Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Notice of Decommission

It's a sad day at Ben's Daily Movie News. I've decided to shut this blog down indefinitely. If you're reading this at all, then you're a bigger fan than I could have imagined. Since my posting on this site has been lackluster at best over the past couple of months, I figure I'll end the disappointment for everyone and go out with a bit of dignity still intact.

It's been a great run here, and I truly appreciate your readership. I'm still contributing to Ben's Movie Reviews at http://notjustnewmovies.blogspot.com, so you can read all of my reviews and editorials over there, along with the occasional post from a fellow blogger. For your daily movie news, I'd recommend adding GeekTyrant.com to your bookmarks in place of this site - I've been writing over there for a while, and it's a pretty cool environment with a slick layout. I'd also recommend checking out the weekly podcasts over there, since I've been contributing to them for a few weeks now and plan on continuing for many weeks to come (with the exception of the holiday break, of course).

Thanks again for reading, and I hope you'll stick with me over at Ben's Movie Reviews and elsewhere throughout the interwebs. And you never know - there's always the chance that I'll reinstate this site back to its former glory. If that happens, I'll be sure to make an announcement on Ben's Movie Reviews so it removes the need to randomly check this site for updates.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vengeance and Taken 2 News

Did you like the Liam Neeson action flick Taken? If so, click over to GeekTyrant to find out the status of the sequel.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jeremy Renner in upcoming Marvel movies?

Jeremy Renner, the breakout performer of this year's The Hurt Locker, is rumored to play a role in the upcoming Marvel films, including a potentially large role in The Avengers.

See what I'm talking about at GeekTyrant.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rumor: Potential Khan for Star Trek Sequel?

What's up, people? Thanks for coming back to the site, and again - my apologies for not updating as often as usual.

Check out this rumor at GeekTyrant. It's only one click away. If you're a LOST fan, an Abrams Star Trek fan, or just curious to see who might fill Ricardo Montalban's shoes, you know where to go.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Travolta and Cruise: The Next Butch and Sundance?

(I'm not posting the picture here because I want it to be a surprise when you read on. It's fairly ridiculous. Don't get your expectations too high, though.)

John Travolta recently heard a rumor that he and Tom Cruise were doing a remake of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It wasn't true, but it got him thinking...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jean Reno Cast in 22 Bullets

Jean Reno, probably most famous for his future casting in our Aaron Burr television series (ask me if you don't know what I'm talking about and I'll explain), has signed to star in a badass French action movie that sounds almost exactly like The Punisher.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Roundup 11/1

What's up, people. I've got a little update for this site. As you know, I'm spreading myself pretty thin these days writing for a bunch of different sites, and I really want to contribute to this site but can't seem to find the time. This is a result of my writing at GeekTyrant.com, where essentially I write what I would have written here. So instead of ignoring this site like I have been over the past few weeks, I've decided on a temporary solution.

From now on, any time I post something on GeekTyrant I'll give it its own post here and link to the article over there. I've been lucky enough to only post stuff over there that I actually care about so far; if you've visited other movie news websites, you know that the sheer volume of crap that people report on is overwhelming. So I'm happy that I've only posted stuff that I'm interested in over there, and I'll continue to do the same thing over here. If I'm really pressed for time, I might link to another GeekTyrant author's post if they beat me to the punch on a story that I normally would have posted here - otherwise, I'll write it up here myself like I normally would.

So for this post, I'll just link to all the news pieces I've done at GeekTyrant so far (reviews excluded).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Uncertainty Trailer

Laugh it up, D-bags: I'm posting a Joseph Gordon-Levitt trailer. It's well known that the dude is one of my favorite actors, so go ahead and chuckle amongst yourselves. The movie is called Uncertainty, and also stars Lynn Collins (I don't know who she is, either).

I've never heard of this movie before my co-writers at GeekTyrant posted about it, but half of it looks awesome. Guess which half - the pregnancy part, or the murder/extortion plot? Check out the trailer for yourself and decide what you think.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Trailer: The Wolfman

The newest trailer for Joe Johnston's (The Rocketeer, October Sky) The Wolfman was released today, and it's a vast improvement over the first footage we saw a couple months ago. This actually looks pretty solid, but I'm telling you right now: if you're looking for a fantastic werewolf movie, look no further than the epic French masterpiece The Brotherhood of the Wolf. Yes, I know - "French masterpiece" is an oxymoron, except for BotW and the occasional bread loaf.

Irregardlessly-ness-tion (an inside joke, obviously not a real word), Joe Johnston is also directing the upcoming Captain America for Marvel Studios. I'm pretty stoked for it - if he brings the same blatant patriotism to that story as he did to The Rocketeer (one of my favorite films), then we're all in for a treat. Enjoy the trailer for The Wolfman below.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spike Jonze/Kanye West Short

What's up, guys and girls? It's been a while since I've updated anything on this site, and I promise a Roundup is coming soon.

For now, though, I'll leave you with a short film directed by Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze starring Kanye West. It's pretty freakin' weird, but I'd say worth checking out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Adrien Brody in Predators

In a weird bit of casting news, Variety reports that Adrien Brody has signed on for the Robert Rodriguez-produced, Nimrod Antal-directed upcoming action reboot Predators. Brody will play the main role, the leader of a human group dropped onto the home planet of the Predators and forced to survive.

In another bit of WTF news, The Hollywood Reporter is claiming Topher Grace is close to signing as a dangerous serial killer with an unassuming air about him. I'm hoping this is the turnaround Topher Grace is looking for after the clusterbomb that was Spider-Man 3: it seems like the guy might have a little talent, but I'm not sure this is the right project to showcase it. Who knows? Maybe he just wants to hang out with Adrien Brody in the jungle for a while. After seeing The Brothers Bloom again, I'd be down for that. (Although Mark Ruffalo's character was a lot cooler).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine: The Movie

Oh yeah, it's comin' atcha like a freight train (get it!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!) Thomas the Tank Engine: The Movie. Read this quote, and tell me how people can say things like this with a straight face:
"Thomas & Friends is a...successful brand that appeals to children...worldwide. Generations...have grown up with [the show] with its storytelling tradition, positive values, timeless lessons, and rich train history."

Seriously? "Rich train history?" Are you F-ing kidding me? I watched that show briefly as a child and didn't learn a freakin' thing about trains, other than the conductor was batsh*t insane. I can't believe the gall that these people have.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DiCaprio Attached to The Deep Blue Goodbye

The Deep Blue Goodbye. Sounds like Samuel L. Jackson would know a little somethin' about that, eh? (Spoilers for Deep Blue Sea in the video.)

Busy McWorksALot (Leonardo DiCaprio) has thrown another project onto his pre-production plate: The Deep Blue Goodbye, a film based on a 1964 novel that was the first in a mystery series. DiCap will (eventually) play a Floridian beach bum named Travis McGee, a man who works as a "salvage consultant": recovering stolen items and taking half for his finder's fee.

Sounds like something straight out of a Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey novel, but I'm always down with more movies set in Florida.

George Clooney is The American

Fresh off the success of Jason Reitman's Up in the Air at film festivals across the country, George Clooney will be starring in a film called The American for relatively unknown director Anton Corbijn.

Focus Features is behind the movie, which shares plot elements with the fantastic Martin McDonagh film In Bruges. Clooney plays an American assassin who retreats to the Italian countryside after a hit gone bad.

This will be Corbijn's second directorial effort, and as much as I'd like to write this off as a complete knock off of In Bruges, Clooney's involvement makes me hesitate before making that blanket statement. If you look at the roles he's chosen in his career, it seems like he rarely makes bad decisions and always seems to make interesting choices, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Roundup 9/23

It's been a long couple of days for me on a personal level (12+ hour days aren't easy), but that's not going to stop me from bringing you the most relevant movie news of yesterday and today. Onward...
  • I'll lead off with forehead-slapping news: Universal is quickly losing my respect and their latest offense comes in the form of greenlighting a live-action Barbie movie. If what I know of Barbie is true, then this movie is going to be awesome - she seems to be a shape-shifting organism who has the ability to perform nearly any job, AND she has an outlandish number of vehicles at her disposal. Sounds like your standard superhero movie to me. On a serious note, it's gotta totally mess with your mind if you're the actress who gets the lead role. How can anyone live up to those plastic standards?
  • Columbia Pictures is officially moving forward with Ghost Rider 2 (with Nic Cage probably reprising his iconic role) and reboots of Daredevil and Silver Surfer films as well. Sure, Silver Surfer never had a proper movie of his own, but his introduction in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was close enough and will most likely be completely retconned since Fox is rebooting Fantastic Four anyway. Jason Statham has expressed interest in playing Daredevil, and although I doubt that will happen, I'd still like to see it.
  • More Columbia Pictures news - the company is interested in buying the rights to a live-action He-Man: Masters of the Universe movie. Screenwriter Justin Marks recently wrote a script for this film that seemed to garner fanboy approval (I wouldn't know: I refuse to read scripts that leak online - it ruins all the surprises in the actual movie!). Unfortunately for those excited for Marks' take, his version has been scrapped by Warner Bros. and Columbia is going to start from scratch if they end up scoring the rights to the property. I've seen Masters of the Universe already - the classic 1987 Dolph Lundgren Version - and that's all I need to see.
  • I previously told you that DJ Caruso, director of Eagle Eye and Disturbia, was set to direct a movie called Jack the Giant Killer. This film is a live action adult take on the Jack and the Beanstalk legend. It appears that his deal has fallen through, and Bryan Singer (X-Men 1 and 2) has stepped up to take the reins. Singer's involvement is out of left field, since he's so freakin' busy right now doing EVERYTHING BUT what we all want to see, which is of course his version of The Man of Steel. I still quasi-like the concept of this story, but as I mentioned before, it sounds a little too close to the Fables TV series that ABC is supposedly creating as I type. (When is THAT coming out? That's what I really want to see.)
  • And finally, the cast for The Other Guys (formerly titled The B Team) is quickly approaching fantastic. In Adam McKay's (Anchorman, Talladega Nights) latest directorial effort, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play New York City cops who, for once, aren't the center of attention. They are the guys in the background, the normal cops, and they watch supercops (played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson) take all the badass cases and get all the ladies. Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, and funnyman Steve Coogan fill out the rest of the cast so far, with Coogan playing the villain. It reminds me of Mystery Men, except this will hopefully be funny. The Other Guys sounds stupendous - I've always talked about making a movie very similar to this, except mine was going to be about a citizen in a town of supercops whose car gets blown up as collateral damage.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Stephanie Meyer Movie? Kill Me Now

Stephenie Meyer is the quadjillionaire author of the Twilight series who has parents who don't know how to spell "Stephanie." Apparently she wrote a "horror" novel called "The Host," the alien villains of which sound pretty freakin' similar to the old "Animorphs" books from my elementary school days. (Come on: click that wikipedia link and spend an hour refreshing yourself on the Animorphs - you know you want to.)

Predictably enough, the rights to "The Host" have been secured and the book is set to be adapted into a movie. Blargh.

What I could totally NOT predict is the man attached to the property: Andrew Niccol, writer/director of Gattica and Lord of War. I'm kinda baffled as to why such a seemingly high-class guy would attach himself to a property from an author whose skill with a pen has been seriously questioned by countless people over the age of 13. (Then again - I'm sure the answer has to do with money.) Niccol is slated to write and direct the movie version of The Host, and the dude must either A) have a hell of a take on the material and hope to bring credibility to Meyer and her work or B) must be in serious need of a payday.

I just find it hard to believe that the same guy who wrote The Truman Show is getting involved with Stephanie Meyer. Also, it must be noted that I've never read Twilight or seen any of the movies, so take all of my snark with a grain of salt.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Monaghan Joins Due Date

Michelle Monaghan (whom you can find on my list of "Favorite Actresses Right Now - 2009 Edition") has signed on to join Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in a new comedy from director Todd Phillips.

I covered all the plot details, trivia, and everything in my last post about this movie, so head over there to refresh yourself.

I'm obviously glad Monaghan is getting more work; I can't get enough of her performance in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and I truly believe we have only just begun to see her full talent on display. Whether or not that talent is revealed in THIS movie? That's another story. But at least she's on track and in the public eye.

"You've Failed To Maintain Your Women"

This is the trailer for the new Sir Michael Caine movie Harry Brown. Caine has gone on record saying this will be the last lead performance of his career, which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, he's a great character actor who thrives well in the company of other big names and can definitely hang with the best of them. On the other, seeing him in something like Harry Brown or Deathtrap (where he also plays the lead role) proves he can hold the weight of an entire film on his shoulders.

Let the comparisons to Death Wish fly.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RDJ To Play Spielberg's Harvey?

"They call me Boomer. You gonna do somethin' about it, chief?"

If you read the headline, that's really all the news there is. Variety speculates that Robert Downey, Jr. could play the man who sees an invisible rabbit in Steven Spielberg's reimagining of the Jimmy Stewart classic.

Seems like most people assumed Tom Hanks would play the lead, considering his long-time working relationship with Spielberg. But Robert Downey, Jr. strikes me as an interesting choice simply because he's not as clean cut as Hanks. If this casting holds true, then perhaps Spielberg's Harvey will be a little more edgy than the original.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


If you can make it to these words without laughing at the poster above, I commend you. (See it in its true size here.) I've done better Photoshop jobs in 10 minutes.

FirstShowing gave me a hearty chuckle tonight by featuring both the poster and the trailer for Takers, a new heist film from director John Luessenhop. The dialogue is so awful that it rivals the Street Kings trailer from a while back. (Quicks? Not quick enough!)

Has there ever been a cast where an actor (Hayden Christensen, I'm lookin' at you) has been so unintentionally out of place with the rest of the group? Hit me with answers in the comments, and enjoy this trailer if you can.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Warner Bros/DC Comics Finally Getting Act Together?

UPDATE: It was just announced that Warner Bros. has created DC Entertainment, a branch devoted to utilizing the full potential of the vast range of DC characters across multiple platforms. Again, solid move. Original post follows.

It's about time. Jeff Robinov, the director of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, is implementing a plan that he's been brewing for a couple years. DC Comics now reports to him and Diane Nelson (the president of Warner Premiere, who do the direct-to-DVD animated DC films).

Robinov has apparently "called back their high profile DC titles in development like The Flash and Wonder Woman." After the recent hiring of Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, and Grant Morrison, Warner Bros./DC is finally taking steps in the right direction in competing with Marvel. Now, who wants to see Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern AND The Flash? Eh? Eh? Anybody else?

Up in the Air Teaser Trailer

UPDATE: Hmm. It looks like the trailer is down due to massive amounts of people watching it through the host site and other sites that have linked to it. Keep checking back and hopefully it goes back up soon - trust me, it's worth watching.

I rarely post trailers to this page, but I think this one is very well done. Up in the Air is the newest directorial effort from director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Juno), and Reitman himself cut this teaser together.

The film was the big hit of the Telluride Film Festival, and from the trailer it would appear the praise is warranted. Check it out for yourselves. Slashfilm got this exclusive trailer from Sony, and I've embedded it below.

Supermax Altered Drastically: UPDATE

UPDATE: Due to some lazy researching on my part (not to mention trusting The Movie Blog for information for the first time in like six months - that'll never happen again!), I've come to find out that DC Comics version of Super Max (I knew it was spelled that way!) and the Sony/Columbia one mentioned below are actually two completely separate properties. Stunningly similar in concept and characters, I expect some sort of legal battle to ensue. But most likely, one of these projects will simply be shelved in favor of the other. I sincerely hope that the DC one sees the light of day. Original post follows.

It would appear the worst has befallen Supermax, the project which has excited fanboys (myself included) for a year or two now.

The original story featured Green Arrow (of DC Comics fame) wrongfully imprisoned in a high security jail specifically built to house supervillains (similar to Arkham Asylum). Oliver Queen, without his trademark bow and arrow, would have to escape the prison and the villains he himself locked away there and clear his name. Justin Marks (who hasn't actually written anything good) wrote the project as a spec script, and it's been floating around Hollywood for a while now.

According to The Movie Blog, Sony has picked up the rights for Columbia to develop the project into a horror/action movie. Gone is the Green Arrow - he has been replaced by a security guard. Here's their plot synopsis:

“Supermax” takes place in a Maximum Security Prison for the Super-Natural as a skilled guard must join forces with a lethal inmate after a riot ensues in order to fight his way through various monsters and mad-men in order to survive.

Sounds awful to me. If you're not going to include Green Arrow, then why are there supernatural dudes chilling out in this prison? If it's not going to be a DC hero, are they going to be DC villains? That would be incredibly stupid. Just unidentifiable monsters in cells? Come on. So assuming neither are used, I guess they're just going to make up their own cast of crazies to fill out the prison. Weak sauce! Most of the fun to be had with Supermax was going to be picking out obscure villains and watching the dynamic of "good guy in prison with guys he put in there" play out, ala Tango and Cash. I've just lost a lot of interest in this project. Great casting might be able to save it, and attaching a solid director won't hurt - but this one is drowning quickly in my book.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rambo 5: Seriously, The Real Plot This Time

It would appear that I've made an incorrect assumption about the plot of the next Rambo film based on the information I had at the time. I posited that the film would be akin to John Rambo taking on a team of Universal Soldiers. Stallone left a voicemail with Harry Knowles at Ain't It Cool News which completely disproves this theory and sets us all in the right direction.

Listen to it here.

Basically, the story doesn't have anything to do with a squad of cyborgs. Stallone makes the story seem much more primal than technology-based, implying possible connections to "The Immortals" from Zack Snyder's 300. He claims that the thing he fights is a "feral beast," a form of human being that hasn't reached our level of evolution yet. Part of the appeal is that this "thing" is such a primal creature that its will to live matches only Rambo's, which should translate into some very interesting storytelling and provide Stallone the opportunity to delve deeper into the psyche of one of his most well-known characters.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rambo 5: The Real Plot

In my August 31st Roundup, I told you guys that Rambo 5 had gotten the greenlight and the story was going to be about Rambo saving a kidnapped girl from drug traffickers and warlords near the US/Mexico border.

Apparently, the trades that initially reported this story had no clue what they were talking about. Stallone stepped up and called them out on it, and gave us the real plot for his next film (which sounds WAY more badass than the drug/warlords one).

In Rambo V: The Savage Hunt (the real working title), the U.S. government has a secret facility where they are trying to create "brilliantly instinctual killer soldiers that have no qualms about taking life." Rambo is brought in with a Black Ops squad to hunt and kill these creatures gone bad.

Sounds like Universal Soldier meets Rambo, and I'm all for it. We've seen far too many captured girl stories lately, so at least this one won't have that stupid emotional subplot attached. (That means more action!) I hope Van Damme is one of the bad guys and Stallone rips him apart for his refusal to guest star in The Expendables.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Guy Ritchie Directing Lobo Movie

Wow, Maddox is going to be uber-pumped about this one. Lobo, the DC Comics interstellar bounty hunter/badass, is getting the big screen treatment with director Guy Ritchie (RockNRolla, Snatch, etc) at the helm.

Variety says Lobo "is a seven-foot tall, blue-skinned, indestructible and heavily muscled anti-hero who drives a pimped out motorcycle, and lands on Earth in search of four fugitives who are bent on wreaking havoc. Lobo teams with a small town teenaged [sic] girl to stop the creatures." Sounds like Wolverine on steroids.

Warner Bros. is apparently aiming for a PG-13 rating, which (from what I can gather) completely undercuts the entire existence of this character. It needs a hard R rating, or nothing at all. I'm hoping Mickey Rourke is cast as Lobo anyway, and maybe Megan Fox for the small town girl.

P.S. - Holy crap, I'm loving what Wikipedia says about this character. Here are a couple excerpts:

"Lobo is a formidable combatant with expertise in multiple forms of armed and unarmed combat. His favorite weapon is a large titanium chain he keeps wrapped around his right wrist with a large gutting hook connected at the end, which he typically uses in hand to hand combat. At times, he also uses high-grade explosives and advanced firearms."

"Despite his violent and loutish nature, Lobo seems to have a genius-level intellect in matters of destruction and violence. He can create complex virulent agents and the necessary antidotes to them such as the one he let loose on Czarnia, resulting in the deaths of the entire population in the span of one week. He was also able to scavenge parts from a destroyed time hopper and attach them to his own bike, producing a working time machine."

Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Trailer

The long awaited sequel to the cult classic Boondock Saints finally has a trailer and a release date: October 30th, 2009. Looks like all you Saints fans out there don't have to wait much longer. Here's the red-band trailer.

Three Musketeers...in 3D!

Oh yeah, you read it correctly. The guy who brought you Death Race and Alien vs. Predator is bringing the Three Musketeers to 3D life on the big screen.

Paul W.S. Anderson, the aforementioned director, commented on the upcoming project:

"We are definitely modernizing 'The Three Musketeers' without compromising the fun of shooting a period piece, but in our film, corsets and feathered hats don't take center stage. Our version is rich in eye-popping action, romance, and adventure."

Disney's The Three Musketeers is one of my favorite adventure films of all time (read my review comparing it to 2001's The Musketeer here), so I honestly don't think any Musketeer film can improve on what they did with that version. There are very few directors that I would approve to work on 3D Musketeer movie, and Paul "Mortal Kombat" Anderson is not one of them. This sounds abysmal.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Favreau and Downey, Reunited?

"No! You never make them touch!"*

Cowboys & Aliens is a project I could have sworn I mentioned before, but now that I'm actually looking back, I apparently never have. Something fishy's going on here. ANYWAY, in case you've never heard about it before, I'll sum up the plot: it's basically exactly what you'd think with a title like that. Cowboys battle Native Americans, aliens invade, the two warring factions have to work together to save Earth. Kinda cool, imagining laser blasts vs. arrows and six shooters. Oh yeah, and it's based on a comic book which I've never read.

Robert Downey, Jr. has been attached to this project since 2008, but now The Hollywood Reporter is, uh, reporting that Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau has signed on to direct the movie. The script was (I think?) originally written by the guys who wrote Iron Man, and Kurtzman and Orci were slated to produce. Now, the latter duo has joined with frequent collaborator Damon Lindelof (co-creator of LOST) to rewrite the script and get it ready for a 2010 start date.

Kurtzman and Orci have a pretty hit-or-miss track record as far as most people are concerned, but I dig those guys. They've written Star Trek, both Transformers movies, The Island, Mission Impossible: III, and episodes of "Alias" and "Fringe," as well as produced Eagle Eye. I think I liked all but one of those things (*cough* Transformers 2). I think this team-up with Favreau and Downey will be successful at the box office, but more importantly, I have confidence they could all collaborate and bring us an entertaining movie.

*Ask Joe what that quote is in reference to. I forget the name of the comedy troupe that put together the video it's featured in.**

**Freakin' A, both sentences in that paragraph ended with prepositions.

Dawn of the Dead on Hulu

Hello all. I just wanted to pass on word that Zack Snyder's debut film, the 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead, is now available for free on Hulu. I really liked this movie, and I hope you will take the time to check it out in some capacity, even if it isn't on a computer screen.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Roundup 8/31

I'm all settled in here at my new place (which you can see here). I just got my cable and internet hooked up, found a little sense of direction, and have recently read through my backlog of bookmarks since I left on Wednesday (including the recently released A Winter's Knight at The Solar Sentinel). Here are some stories you may have missed while I was gone.

  • The big news today is that Disney is in the process of buying Marvel Entertainment for 4 billion dollars. There has been excessive speculation on what this means for the future of Marvel movies, and many of these speculations have been stupefyingly insulting. The online world is in a huff about this, but there's no need to worry. Your precious comic book movies won't be softened up by the Mouse House. Disney CEO Robert Iger said (I'm paraphrasing) that they were basically going to leave Marvel Studios alone and let them do their thing. The only thing this acquisition means is that Disney is going to make a lot of money from the rights and licenses to the Marvel characters (over 5,000 of them) and their distribution teams will better promote the Marvel films when they are released. Since Disney also owns Pixar, there have been some talks regarding a Marvel/Pixar team up. Either way, I'm sure the (mostly) high quality products we've been getting from Marvel won't change anytime soon.
  • Kevin Conroy, the actor who provided the quintessential voice of Batman in the animated series of the 1990's and the new Arkham Asylum video game, joined the rest of the world and said that Christian Bale's Batman voice in The Dark Knight was "over the top and distracted from his scenes." This isn't really news, but this just proves that Conroy is a badass who isn't afraid to be straight up with how he feels about something. That's not your typical Hollywood response - Conroy craps on being nice for the sake of being nice.
  • There was a rumor a week or so ago stating that Guillermo del Toro's The Hobbit would be shot in 3D. Utter crap, and I knew it. Del Toro recently debunked this rumor on a message board to the fans, simultaneously debunking rumors that Tom Cruise would play Bilbo Baggins. Look, I'm a bigger Tom Cruise supporter than most, but that casting would have been possibly the worst in the history of film. Yeah, I said it. Good thing GDT's an awesome director and knows what he's doing.
  • Sony has started development on Bad Boys 3. A writer has been hired, and neither Will Smith nor Martin Lawrence has officially signed on yet. Jerry Bruckheimer's involvement is still in question at this point as well. I don't think this is necessary (or wanted) by anyone, but whatever. This is years away from being released, if it even gets the greenlight at all.
  • Speaking of Bruckheimer, he just bought the rights to a short story by Derek Haas (3:10 to Yuma, Wanted) with the intent to develop it as a film. This is notable because Haas started his own website called PopcornFiction.com where movie writers could post their short stories as a means to express their creativity in a different format. It was a cool idea, and I'm glad to see that his little side project is turning into a lucrative thing for him. Seems like his head is in the right place.
  • Nic Cage has joined the 3D fever. He's starring in a movie called Drive Angry, by the director of My Bloody Valentine 3D. Cage will play a pissed-off dad who goes after a gang who killed his daughter and stole her child, leaving bodies and tire marks in his wake. Sounds like Cage, Liam Neeson, and Kevin Bacon need to star in a movie together called Taken: Drive Angry to the Death Sentence. I'd pay to see that one. This one? They're going to need a hell of a good trailer to convince me.
  • Rambo 5 has gotten the greenlight. There has been a lot of talk about this one ever since the last Rambo installment came out, but it's just now finally getting official approval. Stallone is in post-production on The Expendables right now, but as soon as he finishes that, he's expected to start on this project. This time, Rambo will be mauling drug lords and human traffickers at the US/Mexico border and trying to rescue an abducted girl. Hmm...maybe Sly can jump in on that movie with the guys listed above.
  • Rob Zombie is remaking The Blob. I've never seen the original, but I'm sure Zombie's version will be interesting at the very least.
  • And finally, an assistant to Michael Crichton found an unpublished manuscript for a book called "Pirate Latitudes" in Crichton's computer after his death. The book will hit shelves on November 24th of this year, and David Koepp (Jurassic Park, The Lost World) has been hired to adapt the story into a screenplay, with longtime-Crichton-collaborator Steven Spielberg attached to direct. The synopsis sounds kinda cool, and the movie is being hailed as a more realistic Pirates of the Caribbean. That said, I'm sure the book is going to be excellent and the movie has a very high suck potential. David Koepp has written some good stuff, but he's also written some truly terrible movies (The Shadow, War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Angels & Demons) and Spielberg hasn't done anything great since 2002's Catch Me If You Can. I can only hope that this is the project that will bring him out of his slump.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Inception Teaser Trailer

Here's our first look at the latest film from Christopher Nolan, Inception. His team has done a great job at keeping the film's plot a secret so far, and this is one of my most anticipated films of the next year.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shutter Island Moved to Feb. 2010

Boo, hiss. Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, the mystery thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, has been moved back to February of 2010.

Paramount decided to shift the film out of awards contention for this year's Academy Awards session, and drop it into the same slot where Silence of the Lambs entered theaters back in 1992. Since the Academy is now accepting 10 nominees for Best Picture, I guess Paramount doesn't want to waste the money marketing this as an "awards movie" when they can just hope that they get thrown in next year if the movie plays well.

Awards talk aside, I'm bummed because I really wanted to see this movie sooner rather than later. The creepy/mystery factor would have played out great in a theater in October (you know - with Halloween and all), but now it's being released near Valentine's Day. Weak sauce.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bruce Willis? You Better Believe It

"Come on, babe! You married THAT guy?
His name is Ashton, for God's sake! KUTCHER!!"

What could I possibly write here that would make fans of Bruce Willis even BIGGER fans of Bruce Willis? No, not that there's a free all you can eat buffet next door to your house (see what I did there?!?) - this is something much more potentially epic.

Bruce Willis has joined the cast of The Expendables. I've written at length about this movie in the past, and so far it's lived up to every expectation I could possibly want (with the exception of a possible PG-13 rating instead of a hard R). Willis told MTV that he's set to cameo on screen at the same time with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Momentous occasion, if I do say so myself. Is it 2010 yet?

You Asked For It, America

Shelling out $113 million for tickets to the 2004 Wayans brothers "comedy" White Chicks qualifies as "asking" for a sequel, and now you've got it. The Wayans are now in development on a sequel, where the FBI characters who got dolled up as white girls are coming back to the big screen.

I'm going to tell you right now I've never seen White Chicks and I don't ever plan on seeing it. The film was a major plot point in the 2005 short film Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? but that's as close as I came to watching it. I can only assume it was trash reserved for the likes of those jackasses who keep making Meet the Spartans and all of that crap. So obviously there's no way in Hades that I'm going to check this out. But for those of you who enjoy this kind of thing (what is that, like a bad movie fetish?), you can get your jollies if and when this thing hits theaters - probably a year from now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Spider-Man Updates

What the heck is going on? James Vanderbilt, screenwriter of Zodiac, was hired back in February of '08 to write Spider-Man 4. He turned in two scripts (for Spidey 4 and 5) and intended for the filmmakers to shoot the two movies back to back. Since then, other people have been brought in to rewrite his script for Spider-Man 4, so I assumed his ideas for connectivity between sequels were brought to an end.

Looks like that's not the case. Sony has just hired Vanderbilt to write Spider-Man 5 and 6! I guess they actually liked his ideas so much that they've decided to stick with his vision all the way through to complete another trilogy. The thing is, it's not looking like they're going to shoot these movies back to back: they're not even sure if they're going to make any Spider-Man films after the fourth installment.

I'm kind of confused by this - on one hand, pretty much everyone didn't like Spidey 3 as much as its predecessors, and the webslinger has vanished from the public's eye for the past few years. So I guess it makes sense that they wouldn't want to commit to another trilogy and spend the time and money to shoot it back to back in case Spidey 4 tanks nasty style at the box office. On the other, why would you hire this guy back if you like his ideas so much and then not film them all at once in order to get them out in theaters as quickly as possible and make your money while Spider-Man is fresh in the public's mind again?

The other questionable thing that's mentioned is that Vanderbilt has been told his scripts could be used to continue a trilogy that will begin in Spidey 4 OR be used as a blueprint for a series reboot. Does that make sense to anyone else? How the hell could a script written for the express purpose of continuing a franchise and bridging the gap between 4 and 6 double as a blueprint for a reboot? It's not possible. I don't get it. Either way, we're a long way away from seeing the fruits of any of this labor. Spider-Man 4 hits theaters in May of 2011, and neither the cast nor Sam Raimi has signed on for any further installments.

In other news, there are rumors flying around that Julie Taymor's Broadway production of Spider-Man: After the Dark (you know, the one that Bono and The Edge are doing the music for?) has been either canceled or put on hiatus. People are saying the budget is out of control and there's no way (even with a packed house every night) that they could make their money back. I've also heard conflicting reports that everything is fine, but that could be spin control coming from Taymor's camp. We'll see what happens with this, but if you're looking forward to the stage show, just know that there seems to be some trouble brewing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Superman Confused

[That title was supposed to read like "Superman Returns? No, Superman Confused." I'm sure you didn't get that from the title alone. So instead of coming up with another one, I explained myself to you. Deal with it.]

A little while back I updated you with the goings-on regarding Superman and the legal battle of the heirs of Siegel and Shuster vs. Warner Bros./DC Comics. Now the jury is in (literally), and the results do not bode well for the good guys.

Elisabeth Rappe from Cinematical breaks it down nicely, and it boils down to this: the courts awarded the heirs various portions of the mythos of Superman, including the origin story (meaning Krypton, Kal-El, Jor-El, etc). All this adds to what they ALREADY owned, which was the rights to the Superman character (including Clark Kent), Lois Lane, The Daily Planet, and Perry White. DC still owns Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, kryptonite, Superman's ability to fly, and any expanded powers and origins. What a headache.

This means that if we want to see a normal Superman movie again, we're going to have to see it go into production before the deadline of 2011. Otherwise, who knows what kind of ridiculous incarnation will make its way onto the big screen? How can they employ the use of kryptonite but not explain where it came from? Also, as Elisabeth points out, in 2013 it's game on for the heirs to shop their property around to whatever studio they want. Does that include the previously mentioned possibility of Supes traveling across the street to arch-rival Marvel Comics? It's unclear...but times are dark for the Big Blue Boy Scout.

Roundup 8/16

Wow, I've already reached 250 posts on this site. That was fast - doesn't seem like I've been writing for that long over here. Anyway, I'm back from my recent travels and I've been gone for a couple days, so it's time to catch up with another Roundup. Let's get to it!

  • The poster at the top of the page is a fan made poster for Tron: Legacy. I liked it enough to feature it here, so maybe you'll dig it, too.
  • Aside from boring casting announcements and more unnecessary remake news, there actually hasn't been that much going on. This has very little to do with movies, but Seth McFarlane confirmed what he's alluded to for years: Stewie from Family Guy is gay. Was it necessary to make an announcement about that? I'm pretty sure we knew that from somewhere around Season 2.
  • Remember that Bob Marley documentary I mentioned a while back that Scorsese was going to direct? I've been ignorant of updates, but I've got the info now if you're interested. Apparently Scorsese dropped the project because he was too busy with other things, and director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Rachel Getting Married) signed on to take over. But after he showed the producer his first cut and the producer didn't like it too much, Demme walked. I would, too, if someone laughed at my hard work. Screw those guys. Nobody else has signed on, so in the meantime it's languishing in development hell.
  • Ron Shelton, the guy who directed Tin Cup and White Men Can't Jump, is returning to a golf themed comedy with a movie called Q School (which stands for qualifying school). Dennis Quaid and Tim Allen are interested but haven't signed yet. Sounds interesting enough, since there really is (as pointed out by FirstShowing) a shortage of great golf movies out there. Maybe this one will be another addition alongside Caddyshack.
  • There's a pretty badass trailer out for Law Abiding Citizen, the new Gerard Butler/Jamie Foxx movie I've mentioned a few times. It's gone through a lot of variations (Frank Darabont was once attached to direct), but now it's in the capable hands of the awesomely named director F. Gary Gray. Looks standard, but with good action - just like all of F's other movies. Check the trailer here.
  • Kate Winslet (one of my favorite actresses) is moving to television as Mildred Pierce, a character featured in the classic 1945 film noir of the same name directed by Michael Curtiz. Director Todd Haynes (who I've never heard of) has approached the networks for the show, but apparently HBO is in the lead right now. By the way, HBO is coming out with a FANTASTIC-looking new show called "Bored to Death" featuring Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis about a fake private eye. It's on my "must watch" list when it comes out next month.
  • I've never seen an episode of the television series (new or 1970's version), but some of you may be interested to hear that Bryan Singer (Superman Returns, X-Men 1 and 2) will be directing a big screen version of Battlestar Galactica for Universal. Apparently the movie will have nothing to do with the recent show and is supposed to be a complete reimagining of the 70's show. Somewhere, somebody is pleased with this news. Personally, I'd rather see Singer bring the Man of Steel back to the big screen one more time to try and give audiences what they were expecting with Superman Returns - some action. Doesn't look like that's going to be the case: both because he signed for Battlestar, and also because of my next post...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lego: The Movie

No, I'm not kidding. Warner Bros. (a studio I normally love and have a lot of respect for) has decided to take my good will and hurl it out a thirty-story window; after G.I. Joe opened number one at the box office this weekend, they're making a Lego movie.

Not only are they seriously doing this (I can't stress enough this isn't a joke), but the man they've hired to produce this movie is responsible for an upcoming live action Tom and Jerry movie. And if THAT isn't enough for you, Variety says Warner Bros. is "keeping the plot tightly under wraps." Bite me. Like everyone is chomping at the bit to discover your super-secret plot to a movie about freakin' building blocks.

Mark my words, a Silly Putty movie is on the horizon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spielberg Producing Halo Movie?

Peter Jackson, Spielberg's co-director in the Tintin series they're currently working on, was once attached to produce a Halo movie (which was to be directed by District 9's Neill Blomkamp). That project fell through, and now it would appear that Spielberg wants down on the video game adaptation.

Rumor has it (via IESB) that Spielberg is in negotiations to produce Halo: Fall of Reach, the spec script written by Collateral writer Stuart Beattie. This film has been struggling in production limbo for years, and if anybody has the clout to pull it out and kick-start it into action, it's Steven Spielberg. I can only hope that Beattie's script is as good as he makes it out to be - we can't forget that this is the guy who directed the wretched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

From what I can gather, Spielberg backed off on the Indy script since George Lucas would have eaten his hand if he went in for a rewrite - so maybe Steven's just been making a few bad decisions lately. Halo is certainly an epic enough story to rekindle the wonder that the world famous director is known for producing, and maybe he'll even slide into the director's chair if he feels confident enough about the project once they get some casting decisions made.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Machete Cast Unveiled

I've spoken at length before about the feature version of Robert Rodriguez's Machete, the fake trailer from 2007's Grindhouse, so I won't bore you with recycled plot summaries or anything like that.

The rumored cast has been officially confirmed since shooting began this week on the project. Danny Trejo plays Machete, and joining him are some pretty big names: Robert DeNiro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, and Jeff Fahey. OK, so maybe only three of those are big names.

No word yet on whether this will be a theatrical release or straight to DVD. There was talk about it going to DVD at one time, but with bigger names attached I wonder if it will at least see a limited release in theaters.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Spielberg Directing A Harvey Remake

Spielberg's next project will not be the long-rumored Lincoln biopic starring Liam Neeson. Looks like he's taking on a blast from the Jimmy Stewart past and directing a remake of Harvey, the black and white classic in which Stewart's character sees a six foot tall imaginary rabbit.

This isn't Spielberg's first trip down Remake Road. He did the 2005 War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise, and directed the little seen dra-mance Always in 1989, which was based on the 1943 film A Guy Named Joe. As far as remakes go, I guess enough time has passed to warrant this one; we'll see how relevant the story turns out to be with Steve at the helm. No cast has been announced yet, and I'll keep you posted when those announcements are made (which will probably be soon, since the movie is going into immediate pre-production).

Friday, July 31, 2009

Rob Marshall to Direct Pirates 4?

Acclaimed (I guess) musical director Rob Marshall (Chicago, the upcoming Nine) is in talks to direct the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Director Gore Verbinski has already dropped out, and Johnny Depp is already signed to reprise his now-iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow, but there's not much that could get me excited about this series anymore. They ran it into the ground with the second and third films, and even a story about Sparrow and Barbossa searching for the Fountain of Youth (as rumored) does little to pique my interest.

Rob Marshall might as well turn this movie into a musical. It'd be like Sweeney Todd, but with pirates. Set it in space, and have a crossover with the new Captain Blood remake, and they can start a whole new offshoot with some characters featured in both. It'd be like "CSI: Miami," but with secondary pirate characters. In SPACE.

Captain Blood...IN SPACE!

Yeah, you read that correctly. Captain Blood, the 1935 Errol Flynn pirate adventure movie that I once reviewed at Ben's Movie Reviews is heading for the stratosphere.

Almost exactly a year ago, I mentioned that the director of Clear and Present Danger had signed to develop a remake of Captain Blood for Warner Bros. Looks like that has fallen through, because the studio has greenlit a pitch from the Spierig Brothers (who?) that sets the classic tale in space. Fear not, purists - the central storyline remains intact - a doctor clashes with a French pirate who has captured the woman he loves.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. (This is not my Batman glass.) The French? In space? I didn't realize this version of Captain Blood was going to be a comedy! (ZING!)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Say It Ain't So

More like "Twice Phallus Howhard." Yeah? Anybody?

One of my favorite up-and-coming actresses, Bryce Dallas Howard (pictured, total hottie), has gone to the dark side: she's signed to play a role in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. For those of you who care (if this describes you, I'm guessing you probably shouldn't be reading this site), Bryce will take over the role of Victoria from some other girl because Other Girl had prior commitments to some other movie. Whatever. It's not like I'm ever going to see this movie.

Seems like ol' BDH is jumping onto every huge franchise she can right now: with her stepping in as Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3 (best part of the movie), her minuscule role in Terminator Salvation, and now the Twilight series, she's looking to make some serious bank. She must still be trying to make everyone forget about Lady in the Water. Good luck, hot stuff - it's going to take a good while for that pile of mediocrity to leave the collective consciousness of America.

In better news, my home girl Gabrielle Union has joined the cast of ABC's newest not-targeted-at-females show, FlashForward. You may remember Union from Bad Boys II, or, more likely, from my Valentine's Day post over at the Solar Sentinel. I'm still on the fence about this show, but the addition this salacious female has almost tipped me to the "watching it" side.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jonah Hex Poster

Here's the new poster for Jonah Hex. I've been talking about this one for a while, so I figured I'd throw the poster your way so you all could see it. (The only real reason I'm doing it is because Megan Fox is heavily featured.)

Ninja Assassin Trailer

James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) has a new movie coming out November 25th, and it looks like a Tony Jaa movie without Tony Jaa. Will I be seeing it? Definitely. Check this action out - it involves a lot of swinging rope weapons and slick action choreography.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Man, I am on a roll tonight. Here's three more trailers for you guys.

First, the trailer for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland 3D, since I know that some of you are slobbering at the very mention of the flick. Wipe yourself off and check this out.

Next, the long-awaited red-band trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine. I've been touting this since day one, and I'm glad to see that the film looks hilarious. I'm hoping this one doesn't disappoint. If it's anything like this trailer, I'm sure I'll dig it.

Finally, Denzel Washington's newest post-apocalyptic movie Book of Eli gets a trailer. It's nowhere near as impressive/funny/entertaining as the other two, which is why I saved it for last. It's like I Am Legend with swords and chainsaws, so I guess I'll probably see it.

Comic Con 09: Tron Legacy Trailer

This was actually footage released to the Comic Con '08 crowd, but it has just become available for all to see. From what I understand, director Joseph Kosinski put this together to prove that technology has come far enough since the first Tron movie to warrant a second journey into that universe (kind of like Robert Rodriguez pumping out that opening scene for Sin City [you know, with Josh Hartnett] and shopping it around to Frank Miller and the actors to get the rest of the movie made).

I've never seen the original Tron (I hope to remedy this shortly), but this teaser trailer for the sequel looks really badass. I'm very excited about this movie now, whereas before I had little to no interest in it at all. I'd highly recommend checking it out below.

Here's the plot synopsis (thanks to Slashfilm for providing it): TRON Legacy is a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world that’s unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) [a great up-and-coming actor - Ed.], the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant (Olivia Wilde), father and son embark on a life-and-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.

Comic Con 09: The Prisoner

The AMC network ("Breaking Bad," "Mad Men") has produced a mini-series based on the 1960's cult classic TV show "The Prisoner." I believe it will be six parts, and it begins in November of 2009. At Comic Con this week, the network has released a nine minute sizzle reel to hook audiences and get them excited about what they're calling "the most anticipated television event of 2009."

The series stars Jim Caviezel as Number Six, a regular man captured and trapped in a utopia-esque environment called The Village. Ian McKellan (Gandalf, Magneto, you know who he is) co-stars as the leader of The Village who tries to convince everyone they've always been there and there is no life outside of his created environment. It looks like a great cross between The Truman Show, "LOST," and Michael Bay's The Island. Here's the nine minute preview from AMC.com. I'm really pumped about this.

Stan Lee Drops Huge News

Stan Lee recently dropped the bombshell of all bombshells at Comic Con. Are you guys ready for this? I don't think you are. Prepare yourselves...

When MTV's Splash Page asked Stan Lee about an upcoming Dr. Strange movie, he responded with the most outlandish bit of Marvel-related news we've ever heard.

"You know there are only so many movies that Marvel can do at one time or one after another, but I will promise you 'Dr. Strange' will be on the list. They just have to get to it. In fact, every one of the characters -- they're not going to let one go. Why should they?"

You heard it here, folks! Marvel is planning on making a movie about every single character in their entire library/universe! With approximately 2700 characters on the list, that's a LOT of movies. We're going to be seeing the most obscure characters in Marvel history trotted out on the big screen, so prepare yourselves and your unborn children, because this is going to take a while.

(NOTE: I'm aware these are just the ramblings of a really old dude. I don't honestly believe they're going ahead with a movie based on every Marvel character. This is simply a lesson to Mr. Lee in the trouble one can get into when using hyperbole instead of a normal answer.)