Let’s begin today with this: the single best joke told by every president, from Obama to Washington.
Fox has greenlit 12 episodes of a 24 spin-off series, 24: Legacy. It’s hard to imagine my watching that since I didn’t make it past the first two episodes of 2014′s 24 revival mini-series Live Another Day. I watched 24 from episode 1 of season 1, and at first I was evangelical about this amazing, intense serialized show. But truth be told the only seasons I really loved were those first two years (and even those seasons had plenty of problems). I stuck around for years afterwards and while there were some high points, I tended to find myself continually disappointed. I finally bailed before the final season. I had high hopes that Live Another Day would be a return to the show’s original greatness, but those first two hours just felt like more of the same. Oh well.
Far more exciting: Netflix has announced a Wet Hot American Summer sequel! The so-obvious it’s genius Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later will be eight episodes and, you can be assured, high on my must-watch list.
Was this seriously going to originally be the opening shot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens??? Love it!
So this is awesome: the Language Creation Society has just submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in Paramount’s suit attempting to halt production of the Star Trek fan-film Axanar. Seems this Language Creation Society objects to Paramount’s contention that they can copyright the Klingon language. You’ve got to read this article, it is nerdy and hilarious and wonderful. To restate my position, I strongly object to Paramount’s heavy-handed effort to squash this fan-made film. (After creating the amazing fifteen-minute Prelude to Axanar, this group of Trek fans fund-raised on Kickstarter — full disclosure: I have donated — to create a full feature-length film telling the story of the Five Years’ War between the Federation and the Klingons. This is an event that is part of the backstory of Star Trek: The Original Series. The planned film would focus on telling the story of Starfleet Captain Garth of Izar in the years before he became a crazy villain, as seen in the Original Series episode “Whom Gods Destroy.”) To be clear, it is probably true that the Axanar folks are in violation of Paramount’s copyright, but who really cares? These fan films are not a competition with Paramount’s official Star Trek efforts. These fan-made projects are done by Trek fans who love Trek. I absolutely guarantee you that every single Trek fan who donated to Axanar is going to buy a ticket (perhaps many!) to see Star … [continued]
Wow, looks like the studios have all started selling their 2015 movies pretty hard lately! This past week has seen a flood of new trailers for some big upcoming films.
It all started, of course, with that look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What a great trailer. As I wrote last week, I remain dubious that this film is going to be any good (though I am beginning to dare to hope), but wow, this is a pretty perfectly cut trailer. It’s been very interesting to see how universally loved this trailer seems to have been, across the internet. Let’s watch it again, shall we?
Moving on, soon after the Star Wars trailer dropped we also got our first peek at Batman v Superman:
Unlike the Star Wars trailer, this trailer has been pretty roundly criticized across the interwebs. I think the hate is a little much, personally. This is a not a home-run trailer, but I don’t mind that DC is giving us a more serious, grim version of their super-heroes, in contrast to the Marvel approach. I am glad a main story-point for this film seems to be the public’s questioning perhaps rejection of Superman as a hero. That’s certainly understandable after the carnage that Supes was involved with at the end of Man of Steel. And while I think Batman’s line about making Superman bleed is pretty dumb (and I’m definitely not yet liking the highly-modulated new Bat-voice), I do have a lot of love for the Frank Miller The Dark Knight Returns inspired look of Batman’s anti-Superman armor. I am very intrigued by this film. I can see a lot of ways in which it can stumble, most primarily under the weight of all the announced cameos as Warners seems increasingly desperate to ape Marvel’s success with The Avengers. But boy, wouldn’t it be cool if this Batman/Superman crossover film — something we’ve never seen before — was actually good?? We’ll see…
We also good our first good look at Fox’s upcoming Fantastic Four film:
I’m very uncertain what to make of this film. I love the FF dearly. This might prove to be a great film, and I am certainly hoping it will be. But it feels like it’s a decade too late. After the last few years of Marvel films, in which we’ve seen superhero films that were able to be both compelling and also incredibly faithful to the essence of the characters from the comics, what I want to see on screen is the FF I know from the comics, not this weird un-superhero version. I am not very excited right now for this film. Prove me wrong, … [continued]
So let’s talk about this:
I am still extremely dubious as to whether this movie is actually going to be any good (it will be a long time before I forgive J.J. Abrams for Star Trek Into Darkness) but boy, that is a pretty phenomenal teaser trailer right there.
When I was a kid there were three Star Wars movies and I really never imagined that there would ever be any more. Then the prequel films were announced, and I remember like it was yesterday that huge thrill of seeing, in the first teaser trailer for Episode I, that first glimpse of new Star Wars footage:
I’m not someone who went to see Meet Joe Black just because the trailer was attached before that film, but I boy do I remember painfully waiting the minutes it took for my dial-up modem internet connection to download the Episode I trailer to watch. I also stayed up late one night to watch one of those cable shows that showed movie trailers because I’d heard they were showing the Episode I trailer. I recorded it on my VCR and I re-watched that tape of the two-minute trailer over and over again.
It’s fun to be back in that place, and this new 88-second spot certainly got me excited for Star Wars again. That’s a great feeling.
I was impressed with the amount of new footage we saw in this trailer. I was expecting to see hardly any new footage. This far out from the release of the film (over a year away), I figured we’d just get an elaborate title treatment and a handful of quick shots.
Yes, I was a little surprised not to see a single glimpse of any of our recognizable heroes from the original films (I thought for sure we’d see a shot of a bearded, cloaked Luke Skywalker), but I have to say I love that this trailer focuses on the NEW. New faces, new characters, new droids. I love that the first person in the trailer is a very sweaty John Boyega. (Go watch Attack the Block, everyone!!) It’s cool to see a black face in a Star Wars film, and I love that right from the start of this trailer the focus is on introducing us to the young new characters who will, I assume, be the focus of The Force Awakens.
I like the mysterious voice-over. Like everyone I spent a lot of time wondering just whose voice it is. Turns out it’s the great Andy Serkis (I love that Andy Serkis is in a Star Wars film!!). But wow does he make his voice sound like Benedict Cumberbatch, though, am I … [continued]
Except for The Way Way Back, which I loved (click here for my review!), it’s been a pretty mediocre summer of movie-going for me, with most of the highly-anticipated blockbusters feeling pretty “eh” to me. No solution, then, but to look forward towards other films that are coming soon!
I don’t know if the film will be any good, but I am in absolute love for this trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s a gorgeous little tone-poem, and one of my favorite trailers in years:
Equally quirky is this peek at the Coen Brothers’ latest: Inside Lleweyn Davis. A new film by Joel and Ethan Coen is always worthy of anticipation, and this trailer is terrific:
Any new film from the Coen brothers excites me, no matter the topic or genre, and I am starting to feel the same way about Spike Jonze. His Where the Wild Things Are was my favorite film of 2009, a criminally under-appreciated gem. This new trailer for Her, in which Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his iphone, has me very much intrigued:
This new trailer for Thor: The Dark World is terrific, promising an epic feel that nicely raises the scale and the stakes from the first film. I love how this trailer gives a spotlight on all the supporting characters — there’s a “the gang’s all here” feel that is very endearing, along with some great action. Really looking forward to this one:
This look at CBGB, which tells the story behind the famous New York City music club, has me intrigued. Plus, it stars Alan Rickman, and Alan Rickman is unfailingly awesome! I am eager to learn more about this one:
This trailer for Paul Greengrass’ based-on-a-true-story film, Captain Phillips, has been out for a few months, but I just saw it for the first time in a movie theatre last week. It is riveting. I don’t want to see anything more before seeing this film:
I have loved George Clooney’s work as a director (his first film, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, is one of my very favorite films of all time), so I am excited for his latest film, The Monuments Men. Hoo boy, what a cast!
Will these films be as good as their trailers? Maybe not, but I can’t wait to find out.… [continued]
The first trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has just been released, and it is pretty terrific:
Beorn! Bard! Legolas!
Barrels out of Bond!
My favorite of all of the April 1st silliness on the web yesterday is this fake trailer:
As I was just saying yesterday (in my review of Take This Waltz), I am excited for Seth Rogen & Co.’s end-of-the-world movie, This is the End, which opens this summer. It looks like fun!… [continued]
So… ok then! A new international trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness just dropped this morning, full of new footage. It’s available in HD here — click on “International Trailer — UK.”
Like all the glimpses we’ve gotten so far of Star Trek Into Darkness, it’s a very solid trailer. This is big-budget, visually stunning Star Trek. (For the zillionth time, I wish the “Classic” Trek films I so cherish had had half of the budget that J.J. Abrams and his team have been given by Paramount.) And while I know that some are tiring of the “grim and gritty” tone prevalent in a lot of our fantasy/super-hero/sci-fi films ever since the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, I have no objection to my Star Trek being intense and serious.
But, that being said, am I the only one getting a little bit of a worrisome vibe from these Trek trailers? I am intrigued by the terrorism angle, but a) it seems a little behind the times, as sci-fi/fantasy adventures like the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica and the aforementioned Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight have already so effectively explored terrorist and post 9-11 anxiety, and b) I feel like Star Trek stories should be set primarily in outer space, not on Earth. Now, obviously, I haven’t seen the movie, so maybe there is plenty of outer-space adventure in this new Trek film. (I have heard that some of the action will be set on the Klingon homeworld. So that should be interesting. Though here again, I have some worries as I have heard rumors that the chase scene — in which we see Kirk piloting a shuttle through a tight spot — is set on Chronos, but neither the ship nor the city architecture looks at all Klingon to me. But we’ll see.)
Interesting to see Peter Weller finally make an appearance in these trailers. To this point we’ve had no idea what role he would be playing — guess it’s a Starfleet admiral. OK then.
Still no confirmation as to whether Benedict Cumberbatch is or isn’t playing Khan. His character seems from the trailer to have been a Starfleet agent or officer, which doesn’t square with Khan… though he does seem to display some super-heroic powers (possibly consistent with Khan’s genetically-engineered super-strength and endurance). I don’t get this cat-and-mouse game Mr. Abrams is playing with the fans. If Khan is indeed in this film, as rumored, wouldn’t you think they’d want to get people excited for the return of this classic Trek villain?
I didn’t need the cheesecake shot of Carol Marcus in her underwear.
Nice visual effects extravaganza at the end. This could be an example of a trailer … [continued]
Oh my god. Yes please.
Have you seen the fake Arrested Development shows that have been popping up around Netflix? (Mock Trial with J. Reinhold, anyone?) Brilliant!!
I have long ago lost all faith in M. Night Shyamalan, but my goodness this trailer for his new sci-fi film, After Earth, looks terrific:
“Fear is the mind-killer.” Heh heh.
Here’s a trailer for the new end-of-the-world comedy, This is the End, featuring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and a heck of a lot of other very funny people (Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Martin Starr, Mindy Kaling, and more), apparently all playing themselves:
Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey are dueling Las Vegas magicians? And the film also stars Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin? OK, I’m in! Here’s the trailer for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone:
Well, I wrote about the first one-minute “announcement” teaser for the new Star Trek film, Star Trek into Dark Knight (ahem, I mean, Into Darkness), and I wrote about the nine-minute IMAX preview that was shown before The Hobbit. But I didn’t write about the first full official teaser trailer that was released a week or so ago:
That’s because there’s not that much more to say. There’s not much in here that’s too terribly different than what we saw in the announcement teaser. It’ll be interesting to see the full context of Pike’s ominous declaration that “there’s not an ounce of humility” in Kirk. Pike was Kirk’s biggest champion in the first film, and while I agree that the Kirk we saw in that film DIDN’T have an ounce of humility in him — he thought he was the smartest/toughest guy in the room at the beginning of the film and all the way through — it’ll be interesting to see how/why Pike changes his view. I hope this results in some growth and mellowing for this version of Kirk. The Captain Kirk I remember was definitely an alpha male, but that didn’t often tip over into outright arrogance.
Boy, for five seasons of Lost I thought Damon Lindeloff was the MAN. Then came that last season of Lost. And Prometheus. And so I think it’s good news that he will not be returning to script the Prometheus sequel (if that ever actually gets made).
I’ve got lots and lots of new movie reviews coming soon, my friends! See you back here soon!… [continued]
Well, I had less-than-happy things to say last week about the teaser posters for Star Trek into Dark Knight (ahem, Into Darkness) and Man of Steel. But both films have shut me up for now by unveiling pretty awesome teaser trailers, first Trek and now Man of Steel:
That’s a pretty fantastic trailer. I’m not wild about having to sit through Superman’s origin yet again, but so far it looks like it’s being presented with class, and with some new imagery. I am a bit surprised that this Zack Snyder Superman trailer is so light on action. I had assumed that the reason to hire Zack Snyder to direct your Superman picture would be so it’d be chock-full of great super-hero/super-villain punch-em-ups. But so far both trailers for Man of Steel have struck the same reverential tone as Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. I loved Superman Returns (I know, I am the only one) so this doesn’t bother me, it’s just a bit surprising.
Here’s another awesome trailer, for Guillermo del Toro’s long-awaited next film. It seems to be about giant monsters fighting giant robots. I am there.
I am not a huge kaiju fan, but I did grow up watching Tranzor Z on American TV (a Japanese cartoon about a huge robot piloted by a young boy who controlled the robot from a control-ship in the robot’s head) so I’m down with the whole people-controlling-huge-robots-to-fight-evil sub-genre. And with del Toro at the helm, I think we’re assured of some spectacular action and weirdness.
Here’s another interesting trailer, for Oblivion:
OK, Tom Cruise is playing Wall-E and Morgan Freeman is playing Morpheus, but that could be interesting. Original sci-fi = good. From the director of Tron: Legacy = worrisome. We’ll see…
With The Hobbit so close I can taste it, here’s a great article on the ways in which J.R.R. Tolkien pulled a George Lucas and ret-conned his original version of The Hobbit after writing The Lord of the Rings.
Sticking with Peter Jackson for a moment, this is very pleasant news that he is still planning on directing a second Tintin film! (The plan was always that Steven Spielberg would direct the first film with Peter Jackson producing, and then they would swap roles for the second film. But with Mr. Jackson working on The Hobbit for the past few years, I had thought that plan had been abandoned. I loved the first Tintin so I’d be delighted to see a sequel…!)
Someone made a bookshelf shaped like the Guardian of Forever?? Why is this not in my home right now???
That’s all for me today, my friends. Sorry the Skyfall cartoons have been a bit … [continued]
Want more? Fast-forward to the very end of the Japanese trailer to see two seconds of extra footage, mimicking an ICONIC MOMENT from the FIRST Star Trek II from 1982…
Behold our first glimpse at the post-Avengers Marvel Movie Universe!
How spectacular is that trailer?
It’s visually gorgeous, and it promises a dark, things-go-really-wrong-for-our-hero vibe. Written and directed by Shane Black (go watch his magnificent film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang starring, oh, what a coincidence, Robert Downey Jr., if you want proof of his ginormous talents) I’m sure there will still be a lot of humor in this film, but I love that the trailer teases us with a grim tone.
And at last, after being deliciously teased in the first Iron Man film (and then sadly ignored in Iron Man 2), we’re getting to see Iron Man’s quintessential villain, the Mandarin, on screen! And played by Sir Ben Kingsley, no less. Phenomenal.
After the greatness of The Avengers (click here for my review), the challenge of the next Marvel movie is to not feel like a letdown. A good trailer isn’t proof of anything (exhibit A: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace) but I am very, very excited for April.… [continued]
Arrested Development lives!! This photo of Buster from the upcoming new episodes (I’m hearing Spring 2013?) really made me laugh.
Rumblings of a Dr. Horrible sequel continue to, well, rumble. Could this actually become a reality next year? Hoping hoping hoping.
Yeahbutwha? The star of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series will be the killed-off-in-The Avengers Agent Phil Coulson?? I love Clark Gregg and love the idea of him headlining a new Marvel Universe TV show, but how is this possible? Does this mean the S.H.I.E.L.D. show is set in the past? Very curious…
This is a fascinating article by screenwriter Jon Spaihts on his original ideas for Prometheus, back when the film was without-question an Alien prequel. (Mr. Spaihts apparently wrote five drafts of the film, before handing it over to Damon Lindelof for further revisions into the film that was actually shot.) Hindsight is of course twenty-twenty, but boy Mr. Spaiht’s ideas as he describes them sound far superior to the film we actually got.
I love the idea that Emily Blunt (originally in the running to play the Black Widow in Iron Man 2, and I must say I think she would have been FAR better casting that Scarlett Johansson) is rumored to now be up for a role in Avengers 2. I hope this happens.
I am fascinated by the massive HD remastering project necessary for the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on blu-ray. (I loved the sample disc, though I haven’t yet shelled out for the complete season one, released a few months ago.) Because Next Gen was edited on videotape, each individual has had to be re-edited from the original film negatives — the scale of the endeavor just boggles my mind. Trekcore has posted a fantastic interview with the re-mastering team. Here also is an interview with the CBS producers overseeing the project.
Speaking of Star Trek: The Next Generation, last month marked the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Next Gen. Here is a fantastic interview with Ronald D. Moore (one of the key writers for Next Gen and then Deep Space Nine, and of course also the creator and show-runner of the re-launched Battlestar Galactica) on the occasion of Next Gen’s 25th anniversary.
Back in 1990, fans went crazy when they noticed an Alien skull hanging as a trophy in the Predator’s ship in Predator 2. Here is a much less-cool sort of inter-sci-fi-movie crossover. (Well, the idea does have a crazy sort of inspiration, I guess, but the problem is it just doesn’t really make any sense…)
Edgar Wright, Nick Frost, and Simon Pegg’s third film together (after … [continued]
Magnificent. LOVE the use, as dialogue, of a lyric from Pippin’s mournful song from Return of the King.
See you there!… [continued]
Check out this new international trailer for the new James Bond film: Skyfall! This is our first real meaty look at the new film, and what a look! Beware, it’s possible this trailer spoils a few things you might prefer to remain a surprise. But it’s hard to criticize such a sweet trailer. I am excited.
LOVE Bond calmly fixing his cuff-links after diving onto an exploding train!… [continued]
Our first glimpse of Zack Snyder’s new Superman film, The Man of Steel, has arrived!
Here’s an alternate version, with narration from Jor-El (Russell Crowe) rather than Pa Kent (Kevin Costner):
I prefer the Pa Kent version myself, though both are strong. This is a very solid teaser. I like the imagery, and the seriousness with which it seems Superman is being handled. After reading the very excited reports from the footage screened at Comic-Con last week, I will admit to being disappointed that we don’t really get to see anything of Henry Cavill as Superman. I’m really curious as to how he looks and sounds in the role (something that it seems the Comic-Con fans got to see).
I’m also very surprised, since this movie is supposed to be a major course-correction from Bryan Singer’s poorly-received (though loved by me) Superman Returns, just how similar this first teaser trailer is to the first teaser for Singer’s film. See for yourself:
Am I wrong?? The trailers are eerily similar, aren’t they?
Well, whatever. I am excited for The Man of Steel, and can’t wait for a trailer with more substantial footage.… [continued]
Finally! After an unexpectedly long hiatus in the franchise due to MGM’s bankruptcy, James Bond is returning to our cinema screens. Here’s the first trailer for Skyfall:
I’m excited that we now have our first look at Judd Apatow’s fourth film, a sort-of follow-up to Knocked Up, focusing on Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s characters:
I’m in! Really looking forward to this one.… [continued]
Check out this trailer for a fascinating-looking documentary about voice-over actors. I really want to see this:
So just a day after I posted a whole bunch of movie trailers last week, Sir Ridley Scott unveiled our first official look at his upcoming film, Prometheus, and it is pretty friggin’ awesome:
That’s a pretty spectacular trailer, and in addition to guaranteeing that I will be seeing it opening weekend, the trailer also puts to rest all of the denials that the film is an Alien prequel. First of all, there is the really, really clever way in which the text of the title reveal mimics that of the main title of Alien. (Whoever came up with that idea deserves a BIG raise.) And then, I mean, come one, there are eggs (albeit different-looking ones), there are face-huggers (albeit REALLY different-looking ones) and then there is my favorite shot of the trailer: when we glimpse the “space-jockey’s” control/piloting unit (or whatever the hell that is) that we saw in Alien come up out of the floor of the ship. Pretty cool. I wonder if the ship we see crash at the end is the same ship the Nostromo finds on LB427…
If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will!
OK, maybe this, a look at the best thing about Parks and Recreation, Bert Macklin — er, I mean, Andy Dwyer:
Well, yesterday I waxed poetic about Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, so it seems like a good time to direct your attention to his upcoming film, The Dictator:
That looks like fun! It’s directed by Larry Charles (a key creative force behind Seinfeld, and also the director of Borat and Bruno) and written by Sacha Baron Cohen along with Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer (three other Seinfeld writers who have also been intimately involved with Curb Your Enthusiasm). That’s a lot of comedy talent, so I’m excited for this one.
Bryan Singer finally has another film coming out — this trailer for Jack the Giant Killer caused a small kerfuffle when it was released last week, with some loving it and others very much not. Judge for yourself:
There really hasn’t been a single film directed by Bryan Singer that I haven’t enjoyed. So although on the surface nothing about that trailer gets me that excited to see this movie, I remain interested.
After a decade and a half, they’re making a third Men in Black movie??? The second film was a disappointment but the original has a warm place in my heart. Could this new one be any good? I don’t know, but the amazing final shot of this trailer gives me hope:
How about that?? I don’t know how they did it, but Josh Brolin looks and sounds absolutely PERFECT! I’m becoming cautiously optimistic about this one.
Lastly, just for the hell of it, here’s The Hobbit trailer once again. I just can’t stop watching this thing!
Stop reading and WATCH THIS NOW:
Dear lord, we have to wait a FULL YEAR for this??? I’m not sure if I can make it!
I’ve watched the trailer several times through already, and I just love it to death. And remember: this is just a teaser trailer for a film that is STILL FILMING as we speak and won’t be finished and released to theatres for a full year. So while, yeah, the trailer only gives us the barest of glimpses at the good stuff we’re all waiting for, keep in mind how most teaser trailers aren’t released until about 6 months (or far LESS) before a film comes out, and even then usually only give a few snippets of footage. This is a full two minutes and thirty-one seconds of Hobbity goodness. Time to watch it again. (LOVE that Misty Mountains chant…)
Oh, and check out this awesome poster:
And if that’s not enough Lord of the Rings fun for you today, go to maps.google.com and type in “the Shire” as your starting point and “Mordor” as your destination. Go on, I’ll wait. (You need to select walking directions, rather than driving directions.) Check out badassdigest for more info.… [continued]
OK, I’m in!… [continued]
So surely you’ve all seen this, right?
That’s a pretty solid trailer, but I find that I have to stop myself from being blase about the fact that they’ve actually gone and made an Avengers movie. I need to remind myself just how amazing and unbelievable it is that they have actually made a super-hero team-up film. I mean, ever since I was a kid, Marvel comic books have always been all about the super-hero team-ups, but to see that realized in a movie, done on this scale, is extraordinary. That they have taken the leads of four films — each huge or potentially huge franchises in their own right (Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America) and brought them together for one film is such a giddily never-been-done-before notion that I still find it hard to believe, even though in less than a year this will all be reality that we’ll get to see projected on theatre screens across the country.
As for the trailer? It’s pretty strong, and we get some fun glimpses of the heroes assembled. There’s a bit of wit on display, which is nice. This film should be tense (after all, the stakes need to be HUGE to warrant the bringing-together of all of these super-heroes), but it should also be fun. The mighty Joss Whedon is not only directing the film but he also wrote the script, so I have hope.
They did cut back to those explosions on a city street a few too many times in the trailer, I thought. The footage looks great, but I hope that whatever is going down on that city street isn’t the only major action sequence in the film. This movie needs to be BIG, and this trailer hasn’t quite sold me on the epic scale of the story. It feels a little small so far. (This might be because the trailer doesn’t really reveal much about the actual story of the film, so I’d imagine they’re still holding back on revealing too much of the good stuff at this early date.)
I’m also not quite sold on the re-worked costumes for Captain America and Thor. I thought the costumes for both characters worked really well in their individual films from last summer, largely because both outfits felt lived-in and had a certain gritty weight to them. But in this trailer (and the terrific teaser at the end of the end-credits of Captain America) both Cap and Thor seem to have shiny new outfits that look a bit too simplistic and “costumey” (for lack of a better word) to me. But I will withhold judgement until getting a better look. … [continued]
My friend Rabbi Ethan Linden has written a wonderful article on his blog about HBO’s recently-concluded Game of Thrones mini-series (which I LOVED) and some broader thoughts about the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Here’s an excerpt:
People love to make fun of the superhero comic book genre, the fantasy genre, and the science fiction genre, both in movies and in books. This is unfortunate, because all three of these types of fiction provide some the most fertile ground for the creation of words that, though different from our own in important ways, nonetheless allow us to reflect on the realities of our customs, cultures and institutions. For some reason, these three genres are often considered to be “nerdy” or “dorky” and the typical mainstream reviewed will often make a snide remark about the intended audience for these types of fictions before launching into a review of the actual material in front of them. (Take a look at this New York Times review of the TV series for a prime example.) That these genres are taken seriously is a shame, because great fantasy, science fiction and superhero stories can be among the best ways we have of thinking deeply about who we are.
This is a superlative article, over at Hitfix.com, listing 25 Movie Sequels That Hollywood Should Have Made. The list is spot-on, with excellent choices both common (Serenity) and obscure (Devil With a Blue Dress). Warning: reading this will make you a little sad that sequels to these films do not exist, while X-Men Origins: Wolverine does.
Check out this great new trailer for the adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Looks phenomenal.
Speaking of trailers, Steven Spielberg has finally released a new film, his first since Munich in 2005! (What’s that, you say? He directed an Indiana Jones film in 2008? No, no, you’re wrong, there’s no way Mr. Spielberg could have had anything to do with that train-wreck.) Anyways, take a look at the trailer for War Horse.
Cars 2 didn’t really interest me, but I’m looking forward to the next Pixar film: Brave.
Here’s a look at the latest Mission Impossible film: Ghost Protocol. None of the first three Mission Impossible films have been as great as I’ve wanted them to be, but I’ve enjoyed them all, so I’d be excited for this fourth installment even if it wasn’t Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant)’s live-action directorial debut.
Here at last is our first teaser trailer for John Carter (Of Mars). Is it possible this is going to be good? … [continued]
Is it possible that Captain America: The First Avenger is going to be as awesome as this trailer makes it seem?
I’m really digging the Raiders of the Lost Ark style Nazi-stompin’ vibe. Will the actual film be as good as I hope? We’ll find out in a few short weeks!… [continued]
Thirty seconds into this trailer, you might be thinking “hey, I like Jason Segel, but why the heck am I watching this trailer??”
Was I wrong?? Heh heh. Can’t wait.… [continued]
Following up on my review of Source Code, which I posted yesterday, click here for a wonderfully spot-on assessment of all of the myriad problems with the film’s ending. It’s a sweet ending that felt right when I walked out of the theatre, but like the rest of the film, if you think about it for more than five minutes, it totally falls apart.
Here’s another trailer — this is for the very low-budget indie sci-fi movie Another Earth. I don’t know anything about this film, but my curiosity is piqued. It’s always interesting to see sci-fi elements mixed with drama (rather than action).
This is awesome. Lucasfilm Animation’s new building is shaped like a Jawa Sandcrawler.
It’s really happening! The Avengers has begun filming!! Here’s what Joss Whedon had to say on the matter. Funny as always. Boy, The Avengers is happening, The Hobbit is happening… this is all very exciting! Now if we could just get the next James Bond film into production, then I’d be over the moon.
I’ve written before about how I think the way some people defend bad movies by saying “oh, it’s not a movie you’re supposed to think about” is incredibly stupid. Here’s a well-reasoned support of my opinion.
This is a beautiful article but it also made me kind of sad. No matter how much we might try to read all the books we want to read, or watch all the films we want to see, or listen to all the music we want to listen to, the simple mathematical truth is that we’re all going to miss almost everything.
I’ve always thought that the next Star Trek TV show needs to move the story forward (the same way Next Gen did after the original Star Trek), not backwards. Apparently I’m not alone in that thinking. Trekmovie.com has put together a fascinating piece on the pitch for a new Star Trek TV show that Bryan Singer, Chris McQuarrie, and Robert Meyer Burnett put together in 2005-06 put never actually presented to Paramount. I would have watched that show!
This is a great defense by Nordling of AICN on the experience of seeing movies theatrically. I agree with him wholeheartedly, but I wish there were theatres like the Alamo Drafthouse here in Boston. It kills me to go to a movie and have people talking on their cell phones or texting or doing other annoying things that distract from actually watching the movie.
Finally, … [continued]
OK, I’m officially excited.… [continued]
I’m a big, big fan of Adywan’s fan-edit of the original Star Wars, so much-so that I consider it to be the definitive version of that film. I am chomping at the bit for the release of his upcoming edit of The Empire Strikes Back! Here’s a fascinating interview with this dedicated fan.
Cars is my least-favorite Pixar film, so I don’t have an enormous amount of excitement for the upcoming Cars 2 (despite Pixar’s being on an incredible winning streak). However, this recent announcement has raised my anticipation level significantly!
This is a fascinating read: A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m an Atheist.
It’s nice to see that Ira Steven Behr, one of the key creative masterminds between Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (my favorite of the Trek series) is still getting work as a show-runner (even if this new show Alphas doesn’t interest me that much).
New trailers! Here’s a glimpse at Terrence Malick’s long-in-the-making new film, The Tree of Life. I don’t know quite WHAT to make of the film based on that trailer, but I am definitely intrigued. Here’s a trailer for a new film called Hanna starring Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, and Saoirse Ronan. I’d never hear of it before seeing this trailer posted on Hitfix, but it looks interesting. Lastly, here’s a trailer for Kevin Smith’s new Horror film Red State. That’s right, I said Kevin Smith’s new HORROR film. I have NO IDEA whether this is going to be any good, but I’m certainly interested, and happy that Mr. Smith is moving beyond his familiar brand of talky raunchy comedies. Not that I have any problem with his talky, raunchy comedies, mind you!!
Speaking of bad-ass, here’s a funny piece from JoBlo called 10 Bad Ass Villains Who really Weren’t.
Apparently police officers in Pittsburgh spent eight hours investigating “the most grisly murder scene in 35 years” before discovering it was, in fact, a movie set. Pretty funny.
The breaking news this week, of course, is that Jon Favreau won’t be returning to direct Iron Man 3. I’m somewhat disappointed. I like Mr. Favreau as a director, and I think he was a key component of the first film’s success. And I like it when the creative teams for these super-hero sagas remain consistent from film to film. (Look at what happened to the X-Men franchise once Bryan Singer departed after X2.) On the other hand, as much as I adored the first Iron Man (click here for my original review), I think the second one was pretty mediocre (click here for my review of Iron Man 2). So maybe some fresh blood is in order. I’m a little nervous about just what Marvel has planned following their grand Avengers crossover film in 2012. How does one go back to making Iron Man movies after The Avengers? I hope they find a talented, steady hand to guide this franchise forward. (And psst! The Mandarin would be awesome!!)
Speaking of Marvel, last week they released the first full trailer for Thor, and it’s a much more substantial look at the film than I’d been expecting. I really want this film to work, but I’m still a little dubious as to whether they’re going to be able to pull off all of the Asgardian stuff convincingly. Fingers crossed….!
Speaking of trailers, have you seen the preview for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, On Stranger Tides? Click here to check it out. Is this going to be any good? So far it certainly looks of a piece with the previous three films, despite Rob Marshall’s taking over from director Gore Verbinski. On the other hand, I was never all that wild about any of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so it’s difficult to get too excited about the prospect of a fourth (and possibly a fifth and sixth) installment.
Since I’m posting links to trailers, I guess I should also note that, sigh, Paramount has released a trailer for the aren’t-they-missing-a-word-in-that-title third Transformers film, Dark of the Moon. Click here to check it out. It’s actually a pretty clever, well put-together trailer. If I hadn’t seen the first two Transformers films, I’d probably be pretty excited. But I did, so I’m not. (Also, many on-line writers have already noted how the trailer is basically just a souped-up version of the original teaser trailer for … [continued]
The big news in trailer-land this week was the release of our first substantial look at DC/Warner Bros.’ big new Green Lantern film. Check it out:
Not bad at all. I am cautiously optimistic that this will be the big, cool sci-fi superhero epic we all want it to be. You can watch the trailer in better resolution here.
I’m excited for Green Lantern, but in a weird way it was, in my mind, topped by this trailer for the loony new fantasy comedy Your Highness:
Come on, doesn’t that look like fun?
Here’s another one that looks like a great time at the movies — Jon Favreau’s simply-titled Cowboys and Aliens:
That’s a much slower-paced trailer than is usual these days, and I think that makes it all the more effective. And is it possible that, for the first time in two decades, Harrison Ford looks like he might be entertaining in a film again? Do we dare to hope?
Can’t wait for these flicks!… [continued]
One of the reasons why I wrote in yesterday’s post that I was excited for James L. Brooks’ new film How Do You Know is the great new trailer that launched last week. Take a look:
In lesser hands that movie could be a bit chick-flicky, but I have great faith in the master Mr. Brooks. Bonus points to casting Herc from The Wire in a supporting role! Really looking forward to this one.… [continued]
Has the pain of the end of Lost faded yet? (Click here for my thoughts on the finale.) Wanna rub some salt in the wound? Then be sure to check out this video compilation of all the questions Lost left unanswered.
Movie adaptations of Philip K. Dick stories have a pretty terrible track record. But I’m pretty excited about this one. Click here for a trailer for The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt (who really should have been the Black Widow in Iron Man 2).
Has Rob Reiner finally made another good movie? Check out this trailer:
I’m intrigued by that sweet trailer. Rob Reiner had one of the great winning streaks of all time when he directed This is Spinal Tap, The Sure Thing, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, and A Few Good Men. But with the exception of The American President, it’s been a long, loooong dry spell since then. Here’s hoping that Flipped represents the master’s return to form!
Whee, still more great trailers to see! Here’s the second peek at Scott Pilgrim vs The World (about which I must admit I know very little, but these trailers have hooked me), as well as our first glimpse at Part One of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
CHUD is running a fantastic list of the Worst CGI in History that is sad, funny, and well-worth your time.
See you all back here tomorrow!… [continued]
Some awesome new trailers for the summer movies have appeared recently:
Here’s the terrific trailer for Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal’s new film Predators.
That’s a pretty sweet trailer. Could this possibly be good?? Could it??
Here’s a new TV spot for Iron Man 2 with some intriguing new footage:
I can’t wait for this. I really hope it doesn’t disappoint.
Now here’s a comic-book movie of an entirely different sort: Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead)’s adaptation of the indie comic Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:
This is going to be a FUN summer…… [continued]
When I first read, a year or two ago, that a spin-off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall was in the works, featuring Russell Brand’s break-out character of rock-star Aldous Snow in a starring role, I was dubious. I absolutely adored Forgetting Sarah Marshall (read my brief review here), and there’s no question that Russell Brand was phenomenal. But it just sounded like one of those projects that would never actually happen. How many times have I read about studio executives proposing spin-off projects for popular side-characters from successful movies? (How’s that Magneto origins movie coming along? Or the Venom film?) Plus, while I think that Forgetting Sarah Marshall was well-thought of by critics and fans, it wasn’t exactly a comedy blockbuster like The 40 Year-Old Virgin. I was convinced the “in-development” Aldous Snow movie was never going to happen.
Well, friends, guess I was wrong, because a few days ago Universal unveiled their trailer for Get Him to the Greek, starring Russell Brand and Jonah Hill. Check it out here!
The trailer looks great, so consider me excited. (And how weird is it that Jonah Hill is again partnered with Russell Brand, as he was so memorably in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, yet while Brand is playing the same character, Hill is not? Weird. And gutsy!)
OK, enough looking back on 2009. Let’s look forward to 2010!
Quite a number of intriguing new previews for 2010 movies have recently appeared. Let’s take a look…
Let’s start with one of the greatest things I have seen in a long time. It’s the trailer for Ricky Gervais’ next film, Cemetary Junction.
Bring on the Schindler’s List jokes! Oh my.
Hot on the heels of that, in terms of unbridled awesomeness, is the fantastic new trailer for Kick Ass. Click here to check it out. Kick Ass is a terrific comic book (click here for my thoughts on the series), and I am overjoyed at the way that trailer indicates that directer Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) and his team have brought the book to life. Can’t wait.
Another film that I can’t wait for is Christopher Nolan’s Inception:
I don’t have any more of a clue of what the film is about, after watching that second trailer, than I had after watching the first. But who cares. I relish not having the entire film spoiled by the trailer. And Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight) can pretty much do no wrong in my book.
Next, in the “does this REALLY exist??” category — Disney has actually made a movie version of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?? And it stars Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel (who I will follow pretty much anywhere after his terrific work in Judd Apatow’s short-lived TV series Undeclared)? And it also stars Monica Belluccia and Alfred Molina??? Is there any hope that this could actually be any good? Sigh, probably not. Take a look and judge for yourself:
Speaking of Jay Baruchel, click here to check out the new red-band trailer for She’s Out of My League, a comedy in which he’s starring. Don’t know much about this flick, but it looks like it might be amusing.
Red Riding is a trilogy of films based upon the true man-hunt for the “Yorkshire Killer” who terrorized England in the ’70s & ’80s. I am fascinated by this project — a trilogy of interlocking films, all being released at once? Wild! I hope this plays here in Boston. Check out the trailers for all three films, each named for the year in which they take place: 1974, 1980, and 1983.
Finally, you all know that Robert Rodriguez is actually making a full-length movie of Machete (one of the fake trailers from Grindhouse), right? Check out that original Grindhouse trailer once again in all its NSFW glory, and ponder the potential wonder of the feature version.
News broke yesterday that Sam Raimi’s planned Spider-Man 4 has been scrapped, and the studio is going ahead with a total reboot of the series. DeadlineHollywoodDaily broke the story. Personally, I’m bummed by this news. Though Raimi & co. broke my heart with the atrocious Spider-Man 3, the first two Spidey flicks were so great that I really wanted to see him come back and try to return to the greatness of those first two films. I hate that his run on the character is ending on such a low note, and the idea of rebooting a series that is only eight years old and wildly successful just seems insane to me. But hey, I’m the guy who also wants to see Bryan Singer make another Superman film.
I have not read any of the Twilight books, nor seen the movies, nor do I have any intention of doing so. But this piece over at CHUD about why Breaking Bad (the fourth and final Twilight book) MUST be made into a movie is absolutely hysterical.
Behold the weirdest wedding video I have ever seen. This dude had his friends in the wedding party act out scenes from Superman II. I am at once awestruck and disturbed.
Speaking of slightly-insane Superman fans, a few weeks ago I stumbled upon photos of this guy who decorated his office cubicle as the Fortress of Solitude. Check it out:
You can find the full story behind his crazy construction project here.
Then there’s this incredibly bizarre stop-motion animated interview with Fantastic Mr. Fox director Wes Anderson. Except Wes Anderson is played by Jason Schwartzman. You read that right. Check it out.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, a super-cool new trailer for Iron Man 2 came out last month. Take a look. I was an enormous fan of Iron Man (read my review here), and have high hopes for the sequel. Don’t break my heart, Mr. Favreau! (By the way, in re-reading my review of Iron Man, I can see that I was sure that the Mandarin would be a key villain in the sequel. It’s not looking that way… so I’m wondering whether that character factors into the story at all. I certainly hope he does!)
Speaking of trailers, let me lay a few more on you. Here’s a sort of weird new trailer for Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s latest collaboration: Robin Hood. Take a look. This seems like familiar ground for Scott and Crowe, and I can’t say that I have been lying awake at nights waiting for a new version of the Robin Hood story. That being said, … [continued]
OK, so this is about the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of — Star Wars fans worldwide are uniting on a project to re-make the original film (A New Hope), 15 seconds at a time. Fans can claim individual 15 second moments of the film, recreate them in whatever for they desire (re-enactments, animation, etc.), and then the whole thing will ultimately be strung together. Wild. Click here for all the details on Star Wars Uncut, or just watch this bizarre trailer below!
After watching Julie & Julia with my wife Steph recently (you can read my review of the film here) I was interested in learning more about Julie Powell, so I tracked down her Julie/Julia Project blog and her current blog (since she ended the Julie/Julia Project blog in 2003, with only one additional post in 2004 after Julia Childs’ death). Both blogs were fun to read through after having seen the film.
Not a week goes by, it seems, that I don’t read about Ridley Scott being attached to yet another movie-in-development. I’m not the only one who’s noticed, it seems. Check out this helpful guide: Know Your Ridley Scott Projects That Will Probably Never Happen.
I am an enormous Beatles fanatic. Thus it is really painful for me that I have not yet had an opportunity to sample the newly remastered versions of all of the Beatles albums that were released last month. Scorekeeper from AICN’s detailed run-down of each Beatles album, and how the new versions match up against the original CD releases from 1987, has only further whetted my appetite.
CHUD (Cinematic Happenings Under Development) has been running a ridiculously entertaining series of posts entitled “Bad For Us, Worse For Them.” What is it about? Let me quote from their intro: This is a list of forty deaths in cinema, twenty of which that have a profound affect on the viewer whether by the sheer tragedy of it, how emotionally impactful it is, or how it is a catalyst for a real descent in the progression of the story. The other twenty are deaths that go beyond the call of duty, not because they’re cool or really well executed FX, but because they are just knee-capping in their immediacy, brutality, or simple visceral impact. Kills that will probably leave a mark. The whole list is fantastic, but I was particularly pleased to see that Spock’s death in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan merited inclusion.
Love that photograph. (I first saw it here.)
My friend Andy recently pointed me in the direction of a terrific web-comic called XKCD. It’s a self-described web-comic of “romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” My buddies who work in the computer world picked this comic as their favorite.
Here’s an interesting article that compares various shows’ original pilot episodes with what actually made it to air. I was particularly intrigued since I recently saw Joss Whedon’s original, unaired pilot for Dollhouse that was rejected by FOX (it was a special feature on the season one DVD set), which Steph and I agreed was FAR superior to the pilot that aired (and, frankly, superior to ANY episode that actually aired during the first season!! The two episodes that FOX never aired, that pilot and the epilogue episode Epitah One, were far far better than any of the 12 episodes that were actually broadcast. But that’s a blog for another time…)
Here‘s an interesting list of one fella’s thoughts on the 10 best series of the 21st century so far (2000-present). Some interesting choices there. Love his description of season 1 of Battlestar Galactica (though beware a spoiler for that season’s shocking finish if you’ve never seen it!).
Click here for an absolutely fascinating, lengthy look into Spike Jonze’s almost decade-long effort to bring Where The Wild Things Are to the big screen, from the New York Times. I cannot wait to see what he has created.
There’s a really intriguing new trailer out there for Up in the Air, the new film from director Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman, Danny McBride, and Zach Galifianakis that looks spectacular.
Last year I wrote a piece that I called My Farewell to Heroes, in which I vowed to stop watching that incredibly disappointing show. Luckily (judging by the consistently terrible reviews that the third season of the show got) I was able to stick to my vow. Life is just to short to watch shitty TV. Anyways, there’s an amusing review of the third season DVD set up at DVDactive.com (a terrific DVD/Blu-Ray site) by someone who shares my disdain for the show. Worth a read.
I’ve breen pretty down on the movies of summer 2009. My feeling has been that this was one of the more disappointing summers in recent memory. But a recent article by Devin Farici over at Chud, listing his 10 best movies of summer 2009 just might cause me to change my tune. I haven’t yet seen Moon, Away We Go, or World’s Greatest Dad (missed ‘em in theatres, but … [continued]
Welcome back to Motion Pictures! We’ve got lots of great stuff coming your way in the next few weeks (including my LENGTHY dissertation on Inglourious Basterds, coming on Wednesday). For now, let’s see what sorts of fun stuff has hit the web recently:
James Cameron has finally made another movie! And after almost two years of teases, we have at last been graced with a trailer — check it out here. I don’t hate Titanic — not at all. I happen to think, though, that it’s one of Cameron’s weaker movies — because I absolutely adore the two Terminator Films, Aliens, The Abyss, and True Lies. Those five films are all pretty much masterpieces, in my book, so I have been bummed that Mr. Cameron has gone a decade without making a new film. But that drought is finally at an end! Let’s hope Avatar is good…
Some other interesting trailers have hit recently: Here’s a glimpse at the long-delayed The Wolfman. It’s got a great cast (Benicio del Toro, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, and Emily Blunt) but the year-long delay and lots of rumors of problems with the film have me skeptical.
Then there’s the latest Michael Moore joint, Capitalism: A Love Story. Check out the trailer here. That should be interesting…
Earlier this month, when I was looking for an image of the crows from Dumbo for my Transformers cartoon making fun of the ridiculously infantile (not to mention offensive!) Skids and Mudflap, I came across this fascinating list of the Nine Most Racist Disney Characters.
In a recent interview with Europe’s Sky TV channel, Quentin Tarantino listed his twenty favorite movies of the past twenty years. It’s a pretty bizarre list, hence Chud‘s article titled Is Quentin Tarantino Totally Fucking With Us? (Unlike the author of that piece, I for one was THRILLED to see Unbreakable on that list!!)
Finally, take a gander at this:
Been there, man. TOTALLY been there. I can’t wait for this! Might have to bite the bullet and sign up for HBO for a few months so I can see the much-heralded Seinfeld reunion…… [continued]
Some great new trailers have hit the web in recent days, and they have quite a lot in common with one another in some fascinating ways.
First up, we’ve finally been given our first substantial glimpse into what Terry Gilliam has cooked up in his new film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and, as one might expect, it is spectacularly bizarre. I cannot wait to see Heath Ledger’s final performance. Click here for the trailer.
Is that not enough cinematic weirdness for you? Then check out the trailer for Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland. That man was born to make this movie. I just hope it has a little more life to it than Burton’s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory did.
Are we on a roll yet? Continuing the theme of visionary directors adapting famous books, take a peak at the newly-released second trailer for Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. That looks absolutely marvelous, doesn’t it?
Finally, speaking of visionary directors adapting famous books, here‘s a long-anticipated (by me, at least) look at Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones that is absolutely haunting. Can’t wait.… [continued]