29 July 2005

BlueTights Continues To Tease

Hey guys, it's Donnie...This has got to be what crackheads feel like. Don't get me wrong, I love the guys at BlueTights, but would they PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD POST THE DAMN COMICCON REEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good to get that out of my system.

In all reality, I'm sure it's the people at Warners and not the BlueTights guys that are holding up releasing the footage online, although I can't for the life of me think of a good reason why. In the meantime, we get another video diary to hold us over. Think of this as the mozarella sticks before your big fuckin steak. They're tasty, but really you just want the meat.

In Diary 20 we learn all about their previs process. For those that are unaware, previsualization is basically using simple computer images to plot out a scene before you shoot it. It allows the special effects folks to get an early jump on the ball, as well as allowing the director to basically play with different visual ideas before they get on the set with the actors and the fading light and whatnot. It's an incredibly helpful step that has basically revolutionized the filmmaking process. This is how Steven Spielberg was able to complete War Of The Worlds in as short a time as he did without making his effects guys' heads explode.

The manner in which they're doing the previs on Superman is breathtaking. The amount of detail they're putting in, scanning in Brandon's face so the model actually looks like him, the way he maneuvers while flying, it just boggles the mind. I also think it's incredibly smart of them to previs the flying sequences with the motion control rig present so that they can get a better sense of exactly what Brandon will and will not be able to do. This sort of focused, detailed work laid out over a long production schedule is what's going to make this film truly amazing. Conversely, it's the lack of this type of work that's going to sink X3.

Click it here to bodysurf the skies...

The Faces and Trailers Of Nicholas Cage

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Nicholas Cage has not one, but two, count 'em TWO new trailers online. One kicks ass and one, well...

Bad news first: The Ghost Rider trailer most definitely leaves something to be desired...that something specifically being Ghost Rider himself. This is only a teaser, and I understand that the majority of the effects shots are still incomplete, but it's still fairly disappointing to watch a trailer for Ghost Rider and only see a fleeting glimpse of flaming skull, a flaming skull which looks piss poor, but I'm willing to attribute that to being an unfinished effect. Wes Bentley, well, he's evil, and you can tell cuz he has black eyeliner and he speaks in a raspy voice. Cuz he's evil. Get it? Peter Fonda looks okay, although we don't see too much of him. Eva Mendes...well she's got nice hoo-hoos doesn't she? At least Sam Elliot looks cool. It's still early, but I'm disappointed nonetheless. Oh yeah, you need Quicktime 7 to watch this puppy, but it's a quick and easy download from Apple.

Click it here for pointy-haired Nic Cage on a bike.

Good news second: The Lord Of War trailer is all kinds of badass. I really loved the poster for this when it premiered a few weeks back, but the trailer totally sold me. Cage plays an arms dealer at the tail end of the Cold War, a guy who sells to everyone and has no qualms about it. Then I think he gets some qualms (along with Bridget Moynahan) and has to make some changes. Or not. It's a little vague, but I actually really like that about the trailer. I'm not exactly sure what's gonna happen in this one. Either way, it's got a great cast (Ethan Hawke and Jared Leto are also along for the ride) and an unflinching sense of style. I particularly enjoy the actor credits here, as well as the title shot. This one hits theaters September 30th, which means it's gonna have to fight with Serenity over the $10 in my wallet.

Click it here for slicked-back-haired Nicholas Cage with lots of Guns.

Spader's Secretary And Gibson's Hooker Onboard For Stone's 9/11

Hey guys, it's Donnie...The cast continues to expand on Oliver Stone's 9/11 picture, and so far I'm tremendously happy with the direction it's taking. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Maria Bello have signed on to play the wives of Michael Pena and Nicholas Cage, respectively. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a fantastic actress. She's so simple, and yet there's an elegance there, a sort of luminescant quality. Maria Bello tends to vary a little from picture to picture. I can't think of a performance of hers that I've disliked, but she often gets overshadowed by her co-stars. But I love her in Payback and her work in The Cooler is also pretty fantastic.

That being said, I think both of these actresses are a good match for their fictional husabnds. I can very easily see each of them together. If Stone can continue to assemble a cast of this caliber, I think we're gonna be in for a real treat. Shooting is scheduled to begin this fall in New York. My question is whether or not he plans on waiting till after the 11th to start shooting...

The Harbingers Of DOOM

Hey guys, it's Donnie...First4Figures has been toiling away on the creature work for the upcoming DOOM movie, and it looks as if the hard work is gonna pay off. I really enjoy that most of the creature work was done practically, and the knowledge that Doug Jones (Hellboy's Abe Sapien) is hiding behind all that slimey latex just makes me all tingly in the cockles of my heart, or maybe the sub-cockles....

The folks at First4Figures have posted some creature stills on their website and I like them. You have to take into account that most all practical creature work of this nature is gonna look much better in motion than in digital stills, so to a certain extent, I'm taking these images cum grano salis. Either way, this is still pretty early stuff, but I think it shows great promise.

Click it here for Demon Autopsy fun!

28 July 2005

X3: Kitty Pryde Is (An Un)Known

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I have to say that this sounds like the smartest move Brett Ratner has made since he took over the X3 production. Kitty Pryde has officially been cast and she is...unknown 15 year old Canadian actress Ellen Page. Her only big projects to date have been a Canadian TV show called Trailer Park Boys and an independant film called Hard Candy. Pretty little lass, ain't she?

As I said, I really like this move, for a couple of reasons. First off, Kitty Pryde has been seen walking through walls and whatnot in the previous X-Men movies, although she was never actually referred to by name. Also, I haven't seen Lost, so I'm unfamiliar with Maggie Grace, but I know that a number of people were pretty excited about her theoretical involvement. However, Kitty, to the best of my knowledge, was always significantly younger than the rest of the X-Men, and casting Grace would have obviously forced them to alter that part of the character, so I'm glad that they're keeping her young. Besides, she was always a romantic foil of Colossus, so casting a known actress could have dramatically overshadowed Daniel Cudmore, whose work in X2 I really liked, brief though it was.

Between Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde and Ben Foster as Angel, (check him out in Hostage) that's two really solid decisions by Ratner in the last two weeks. That being said, he's certainly not out of the woods yet. Principle photography starts in one week in Vancouver and they've still yet to cast Warren Worthington (Angel's father) and I hear that certain aspects of the production, including the script, are significantly behind schedule. I really just wish they would push the opening back a bit and give the production team a little room to breath. My biggest fear has never been Ratner; it's the fact that this movie comes out in 10 months and they still haven't finished the script or cast one of the major characters, let alone started rolling film.

Ah well. At least we have Superman Returns to look forward to...

More Spidey Villian Rumors

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Ya know, someday when I'm a successful actor and I get put in a position of knowing some top secret movie info that would drive fanboys crazy, I'm totally gonna mess with their heads.

Some rumors broke late yesterday that Thomas Hayden Church's character will not be Sandman as previously mentioned, but will actually be The Cameleon. He'll be masquerading as a professor at Peter's college, as well as presumably taking on Peter's persona at some point to get some sweet MJ-lovin'. Also, apparantly he's going to have a brother as a set-up to introduce Kraven The Hunter in a later film, and Harry Osbourne will pull an Anakin Skywalker and become the new Green Goblin at the film's end.

Now, as I've said, this is all rumor. There's little to no evidence that any of this is actually true, and I'd say there's quite a bit of evidence that it's not true. I've heard multiple reports of Sam Raimi doing screen tests that involve blowing sand around a sound stage. I'm not quite ready to jump on board this one yet, but not ready to completely rule it out either.

Thomas Hayden Church also appeared on Leno last night and despite Jay's best efforts, he would not reveal his character's identity. Apparantly he hasn't even told his mother. He did however, provide some sketches of characters that he will NOT be playing including Man Of 1000 Chins, The Period, Gorilla In A Man Suit, and Centaffe (part centapede, part giraffe).

However, he did say that they will start shooting in January and that principle photography should be wrapped by next June. He's also been gaining some weight and muscle recently. he's now up to 185 lbs, although it's unclear whether his new physical regimen is Spidey related or not...

Trailertown: Home Of Confederate Soccer

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I found two very interesting trailers this morning, one that I'd been anticipating for a while, and one that totally blindsided me.

The first is Green Street Hooligans, formerly just Hooligans. It's the story of Elijah Wood getting kicked out of Harvard and going to spend some time in London with his sister, Claire Forlani. (Sidenote: As of today, she's officially onboard Dr. Uwe Boll's latest abomination Dungeon Siege. So sad...) While there, he gets mixed up with some rabid futbol fanatics and eventually becomes part of the gang. Presumably he learns something about loyalty and growing up in between beat downs of opposing fans. I've actually heard a tremendous amount of positive feedback from those who have seen the film and am really hoping it makes its way to Boston. However, since they've been unable to find a distributor, that's not gonna make their life any easier. Maybe it'll hit the Boston Film Fest in September.

Click it here to see Frodo get a badass tat!

I also stumbled upon this little gem, and I have to say, it knocked me on my ass. It's called C.S.A. The Confederate States of America. It's a fictional British documentary chronicling the post war history of an America in which the south won the civil war. It looks like it goes on to draw some very interesting hypotheticals. I don't know if I really buy into slavery infomercials, I feel like at some point the CSA might have drawn significant international pressure to abolish slavery later on down the road. However, the point about Hitler inviting the CSA to ally with him in WWII certainly seems possible. I particularly like the "Jewish reservation" bit, and the sepia clips of Lincoln getting shot in the ass that were apparantly made by an unapologetic D.W. Griffith. This thing could be really lame or really brilliant, but either way I feel like it might make me stop and think for a minute, so I have respect for any film that makes people consider alternate viewpoints. It premiered at Sundance last year, and it looks as if IFC Films just picked it up for distribution, so start scanning your small local theater listings. No word on a release date yet.

Click it here to order your very own Shackle! Perfect for children!

Frank Miller Brings My Latin Class To The Big Screen

Hey guys, it's Donnie...While Alan Moore's comic properties still await the film that will overcome mediocrity, (V For Vendetta perhaps?) Frank Miller is living the high life. While Robert Rodriguez gears up for the sequel to Sin City, Zach Snyder is now officially onboard to helm Frank Miller's 300, an ancient Greek battle story. I vaguely remember the story itself from my high school Latin classes, in that I remember it being a tremendous pain in the ass to translate. Then again I never really enjoyed Latin all that much to begin with.

The story centers around the battle of Thermopylae, one of the most incredible "last stands" in the history of time. Amazon tells us...
It is historical fact. In 481-480 B.C., King Xerxes of Persia raised forces in Asia and Africa and invaded Greece with an army so huge that it "drank rivers dry." Then they entered the mountain pass of Thermopylae and encountered 300 determined soldiers from Sparta....
Snyder is the talented young filmmaker who delivered the remake of Dawn Of The Dead which far surpassed everyone's expectations. I remember people getting all kinds of pissed off, complaining that they weren't going to be "real zombies" and how the studio was totally going to bastardize one of the greatest zombie flicks of all time. Most of the naysayers still complained about the fast zombies (that debate is going to rage on for the next decade at least) but even those people had to admit that the rest of the movie was actually pretty damn cool, even if significantly different from the original. This time around it looks like he's going to be taking the Rodriguez approach, donig a direct translation, comic panel to film frame, instead of a broad adaptation. The whole thing will be shot on a stage in Vancouver, so at the very least, we should get a classic battle tale with a different visual feel than most.

300 looks to be Snyder's first follow up to Dawn, although according to IMDB he's also attached to the big screen version of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six.

27 July 2005

Lex Luthor Likes Long Walks On The Beach...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...the good folks at Superman Homepage have snagged some exclusive pics of Lex Luthor and Kitty Kowalski (aka Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey) frolicking along the shoreline while filming scenes for Superman Returns. We've already seen some fantastic stills (and footage!) of Luthor's massive waterfront manor, so perhaps this scene is supposed to take place at Luthor's home. Personally, I don't remember Metropolis having alot of beachside property, but it's still early enough that everything's a little out of context, so who knows. Maybe this is Lex's summer home.

Either way, the important part is that Spacey looks fanfuckingtastic as Luthor, just as most folks thought he would. The specifics of Kitty Kowalski's role are still somewhat unknown. She certainly seems anagolous to the Miss Tessmacher of old, and since Kumar himself, Kal Penn, is playing Luthor's assistant Stanford, it appears that Singer may be modeling the Luthor-Kowalski-Stanford relationship after the Luthor-Tessmacher-Otis relationship from the Donner films.

Click it here to see Kevin Spacey hide his face in a clever manner.
(Be patient, I think that the folks at Superman Homepage are getting a bit more traffic than their servers can handle.)

The stills are nice, but I'm still waiting semi-patiently for the ComicCon reel. Hopefully it'll make its way online before Vincent Chase and co arrive at the fictional ComicCon on this week's Entourage, a show that I can't recommend enough, especially for those interested in the film industry.


Hey guys, it's Donnie...Before Halo, before Goldeneye, Before UT, before Quake, there was DOOM. Remember DOOM? "It's like Wolfenstein, but with demons instead of Nazis." As a kid I remember hearing that the U.S. military used the Doom engine to build a simulator in order to train soldiers to develop better hand-eye coordination. Come to think of it, my computer still has a shareware copy of Doom on it somewhere. I should totally play a few levels tonight.

But why all this incoherent rambling? Because, dear friends, the trailer for the upcoming DOOM movie has hit the web and it is.......okay. Seriously, it's dark as all hell (as in tone) and it's dark as all hell (as in light bulbs) and it's only a teaser, so we don't see too much yet; it's mostly set-up. But I'm told that the folks at ComicCon had the exact same reaction: "That looks okay..." What really kicked their ass was the FPS sequence, which isn't online yet. But even when it does go online, I might not watch it, or at least I might not watch the whole thing, because I've never been a spoiler-whore. Either way, my hopes remain pretty high for this one.

There's also a nice little series of clips edited together from the ComicCon panel that's worth watching if you've got about 14 minutes to spare. The very end is pretty damn funny if I do say so myself.

Click it here for Karl Urban and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson decent-ness.

PS I had trouble with the downloading, so your best bet may be to stream the video. Hell, it even works on Firefox through my office firewall. Go IGN!

X3 Starts Rolling...Sort of...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Some folks out in the San Fransisco area reported seeing the X3 crew out filming some stuff around Alcatraz Island earlier this week, leading I'm sure at least one person to dress up in yellow spandex and make a fool of themselves, but alas and alack, the crew at Alcatraz was only the second unit, and what they were filming was actually for the teaser trailer, which someone on the crew said will probably make its way to theaters around Christmas time.

However, filming for the actual movie is set to begin in little over a week. The powers that be recently held a big casting call in Victoria, Canada. They are apparantly looking for people of just about every size, age and gender, so it looks like they'll be filming some big crowd scenes up north.

It seems that one of the major set pieces from the script that nobody likes takes place in San Francisco and has something to do with the Golden Gate Bridge, so that's probably not a good sign in terms of this movie not sucking balls. But it really is still far too early to tell, so we'll just have to wait and hope. Desperately hope.

5-25-77 on 8-02-05

Hey guys, it's Donnie...One day in high school someone put flyers up all over campus that said "GO HOME AND WATCH ANGUS...AND LEARN SOMETHING."

It wasn't me. Seriously, it wasn't.

However, I do really enjoy Angus, which, sadly enough, does not yet exist on DVD. Anyway, the guy behind it, Patrick Read Johnson (who also wrote/directed Spaced Invaders, a guilty pleasure from my childhood. "Prepare to die Earth scum!") has been working on his latest flick seemingly forever. It's called 5-25-77. (For you less-than-ubergeeks, that's the date that the original Star Wars was released.) The movie is quasi-autobiographical and details Johnson's quest to see the movie on opening day and how his life would be forever changed from that day forward.

Not only does the movie star John Francis Daley, aka the younger brother from Freaks and Geeks, but it also stars Christopher Lloyd, most of the cast of Angus, (sans Dawson) and Kenneth Mitchell, who was decent in Miracle, as the great John Dykstra, visual effects supervisor for the first Star Wars, who developed the first computer controlled motion-control system. Also, I'm pretty sure that the director cameos as his own father, which is pretty damn funny.

Johnson will be showing a 35 minute preview of the flick at the Midwest Independent Film Festival in Chicago on August 2nd. Still no word on when or if it'll ever get a wide release, but I have a really good feeling about this one and anxiously await the day it makes its way to Boston. Click it here to check out the official website which is full of some fantastic stills. Quint at AICN called it Dazed and Confused for geeks, and after cruising the stills gallery, I have to agree. Nods to 2001, Close Encounters, ET...what's not to love?

Return To The Black Lagoon

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Despite the nuclear holocaust that was Van Helsing, it looks like not all the classic Universal Monsters are truly dead. Universal has greenlit a remake of The Creature From The Black Lagoon, which was actually supposed to reside in a moat in an early draft of Van Helsing, and thank god he was spared such torture.

Not only is the picture moving, but apparantly there's already some cast attached. Ron Howard spoke to CNN on Tuesday during the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery (because far be it from CNN to speak to actual space experts when you could talk to Opie about a movie he made 10 years ago...) and Howard said let slip two things: first, that he would like to do another space movie, but a futuristic adventure story, and personally I think it's past time for him to stop making period movies. However, secondly and more importantly, he said that Bill Paxton will appear alongside The Creature.

Game over man! Game over!

26 July 2005

Zathura Trailer...Take Erasive Action!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...the concept behind Jumanji is certainly a cool one, however I was never really a fan of wild animals, jungles, or family-friendly Robin Williams, (coked-out-of-his-head Robin Williams on the other hand...) so the execution was somewhat lost on me. However, Jumanji in outer space...awesome. The extended ComicCon trailer for Zathura hit the web this morning, and shortly after watching it I organized a good sized office viewing party for the space shuttle launch, which was totally fucking awesome.

Anyway, click it here to see lots of cool stuff from Jon Favreau's latest, Zathura, chock full of robots, lizard men, and Dax Shepherd. I'm a huge fan of Favreau, and his recent interview with CHUD where talked about using practical effects for the movie whenever humanly possible instead of relying on the CGI crutch just elevates my respect for him as a filmmaker. And I have to say that it looks like his attention to detail pays off, cuz the effects look fantastic.

Click it here to play the mystical boardgame made of tin...

NOTE: The trailer is being hosted by AOL Moviefone, which sucks. In an effort to better guage how often people watch the trailer, once it starts playing, you're unable to pause and rewind it and play it again. So if you wanna watch it again when it's over, or if you miss something, you have to reload the page itself, otherwise the video freezes and you get nothing but audio. It sucks, I know. If they weren't running Quicktime they'd be totally worthless. But check it out anyway, it's worth it.

Voltron vs. Optimus Prime

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Well apparantly all hell has broken loose in the world of giant shape shifting robot movies. Word has it that shortly after ComicCon, some sort of feud has broken out amongst the various producing powers of the Transformers film. Lorenzo di Bonaventura recently gave an interview with iesb.net in which he rejected the idea of having the original cartoon voice actors reprise their roles for the film and went on to say that there are two drafts of the film, one centered around the robots and one centered around the kid, and they are currently trying to find a balance between the two.

Don Murphy heard this and went nuts. He started a thread on the message boards of his website saying that there is no screenplay and that di Bonaventura doesn't know what he's talking about, how he's "the producer Paramount brought on". Apparantly the thread got so ugly that it was moved from the Transformers section to the Apt Pupil section, and now seems to be removed all together. Murphy then asserts that, in the wake of The Island's less-than-stellar performance at the box office, Michael Bay may soon drop out of the film, and even went so far as to ask message board posters to start listing their preferences for a replacement director.

Then, amidst all this chaos, it was announced today that producer Mark Gordon and a bevy of other producers are coming together (no pun intended) to assemble (pun intended) a Voltron movie, presumably live action. Personally I was a huge fan of both properties as a kid, but in the wake of Power Rangers, I'd much rather see a Transformers movie than a Voltron movie. Voltron was cool, but it was also kind of...silly. Transformers has a far greater mythology behind it.

While I have no doubt that a Transformers movie is going to happen, it's immediate future is definitely a tad shaky, and that July 4th 2007 release date is going to start looming over their heads before long. Meanwhile, Voltron is still in the fetus stage. No director, no writers, no nothing, just some producers with some money and some old cartoon tapes. We'll see how it pans out...

Broken Lizard Goes Greek

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I remember an interview with the Broken Lizard guys I read way back when Club Dread was released. The boys said they were planning on tackling one of two projects next: either Beerfest about underground Beer Olympics or The Greek Road, an ancient Greek epic about Plato and Socrates , two wrestling team idiots, traveling to Olympus to compete in the Olympic Games while Zeus, Poseidon and Hades bet on whether or not they'll make it. After Club Dread failed to meet expectations at the box office, it looked like they were gonna have to do Beerfest before anyone would give them the budget to tackle a Greek epic.

Then Jay Chandrasekhar (Thornie) snagged the directing gig for The Dukes Of Hazard, and apparantly the Broken Lizard gentlemen wrote most, if not all, of the script, although the various guilds gave them some shit and they're not getting the screen credit for it. Either way, it looks like the work has paid off because Chandrasekhar told Comingsoon.net that The Greek Road will, in fact, be their next project, presumably followed up by Beerfest. The Broken Lizard homepage also says that they're getting ready to write a movie for Sean William Scott and perhaps pitch a TV series as well.

I think these guys are a great fresh voice in comedy today. They picked up the slack left by the demise of National Lampoon. I'm thrilled that they're getting good opportunities for future projects and I can't wait to see anything they're attached to. Hell, I might even go see Dukes if they wrote it. Also, Sky High opens this weekend and Farva plays the flying school bus driver. And I think we all remember what happened the last time Farva was around a bus full of kids...

The Titular Spielberg

Hey guys, it's Donnie....Spielberg has finally picked a title for his 1972 Munich Olympics film...Munich.


Hey, it's better than Vengeance...

...I guess.

25 July 2005

Remember That Southland Tales Storyboard From ComicCon?

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Remember that Southland Tales storyboard I mentioned that was shown at ComicCon? Well it's made its way online and it's....well....bizzarely awesome I suppose. If there's one thing that Richard Kelly knows how to do, it's promote his films via really sweet web design. There are currently three Southland Tales websites up and running: Here's the first one, which is now featuring the ComicCon storyboard. The second is the homepage for Sarah Michelle Gellar's porn star character, Krysta Now. Be sure to check out the lyrics for Krysta's song, "Teen Horniness Is Not A Crime". Oh man, I hope we get to see Buffy do a little song and dance. Finally is the actual site for the film, which has been up for just over a year now. They recently added a teaser poster, but other than that. the site is like a giant puzzle, and they keep adding more and more content over time. I've been checking it out somewhat compulsively recently, trying to put together all the bits of the puzzle while listening to that awesome music. I invite you to do the same. Tell me if you don't get frustrated once you hit the end...

Some Light Shed On Gibson's Apocolypto

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Last week we brought you news of Mel Gibson's next project Apocolypto, and all we knew was that it was set in the ancient past. Well now we have a little bit more detail...The flick will be set in the MAYAN culture, which, in my mind, is pretty fucking awesome. Not only that, but, ala Passion, the whole thing will be spoken in an obscure Mayan dialect. Gibson even plans on casting mostly local folks, local that is to....wherever it is he's gonna film.

Personally, I've always loved the ancient Mayan society. Not that I'm particularly well versed in Mayan history, but they were one of those curious anceint cultures that appears to have been mind-bogglingly advanced for its time. I'd love to see what Gibson can do with a setting as rich and vibrant as the Mayans. Last week I was fairly interested, but these new developments have got me totally psyched.

American History X Helmer Returns

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Tony Kaye is the director behind the absolutely stunning American History X, the dark film which not only features not only a great performance by Edward Norton, but it's only one of two movies in which I don't want to punch Eddie Furlong in the ear. (The other being Detroit Rock City, highly underrated.) After History X, Kaye kind of disappeared, but as of this morning, he's back. M8 Entertainment announced that Kay will be helming a new flick called Reaper, described to be in the vein of Blade Runner and Se7en.
Reaper tells the story of Virgil, a private investigator who finds himself recruited by the darkly beautiful and mysterious Delia. As he begins to work for Delia, Virgil finds himself suddenly immersed in a surreal underworld, one where the boundaries of life and death - as well as right and wrong -are completely blurred. This unlikely journey also reveals the harrowing answers to the fate of Virgil's own daughter.
I love American History X and would love to see more from Tony Kaye. I always get sad when a young new director puts out a kick ass movie and then drops off the face of the planet. Aside from that, the movie just sounds cool as shit. We'll be keeping tabs on this one...

Shiny New Superman Logo

Hey guys, it's Donnie...The Warners folks have released the final colored Superman logo. It's basically the same as the silver guy they released a fwe months back, but with all the proper colorization. It's not really all that shocking or surprising, I mean it looks exactly like it's supposed to, reminding me of the old AV adage, "If we're doing our job, no one should notice." I do like the texturing though, and hopefully we'll be getting a teaser poster soon, as well as the ComicCon reel. I'm also hearing whisperings of an actual teaser trailer to hit theaters this winter, possibly with King Kong, although I feel like Warners is more likely to throw it up in front of Harry Potter if it's ready in time...

Anyway, click it here for a nice High Res version of my new desktop image...

V For Vendetta Trailer Lays Seige To All

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I had a sneaking suspicion that the first of the major ComicCon trailers to hit the web would be V For Vendetta, and (aside from some bootlegged and rather unimpressive Transformers footage) it seems I was right.

The trailer is online now in lovely QT (and in High Def if you're running QT 7 and have a nice large display) While my roommate has proclaimed that "it looks like the worst comic book movie yet," I really rather like it. I think it sets a really nice, dark Orwellian tone, reminding me a bit of the highly underrated Equilibrium. Natalie Portman looks absolutely fantastic, (it's good to see that she isn't being punished for The Prequels...) while John Hurt as the zealous face of the politico, well, if I saw him everywhere I turned, I'd be scared as shit of my government too. Hugo Weaving...well he certainly sounds kick ass. He just continues to rack up great roles and great projects and I'm glad that the Matrix has treated him so well. And the end...talk about a great tagline. I'm really looking forward to this and I hope it doesn't turn out to be floater...

Click it here to dodge knives with vapor trails....

22 July 2005

Trailers: Musicians, "Musicians," And CGI Creatures

Hey guys, it's Donnie...A nice new plethora of trailers made their way online today, including an actor being a musician, a musician being an actor, and some cool looking creatures.

We'll start with the creatures: Shane Acker made a short animated film called 9, and you can go to his website and check out the trailer right here. The short has gotten a decent amount of attention, a few awards, and a screening at last weekend's ComicCon. Well apparantly he parlayed all those good vibes and got himself set up to direct a feature length version of his short, and got some serious names to step up to the producing plate, including Tim Burton. I like the look of the trailer, although I can't really figure out exactly what's going on. Either way, I'm excited.

Going in reverse order, we've also got a teaser for Get Rich Or Die Tryin. I really don't know how 50 Cent got Jim Sheridan to direct his movie, but he did it nonetheless, and visually it looks really rather nice. It's only a teaser, so it's still a little early to tell if the flick is gonna be any good, but I have a positive feeling. I feel like this is gonna end up being what 8 Mile came up short of. 50 Cent...I don't know man. But Terrence Howard looks pretty solid, as per normal.
Yahoo's got the scoop, so check it here yo.

Finally we've got Walk The Line, the Johnny Cash biopic starring Juaquin Pheonix as The Man In Black. Someone described it as "The Redneck Ray" and that seems to be a pretty fitting description to me. Pheonix looks pretty badass and Reese Witherspoon looks rather nice herself. She can definitely rock the brunette look. Whereas I've always been a big Ray Charles fan, I'm less familiar with the music of Johnny Cash, so maybe it'll be educational for me. Click here to Walk The Line for yourself.

"Your Dad's Not Tall Enough..."

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I'm still frantically searching the web for that Superman Returns footage from ComicCon and still doesn't seem to exist anywhere online. However, the good folks at blackfilm.com have gotten their hands on some super-stretchy clips of Bryan Singer's Q&A at the Con. Most of the info isn't really groundbreaking, and I reported it all in my big ComicCon roundup, but it's still nice to hear Singer talk about it himself. He was clearly exhausted and had probably walked off a plane about an hour before showing up at the Con, but he has a genuine passion for the material he works with. Plus he's just a very down to earth, pragmatic guy and I really like his approach to the source material and to filmmaking in general.

Click it here to watch Bryan Singer speak eloquently in the face of some ubergeeks...

Mel Gibson Cashes In His Jesus Money

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Mel Gibson has announced his next directorial effort and it's called...Apocolypto. There are at least a dozen religious jokes begging to be told there, but I'm going to attempt restraint. I'm told it's good for the soul.

Very little is known about the film, but it does center around an ancient civilization about 3,000 years in the past and will be chock full of Braveheart-ish violence and gore. The meaning of the title isn't in reference to an apocolypse per se (cuz if I find out that The Apocolypse already happened 3,000 years ago, I'm gonna be pissed...) but more the greek meaning of "unveiling" or "new beginning". Gibson has apparantly sworn up and down that this film has nothing to do with religion, because we all know that nobody likes God.

Gibson's Icon Productions will be putting up all the production money as well as funding overseas distribution, but Mel just inked a deal with The Mouse House to cover domestic distribution. Filming begins in October with sights set on a summer 2006 release.

21 July 2005

Trailer: A Sound Of Sucking

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Way back during the Super Bowl, there was a trailer shown for a flick called A Sound Of Thunder. The movie is based on a classic Ray Bradbury story about people who travel back in time to hunt dinosaurs. The hunters are forced to follow a strict set of rules to prevent them from doing anything which might alter the fabric of history, including traveling solely on some sort of path. However, during one expedition, someone strays from the path, steps on an insect, and drastically alters the course of evolution. When they return to the future, plants and animals start to change and attack the poor dumb humans until they can figure out some way to reverse the damage and save the world.

The original story story has always been very well received, but the trailer...eh, not so much. In fact, after it aired during the Super Bowl, it pretty much disappeared. I never even saw it play in a theater. I had recently been wondering what had happened to the movie, figuring it was going to be banished to a direct to DVD release or something of the like. However, today I stumbled upon a brand spanking new trailer which, oddly enough, makes the movie look even worse than before. I'm serious, this trailer kind of reminded me of the trailer for Anacondas: Search For The Blood Orchid. The difference is that Anacondas trailer probably made the movie look better than it actually was. Seriously. Evolve or Die? That has got to be the crappiest tagline I have ever heard. I'd say it was probably written by a twelve year old, but I think that might be too insulting...to twelve year olds.

The most noticable difference between the old trailer and this newer version is the lack of Sir Ben Kingsley who, after Suspect Zero and Dr. Uwe Boll's upcoming Bloodrayne (in which he plays the king of the vampires) and this turd, is in desperate need of a good script, and maybe a new agent.

Click it here to see Ed Burns do battle against silly CGI creatures...

Apparantly this monstrosity is going to be unleashed upon us in September. Yipee.

Hanks Goes To War For Sorkin

Hey guys, it's Donnie...There are very few people whose entire body of work defines greatness, but for me, Aaron Sorkin is definitely one of those guys. When the low points of your carreer are The American President and Sports Night...well, I want your carreer. (He's also got a one act play called Hidden In This Picture which I've been involved in a number of times. Read it, it's brilliantly funny. It's about cows, among other things...)

Ever since he walked away from The West Wing, he's kept a somewhat low profile, not really attaching himself to many projects. He's rumored to have another TV show in development that's similar to Sports Night, but focusing on a Saturday Night Live type show instead of a Sports Center type show. He's also had The Farnsworth Invention, a film about Filo Farnsworth, the guy who invented the TV, in development seemingly forever.

Well, Sorkin has emerged from hiding, as it was announced this morning that Tom Hanks will produce and star in Sorkin's latest script, Charlie Wilson's War. Hanks will play Wilson, a congressman from Texas who had a reputation for living the high life if you will, to the point that he gained the nickname "Good Time Charlie." After recovering from a scandal in the '80s, Wilson helped to spearhead the largest CIA operation of all time, supporting Afghani freedom fighters to bring down the Soviet Union. You remember the Afghani freedom fighters, don't you? We got to be GOOD friends with them, especially that Osama guy...

Hanks is expected to start work on the project shortly after he wraps on The Da Vinci Code, which is currently filming in various locations throughout Europe under the direction of Ron Howard.

David Goyer Tidbits

Hey guys, it's Donnie...David S. Goyer, the man whose pen is responsible for all three Blade movies as well as the magnificent Batman Begins, recently did an interview with Sci-Fi Wire magazine in which he spilled the beans on the long rumored Blade TV show:

"I'm co-writing the pilot with [Geoff] Johns, and it's going to be Spike's first dramatic show, and it's going to air next June. It'll be Blade, but it's different than the movies."

Spike has ordered 13 episodes, however there is still no word on who will take over the title role. The popular choice to replace Wesley Snipes is Michael Jai White, who's not only a pretty good actor but a goddamn whirlwind of martial arts skills. It'd be nice to have a TV show that's full of fight scenes that actually look like people beating the crap out of each other.

However, MORE IMPORTANTLY, Goyer also let slip that he recently had a meeting with the powers that be at Warners to discuss a sequel for Batman Begins, a meeting which, in my opinion, probably should have been held weeks ago. Needless stalling is the reason Bryan Singer left Fox and X3 to go to Warners and do Superman Returns, so one would hope that Warners would learn from the past and make sure that they don't lose the creative team behind Batman. Goyer has a whole Bat-Trilogy mapped out in his head, so if Warners is smart, they'll let him run with it. Unfortunately, he's also got more than a few other projects cooking right now, including a new TV show for the fall called Threshold as well as The Flash movie, so he may have to regulate himself to writing the story and handing the actual screenplay off to someone else, which will probably work just fine.

Either way, exciting things on the horizon for Goyer, who's done a pretty good job at making up for the atrocity that is Blade Trinity...

20 July 2005

Spielberg Going Back To Happy Aliens???

Hey guys, it's Donnie...So I guess Drew Barrymore has gotten sick of doing Charlie's Angels McG crap crappity crap crap crap and wants to do another "feel good movie." She has therefore set out to convince Steven Spielberg to do a sequel to E.T. in which E.T. returns to Earth in order to convince Gertie to help him save his family from extinction. Apparantly Spielberg thought she was joking but is now starting to consider it.

I shudder to think of what would happen in an E.T. sequel, especially considering how they needlessly fucked with the original when they put it out on DVD and reissued it into theaters a few years ago. I'm sure E.T. would be all CGI and totally lifeless now, which would obviously blow chucks of suck.

I sincerely hope that this thing remains in the rumor bin indefinitely....

What Went On At ComicCon

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Okay, promises were made and so I now bring you a big old round up of ComicCon news and revelations. I'm gonna go through movie by movie and basically sum up everything that I thought to be of note.

X3: CASTING CONFIRMATION: The last few weeks have seen a flurry of Angel casting rumors. Well the verdict is in and Boston native BEN FOSTER of Hostage, Punisher and Liberty Heights fame has snagged the role of the troubled young winged mutant. Still no word on his father Warren Worthington or on Kitty Pryde. Rumors continue to swirl that Ratner wants his former flame and tennis superstar Serena Williams to play Stacy-X, the mutant prostitute. Personally, I've never found either of the Williams sisters to be all that attractive, but apparantly I'm in the minority on that one...

Serenity: So there was a panel with Joss and most of the cast of the film. Not alot of new info came out, but that's not surprising as the flick is only about two months away. But they did show some sort of extended trailer. I'm not sure if this is what was shown at the Con or not, but today I found this listed as the "international trailer" and it certainly has plenty of new content and a much different tone from the first trailer. Either way, I like it and I'm still totally psyched for this to get here in September.

V For Vendetta: The panel included Natalie Portman, producer Joel Silver, and David Lloyd (co-creator on the original comic). Portman was totally adorable and the entire audience absolutely loved her. When asked why Alan Moore wouldn't sign off on the film, Lloyd said that Moore will only be happy with a direct, Sin City-esque adaptation of his work to the screen, whereas Lloyd was more interested in capturing the tone of the original books in a dynamic story. Lloyd also spoke to making a movie set in Britain in which the audience has to sympathize with a terrorist, especially in the wake of the recent London subway bombings. Lloyd admitted that it's obviously not easy, but the whole point is to portray a terrorist who has his own reasons for his actions, and then drew the obvious parallel to understanding real life terrorists instead of simply regarding them as faceless evil. A TRAILER WAS SHOWN and I heard it was fantastic, so once it hits online, I'll definitely be sending it your way.

Transformers: Not much in the way of news on the Transformers front, and I wouldn't expect much in the near future considering that the writers are currently in Asia on the set of M:I3 which just started filming. The Transformers release date has been pushed back to July 4th 2007, however they did launch the website at transformerslive.com. There you can find a nice little video message from producer Steven Spielberg as well as some stills of the big honkin Optimus Prime 18 Wheeler covered with stylish dropcloth they had on the floor of the Con. However, apparantly all weekend people were stealing the Optimus Prime license plate off the back of the truck, which, while kinda sucky, is also really kinda funny.

Doom: There are three things worth reporting from the Doom panel. First: The Rock is not the main character, Karl Urban, which I think is a good thing. Second: Despite the rumors to the contrary, YES the movie takes place on Mars, YES there are imps and pink demons and YES the movie will be rated R and full of some hardcore scary-ass blood and guts. Third: A TRAILER AND A CLIP WERE SHOWN. The trailer was a teaser and not too detailed. However, the clip was apparantly impressive as all hell, and showed about half of a 6 minute "FPS sequence." What does that mean you ask? Well I'll tell you. Karl Urban gets knocked unconscious and wakes up a short while later. When he wakes up, we see everything through his eyes. He exits a room and then makes his way though a series of rooms, shooting at demons and imps and whatnot, gun in the lower right portion of the screen. It's a live action recreation of the First Person Shooter perspective. Id Software has been in on the development of the film from the beginning, and replicating the feel, look and tone of the game has always been of the highest importance. Personally I can't think of a better way to do that than an extended sequence that looks like you're playing the game itself. A long POV sequence like that usually either really works or really doesn't, so here's hoping that they can pull it off.

The Fountain: Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz appeared to answer questions, and then SHOW A TRAILER AND THE FIRST 10 MINUTES OF THE FILM. Aronofsky describes it as a $90 million film shot for $35 million. (Does it bother anyone else that Uwe Boll's newest project has a budget of almost twice that?) There will be a graphic novel adaptation of the story that was made in the time between when the Brad Pitt/Cate Blanchette version shut down and when the Hugh Jackman/Rachel Weisz version started up. So it will be a sort of seperate entity that will exist outside the film, instead of a more traditional straight adaptation. Clint Mansell will be doing the score, which is neither surprising nor disappointing. I won't go into descriptions of the clips, because I expect that we'll see the trailer and possibly the 10 minute clip go online in the next few weeks. They were both very well received and the popular response, especially to the 10 minute clip, was that it was dense, complex, visually stunning, and more than a little bit confusing, but, as Aronofsky said, "That's why there's 90 more minutes of film." I can't wait to see some of this stuff.

Chronicles of Narnia: CASTING CONFIRMATION - Aslan will indeed be voiced by Liam Neeson, and I'm really pretty happy about that. The panel consisted mostly of effects guys from KNB and Weta, as well as director Andrew Adamson and the four kids via satellite from the set. Apparantly at one point the studio wanted to update the story and set it in LA after an earthquake and replace turkish delight with hot dogs. Gah...that makes me shudder to even think about. They still have about 1300 effects shots to finish before the December release. As far as the heavy religious overtones of the book, Adamson says that he's taking an approach that I really like. He's trying to make a film that recreates the feeling of reading the story as a kid instead of an adult critique. So the religious overtones will certainly be there, but he's not trying to focus on them intensely, so you'll sort of take what you want from the movie, whether it be a story of spirituality or simply a good old fashioned adventure story, which is how I always took it. Considering my history with religion and Christianity in particular, that's pretty much the only way I could have enjoyed the book. I'm really hoping that they nail this thing down.


Superman Returns: Bryan Singer flew up from Sydney to answer questions and SHOW FOOTAGE!! He listed the Alex Ross artwork, Max Fleischer cartoons, early Action comics, and the 1978 Richard Donner films as a springboard and inspiration for the look of the film. The flick will definitely be over 2 hours long and will have the look of a 1940s love story. The film is based primarily on Donner's Superman film with some vague references to Superman 2. Jor El will appear in the film and it will be Brando. Some slight CG alterations had to be made to his face for reasons which Singer said will be clear when we see it onscreen, but it's not some big CGI character walking around with a Brando face pasted on. Kevin Spacey did shave his head bald, and while there will be a good amount of humor, this will be a much more serious Luthor than Gene Hackman's portrayal. While Singer's composer of choice, John Ottman, will be orchestrating the film, the John Williams theme will be prominently featured as well. A NICE BIG MONTAGE OF FOOTAGE was shown and it totally blew the audience away. As I said yesterday, Singer showed it, got a standing ovation, and was forced to show it again. Everyone was buzzing about it for the rest of the Con and most people agreed that it looked absolutely outstanding from most every standpoint. If there is any justice in the world, we'll see it online in big beautiful Quicktime sometime in the newst two weeks or so, as was the case with Bryan's X2 presentation a few years ago. I knew this was gonna be the panel to be at and I totally wish I could been there, if only to see Singer speak and get a taste of that footage.

There were a few other bits and pieces worth mentioning. Apparantly Kevin Smith had a great panel about nothing in particular in which Richard Kelly showed some storyboards for a Robocop-esque commercial from Southland Tales. Tim Burton showed 7 minutes of Corpse Bride. Bruce Campbell had a number of different appearances and everyone loved him, (go figure) and Tenacious D played a 40 minute set in which they played some new tunes from their upcoming movie The Pick Of Destiny. Harry Potter showed some footage, but I don't really care. I'll probably go to see it when it hits theaters, but for whatever reason I have a really hard time getting excited for these movies before they come out.

So that about wraps it up. As some of these clips and trailers start to make their way online, I'll definitely be posting them and putting in my own two cents, but in the mean time, I guess I'll just have to sit and wait. I hope BlueTights gets on the ball and posts that footage soon...

UPDATED!!! Scotty Gets Beamed Up (FOR REAL!!)

UPDATE: According to Doohan's family, arrangements have been made to have Scotty's ashes sent into space to orbit the Earth and eventually burn up in the atmosphere. The same thing was done to Gene Roddenbury's remains a few years ago, and I hope to be able to afford the same treatment when it's my time to go...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I'm not a comic fanboy, and while I have a deep and spiritual love for Star Wars, I never got totally wrapped up in the lore of that universe. No no no, what really did it for me as a youngster was Star Trek. While it's history as a franchise has certainly be very up and down from movie to movie and series to series, the universe created by Gene Roddenbury was not only exciting and inspirational, but also just really really intelligent, which was always the missing element for me when it came to Star Wars. I've always preferred the sceience-based Trek to the magic-based Wars because it always made me feel like Trek could happen someday. We could invent warp drives and phasers and, most importantly, transporters.

And so, it is with great sadness that I report the death of the greatest engineer and transporter operator that ever lived: Star Trek's Scotty, James Doohan. He passed away at 5:30AM Wednesday morning due to complications arising from pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease at age 85. Everytime I hear about the death of a former Star Trek cast member, a small part of my childhood dies inside. Once a Trekkie, always a Trekkie. I may not be able to quote from the Star Trek Encyclopedia anymore (and yes, I could do it at one time) but it doesn't mean I love the franchise any less.

Scotty was an enduring icon, and Doohan always had a great sense of humor and humility regarding his place in the entertainment world. He realized that he was always gonna be Scotty and rather than fight against it, he embraced it. As the years tolled on, his health began to seriously deteriorate and he began making fewer and fewer public appearances, and his presence was most definitely missed.

We at the Booth extend our deepest sympathies to his wide Wende and the rest of his family.

"For the world is hollow and I have touched the sky..."

PT Anderson's Secret Directing Gig

Hey guys, it's Donnie...While I'm literally sitting at my computer checking BlueTights about every 20 minutes to see if they've posted the ComicCon footage, I also get all kinds of excited about projects and directors on the total opposite side of the spectrum. Paul Thomas Anderson is an absolute visionary filmmaker, and while some regard his work as long and boring, I think that it's absolutely nothing short of brilliant. Punch Drunk Love proved Adam Sandler could do more than fuck around with Chris Rock and barely avoid laughing at his own jokes. (I still love Happy Gilmore though.)

So imagine my surprise when I read a headline proclaiming that PT is currently directing none other than...Lindsay Lohan. To which my immediate response was, "Wait, isn't she doing Prarie Home Companion for Robert Altman?"

Yes. Sort of.

Remember those BlueTights/KongIsKing crossover diaries where Peter Jackson is really exhausted so he calls Bryan Singer to come and direct King Kong for a day? It's kind of like that. I knew that Altman was getting to be senile as all hell, but apparantly he's gotten seriously ill of late and is not always up to directing. Altman has therefore brought PT Anderson on board to hang about the set and take over directing on days when he can't do it himself. Altman is still in charge, he's just telling Anderson what he wants and trusting PT to get it done.

We haven't received official confirmation from the powers that be, but it has been confirmed that Anderson has been onset through much of the shoot in some sort of producing capacity. Since the DGA is all finicky about shared directing credits, expect PT to be announced soon as some sort of Executive Producer.

In case you've forgotten, Lohan is only one member of an ensemble cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Lily Tomlin, Meryl Streep, John C. Reilly, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Kline, Virgina Madsen and Garrison Keillor as himself. That's a lot of talent, and under the direction of Anderson and Altman, well, it's pretty awesome.

Poor Poor Ray Liotta...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Remember way back when Ray Liotta was a badass mothafucka? Then remember when he was stuck doing schlock and we all kind of forgot about him? Then remember when he did Narc and everyone thought he was gonna make a great comeback?

Well Ray Liotta will next be protraying a medieval villian for Dr. Uwe Boll.

So much for that comeback.

Yes, Henry Hill will be playing the evil bad guy of doom in Dr. Boll's next pox on the cinematic community, Dungeon Seige. He's also going to be joined by Will Sanderson, (who's been in all the rest of Boll's movies, so he must owe him money or something) former NFL player Brian White and German supermodel Eva Padberg. Also, the film is expected to clock in at about 3 hours.

Having stood corrected, yes, this is indeed another video game adaptation. I don't know why I ever thought that Boll would have tried to tackle some (dare I say it?) original material. That's clearly just not his style.

I've had Alone In The Dark sitting in my apartment for a few days now courtesy of Netflix. I really need to watch it, and laugh and laugh, and then remember that Doc B just got $60 million, and then weep.

19 July 2005

Apologies From The Editor...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I haven't forgotten about my ComicCon coverage. Since I couldn't go myself, I'm forced to rely on the accounts of others. So I've been compiling reports the last few days on different projects presented in San Diego last weekend, and I plan on putting up one massive post tomorrow with my full and complete take on this year's ComicCon, removed as I am.

The other thing holding me back is that there were a number of trailers and clips screened for the first time this weekend, but the only thing that I've seen make it online so far is the trailer for Saw 2, which looks to be much of the same from the first Saw. A number of sites have posted essentially shot-by-shot descriptions of these various trailers, but I haven't read any of them, mostly because I have no interest in reading a trailer description. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I love trailers. I love watching trailers almost as much as I love watching the movies themselves. There's nothing better than finally seeing footage from a highly anticipated flick, especially if that footage can really knock your socks off.

Therefore, my ComicCon coverage is mostly going to consist of information, casting announcements, etc. It will be spoiler free and it won't include clip and trailer discussions. The two clips I'm most waiting to see are The Fountain and Superman Returns, which, true to Bryan Singer form, was apparantly the talk and the toast of the Con. In fact, he showed it, got a standing ovation and then they made him show it again. I really wish BlueTights would hurry up and post it. If you like the spoilers, you can go there to read a trailer description.

So, look for my big ComicCon wrap-up tomorrow, and if links go online for clips and trailers, they will most definitely be included, mostly because I really want to see them as much as you do.

Columbia Jumps On The 3D Bandwagon

Hey guys, it's Donnie...That's right, the second coming of 3D cinema keeps on rolling. Columbia Pictures has announced that they will be releasing their upcoming feature Monster House (which is NOT about turning your kitchen into a medieval torture chamber...) in over 100 3D theaters across the country, as well as in traditional 2D form. Monster House is the story of three strapping young lads combatting an evil house determined to eat trick or treaters on one fateful Halloween night. The project is a perfect fit for a 3D release as it will be employing the same "Performance Capture" method used to steal Tom Hanks' soul in Polar Express.

Columbia will be utilizing a 3D company called REAL D, the same folks who handled the 3D IMAX prints of Polar Express. REAL D is not to be confused to Dolby and Disney's Digital 3D which will premiere with the release of Chicken Little. 3D is really beginning to take off and I couldn't be happier about it. There's nothing better for the advent of the 3D Age of Cinema than a little healthy competition. Increased competition to develop the latest and greatest advances in 3D cinema might go a long way in avoiding the mistakes of the 80's.

The movie itself could easily go either way. We've got a first time director in Gil Kenan, and three largely unknown child leads, but Kenan has assembled an impressive ensemble, including Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhal, Jason Lee, Catherine O'Hara, Kevin James, Fred Willard and Jessica Rabbit herself, Kathleen Turner. I'll probably be willing to check this one out solely to evaluate the 3D.

"Hhmm! Very exciting times!"

"And As For The Whole Gangbang Scenario..."

Hey guys, it's Donnie...My namesake invoked The Smurfs in one of the funniest pop culture reference scenes ever. Well prepare to be transformed by the overwhelming goodness of the Smurf way of life, because they're comin' to the big screen...

That's right, Paramount and Nickelodeon are set to bring forth a 3D CG animated Smurfs adventure to your local megaplex. (Who uses the term megaplex anymore?) After Garfield, and considering yesterday's Ninja Turtles announcement, I suppose it's only a matter of time before the rest of my childhood becomes totally exploited and forcefed down the throats of unsuspecting youths across America. I really hope that someone is telling these kids that the entertainment that they cherish so much is just recycled versions of the same crap their older brothers and sisters used to watch, thus begging the question, were we just as screwed and just didn't realize it? Gah..........

Whatever. I'm still waiting for Heathcliff and The Junkyard Gang.

18 July 2005

Godzilla Never Dies

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I've been waiting to get my hands on Godzilla: Final Wars seemingly forever, but word came out on Friday that Final Wars may not be quite so final after all. Word is that there's a good chance we'll get to see an all new Godzilla flick in the future directed by Yoshimitsu Banno, who previously directed Godzilla vs The Smog Monster. That's pretty cool in and of itself, but what could make it even cooler.

How about Godzilla in 3D IMAX?

Why no one has ever thought to put Godzilla in IMAX before now has got to be one of the cinematic mysteries of the ages. Either way, you can sign me up right now. Godzilla's latest nemesis would be some sort of shape shifting monster from outer space, but it really doesn't matter to me. I'd go see Godzilla vs. My Toaster Oven if only to see the classic MAN IN SUIT in IMAX 3D...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Weinstein

Hey guys, it's Donnie...James Cameron's appearance in last night's Entourage was fantastic, from "Fucking Harvey," to "No, I pretty much just wanted to make teenage girls cry," to his black helicopter exit. But probably my favorite bit was the producer Harvey Weingold, who "is a pain in the ass to work for but an absolute genius" and "would still be producing Kevin Smith movies" if it weren't for Ari Gold. I think I enjoy the fictional charaters that are clearly based on real ones more than the celebrity cameos.

Anyway, so what is the real Weinstein up to? Playing with Ninja Turtles that's what. That's right, WeinsteinCo (God they need a better name...) and Warners will be teaming up to distribute the newest adventure of the Heroes In A Halfshell, this time all CG instead of big rubbery animatronic-y guys, although I contend that live action Turtles could work if you put in the make up effort similar to The Thing and Hellboy.

The latest incarnation of one of my chilhood icons is slated for a PG release (booooo) in early 2007.

Not-So-Fantastic After All....

Fantastic Four saw a box office drop of just under 70%. It took in a mere $6.5 million this weekend.


I am shocked.

This is me...all shocked.

That puts the 8 day total at $82.8 million, which seems like a good take until you remember that it cost $100 million to make.

Albatross? Planet of the Apes? Is it too early to say "I told ya so"?

Nonetheless, this thing's already got a greenlit sequel while Batman continues to wander development limbo...

Cage Has His 9/11 Partner

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Before I get into all the cool news dropped at this year's ComicCon, I'm gonna run though some of the other news items floating about on this Monday morning...

The Oliver Stone 9/11 movie, which is sure to cause quite a stir, has continued casting...Nicolas Cage will be joined by one of my favorite young actors, Michael Pena. Pena has been playing minor character roles seemingly forever, but his recent work in Paul Haggis's Crash absolutely blew me away. He and Terrence Howard were without a doubt the best performances in the film, so it makes me really happy to see that both actors are really starting to take off. Howard's Hustle & Flow looks great and I've heard nothing but good things.

So go Michael Pena. Congratulations on a job well earned.

15 July 2005

X3 Rumorville: Bostonian Angel?

Hey guys, it's Donnie...AICN has got a rumor that Angel will be played by none other than Boston's own Ben Foster, (Hostage, Punisher, Liberty Heights) and actor that I think doesn't get enough credit. The guy's got some great comic abilities but has been travelling the dramatic road of late, and while his choice of projects hasn't always been stellar, he almost always shines through the muck and mire.

Suffice it to say that this would easily be his biggest role in his biggest movie to date, and even if X3 were to continue down the road to sucking balls, I think that he's a great choice for Angel. I would love to see Foster break out a bit and start getting more and bigger roles.

I expect we should get confirmation on final casting for Angel and hopefully his father and maybe even Kitty Pryde in the next few days at ComicCon...Ben, I'm rooting for ya...

14 July 2005

Rodriguez Release Dates

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Seems like all the greats are trying to set speed records to see who can get the most films out in the shortest amount of time. Spielberg has got two releases slated for this year with War of the Worlds and the Munich/Vengeance film. Well 2006 looks to be the year of Rodriguez. The release date has been set for Sin City 2: June 2006. Damn impressive considering that, last I checked, they have yet to roll film. Even MORE impressive when you consider that his collaboration with QT, Grind House, is schedule to come out in March of 2006. At least Spielberg finished one movie before he started the next. Then again Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter were all filming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Corpse Bride simultaneously.

With DVD turnaround time getting shorter and shorter, it's just a matter of time until major studio release starts filming on January 1st and the damn thing hits theaters in August and the DVDs are on the shelves in time for Christmas.


Hey guys, it's Donnie...the only example to date of a movie based on a website that I'm aware of was The Onion movie which may never see the light of day at this point. Well chalk up another. Popular time-wasting website Collegehumor.com is partnering with Paramount and Alphaville to bring you the next Animal House.

At least that's the idea.

Basically Paramount wants to make movies that appeal to the college crowd and speak to the modern college experience. (Cuz while I love Van Wilder, I've once again lost faith in National Lampoon after Dorm Daze and a slew of other direct to DVD crap.) The problem is that I guess the folks at Paramount have no idea what actually appeals to college kids, so they figured that they could get the folks at collegehumor to seek out and develop projects that fit the bill. Basically it's the old, "We don't have a sense of humor, but we hear you do, so why don't you tell us which stuff is funny and we'll cough up the cash" routine.

While I commend Paramount for taking serious steps to make funny college movies, I guess I'm just a little disappointed that they apparantly can't just hire funny people and do it themselves. I feel like that would have a far greater payoff in the long run. Ah well. If they can get a good flick out of it, I suppose that's all that matters.

The Future Of Bruce Campbell

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Bruce Campbell has been travelling around promoting his newest flick The Man With The Screaming Brain. Sadly, I missed his appearance here in Boston, (curse you Coolidge Corner!) but he's gonna be showing up at a few different panels and whatnot at ComicCon this weekend. Anything that Bruce Campbell is involved in is immediately of interest to me and I know I'm not alone on this one.

The Chin was recently in Denver promoting his flick and he did a little Q&A in which he discussed his future projects. "Don't hold your breath" for Bubba Nosferatu, and his involvement in future incarnations, be they remakes or sequels, of Evil Dead is still in the air, but he's not showing up without Sam Raimi, so, again, don't hold your breath.

HOWEVER, his next project sounds pretty awesome. Campbell plays himself, staying in a small rural town which comes under the attack of some sort of monster. The town decides that their best defense is to get the guy from Evil Dead to bust out his boomstick and lay the smackdown, but of course The Chin isn't actually a deadly force with a chainsaw, no doubt leading to much carnage and hilarity.

Seems to be a few projects in the works in which well known actors are playing themselves. Ben Stiller has one in which he fights with his mirror image "movie persona" and Brad Pitt has one where he plays both himself and a young actor named Chad Schmidt who happens to look just like Pitt. My feeling is that these things tend to go to the extremes, either being really smart and funny, or turning into that ridiculous Julia Roberts nonsense in Ocean's Twelve. Poor Bruce Willis. You're so much better than that.

New Line Ex Machina

Hey guys, it's Donnie...New Line Cinema has just picked up the rights to Ex Machina, another comic book that I am sadly unfamiliar with, although it sounds pretty damn cool. The story focuses on Mitchell Hundred, a jet pack clad superhero who retires from a life of fighting crime to become Mayor of New York. The story starts right after his inauguration and details his origins as a superhero as well as his last mission and the dark secrets inherent in both incidents, secrets which his political opponents are attempting to ferret out and use to their advantage.

Superhero tale mixed with political intrigue thriller? Sign me up man. New Line has brought on the comic's creator, Brian Vaughn to pen one version of the script and Glen Brunswick, another comic author to write another version. It's unclear if the hiring of two writers is an attempt at collaboration or a contest to see who's gonna write the movie, but either way it seems like a smart move to me, getting a draft from the creator as well as some fresh yet experienced blood. We'll wait and see where it goes from here.

13 July 2005

Domino Won't Sit Still

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Time for another edition of Good News and Good News Disguised As Bad News.

Good News: We will definitely be getting a new trailer for Richard Kelly and Tony Scott's latest masterpiece Domino, starring that sexy tomboy beanpole Keira Knightly. (Note: the picture above is of the real Domino Harvey. Talking about great casting huh?) It'll be shown at ComicCon this weekend, so it should find its way online shortly after that.

Good News Disguised As Bad News: The release date has been changed again, this time being pushed back from August to October 14. While it's a little sad that we're gonna have to wait an extra two months before we get to see this sure-to-kick-your-pasty-ass-into-submission flick, I have absolutely no problem waiting so that Tony Scott can tinker with the film a bit more and it can get a nice big release. I'd rather build up the anticipation and let the film build up some steam to find its audience than get it sooner and have it be essentially brushed under the carpet and languish in limited release.

So spread the word. Domino Harvey is comin to getcha this October. Start stockpiling your ammo now.

Wilson Bros pt 1: Uma's Pissed

Hey guys, it's Donnie...After Beatrice Kiddo finally got her sweet sweet revenge on the ubiquitous Bill, I think we could all agree that a pissed off samurai Uma Thurman is most certainly a force to be reckoned with. But what about a pissed off superhero Uma Thurman? Well, in the immortal words of Monty Python, "RUN AWAY!"

Owne Wilson may be living the sweet fantasy life, but Luke Wilson is screwed. Uma Thurman has signed on the play the spurned superheroine in Super Ex. Announced a short while back, the story centers around a regular guy who breaks up with his needy super hero girlfriend. However, rather than let him get on with his life, the embittered Super Uma starts using her superpowers to make his life a living hell.

This is a really fantastic concept and the casting of Luke Wilson as regular guy victim and Uma Thurman as self-righteous rejected super-being is inspired. I'm not really sure about the two of them together, only because I feel like Uma would totally overshadow Wilson, but, then again, she is a goddamn superhero, so maybe that's what they're going for. Despite his recent string of middling films, I still have ultimate faith in Ivan Reitman as a director, and I have a feeling that this project is gonna turn a corner for him.

This one is most definitely staying on my radar...
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