryan Singer is a great sort of host. He has this fantastic energy and almost child-like excitement that you can't help but get caught up in.

Anyway, here's the newest diary in glorious Quicktime. We get an early glimpse at the Fortress of Solitude....sort of. I'm very interested to see just how loyal Guy Dyas remains to the production design from the Donner movies. The crashed ship in the field looked pretty damn great though...

Click here to enter Santa's Grotto...

16 June 2005

Luke Wilson vs Super Bitch

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Luke Wilson, the underappreciated (and probably the smarter) of the Wilson brothers has just signed on to a project which sounds like absolute genius: Super Ex, in which Wilson breaks up with his girlfriend only to discover that she's actually a famous superhero. To make matters worse, in her bitterness, she decides to use her superpowers to make his life a living hell. Oh yeah, and it's directed by Ivan "Ghostbusters" Reitman.

One of my favorite consequences of the rise in comic book films: Films that use the genre as a commentary or a way to tell everyday stories with a clever edge. Will Smith has a movie in development called Tonight, He Comes, about an alcoholic superhero pining over a smalltown housewife.

It all sounds good to me. Personally I'm still waiting for his collaboration with Mike Judge where Wilson gets frozen and wakes up a thousand years in the future to discover that society has been so dumbed down that he's now the smartest man in the world. What ever happened to that movie? If you know, please tell me.

Toy Story 3 and More Disney Ani-Fun

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Well it looks as if Disney is really getting serious in the wake of their split with Pixar. They've recently begun a big old recruiting campaign to snatch up experts in the field of computer animation, as they have officially abandoned the field of traditional cel animation. In order to entice the young studs of animation, they started showing some test footage and whatnot from their upcoming slate of anumation projects, and I have to say that some of these projects sounds really quite interesting. After the upcoming Chicken Little, which actually looks to be fairly decent, they seem to have abandoned the old scheme of fairy tales and mythology infused with songs and sidekicks in favor of original stories and interesting (sounding) characters. Here's a taste of what the folks at Disney have got up on the slab...

Toy Story 3: I'm very interested to see how they try to handle creating these characters and this world without Pixar. The plot aparantly centers around Buzz being sent off to Taiwan as part of a recall and Andy's other toys band together under Woody's leadership to get the spaceman back.

A Day With Wilbur Robinson: Based on a book by William Joyce, it's a time travel adventure story about a 12 year old orphan who joins forces with a 13 year old boy from the future against a bowler wearing, mustache twirling villain in Metropolis-esque environments. Sounds like it could be some great pulp sci-fi fun.

American Dog: A TV star dog drinks and schmoozes and lives the good life until his trailer is accidentally abandoned in the Nevada desert. He must then team up with a one-eyed cat and a radioactive rabbit. A RADIOACTIVE RABBITT!! Come on, that's animation gold right there.

15 June 2005

Special K On X3 and F4

Hey guys, it's Donnie...my network of sources, spies and informants is growing. My good friend Special K has given me a bit of the lowdown on X3 and Fantastic 4. There ARE CHANGES going on with the atrocious X3 script, changes which have yet to be completed. However, the script is being held strictly under lock and key, top secret, need to know, all that nonsense. Also the powers that be were plenty upset about Moriarty's script coverage and apparantly have already offered up a sacrificial lamb as retribution. I hope it wasn't Moriarty's new guy. I'd hate to see a source like that get killed off after just one scoop.

Special K was also kind enough to offer up an opinion on the dreaded Fantastic Four after having seen most of the the final international cut and.....much as I suspected...IT BLOWS!! The direct quote from Special K (because I couldn't make this shit up) is "the effects make it look worse. It's this year's Planet of the Apes."

Amen my friend. I'm calling it here and now. Fantastic Four: Big Opening Weekend, Cataclysmic Dropoff Week 2

X3 Script Review (I Just Died A Little)

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Well this is one of those times when you have to decide what kind of person you really are. Are you a purist or a spoiler lover? I've attached a link to a script review of X3 over at Ain't It Cool. The review is by one of Moriarty's new spies. If you want to get the opinion without the spoilers, read the stuff in white and skip over the blue box.


I've always been a purist, I tend to put myself under somewhat of a self-imposed media blackout for a lot of films, including the last two Matrixes (Matrices?) and Batman Begins, and let me just say that it totally paid off in the case of Batman. The script for that thing has been online for over a year and I resisted and I'm glad I did.

That being said, after about two days I broke down and read this script review and here's why: The script the reviewer read was, to my understanding, the first two acts only of the first draft of the infamous six day script by Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg. Now, presumably, there have been a few drafts since then, and so while the overall story is probably more or less the same, plenty of stuff has probably been changed AND/or cut out since this draft.

And let's hope so, because this thing reads like a goddamn trainwreck.

There, I said it. I'm not dooming X3 outright just yet, but I'll say this. If this was the script they were gonna shoot, then Brett Ratner would be the least of this movie's problems.

Look, it seems like you've got some stuff here that genuinely works and makes me really excited. The way they seem to have written Beast as a politician first and scary monster guy second makes Kelsey Grammer a fantastic choice, and I'm seriously excited to see Angel, whom I don't even know all that well (and has yet to be cast) but just sounds cooler than cool in this script. Unfortunately, that's about it. The rest of it sounds like a total retread of plotlines and themes from the first two flicks, including the father that hates his mutant son and tries to "fix" him. Characters we've invested a lot of time and energy in over the first two films are relegated to almost minor roles and characters we don't care all that much about (portrayed by actresses who have no love this franchise anyway) are pushed to the forefront. Plus, oh yeah, someone loses their powers making them kind of useless and two other characters that just should not die unless you're planning on ENDING THE FRANCHISE do, in fact, die. Yes I know who they are, and no, I'm not gonna say unless you ask nicely. Suffice it to say, it's fucked up, and they must be trying to end the series to make way for Wolverine's spinoff movie and whatnot, which is even dumber.

I really have to agree with Moriarty on one point. The rush to get this thing made isn't on Marvel, it's totally Fox's move, and considering how much Fox has already dragged its feet on getting this movie off the ground, they might as well just let this thing simmer for a while and make sure they get it right. Look at it from their standpoint: You're a bigwig at Fox. Star Wars just ended and DC/Warners just launched a great new Batman and your big comic property of the summer, Fantastic Four, is probably gonna be the albatross of the summer. So you're looking at the next two years and you've got Spidey3 hitting in Summer 2007 and DC is rebooting Superman next June and all you've got in the pipeline is Ghost Rider. So what do you do? You push to get the next X-Men movie to not only compete with Superman Returns but to beat it to the box office. Otherwise you're gonna spend the summer is the shadow of Supes.

Well, I hate to break it to you Fox, but you're gonna spend the summer in his shadow either way, just like you're gonna spend this summer in Batman's shadow. So you have two options: Option 1: Get over it. You're gonna have to give the next two summers to DC/Warners. You'll come back in 2007 with a new Spidey and if you put the time in you could rework the script, get rid of the Rat, snag someone more talented (my pet frog Theo is available) and have a truly great X3 ready for the late fall/early winter AND you'll be the only major comic property in the theater. Option 2: You get all pissed off because Bryan Singer left and his new Superman looks really fucking good and you decide to take the franchise he pretty much built from scratch with dubious studio support, the franchise that helped breath new life into the comic movie business, the franchise that has the greatest potential for multiple sequels and spinoffs, the franchise that made you more money than any other property you have save Star Wars and Spidey, and you can essentially run it into the ground out of spite.

What do you think they're gonna do?

Cameron Comes Out Of The Woodwork

Hey guys, it's Donnie...More news from the reclusive filmmakers' front: While we all thought that James Cameron's next project was surely going to be his kinda-live action Battle Angel Alita, turns out he's got another project in the pipe, and it's a project that absolutely no one outside of Lightstorm Entertainment knows anything about. As of right now it's being called Project 880 and while information is scarce, it looks like this could end up being Cameron's next big thing. Security has tightened up at Lightstorm as of late, so when I know, you'll know.

Random Trivial Fact Of The Day: James Cameron, Roman Polanksi, Terry Gilliam and Terrence Malick have directed a grand total of ONE feature length narrative film in this millenium. (I refuse to count Cameron's recent adventures in Deep Sea 3D IMAX Documentaries because I think they've been more about him playing with his new camera equipment than about making actual films) ONE MOVIE in four and a half years between the four of them. (At least it won the Oscar for Best Director.) Such things just should not happen...

Trailers Galore!!!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I know I'm WAY behind, but this is that time of the month where the trustees come to visit my place of employment and everyone I work with gets all edgy and antsy and then I end up spending an afternoon configuring laptops and gaff-taping power cables to the carpet. That being said, I've gathered a plethora of trailers here for your viewing pleasure, so you better enjoy...or else...things...will..happen.......

First up is the latest and perhaps greatest from creative recluse Terrence Malick entitled The New World. Think Pochahontas, minus the talking trees and crappy songs. the "real story" of John Smith and pals and their early adventures in Americaland. This is a phenomonal cast the man has assembled, and the care and respect and attention that has clearly been paid (along with gambling debts I'm sure) to the Native American culture looks to make a visually stunning picture. And let's be honest, if Malick is actually gonna make a movie, then I'm gonna show up to see it. Click it here for sumptuous Quicktime...

Next we have another period film from another director in hiding: Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist. Usually a remake of Oliver Twist wouldn't interest me, but hell, I'll go see Little Orphan Annie if Polanski's directing, if only for the possibility of seeing Daddy Warbucks' head on a pike. This teaser is really more of a little clip from the beginning of the film, and the dialogue has been dubbed over in French because it's on the French website, but it's still a good look at what's to come, and I likes what I sees. Click here for French Flash goodness...

Now a movie trailer by...another reclusive director. (Do we sense a theme here?) The Brothers Grimm looks to be the first of two movies by Terry Gilliam to be released this year, and more Gilliam is always a good thing. (Has anyone else heard this crazy rumor that someone wants to put up the money for him to resurrect The Man Who Killed Don Quixote? That would have to be a record, even for Gilliam.) I love the concept for this movie: all your precious childhood fairy tales...but with fangs and big FUCK OFF claws. Damon looks to be really enjoying himself in the role of the charming grifter and Monica Bellucci...well...yum. This was appropriated from AOL Moviefone so right click it HERE and save that bastard. I saw this before Batman Begins last night and it totally popped off the screen...

And speaking of things that pop off the screen...this thing just looks like a total mindfuck. Neil Gaiman's MIRRORMASK, brought to you by your good friends at the Jim Henson Company. The Muppetmakers are really getting on my goodside these days. They did fantastic work on the Vogons in Hitchhiker's Guide, and this...well...there are really no words for some of this stuff. I like the quote about Wizard of Oz and it seems darkly appropriate. This one...well...it's clearly begging to be seen in a certain state of mind, and far be it from me to argue with Neil Gaiman. Trip balls right HERE...

Alright, that's enough of that. I got more overdue stories to write, including my thoughts on The Batman. Until next time, in the illustrious words of DJ Bitter Herb: Peace in the Middle.

14 June 2005

Maybe I'll Stop Calling It Stink Eye

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I had completely written off Red Eye as more teen horror cripe, especially after that first trailer. It seemed totally uninspired, aside from completely inplausible. how do you take someone hostage on a plane? I'll tell you a secret, Cillian Murphy isn't keeping her on the plane, it's 35,000 feet of empty space and the big hard pavement below that's doing that job. And while we're at it, what's up with horror/thrillers on planes these days? Red Eye, Flight Plan, Snakes On A Plane. (I refuse to call it Pacific Air 1152.3566 or whatever they've renamed it to. I don't see how you can possible top the title Snakes On A Plane.)

Anyway, like I said, at first glance this movie did nothing for me. But they popped out a new trailer and I have to say that it actually looks watchable. I really like the playful, romantic tone they set in the beginning before they try to pull the rug out from under you. And I have to admit that the plot, while hardly ground-breaking, doesn't sound quite as contrived as it did before, and judging from the car chases, it looks like they do manage to get off the plane eventually.

There's really no arguing the talent of the two leads either. Murphy and Rachel McAdams are both fantastic talents and I think this is actually a pretty decent project for each of them to be doing at this point in their careers. Murphy keeps up his creepy Batman vibe and McAdams fills out the strong, kind-hearted heroine, but now with darker hair, which is, in fact, way hotter.

So check it out. Certainly not Oscar material, but a good Halloweeny date movie? Methinks so...

Check Out The Creepy Hand In The Window...

13 June 2005

Expand Your Horizons

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I am a total sucker for movie lists. The majority of "The Greatest Films In The History Of TIME" are utter bullshit. Most either choose to praise films that everybody already loves or they intentionally bury the typical greats and make absurd, ridiculous selections solely for the purpose of stirring up debate. Either way, alot of really GREAT films tend to get totally overlooked. Case in point: Requiem For A Dream is arguable one of the greatest films of the last decade, and I rarely see it on any of these "Best Of" lists.

No, the movie lists that really get to me are the more specialized lists, like "50 Greatest Action Movies" or "100 Best Film Romances". When the lists are forced to be specific, it seems to help the organizers to really focus on the cream of the crop. Well, the boys over at CHUD have resurrected a list they made up back when they used to write for the now-defunct Movie Insider magazine: 100 Movies That Deserve More Love.

That's a fantastic list to draw up because it not only fosters a good deal of debate, but such a list will, by nature, open you the reader up to a few choice films you may not have otherwise encountered on your own. Personally I think there are a few gems on this list, (e.g. The Iron Giant could ALWAYS use more love...) but since it is reprinted from a magazine that no longer exists, I would argue that the list needs to be updated.

So faithful readers, I put it to you: Take a gander at the list and drop a comment. What are some more movies that need "more love"?

"Put your sugar in my bowl..."

09 June 2005

Quentin and Rodriguez At It Again

Hey guys, it's Donnie...well pass me a glass of warm Chango and crank up the projector, cuz I'm pretty stoked for this. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are gonna keep riding the collaboration train to cinematic glory. Their next project is called Grind House. What's a grind house you ask? Grind house refers to a specific type of movie house: dark, dank, dirty and probably smelling of urine. They were prevelant in big cities in the 70s and they showed cheap, indie, gore infested horror flicks that no "respectable theater" would dare to show. So instead, QT and RR are gonna force it down their throats.

Grind House will consist of two horror flicks, one by Quentin and one by Rodriquez, each running roughly an hour. At the outset and between each flick will be some (fictional) trailers, all made by other directors TBA. Both flicks are gonna be shot in Austin TX, and it will all be done digitally and then fucked with in post to give it a grainy, saturated, film stock quality. Hell, they're even going to insert a few intentional "bad splices" and shit like that.

Finally, and I think this might be my favorite part, in California, QT's flick will play first. In Texas, Rodriguez's flick will play first. Everywhere else? It's the projectionist's discretion, as is the order of the trailers. How insane is that? Talk about a great way to replicate the environment.

The flick was announced last week, which means that Rodriguez's flick should be done by tomorrow night, while QT probably won't get around to his until late 2007. Either way, hopefully will be in for crazy shit like this picture I found when I searched for "grind house"...

We3 Kicks Your Ass To The Kennel

Hey guys, it's Donnie...until recently, I had never heard of Grant Morrison, which isn't surprising since I don't follow the comic world all that closely. That being said, I've gotta track down some of this guy's work, which apparantly includes a story about Wyle E. Coyote as a metaphor for Christ. (Does that make Road Runner the Anti-Christ?)

Well, the guy just kicked off a brand spankin' new comic property called We3, and if I'm talking about it, then someone must be putting it on the big screen. Savvy reasoning, my readers. Yes, Don Murphy (who's also a producer on the upcoming live action Transformers movie) has grabbed up the movie rights to this burgeoning comic after only one issue.

So, what exactly is We3 about? Well, I think before I try to explain it, I should share the tagline with you:

"Nature gave them teeth and claws. Man gave them guns."


We3 is the story of three housepets, a dog, a cat and a rabbit who were taken into a government program and trained to kill. With heavy artillery. Yes, government trained housepet assasins in armored suits and voice modulators. The first issue picks up with the crew on their last mission before they are "decommissioned". The pet squad doesn't want to go along with the plan, so they bust out in search of freedom etc.

Mull that one over for a minute.

I think this is incredible. Imagine Homeward Bound minus all that "Cats rule, dogs drool" crap and replaced with automatic weapons. I can only hope that Murphy and Co. don't attempt to defang the thing and make it some super-cutesy kids movie. I want to see a ultraviolent We3. I want to see Bandit the dog dispatching his enemies with no mercy.

I'm definitely gonna keep my eye on this thing. Let's see where it goes from here....

08 June 2005

Layer Cake

Hey everybody, it's Bill. I thought I'd try to beat Donnie to the punch for a change and throw out a few quick thoughts about Layer Cake.

I .. didn't really like it that much. I know Donnie did, because I saw it with him, but it just didn't do it for me. I was expecting (or at least hoping for) a Lock Stock or a Snatch, but instead I got Traffic meets Lock Stock meets Butterfly Effect (which I've never seen, by the way) meets Remington Steele with a side of Chief O'Brien.

I really wanted the characters to be better developed. I really wanted the music to be better chosen. I really wanted to see less of the main character brooding. And I really really wanted to see more of the blond chick. Really really.

As far as the plot goes, well, I thought it was a sound premise, but the execution felt a bit rushed to me. I think this ties in with what I felt was a lack of establishment--perhaps I just expect Guy Ritchie to beat me over the head with stuff. Or maybe drug movies by definition aren't as amusing as theft movies.

I mean, it's not that I disliked it, but I just didn't like it as much as either Lock Stock or Snatch, both of which I really enjoyed, even on just the first watching. What's more, I liked both more and more each time I saw them. I get the feeling that if I were to see Layer Cake again I might start to dislike it or maybe just doze off--it's the pace: the other two had momentum. This one just hurried.

Oh yeah and the ending really sucked. That was stupid.

Nobody Watches The Watchmen

Hey guys, it's Donnie...it's been a LOOONG day full of updates and I promised a full length rant about this last week. Well....ya'll are gonna hafta wait a little longer cuz right now I'm wiped and I have to go to Job #2 in a little bit. I'm looking forward to a little Casino Royale and hopefully some Razor's Edge as well. I love having a job where I get to watch like six movies a week. Thank God for Netflix.

Anyway, this came over the wire yesterday and I know that some of you are really interested in what's going on in the world of the Watchmen. Well, right now..........not a whole lot. Seems Paramount couldn't resolve their budgetary concerns with their doubts as to the box office viability of the property and they've since dropped the project.

But FEAR NOT! Paul Greengrass and Co. are holding steadfast. The entire preproduction crew is still in place, along with the spectacular script and they are now shopping the project around to other production comapanies. Maybe they should pull a Microsoft and have their couriers dress up like Rorshach...

In the wake of my recent rant about projects getting rushed through to production before they're ready to go, I actually have absolutely no problem with Paramount passing on Watchmen (even if they essentially chose to produce Mission Impossible 3 instead) because I feel that it's just another step to getting this film made right. We don't want to see Watchmen rushed through to production and hamstringed by less-than-adequate budget. (Paramount wanted to do it for under $100 million, which I can't imagine would effer be sufficient.)

Like I said, I'll go into Watchmen in greater detail later, but right now I really feel that the team in place is the right team to make this movie the way it should be made, and if I have to wait a few more months or even a year, then I'll wait, and wait happily.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on Layer Cake and Lords of Dogtown, two films that, despite their various issues, I immensely enjoyed.

Another Reason For Spielberglove

Hey guys, it's Donnie...as if you needed another reason to go see War of the Worlds, Peter Jackson has announced that we'll all get our first tastes of King Kong along with our tripod aliens. There are no real details as to exactly what this teaser trailer will contain as far as imagery, but personally I'd be happy with nothing more than some titles and one hero shot of Kong on Skull Island, screaming from atop the pummelled corpse of a T-Rex.

War Of The Worlds opens on June 29th and the trailer should go online the day before, but, come on now, wouldn't you rather see Kong nice and proper on the big screen with sound that shakes you to the core? I certainly would.

PS I can't wait for War of the Worlds to find its way onto DVD, which, at this rate, will probably be right around Labor Day. I really hope there's a featurette that shows the meeting with Spielberg telling all his effects guys that they're gonna start and finish a blockbuster film of tremendous scale in under a year. I'm sure there was much laughing...followed by much crying...followed by throwing things around the room in anger and frustration.

Master Cheif Is Here And He Has A Screenplay...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...and this is simply astounding. I'm sure you've all heard the old cliche story about the pizza delivery guy who hands out copies of his screenplay with your order and I can assure you that such things do, indeed, happen. While I was in LA, I saw not one, but TWO billboards put up by some guy trying to get NBC to buy his idea for a sitcom. Actors send strippers to casting directors in the hopes of scoring a job. But this....well....

Alex Garland (writer of The Beach and 28 Days Later) recently turned in his script for the big screen adaptation of Halo to the powers that be at Bungie and Microsoft. They were pretty happy with what they read and so they sent copies out to all the big studios looking for production financing. How did they send the script out, you ask? Fax? FedEx? Bike Messenger? Nope. Bungie and Microsoft had every copy of the script hand delivered...by a courier dressed like Master Cheif.

Yup. That's right.

Not only that, but apparantly Master Cheif is handing out some pretty strict stipulations along with these scripts: Microsoft and Bungie want $10 million up front against a 15% gross, and they want developmental control. They've already drawn up a "bible" of what material from the games can and cannot be used in a feature adaptation. Oh yeah, and they wanna start principal photography in six months.

Someone in Seattle has lost their marbles. Look, Halo is a great game and it's clearly begging to be put on the big silver screen, but no production company in their right mind would agree to demands like this, especially when the one doing the demanding is a guy in a plastic battle suit. DreamWorks and New Line have both passed and I say kudos to them. I'm sick of great film properties being rushed into production before they're ready to go. It's what happened to Fantastic Four, it's what's about to happen to X3, and apparantly Halo is next on the slab. Studios are so anxious to pump out their next blockbuster that they totally sacrifice quality and they end up with "Planet Of The Apes Syndrome": A huge opening weekend where everyone shows up, discovers that the movie sucks, and then nobody shows up to watch in the following weeks. Now you've got a pissed off fan base and a shitty film with no sequel possibilities. Don't you see studios? You're really just robbing yourself of future moneymaking opportunities! Patience is a virtue motherfuckers!

Ah well...

The 80s (Try To) Return!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...and I'm happy to report that the 1980s will NEVER DIE. Oh man. I watched Short Circuit this weekend, and boy do I miss some of the cinema style of the 80s. I'm super excited for the TV movie of The Posiedon Adventure mostly because it stars the totally underrated Steve Guttenberg, who is totally due for a Travolta-esque comeback. I think the real question is exactly how much do I miss 80s movies?

Enough to want to see a follow up to Goonies? Absolutely.

How about a Beetlejuice sequel? Sure, why not.

16 Candles Part Deux? I guess so....

News on potential sequels to all three of these 80s staples surfaced this weekend, and what do I think? I think that all of these sequel rumors were propagated by out of work actors. Jeff Cohen, (aka Chunk, self-hating inventor of the Truffle Shuffle) Michael Keaton, (trying unsuccessfully to claw his way out of bad movie jail) and Molly Ringwald (who I last saw in a feature film spoofing herself) all gave interviews or spoke at press events this weekend saying that they're interested in bringing back some of their more notable performances.

Look, I'd be willing to shell out some cash for a new Goonies and I could probably even be convinced to go see a new Beetlejuice. I think that 17 Candles (please let that be the title) is pretty much totally unnecessary, although it would be a great way to find the next Anthony Michael Hall. What are the odds of any of these projects actually happening? I think they're pretty slim, but then again Wargames 2.0 is on the move. Maybe I should dust off my spec script for Breakin' 3: Revenge of the Boogaloo...

Pink Panther Still In Hiding

Hey guys, it's Donnie...here with an update on another one of those projects that should be utterly brilliant but will, in fact, be utter garbage. I've been on something of a Peter Sellers kick recently, (tonight I'll be watching Casino Royale) especially after watching the wonderful Life and Death of Peter Sellers starring Geoffrey Rush. However, to say that I'm only vaguely excited for the remake starring Steve Martin would be overstating, which is a shame because Steve Martin is the perfect person to take over for Peter Sellers. Unfortunately, the film needs "The Jerk Steve Martin" and it's gonna get "Cheaper By The Dozen Steve Martin".

Bah. Twenty years ago, Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy were two of the funniest, edgiest comedians on the scene. Now, they've devolved into family-friendly toothless shadows of their former selves. Murphy recently confirmed that he has been speaking to Quentin Tarantino about a role in Inglorious Bastards, and Martin does have Shopgirl coming out later this year, but both need to pick up another quality project or two before they get totally written off.

Anyway, my original point was that The Pink Panther remake continues to play musical time slots. Originally slated for this summer, then pushed to September, then bumped back up to August, and now pushed back once again to February. Sony claims that the move has something to do with giving their marketing department some breathing room in the wake of their recent acquisition of MGM and doesn't have anything to do with unsuccessful test screenings.

I'm sure someone believed them...

06 June 2005

The Rat Is The New X-Man

Hey guys, it's Donnie...

Yes, confirmed, official, definite, the truth, reality:

Brett Ratner has signed on the dotted line and will, in fact, be directing X3.

Perhaps this is the beginning of the passing of the torch. As Marvel's X-Men and Spiderman wind down with what will most likely be solid but flawed third films, (Spidey is still up in the air...) DC's Batman and Superman are shaping up to be spectacular. I hear that Batman Begins is utterly fantastic and unlike the last few Batman abominations, it is really fucking scary, and I'm all for that. I'm all for a Dark Knight who actually scares the crap out of criminals. That was, after all, the point of the Batsuit, to inspire fear in the heart of evil.

Man am I excited about that. I'm beginning to care less and less about X3, although the battle royale that will take place between X3 and Superman Returns next summer is likely to be one of the greatest film release rivalries in recent memory.

The Talking Car That Almost Wasn't

Hey guys, it's Donnie...when I was a kid, I went on vacation with my family and we spent a day at Universal Studios. While there, I got to sit in not only the A Team van, but the Back To The Future DeLorean and Knight Industries Two Thousand, aka KITT from Knight Rider. It got me thinking...imagine if you could somehow combine all of those cars into one SuperUltraCar? Just think about it, a talking, time traveling car with BA Baracus and Mad Dog Murdoch in the back seat...good lord, the possibilities are endless.

Anyway, apparently the inimitable German sex icon David Hasselhoff gave an interview with a local TV station where he claimed that the big screen adaptation of Knight Rider is back on track after a two year battle with the studio over.....whether or not the car should talk.

Yes, that's right, apparently some brilliant young studio exec seemed to be operating under the opinion that if you're going to make a movie based on a TV show, then you should remove the only element of the show that made people watch it in the first place. What did they think would be the big audience draw of a Knight Rider movie, the box office star power of Hasselhoff? Of course the car has to talk, and I'll take it one step further: Not only does the car have to talk, but Mr. Feeny has to be the voice of the car, otherwise it's not really Knight Rider. It's just another movie about a guy and a talking car, an empty shadow at best. They can update the car (I'd be surprised if they didn't) and they can get Ashton Kutcher (apparently Hasselhoff's favorite to fill his shoes), but KITT must talk and have the same reliable voice. I wouldn't mind a little super pursuit mode either...

Now I'm going to go mourn the loss of my Knight Rider Season 1 DVD, complete with Knight Rider 2000, which just about any feature film would have to improve upon...

03 June 2005


Wut up, it's Bill.

This is just gonna be a quickie entry, inspired largely by the baseball gun at the end of the BlueTights clip from a recent post of Don's. Anyways, I agree--let's can up some of them digital effects.

I saw Star Wars again today (Episode III)--my mom wanted to go. Now, understand that my mom is one of those people who, after a sci-fi movie, will ask you questions on the way from the theater to the car that make you sincerely wonder what movie SHE saw, because no way no how was it the same movie YOU just saw. That being said, she made a comment in addition to the questions I was expecting (Who are the Sith? Who are the Jedi? Ewan MacGregor is handsome .. how does he become Darth Vader? How is he related to Mark Hamill?), a comment that made me think about things a little: "I'M SO BORED WITH THESE EFFECTS. IT ISN'T SO FANTASTIC ANY MORE. I MEAN, I REMEMBER BACK IN THE 70s IT WAS A BIG DEAL, BUT NOW IT'S OLD HAT." Or something to that effect.

Anyways, the point is that regardless of how technically superior the new effects may be in comparison to the old ones, somehow the old Star Wars effects still seem more impressive to me. Maybe I just like models and puppets instead of CGI.

That must be it. As a side note I watched Short Circuit last night---yup, I like real effects. They just seem more endearing to me, more genuine in a way. And in movies like Star Wars, where being loyal and moral and whatever the hell else is such a central theme, where the battle between good and evil is ok until somebody gets confused and can't tell one from the other, George Lucas should try to be as genuine as possible.

Don't get me wrong--the effects were well done; Episode I Yoda sucks in comparison to Ep II or III Yoda. But Ep II/III Yoda has nothing on Return of the Jedi Yoda. Let's be serious. It's just that something about Star Wars has become very business, very corporate--not bad, but just a bit less fun.
Little Giant Ladder