30 November 2005

Ari Strikes Gold!! Piven Takes The Lead!!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I flat out love Jeremy Piven. Always have, always will. I loved him when he was permanently stuck in John Cusack's shadow and I love him even more now that he seems to have found his way out of it. His work as Ari Gold on Entourage is nothing short of inspired and I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to see what he does in Joe Carnahan's next flick, Smokin' Aces, where he plays a Vegas magician turned mob informant.

Thusly it is with great relish that we announce today that New Line has finally seen Piven worthy of getting his own movie. (Aside from the underrated PCU.) That's right, Piven will be filling the spot vacated by Steve Carrell on the film formerly titled Furry Vengeance. The premise is really not entirely promising: Piven is a Portland, Oregon real estate developer who attempts to get promoted to partner by developing a large area of untouched wilderness. When he attempts to move in, however, the various woodland creatures start fighting back and hilarity (hopefully) ensues.

I know, I know, it sounds like absolute drivel and it kinda sucks that Piven is getting Carrell's table scraps, but hey, in Hollywood you take whatever you can get. Besides, there's still a small kernel of potential in there somewhere. It ultimately depends on how they choose to handle the animals. If it turns out like Mouse Hunt, we could be in for a real treat. If it ends up like Dr. Doolittle, then we're most definitely in trouble...

Sweet 3D Fishies

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I love 3D IMAX movies. I enjoyed the hell out of Aliens Of The Deep, and Batman Begins, despite being in a mere 2D, was phenomenal on the BIG big screen. I'd really like to catch Magnificent Desolation before it retreats from theaters and I even kind of want to see Polar Express, because if I'm ever going to watch that movie, 3D IMAX is the format I want to watch it in. There's just something about IMAX that inherently awakens the inner five year old in me, that absolutely fills me with abject wonder.

So, imagine my glee when I stumbled across the poster for Deep Sea 3D, the newest underwater IMAX film from director Howard Hall. Underwater films are probably my absolute favorite of any type of film to watch in IMAX, and not only does this promise to be visually stimulating, but...well, check this:

It's narrated by Johnny Depp and the ever lovely Kate Winslet (the only actor alive who can do an American Express commercial and not seem like she's selling out) and the music is by none other than Danny Elfman. Come on, how can this movie not be full of awesome?

Tucci: Matchmaker Extrodinaire?

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Stanley Tucci will soon be returning to the director's chair, and I can't help but get all warm and tingly just thinking about it. I LOVE Big Night, although I've missed out on the rest of his directorial efforts. (A mistake that is soon to be recitified I can assure you.) But I'm certainly looking forward to his next project, Blind Date, expected to start lensing in January in NYC.

The film is actually a remake of a film by Theo van Gogh, the controversial Dutch filmmaker who was gunned down by a Muslim extremist in response to his film Submission: Part I, a documentary concerning the abuse of Islamic women. He was also the great-great-grandson of Theo van Gogh, who was the brother of famous painter Vincent van Gogh and also the namesake for Theo, my pet frog. The title is...misleading to say the least. It will star the incredible Tony Shaloub and Patricia Clarkson as a married couple who lost their son in a tragic car accident. According to Shaloub, "Since the child's death they've been unable to spend time together, and they can't not be together, so they sort of meet on blind dates and role-play as strangers. It's a great story."

It certainly sounds like a great story, and Shaloub and Clarkson are both wonderfully complex actors who will no doubt bring extraordinary depth and pathos to the characters. Tucci often plays a major role in his films, so I would expect that we'll be seeing him in some sort of significant supporting part.

29 November 2005

Slow Zombies Return!! Romero Returns!!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...So a few weeks back I mentioned my lack of excitement for Steve Miner's impending remake of Day Of The Dead, and how it was a crying shame that studios were more willing to greenlight zombie remakes than another actual Romero zombie flick. (Since I wrote that article, I have see Land Of The Dead and I absolutely LOVED it.)

So imagine my absolute glee this morning when it was announced that Focus/Rogue Pictures is interested in fast tracking a direct sequel to Land Of The Dead, following the surviving characters as they make their way north to Canada in Dead Reckoning. Not only that, but they're talking about possibly filming as soon as August.

It's not official yet, no contracts have been signed. Romero also has a few other projects on the horizon, including adaptations of the Stephen King stories From A Buick 8 and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. But in an interview with Empire Online, he seemed ready and willing to take up the zombie mantle once more, and, quite honestly, nothing makes me happier. Maybe this time Universal will figure out how to properly market and release the damn thing...

Really Crappy Awesome Pirates

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Last week the trailer for Pirates Of The Carribean: Dead Man's Chest showed up on a Germain racing boat website, but I could never get it to play. It then promptly disappeared. It has resurfaced over at WWTDD.com (What Would Tyler Durden Do?) in a really crappy Windows Media format.

But I don't really care cuz even though it looks like crap on a spoon...it's pretty friggin awesome.

We get a very basic premise: Jack Sparrow owes his soul to Davey Jones, who looks ridiculously awesome. Seriously, after seeing the design sketches on him I thought he would never turn out looking as sweet as the drawings...but they totally pulled it off. Or at least I think they did, it's still kind of hard to see the details through this shitty shitty formatting.

But the trailer bounds along at a literally breakneck pace and just seems to be exploding with more fun that you can shake a bottle of rum at...

...eh? What's that? We're out of rum?

Why's the rum gone!?!

Jesus Hates New Orleans

Hey guys, it's Donnie...As if there wasn't enough meteorological evidence to prove the point, Tony Scott seems intent on proving that God totally has it in for the land of Mardis Gras, a.k.a. beads and boobies.

Thusly, Tony Scott is gonna have Jesus blow up a ferry.

Scott has just cast Jim "The Son Of God" Caviezel as the nefarious do-badder in his next flick Deja Vu, the story of an FBI agent (Denzel Washington) who travels back in time to stop the evil bad guy of evil (Caviezel) from blowing up a ferry and killing the woman he loves. That is to say, the woman Denzel loves, not Jesus. Jesus loves everybody. Except the people on that fuckin boat I guess.

The project was actually scrapped for about two weeks in the wake of Katrina, but "the other Scott brother" decided that the film would be do-able afterall, and will most likely be the first feature film shot in New Orleans since Katrina and Rita tagged teamed the place. Personally, I like Caviezel a lot, particularly when he's playing a less reputable character. I'm really excited to see him and Denzel go head to head, although it shouldn't be much of a fight. Caviezel can just smite Denzel with His glory.

Another Smith Sequel???

Hey guys, it's Donnie...So Kevin Smith has caught a lot of shit recently for making a sequel to Clerks. (Shooting wrapped November 18.) In fact, Smith has been waging an epic war with messageboard posters over at AICN. It's been entertaining to say the least. Anyway, someone recently asked the man if he would be willing to do a sequel to Dogma, and his response...well, take a look:
So weird you should ask this, because ever since 9/11, I
have been thinking about a sequel of sorts. I mean, the worst terrorist attack on American soil was religiously bent. In the wake of said attack, the leader of the "Free World" outed himself as pretty damned Christian. In the last election, rather than a quagmire war abroad, the big issue was whether or not gay marriage was moral.

Back when I made "Dogma", I always maintained that another movie about religion wouldn't be forthcoming, as "Dogma" was the product of 28 years of religious and spiritual meditation, and I'd kinda shot my wad on the subject. Now? I think I might have more to say.

And, yes - the Last Scion would be at the epicenter of it. And she'd have to be played by Alanis.

And we'd need a bigger budget - because the entire third act would be the Apocalypse.

Scary thing is this: the film would have to touch on Islam. And unlike the Cathloic League, when those cats don't like what you do, they issue a death warrant on yer ass (see Rushdie). And now that I've got a family, I'm not as free to stir the shit-pot as I was when I was single, back when I made "Dogma". I mean, now I've gotta think about more than my own safety and well-being.

But regardless - yeah, a "Dogma" followup's been swimming around in my head for some time now.

P.S. - Interesting "Dogma"-related sidebar: I recently received a glowing "Dogma"-praising email from a recent fan, who began his missive with "My name's Tom Clancy. I do books." It was surreal and really wonderful.
I gotta respect Smith. He really seems to be maturing away from just his mindless dick and fart jokes, all while maintaining his dick and fart joke sensibilities...whatever that means. Seriously, he's said repeatedly that Clerks 2 came about not because it would be easy to do and make a bunch of money, but because he really wanted to revisit the characters and see what happened to them once they hit their 30s. Jersey Girl is all about being a father. There's nothing better than watching a filmmaker grow and develop over time, and I think Smith is in the midst of a very interesting point in his life as a filmmaker.

Having been raised Catholic, I think that Dogma is a work of pure genius, so I would LOVE to see Smith's take on the extreme rise in religious zeal in the last six years. At the same time, if studios get nervous about Albert Brooks's Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World, just imagine their reactions to Kevin Smith's religious apocolypse movie. Right now I'm really curious to see the reactions to Clerks 2, which Smith assures us will probably drop the Passion Of The Clerks title by the time it hits theaters. Smith claims that, having watched more than half the movie in the editing process, this has become his favorite of his own movies, bumping Chasing Amy from the top slot. That's a big statement to make, especially considering how many people are already against him on this one. I really REALLY hope this works out for him. And I wouldn't mind Dogma 2 somewhere down the road...although, honestly, I'm not sure if I could take an entire movie of full of Alanis.

Ace Ventura's Believe It Or Not

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Now here is a pairing that I can really get behind...even if I'm not totally sold on the project.

Tim Burton is looking to direct Jim Carrey in Believe It Or Not!, an intended franchise starter about Robert Ripley and his globetrotting adventures as he searches far and wide for oddities and curiosities that would one day form the basis for a television show starring Dean Cain.

Seriously, I've thoroughly enjoyed Burton's extended Johnny Depp streak, but he's starting to wear out his actors. Every single movie is just Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Missi Pyle, Deep Roy...it'll be nice to get some new blood in there. Then again, I hear that Ripley has a posse of fellow adventurers, probably consisting of a tall blonde woman, a short Indian fellow...you get the idea.

I've actually heard very good things about the script, which has been circulating Hollywood for some time now. It's usually described as a "goofy Indiana Jones", which I suppose could be fun. Then again, I kinda thought that's what Sahara was. Ya know, aside from being "awesome."

28 November 2005

In The Name Of All That Is Unholy...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...This is it. The BIG one. The one we've all been waiting for.

The trailer for In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale by Dr. Uwe Boll.

Boll has got to knock this one out of the park (and by "knock it out of the park," I mean "break even.") because his German tax loophole is about to close and then he'll never be able to pull together the absurd amounts of money he has in the past. He'll have to rely on his dubious (and that's being generous) filmmaking talents to pull together the scratch to start a new production.

So, how does it look?

It looks like a trainwreck. A trainwreck that took out every innocent bystander in its path. There were a number of people that I forgot were in this movie, and then they just keep slowly popping up over the course of the trailer, and each time someone new showed up I died a little bit inside. It's more than a little painful to watch. It's like Lord Of The Rings...but collosally boring. Seriously, the guy managed to make swordplay and creatures and magic about as exciting as my bus ride home. Uwe Boll makes some of the absolute worst trailers around. Granted this is not a theatrical trailer but an "in production" trailer, but that doesn't excuse the fact that it sucks balls.

Click it here to see where decent actors go to die...

David Lynch Returns...In Digital!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I wasn't aware of this, but apparantly David Lynch has jumped onboard the Robert Rodriguez/Michael Mann/James Cameron "Film Is Dead, I'm Only Shooting In Digital" bandwagon. To which I say...sweet.

But mostly that response comes simply from the news that Lynch has another movie on the horizon. Apparantly Lynch started the project, currently titled Inland Empire, over three years ago (with no script) and Empire Online is reporting that the film is close to completion. As per normal, no one really knows what it's about except that it's "a mystery about a woman in trouble" and it stars Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, (yes!) Julia Ormand and Jeremy Irons, who apparantly must have figured out how to get himself out of Medieval Europe.

Lynch came and spoke at my alma mater a few months back. Sadly I missed out, although I heard a pretty funny story about someone asking him about the mysterious Judy in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. The guy is a master filmmaker, so I'm just excited that he's making another movie.

Jovovich Gets Ultraviolet On Your Ass

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I really need to re-purchase Equilibrium. I miss that movie somethin' fierce. So obviously I've been waiting in rapt anticipation for director Kurt Wimmer's follow-up, Ultraviolet. The movie concerns another bleak future landscape in which a war is being waged between humans and vampiric mutants with superior strength, speed and intelligence. Jovovich plays one such mutated individual who is sworn to protect the life of a young boy, the always creepy Canuck, Cameron Bright.

We've heard next to nothing on this project. No trailers, no set reports, no nothing. But today we are treated to the first production still from the film and...well, it's pretty damn awesome. Take a look:
At first I thought her guns just had absurdly long ammo clips on them. But, upon further inspection, I realized that those tails are in fact blades. That's right, they're gundaggers. Wimmer's self-invented "gunkata" from Equilibrium was easily one of the best parts of that movie, and word is that we're in store for a whole lot more this time around. Sounds good to me. Theoretically this thing is supposed to hit theaters sometime in 2006. Theoretically.

Dench Is Still M? I Am Confused...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Personally, I think this could represent the first really bad news concerning 007's newest adventure. Empire Online talked to Dame Judi Dench about her upcoming Mrs. Henderson Presents and she revealed that she will in fact be reprising her role as M in Casino Royale. According to Dench, she's set to start in February and she'll be filming in both Prague and the Bahamas.

Now...I really just don't know about this. The whole point of Casino Royale was that they were going to restart the Bond franchise ala Batman Begins. I'm all for that approach, seeing as Bond movies, just like the now defunct Batman franchise, had become rather bloated, unweildy and emotionally hollow...kind of like Sally Struthers. So if you're going to start from scratch, why would you keep the same actress playing one of the major series characters? I mean, I love Judi Dench and all, but this is like if they had done Batman Begins and let Michael Gough keep playing Alfred. You have to get rid of your entire cast, otherwise you're not really restarting the franchise.

Now we should keep in mind that this is coming solely from Dench (who also says she hasn't seen a script yet) and not from Sony or director Martin Campbell. Dench was also repeatedly quoted as saying that Brosnan was coming back for another go around, so it's entirely possible that she doesn't quite have her finger on the pulse of this project. Or she could be talking it up simply because Sony is stonewalling her and she wants to stay onboard. Who knows. But Judi Dench seems convinced that she's still playing M...and that sounds like trouble to me.

Jason Statham Is A Bus

Hey guys, it's Donnie...So Jason Statham has a couple of very different flicks on the horizon. On is literally a disaster of mythic proportions...but we'll get to that later. On the brighter side, he's also got a movie called Crank in the works. Sadly it is not about the inventor of the Model T.

JoBlo just did an interview with the ever delicious Amy Smart, who plays Statham's girlfriend in the movie. She gave the following description:
"It’s not a drug movie! It sounds like one. [Jason Statham] plays this guy who’s a hitman and he’s been shot up with Chinese poison. Through the whole movie, in order to keep alive he has to keep his adrenaline up. It’s kind of like the movie SPEED but in a body. And he tries everything. Everything – grotesque, whatever it is – to keep himself alive."
Come on now..."Speed but in a body"?!? How can this movie not be 17 kinds of fun? Yeah it's got a novice pair of writer/directors, but I say that just means more potential for ass-kickery. The picture above is an actual still from the movie. (Click to make it bigger.) Yes, he's wearing a hospital gown, and yes, he's probably mooning everyone behind him.

Germans Get A Nicer Hostel...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I've said this before, but I'm saying it again because it's still true and because I still don't understand why.

European film marketing is often infinitely superior to American film marketing.

Further evidence abounds. Below we have two posters for Eli Roth's upcoming depraved gore-fest, Hostel. One is awesome and one is boring.

Guess which one is ours? If you guessed the one featuring an unidentifiable tool and the name of a famous filmmaker who didn't actually make this movie, you're correct! I don't understand the reasoning behind this. Why is it that European posters and even DVD art are so often so much cooler than the stuff coming out of the country that actually produced the damn movie? Is it our fault? Are American audiences and consumers so adlebrained that marketing companies have to rely on the simplest, basest images that will appeal to the lowest common denominator of viewers?

Or are marketing firms just stubborn in their refusal to accept new and innovative ideas? Is this why we get poster upon poster that is either totally lifeless (ala Hostel) or nothing more than a series of giant floating heads? Because, to me, these strategies represent a complete lack of faith in the film itself. It's saying that the only way we're gonna get people in the theater to watch our mediocre film is on star power and a sense of morbid curiosity. What the hell? This shit is so frustrating it hurts...

23 November 2005

The Digital Takeover Continues

Hey guys, it's Donnie... Last night I watched Chicken Little in the new Disney Digital 3D format. The movie itself was emminently forgetable, (it's absolutely criminal that this thing so solidly beat down Zathura, an infininitely superior film) but the 3D is really REALLY close to what it needs to be. Not only have they finally eliminated the red and blue lenses of death, but they also seem to have improved upon the polarized lenses themselves. A few months back I saw Aliens Of The Deep in IMAX 3D and, while it was fantastic, it did make my eyes go a little wonky after a while.

No such problems this time around. I sat through the whole movie without my eyes glazing over or my head splitting itself in half. Moreover, the Disney animators really had an excellent grasp of how best to use the 3D technology. Aside from one or two sequences which were clearly designed to be "3D sequences", (most notably the public panic at the film's opening and Chicken Little's attempt to get to school a short while later) the movie wasn't all about gimmicky visual tricks, i.e. trying to make it look like there are things flying towards you. And that's a good thing, because not only does nobody fall for it, but it's also the biggest weakness left in 3D. The only times where the image really gets blurry or hard to track is when there are lots of objects in very fast motion, particularly lots of very small objects, like acorns or popcorn.

The real strength of the technology is merely the simple depth of objects. Actually being able to distinguish between the foreground and the background. When Chicken Little is at the forefront and there's a chair in the back of the room, it feels like there's actual distance between the objects. If 3D is really gonna be able to catch on, it's gonna be due to the simplicities like this, the things that make you feel like the movie is actually taking place in three dimensional space in front of you. They also have to do something about the price, as regular adult admission was $11.50. Thankfully I haven't thrown out my student ID yet, so I got in for $10.

Studios must be willing to embrace this new technology and not force theaters to jack up the price of tickets even higher than they already are. The turnaround time from theater to DVD continues to decrease, (Sin City did it in about six months, but The Skeleton Key just did it in three.) and the price of upscale home theater systems continues to fall, thus contributing to the popular opinion of "I'll just wait till it comes out on DVD." Studios and theaters need to start finding new ways to get asses in the seats, and it's gonna have to be by embracing new technologies and offering something in the theaters that people can't get at home. I hate to say it, but in the age of on demand video, Tivo and video iPods, studios are dangerously close to being forced to release films simultaneously in theaters, on DVD and via online downloads, or else they're gonna end up in the same position that the music industry is still kind of digging itself out of.

Personally I think that's just shitty. I mean, I recognize the high price of gas and that popcorn costs like $14 and that there are 20 minutes of annoying commercials before the damn movie, but it will be an absolute shame if we essentially throw away the experience of going to the movies. I don't care how nice your home theater system is, there's something intangibly wonderful about sitting in that big dark room in front of that huge silver screen with 200+ other people and sharing a film together.

I'm encouraged at this morning's announcement that Sony will join Disney, Fox and Universal to start supplying theaters with digital prints of their films to go along with the 4,000 digital projectors that Christie/AIX will be rolling out into theaters across America and Canada over the next two years. Disney rolled out 100 new 3D projectors to coincide with the release of Chicken Little, thus more than doubling the number of 3D projectors already in the market. Theaters and studios must embrace these innovations in the theater-going experience. They must find new and compelling ways to get people out of their houses. Bring down prices, get rid of some of the ads before the previews, hell, maybe start offering more content along with movies. Short films, cartoons, SOMETHING! Otherwise they're essentially hanging themselves out to dry. If studios become too dependant on DVD sales (as some would argue that they have already) then the upcoming battle royale between Blu-ray and HD-DVD is gonna get even uglier than we all thought.

So I implore you: get off your duff, call up some friends, carpool, chip in for gas money and go see a movie the way it was always meant to be seen, before it's too late.

Trailertown: Hotties...and Steve Coogan

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Welcome back to Trailertown!

Dead Or Alive - Yes, this is based on the video game about hot chicks kicked copious amounts of ass. And yes, the movie is full of hot chicks kicking copious amounts of ass, including that chick who had a threesome with Drama and Turtle on Entourage. The flick was directed by Corey Yuen, the martial arts guru behind The Transporter movies as well as the great Unleashed. To say that this guy knows his shit would be more than a gross understatement. The Weinstein Co just picked up the distribution rights a few days ago and now we have some moving pictures for our viewing pleasure. Here's what I like most about this trailer: It looks like a crapload of fun. Yuen seems aware that this is a game that appeals to our base instincts: Ass kicking and breasts. You've gotta respect him for sort of taking that idea and just running with it. Hell, he's even got them playing volleyball at one point. I'm very much looking forward to this...

Click it here to get slapped around...in a good way...

Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story - I watched this trailer solely because the title piqued my interest, and now that I've seen it, well, I'm really not quite sure what to make of this movie. It not only tears down the fourth wall, it blows it to pieces and then throws the debris at your face. It's certainly interesting. Plus it's got Gillian Anderson! I've missed her terribly. I'm not sure how wide of a release this thing's gonna get on this side of the pond, but if it does make it over here I'm sure it'll be entertaining at the very least. Director Michael Winterbottom doesn't often disappoint. The guy is either brilliant or completely bonkers. Probably both.

Click it here to see Steve Coogan as a fetus...

Rocky Goes After Teenage Girls

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I've read the first few pages of an earlier draft of Rocky Balboa and I have to admit, it's got potential...to go either way. It certainly has a great premise, but then again so did Rocky V, and I think we all know how THAT turned out.

One of the potentially really nice set-ups is that Rocky's son, last played with agonizing boredom by Sly's real life son, has grown up into a mature and successful business man, while Rocky is still kind of a washout, thus creating a really interesting dynamic between father and son. Well, The Hollywood Reporter is...reporting...that MGM and Columbia have signed on Milo Ventimiglia to play Rocky Jr.

If the name doesn't right a bell, it's probably because you're not a 17 year old girl. Milo is probably best known for playing Jess on The WB's Gilmore Girls, a show I would really really like if it wasn't so frickin girlie. Seriously, the writing on Gilmore Girls is some of the best writing on TV today, I just don't really relate to any of the main characters nor most of the plotlines. Oh well.

Personally, I think he looks a little bit young for the part as written in the script that I read, but I'm sure that there have been numerous changes since then. I like what little I've seen of this kid, and he can't possibly be any worse than Sage Stallone was in Rocky V. I'm still not totally sold that this is gonna work out right, but it seems to be heading in vaguely the right direction. Let's hope it continues to do so.

Die Hard And Carry A Big Frenchman

Hey guys, it's Donnie...When I was in LA, a friend of mine interned at Cheyenne Enterprises, Bruce Willis's production company. Aside from getting a truckload of Hostage merchandise, he also got to read the script for Die Hard 4.0 (cuz the bad guys are computer hackers. Isn't that hip and edgy?) and he reported that the script was uninspiring to say the least. His take was that it was okay, but it didn't really live up to the Die Hard franchise. I'll buy that argument, particularly since I seem to remember hearing that they basically bought the rights to a spec script and then turned it into a Die Hard movie.

The film has been stalled for a while now, despite rumors that Brittany Spears was the favorite to play John McClane's daughter and Affleck was approached to play his new partner. Well it seems that the flick will maintain a holding pattern (much like an airplane circling over an airport...an airport taken hostage!) as it seems that the latest draft of the script called for a good portion of the action to take place in New Orleans and will now have to be re-worked in the wake of Katrina. Screw that! Die Hard in a hurricane? That'd be hilarious...

Anyway, despite the various delays, it seems that Fox still wants to get this thing in theaters sometime in 2006, which means they better start hustling. As such, rumors of directors have begun swirling, specifically rumors of French directors. There's talk that both Luc Besson (who directed Willis in The Fifth Element) and Florent Siri (who also directed Willis in Hostage) have been approached to take over the reins on this puppy. Besson has been out of the directing game for a while, focusing instead on writing and producing. Siri...well he ain't up to much these days, although I wasn't impressed enough with Hostage to hand him a franchise like Die Hard. Besson...well that could be beyond cool if they can actually get the guy to sit down behind the camera again. I love this franchise, despite the hiccup that was Die Hard 2: Die Harder, (Worst. Title. Ever.) and I'd love to see a really kick ass fourth installment that really put the franchise to bed once and for all. Hopefully they can get it in theaters before the 20th Anniversary Edition DVD of the first one...

22 November 2005

Bowie + Nolan = Tesla

Hey guys, it's Donnie...This is probably the coolest news we'll hear all week. Chris Nolan's next not-Batfilm is The Prestige, a tale of two turn of the centry magicians dueling for magical supremecy. Our two magicians have already been cast, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, and we also know that Michael Caine will play Jackman's mentor. So how could you possibly make your movie any cooler?

Add David Bowie.

And how do you make it even cooler than that?

Cast him as Nikola Tesla.

Seriously...I think the whole week's worth of news just peaked. Nikola Tesla was a crazy cool individual, and I absolutely cannot WAIT to see what Bowie does with the character. Sunday I finally watched Labyrinth for the first time and...oh man, Bowie is nuts. Not only is he 12 kinds of creepy, but he's also got the biggest package ever. The man redefines "stuffing your shorts," and yet somehow...it just works.

I no longer care in the slightest that we're gonna have to wait to get another Batman film because this movie just sounds too fucking awesome to pass up.

Trailetown: Medieval Bedtime Stories

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Welcome back to Trailertown!

Tristan And Isolde: This actually looks pretty entertaining. It feels very sort of reminiscent of Robin Hood: Prince Of Theives...which makes sense, as I now see that both films were directed by Kevin Reynolds. More recently he was responsible for Count Of Monte Cristo, which helped to kick start the career of Jesus himself, Jim Caviezel. I'm not really crazy about the Romeo and Juliet comparison, although I suppose that it's almost required with a story of this kind. The music choices in the trailer are also beyond terrible, but it does feature a nice little cast. I like James Franco quite a bit, as well as Rufus Sewell. And Sophia Myles...well, she's a total classical beauty. We'll see if this goes anywhere.

Click it here for copious amounts of torchlight...

Lady In The Water: Man, this is a good time for teaser trailers. The latest from M. Night Shyamalan, a self-described "bedtime story", is about an apartment complex superintendent named Cleveland Heep (the always impressive Paul Giamatti) who discovers a water nymph (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the building's swimming pool. Just like the Superman Returns teaser, I think that this is a near perfect teaser. Clear tone and character established with a tease of something way more interesting going on that you're not allowed to see yet....which of course means that I want to see it NOW! Shyamalan has gotten alot of shit recently, and really for good reason. I think Signs is a beautifully made film, even if the end loses a bit of steam and the aliens are clearly the retards of the Milky Way. (Who attacks a planet that is made up of 80% of a lethal substance?) The Village...is really just sort of tragic. It's very well acted and well directed, but I think it's the first instance where Shyamalan's writing does not live up to his directing. I'd love to see him turn it around here, and it looks like he's well on his way.

Click it here for a bit of splashy splashy...

LOOOONG Superman Update

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Bryan Singer recently spoke at the first (hopefully annual) Christopher Reeve Lecture series in Princeton NJ. He showed the ComicCon reel (GAAAHH I still really want to see that footage!) and did a whole lotta Q&A. One Princeton native, Tim of local band LUZER, chronicled the whole thing and was nice enough to send AICN a full account. It's extremely detailed and real interesting, and yet it doesn't contain any kind of major spoilers, so feel free to browse through it at your leisure. Not included in this account is the news that Singer is not, as of yet, signed on for any sequels, which is a little curious I suppose. They've got Routh and others signed to multi-picture deals, but I'm sure that if this movie performs the way I think it will, they'll be able to get Bryan back without a lot of fuss, although I'll be interested to see if he takes the Chris Nolan route and takes on Logan's Run before returning to Metropolis. Big thanks to Tim for the enlightenment.

I had the pleasure of attending the first (hopefully annual they tell us) Christopher Reeve Lecture series tonight at the Princeton Public Library in, you guessed it, Princeton, NJ, featuring "acclaimed film director Bryan Singer". My somewhat-kick-ass-advance-tickets were for the cafe directly outside the double doors of the main "community room" where the lecture was being held, but thanks to a local traffic accident a good majority of the full-on-kick-ass-main-room-ticket holders were apparently M.I.A. leaving us cafe folks with an invitation into the main room.

The event finally got going with Bryan entering the room with Superman Returns exec producer Chris Lee and Bryan's Video Blog main man Robert Meyer Burnett (HDV camera in hand). Also in attendance was Bryan's parents and Christopher Reeve's mother Barbara Johnson (which made for some very touching words exchanged later in the evening, not to mention her striking resemblance to her son). Princeton Borough Mayor Marvin Reed moderated the event (sometimes a bit painfully slow with the questions, but was plenty polite to make up for it). They started off by touching on how Bryan got started in movies, eventually leading to The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, the X-Films and finally Supes. Somewhere in there Mayor Reed asked Bryan if we could expect an X-Men 3. Bryan assured him there would be an X-Men 3 (to a small chuckle from the geeks in the crowd), but that he will not be involved. The mayor innocently told Bryan that he would have to get out sometime before there was an X-Men 8, 9, 10.

So onto that little topic of Supes. Bryan started by talking about how he had been a Superman fan since he was a small child, originally of the George Reeves Superman, and eventually seeing Superman: The Movie at "a twilight showing" right down the road from Princeton back in '78. Being informed by his parents as a youngling that Chris Reeve was a Princeton boy, he was amazed that "Superman wasn't from Krypton or Kansas. He was from New Jersey!" I must say it was quite cool to see the full circle of Bryan Singer sitting in Princeton, talking about watching the original flick there almost 30 years ago, especially with Chris Reeve's mother in attendance.

He talked a bit more about the basic premise of the movie, and soon set-up the clip we had been promised. I figured it was no coincidence that the lecture was the same day as the trailer was released attached to the Harry Potter & The Hendersons flick, and fully expected to just get the trailer. To our surprise and delight, he had the full Comic-Con four minute reel instead. I'm sure there's tons of descriptions out there from Comic-Con, but I have to say that Brandon completely won me over once I heard him say a few lines. It really makes the difference on his age too. I'm totally sold. It also features James Marsden's character asking Lois if she loved Superman. Producer Chris Lee later told me her response is his favorite line in the movie. "Everybody loved Superman". Oh, good answer Lois, but then Cyclops comes back with ,"But do you?".

So after the footage was shown to a big round of applause, it was time for some Q&A where the geeks finally got to ask some questions. Here's the highlights...

* When a gentleman asked if the goofy aspect that he loved about the old Superman flicks would be in Returns, Bryan answered that he is trying to steer clear of "goofy" but it is definitely the most romantic and humorous film he has done to date.

* There is no truth to the rumor that there is a clause in Brandon Routh's contract to do a Superman/Batman crossover flick, only a standard Warner Brothers multi-picture deal. Although I was later told that even though it most likely will never be seen in the movie, the set was so detailed that the Daily Planet newspapers were all filled with stories, including a "Bat Creature" being spotted in Metropolis with a picture of a shadowy Batman jumping off of a building with Jimmy Olsen photo credits. Very cool. Bryan also mentioned that the only time he ever considered a Batman/Superman movie was when Wolfgang Peterson was attached, and just thought how he would do it. "Who would be the bad guy? It'd have to be Batman. But he can't be that bad...he's Batman!" He said tonight was the first time he had thought about it since then.

* As confirmed already Noel Neill (The Adventures Of Superman's Lois Lane and Lois Lane's mother in Donner's '78 film) will be making a cameo, which Bryan described as a important one, in addition to Jack Larson's cameo featured on Bryan's Video Journal #25 and in the Comic-Con footage.

* When asked about Kevin Spacey's portrayal of Lex Luthor (whether he was a scientist, billionaire, etc.), Bryan said that Lex is "fresh out of jail" and that his history with Superman and/or Clark doesn't tread one way or another over the groundwork left by Smallville. Only that the two characters have some kind of history as we join them in the movie.

* Bryan agreed with someone in the audience that the biggest change to the Superman mythos he made was giving Lois a kid with James Marsden's character (not a raised S logo). He thought this was something that you've never seen Superman deal with before that his version brought to the table. You've seen Superman save every disaster, but how would he deal with this? The world has moved on a bit, but it seems Lois has completely moved on.

* To keep Clark's disappearance under wraps, Martha Kent sent postcards to Lois during his Daily Planet hiatus. In the Comic-Con footage Martha asks Clark "What about that nice girl you used to talk about? The one you had me send post cards to?" or something to that effect.

* There's roughly 1,400 effects shots to be completed to the movie, and although obviously an expensive movie, the budget has been exaggerated a bit on the net, and is still roughly under 200 million.

* Bryan had pitched his idea to the Donners in a hotel several years ago when he was working on the X-Men films if he ever were to make a Superman movie. Richard Donner loved the idea and the idea of Bryan doing a Superman movie, which really gave Bryan the confidence to pitch it to Warner Bros. years later when the opportunity presented itself.

* The crew of X-Men 1 religiously watched Superman: The Movie during the production of the movie to decide how to base their superheroes in a reality based movie.

* The opening credits will feature John Williams classic Superman march, with a new score by editor/composer John Ottman integrating old and new themes. I believe I also caught a mention that the opening credits will feature some of Superman: The Movie.

* Acknowledging Barbara Johnson, Bryan attributed Clark being a bit "annoying" to Chris Reeve's genius in playing the role. He played him as the kind of guy that you don't really want around, that is just kind of there functioning, but you don't really look at. If anyone looked too hard they might see the man in tights.

* Although he had a tough time narrowing down his favorite moments from the '78 Superman, Bryan said that he thought Superman's responses in Lois's balcony interview was a great template of the character. (Lois: Why are you here? Superman: To fight for truth justice and the American way. Lois: Unbelievable. Superman: Lois, I never lie.) "That's Superman." He then went on talking about how he thinks it's a good time to have such an idealistic character in such a cynical day and age. That's one of the things that made it so appealing to him to tell a modern Superman story.

Finally, we ran out of Q&A time, and Barbara Johnson talked briefly to Bryan about how she had mixed feelings when she first heard there was going to be a new Superman movie, but seeing the footage and talking to Bryan completely won her over and she wished him the absolute best of luck. It was quite a touching moment actually.

They then showed the clip again, and sent everyone out into the library to a small reception to meet Bryan and his entourage. There we picked up a few more cool tidbits from Chris Lee and Robert Meyer Burnett…

* There's a huge plane action scene, briefly seen in the Comic-Con footage, that may run 20-25 minutes and is going to be BREATHTAKING and UNBELIEVABLE.

* A huge amount of time and effort went into fighting gravity so there wouldn't be any "droop-age" when Superman flies, including clever camera maneuvers and several green covered men puppeteering the cape at any given time.

* Superman being able to breathe in space (and underwater) is addressed in the movie, and yes he has to breathe in Bryan's Super-World. He is "too logical" in his thinking to let these things fall under the suspension of disbelief category.

* The raised S under the suit is addressed, as is the costume's origin in some way.

* The sets are incredibly detailed, down to the stack of business cards on Perry White's desk, and some of the props have already gone on sale at the prop department for cheap as heck. (Someone has already snagged Lex Luthor's smoking jacket for twenty bucks.)

Finally before they kicked us out, Bryan took some pictures with fans and eventually his mother and Barbara Johnson. Bryan started by telling her how much her son embodied Superman to him, and then she talked for several minutes about how much torture Chris went through in the flying harnesses, and would come home covered in bruises. Bryan mentioned that he heard that there were several mishaps where they flew him into trees. She laughed and said that that was true, and then the scene got cut.

It was a very amazing night for a huge Superman fan such as myself, and especially special seeing Chris Reeve's mother tell Bryan stories about her much missed son. I for one really can't wait until June 30th now…or more likely midnight on June 29th.


Poseidon Won Me Over

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I am now officially excited to see Poseidon, Wolfgang Peterson's remake of the classic 70's flick The Poseidon Adventure. Actually, it's not really a remake so much as a re-imagining of sorts. Rather than just remake the film, they've taken the basic idea (an ocean liner gets flipped upside down by a rogue wave on New Year's Eve) and created original characters and plot devices, as well as some damn impressive effects and production values. The movie has a more than impressive cast, including Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, (didn't he retire from acting?) Emmy Rossum, Mike Vogel, Jacinda Barrett, and Johnny Drama himself, Kevin Dillon.

So what finally won me over? Well, for the past...well, seemingly forever, Warners has been flying out website critics from different sites for a series of set visits. Nine sites were each given a day to come out, see the shooting, interview one member of the production, and then post a production video online, along with designs drawings and storyboards. Moriarty at AICN just finished the final set visit and got to interview both director of photography John Seale and director Wolfgang Peterson. Both interviews are incredibly interesting reads. If you consider yourself a film fan, if you're fascinated with the actual production process, if you have any interest in how to make a tentpole film in the digital age without totally relying the crutch of digital effects, then you absolutely should read this article. It's full of incredible detail and opinion and the way that Peterson describes the film and talks about making it...it's kind of hard NOT to catch a little bit of his excitement. Plus the guy made it a rule that everyone gets soup at 11:00 every day. How cool is that?

Click it here to swing by AICN and read the final entry in The Poseidon Journals, complete with links to the eight previous chapters. I highly recommend Chapter Five, in which Richard Dreyfuss punches CHUD's Devin Faraci in the chest. It's highly entertaining.

Rush Hour 3: Chris Tucker Rips Off New Line...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...This has got to be one of the most ridiculous deals in the history of Hollywood. It's certainly the most ridiculous deal in recent memory. For reasons passing understanding (and by that I mean $$) New Line Cinema is absolutely intent on getting Rush Hour 3 off the ground. The picture almost came together earlier in the year, but the elusive Chris Tucker walked at the last minute, thus sending writer Jeff Nathanson off to take a crack at writing Indianna Jones 4 and allowing director Brett Ratner to shit all over the X-Men franchise. Somehow New Line brought everyone back to the table and this is the deal they've worked out:

Chris Tucker will get $20 million against 20% of the gross. Jackie Chan will get $15 million against 15% of the gross. Brett Ratner will get $5 million against 5% of the profits. Nathanson will also receive an unspecified seven figure paycheck.

Think about that.

That means that New Line has already written off 40% of the film and over $40 million dollars.

And the movie technically still doesn't have a green light.

Chris Tucker was previously holding out for script approval, but he ceded that point so long as the script still closely resembles what Nathanson has already pitched. Yes, that's right, there's still no script. Nathanson is expected to finish his script for a summer 2006 start date, with shooting taking place in the US and France. That means the film would roll into theaters sometime in 2007.

Here's my question:

Does anyone still give a crap about this franchise? Seriously, I mean it's usually pretty good for some mindless entertainment, but I feel like the outtakes during the credits are usually the best part of the movie. ("He ain't gonna be in Rush Hour 3...") And when's the last time Chris Tucker did...anything? Oh yeah, Rush Hour 2. How does he do that? How do you not do a movie for five years and somehow talk yourself into the $20 million club? He must have the greatest agent in the history of ever.

21 November 2005

Bad Omens For Blu-ray?

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Sony, Sony, Sony...What were you thinking?

Sony announced this past weekend that they have completed the authoring on the first Blu-ray disc. Blu-ray, or BD-ROM for those of you not "in the know" is one of the two formats that will serve as the next generation of DVD. (The other is called HD-DVD.) Sony is boasting that this new Blu-ray disc features "dynamic menus with full resolution graphics and animation, superior audio and unparalleled picture quality," but then again, HD-DVD is going to be offering pretty much the same capabilities. Since Sony and Toshiba refuse to come to some sort of compromise in the formatting, thus sparing the consumer from having to relive the nightmare of Beta vs VHS (and make no mistake, we all got royally screwed on that one) the real deciding factor for the majority of the public is probably going to be what titles they can and cannot get for each format. Therefore you'd think that Sony would want to debut Blu-ray with a total blockbuster film, a movie that most everyone would consider a "must-have film" and that would make folks rush out to want to adopt this new format.

So what film did they choose to debut on Blu-ray?

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

No, I am not shitting you.

I'm so disappointed in Sony. This should have been a no-brainer. Without even thinking about it, Sony's biggest property is EASILY Spider-Man, a franchise that is not only considered to be artistically sound, but has also made them a boatload of money. Spider-Man 2 is considered to be one of the best superhero movies of all time, so what possible reason could they have for not using it to premiere their new format? Did Sam Raimi throw a tantrum? That's about all I can come up with.

Now I'm REALLY interested to see what Toshiba debuts on HD-DVD.

Nacho Libre Is Seen!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I really have no idea what to do with this picture.

This is our first glimpse of Jack Black in Nacho Libre, the newest flick written by Mike White (School Of Rock) and directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite). The story focuses on a Mexican priest who moonlights as a pro wrestler to raise enough money to save a small orphanage.

By all accounts this movie should be total comedy gold and this image...good god. I really hope this works out...because right now...I am confused...

Click the pic for hi-res!

Gibson Takes On Illegal Editors

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Mel Gibson, who may or may not be grooming himself to play Sadam Hussien, has become the champion of artistic integrity. Whoda thunkit?

Gibson's Icon Productions is suing a Utah based company called CleanFlicks. These guy get a hold of copyrighted films, edit out "all the dirty parts", and then illegally resell them without the filmmakers' permissions. They've recently been making a pretty penny on an edited version of The Passion Of The Christ, and Mel simply could not let that pass. Apparantly CleanFlicks has already edited over 900 films in the past six years, and my question is, HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN? How have these guys been in business since the end of the last millenium and nobody's shut them down yet? That just seems totally ridiculous to me.

Apparantly the guy who runs CleanFlicks, Ray Lines, is rebutting Gibson with the argument that there's nothing wrong with him editing down Passion because Gibson himself recently re-released a director's cut of the film that edited out some of the more violent bits. Basically Lines is using the "I'm rubber and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!" argument. That strategy doesn't really hold water for a number of reasons, cheif among them the fact that it's Gibson's movie and he has the right to do whatever the hell he wants with it, whereas Lines has the right to watch it in his living room and that's about it. Oh yeah, he also has the right to popcorn.

What an asshole.

Jessica Simpson Works At The BK Lounge

Hey guys, it's Donnie...People are all excited this morning because Jessica Simpson is in talks to nail down (heh heh, she can nail me down anytime...) her second major film role in Employee Of The Month. She would play a cashier at a Wal-Mart-esque discount store who makes two geeky employees drool all over the merchandise for her affection. In an attempt to win her over, the two start competing to become the titular (heh heh, titular...) Employee of the Month.

While watching Jessica Simpson bat her eyelashes and play the dreamy dreamgirl will certainly be enjoyable, her association with this project isn't what has me really excited. I'm stoked because one of the two lovesick pups will be played by none other than Boston's own laugh riot, Dane Cook! Seriously, this guy is beyond funny. Check out either of his albums, Harmful If Swallowed or Retaliation, 'cuz each one is absolutely genius. The guy has had a few minor film roles in the past few years, most recently as the short order cook in the forgetable Waiting. I'm Waiting for him to get a breakout role that will really showcase the guy's talents and this sounds like it could be just what he needs, that is assuming that the script doesn't suck balls...

20 November 2005

Last Week In Brief...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...my most severe apologies for leaving you all in the cold last week. I had absolutely zero free time last week, in or out of the office. But, as promised, I've gathered all of last week's major headlines and distilled them into one easy to read column. In all honesty, I write a weekly column for another website where I sum up the week's news, and so I figured that, rather than leave you all sitting there scratching your heads as to last week's goings on, I'd just give you a taste of The Weekly Rundown. So, without further ado, let the mayhem begin...

Word On The Street...

Everything’s Better In 3D
I still haven’t had the chance to check out Chicken Little in the new Disney Digital 3D format, but I’ve heard that it’s extremely impressive. It’s also been making Disney quite a bit of coin, so it’s hardly surprising that a number of projects are jumping on the digital 3D bandwagon. New Line and Walden Media are teaming up to bring us all Journey 3D, a DaVinci Code-esque story about a scientist and his teenage son who discover evidence that Jules Verne’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth actually describes a real underground landscape and that the book contains clues to its location. The movie will be live-action, but they’ll be using the same photo-real 3D technology that was just used on The Chronicles Of Narnia, and I hear that, despite the TV ads, those effects are pretty sweet when they’re finished and on the big screen. At the same time, Disney announced that their upcoming CG animated flick, Meet The Robinsons, will be released in 3D ala Chicken Little. The story centers on a boy who meets a young time traveler from the future named Wilbur Robinson, and together they travel forward in time where I’m sure numerous hijinks will ensue. I actually have pretty high hopes for this one, and I have the feeling that this could be one of the first really great 3D films we’re going to see in theaters.

K For Kick-Ass Posters
Since V For Vendetta was pushed back from early November to mid-March, we’re getting a new marketing strategy for the film and I have to say, I absolutely love it. They released four posters this week on four different websites and I have to say that each one is bordering on perfection. I can’t wait to see hundreds of these things plastered all over LA come late February. They just have this wonderful sense of history to them…echoing a number of different propaganda campaigns from across the globe. The ones at AintItCool and IGN are easily my favorites, and MTV sucks for posting it in a crappy, scaled-down Flash version that I can’t download. Boo to them. I really want to buy one of these to hang in my room. Right alongside my red Marv Sin City poster. Yeah.
Click it here for Awesomeness Part One
Click it here for Awesomeness Part Two
Click it here for Awesomeness Part Three
Click it here for Awesomeness Part Four

Adam Sandler. September 11th. Not A Typo.
So Oliver Stone is currently in New York filming his World Trade Center movie with Nic Cage, Michael Pena, Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Paul Greengrass is hard at work on his semi-improvisational story of Flight 93 that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. And now, the sensitive topic of 9/11 will be tackled by…Adam Sandler. Yes, that’s affirmative. Sandler will star alongside THE Don Cheadle as a man who lost his wife and kids on September 11th, and turns to his old college roommate (Cheadle) for support. Sony is footing the fairly modest budget, just under $20 million, and Mike Binder (The Upside Of Anger and the upcoming Man About Town) will be directing and possibly writing the film, currently titled Reign O’er Me. A lot of people are complaining about Billy Madison desecrating the memory of 9/11, but I have to disagree. He was utterly astounding in Punch Drunk Love and I was evern fairly impressed with his work in Spanglish, which was a much more mature sort of performance than we tend to get from The Waterboy. If we’re getting Punch Drunk Adam Sandler, I think we’re all in for a bit of a surprise.

Clooney + Coen Brothers = Cool
George Clooney will soon be directing a live broadcast TV movie remake of the classic Network, and word is that afterwards he’s looking to direct a script currently being written by Joel and Ethan Coen titled Suburbacon. Unfortunately, we don’t have any more detail than that, but, honestly, I don’t really care. Clooney has established himself as a director to pay attention to. Not only are his films emotionally compelling and full of a rich visual texture, but he’s making a habit of working with great writing talent. First Charlie Kaufman, then Grant Heslov, now the Coens? Could this perhaps be a precursor to the return of the Coen brothers we all know, love and miss terribly? Good God let’s hope so.

Favreau Likes Cool Cars
Jon Favreau is building himself quite the little docket of directing projects. He just finished the magnificent Zathura, he’s gearing up to start John Carter Of Mars, and after that…well he’s already got the animated flick Neanderthals lined up, but now he’s added Johnny Zero to the list. Zero is described as a post WWII action drama about the birth of the hotrod culture. John Favreau and hotrods? Sounds pretty damn money to me. I’m really enjoying his transition to director and it looks like his immediate future is chock full of diverse and interesting projects. Seriously, pulp sci-fi epic, caveman cartoon, and WWII hotrod flick? Doesn’t get much more diverse than that.

Parker And Stone Conquer The Mountain
South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut is nothing short of pure brilliance. Team America…also pretty damn clever, but it was kind of a two-joke movie. Well, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to have plenty of opportunities to work out the kinks because they just signed a three year first look deal with Paramount. Hopefully that means lots more satire for us. They’ve also got three more years of South Park guaranteed, and somehow that show has yet to go stale. I haven’t seen the most recent episode about scientologists, but last week’s episode about the ginger kids…hilarious. My father is a ginger…does that mean my kids are doomed? Goddamnit…

Welcome Back To Trailertown!

Superman Returns: Alright, so a lot of people are complaining that the teaser is disappointing, that there isn’t enough to it. You know what I have to say about that? Balls to that! This is a teaser trailer. It’s only supposed to be a tease, to give you a sense of tone, style, and a little glimpse of the characters in action, which is exactly what this teaser does, and boy does it do it well. I think we’ve come to expect to much from teaser trailers. The Kong teaser was so content heavy it was like a full blown trailer. Remember the T3 teaser? It was just a liquid metal logo. Hell, the teaser for the Donner Superman was just a camera flying through clouds with some titles. I love this teaser. I flat out love it. I think it strikes the perfect balance between showing too much and not showing anything at all. The mailbox shot, the silhouette of “the S-curl” and Supes rising against the sunset…This is one of the most beautiful looking films in recent memory. I can’t wait to see a full trailer, complete with Lois, Lex, Jimmy and bumbling Clark. This is probably the movie I’m most looking forward to right now.
Click it here for the return of the blue tights...

Tideland: I’ve heard very mixed reviews on Terry Gilliam’s second film of 2005. I missed out on Brothers Grimm, but this one looks much more like Gilliam’s style. While the former Python’s films have always been pretty up and down when it comes to the critics, I’ve always been a fan, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Besides, Gilliam creating a little girl’s fantasy world? And Jeff Bridges looks to be in absolute top form here. Any year that we get two Terry Gilliam movies is a good year in my book…
Click it here to play in the coolest field ever... (Click on Access Map)

Goal!: One of my roommates is British and he loves “football”. I keep meaning to show this to him because I feel like he’ll probably love it. I’m pretty sure that this is supposed to be the first in a trilogy about this character’s meteoric rise (and presumably fall) as a soccer star. I’m always a sucker for a good sports movie and I don’t know much of anything about professional soccer. So call it an educational experience…
Click it here for some fancy ass foortwork...

The Kid & I: When I first heard about this movie, I thought that Tom Arnold was playing himself, especially since True Lies seemed to be such a prominent part of the plot. Apparently he’s just playing a character that is very similar to himself. But he did write this thing and it’s directed by Penelope Spheeris, who previously brought us the glory that is Wayne’s World, so suffice it to say I’m interested. The premise…well, I think I’ll let you discover it for yourself, but suffice it to say it’s certainly not going to be middle of the road. It seems destined to be either brilliant or awful. I suppose it depends on how much Tom Arnold is willing to make fun of himself. From the looks of things, quite a bit.
Click it here for Tom Arnold's triumphant return...

17 November 2005


Hey guys, it's Donnie...Sorry that we've been content-less all week. It's been an incredibly busy couple of days here at the booth and I honestly just have not had the chance to sit down and write any damn articles. But fear not, because I have been compiling the news all week and hopefully I'll be able to get some stuff up tonight.

Anyway, I wanted to get this up before it was too late. It's been established at this point that the Superman Returns trailer will be playing in theaters this weekend in front of Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Puberty. It will ALSO be going live on the official website Thursday night at 9pm EST. However, before THAT it will broadcast at sometime during Thursday night's episode of Smallville, which starts at 8pm EST. So those of you who are willing to put up with a little bit of Tom Welling will be the first to catch a glimpse of Singer's next opus.

If I knew which commercial break during which it was going to play I'd tell you, but alas...this will probably be one of the highest rated episodes of Smallville this season, if not ever. For those of you who haven't been watching, apparantly this season has been going a little crazy, including the young Lois Lane posing undercover as a stripper and an appearance by Arthur Curry, AKA Aquaman, AKA the lamest superhero ever. My old roommate in LA wrote a play that featured a character who thought he was Aquaman...but he was afraid of water. His therapist surmised that he "probably suffered from severe inadequecy issues, as evidenced by his choice of superhero."

Coincidentally, Aquaman will also be getting the Smallville treatment on the WB next year, with a series about a young Arthur Curry working in the Bermuda Triangle trying to solve the mystery of his mother's death or something. This astounds me. It sounds like they've managed to make Aquaman even MORE boring...

10 November 2005

Trailertown: A Whole Bunch Of Awesome

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Welcome back to Trailertown!

I've been saving these up for a few days now, as each one sort of came out all by their lonesome. Now I'm giving them to you all at once. It's like I pinched the movie trailer garden hose so nothing came out for a while, and now you're gonna get a whole bunch of stuff at once. Aren't you lucky?

The Fountain: Breathtaking. That's the only word to describe it. We've been waiting for Darren Aronofsky's "psychadelic fairy tale" for YEARS now, and after much torture and torment, it's finally gonna happen. There's still no solid release date, just sometime next year, but I don't care. I have the overwhelming desire to watch this trailer about every 20 minutes, and yet I also don't want to know anything about it at all. I want to walk into the theater as ignorant as humanly possible. Either way, watch this trailer now, and then tell all your friends, because at some point next year this movie is gonna kick your ass, and then you're gonna thank me.
Click it here for the coolest tree in human existance...

The Libertine: I've never been a huge fan of classical pieces and costume dramas, and when the trailer refers to this as "the most controversial film of the year", I somehow find it hard to believe, particularly with stuff like Jarhead in theaters and Syrianna on the horizon. That being said, I do love me some Johnny Depp and some Samantha Morton. I'm certainly not gonna rush out to this one, but I could probably get there without too much convincing. It certainly looks dark as all hell, so at least newcomer Laurence Dunmore appears to have done something vaguely interesting with a genre that tends to be pretty stale.
Click it here to dance onstage with a very large...well...uh....yeah...

Edison: This is it. This will be the big screen acting debut of one Justin Timberlake. How does it look? Ehhhh.... I don't know. I'm not really diggin' the trailer, but that doesn't necessarily mean the movie's gonna be bad. The trailer makes it looks like a cool idea that was poorly executed. The cast, however, is pretty rock solid. Spacey, Freeman, McDermott...they can't ALL be on autopilot can they? However, surrounding himself with such incredible talent could end up biting Timberlake in the ass, as he could very easily get overshadowed by his co-stars. Hell, Morgan Freeman could overshadow Timberlake if he was just standing in the background of the shot, silent and out of focus. The fact that we only see Timberlake utter eight words of dialogue in the entire two minute trailer probably isn't a good sign...
Click it here to wish you could chase Justin Timberlake with a sniper rifle...

An American Haunting: Just goes to show that you shouldn’t always trust first impressions. Director Courtney Soloman has only one previous film on his resume: the laughably awful Dungeons & Dragons movie from 2000. Seriously, that movie made my teeth hurt it was so bad. Well, Soloman is back with this film and the trailer…is fantastic. Seriously, Sutherland looks great, as does Wendy from the recent Peter Pan. That carriage at the end…this thing looks dark and moody and cool as shit. I’m always a little wary when horror films try to pass themselves off has historical fact, but I guess I should just be used to it by now. Anyway, this trailer is enough for me to give Courtney Soloman a second chance. Maybe he just started off in the wrong genre or something.
Click it here to wonder why the hell they hung around for three freakin' years...

Luthor Is A Snappy Dresser

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I guess this will have to tide me over until Warners releases the official Superman Returns teaser trailer next week.

With the newest editions to Bryan's Blog, entitled Bespoke, we get a glimpse into the world of costume design, specifically in regards to some of Superman's evil-doers, Kitty Kowalski and her main squeeze Lex Luthor. Very cool stuff here. I had been wondering what the thought process was behind Parker Posey's outfits ever since she started popping up in Bryan's Blog, specifically the stuff of her and Luthor on the beach. The concept they've worked out for her...I think it's pretty great, so long as it comes through properly on the screen. There's certainly potential for it to come across as muddled and kind of silly.

Luthor...the man looks badass. This is the first I've heard of him wearing wigs of any sort, and while I'm slightly disappointed at the news, I'm still willing to give Singer the benefit of the doubt. The wigs they show are not nearly as ridiculous as Hackman's were, and if this Luthor is a quasi-respectable businessman (which he appears to be), then I suppose it makes some sense that he might have a wig in certain scenes. I'm still encouraged by the fact that everytime we've seen him so far, Spacey's dome has been shiny and hair-free. That last shot as he turns...those eyes...badass.

Click it here for today's vocabulary lesson...

Liman Talks Down A Jumper

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I really enjoy Doug Liman as a director. Most of his projects are pretty intelligent, and at the very least (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) they're entertaining. And moreover, the man refuses to tie himself down to any one genre. He started with Swingers and Go and then all of a sudden he was doing big budget action flicks. His next project...well interesting is probably an understatement.

Liman will be adapting Steven Gould's book Jumper, which chronicles a teenage boy who, upon escaping from his abusive father, discovers that he has the ability to teleport. Teleportation...it must be the Trekkie in me, but that's just one of those theoretical technologies that I find to be infinitely fascinating and anytime that a movie decides to use it in some cool way, well, I get all kinds of excited. Suffice it to say that I'm happy to see that Liman is jumping ship on the action genre and I'm REALLY curious to see what he does with a coming-of-age sci-fi drama. Go Liman! (That's a kind of a pun...)

Supes Gets An Upgrade!

Hey guys, it's Donnie...You know, I've been tracking BlueTights.net pretty much since it went live. I've gotten so caught up in it, I sometimes forget that it's not technically the official Superman Returns website, particularly since there's been nothing much there other than the sheild and a date.

Well all that has changed. Last night Warners announced that the Superman Returns teaser trailer would officially be going out to theaters with Harry Potter next weekend, and the running time is indeed about a minute and a half. Granted, I feel like I've probably seen most of the footage in Bryan's Blog about ComicCon, but I'm excited nonetheless. All I ask for is one Superman money shot and I'll be a happy camper.

Along with this announcement was the announcement that the official site has been updated. It now includes the official plot synopsis (which has been available online for quite some time), cool photos and desktop images and buddy icons (if you're into that sort of thing) and a slew of other goodies. There's even a place for the teaser trailer for whenever they decide to put it online next week, probably Wednesday or Thursday. The coolest thing is a new comic book interface for watching Bryan's Blog, although it's missing a the last six, which is sad, cuz those are arguable some of the best ones. For what's there, I'd recommend checking out "Love Previs", if you missed it the first time around.

We're getting that much closer kids. I can almost taste it...

Luke Skywalker Is NOT Playing The Joker..

Hey guys, it's Donnie...But Liev Schreiber might by playing Harvey Dent! Batman sequel casting rumors continues to be a somewhat silly way to pass the time, seeing as the movie hasn't really made past the "This-is-basically-what-the-story's-about" phase and seeing as Chris Nolan has an entire other movie to shoot before that (with Christian Bale and Michael Caine no less!). And yet, somehow I just can't seem to help myself. Whenever I hear a new rumor, no matter how patently ridiculous, I feel the need to talk about it. It's like crack...but different.

Anyway, we'll be seeing Harvey Dent as a major character of the next Bat-film, and either at the end of the second or the beginning of the third, Dent would get all mangled in the flesh and become Two Face. Initial rumors were that Nolan wanted to bring in his Memento golden boy, Guy Pearce, to play Harvey Dent/Two Face. That sounded like a fine idea to me, but upon further contemplation I think I actually prefer Schreiber. I've always thought of Two-Face as being like the ultimate sort of gangster, twisted and physically imposing. Pearce doesn't have quite the same physical...oommph! Batman-On-Film has a source claiming that "the role is [Schreiber's] if he wants it," and Shcreiber certainly seems to want it. When asked, his response was, "Yes! Write your congressmen now! Sounds like fun to me. Again, I seem to be the last one to hear because I know nothing about it."

Interested eyes are listening...

The Desecration of ED-209

Hey guys, it's Donnie...I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to bashing Hollywood for their copious amount of remakes and TV adaptations, but sometimes a project comes along that just.....makes me sad.

Sony and producer Michael De Luca have decided to bring back Robocop. ROBOCOP!! Are you kidding me?? Look, I'll grant you that the technology has come a long way since 1987 and I'm sure that there's massive potential to make Robocop really "cool." But at the same time, that's kind of what I'm afraid of. Granted Sony and De Luca tend to have a much better track record when it comes to these sort of things, but I'm getting visions of Robocop being treated like Fantastic Four and turning out....well, boring.

Robocop is one of those movies that almost cannot be replicated. So many things had to come together to make that film what it was. The specific time it was made and the level of effects at that point, Peter Weller-face, Ronnie Cox in the executive bathroom, Miguel Ferrer snorting lines off a hooker's tits, and Red Foreman in terrorist mode. Plus, most importantly, Paul Verhoeven in the director's chair. Verhoeven is such a complete nutball that only he could have made Robocop into the ultra-violent, dystopian, futuristic monstrosity (and I mean that in a good way) that it was, and you'll never be able to recapture that spirit. More importantly, you'll never find a director as totally whacked as Verhoeven.

Look, I'd LOVE to see Robocop brought back to the big screen and rule everyone, but we're no longer living in the world where you could sort of get away with anything in a movie. The majoirty of studio films are so watered down and over-processed that I just have very little faith in Robocop getting done right. I'd hope Sony proves me wrong, but honestly, it's all gonna come down to who's writing and who's directing.

Until we find that out, then my answer is sadly "No. I would not buy that for a dollar."
Little Giant Ladder