Archive | October, 2008

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Broadway To See Some DIRTY DANCING

Posted on 27 October 2008 by Rich Drees

Another film is looking to make its way to the boards of Broadway and its producers are hoping you’ll have the time of your life at the show.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story Onstage, based on the popular 1987 romance, is rumored to be in preparations to take over the Neil Simon Theater for a run next fall. Ironically, the venue is currently occupied by another stage adaptation of a film, Hairspray.

Although there has been no formal announcement, Variety reports that a Broadway run for the show seems to be inevitability following successful runs in Chicago, Hamburg, London and Toronto. The current Chicago production features Amanda Leigh Cobb and Josef Brown in the Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze roles.

Dirty Dancing’s original screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein has also penned the book for the stage show, so presumably there haven’t been too many changes to the story.

I was never much of a fan of the film, I’ll have to admit. I found the film more melodrama than engaging drama. I was also irked by the use of a the obviously modern sounding “The Time Of My Life” in the film’s finale after all the perfect 1960s period music that had been used in every other scene up to that point. It was a choice that broke what ever connection I had left with the picture. A quick look at the songlist on the show’s website shows that it is still in the show. I’m sure that will please Dirty Dancing’s fans.

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Posted on 27 October 2008 by Rich Drees

A new trailer for the upcoming Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Princehas appeared online. Originally scheduled for release next month, the film was pushed back to July 17, 2009 by studio Warner Brothers to help shore up their lackluster summer blockbuster schedule. The minute and a half clip features some new footage. It also contains a voiceover intoning that “This year…” we will see the film, which suggests that this was either put together before Warners punted the film to next summer or that the trailer probably won’t actually be seen in theaters until some time after the new year. 

So, does this trailer make you more excited to see the film?

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Paramount Fast Tracking New Jack Ryan Film

Posted on 25 October 2008 by Rich Drees

Earlier this week, we mentioned that one of the projects on director Sam Raimi’s plate these days is overseeing a relaunch of Paramount Pictures Jack Ryan franchise. Well, it looks as if Paramount can’t wait around while Raimi finishes work on his upcoming horror flick Drag Me To Hell and then the next two Spider-Man sequels before turning his attention to author Tom Clancy’s hero.

Moviehole is reporting from a source that the studio has now fast tracked the development of a new Jack Ryan adventure, not based on any of Clancy’s previous novels, and have turned to Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mace Neufield to get things rolling. Previously, Neufield has been involved with the Jack Ryan series as a producer on all the released film starting with the inaugural The Hunt For Red October (1990). More recently, di Bonaventura had been involved with the studio’s aborted attempt to bring the Clancy novel By Any Mean Necessary to the big screen.

With the two producers still working on developing the script, no director or star has been attached yet to the project. It is still up in the air as to whether the film will go the “young Jack Ryan” route that was used in the Ben Affleck-starring Sum Of All Fears (2002) or if they’ll go with an older Ryan as portrayed by Harrison Ford in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear And Present Danger (1994).

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New ONG BAK 2 Trailer

Posted on 24 October 2008 by Rich Drees

Just a few short months ago, it looked as if we might never see Thai action star Tony Jaa’s directorial debut Ong Bak 2 due to numerous behind-the-scenes dramas including Jaa’s own disappearance and reappearance. Thankfully, things seem to have settled down and the film looks like it is well on its way to its December 4 Thailand premier date.

To whet your appetite for the film, here’s the current trailer. All I can say about it is that it definitely seems to encompass what I’ve come to expect from a Jaa film- raw power, speed and precision and a touch of spirituality.

The Weinstein Company currently holds the North American distribution rights for Ong Bak 2, but there is no indication yet if the company will give the film a theatrical release or just dump it directly on to DVD.

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New Releases: October 25

Posted on 23 October 2008 by William Gatevackes

1. High School Musical 3: Senior Year (3,623 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated G): You know, I almost feel sorry for the Saw franchise. They used to own the weeks around Halloween. They’d put out a film the same time each year, have little or no competition, and have the number one film for a couple weeks.

Not this year, however. This film will crush Saw V. If it doesn’t earn twice as much, I will be greatly surprised.

Do not think that it can’t happen. The High School Musical franchise is unbelievably popular. Ask any video store employee. The first two DVD’s go out as soon as they come in, and the sales copies barely get settled on store shelves before they are sold.

It’s so popular that the third film has made the unusual jump from being a made-for-TV film to the big screen.

Seriously, weep for Saw V.

2. Saw V (3,060 Theaters, 88 Minutes, Rated R): Could this be the beginning of the end of the Saw franchise?

No, not because HSM 3 will steal its audience. I doubt anyone would admit being a fan of both franchises. But rather, have these films run their course?

The torture porn trend has lost a lot of its favor with audiences and this series was the granddaddy of it. With each film the franchise moves further away from the original, both in the creative talent involved and in plotline.

I mean, we know there will be a Saw 6. Vh1 is running a reality program to win a role in it. But will there still be an audience there when it hits theaters?

3. Pride and Glory (2,585 Theaters, 125 Minutes, Rated R): If you’re like me, you might have remembered seeing the trailer for this months and months ago. The reason for that is that the film was originally supposed to come out in March and was pushed back.

That is never a good sign. And the fact that it’s opening on a weekend with two other big movies just makes it worse. It seems the studio is just releasing it to get rid of it.

But, really, how bad can any movie starring Edward Norton and Colin Farrell be? Sure the plot, involving a family of cops embroiled in a corruption scandal, is fairly common. But these are two actors that could make any movie worth watching.


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Posted on 23 October 2008 by Rich Drees

If The Producers didn’t fill your need for on-stage singing and dancing Nazis, then prepare yourself for an upcoming sci-fi musical comedy stage adaptation of the 1963 camp film They Saved Hitler’s Brain.

The upcoming show is being produced by Mark Altman and Chris Wyatt. Jon and Al Kaplan, who wrote the Off-Broadway spoofs Silence! Silence Of The Lambs: The Musical and 24: Season 2: The Musical will be writing the show’s book and songs.

The announcement in Variety doesn’t state where the show will debut, but given the Kaplan’s past stage works, it feels safe to say that Hitler’s Brain will be an Off-Broadway production.

Wyatt is perhaps best known as the producer of the 2004 comedy Napoleon Dynamite. Altman is no stranger to geek and genre projects. The former editor of the late, lamented Sci-Fi Universe Magazine has produced the films Free Enterprise, D.O.A.: Dead On Arrival and House Of The Dead. He is also currently developing a remake of the 1983 teen comedy My Tutor.

They Saved Hitler’s Brain was originally released to theaters under the title Madmen Of Mandoras and told the story of a scientist and his daughter who are kidnapped to an island in the Caribbean where Nazi scientists have Hitler’s head preserved in a jar in the hopes of launching a Fourth Reich. Because if you’re going to launch a bid for world domination, why not do it from the comfort of a tropical island? The film didn’t acquire its more lurid title until it started appearing on television in the 1970s.

While this could turn out to be a campy good time, I have to wonder how active the show’s titular character will be. With just his head existing in a glass jar through the entire story, I don’t think Hitler will be participating in too many dance numbers…

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Posted on 23 October 2008 by Rich Drees

StrandedTransitioning from the film festival circuit to a limited theatrical release is the documentary Stranded: I’ve Just Come From A Plane That Crashed In The Mountains. You may be familiar with the story  of a planeful of Uruguayan rugby players which crashed in the Andes Mountains in October 1972 through the fictionalized version of the events in the film Alive.

But FilmBuffOnLine contributor Michael McGonigle saw the film when it played the Philadelphia Film Festival last spring and found it to be “the best documentary on a disaster I have seen in a long time.”

To read all of Michael’s review, click here.

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Geek Gear: BLADE RUNNER Light Up Umbrella

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Rich Drees

Geek Gear- Something so absolutely geeky you have no choice but to acquire one as quickly as possible.

Stuck in a neo-noir future Los Angeles with no hope of a new life on the Off World Colonies? Hunting down wayward Replicants through the dismal, continual rain? Then you’ll need yourself one of these LED Umbrellasfrom the folks at Think Geek. Available in either black or red, the umbrella runs on three AAA batteries and will light your way through the torrential downpour as you go about your business like a good background extra in Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking film.

Geek Gear is a new, semi-regular feature spotlighting cool stuff you know you want to have. It is merely a coincidence that we kick this feature off so close to the beginning of the holiday shopping season. (hint, hint…) Thanks to regular FilmBuff reader Jim A. for submitting our inaugural item.

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Incredible New WATCHMEN Poster

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Rich Drees

Hot on the heels of Tuesday night’s presentation of new footage from Zack Snyder’s Watchmen on Spike TV’s Scream Awards comes this stunning new teaser poster. The image is taken from the opening of the film and features the murder of the Comedian, an act which sets the film’s plot in motion. The countdown to March 6, 2009 continues…

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Extended WATCHMEN Trailer From Scream Awards

Posted on 22 October 2008 by Rich Drees

Viewers of last night’s Spike TV’s Scream Awards got a look at an extended cut of the trailer for Zack Snyder’s Watchmen film. Among the new glimpses of the upcoming superhero epic include shots of the love scene between Dan and Laurie aboard the Owl Ship, more shots of the Owl Ship in action, a look at Karnak, Adrian Veidt’s Antarctic fortress, some more action shots of the various heroes and an impressive shot of Dr. Manhattan disassembling a tank. The most beautiful shot is perhaps the sequence from Dan’s dream in which he and Laurie kiss against the backdrop of a nuclear explosion.

If you missed the Scream Awards last night, you can watch the extended trailer below. For a more complete breakdown with screengrabs of the new scenes added into the trailer, check out WatchmenComicMovie.

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