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 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.