Archive | August, 2007

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19 DARK KNIGHT Pics Hit Online

Posted on 17 August 2007 by Rich Drees

Well, these have been popping up all over the place and since we want to be like the popular kids, we’re posting them as well. They seemed to appear nearly simultaneously on a bunch of sites over night, so it’s hard to give credit to the original source. Anyway, enjoy these views of the upcoming Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.
*Obviously, some spoilers are ahead.

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Posted on 17 August 2007 by Rich Drees

If you’re a regular moviegoer like me, at this point in the summer you’re probably suffering from a bit of what I like to call ”blockbuster bloat” and are probably looking for something a little different. Normally, I’d recommend something like the documentary King Of Kong, which opens today. In fact, when I saw the film – which tells the struggle of a laid-off Boeing engineer attempting to break the world’s Donkey Kong record high score and discovering himself suddenly entrenched in the surprisingly internecine world of competitive video gaming – this past spring at the Philadelphia International Film Festival, I gave the film a positive review.

Unfortunately, Picturehouse is only opening the film on a total of five screens, so unless you live in New York City, Seattle, Austin or Los Angeles, you’re out of luck. However, according to the film’s website, it will be making its way to at least 25 more markets within the next couple of weeks.

To whet your appetite, though, Picturehouse has supplied us with a clip from the movie featuring an explanation from some of the folks in the video game world about the degree of difficulty to be found in Donkey Kong-

And if that’s not enough- here’s the film’s trailer-

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Emmerich Signs On For FANTASTIC VOYAGE

Posted on 16 August 2007 by Rich Drees

Roland Emmerich has been signed to direct a remake of the 1966 science-fiction classic Fantastic Voyage, according to today’s Variety. This is the second time that Emmerich has been attached to a remake of the film. He was interested a decade ago, but the project never got out of development.

The story centers on a crew of scientists and doctors who are miniaturized in a submarine and then injected into a dying man’s bloodstream to remove an impossible-to-operate-on bloodclot. The original starred Donald Pleasance and Raquel Welch.

Michael Wilmer, Emmerich’s partner at the director’s Centropolis Entertainment production house, will produce the film alongside James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. National Treasure screenwriters Marianne and Cormac Wibberley are in negations to script the update.

Emmerich’s 10,000 BC is set for release on March 7, 2008.

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Want To Name A Movie?

Posted on 16 August 2007 by Rich Drees

Smokin’ Aces director Joe Carnahan is overseeing a direct-to-video prequel his hit film but doesn’t have a title for the project. And that’s where you come in. Over at his blog, Carnahan is running a contest for readers to christen the project with.

Helping you out, Carnahan gives the briefest of plot descriptions-

A low level government analyst, with forty plus years working an FBI information post, is slated to be assassinated, for reasons unknown at an exact date and time within the next three days. A federal ‘Grab Team’ or close protection detail has been tasked with saving this man’s life . . . chaos ensues.

It should be pointed out that there is no financial prize for the winner- just bragging rights and a bit of swag from the production.

The deadline is August 29th and you can post your entries in the Comments section of the blog.

Good luck!

Via Cinematical.

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This Week’s Theatrical Releases.

Posted on 16 August 2007 by William Gatevackes

1. Superbad (2,800 Theaters, Rated R): At last! It seems like they started advertising this film in 2004!

Yes, if there were Academy Awards for Best Marketing Program, Superbad might have a lock on the Oscar. Its trailer started appearing at the beginning of the summer, its internet-only, R-rated, red-band trailer set the trend for marketing R-rated movies, and the movie has been trumpeted in all forms of media (including its stars, Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, sharing the number 12 spot on Entertainment Weekly’s “The EW 100 The Star We Love Right Now” list in its June 29th/July 6th issue).

At first, the movie seems like a classic, 80s-style, teenage sex comedy. Hill and Cera play high school seniors who try to use alcohol to sleep with much more attractive and popular girls.

But this is filtered through the unique vision of producer Judd Apatow and co-writer and co-star Seth Rogen. I have been a fan of Apatow since The Ben Stiller Show (which feature the producer/director doing a hilarious Jay Leno impersonation) and I like both from The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. Their careers to this point have built up a lot of good will in me, and hopefully, Superbad will continue that trend.

2. Invasion (2,700+ Theaters, Rated PG-13): I wonder if Jack Finney knew when the first installment of his “The Body Snatchers” appeared in Collier’s magazine in 1954 the effect it would have on the world of movies.

Invasion is the fourth time the story was adapted for the silver screen. It first made the leap to celluloid with 1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and was remade in 1978, 1994 and now 2007.

The main crux of the story, aliens land on Earth and slowly take replace the human race, is a timeless one that resonates with any generation. It taps into human’s fear of change, both personal and to the world around them. Especially, it connects with the fear that such change is beyond our control. That fear will most likely never go away. So more “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” adaptation are destined to come.

Outside of it’s lineage, this particular adaptation is interesting for many other reasons. One, the studio, after seeing an early version of the film, called for on rewrites by the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame) and the rewritten scenes were reshot by Wachowski associate James McTigue (director of V for Vendetta). This kind of reworking usually is a sign of trouble and, in most cases, the movie suffers for it.

Two, Nicole Kidman, an Aussie, and Daniel Craig, a Brit, put on American accents for the movie. It is always interesting to see actors from other English speaking countries try to sound American Finally, Kidman and Craig will reunite later this year for The Golden Compass.

3. The Last Legion (2,000 Theaters, Rated PG-13): Another story that has been brought to movie screens repeatedly is the King Arthur legend. From 1963’s The Sword and the Stone to 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail to 1981’s Excalibur to 1995’s First Knight to 2004’s King Arthur, the story of the legendary King of the Britons has been a Hollywood favorite.

The reason for its popularity? Probably because of the way the legend can bear and encourage a wide variety of interpretations. Just looking at the list above you can see that the tale is just as at home in family fare as it is in comedy, in romance as it is in action.

This latest installment ties the legend into that of the Roman Empire in a story that focuses on the quest for the legendary sword Excalibur.

From the trailers, the film appears to be a little of Lord of the Rings mixed together with a bit of HBO’s Rome series. I can’t say if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Unfortunately, iFilm does not give me the option of embedding the trailer. If you want to take a look at it, you can see the preview here.

Now, on to my predictions, starting with last week. This is what I thought that weekend’s top 5 would look like:

  1. Rush Hour 3
  2. The Bourne Ultimatum
  3. The Simpsons Movie
  4. Stardust
  5. Underdog

And this is how it turned out:

  1. Rush Hour 3
  2. The Bourne Ultimatum
  3. The Simpsons Movie
  4. Stardust
  5. Hairspray

4 for 5! Underdog faded faster and farther than I thought it would, darn it! That makes me 7 for 10 after 2 weeks here at FilmBuff Online, with an accuracy percentage of 70%

How do I think this weekend will look?

  1. Superbad
  2. Invasion
  3. Rush Hour 3
  4. The Bourne Ultimatum
  5. The Simpsons Movie

I think the mix of marketing, the creators involved, and the popularity of that type of story with make Superbad the number one movie this weekend. I think the acting and new approach will make Invasion hop over a falling Rush Hour 3 for the second spot. What do you think?


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RKO Returns Audiences To ISLE OF THE DEAD

Posted on 16 August 2007 by Rich Drees

The 1945 Boris Karloff cult classic Isle Of The Dead is the next project from RKO Studios to receive a modern updating. The studio has been recently raiding its vaults for films to be remade in an attempt to become a major production house again.

Directed by one of RKO’s best, Val Lewton, the original told the story of a Greek general (Karloff), who orders an island quarantined when a mysterious and deadly plague starts striking down residents. As conditions worsen, many start to believe that a vampire or demon may be the cause.

Newcomers Brian Horiuchi and Matt Lazarus will be scripting the new version. No director has been hired yet.

The studio currently has several other remakes in various stages of development. The Ice Cube-starring comedy Are We Done Yet?, a remake of the classic Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, underperformed at the box office earlier this year.

According to a Hollywood Reporter article, the island setting of the original is going to be changed to landlocked Afghanistan, so presumably a title change can be expected.

Related: RKO Horror Classics Set For Remake

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Posted on 15 August 2007 by Rich Drees

Len Wiseman, whose Live Free Or Die Hard has already grossed close to $132 million at the box office in the past seven weeks, in final negotiations to direct New Line Cinema’s remake of John Carter’s 1981 classic Escape From New York, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter.

Gerald Butler is already attached to the project to play Snake Plissken, a convict who is recruited to enter the future city-turned-prison of Manhattan to rescue the President of the United States after Air Force One crashes in the city.

Black Hawk Down (2001) scribe Ken Nolan has adapted Carpenter and co-writer Nick Castle’s original screenplay, with his take reportedly fleshing out Plissken’s origins.

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Restored Films To Screen In Edinburgh

Posted on 13 August 2007 by Rich Drees

Two films recently restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation will screen at the Edinburgh International Film Festival later this month. The Moroccan documentary Transes (1981) and the Brazilian drama Limite (1931) are the first two films to receive public screenings since the announcement of the creation of the World Cinema Foundation this past May at the Cannes Film Festival.

Transes is an in-depth look at the Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwan, who comined several different styles of traditional North African music. Limite, the only film from director Mario Peixoto, tells the silent story of three people adrift during a boating trip. Thought lost, it had been recently rediscovered by Brazilian filmmaker and producer Walter Salles.

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Indiana Jones And The Six Possible Titles

Posted on 11 August 2007 by Rich Drees

Lucasfilm Ltd. has submitted six possible titles for the forthcoming Indian Jones IV to the Motion Picture Association of America for Registration. The report shows searches for titles similar to the ones be proposed by Lucasfilm for the upcoming film. If no one files any objections by the close of business August 24, 2007, Lucasfilm will have free reign to use any of the titles for Indy IV.

According to a copy of the report leaked to SlashFilm, the possible titles are-

  • Indiana Jones and the City of Gods
  • Indiana Jones and the Destroyer of Worlds
  • Indiana Jones and the Fourth Corner of the Earth
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Indiana Jones and the Lost City of Gold
  • Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Covenant

Interestingly, all six titles play into some of the various, oft-time conflicting, rumors that have been circulating about the film. The City Of Gods title has been long been attached to the film in internet rumors, while Lost City Of Gold and Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull seem to relate to other potential plot lines that have made the internet rounds. Quest For The Covenant seems to be related to some speculation that the film would revolve around Indy chasing down the Ark of the Covenant again. Destroyer Of Worlds and Fourth Corner Of The Earth are the odd men out, though Destroyer does recall the Hindu god Shiva.

Or it could be that Lucasfilm is just playing to all the internet rumors flying out there, disguising the one true title they want to use among others designed to reinforce which ever set of rumors you want to believe.

Hopefully, we’ll find out some time before Indy IV’s premier next May.

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This Week’s Theatrical Releases.

Posted on 09 August 2007 by William Gatevackes

1. Rush Hour 3 (3,000+ Theaters): The team that took the buddy film, to a whole other level is back.

Why? Well, because they really didn’t have much anything else to do.

The Rush Hour movies are sort of a “mother’s purse” movie for these two. If times are getting tough, and you need some cash, you hit up mom for money.

Chris Tucker, outside of Michael Jackson videos, hasn’t done anything outside of these movies since 1998. Jackie Chan has been busier, working in films on both sides of the Pacific, but none quite as successful as the Rush Hour flicks. So, therefore, both men return to the franchise for a quick (and they hope, lucrative) payday.

If you are going to return to the well again to make a quick buck, this is the way to do it. It’s been six years since the last one of these films–just long enough so that people are still interested but soon enough that their reteaming isn’t silly.

2. Stardust (2,300 Theaters): The recent trend in Hollywood of looking to comics for adaptation fodder has meant some of the greatest authors comics contain have got some valuable screen time.

First was Alan Moore (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, V for Vendetta and the forthcoming Watchmen), then Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, and, to some extent, Daredevil) and now Neil Gaiman gets his time in the Hollywood spotlight.

Of course, not all adaptations of the works of said comics masters were all that positive. The movie LoEG resembles Moore’s LoEG as about as much as it does a Sweet Potato Casserole. Which is not much at all.

Stardust does have a great cast and a good filmmaker in Matthew Vaughn. And Neil Gaiman seems to have given the project his seal of approval. I, for one, hope that this flick does well so Gaiman can get the chance to bring his character, Death, to the big screen.

3. Daddy Day Camp (2,184 Theaters): This could be one of two things for Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s career. Either a step back towards respectability or another swirl in the downward spiral he’s been on since he won the Oscar.

Daddy Day Care, the prequel to this movie, was a surprise hit for Eddie Murphy and kind of set him on the road to becoming a family movie star. There is a lot of money to be made in family fare these days. And if this movie is successful, Cuba could become a marketable actor in the genre.

That being said, Murphy passed on this film. That is a baaad sign, especially when you know that Murphy didn’t pass on the Adventures of Pluto Nash, one of the worst movies of all time. Heck, Jeff Garvin didn’t even return! And it’s not like that guy has a boatload of movie offers to choose from.

Judging from the preview, it looks like the downward spiral will continue. I weep for Cuba Gooding, Jr.. But not much, because no one forced him to follow up his Oscar Winning role with Snow Dogs or Boat Trip.

4. Skinwalkers (650 Theaters): Personally, I don’t consider 650 theaters to be wide release, but Box Office Mojo does, and that’s good enough for me.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a werewolf movie. It seems like once a year, Hollywood brings out a werewolf movie hoping that it will catch on like the zombie movies or vampire flicks have. To date, it hasn’t worked.

Sure, we had American Werewolf in London, which was horror mixed with great special effects and a dose of humor,Teen Wolf, which was a comedy, Wolf, which was more drama than horror, Underworld, which was vampires versus werewolves, and the more traditional Howling, but nothing that caught on in a big way. Sure, most of the above had sequels. But you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a zombie movie. Werewolf movies are less prevalent.

This one doesn’t seem to be the one to change things. The plot involves two groups on werewolves fighting over a boy who could be the future of their kind.

By the way, I think Skinwalkers is a damn silly title for a movie. I just do.

So, how do I think the Top 5 will look like this week?

  1. Rush Hour 3
  2. The Bourne Ultimatum
  3. The Simpsons Movie
  4. Stardust
  5. Underdog

I wish that Stardust would do better, but I believe that there is a chance that it might not even crack the top 5. I think Skinwalkers and Daddy Day Camp have little or no chance to break in.

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