1. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Rated PG-13): I don’t know about this one. There’s a new director, a new setting, and Rachel Weisz is replaced by Maria Bello. And It’s a third installment. Usually, these facts add up for bad things for a franchise.
But, darn, that trailer looks kind of good.
I like the first two movies. They had an hypercaffinated Indiana Jones feel to them, but in an over-the-top CGI sort of way.
Brendan Frasier is back and out to save his son from a cursed ancient Chinese Mummy. Lucky he has experience doing just that.
I was going to crack wise on the fact that the kid in these movies grew up fast before I realized it was seven years since the last Mummy film. The kid in the Mummy returns was 10, which make him age appropriate in this film.
2. Swing Vote (Rated PG-13): Kevin Costner get ragged on a lot. It’s like Waterworld not only tainted everything he done since but also everything he did prior.
But he was excellent in Field of Dreams, great in Bull Durham, and awesome in No Way Out.
I don’t think he’ll ever get out of the hole Waterworld put him in. This film might not be enough. But it does seem pretty good.
The concept is far fetched. The national election comes down to one vote. Kevin Costner plays the one person in the entire United States whose vote didn’t register. Therefore, the Presidental race comes down to his, and only his, vote.
I want to see this just to see what party Dennis Hopper’s candidate is associated with. If they have a good sense of humor, they’d make him a Republican.
Last week, Disney surprisingly shocked the crowd at the San Diego Comic Con with a three minute teaser trailer for a sequel to the 1982 cult favorite TRON. (By the way, Disney, you really need to get that online…)
While it had been known that TRON‘s original writer/director Steve Lisberger had been hard at work developing a sequel for the past few years, it was not known that they had actually put together some test footage, even to the point of calling back star Jeff Bridges.
Now, one of the best sources for news out of Disney, Jim Hill Media, has an interesting piece with more information on the project. Disney is pushing to get this film in theaters for Summer 2010, with Pixar’s own John Lasseter being the driving force in getting it done. To the end, Lasseter has let Lisberger go from the project, and has brought in veteran commercial director Joseph Kosinski to helm the picture and Lost scribes Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz to draft a new screenplay from scratch.
Lasseter is a pretty sound guy when it comes to story and making a good, if not great, film, so it would be pretty presumptious to think he was making a mistake in removing Lisberger from the film. But on the other hand, this is the guy who created the world within a computer, presaging the idea of cyberspace. Although he’ll still retain a co-producer credit, I can’t help but wonder if Lisberger’s absence will ultimately lead to an absence of what made the original film special.
The trailer for Zack Snyder’s upcoming adaptation of the landmark graphic novel Watchmen sure did its job as far as I’m concerned. Before seeing the trailer, I was cautiously optimistic about how the film would come out. I liked Snyder’s adaptation of 300, but knew that Watchmen was a much more complex work. While we still don’t have an idea as to how the story will play, it certainly looks as if visually, Snyder is on the right track. The film’s release is another seven months away, but right now I can’t seem to get enough peeks at what is in store.
The most recent new look we get at the film is courtesy of Empire magazine, who have four new pictures from the film as well as two different Watchmen-themed covers for their latest issue. Head over there to see new looks at The Comedian, Rorschach, Nite-Owl, Silk Spectre and Dr. Manhattan.
Actor/writer/director Alex Winter, best known as being the non-keanu Reeves half of Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, has been signed to script a remake of Rock And Roll High School for talk radio superstar Howard Stern’s production company.
When not overseeing his high profile satellite radio show for the newly merged Sirius Xm company, Stern has slowly been developing a few film projects through his Howard Stern Productions shingle. While it has been common knowledge for some time that one of those projects was a remake of the 1979 Roger Corman cult classic Rock And Roll High School, not much else was known about the project until now. Stern and producing part Larry Levinson are also developing a remake of the 1982 comedy Porky’s.
Although I am a Stern fan, I have been wondering about the advisability of remaking Rock And Roll High School ever since he announced the project. A main component to the film’s appeal was the appearance of the seminal punk band The Ramones, and with Joey, Johnny and DeeDee Ramone all dead, I don’t see them making an appearance in the new film. What band could take their place in a new version? Green Day? The White Stripes?
I also question how relevant the generational gap conflict over music that was the core of the film is today. The Rolling Stones are still touring at an age when the average working stiff is getting ready to retire. Rock music is no longer the domain of those in their teens and 20s, it has its fans in all age groups. Granted, given Stern’s run-ins with various media watchdog groups, I could see the school administration being portrayed as conservative religious types.
Almost no sooner than the news began to spread about the difficulties on the Thai action film Ong Bak 2 and the disappearance of its director and star Tony Jaa, than the martial arts master resurfaced on Thai television to reassure everyone he was fine and still committed to finishing the movie.
During an appearance on Monday’s edition of the show Nine Entertain, Jaa stated that he was shocked when he heard reports that he had abandoned the production of the sequel to the film that launched his career. He claimed that the confusion over his absence was all a misunderstanding.
Bugs Bunny’s extraterrestrial nemesis Marvin the Martian is being eyed by the execs at Warner Brothers for a big screen film. According to Variety, the film will be a feature the tenacious alien coming to Earth to destroy Christmas and will be a mixture of live action and computer generated animation.
I’ve got two words to say about this- Space. Jam.
I have five more words to say- Looney. Tunes. Back. In. Action.
I’m sure some nitwit studio executive really thinks this is a good way to capitalize on properties they already own. However, it seems that since they have not hired either a director or a writer, they seem to be putting the cart before the horse. Rather than coming up with an idea for a film and then trying to get some work-for-hire types to come in and make it, the execs should be approaching various writers and directors to see if they have any stories they want to tell featuring the Looney Tunes characters. This just sounds like a bad updating of Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.
When I first reviewedAmerican Teen, the new documentary from Nanette Burstein, during the Philadelphia Film Festival, I noted that the film seemed a little too slick for its own good. I had been surprised by this due to the fairly positive word-of-mouth coming out of its premier at the Sundance Festival.
Since then, I have seen where other writers have expressed similar concerns over the film. Burstein has addressed these concerns in various media interviews, so I suppose we should take her at her word.
Now, after numerous festival and special event screenings, American Teen has begun its regular theatrical roll out this past weekend in New York and Los Angeles, premiering in more cities in the weeks to come. Reservations aside, I still find the film to be a good reminder that the trials, joy, heartbreaks and triumphs of being a teenager are not the sole domain of any one generation.
Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, the former New Line Cinema execs who approved the production of Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, have signed on to produce a film adaptation of another classic genre trilogy- Issac Asimov’s Foundation.
Based loosely on Edward Gibbon’s History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy charted the fall of a great Galactic Empire and the group of academics who not only predicted its collapse, but who struggle to bring about the rise of a new galactic republic.
The project had recently been under development at 20th Century Fox, where producer Vince Gerardis had screenwriter Jeff Vintar condensing the three books down into one film.
Long held a classic of science-fiction literature, studios have been trying to turn the Foundation Trilogy into films for decades. I can remember reading an announcement back in the early 1980s.In 1998, while still at New Line, Shaye and Lynne spent $1.5 million on developing a screenplay before finally passing on the project in favor of making Lord Of The Rings.
But the series poses a number of obstacles outside of the huge special effects budget it would need. The three books cover a range of five centuries and are broken into smaller episodic sections with their own cast of characters. Such a structure was a strength when the BBC adapted the series in 1973 as an eight-part series of hour-long episodes.
Asimov’s other works have also been highly resistant to Hollywood adaptation. I noted in 200- that any resemblance between the Will Smith’s I, Robot and the collection of Asimov short stories it was allegedly based on was purely coincidental. Longtime friend of Asimov, Harlan Ellison has scripted a version of I, Robot back in the late 1970s that plays like a science-fiction version of Citizen Kane, but its cost was considered prohibitive.
Seeing as Ellison has been the only writer to have demonstrated an ability to understand and work with Asimov’s material, perhaps he should be the one approached to work on this.
The 2008 San Diego Comic Con is all over except for sweeping out a few remaining halls at the convention center, but a few final reports are still showing up around the internet.
The Wolfman- Stars Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt and makeup artist Rick Baker were on hand to discuss the upcoming revisitation to the classic Universal horror icon. Cinematical some good coverage or you could watch some of this video that turned up on YouTube.
Max Payne- Mark Whalberg and Mila Kunis, who star in the upcoming video game adaptation from 20th Century Fox, sped through a quick panel promoting the their upcoming film. CinemaBlend managed to keep pace with the shirtened presentation.
Friday The 13th- Just one of a number of horror remakes coming from Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, several members of the cast and the director showed up to answer questions about their new version of the classic summer camp stalker slasher. Shock Till You Drop covered the proceedings.
Land Of The Lost- There was pimpage of the new upcoming comedic adaptation of the Sid and Marty Kroft Saturday morning cult classic. Fans asked questions…
You might be wondering why if FilmBuffOnLine had a correspondent at the San Diego Comic Con, why did FilmBuff’s exhalted leader have to run a round-up from other news sites. The reason is this:
This was the line for the Watchmen panel, about a half hour before it started. And this is just the line outside, the line continued in front of the main convention center doors up to the entrance to Hall H. People camped out from 4AM just to get inside. I got there about 45 minutes to an hour before and was about 100 people away from getting in.