Tag Archive | "Paramount Studios"

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New Releases: October 25, 2013

Posted on 24 October 2013 by William Gatevackes

PHoZwVJh2binrw_2_m1. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Paramount, 3,336 Theaters, 92 Minutes, Rated R):  Okay, I have an intense dislike of Jackass in all its various and sundry forms. I might not have the highest brow of humor around, but it’s high enough that I am wholly disinterested in these guys’ comedy. I don’t find actively trying to injure oneself to be hilarious, and I find trying to make fools out of unsuspecting innocents even less funny.

But apparently, I am in the minority. Even in my circle of friends, the TV show and films were popular. I wouldn’t watch it when it was free on MTV, and you’d have to pay me handsomely to watch it in theaters. But that isn’t going to stop the rest of America from going to see it. More power to them.

This time out, Johnny Knoxville dresses up as an old man and drags his “grandson” across country, making fun of rubes and townies along the way. So it’s basically Borat with make-up and a kid instead of a Central Asian accent.

the-counselor-poster2. The Counselor (Fox,3,044 Theaters, 117 Minutes, Rated R): Well, if this doesn’t seem like a No Country For Old Men-lite.

Let’s check it off. Great cast? Check. Plot involving a wonky drug deal? Check. Written by Cormac McCarthy? Check (in his first screenplay directly for the screen). Javier Bardem in a bad haircut? Check.

We trade the Coen Brothers for Ridley Scott, which means this film will be less esoteric and a little more glitzy. It might also mean that audiences might be a little less forgiving of McCarthy’s eccentricities. I mean, I thought the ending of No Country For Old Men was awful, but came away with a positive vibe about the film because it was so well made. That might not happen here.

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CONAN Writers Tapped For DR. STRANGE Film

Posted on 22 June 2010 by William Gatevackes

Who will be the next Marvel character to hit the big screen? Which one will be the first to be produced under Marvel’s partnership with Disney? It looks like it will be Doctor Strange.

Deadline: New York is reporting that the writers of the Conan revamp, Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, have been hired to develop the good doctor for the big screen. The pair also wrote a draft of another comic book adaptation, Cowboys and Aliens.

Dr. Strange is Stephen Strange, once an egotistical, high-profile surgeon whose practice was ruined when his hands were injured in a car accident. Losing the one thing that made him special, Strange descends a spiral of self-destruction. As a last ditch effort, he travels to a remote Himalayan village to visit a mystic to get his life back. The mystic instead train Strange to take his place as the world’s sorcerer supreme.

Of all the thousands of untapped Marvel characters, I always believed that Dr. Strange would be the best fit for the silver screen. Not only due to his origin, which I think is very interesting and cinematic in its own right, but his adventures can lead to so many different interpretations. They can be in horror–either psychological of “jump out and grab you”–or a trippy, psychedelic mind warp of a film like The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus or Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. But the property would be best served as some combination of all the above.

But who should play the doctor? Well, according to Bleeding Cool.com, Patrick Dempsey supposedly is interested in the role. The image to the right was created by Hollywood-based comic artist Arne Starr and presumably has been shown to Marvel execs to sell them on Dempsey as Doctor Strange.

Dempsey does have a relationship with Disney, having starred in their recent hit Enchanted, so his casting might not be that absurd if Disney takes a hands-on approach to Marvel’s film offerings. However, if I was the one casting, I’d go with another TV doctor. I think House‘s Hugh Laurie would be an excellent choice for the role. He is more of a physical match for the character and can definitely play that kind of role.

And where would Dr. Strange fit in with the Iron Man/Thor/Captain America: The First Avenger/Avengers shared universe thing? Well, he probably wouldn’t. Not that he couldn’t–those films are distributed by Paramount but controlled by Marvel so it’s assumed they will come over to Disney after their distribution agreement is finished. But Dr. Strange, until recently, was never a big part of the Avengers mythos in the comics. So, the best I’d think we could hope for would be a passing reference, if that.

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New Releases: January 15

Posted on 14 January 2010 by William Gatevackes

1.The Book Of Eli (Warner Brothers, 3,111 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated R): Here’s something you don’t see everyday–Denzel Washington in a post-apocalyptic thriller.

It’s not like he’s never done sci-fi before. Anybody remember 1995′s Virtuosity? But you hardly see one of this generation’s greatest actors slumming in genre films these days.

The movie focuses on Washington’s character, who wanders the post-apocalyptic Earth carrying a book that will be able to save the Earth. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who want it. Fighting ensues.

I don’t know how good this one will be. It seems like one of those simple concepts that are much too simple? Like, how can a book save the Earth. But with Washington and Gary Oldman in it, at least the acting with should be better than you’d usually find in this genre.

2. The Spy Next Door (Lionsgate, 2,924 Theaters, 92 Minutes, Rated PG): Ah, the family film, the last resort of the fading action movie star.

Jackie Chan is a former CIA agent assigned with the task of watching his girlfriend’s three kids. Of course, the kids hate him. Of course, one of them “accidentally” downloads top secret information that they shouldn’t possess. Of course, the bad guys want this information and send an operative out to get it back. Of course, this operative has a beef with Chan’s character. And of course, Chan will have to risk his life to protect the kids.

This is one of those  dumbed down kid flicks that parents think would be harmless fun for sons and daughters. Stop thinking that. Your kids deserve better. 

3.The Lovely Bones (Paramount, 2,563 Theaters, 135 Minutes, Rated PG-13): When it was announced that Peter Jackson was taking on the task of adapting this best-selling novel, it seemed like it would almost be like he had a license for forging Oscar statues. Now, they only one getting Oscar buzz is Stanley Tucci. What happened?

Could all the delays in releasing film be a sign of poor quality? The book, as I remember it, was less a supernatural murder mystery than a searing look at a family almost destroyed by the murder of a child. The ads for this film make it seem the other way around. And I doubt that it would be as effective that way. 

I don’t know and I will probably never find out. As parents of a nine-month old, my wife isn’t too keen to use our rare movie going excursions on a film about a dead child, no matter how good it might be. 

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New Releases- December 23

Posted on 22 December 2009 by William Gatevackes

1. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Fox, @3,700 Theaters, 88 Minutes, Rated PG): When I was a kid, I used to rush out to the living room whenever I heard the theme song to The Alvin Show. Some of the first pieces of recorded music I ever bought with my allowance was The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles. Needless to say, I was a fan.

I say this to give you some perspective when I tell you that I consider this latest Chipmunk revival an abomination.

Yes, yes, I know. This could be cranky old Bill upset because a bastion of his childhood is changed and updated for a new generation. But still, I would have liked to have seen a little more effort put into those changes and updates.

2. Up in the Air (Paramount, @1,800 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated R): One of the best reviewed movies, and one that has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz, finally hits wide release in time for the Christmas holiday.

A man who is hired out to be a corporate axe man (he fires your employees for you) has his life turned upside down when his vagabond lifestyle comes to a halt after a shake up at his employer. Since he is forced to put down roots, he begins to make emotional connections for the first time in his life.

It seems like a quirky dramedy, but everything I have heard tells me that this film is a winner. We’ll see how well it does around awards season.

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New Release: June 24

Posted on 23 June 2009 by William Gatevackes

transformers2posterTransformers:Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount, 4,000 Theaters, 150 Minutes, Rated PG-13): When the first Transformers film came out, I wasn’t very optimistic about it. Not that I was a fan who thought the filmmakers were going to screw up. I was more of a G.I. Joe fan as a kid, as the Transformer toys were a little out of my price range.

But a big budget film directed by Michael Bay starring the relatively unknown Shia LeBeouf and Megan Fox, with a bunch of talking robots who can change into cars? Seems like a recipe for disaster, no matter how good the trailers looked.

But, to my surprise, I found the film enjoyable. Definitely a popcorn flick, and a little by the numbers, but a good time. So, not that I’d ever think I’d be saying this, but I am really looking forward to this sequel, which has more robots but almost all the original cast back.

Now, if only the “low expectations, high reward” maxim will apply to August’s G.I.Joe film. Oh, god, I hope it will.

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New Releases: June 12

Posted on 11 June 2009 by William Gatevackes

thetakingofpelham_1_2_3poster1. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (Sony/Columbia, 3,074 Theaters, 106 Minutes, Rated R): Usually I cringe when I see the word “remake” in any film description, but it really doesn’t bother me this time. Maybe because enough time has passed between the 1974 version starring Walter Matthau and Martin Balsam and the 1998 TV version starring Edward James Olmos. Or it’s because this cast features Denzel Washington, John Turturro, James Gandolfini, and John Travolta’s mustache.

Yes, if I had to pick one weak spot from the trailers, it would be Travolta. His character in this film seems like a rehash of his one from Face/Off with a goofy hairstyle and mustache. I don’t know if he’s that hammy throughout the movie or, if he is, that his performance will take away from the other actors. But it just rubs me the wrong way.

Anyway, the film is about a kidnapping on a subway car, a ransom demand, and the Transit Authority employee dragged into it.

imaginethatposter2. Imagine That (Paramount/Nick Films, 3, 008 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG): I remember as a kid being made to turn off a Eddie Murphy concert because his routine was inappropriate for someone my age. Now, all he seems to do is kid friendly flicks. Quite the road his career has travelled on, eh?

Murphy plays a financial analyst whose career takes an upturn when his daughter’s imaginary friend starts giving can’t miss stock tips. In the process, he realizes that family is more valuable than money.

This seems like one of those films that tries to appeal to parents and kids yet really appeals to neither. I could be wrong, but judging on Eddie Murphy’s track record, there’s a good chance I’m not. 

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New Releases: April 24

Posted on 24 April 2009 by William Gatevackes

obsessed_poster1. Obsessed (Sony / Screen Gems, 2,514 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated PG-13): You have got to hand it to Beyonce, she keep trying. Obviously, someone in Hollywood thinks she has the potential to be a star. So they shove her into comedies like Austin Powers: Goldmember and Pink Panther 2 or big Oscar-Grabbing Musical epics like Cadillac Records or Dreamgirls. Yet, film stardom seems to escape her. Now, they are trying her in an erotic thriller (Although, is a PG-13 erotic thriller really an erotic thriller?).

Beyonce plays the Anne Archer role in this film, but replace the typical “Oh God, why is this happening to me?” with “Hell no, this is not going to happen to me.

Could an archaic film genre be the film that breaks Beyonce’s film career wide open? I don’t think so, but who knows.


 

fighting2. Fighting (Rogue Pictures, 2,310 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated PG-13): This might be just me, but does this movie seem to be the most depressing movie of all time?

I’m only going by the ads, but this is what it seems like, a down on his luck man finds the only way he can make a living is to fight on an underground fight circuit. If he doesn’t win, he doesn’t get paid. And the rest of the movie is him getting his head handed to him.

I don’t know how accurate that is, but if it’s correct, this film could be Rocky for nihilists. Who wants to spend and hour and a half watching a mopey looking guy getting his butt kicked with no way of things getting any better? Not me.

 

the_soloist_movie_poster3. The Soloist (Paramount /DreamWorks, 2,024 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Several months ago, this film was all set to be released and Oscar buzz was high. Now, it’s sequeaking out as the in the least amount of theaters of the weekend at a time of year Oscar voters often forget. What happened?

Well, I don’t know for sure, but probably a test screening that the audience hated and a bunch of rewrites and re-edits. Which would be strange because this is supposed to be based on a true story.

All this raises concern, and the fact that its being released during an Oscar dead zone isn’t the only reason why it might not get any Oscar nominations.

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New Releases: February 13

Posted on 13 February 2009 by William Gatevackes

fridaythe13th_gallerytheatrical1. Friday the 13th (Warner Brothers/New Line/Paramount, 3,105 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated R): Ah, nothing reminds you of the fraility of love more than when Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday. Because sometimes you get something like this.

If there was ever a horror franchise less in need yet also more in need of a remake, it would be the Jason films. By the end, they have pretty much gone so far away from the original concept that the last movie in the line only resembled the first movie in the fact that both featured hockey-mask wearing psychos named Jason.

Yet, the original Friday the 13th film revolutionized movie horror for an entire generation. For better or worse, it left its mark on cinema forever. Nothing is sacrosanct these days, and the first film was anything but a classic, but do we really think the original can be improved upon?

confessionsofashopaholic_galleryposter2. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Touchstone, 2,507 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated PG): Isla Fisher built up a lot of good will with me after Wedding Crashers. Here role as the slight crazed “stage five clinger” in that movie was a real breakout role, and she showed the potential of being a great comedy star.

Of course, she really didn’t capitalize on that major buzz all that much, and she quickly became an actress American audiences would easily confuse with Amy Adams.

Finally, this weeks she gets a major starring role with a lot of things working in her favor. The cast in this film is spectacular, featuring such great actors as Joan Cusack, John Goodman, Kristen Scott Thomas and John Lithgow–among others. And it is directed by PJ Hogan, he of Muriel’s Wedding and My Best Friend’s Wedding fame.

Depending on how many people on Valentine’s day dates reject Jason for something more light and up lifting, this could be the film that finally cashes in on that potential she showed in Wedding Crashers.

theinternational_galleryposter3. The International (Sony/Columbia, 2,364 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated R): It appears the movie gods are against this film. According to IMDB, this film was originally scheduled for a summer 2008 release, but test screenings didn’t come back well. As usually happens in these cases, reshots were done, delaying the release date.

Now, it’s finally ready to go, during a full-scale, international banking crisis. Which is a good thing because a lot of people will be more than willing to see a major international bank as a villain, but a bad thing because it’s hard to believe such an organization would have as much power as they do in this movie when most of these real-life institutions are begging for their own survival.

However, for audiences whose idea of a great date movie is an international conspiracy thriller and not a horror flick or a romantic comedy, this film provides an alternative in this week’s releases.

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Could We Finally Be Able To Watch The WATCHMEN?

Posted on 15 January 2009 by William Gatevackes

watchmenWord out of Hollywood is that Fox and Warner Brothers might be close to a settlement in their rights dispute over the Watchmen movie. Per Film Esq., both studios filed a Notice of Settlement Status and Request for Further Hearing yesterday, with a request for a trial today to either announce their settlement terms or decide how to proceed to the scheduled January 20th injunction hearing.

If a settlement is imminent, it will bring a long and arduous, nearly year-long legal battle to a close and may finally end the 22 year struggle to bring the seminal graphic novel to the big screen.

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Ratner’s Deal With Paramount A HARBINGER Of Bad Things To Come?

Posted on 06 August 2008 by William Gatevackes

To say  Brett Ratner’s history with comic book movies was bleak would be putting it lightly. He was one of the numerous directors whose name was attached to Superman Returns during the disastrous time period before Bryan Singer took the reigns. He then took over the X-Men franchise from Singer and with the critically lambasted X-Men: The Last Stand, he all but killed that successful franchise. Now he is trying to start a new comic book franchise from the ground up, Heaven help us.

Variety is reporting that one of the films Ratner has his sights set on as per his new deal with Paramount Studios is an adaptation of the Harbinger comic book.

Harbinger is a book from the 1990s that was published by the now defunct Valiant Comics.  It deals with a bunch of super powered teens who are on the run from an evil corporation that wants to exploit their powers.

Right now, Ratner is only slated to produce the film. But it is highly likely that he will direct the flick as well.

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