Archive for November, 2004

Bond Producers to make Casino Royale without Tarantino

CasinoRoyale.jpgThe farce that is the Production of the Bond franchise continues. After dumping Pierce Brosnan so abruptly, and ignoring one of the best offers there could be in the guise of Quentin Tarantino offering to direct possibly the best Bond novel around, Casino Royale, you decide to do the most intelligent thing. Make the movie yourselves.

IMDB carry the story:

On the heels of recent speculation that Quentin Tarantino was considering the possibility of remaking the James Bond thriller Casino Royale with Pierce Brosnan in the starring role, published reports in the U.K. now indicate that Eon Productions, which has produced the Bond films for MGM, has decided to make Casino Royale on its own — without the involvement of either Tarantino or Brosnan.

I can’t help but think they’ve really missed a trick here, pulling Tarantino in to direct the next Bond flick with a brand new Bond, might just swing public opinion towards the new actor as he’ll be dropped in the middle of a fantastic movie and just can’t help but shine. Right now I think most people are wondering why in the hell they let Brosnan go when he’s willing to keep going and is superb!

There are downsides though, after Tarantino you couldn’t go back to the standard franchise could you? You really would have to start using cool Directors after that and taking the films in different directions, there goes your merchandising, etc. I don’t know, still sounds like a cracking idea to me. However, that’s why I’m sitting here with a headache and typing on my computer and not directing a film with millions of dollars as a budget.

Damon replacing DiCaprio in DeNiro’s CIA thriller

MattDamon.jpgThe Good Sheperd, Robert De Niro’s pet project about the history of the CIA through the eyes of one of the founding agents, James Jesus Angleton, has been very troubled. Just last month the funding was pulled, and I mean pulled, and this month the star of the film turns and walks away. Leonardo DiCaprio has left and DeNiro’s project looked like it was having no luck, and no chance.

However, something happened, and it happened in the form of Matt Damon who has stepped up and taken over the role. Now all they need is some money, however, according to the writers at Empire, there’s still some breath there:

…had some minor cash flow problems earlier this month but deals are being hammered out to plug the hole and make this vessel ship-shape once more.

I do share their slight concern in that it might turn into a more intelligent Bourne Supremacy, but that’s not such a bad thing. Damon is a very good actor, and he does take to the spy role rather well, let’s just hope he’s got more cash attraction status than Mr DiCaprio to help get this project on the go!

New DVD format causes big battle

BluRayDVD.jpgThe great fight returns, remember VHS vs Betamax? What a mess that turned out ot be, Betamax being the superior format but falling by the wayside by aggresive marketing, cheaper production costs, etc.

Well here we are again with DVD. It seemed easy first time round when the DVD format was accepted, the various companies agreed the formats before it went to the studios and hit the general public, great, no wasted investment from the Studios or the Consumer, almost perfect.

Not so now. There are two rivals emerging for the next generation of DVD players and recorders, and this next generation is by no means a small step.

Return of the King Special Edition full trailer

ROTK_12.jpgNow I’m going to steer totally clear of this one, I’ve checked out the two minute teaser that John posted before, but I am not going to look at the full six minute beast that the good guys at Film Rotation lead me to this morning.

Much as I want to and whet my appetite for the full movie and that astonishing reported six months worth of extra footage, I’d rather wait and watch the DVD, which I’m praying someone has bought off of my wishlist along with the Aston Martin of course.

Feel free to take a peek yourselves though, with so much new footage, six minutes of it is hardly going to make an impact. Mind you…now that I’ve said that, perhaps I really could take a peek myself. It’s no good, I’m there!

What I want to know is how much is being held back for the release of the complete trilogy in one Box set? We all know it’s going to happen…or perhaps it will be on one disc using the new HD DVD or Blu-Ray DVD. Actually, we know fine there will be both versions, anything to get our money again, but let’s face it, for such an amazing series of movies and crammed DVDs, it is one of the few really worth it.

Nick Cassavetes in negotiation to direct Iron Man

IronMan.jpgMore comic book adaptation news with the story from Yahoo and Hollywood Reporter that Nick Cassavetes is in talks with New Line Cinema to direct Iron Man.

The movie, written by David Hayter, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, will reflect modern technological, political and societal trends. Cassavetes, also a screenwriter, will do a polish.

Does this mean we can expect Iron Man to be fighting the forces of Terrorism in the name of good and all that is true? Please don’t turn this into a Political message for the Modern day, that would be such a disaster. Talking of disasters, or potential ones at least, Cassavetes track record doesn’t look like a typical comic adaptation Directors. Marvel Studios are quick to return on that one, and it seems that they are confident and happy with this choice:

Cassavetes, whose directorial work includes the emotionally charged, modestly budgeted features “John Q” and “She’s So Lovely,” does not have a resume that automatically suggests him as the helmer of a big-budget, effects-heavy comic book franchise.

But Marvel Studios chief Avi Arad, one of the producers, doesn’t see him as an unusual choice.

“Do you remember what Bryan Singer did before ‘X-Men’?” Arad asked, noting that Singer directed the character-based “Apt Pupil” before the hit super-hero film and its sequel.

“That was considered an odd choice. Sam Raimi directed ‘A Simple Plan’ and ‘The Gift’ before ‘Spider-Man.’…(‘Iron Man’) is a huge movie, with big action and incredible technology, but without understanding and loving Tony Stark, then all the money in the world isn’t going to get you where you want to go. It all starts with the emotional mix.”

Wise and sensible words there, so here’s hoping something good can be done and another good comic book can be turned into another good movie.

Lucas Wants Holiday Special Banned - Who Can Blame Him?

You ever do something that seemed like a good idea at the time… and then woke up the next day and said to yourself “What the hell did I just do?!?!” Well that’s what George Lucas goes through every Christmas. Oh yes, the fond memories of Star Wars - The Holiday Special still swirl in my head. Never has television been so horribly abused. We’ve posted several times before about this travesty, but now it looks like George Lucas actually wants to get this embarrassment banned. And really, who can blame him? Come to think of it… who would want to stop him?

A great quote from the good folks over at Digital Spy reads like this:

A high point of the film is a scene in which Princess Leia reduces Solo and Luke Skywalker to tears with a heart-rending song. IMDB quotes a source at Lucasfilm as saying: “The Holiday Special was the biggest f***-up ever. The Force was definitely not with Mr. Lucas the day that doozy was born.”

Ummm yeah. Don’t need to say much else do we? So come on! Who else out there has seen this gem?

Ong Bak Muay Thai Warrior Sequel

I will never forget the first time I saw the jaw dropping Ong Bak Muay Thai Warrior with the sensational Tony Jaa. It was in Toronto and Bubba (Todd over at Twitch Film) brought it by and said I just had to sit down, shut up and watch this. And watch it I did. For those of you who have never heard of this movie, you’ll just have to trust me that it is the most awe inspiring spectacle of martial arts and stunts in a movie EVER. The most amazing part of it is that Tony Jaa did all of his own stunts… with ZERO special effects and ZERO wire work. It’s totally unbelievable when you see half the stuff this guy does. You just end up re-winding a dozen times saying “I didn’t just see that!!!!”

Now, the good folks over at AICN have received an update on the follow-up entitled Tom Yum Goong. My mouth is in high drool mode:

In Ong-Bak, he plays a country bumpkin who travels to Bangkok to retrieve a stolen Buddha image. In Tom Yum Goong, he plays a country bumpkin who travels to Sydney to retrieve a stolen elephant (!!!!!!). The culprit is a femme fatale who runs an evil empire out of her Thai restaurant called, you guessed it, Tom Yum Goong, named after the famous shrimp soup.

From what i gather, it should be ready to release around January in Thailand. With the director claiming to make this a Thai film with an international standaqrd and promisisng to raise it to the next level, I can hardly wait for the action to explode once more on the big screen. They also promise to continue to uphold the Ong-Bak motto of no stuntman, no wirework for the lead actor.

This guy is the evolution of Jackie Chan. Now, take all this with the grain of salt that Ong Bak was actually a horrible film from a story/acting/plot point of view. But the pure action, stunts and martial arts make up for all that in spades and creates a thoroughly enjoying viewing experience. Oh man I can’t wait.

More rumours Dougray Scott is Bond

DougrayScott.jpgWe’ve said it before in a previous post, but again this is confirmed, and as you can see from the comments it’s from an insider source.

The Guardian Guide Blog for all thing entertainment, has news that Dougray Scott has been signed up for the new Bond role as a definite. Okay, so the story was carried by a UK tabloid two months ago, but it clearly wasn’t the case as the paper isn’t that good and it’s not been backed up since. In fact other actors have been in auditions and have even turned down the role! Dr Doom, Bond, Dr Doom, Bond…okay.

Steve Rose from the Guardian Blog says:

I found out from an “industry insider”, as they say — no second-hand news here!

I’m not exactly delighted if this is the case, I was looking for a more Brosnan-esque Bond. Now is that wrong? The more I think about it the more I think it is wrong, perhaps it is time for a meaner rougher Bond, and with the talk that the new Bond is going back to the original style then this is perhaps the kind of casting they need. Initially I was concerned that they were looking for a new Connery, but this could be the rougher edge they are looking for (no offence Mr Scott). Still, no official word yet!

Mr & Mrs Smith trailer

WAAAAA! Mr and Mrs Smith has just caused me to seriously freak. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet then switch off everything else that your computer is doing right now and get onto this link (note the direct link to the trailer).

I can’t begin to tell you how much this trailer rocks. It’s sooo good. It has guns, small guns and really big guns, and explosions, and humour, and Brad Pitt twinned with Angeline Jolie. Oh, come to papa and scream like a Canadian film fan whose just lost his stalking rights!

The trailer looks mightly impressive, and the guys from Empire are as equally impressed:

Da Vinci Code Producers speak out

DaVinciCode.jpgOver at Latino Review I found two interesting interviews with the men behind the screen adaptation of the Da Vinci Code, some of it bodes very well, some comments not so.

Brian Grazer discusses the adaptation in one of the articles:

“We want to be true to the audience. It√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s fiction and we just want to be true to the audience and the readers, the very loyal readers of The DaVinci Code.”

Good, good. We’re all quite pleased so far, wait though, there’s more…

New head of Disney lined up?

Disney.jpgThe Disney soap opera continues with gossip galore of a possible replacement in line for the role of Disney head.

According to the Guardian Peter Chernin, President of News Corp is a leading contender for the Disney role and has just signed a new contract that stipulates an easy exit if his move is to Disney. If it’s to any other company or post then he is destined to be in a six month notice and extremely senior consent from News Corp:

According to US reports, Chernin’s new terms with allow him to leave the company without notice if he becomes head of a stand-alone publicly traded rival…Chernin’s contract stipulates six months’ notice and the consent of Murdoch if Chernin chooses to head up the entertainment division of a rival parent company, such as General Electric’s NBC Universal. That is, the contract favours the exact circumstance of Chernin joining Disney, but not a similar post elsewhere.

Well with Eisner set to leave in 2006, could this be a wise preparation? Could it be even sooner?

I’m not sure if Chernin’s record will serve him well at Disney. Is it a corporate ruler they need or a lover of animation and such movies as Pixar has? Let’s hope it bodes well for Disney.

Spacey to give up acting?

beyondthesea.jpgHardly, I seriously doubt it, but it’s an interesting story none the less. It appears, according to the BBC and also IMDB, that Kevin Spacey is so taken with returning to singing on stage that he’s not only going on tour with the band and performing songs from the film Beyond the Sea as Bobby Darin, but he would consider moving back to the career full time if the tour goes well.

“My background was on stage and in musicals so it’s a case of going back to my roots,” says the Oscar-winning actor.

In case you think it’s all just hot air, Spacey and The John Wilson Orchestra are already taking their show on the road for a US tour. “If this all goes well - the tour and the movie - I have a good mind to jack in all the acting things and just live the life of a singer-songwriter. Sounds good, right? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see.”

I’m not sure, Spacey always seems to be having so much fun when you see him acting, and with such good roles on offer why would he give it up? I saw him sing live on a BBC chat show, and I have to say I was really impressed, and he does have the talent for singing as well as acting. Still, I’d hate to loose him from the big screen.

Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice

Ok, here’s some simple math that I wish more studios in Hollywood understood. What do you get when you add solid compelling material with a cast of talented true actors? A bloody good film. This is what the equation seems to add up to in The Merchant of Venice.

3 actors who I would easily include in any top 25 actors list lead the cast (Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino and Joseph Fiennes) that apparently all hold their own with these heavey weights. Hollywood News gives us this:

So, the story breaks down like this. Set in 16th century Venice, the film follows Antonio (Jeremy Irons) who approaches Jew Shylock (Al Pacino) to lend him a sum of money to help his close friend Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes) win the heart of rich, noble totty, Portia whose castle lies on the island of Belmont. When loaning the money, Shylock refuses to charge interest on the loan and agrees that Antonio should give up a ‘pound of flesh’ should he not repay the money on time. Little does Antonio know, that Shylock holds a grudge against him and when he fails to repay the debt on time, the Jew sets out to claim his bond as agreed, in full.

One surprising thing we can look forward to is the performance of Lynn Collins:

the standout acting role belongs to the relatively unknown Lynn Collins as Portia. Take away her small role in this years 13 Going on 30, this is one of her first appearances on screen, and what a role — what a performance. Look out for this young starlet in the future.

This film, with this source material and this cast of true actors… wow… I’m looking forward to this.

Fantastic Four Trailer in front of Fat Albert

Is it just me, or does it feel like films are being seriously rushed these days? It was just a couple of months ago that production of The Fantastic Four began, and already a teaser trailer is set to be released to us, the unclean masses, for visual consumption. The Good folks over at SuperHeroHype.Com give us this:

The teaser trailer is tentative to come out with Fox’s FAT ALBERT on Christmas, and seems locked. BUT, if for some reason that doesn’t happen, then definitely expect it with ELEKTRA, out January 14th!

Why in sweet heaven would they want to run the teaser in front of Fat Albert? I’m betting 42 people see that movie in total. And 31 of those will discover they’re in the wrong theater.

Back to my original point… this thing (much like Elektra) feels seriously rushed. My gut has a bad feeling about this whole Fantastic Four project and it’s only getting worse. Why don’t they learn a lesson from Peter Jackson, George Lucas or Steven Spielberg and TAKE YOUR FRICKIN TIME! Making the movie right should be your #1 priority, not making sure it’s out on the market by a certain unrealistic date. Do it right, don’t do it fast. I think this whole thing is just going to spin right out of control.

Nice NY Post Article on Ziyi Zhang

I took notice of Ziyi Zhang (or Zhang Ziyi as she was called at the time) like everyone else in Croutching Tiger. I outright fell in love with her (like every other hetrosexual male or lesbian woman out there) in Rush Hour 2. Now I’m just anxious to see her in House of Flying Daggers. While we wait, the New York Post has an interesting little article about her to kill the time. Here’s a little blurb:

In “House of Flying Daggers,” she expands her acting range, playing a blind courtesan and renegade assassin who’s involved in a love triangle. She says the strong characters she’s played have been personally vindicating.

“For Western women, it’s much easier to be yourself,” she has said. “If you want to do something, you just go and do it. In an Asian context, women are still much more modest and conservative. “I want, through my roles, to express the parts in the hearts of Chinese women that they feel unable to let out.”

It’s worth heading over there to give the whole article a read. The one thing they didn’t cover in the story is if she’s open to short term relationships with Canadian film pundits. THIS is the stuff I need to know people. Bah! And they call themselves journalists.

Rambo IV: Holy War

This just has “Bad Idea” written all over it in several different languages. As we’ve mentioned before, it seems the big ol’ Rambo gun is being loaded up again because apparently Stallone has nothing better to do.

I loved the first Rambo film (First Blood). But the sequels got progressively worse and deviated tremendously from the spirit of First Blood. Going back for another kick at the proverbial can looks ill advised at best, and down right desperate at worst. And just to make this bad idea look even more pathetic, Hollywood North Report offers up this treatment of the project:

Rambo IV: Holy War, as it’s called, sees Stallone’s iconic super-soldier return to the screen as the matured sage; he’s married, with an adopted son, influenced by Islamic Sufism, and now working as an environmentalist at the United Nations. When the UN Assembly is hijacked by sadistic Islamist terrorists, Rambo tries to take the terrorists down, knowing that his Afghani-adopted son, Tomask, is part of the terrorist mission.

Ouch. This has “Sappy stereo types” and “overdone plot devices” tattooed on it’s arm. This movie will be made… and it will suck… and Sylvester Stallone will waste more of his true acting talent (see Copland) on stupid material yet again. What a shame.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 - The Prequel

texaschain_poster.jpgThere are films that get made with fascinating characters… like Star Wars… that lend themselves to exploring the back story of them in a Prequel film. Does anyone out there really think that Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of those films? Apparently the studio does. The happy folks over at Bloody Disgusting offer up this:

I spoke with R. Lee Ermey today at the Motor Trend Auto Show and he told me that ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2′ will start shooting in March 05. He told me that he has signed on for this film and it will def be a prequel.” Although full details have not been announced, the plan is to release the film around Halloween 2005.

Now, this will be a prequel in line with the re-make as opposed to the original. But does that really matter? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not poo-pooing on the idea of a sequel in general. I’m sure there will be people interested in spending a Friday night date at some brainless slasher fun and I’m also sure it will make a little bit of money too. I just don’t get the concept of a prequel with a film like this. Oh well… I’m sure they have something in mind.

The trailer for Straight Jacket stinks!

I did my usual trailer trawl (ooh, I am guessing that sounds bad for the US audience) and discovered a movie I hadn’t heard of called Straight Jacket. Instantly the whole movies premise is obvious. Straight jacket, think about how movie titles are supposed to be clever, when you look at the website it’s obvious, and when you sit through the trailer (please don’t) it’s also plainly obvious it’s rubbish.

I watched the entire thing without a laugh or even a snicker, and it is supposed to be a comedy! In the fifties an actor who is perceived as a big onscreen manly hunk, is captured leaving a bar for gentlemen, and gentlemen only. To save his career as a ladies man, the studio decide to get him to marry, but what of his boyfriend? Oh lord…it’s awful, and the set pieces didn’t even raise a snigger.

Awful, and this is your warning. Avoid at all costs, do not watch, you will never get this time back in your entire life. Do not watch the trailer!

Top 100 UK Box Office Movies

BFIUltimateMovies.jpgWatching television this weekend, in a particularly lazy weekend, I came across Channel 4’s top 100 movies. Now they’ve done a lot of these before, but this one was actually from the British Film Industry’s Box Office figures for the UK. Now that sounded interesting. So I gave up six hours (yes, six hours!) of my weekend to watch what turned out to be some very surprising results.

The 100 was filled with older movies, and some real surprises as well. So as not to spoil it, I suggest you have a look yourself, but just for some interesting facts, take a look at this.

Tom Cruise was not in any film in the top 100, and his closest appearance was in Goldmember! I find that amazing, that is his highest grossing UK Box Office movie?! It was a great film, but can you imagine that his pulling power in the Box Office is less than that of Austin Powers?

Superman - Steve Martin to play Perry White?

SteveMartin3.jpgI’m a big Steve Martin Fan. Yes, the man had made his fair share of stinkers over the years, but the man is still hilarious. I still have Bowfinger on my Top 10 Underrated Comedies of all time list. So now the good folks over at Film Rot are reporting that Martin is close to signing on to play Daily Planet Editor Perry White in the upcoming Superman flick. Here’s what they have to say:

Wizard Magazine, in their latest issue, claims that The Jerk himself, Steve Martin is close to landing the role of Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White! The magazine further states that Martin feels the role would give his career, where he recently starred in duds like Bringing Down the House and Cheaper by the Dozen, a much-needed boost.

Now, even though I’m a Martin fan, I just don’t see this as a good fit for either him or the character. I personally don’t want to see Perry White as a slap stick comic relief character like the J.J.J. in Spider-Man (who was great). Don’t get me wrong, I won’t complain if Martin gets this… I just don’t see it.

Affleck Stays Out Of Degrassi

I will never understand why Degrassi Jr. High has such a big following in the States. There has been some damn good Canadian television… but this wasn’t one of them. Anyway, the IMDB offers up this interesting little tid bit of Canadiana Lore for us Kevin Smith Fans:

Ben Affleck has turned down the chance to make a cameo appearance in Canadian TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation, despite director pal Kevin Smith’s desperate attempts. Jersey Girl director Smith will fulfill a life-long ambition when he appears in three episodes of the show, a spin-off of his favourite childhood programme Degrassi: Junior High, which ran from 1986-1991.

Ummm… appearing in Degrassi was a life long ambition? Dude, I think you’re great and everything… but you need better dreams.

Yes This Is The Movie Blog - Just A New Look

Hey there folks. Well, as you can see things look a little bit different around here. Why did I change the site design? For no other reason than I was bored of the other one. Not to mention, in the last couple of weeks I’ve come across no less than 3 other film based blogs that were using the exact same Movable Type standard Style-Sheet that I was using… so it was time for a change.

There are still a couple of bugs you’ll notice and a couple of the pages still aren’t up yet, but they will be before the end of the weekend. I’d finish them now… but I MUST go to bed. Cheers!

Really special Infernal Affairs DVD Boxset

I just happened to be updating my wishlist in time for my Birthday and Christmas and came across the Infernal Affairs Trilogy [LE 8-Disc Box].

Not only does it contain the three films (obviously, it’s a trilogy!) and the usual interviews, photo galleries but it is also lovingly crafted with the following special features:

  • Digitally remastered films
  • DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX sound
  • 10 minutes of unseen footage added to Infernal Affairs 1
  • 2 hours of deleted scenes
  • 100+ page photo booklet
  • Multi-Angle feature

Okay, so that’s quite good I hear you cry. That’s not what makes me want it, oh no, there’s more. Firstly there’s the fact that you can get the Distributor to put your name on the packaging, then, and here’s the kick ass selling point that has made me write about this. The box set includes:

…a special 5-hour version of the trilogy edited together in chronological order onto two additional discs.

Wow! Now that is really cool. Not only can you watch the movies, but you can see them edited together for the entire trilogy experience. Fantastic! My only concern would be that the five hour version is on two discs, whereas each individual movie is on two discs making a total of six. Surely the credits don’t take up four discs? So does that mean the audio or video is compromised? Not too sure, but it still looks very, very cool.

I do enjoy buying a good movie on DVD, especially when it’s got loads and loads of extras, and decent extras I mean. I can’t stand the trailers, teasers, photo galleries, production featurettes etc all sold as the vast extras available. To me that’s equivalent to none. I only consider an extra to be deleted\additional scenes, or a cast\crew commentary, these kind of things are items on a disc that you would want to watch.

I can’t stand the laziness of some Studios and Distributors to release a DVD with nothing new over the general release on it, or simply tack on some advertising materials and sell it as a Special Edition, or even worse, sell the normal version waiting for the window of opportunity to resell a Special Edition once the sales on the standard version have dropped.

Anyway, someone buy me this DVD…please?

The Usual Suspects 2 - Searching For Keyser Soze

UsualSuspectsPoster.jpgMark this one down under the “Best news I’ve heard today” category. Apparently Chazz Palminteri, who played agent Dave Kujan in The Usual Suspects has said that studio heads are “Beyond the talking stages” of developing a follow-up film which would probably be titled “Searching for Keyser Soze”.

The original “Suspects” is a mind blowing good movie… easily in my top 10 favorite films of all time list. If you haven’t seen it, shame on you. Get out to your local video store and rent it today.

Most sequels gets made for no other reason than to make a couple of quick bucks for the studios (Bad Boys anyone?), and that’s fine because it’s a business. But with The Usual Suspects, there is definitely more story to tell. The ending of the first film just felt to me like the beginning of an entire new movie to me. Get Bryan Singer on board again and you can’t go wrong. Holy smokes I hope this actually happens. Must go change my pants now.

Charlize Theron As Aeon Flux Pictures

Flux.jpgAs my old friend Curt used to say, “Giddy Up”. I stand before you as a film pundit who really doesn’t know all that much about Aeon Flux, the background story, the history of the character and how it came about to hitting the big screen. Off the top of my head I don’t know the release date, and I can’t recite from memory without looking it up the name of the director and some of the supporting cast. However, I CAN say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am most definitely looking forward to seeing this clevag… ummm… motion picture. Hell, I’ll give it the Oscar right now. As long as I get to present to Ms. Theron.

A new movie for Pooh as Disney shows what it’s good at

Pooh.jpgNow tell me you can’t watch this trailer without smiling. Pooh’s Heffalump Movie is coming to a cinema early next year.

See, this traditional animation looks fantastic, and Disney are great at it, they are the experts. You can just feel Disney all over it when you watch it, and it’s fun, and nothing to be ashamed of. So why are Disney off trying to be something they aren’t?

Well, if every company stayed doing what they were good at would there be any real expansion or growth? Would we have been unlucky enough not to have seen such films as Toy Story or Incredibles if not for Disney, or at the beginning of Pixar, a few people standing up and taking a chance, breaking into a new area.

Okay, so unless there are big changes it doesn’t look like Disney could radically change and make such a huge success leaving their traditions behind, but maybe. Maybe they could do it and become something better. Just get some new management!

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on their attempts at branching out, and maybe support them (if it’s a good enough movie to go and see of course) and let them find their way.

Still, it is good to know that they are still remembering where they came from.

Trailer for House of Flying Daggers

daggers.jpgThere’s been a trailer posted here before, but after just comparing the two, this one is not only better quality, it way more rocks the llama’s ass. For those of you not in the know, that means that this new trailer looks very good indeed.

It looks stunning, with some gorgeous action pieces and some beautiful photography touched by talent who clearly love the art of cinema. Could this have the effect that Hero did? House of Flying Daggers looks like it will be a stunning visual feast, I loved Hero, and I can hardly wait for the December UK release.

(Isn’t throwing daggers inside a house deemed as particularly dangerous?)

Julie Delpy for role in Da Vinci Code?

JulieDelpy.jpgComing Soon has a story from an interview with Julie Delpy in the Boston Herald. So to do nothing more than fuel the current debates and discussions on the post for the casting of the movie, it looks like she’s a possible:

“I’m praying,” Delpy told the newspaper. “But we’ll see. You never know until there is a solid cast, but I am going to meet them.”

Delpy will get a sit-down with Howard and producer Brian Grazer, who are currently casting the film and say they are committed to hiring foreign actors to play the book’s foreign characters.

She is up for the role of Parisian cryptologist Sophie Neveu who helps Hanks’ character - Harvard professor Robert Langdon - find the Holy Grail. “I don’t know what their idea for it is,” she said, “or if I am right for it. The character is French, in her 30s and has a shade of red in her hair. I can become a redhead!”


Carry on films to continue?

CarryOnLondon.jpgThank you, thank you, thank you oh lord of the movies. It’s a good day when news comes in from the Guardian that the ideas to revive the Carry on franchise are failing. It is truly a good day for fans of decent cinema and humour everywhere.

Heartbreaking news for those awaiting the first Carry On movie in 12 years. Carry On London was originally set for a Christmas release, but has yet to actually start shooting. This week its makers confirmed that its main stars - former EastEnders stalwarts Shaun Williamson and Daniella Westbrook - have now bailed out of the project.

“Shaun was keen and ready to take part,” Williamson’s agent Melanie Sacre told the BBC. “But the project was delayed for so long that he is now busy with other work.”

The delays have been caused in part by the unexplained departure of the film’s producer, James Black.

Assuming it is ever made, Carry On London will recount the hilarious misadventures of a band of limousine chauffeurs ferrying celebrities to the “Herbert” awards - which is like the Baftas or the Oscars, only much funnier.

Much funnier? Oh if only! For those of you who don’t know, Eastenders is one of the worst pieces of television to hit our screens and is another in the long line of security blanket soap series, and those two actors left the show ages ago with Williamson now doing Pantomime. That bodes well then.

Quite frankly the Carry on films are embarrassing, not for their supposedly rude innuendo content, but just because they are the biggest example of British cinema and British people that non-British citizens see, and that embarrasses me! Never mind that, they’re not even funny!

If the thought wasn’t enough, read this and try and lift your head as it thumps to the desk as the will to survive bleeds out of you:

It will be the 32nd official Carry On outing, although the franchise ran out of steam following its 1960s heyday. The soft-core Carry On Emmanuelle appeared to herald the series’ demise in 1977 - although the format was resuscitated, with a new generation of British comics, for Carry On Columbus in 1992.

That’s Carry On Columbus receiving 264 votes on IMDB for a rating of 3.2 out of 10. Please lord of movies, let this one die a horrible and long death off screen.

Alexander is getting panned

alexanderposter3.jpgYou know I was wondering why everywhere I turned I was seeing another interview with another cast member, or another interview or story about Alexander (curious bisexual and axed gay scene posts included), it’s because it’s rubbish, and the critics are slating it something rotten. Just have a look at some of the comments gathered in the Guardian story today.

“not just a bad movie, but a bad movie of truly epic proportions”… “upstaged by his epically bad dye job”…”lacks dramatic flair and emotional involvement”…”This movie is going to tank,”

For those of you who don’t read much, well what the hell are you doing reading my long winded posts?! Also, those are the edited highlights of the worst comments. Oh yes, there is a good one, only good in that it isn’t rude or insulting about the movie or Farrell’s hair!

I wonder if the actors are bowing their heads in shame? Who has seen it, and have you got something good to say about it? Despite all these comments I think I’ll still want to see it, and not just for the appearance of John’s wife to be!

Sean Connery retiring and Josiah’s Cannon news

connery_cannon.jpgJohn reported on September the 29th that Sir Sean Connery had pulled out of the movie Josiah’s Cannon. Today we have a small and unimportant Film News source called the BBC to tell us that very story, remember you really do hear it here at least fifth.

So nothing new there, but Bret Ratner is quoted from an interview in Empire magazine as saying:

“Sean dropped out and decided to retire, unless that was just a ploy to get out of the movie”

Retirement? I’m with John in his previous post when he elucidates about the prowess of Connery as an actor and we’ve also posted before about his alleged retirement. Sure he plays himself every time, but he’s a natural and brilliant actor and can make you believe in the part every time. He’s one of the true movie icons that we could compare against the likes of Cary Grant.

Still, Ratner goes on to say that he has ideas for a replacement:

“I would love Daniel Day Lewis to do it.”

Good idea? Bad idea? Well, consider the brief rundown of the plot and then make your comments:

The film remains a risky prospect for any actor with controversy likely to be provoked by a storyline which sees a Holocaust survivor orchestrate a heist to retrieve Nazi gold stored in a Swiss bank. “Do I have any qualms? No, I’m Jewish, and I love movies with Nazis in them, especially when they die,” enthuses Ratner. “It’s a great script, an amazing script, and it’s really about something. It’s not just a bank heist.”

It sounds a great script, and just reading that my mind is leaping to Marathon Man and thoughts of the Nazi Dentist. I love a blurb almost as much as a trailer! So, Mr Lewis anyone?

Update: Read on for more…

The Punisher Sequel Moving Along

Why is it I usually find myself being one of the only people to like a certain film? My only conclusion is that the rest of you are insane. Anyway, I enjoyed the first “The Punisher”. I thought it was fun and just dark enough. Yeah it was a bit cheesy… but have you read the comic book?

I’ve been enthusiastic about the idea of a sequel for a while now, and it looks like things are moving along. This little tid bit comes to us from the good folks at Comic Book Movie

The Punisher star Thomas Jane says Lions Gate studio is currently budgeting the sequel.

“They’re really hot on the sequel since the DVD has sold so well,” Jane told Comic Book Resources. “They’re in the process right now of budgeting a sequel. We should have it in the next two weeks, sort of a preliminary budget, and then we’ll start talking story, then writer and then we’ll get going. I’ll be involved in the story development.

:Ug, I hate it when actors are involved in story development. It rarely turns out well (there are some exceptions). Still, to me this is good news even if the rest of you uncivilized masses don’t think so. :)

Trouble In Hazzard

Well I can’t say this is going to surprise anyone. It seems like the singer turned actress wannabe, Jessica Simpson, is not enjoying her time with her castmates on the set of the new Dukes of Hazzard film. The Good folks over at KillerMovies throw this little bone to us:

Simpsons, who plays the role of Daisy Duke in the movie, is said to have grown tired of Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott’s constant teasing about the size of her butt. An Ananova source reports, “Johnny and Seann have been saying her butt looks big compared to the original Daisy. They know she’s sensitive about it.”

“In one scene, Johnny and Seann are in the car as Bo and Luke talking to Daisy and then leap out. But in one take they leapt out naked from the waist down. Jessica freaked out and told them to grow up.”

And now for some shocking news that even surprises me. I think I actually side with Jessica on this one. It’s one thing to act a little crazy and have some fun, but it’s another thing to act like 4 years olds, insult people, and act totally unprofessional when you’re getting paid huge money to do a job. Actors should know better… oh I almost forgot… Knoxville and Simpson AREN’T ACTORS. Well, whatever.

Another Alexander Movie!

BazLuhrmann.jpgHold the phone. On the eve of the release of Oliver Stone’s flick “Alexander”, I’ve come across this little tid bit. While writing my last post, I discovered that ANOTHER Alexander film (no, not a sequel) is already in production. This one staring Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman. What makes this project look even more interesting is that it’s being directed by Baz Luhrmann who is the genius behind Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet, and Strictly Ballroom. Sign me up! I’ll watch anything this guy directs. The film apparently is scheduled for a 2006 release.

Besides, take away all the controversy and hopla around Stone’s Alexander, and I’m really not all that excited about it. Now I have something even better to look forward to! Smiles.

In Defence Of A Little Leo

Aviator_Poster.jpgIf you’re like me, in the 90’s you got real sick and tired of hearing the name Leonardo DiCaprio jumping forth from every teenage girls lips every 10 seconds. Just reading his name completely turned me off… not to mention I HATED Titanic, so that didn’t help either.

Having said that, an undeniable truth began to jump out at me a couple of years ago that I have fought against admitting, but is no less true from my denials. What is this great truth? Leonardo DiCaprio is one hell of an actor.

Yes, Leo has been in some dud movies, but I’ve always said that the public FAR overestimate the impact an actor has on the quality of a movie compared to it’s director (see future post on this topic). Even in the dud films, when you isolate Leo’s performance from everything else, you realize he’s doing a pretty good job with the character he’s been given.

The film that finally made me jump up and give this man his due was Catch Me If You Can. It’s not an easy task to star opposite Tom Hanks and hold your own. But he did, and did it well.

I remember shocking myself a few years ago when I heard a rumor that Leo was going to be cast as the older Anakin in Attack of the Clones… and actually LOVING the idea. Seriously, can you imagine how much better that character would have been? (No disrespect to Hayden Christensen intended).

There is a reason guys like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese keep calling this guy for their films… he’s just that damn good. And early word on The Aviator is that it’s excellent, and some critics are already whispering the word “Oscar”.

Yes, I’ve done my fair share of Leo slamming in the past, but now, a little more grown up, I finally have to admit he’s for real.

Return Of The King Extended Edition Footage

ROTK_12.jpgThis morning finds Johnny as a happy boy. Word is that on November 29th a full 6 minute “trailer” for the Return Of The King extended edition DVD will be put online… but for now a 2 minute version can be found at Crave that looks AMAZING and already has me scratching my head wondering “WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY LEAVE THAT IN THE MOVIE?!?!” Seriously, the new footage stuff looks fantastic. Go take a look.

Knight Rider spoof to come from Scotland

KnightRider.jpgAs a previous resident of Aberdeen, Scotland (UK) for quite a number of years I’m particularly proud of this story, especially as I wish I had the time and money to do this myself - how cool is this?

According to Moviehole (from Kung Fu Cinema) a gentleman from Aberdeen has built his own Knight Rider car. I guess the small and unimportant side story is that Director Ara Paiaya (also Aberdeen based) is going to make a spoof Knight Rider movie.

Come on, forget the movie, the guy’s built his own K.I.T.T.! Now I’m not talking anything small here, I mean he’s even got the lighting up dashboard with all the buttons that activate the boosters, rockets, lasers, etc. Have a look at the film report on North Tonight, the local news channel, here.

According to Kung Fu Cinema, Aberdeen area indie filmmaker Ara Paiaya - creator of the “Dubbed and Dangerous” films - has snapped up a replica of K.I.T.T, a leather jacket and a couple of the cars from the last 007 pic and is putting together a spoof of the David Hasselhoff starring series.

Away from the spoof side of things…well at least slightly, David Hasselhoff said, about the movie version of Knight Rider:

“I don’t want it to be a farce,” he tells The New York Post. “I got a draft of the script, and it was going too much in that direction, so I had to rein it in. I want the ‘Knight Rider’ movie to be cool, to do justice to all those fans who grew up with the show.”

According to the IMDB, martial-arts superstar Sammo Hung ["Around the World in 80 Days"] is set to direct the movie.

Farce? Never!

Trailer for Darkness

Darkness.jpgI’d just like to go on record as loving horror movies and not being scared by them at all. Mum. Mum?…I just watched the trailer for Darkness. No, not the UK rock band, but a new movie directed by Jaume Balaguer√ɬ≥ (also responsible for the very effective and similarly creepy Los sin nombre, or The Nameless).

It tells the story of an old house where six children have previously disappeared without any trace many years ago. Now a family have moved in to this house which everyone around had just known as derelict. Except the house hides something.

The trailer is really effective at creeping you out as well as giving you the old scare moment. If it’s anywhere as good as The Nameless it will be filled with a feeling of dread throughout and given a dark and harsh feeling to the movie.

This appears to be his first Hollywood movie, so here’s hoping he hasn’t lost any of his edge in the transformation, it certainly looks like he has, and if you bear any stock at all in trailers then give this one a watch.

Robert Downey Jr joins A Shaggy Dog

RobertDowney.jpgI think Mr Downey is one of the foremost acting talents of our time (shall I duck and prepare to take cover?), and the events that have curtailed his career of late are almost tragic in their proportion.

I thought that this time, this time he could have a chance and indeed, he was told on the set of The Singing Detective that this was his last crack at the movie whip before Hollywood gave up on him.

Well I think he did it. He came through Gothika well, and has even gone on to some good projects. However, I wonder if he’s just had a sudden relapse in order to choose his next movie, The Shaggy Dog!

Coming soon is reporting from Variety:

…has joined the cast of Walt Disney Pictures’ comic remake of The Shaggy Dog, starring Tim Allen as a man who occasionally changes into a sheepdog.

Downey will play a yuppie entrepreneur who is using dogs to experiment with the miracle drug he hopes will give seven years to every human year.

Brian Robbins is directing the new version, which started filming in Los Angeles on November 15th and also stars Kristin Davis, Danny Glover, and Craig Kilborn.

Am I the only one to think that this is a real bad choice, or that this promises to be an awful movie?

I hope for better things for Mr Downey, I really do think he is a great actor, and I’m not going to mention Chaplin!

Bruce Willis sues Studio and Special Effects man

BruceWillis-Tears.jpgOkay, let’s think about this and enter the land of make believe for a few moments. Let’s pretend I am a famous movie star, let’s say in the higher ranks of fame, and that I’m famous for two things. One is a landmark comedy detective show that was at the very beginning of my career, and the rest of it is as an action star (albeit apart from a few famous non combat roles from my friend Shinalight).

Okay, so now imagine I’m in a movie, doing my usual job, in the middle of an action sequence, and a squib fires off and hits me in the face. Oh dear! It’s okay though, it’s not serious and I don’t think there’s scaring.

Now let’s come out of the land of make believe, and face facts. Geez, I’m in action movies, I do that all the time, and it’s goddam dangerous! People have died doing such things, and many actors get hurt. Could it be anyone’s fault, well possibly not intentional, accidents happen after all, loads of actors get hurt in action movies, and many in non-action movies too!

So what do I do? I’m in the business of making action movies where danger is slightly higher than normal, and that’s my living and I rely on the stunt teams…let me think. Oh I know, I’ll sue the Studio and the Stunt coordinator. Great idea. Not only will Studios be scared to put me in an action movie in harms way again, but Stunt people everywhere will never look after me again and treat me like rubbish. Excellent career choice.

Fantasy? Not at all…

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