31 August 2005

Trailertown: Overpopulation

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Today is moving day for me. I'm leaving the apartment that has been my home for the past two years, "My First Apartment". We had some good times...

Anyway, because of that, I'm only here at work for half the day and I probably won't get the chance to write anything tomorrow, so in the meantime I'm gonna leave you with SIX trailers to Martin Mull over. Four of these...well, holy crap we've got some good stuff in store for us this winter...

We'll start off light:

The Ice Harvest: The newest from director Igon Spengler, aka Harold Ramis. John Cusack and Billybob Thornton rip off mobsters? Randy Quaid gets chubby? Oliver Platt gets tanked? Looks pretty damn fun.

Click it here to scrape your tummy...

G: A modern "urban re-telling" of The Great Gatsby, kinda like O, the modern prep-school retelling of Othello, except while O freaked me out (probably because I went to a prep school) this one looks somewhat unremarkable. It looks to have good performances from the two male leads, Richard T. Jones and Blair Underwood, but that's about it. I'm kinda interested to see just how far it strays from Gatsby.

Click it here to be "a gangster" despite wearing many pastel shirts...

North Country: Charlize certainly seems to be gunning for that second little gold statue, but I wouldn't bet on it with this one. I'm sure she'll do a fine job, but the movie really doesn't strike me as all that interesting. In fact, the only thing about the entire trailer that made me sit up and take notice was when Woody Harrelson suddenly showed up in the middle of it.

Click it here to wish you were Norma Rae or Karen Silkwood...

Okay, here comes the meat and potatoes:

Capote: One of two upcoming biopics about author Truman Capote, this is the one to watch for, mostly because of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The movie looks to be pretty solid, but ultimately it's gonna be his performance that's going to make or break the flick. I like what I see, but ultimate judgement will probably have to wait until we see the whole flick.

Click it here to be better than Greg Kinnear...

Memoirs Of A Geisha: I've been waiting for this flick to come out since forever. I haven't read the book, but the author, Arthur Golden, is the father of a friend of mine, and he's one of the smartest, kindest people I've ever met, as is the rest of his family. It looks like Rob Marshall really delivered the goods on this. Zhang Ziyi seems born to play this role, and it'll be nice to see Michelle Yeoh working again. This type of flick isn't typically my cup o' tea, but I'll definitely be lined up for this one. This is also a fantastic trailer, although it's officially the Japanese trailer, so I expect we in the states will get a slightly different version.

Click it here for beautiful bicycle mishaps...

Goodnight and Good Luck: Holy crap. This thing is going to kick 14 kinds of ass. It's beautifully shot, seriously well acted and also seriously important. If nothing else, it might serve to remind the America public what it is the journalism profession should be, could be. I knew this was gonna be good, but...goddamn. The choice to use actual McCarthy footage is pretty much genius, and I really like the feel of this trailer. It's very reminiscent of the V For Vendetta trailer in the sense of heightened atmosphere. I want to watch this tomorrow.

Click it here love black and white...

Alright, that's all for me. I'll be back on Friday with a round up of everything that comes to pass while I'm relocating myself across town.

MI:3 Continues To Gather Actual Talent

Hey guys, it's Donnie...It was just announced that Billy Crudup (of Almost Famous fame) will soon be joining the downright puzzling cast of Mission: Impossible 3. Seriously, I just don't get it. It's almost as if they want to the movie to be good or something.

Whereas John Woo seemed to take the approach of casting people that nobody really knew, yet still looked vaguely familiar, and couldn't act their way out of a paper bag, but are really good at displaying pensive and brooding facial expressions, JJ Abrams seems intent on hiring talented actors who have little to no experience in the world of action films. Joining Cruise and Rhames this time around will be Laurence Fishburne, Kerri Russell, Phillip Seymour-Hoffman and now Crudup.

I have no idea what the plot is about, but things are already looking up for Ethan Hunt as far as I'm concerned. I'm now vaguely interested in seeing this thing...

30 August 2005

Bond Crashes Into A Million Dollar Baby Holding The Flags Of Our Fathers

Hey guys, it's Donnie... According to the Hoolywood Reporter, Paul Haggis, whose silly last name belies his utter pretension, has been hired to re-write the script for Casino Royale, aka That James Bond Movie That Quentin Tarantino Is Not Directing And Just Can't Seem To Get Off The Ground. Then again, the Hollywood Reporter seems to think that the Wilson brothers are interchangable, so who knows what's really going on over there today.

Apparantly the powers that be were none too happy with the draft turned in by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the guys who wrote The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Both of those movies pretty much sucked a Purple People-Eater's testicles (which may or may not be located in his knees), so bringing in new writing blood is almost assuredly a good thing. I'm not sure if Haggis is necessarily the best match for Bond, but anyone who thinks that Haggis can't write action need merely peruse his resume over at IMDB to see that Haggis created one of the most puzzlingly successful action TV series ever...Walker: Texas Ranger. Yeah. That threw me for a loop as well.

The Bond franchise seems to have grown rather...stale? And with Brosnan out of the picture (at least this week), and Martin Campbell, the only director to pull off a great Brosnan-Bond flick (Goldeneye) at the helm, I'm confident that they just might be able to bring Bond back from mediocrity. Unless they actually cast Dr. Kovac from ER. I would probably have to classify that as a poor decision.

Superhero Confusion

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Nobody seems to have an earthly clue as to what is going on in the world of superheroes this morning.

Last week we reported (via IGN) that Shohreh Aghdashloo was onboard X3 as Dr. Kavita Rao, a geneticist who created a "cure" for mutation. However, she recently gave an interview with Entertainment Weekly in which she said that she'd be playing Dr. Cecilia Reyes, a mutant who can project forcefields around herself. It certainly doesn't seem to make any sense that she'd be cast as a young Hispanic character instead of a middle aged Middle Eastern character, but far be it from Hollywood (or Bret Ratner for that matter) to do something that makes sense, especially when it comes to this movie. IGN is insisting that Aghdashloo simply got it wrong in the interview, which I suppose is possible as Fox seems intent on keeping the script totally secret and I'm sure she hasn't started filming yet. Either way, consider this one to be totally up in the air at this point. She's definitely on the movie, although who she'll be playing still seems up for debate.

IGN also reveals in that article that X3 will also feature an appearance by Jamie Madrox, aka Multiple Man. Mulitple Man can, ironically enough, multiply himself. Shocking. Most major movie sites (CHUD, JoBlo) have jumped on the IGN story, but I wouldn't exactly call it a "scoop", as I announced the appearance of Multiple Man OVER THREE WEEKS AGO along with Cameron Bright as Leech and a number of other mutants that have recently been confirmed as popping up at some point in the film.

On a completely separate note, Ivan Reitman's flick Super Ex also saw some cast additions this weekend. The movie concerns a Regular Joe who breaks up with his superhero girlfriend because she's too controlling, and she then embarks on a quest to use her powers to make his life a living hell. Clever huh? Well, Hollywood Reporter has...reported that Anna Farris has joined the cast as the rebound love interest and none other than Eddie Izzard has signed on to play the film's villian, Professor Bedlam. That's just plain awesome.

So where's the confusion? Well, throughout the text of the story, Hollywood Reporter refers to the two main characters, the Super Bitch (as I've dubbed her) and the Regular Joe, as being played by Uma Thurman and Owen Wilson. Again, most of the major movie sites (AICN, CHUD, Dark Horizons) have started running the story. The only problem is that, last I checked, Owen Wilson had nothing to do with this movie. As we reported back in JUNE when the movie was announced, and again in JULY when Uma signed on, the main character was going to be played by LUKE WILSON, not the so-called Butterscotch Stallion. Devin over at CHUD seems to be the only one who's picked up on this sudden Wilson-shifting, and I think he's correct in his analysis. Hollywood Reporter either missed a typo or did a crappy job of checking their facts. As of right now, Owen Wilson has about seven projects lined up for the immediate future and Luke Wilson is still waiting for Mike Judge to finish Idiocracy, so I'm also gonna take the position that Luke Wilson is still in and someone at Hollywood Reporter is currently packing up their cubicle.

Oh what a confusing morning it's been...

Inconceivable Immigrants Head For The Southland

Hey guys, it's Donnie... While I'm certainly counting down the days to Domino, at this point I'm really only considering it an appetizer of sorts to the main course: Richard Kelly's next directorial project Southland Tales. Details have been few and far between to say the least, but that's part of what makes it so damn interesting. Up until now we've only heard that it takes place in LA in the near future and it stars The Rock, Sean William Scott (sans hair), Kevin Smith (sans legs) and Sarah Michelle Gellar as a porn star. If that's not enough to get you interested, I'm at a loss as to what would be.

Well, Hollywood Reporter has a whole slew of supporting cast members confirmed and it just keeps looking better and better. Cheri Oteri will play "a villianous lesbian bodybuilder" and Jill Ritchie will play a porn star friend to Gellar. Meanwhile, Amy Poehler, Miranda Richardson, John Larroquette, John Lovitz, Will Sasso, Wood Harris, Bai Ling, Joe Campana, and WALLCE SHAWN will all appear in as-yet-unspecified roles.

Phenomenal. Simply stunning.

This thing pretty much can't get here fast enough.

Check out the web site for Super-Fun Richard Kelly Goodness!

The Star Trek Timeline Continues To Get Muddled

Hey guys, it's Donnie... I still have a soft spot for the influence Star Trek had in my formative years, so whenever there's a major development in the work of Trek, I tend to sit up and take notice. I've been out of the loop for a while, having been pretty unhappy with Nemesis and never really being able to jump onboard Enterprise. I saw a lot of the first season and thought it had tremendous potential, but my understanding is that Dr. Sam Beckett and his ridiculously hot Vulcan friend never really delievered the goods.

Personally, I thought that going back in the timeline was a very smart move, because, aside from the Dominion War, which was really one of about 4 things that was ever interesting about DS9, all the best Trek stuff was about the crew as intrepid explorers. Going back to a time when everything was still new seemed to make sense and apparantly the powers that be at Paramount seem determined to make it work.

Band of Brothers writer Erik Jendreson recently turned in draft number one of a new Trek film tentatively titled Star Trek: The Beginning. I take particular issue with that title as it centers around events that take place between the time of Enterprise and The Original Series, so clearly "The Beginning" isn't a chronological reference. Jendreson says "The story is big and epic...it would look at the inciting incident that started everything," so by "started everything" I'm going to assume he means forming Starfleet and the Federation, which I'm pretty sure still didn't exist by the end of Enterprise.

Jendreson is also promising a dramatically different style of film: "We're looking at a very small group of men and women, particularly focusing on one character. There are a couple of ships, including a principal ship, but this is not a traditional captain and crew of a starship story in the least."

A dramatically different approach to telling the actual story is pretty much all they have left to try, and I really hope it works. It's been a while since we've had really great Trek. However, if this approach is gonna work, I don't see it translating to television very well, and if they can get a good movie going, they'll certainly start looking back at television again. They're seriously running out of space in the timeline, so I'd love to see them jump REALLY far in the future ala The Next Generation, so that we still get remnants of the universe we knew, but all the rules have changed and we have to relearn the ways of the galaxy again. Who knows where this is all going? Certainly not Paramount. They're pretty much fumbling in the dark at this point...

Never Tease A Dead Man's Chest

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Disney has released the first teaser poster for their surefire money-maker, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and it's...exactly what you'd expect it to be. A big skull. Although, I must say, I'm rather fond of that little Jack Sparrow voodoo doll. That's pretty damn clever if I do say so myself. That being said, I'm sure you'll be able to find a plethora of them lining the shelves of your local Walmart a few months down the road.

For those not "in the know", the sequel finds Jack Sparrow indebted to the legendary Davey Jones (Bill Nighy) and in dire need of assistance from his pals Will and Elizabeth. There's a third chapter being filmed at the same time (they've been on hiatus for a few weeks now, but I think they just started up again recently) which will also include Chow Yun Fat as another menacing pirate captain.

The first one was all kinds of fun (if a bit long) so here's hoping they can maintain those good spirits. And by good spirits, I mean rum.

Click the image below for hi-res happiness.

Why's the rum gone?

26 August 2005

The Beginning Of The End For Steve Carrell??

Hey guys, it's Donnie...This has got disaster written all over it. I remember reading some time ago that Universal had bought the rights to a story about God telling a man to build an ark for a second great flood so that they could adapt it and turn it into a sequel to Bruce Almighty. Well, it seems that Jim Carrey passed on the project, which might lead one to think that the project was dead in the water. But I guess the folks at Universal took a look at this week's box office numbers, remembered who had probably the single greatest scene in Bruce Almighty, and have now redubbed the movie Evan Almighty. Yes, that's right, Steve Carrell will now be toplining the project in which God (hopefully Morgan Freeman, he's in negotiations) taps asshole anchor Evan Baxter to build an ark and save animals from a massive flood.

I really think this a huge step in the opposite direction for Carrell. Fortunately he's got a number of other excellent projects in the pipeline to balance out this nonsense. Universal, on the other hand, thinks this is such a good idea that if they can manage to get Morgan Freeman back onboard this time around, they're considering making a whole series of Almighty films, in which Morgan Freeman-God calls upon individuals for various reasons. This thing is about14 kinds of bad idea. Seriously, Carrell was brilliant as Evan Baxter, but Evan is fairly two dimensional, and I've already seen all that I want to from that character. The script on this thing is gonna have to absolutely top-notch for it to not suck, and personally, I didn't think that Bruce was all that special...

Christopher Reeve's Last Hurrah

Hey guys, it's Donnie...The death of a superhero is always tragic, both in reality and in fiction. The death of Christopher Reeve was no exception, mostly because he had fought so hard to overcome his injuries, to the point where we really started to feel like he was going to walk again. I wouldn't be surprised if Bryan Singer's Superman Returns carries a dedication fo Reeve.

Before he passed away, Reeve was directing a computer animated family feature called Yankee Irving about a young boy on a cross country quest to return Babe Ruth's baseball bat before the crucial game of the 1932 World Series. Reeve was co-directing with Dan St. Pierre and Colin Brady, who will continue work on the project for the 2006 release.

The vocal cast is envious to say the least, and I'm sure that most of these people jumped on board out of a tremendous respect for Christopher Reeve. Rob Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Brian Dennehy, William H. Macy, Mandy Patinkin, Robert Wagner, Richard Kind, Raven Symone, Yankees manager Joe Torre and Reeve's widow Dana Reeve will all be lending their vocal talents. I'd love to see this work out as a great sort of tribute to Reeve, who most certainly went before his time.

Elmore Leonard To Suck No More???

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Elmore Leonard is a fantastic writer. Seriously, the man is pretty much the epitome of cool when it comes to novels, and for a while there he was on a freakin role when it came to adaptations of those novels. Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, Out Of Sight, and even the TV version of Maximum Bob, one of my favorite of his books, was pretty damn good. Then it all started to go downhill. The Big Bounce, by all rights, should have been fantastic, but underwhelming is probably a more accurate description. Be Cool...the book is pretty good, but the movie had an affinity for sucking balls. So, just when I'm ready to write off Elmore Leonard as someone whose time has come and gone in the film industry, we get word of Killshot.

In the novel, a woman and her iron worker husband witness an extortion plot and then go on the run from two killers, Blackbird, precise and professional, and Richie, sloppy and a little unhinged. Sounds like your typical Leonard plot right? So why should we be interested...?

Well, first we've got the cast: Diane Lane and Thomas Jane will play the married couple. These are two solid actors, each of whom have been shortchanged by some crappy movies in the past (Must Love Dogs/Punisher) None the less, when they've got good stuff to work with, both are absolutely at the top of their game. We've only got one of the killers cast as of yet, the neat and tidy one, and it's none other than Mickey Fucking Rourke. The Mick has pretty much been batting 1000 this millenium and this looks like a great role into which he can really sink the teeth in his tremendous jawbone. Oh yeah, and did I mention that Tarrantino is executive producing? If that doesn't offer a degree of credibility I'm not sure what will.

The movie is necessarily a sure thing. It's directed by John Madden, whose previous work pretty much consists of Shakespeare In Love. He's got Proof coming out later this year and it looks like he knocked that one out of the park, but obviously he's going to have a set a very different tone for Killshot. Based on the title alone, I should hope that there's a dramatically different tone between a movie called Shakespeare In Love and a movie called Killshot. This is definitely one I'm gonna monitor closely. Right now it's toeing the line of suck but definitely seems to be leaning in the kick ass direction...

25 August 2005

Invasion of Park Chan Wook!!!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Park Chan-Wook (or Chan-Wook Park, depending on your personal preference) is taking over and I couldn't be happier about it. Oldboy finally hit American DVD shelves this past Tuesday, while the first film in his increasingly awesome Revenge Trilogy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance has been in a limited theatrical release for the past week or so. Mystically enough it has yet to make its way to the Boston area, but as soon as it does, I'll be checking it out. Early next year, the final chapter, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance will get its own little theatrical run after its international premiere at the Venice Film Festival. (The flick is currently raking in record numbers in Park's native South Korea.)

I've seen Oldboy numerous times and I fucking love it. There's an American remake in the works to be directed by Justin Lin, but I have great reservations about this oh-so-beautifully twisted story being properly translated for American audiences. In other words, Universal is gonna pussy out and rip the balls out of the movie, so to speak. I used to own an import DVD before my collection got stolen, and I'll definitely be repurchasing it soon enough. I'm totally psyched to see Mr. and Lady Vengeance as soon as I can find a theater where they're actually playing...

Anyway, I've decided to use my powers of influence to get you excited about this director, so here's we've got links to trailers for each film. I highly suggest you check them all out, because they seem to just get better and better, and Park Chan-Wook is gonna be the man to watch for the next few years, just you wait.

Click it here for fun with Mr. Vengeance

Click it here for fun with an Oldboy

Click it here for fun with Lady Vengeance

One Of The Worst Ideas In The History Of Bad Ideas

Hey guys, it's Donnie...In case you were unaware, reality television blows. Seriously, it's awful. I'm pretty much incapable of watching reality TV sober without wanting to gouge my eyes out with a salad fork. For a brief moment in time, a few studios tried to bring reality TV to the big screen, but then they realized that they were just making shitty documentaries, so that was the end of that.

Our friends at Paramount, however, seem to have figured out a clever loophole. They're greenlighting a fictional movie based on the 70s TV show Battle Of The Network Stars. For those of you who haven't heard of this little gem, (and those of you who have but repressed the memories) the original show featured the stars of various popular TV shows playing on teams by their network: ABC, CBS, and NBC. They competed in an assortment of "athletic events" while Howard Cossell did the play by play. (I can't help but wonder how athletically challenging these events actually were. Was this like Celebrity Jeopardy, where all the questions are kinda easy cuz all the contestants are kinda dumb?)

Anyway, apparantly this fictional film version will center on a disgraced network exec who has to play in order to win his job back or some such nonsense. Expect a bevvy of recent sitcom stars playing themselves and hopefully having a little fun at their own expense. Most of the Friends and Seinfeld folks are available I'm sure. Paramount says they look at this project like a "comedic Ocean's Eleven." Wonderful. They're gonna pay bloated ridiculous salaries to a bunch of TV has-beens that can't get decent work so they can all be terribly cute in a movie based on a crappy 70s reality show, but they don't have the budget to make Watchmen. Paramount needs a sharp spiritual slap to the head. And they wonder why movie sales and attendance are down...

Gordon Bombay Shot RFK!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...So Martin Sheen's wrapping up West Wing and shooting The Departed about three blocks from my apartment, Charlie Sheen lost Denise Richards, but he's still got that Two And A Half Men show, which, surprisingly enough, is really quite funny. But whatever happened to the Not-Sheen, Emilio Estevez? Well, since Yet Another Stakeout remains in development hell and I'm pretty sure his presence is no longer required in Mighty Ducks 4: Charlie Gets Laid, Estevez has moved on to a little writing and directing. He's currently gearing up to start production on Bobby, the story detailing the intertwining lives of strangers in the Ambassador Hotel the night RFK was shot.

He's already blackmailed/convinced Big Tony H (Anthony Hopkins) to star and executive produce. Demi Moore is also in talks to come do her best Thandie Newton. I love Hopkins, and Moore has certainly been making an effort to stay on the up and up recently. More importantly, I think that the story of RFK and his assassination has never really been definitively told by Hollywood. While I get the sense that this flick is gonna center more on the other folks in the hotel than on Kennedy himself, it could make for a very interesting backdrop, specifically because most audiences don't really know those events backwards and forwards, as opposed to the events in Dallas, for which most audiences could probably give you a blindfolded play by play.

Chris Cooper Could Beat Up William Hurt

Hey guys, it's Donnie... I vaguely remember the whole Robert Hanssen affair in that I remember being utterly astounded at how little most people seemed to care. I mean, this was an FBI agent who spent a decade and a half leaking US intelligence info to the goddamn Soviet Union, an enemy who fostered total vitriolic hatred here in the states. The late 80s/early 90s were a time full of acid-tipped jokes about "Ruskies", vodka, iron curtains, facist potatoes, and "Ivan", the all-purpose Russian communist evil-man bad guy. And yet, once we hit the new millenium, no one cared anymore. If we had caught him in '92 we probably would have strung him up by the balls. (Coincidentally, the same punishment would have applied in 2004 as well) Maybe it was just relief at no longer having to live in constant fear of nuclear armageddon, but no one seemed to give a crap about this guy or the obvious problems with our intelligence security protocols. In just over a decade, we became nothing more than a relic of a time out of sight and out of mind.

There was a TV miniseries chronicling the entire brou-ha-ha starring William Hurt as Robert Hanssen. Surprisingly enough, no one cared then either. But far be it from Hollywood to let a little viewer apathy stop the wheels of industry from turning. Therefore, we'll soon be getting Breach, starring Chris Cooper as Hanssen and Ryan Phillipe as a young FBI agent working under Hanssen who eventually grows suspicious of his boss, probably when he found that liter of Smirnoff and the Soviet decoder ring sitting on Hanssen's desk.

I think that Chris Cooper will probably make a far better Hanssen than Hurt did, although I believe this movie is going to take a few more creative liberties with the story than the miniseries did. Maybe people will actually give a shit this time around. They should make his best friend a talking pie plate...

24 August 2005

I See Snakes!!! And They're on A Plane!!!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Man, have I been waiting for this day...


And yes, that is Keenan Thompsan being assaulted by slithery green guys.

I think that just may be the quintessential image of this film:

Fat Albert sitting in an airline seat looking puzzled while snakes crawl all over his body.

And Sammy J. looking badass as usual.

God I can't wait for this fucking movie.

Click it here to go to blackfilm.com and check out the whole gallery...

Once It Hits Your Lips...It's Still So Good...

Hey guys, it's Donnie... Conventional wisdom states that every man has his price, and I guess Dreamworks has Todd Phillips all figured out. See, way back when, Dreamwork was pushing this surprisingly funny little flick called Eurotrip, and a big part of the marketing scheme was qualifying the picture as "from the makers of Old School and Road Trip" both of which are Todd Phillips movies. However, Phillips had nothing to do with Eurotrip (the producers were the same) and he took great umbrage with the folks at Dreamworks. Therefore, when talk of a sequel to Old School started to surface, Phillips effectively killed it, saying "I won't do business with them."

Well, it seems that Dreamworks made Todd Phillips an offer he couldn't refuse, and I'm sure it involved a check with many many zeros on the end of it. Dreamworks announced today that they've given the greenlight to Old School 2, complete with Todd Phillips and writer Scot Armstrong. None of the original cast are onboard as of yet, although Will Ferrell and Luke Wilson have expressed interest in a sequel in the past. At this point, however, Vaughn and Ferrell are going to have sizable price tags attached, so between those two and what's already been spent to buy off, uh, I mean, entice Todd Phillips, it looks like Dreamworks is gonna have to lay down a big chunk of change just to get this thing off the ground. Hope it pays off...to be honest, I wasn't overly impressed with the first one, but I seem to be in the minority in that department.

Ridley Scott Gets Drunk

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I love Matchstick Men. I think it's clever, well-paced, well shot and full of outstanding performances, particularly Allison Lohman. Perhaps my favorite thing about it is the fact that it's directed by Ridley Scott. Yes, the man behind Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down, Blade Runner and Alien made this charming little character study marked by a distinctive lack of explosions. What happened to that guy?

He may be returning soon to a theater near you. Scott's next project for 2006 is called A Good Year. It's the story of an English banker who inherits a vineyard in France and moves there to run the show and...ya know...drink. While there, he meets an American woman who claims that the vineyard is rightfully hers and I'm sure they get all lovey-dovey and...well you get the picture.

This project was announced a few weeks ago and I didn't really pay it much mind, however, since then we've gotten word on the three main roles being cast and it's now shaping up to be quite the picture. Russell Crowe will play the English banker, Albert Finney will play Crowe's uncle, (which means I'm pretty sure he'll be French and mostly deceased) and Marion Cotillard will play the American woman looking for her cut, thus leaving each actor playing a character from a different country than their own.

Finney and Cotillard worked together previously in Tim Burton's Big Fish, and it was really Cotillard's casting that got me excited enough to write this article in the first place. Aside from being drop-dead gorgeous, she's also insanely talented. She's radiant as Billy Crudup's wife in Big Fish and her work in Love Me If You Dare is absolutely out of this world. You can't help but totally fall in love with this girl. I'm looking forward to more fantastic work from her in the future, and if Ridley Scott can channel his work from Matchstick Men and avoid getting hit in the face with a telephone, this could be a movie to watch for.

UPDATED!!! TrailerTown: Steve Buscemi and The Rock Get Neighborly!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Got two trailers for ya today, both very different. In fact, I'd be surprised if you ever saw both of these movies occupying the same space at the same time anywhere ever again. These two probably wouldn't even be found playing at the same theater. But I love a good odd pairing, so here we go...

UPDATED: Yahoo recently posted the trailer in non-bootleg form, so I've updated the link. Love that chainsaw bit...

First up, we get DOOM. (For the record, I've made the decision that whenever I write something about this movie the title must always been written in all caps. It's just the way it has to be.) Here we get a look at the new trailer which premiered at QuakeCon. It starts off just like the teaser that's currently in theaters, but then we get a nice intro to each character, we get a few extra glimpses at some imps and demons, and we get a couple of nice shots from the FPS sequence, and I must say......damn. That shit is crazy. If it plays within the context of the movie, it has the potential to really blow some audiences away.

Click it here to run around and shoot stuff.

Secondly we get a little flick called Lonesome Jim. I find this picture to be noteworthy for two reasons: First, it stars Casey Affleck (a criminally underrated actor) with no sign of Big Brother Ben. Secondly, more importantly, it's the directorial debut of one Steve Buscemi. I'd love to see what that guy would do with a camera. He looks to have assembled a pretty damn solid cast, although I'm not really crazy about this particular trailer. It's a bit long and seems to show alot (and by alot I mean the whole plot) of the movie.

Click it here to go on a date with a 9 year old...

Batman Procrastinates...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...It seems like every idiot on in incredible edible internet is on a murderous rampage in an effort to claim the latest "insider info" on the next Batman movie. However, we denizens of the web with a preference for rational thought know that in reality, none of these so called "developments" have the slightest bit of credibility, mostly because the movie doesn't have a release date, a start date, or a script for that matter. The key players were all contracted for multiple films, but now it's a matter of bringing everyone together again. Screenwriter David S. Goyer had plotted out a Batman trilogy, however he also has a seemingly unending number of writing and/or directing projects in development, including his big screen adaptation of The Flash, hopefully starring Ryan Reynolds. Chris Nolan, the latest Bat-Director, has been the real mystery.

No more! Batman Begins producer Charles Roven recently told The Chicago Sun-Times:
"It's up to Chris Nolan and his schedule. He wants to make another movie first."
Another movie? But what could it be? Well, a cursory glance over at IMDB will tell you that his next announced project is called The Exec and has the potential for absolute coolness:
"A drama set in a future society where big business is the governing body, and conducts its affairs like engaging in warfare"
The script was adapted from a graphic novel by Nolan's bother Jonathan, who also adapted Memento. HOWEVER, AICN is reporting that at the recent WorldCon in Glasgow, British novelist Christopher Priest mentioned that the Nolan brothers were also planning on teaming up to adapt one of his early novels, The Prestige, a story of dueling magicians trying to one-up each other over the course of their respective carreers.

Both projects sound to be fairly fantastic, but I don't really want to wait for Nolan to finish two movies before we get another Batman. At the very least, I'd like to see Warners lay the groundwork and get Nolan and Goyer contracted and start active development on the movie before too much time passes, Nolan and Goyer move off the greener pastures and the franchise starts getting silly again.

23 August 2005

My First Harry Potter Post

Hey guys, it's Donnie...There's a reason that I've run this site for about three months now and this is the first time I've written a post dedicated to Harry Potter news: I don't really care about Harry Potter. I never read the books, I probably never will. I don't really care for these movies because they're made to cater to little kid audiences, and so everything has to be spelled out explicitly for them to make sure they understand what's happening. I get particularly frustrated when something happens that requires the simplest logical step to connect Point A and Point B, and yet one of the characters has to spend a minute and a half explaining it outright immediately after it happens. "Yes, I know it was always you and not your father on the other side of the lake. You know how I know that? I just fucking watched it happen, that's how."

That being said, I will admit that each one has been better than the one before it, with the third one being significantly better than the first two, although that was mostly due to director Alfonso Cuaron, who has since been replaced by the moderately-talented Mike Newell, who can only be forgiven for inflicting Mona Lisa Smile upon us because he's also responsible for Donnie Brasco. The fourth Potter installment, The Goblet of Fire, will be taking over theaters in November and you can watch the first theatrical trailer for it RIGHT HERE. I do enjoy watching these kids grow and change over the years at more or less the same rate that their characters do, which is something that no other film series has been able to pull off to such a degree before now. It somehow makes the characters seem more real. And, mystically enough, Newell seems to have developed some sense of style. The Tri-Wizard tournament has the potential to be cool, plus it's got Ralph Fiennes as the latest incarnation of Voldemort, which is unassailably awesome.

I know there are those of you out there who salivate over this stuff the way I'm salivating over Superman Returns, so far be it from me to deny you the pleasure.

Lonergan Returns! Ruffalo, Damon and Paquin In Tow!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I loved Kenneth Lonergan's first directorial effort, You Can Count On Me. It totally jumpstarted the career of Mark Ruffalo, for which I am eternally full of sunshine. Plus it's probably the most honest work that Laura Linney has done before or since. Aside from that, Lonergan is a completely brilliant writer, so anything he wants to lay his hands upon I'll pretty much show up for.

Next month he starts filming his sophomore film, Margaret. It stars Anna Paquin as a young woman who witnesses a bus accident in a small town, and it's effect on the town's residents. Mark Ruffalo will be back, and he'll be joined by Matt Damon, who apparantly agreed to doing the movie without reading the script.

It's gonna be one hectic shoot, as Paquin just started X3 for Brett Ratner, and Ruffalo is starting Zodiac for David Fincher while Damon is finishing The Departed for Scorsese and starting The Good Shepherd for Robert DeNiro. So many talented folks and so many good projects to look forward to...

Italian Promo Stuff? Fahgettaboutit...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Italy seems to get all the good shit. They've got the best pasta, Vespas, they had Michael Corleone for a while, and now they've got some really nice promo material. Then again, they also have to navigate around the Pope's private city/country which is inconveniently situated right in the mid-calf region of the country, so I guess we'll cut them a break.

A few days ago we got a hold of the domestic one-sheet for George Clooney's next directorial effort, the very promising Goodnight and Good Luck.

Eh. The poster's not horrible. I like the red star and the classic microphone, but they've got two-thirds of essentially empty space there. Meanwhile, the Italian poster...

SO MUCH NICER. Just plain classy. The profile of Clooney is nice because he's somewhat prominent without drawing alot of attention to him, since he's not the main character. I also really like the little TVs in the background. Subtle, yet effective.

Then this morning I discovered the Italian teaser for Chicken Little. I LOVED the first teaser with all the reporters and the toilet paper roll, and I also loved the one that spoofed the Hitchhiker's Guide trailer, mostly because I was sitting in Hitchhiker's Guide when I first saw it, so I pretty much lost my shit. However, I think we can all conclude that the "dancing Chicken Little" clips have been exceedingly lame. Click it here to see what I'm talking about. It's like they've got two-thirds of a trailer for a pretty decent movie and then they ran out of rendered video so they just slapped on some dancing chicken nonsense they made while they were screwing around at the office one day.

Meanwhile, click it here to check out the Italian teaser. See, for some reason this one is actually funny. The video is exacly the same, so what could it be....? Oh, I know! The music isn't totally fucking boring. I'm not saying that this Italian tune is "my jam" or anything, and yes, perhaps I'm subconsciously just laughing at the silly Europeans, but it still works better than the schlock Disney's spoon-feeding us ugly Americans.

Between these little tidbits and the Batman DVD Artwork I found last week, I think it's time we get some European design folks to cross the pond and start giving our shit a little style....

19 August 2005

Partial Superman Returns Footage! Singer Is A Tease!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...those of you who have been reading the site with any regularity for the past month know that I've been going absolutely bonkers waiting to get a taste of that Superman Returns footage shown at ComicCon. To the point where before I go to bed almost every night, I click over to BlueTights to see if it's made its way online yet. However, last night, I found to my incredulous surprise, a new video diary waiting for me: Bryan's Blog #22: 20 Hours In San Diego.

This is by far the best (and longest) installment of the production diary to date. Not only do we get to watch Bryan and Michael Dougherty acting totally loopy on their plane ride to San Diego, but we get a very nice little montage of Singer answering questions at the Con, complete with footage and on-set clips to back up what he's talking about. Then, we see the lights in the convention all dim, and the video screens light up and cut to the demo reel....and it's GORGEOUS. I'm telling you, these new Genesis cameras are incredible, they're going to change filmmaking as we know it. They give the picture this bizarre quality of being dated and yet timeless. John Ottman says they'll be utilizing the John Williams classic fanfare, but everything else will be original because he's trying the modern feel of the movie intact. So anyway, we are treated to some great freakin imagery, classic stuff, beautifully composed camera work, we get to hear Brandon speaking in character, we see him on the farm and then...it's over!


I can't believe we only get half the footage here. I want to see the rest of the reel for chrissakes! I want to see Luthor! I want to see more Daily Planet! Lois! Jimmy! Just ONE Superman money shot!

Hopefully we'll get the whole shebang soon enough. Still, I love what we get here. I've watched this thing about a dozen times today, and it doesn't look like I'm gonna stop anytime soon.

Click it here to check out The High Flying Adventures Of Bryan Singer!

More X3 Casting Scuttlebutt

Hey guys, it's Donnie... XMenFilms.net has got a pretty decent casting scoop today on X3. Shauna Kain (Siryn), Bryce Hodgson (Artie), Conner Widdows (Jones), and Luke Pohl (Unnamed X-Kid) are all reprising their roles as students at Xavier's School For The Gifted. No word on whether or not Kea Wong will be returning as Jubilee or if that role will be recast. Personally I could really care less, because Jubilee always seemed a little worthless to me.

We definitely will NOT be seeing Bruce Davison return as Senator Kelly, as he's got two other projects he's currently preparing for. Also it seems that Katie Nuata will not be appearing as The Mutant Whore, although hopefully that doesn't necessarily mean that Ratner's gone back to the Williams' sisters. Apparantly the casting offices claim to have finished casting all major roles, which means that Gambit's presence in the film is still a mystery. Apparantly some are claiming that he's already been cast while others maintain that he's been cut from the movie entirely.

Anyway, click it here to swing by XMF and read the scoop for yourself. They also apparantly have a spoiler scene description, although I've decided that I know too much about his movie already, so I'm gonna abstain from any further spoilers.

Dr. Uwe Boll Prescribes Sentance Fragments

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I'm sorry, but this is just too good to pass up. I discovered this "interview" with Dr. Uwe Boll concerning his upcoming Dungeon Siege. I put interview in quotations because it is probably the worst interview I've ever read. I don't know how this thing was conducted, but it seems almost like the interviewer compiled all his questions into a questionaire and Boll filled it out as quickly as possible. No reponse is more than two sentences long and the majority of them are merely sentence fragments of five words or less. Some of them barely even answer the question asked. For example:
4. Will we see any hot women in metal underwear?!
Dr Boll - Kristana Loken and Leelee Sobieski are warriors.

13. Will there be any characters similar to Conan or Red Sonya?
Dr Boll - Loken as Elora is the TREE WOMAN.
I don't even know what that means. Apparantly Dr. Boll is unfamiliar with the concept of expounding upon your answers. Or, ya know, adjectives in general. Most of the questions are pretty awful as well, including the brainbuster, "Will we see any cool dungeons?" Well I should hope so! The movie is called Dungeon Seige, even Dr. Uwe Boll should be able to figure out that the movie should contain at least one dungeon, and it should probably be at least somewhat cool as it comprises half of your title. Mostly what's missing here is the sense of a conversation between two people. I just....gah, Uwe Boll sucks.

Click it here to read what is quite possibly the worst interview in the history of interviews.

Dwight Shoots Up Harvey Pekar and Persephone

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Perhaps the only other movie with a title close to as brilliant as Snakes On A Plane is the new Clive Owen flick Shoot 'Em Up. They both have that quality, as soon as you hear the title, you know instantly what awaits you and probably whether you're going to enjoy it or not. The story centers on Mr. Smith, a man who delivers a baby in the middle of a shootout, and then promises the mother to protect the child from an army of crazed gunmen. Sounded like the perfect vehicle for Clive Owen, very reminiscent of his BMW Driver shorts. Writer/Director Michael Davis has yet to have a real breakout hit, although his 100 Girls is a total guilty-pleasure-stupid-junk-food-entertainment flick. Plus it's got local boy Jonathan Tucker, who I rather like as an actor.

Anyway, Hollywood Reporter is...reporting...that Owen will be joined by none other than Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci, two people whose very presence in a film immediately grabs my attention. Bellucci will play Owen's love interest and Giamatti will play the evil boss-man who wants to make swiss baby. I'm not sure exactly why he's so interested in killing an infant, but whatever. Maybe it's an Oedipal thing, which would be kinda gross since I'm pretty sure the mother dies at the beginning of the film.

18 August 2005

X3 Is Keeping Secrets...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Well, I guess I feel a little bit better now.

Patrick Stewart appeared at a big Star Trek convention in Vegas this week and he let slip a t asty little nougat concerning X3:
"We have shot five days on X-Men 3. Already some amazing things have been put in the can, some surprises — [including] one surprise which will never even appear in a script form. We've just shot it. It's so secret, that there was never, ever allowed anything to be on paper about it."

When asked about Brett Ratner taking over the franchise: "I think Brett Ratner is going to do a fantastic job on this movie. He's an extraordinary, gifted man, and I think the perfect choice to direct X3. We miss Bryan Singer, of course, because this is the man that launched this franchise so outstandingly."
Considering that most of the early criticism has sprouted from script reviews, this is probably the best possible news we could get. That there's some big important surprising moment in the film that we don't know about yet and won't know about until it starts screening in front of people. Who knows what it is, but perhaps it will balance out the crap we have heard about. As far as Stewart's words concerning his new director, well, actors never badmouth a director they're currently working with, so that bit is kind of meaningless.

Either way, it's anothing point to add to the "List of Things I'm Looking Forward To" in this movie. If I'm lucky, that's the list that will continue to grow, and not the "List of Things That Will Probably Suck Balls."

Flux Of Aeon, Not Capacitor

Hey guys, it's Donnie...A few days ago I linked you all over to that really crappy MTV site with the Aeon Flux trailer on it. I never could get the damn thing to work right and who knows if any of you ever did either, but it's no longer of any concern.

Apple just posted the trailer in bright shining Quicktime, and now that I've finally seen the whole thing...I'm marginally impressed. They've certainly got the futuristic-utopian-society thing down cold and there certainly seem to be some interesting elements at play here, specifically the ball-bearing explosives, the girl with hands for feet, and the killer grass, (yes, that's right, grass) but this thing really isn't gonna be decided for me until I'm sitting in the theater watching it play out in front of me. Director Karyn Kusama, formerly responsible for making a star out of Michelle "I could break you in half" Rodriguez with Girlfight, well, she seems to have nailed down the style. Now let's she if she's got any substance to back it up...

Click it here to activate your lawn defense system, complete with gun-toting garden gnomes!

Hold Off On That Vendetta...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I loved the tagline for V For Vendetta, "Remember, remember the 5th of November..." It's slightly lyrical, slightly creepy, and it fit in with their release date of November 6th so well...

Alas, it was not meant to be.

The film has been officially pushed back to a March 17th release. The official reason for the delay is to give the post-production team more time, and despite the fact that studios are seldom honest about their reasons for delaying a film, I'm fairly inclined to believe them. I'm sure that the post-production folks would like more time and I'm sure we'll get a better film because of it.

However, I'm also sure that the recent London bombings also played a part in pushing back the release date. Even though they have no relation to the film other than it takes place in London and the hero is a justified terrorist of sorts, I'd be willing to bet that this was more about the marketing folks wanting to put more space between the movie and the bombings and less about puting the finishing touches on the vapor trails left by flying knives.

Ah well, I'm pretty sure it's probably gonna work out for the best anyway.

Feeling Inferior To A 12 Year Old Girl

Hey guys, it's Donnie...This is probably the coolest piece of news to cross my screen all day, if not all week. This is pure film geek joy. I recently commented to someone that Orson Welles made Citizen Kane when he was 22, thus making me feel rather worthless as a filmmaker/actor. Well, now I just feel...I don't eve know. Worse. I might as well give up and go home.

The Austin Film Society gives out grants every year to filmmakers in order to help them start and/or finish projects. This year they gave $1,000 to a 12 year old girl so she could finish her 90 minute zombie movie Pathogen.

Goddamn it anyway!

This girl's story, how she got into film, etc. is pretty awesome, so I'm gonna pass the narrative torch to Harry Knowles at AICN, who's had more than a minor influence on this young Romero.

Click it here to feel totally unaccomplished as a human being...

17 August 2005

Screw Richard Lester! Donner's Superman II Lives! (Kinda)

Hey guys it's Donnie...This is seriously one of the coolest things I've ever heard of. I'm sure most of you know the now infamous story of Richard Donner and his lost version of Superman II. Essentially what it boils down to is that Donner shot Superman and Superman II back to back, and he was approximately 70% through shooting Superman II when Marlon Brando filed a lawsuit arguing that the studio owed him money from the profits of the first film. He was therefore completely removed from the second film by order of the producers. (This is the footage that Bryan Singer will be using in Superman Returns.) Brando's removal prompted an argument between Donner and the powers that be, who wanted the second film to be "more campy". Donner was consequently fired and replaced by Richard Lester, who I'm pretty sure is responsible for most of the really crap moments of Superman II, including the memory-erasing kiss at the end, and the absolutely silly giant cellophane "S" that Superman throws at Non, the giant Kryptonian villian. (This unfortunate moment always seemed totally out of place to me, but it also spawned one of my favorite single jokes of the new season of Family Guy.)

So Lester came onboard and reshot some things, although Gene Hackman refused to return for reshoots, so most of Luthor's scenes in the sequel contain body doubles and dialogue looped by a voice imitator, ala George McFly in Back To The Future Parts 2 and 3. Lester finished shooting, re-edited, and we got a completely muddled sequel, which is where the franchise began to take a turn for the worse. On the other hand, there's a good portion of footage shot by Richard Donner that has never seen the light of day, and several cast members, most notably Margot Kidder, claim that Donner's version was fantastic and would have sent the franchise in a very different direction.

Here's the catch: When the movie was aired on TV in foreign markets, different countries aired different versions, many of which contained various Donner scenes that had been cut out of the theatrical release. Well, one determined soul tracked down VHS copies, restored the footage, compiled it all together and created what has been dubbed as Superman II: The Restored International Cut. All of the Lester Footage and all of the Donner Footage that could be acquired, edited together into one massive DVD. It's virtually impossible to track down a copy as they can't legally be sold without risking a lawsuit by Warners, but they do exist. I'm working on tracking down a copy myself. In the meantime, someone did a scene by scene break down, comparing the theatrical cut to the RIC, complete with a few screen shots and dialogue transcriptions. There are some really bizarre moments and some really nice moments as well, and overall it makes for a very interesting read.

Click it here to fly over to SupermanHomepage and read the Superman II: RIC review...

X3 And The Never Ending Cast

Hey guys, it's Donnie... Seriously, could this cast get any freakin' bigger? I feel like every three days they announce another new character which will play some crucial part in the increasingly complex plot. Only two things are becoming more and more clear as production starts cranking its wheels: a) This movie is either going to be amazing or horrendous and b) if it does crash and burn it's gonna be the fault of the script and not the cast. From what I've been able to piece together of the script, it's either going to be epically fantastic or muddled and spread too thin.

Today we've learned of the addition of Shohreh Aghdashloo, the Oscar nominated actress who played wife to Sir Ben Kingsley in The House Of Sand And Fog. She joins the cast as Dr. Kavita Rao, a character created by Joss Whedon in his Astonishing X-Men series. Rao (aside from also being the name of the God of Krypton) is a geneticist who creates a serum called Hope which "cures" mutants and turns them into regular Joes, or Logans as the case may be. In the comics, this ruffled some feathers within the X-Men, specifically with Beast, a character we already know to be featured in X3. Why do I feel like this is gonna echo that crap plotline of The Thing in Fantastic Bore?

So let's recap. We've got the Pheonix, the Legacy virus, the Hope serum, the Morlocks, and no less than 6 major characters that have to be introduced from scratch. This thing's gonna be about 3 hours long. I really hope Ratner can pull it off because I don't wanna watch one of my favorite franchises self destruct...

Invasion Of The Batmen!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I'm currently counting down the days to October 18th, at which point I'm gonna go on a Batman DVD binge. But first things first...

This past weekend, Batman Begins cleared the $200 million mark thus making it not only the second highest grossing Batman film ever but the 3rd highest grossing film of the year, behind only Revenge Of The Sith and War Of The Worlds, and I have a feeling that it'll pass WOTW sometime soon. Not only that, but the IMAX version just set the record as the highest grossing digitally re-mastered 2-D IMAX release ever. The record was previously held by Matrix Reloaded, which grossed just over $14 million in 22 weeks. Batman Begins has now hit $14.5 million in just under nine weeks. Last weekend alone took in $203,000, which is an increase of 8% from the week before. I'm gonna check it out this weekend hopefully, as it finally hit my local IMAX theater. Not only does this bode well for the impending sequel, (once Warners can get Chris Nolan to sign on the dotted line...) but this has gotta bode well for Superman Returns. I know that Bryan Singer has been debating whether or not to do an IMAX release because he's worried about the image transfer, but I'm sure that Batman's ticket sales will have the Warners folks "encouraging" him to do an IMAX release.

Anyway, back the October 18th, which is the magic day for Batman fans. That is the day that the planets will align and we'll get the release of SIX Batman movies for a total of ELEVEN DVDs to choose from. Here's how it breaks down:

First you'll get Batman Begins. You can choose either a single-disc edition with almost no special features, or a 2 disc version that is CHOCK FULL of documentaries and featurettes. Personally, I'm going for the 2 disc, but then again I almost ALWAYS go for the specialist of the special editions. Click it here for artwork and special features.

Next you'll get 2 disc Digitally Remastered Special Editions of all the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher movies: Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. You can choose to purcahse these movies seperately or as one big ole box set. We all know that Batman and Robin is utter shite and after rewatching Batman Forever recently, I've decided that, while Kilmer certainly kicks Clooney's ass, it's still pretty bad. But I love the Burton movies, so I'll split it down the middle and snag Burton and leave Shumacher to rot on the shelves. Click it here for artwork and special features. I'd like to note that Warners totally dropped the ball on the artwork on these puppies. I think it was a monumentally bad choice to just rehash the floating head original artwork with a new font for the title. They had the opportunity to do something so much cooler, and I know this for a fact because you can click it here to see the vastly superior Region 2 artwork. How bad ass is that? It almost makes me forget how much I dislike the second two. Almost.

Finally, what I think just may be the coolest of the cool, you can also pick up The Complete Batman 1943 Movie Serial Collection. These are all 15 short episodes of one Batman adventure. They were shown, one episode a week, in movie theaters in 1943, right in between the cartoon short and the news reel. Expect silly villians, campy costumes, and hilarious fight scenes. Click it here for the artwork and special features. I think this has the coolest artwork of all Batman discs getting released that day. And if you like that, click it here to check out The Complete Batman and Robin 1949 Movie Serial Collection, which hit shelves this past March. I'll certainly be getting both of those.

October will certainly be a good month for fans of The Batman, and the 18th seriously cannot get here fast enough. I plan on having the many permutations of Batman continuously playing on my TV straight through to Halloween...
Little Giant Ladder