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I am still saddened by the death, a few weeks ago, of Rene Auberjonois, who played Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  Mr. Auberjonois was an amazing actor.  Deep Space Nine is my favorite of all the Star Trek series, and Odo was one of the best characters.  Coming so soon after the death of Aron Eisenberg, who played Nog, this is such sad news.  Here’s Mr. Auberjonois’ obituary from The Washington Post.  And here’s a beautiful remembrance, written by his co-star (and on-screen soul-mate) Nana Visitor.

This first trailer for Wonder Woman: 1984 looks great!!

I dig the nineteen-eighties vibe! The action looks terrific.  Gal Gadot seems spectacular as always.  I can’t wait to see more of Kirsten Wiig’s character.  I’m intrigued by the hints as to how they brought Steve Trevor back.  (I’m assuming he’ll die again at the end, right?)  It’s going to be a long wait until summer for this one…!

And here’s a great new trailer for Jason Reitman’s new Ghostbusters film:

Wow, when that “call it fate…” line from the original 1984 film plays, I got chills.  OK, I must admit, I’m intrigued!  I wish we’d gotten another movie with the great all-female cast Paul Feig assembled for his version — if only to stick it to all the misogynistic haters.  But, failing that, this sounds like an interesting approach to take with a sequel.  Jason Reitman is a terrific director, and seeing as his father, Ivan Reitman, directed the first two Ghostbusters films, Mr. Reitman feels like the right person to help a new one!  I’m eager to see what he’s put together!  Here’s more interesting new info on Jason Reitman’s upcoming film.

Here’s our first look at Christopher Nolan’s next film, Tenet:

I don’t know what the heck the film is about, but a new Christopher Nolan film always has my interest.

Here’s an energetic first look at the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights:

That looks great!  I never saw the show, but I’m excited for this film version.

There is no world in which I will be seeing the Cats movie.  But I am fascinated by the studio’s decision to replace the version that was released to theaters with a new version of the film with updated/fixed visual effects.  Has that ever before happened?  Read the story here.

Buckle up and set aside some time to enjoy this amazing Party Down reunion.  I adore that little-seen show.  (Click here for my review of season one, and here for my review of season two.)  If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and remedy that immediately.  You won’t be disappointed, … [continued]

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I was very sad to read that D.C. Fontana has passed away.  Ms. Fontana was one of the key creative voices on Star Trek the Original Series, and also in the early days of The Next Generation (she co-wrote “Encounter at Farpoint”).  She wrote 10 of the 79 Original Series episodes, and she was hugely important in shaping so much of what we know of as Star Trek, especially the character of Spock.  She also was a key player in running Star Trek: The Animated Series, and she wrote “Yesteryear,” which is generally agreed to be, by far, the best episode of that series.  You can read more about D.C. Fontana here, and also here are David Gerrold’s beautiful remembrances of her.

We have our first trailer for Bond 25: No Time to Die:

That’s a spectacular trailer.  A great trailer doesn’t mean a great film, but I really hope it can redeem Spectre.  I am excited to see the stories and characters that have been running through these Daniel Craig Bond films continuing here.  I’m very happy to see Christoph Waltz back as Blofeld.  I hope he has a major role in the film, and this isn’t just a cameo.  (I really really want Blofeld to be the dangerous threat to Bond that he failed to be in Spectre.)  I’m pleased to see Léa Seydoux back as Dr. Madeleine Swann, in what appears to be a significant role.  Her romance with Bond was unconvincing for me in Spectre, but I am glad this new film isn’t forgetting about her and that it looks like she’ll have a significant role here.  (I’d assumed she’d be dead by the time the opening song began.  I’m very pleased the film isn’t taking that predictable and lame route.)  I’d love for this film to develop the Bond-Madeleine story in a more satisfying way that Spectre did.  I’m pleased to see Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw all back (as M, Monneypenny, and Q), and I was also happy to catch what I think was a glimpse of Rory Kinnear’s Bill Tanner.  I am THRILLED to see Jeffrey Wright back as Felix Leiter (for the first time since 2008’s Quantum of Solace a decade ago) and I’m also supper-excited for Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch as a new double-oh agent.  (Is she Bond’s replacement as 007??)  Ana de Armas was amazing in Blade Runner 2040 and in Knives Out, so I’m excited to see what she can do as a Bond woman.  This is all great stuff so far in this trailer.  I hope the film is good!!

Here’s a new trailer for Black Widow’s long-awaited solo film:

That looks … [continued]

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Well, obviously the biggest new trailer to drop recently is this look at The Rise of Skywalker:

That trailer is crazy huge.  There is a lot of extraordinary imagery in there.  Will the movie be any good?  Who knows!  A great trailer for a Star Wars film doesn’t necessarily mean the film itself will be good.  (See: the great trailers for all of the Prequel films.)  But boy am I excited.  (Best thing about this spectacular trailer?  Hearing the late great Carrie Fisher deliver the final line: “Always.”)

Is that not enough Star Wars awesomeness for you?  Here’s the latest trailer for The Mandalorian, which launches next week!!

I am really pumped for this show.

This is interesting: a documentary on Galaxy Quest called Never Surrender that will be released to theaters for one night later this month via Fathom Events:

I’m not sure I need to see this in a movie theatre, but I’m definitely interested in this documentary!  I love Galaxy Quest!  (I’m glad we get to hear from some Star Trek people in the doc, and I’m happy that the doc, and the above trailer, showcase Brent Spiner’s terrific Patrick Stewart impersonation…!)

I adore Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, and for years I’ve longed to see a high-quality adaptation.  And so I am thrilled that a 10-episode adaptation for Apple+ is moving forward!  I have hugely high hopes for this.

I was surprised to read that Game of Thrones show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are no longer working on their Star Wars trilogy project that was originally announced with such fanfare.  I am sure there is more to this story…!  (Meanwhile, I am eager to learn what Disney’s plans are for the next Star Wars film after The Rise of Skywalker.  I know they’re marketing this film as the end of the Star Wars saga, but there’s no way we won’t be getting lots more new Star Wars films on a regular base for the near future…)

Speaking of Game of Thrones, I was also surprised to read that the in-development prequel project, for which they’d shot a pilot written by Jane Goldman and starring Naomi Watts, has also been cancelled.  I’m surprised HBO isn’t moving forward full speed ahead on new Game of Thrones product!  I wonder what went wrong?  Will this pilot ever see the light of day?  Doubtful, but I’m sure curious to see what they made…  Meanwhile, another Game of Thrones prequel project, House of the Dragon, has been ordered straight to series!  Why did this prequel get a series order without having to make a pilot, while the other project actually made a project before getting shut down…?  I am … [continued]

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Two exciting new Star Trek trailers dropped this week!  First up is this look at Picard:

This is a very solid trailer.  Lots to get excited about here.  The production values of this show look spectacular, which makes me happy.  (On the other hand, Discovery also had terrific production values, but that show disappointed me again and again.)  I love the glimpses of Starfleet Headquarters, and the holographic projection of the Enterprise D!  I love the glimpse of Data — and he’s painting!  Nice nod to TNG continuity.  (And also, apparently a confirmation of my theory that Data in this show would only be appearing in Picard’s memories/dreams.  Note that Data is wearing the TNG-era uniform, and not the later uniform of the movies, or what we see of current Starfleet uniforms in the Picard era.)  It’s also exciting to see Riker and Troi, though actually that was the aspect of the trailer that I was least into.  I am not wild about the idea that Riker and Troi have retired to the woods.  Why is everyone from the TNG an old hermit now?  Jonathan Frakes is still vital and working despite his age here in the 21st century (he’s a fantastic director) — so wouldn’t Riker all the more so still be in the thick of things in the 24th century?  I want Riker to be (finally) in command of a starship!  But there is lots here that makes me happy.  I really hope the show is good.

Discovery also dropped a trailer for their third season:

This is also a great trailer.  I’m intrigued for to see this depiction of 1,000 years ahead in Star Trek’s future.  I’ve always wanted these Trek shows to go forward in time, not backwards… and I’ve also often thought that a cool premise for a future-set Trek show would be the depiction of the re-establishment of the Federation after some sort of catastrophe.  That sorts of seems to be what we’re getting here, and I am intrigued.  I love the glimpse of a version of the Federation emblem (albeit with what looks like far fewer stars on it).  I love Burnham’s various new looks.  I love seeing what looks like the return of Craft, from the terrific Short Treks short film “Calypso”, written by Michael Chabon.  I’m VERY intrigued by the appearance of Trills, as well as the symbiont pools — a deep-cut reference to Deep Space Nine!  I don’t have much expectation that I will ever love this show… but hope springs eternal.  (And I continually remind myself that neither Next Generation nor Deep Space Nine were much good for their first two seasons, either…)

I think this … [continued]

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I’m intrigued by this trailer for Ad Astra:

I love sci-fi, and I’m always up for an original sci-fi story.  This looks like it’s got a great cast, and visually the trailer is impressive.

Here’s another trailer that has me intrigued: an adaptation of Doctor Sleep, Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining!

That’s a terrific trailer.  I’m really interested in this one now.  So many of these Stephen King adaptations just don’t work, but I’m always hopeful…

Here’s a look at Disney’s Frozen II, a film which I expect to be HUGE:

There’s some gorgeous imagery there.  Will the film have a story that’s a worthy successor to the first film?  We’ll see…

So Marvel is re-releasing Avengers: Endgame back into theaters, with new footage?  I’m interested, though it doesn’t sound to me like the new footage is going to be very substantial.  (But I love this sort of thing.  I remember back in the day when they re-released The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring back into theaters with a lengthy sequence of first-look footage from The Two Towers at the end.  I loved that!!)

This is a spectacular, in-depth look back at Babylon 5.  I have a warm place in my heart for this show.  I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine more (both sci-fi shows set on a space-station aired around the same time, originally, in the nineties), but I also love B5.  The show is flawed, for sure, but when it was great (which was often, particularly in the middle seasons), it was spectacular.  I’m due for a rewatch.

(Here’s a great interview with Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski on the show’s 25th anniversary a few months back.)

Speaking of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I was sad to read of the death of Peter Allen Fields, one of the key writers for the show, who wrote such DS9 masterpieces as “Duet” and “In the Pale Moonlight.”  He also co-wrote “The Inner Light” for Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of Trek’s finest hours.

They’re really making a third Kingsman movie?  I was really excited for both of the first two films, but didn’t wind up enjoying either one as much as I’d hoped

Amazon’s adaptation of The Dark Tower is shooting!  This thing will actually exist someday!!  I am super-excited.  I adore the books and I was very disappointed by the recent film adaptation.  I hope the series gets it right.

I’ll leave you with this: a fascinating look back at the making of “The Rainbow Connection.”

Please support MotionPicturesComics.com by clicking through one of our Amazon links the next time you need [continued]

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A blu-ray of the amazing documentary What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which I reviewed on Wednesday, is now available for pre-order at Amazon!

Have you heard about the kids at North Bergen High School in New Jersey who adapted Alien for the stage?  The full recording is now available to watch, and it is so fun:

Wait, Avengers: Endgame ISN’T actually the end of the MCU?  Heh.  Here’s a new trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home:

That looks great.  I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming, and I’m eager for more of the MCU’s Spider-Man.  I’m intrigued by Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, presented in the trailer as a good guy!  It’d be fun if the film does something different with Mysterio, but since I’m not seeing evidence of another villain in the film, I’m assuming he becomes evil by the end… we’ll see what surprises the film has in store.  (I’m intrigued by the references to the multiverse, which suggests the film is somewhat based on how Brian Michael Bendis used the character in his Ultimate Spider-Man comic-book series.  This also, of course, makes me think of the phenomenal Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  Is it possible that Far from Home will connect to Spider-Verse somehow?  That’d be fun.)  The film, thankfully, seems like it won’t ignore the events of Endgame, though I remain worried, as I wrote in my Endgame review, as to how this and other future MCU films can possible deal satisfactorily with the fallout from the “five years later” jump.  Far From Home director Jon Watts has good things to say about being excited to explore the fallout from Endgame in his film… so we’ll see how this all plays out…!

Here’s our first trailer for It: Chapter Two:

That’s a great trailer!  I love the choice to present that long scene.  I loved It: Chapter One and this sequel has a fantastic cast, including Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and James McAvoy.  I can’t wait.

I’m not sure the new Watchmen series for HBO, overseen by Damon Lindeloff, is anything close to a good idea.  But I must admit to being intrigued by the notion of carrying the story forward beyond the events of the graphic novel by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons.  This first trailer is interesting, even though I don’t have much of a clue what’s going on:

I’m disappointed that Angie Tribeca has been cancelled.  I’m not shocked, as this show seems to have been flying completely under most everyone’s radar.  Personally, I loved the first three seasons (click here for my review of season one) and I’ve been enjoying season 4 so … [continued]

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Examining the First Star Wars: Episode IX Trailer!

April 15th, 2019

On Friday we got our first peek at footage from Star Wars: Episode IX!  It’s a great trailer but a terrible title.  Let’s take a look:


I love the trailer but hate the title.

“Rise of” anything is just a terrible way to start a title.  It’s way overplayed (Terminator: Rise of the Machines, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Rise of the Planet of the Apes… shall I go on?) and it’s generic and meaningless.

Furthermore, The Rise Of Skywalker feels very awkward to me.  Maybe (hopefully) this will make more sense when we see the movie, but Skywalker isn’t a thing or a single person who can “Rise,” it’s a family name.  So this feels clumsy to me.  (Is “Skywalker” going to be the name of the resistance or rebellion or whatever moving forward?  Perhaps this will be the uprising of the Force-wielding kids spreading the Skywalker legend, as glimpsed at the end of The Last Jedi?)

Also, the title increases my fear of a reversal of one of my favorite unexpected choices in The Last Jedi: the revelation that, despite the mystery raised in The Force Awakens, Rey’s parents weren’t actually anyone significant.  With J.J. Abrams returning to the director’s seat, I’d been worried this would be reversed in Episode IX, because clearly Abrams’ original intention in The Force Awakens WAS for Rey’s parents to be someone we knew (why else create such a mystery around their identities?), and because this is pretty easy to reverse (by just saying that Kylo Ren lied to Rey).  The presence of Skywalker in the title strongly suggests the Skywalker family won’t end with Luke’s death in the last movie.  Are we going to find out Rey is a Skywalker after all?  (I hope not.)

But while I hate the title, I love the trailer!  It’s gorgeous and tantalizing, just as a teaser should be.

I love the callbacks to the first trailer for The Force Awakens (which began with a shot of Finn, alone, panting, on a desert world), and also the first trailer for Episode I (which had the title cards “Every generation has a legend” and “Every Saga has a beginning,” here paralleled by the repetition of the former and the “the saga comes to an end” text).

My favorite shot in the trailer is the joyous yell of Lando Calrissian, back in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.  I feel just like Lando in that moment!  I’ve been very disappointed that Billy Dee Williams wasn’t brought back for the previous two Star Wars films, so I am so thankful and happy to see him here.

I’m very happy … [continued]

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Let’s begin with the upcoming movie that I am most excited to see (OK, after Endgame, I guess):

I am so excited to finally see What We Left Behind, a documentary looking back at my favorite of all the Star Trek series: Deep Space Nine!  I backed the kickstarter that funded this project, so I’ll be able to stream this soon.  But I couldn’t conceive of missing the documentary’s one night in theaters, courtesy of Shout! Studios and Fathom Events.  My tickets are purchased!  Will you be joining me…?

Next up: our first glimpse at the next Quentin Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood:

That’s a great tease.  I am excited that a brand new Tarantino movie is only a few months away!

I don’t know what exactly to make of this first trailer for the Joker movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix:

On the one hand, I am always open for a movie that takes superhero/supervillain characters dead seriously, and this certainly looks like a well-made, bonkers piece of work.  So I’m intrigued.  On the other hand, it looks so horrific and joyless that it’s hard to muster too much enthusiasm.  Also, please name one movie that tried to turn a comic book villain into the main character, without the hero, that wasn’t absolutely terrible.  You can’t.  This feels like DC/Warner Brothers having absolutely no idea what to do with their stable of DC characters.  So I’m not sure what to think.

On a lighter note, here’s the first full trailer for Toy Story 4:

I loved Toy Story 3 so much; I felt it was the perfect final chapter for this series.  (Did it really come out almost a decade ago??)  So far all three Toy Story films have been great, and I have faith in the talented men and women at Pixar, so while I don’t feel the need for any more Toy Story films, I have no reason to doubt the quality of this coming fourth film.  This trailer shows a bit too much of the movie, but it suggests that there’s lots of new existential ground for this new film to cover.  I can’t wait.

Stranger Things season 3 is coming on July 4, 2019.  Here’s our first detailed trailer:

That looks like fun!  Some great imagery in that trailer.

For all you Parks and Rec fans out there, here is a report from the Paley Center’s 10th anniversary celebration of the show.  This sounds like it would have been amazing to have been at!

It looks like Amazon’s Dark Tower series might actually happen!  I adore these books, and I’m still bummed that the long-awaited film adaptation was so lame.  … [continued]

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I have watched this most recent trailer for Avengers: Endgame a lot:

I love the nostalgia-focused first half of the trailer, with well-used clips and soundbites from previous films.  (They really tease fans with that Peggy Carter audio!!  That’s from a previous film, but my heart sang for a moment at the thought that maybe she’d appear somehow in Endgame?  Hope springs eternal.)  I love seeing Hawkeye’s daughter (a nice nod to the comics), and I’m intrigued at the glimpses of Hawkeye in the Ronin identity (another nice nod to a story-line from the comics).  (I am guessing that young-girl vanished in the snap, which I’m assuming prompted Hawkeye’s grimness in the trailer and his weird grief-haircut.)  That shot of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) looking at all the missing photos (having presumably escaped from the Quantum Realm where he was stranded at the end of Ant Man and the Wasp) is heartbreaking.  I’m intrigued by the new white Avengers uniforms glimpsed towards the end of the trailer.  (Are those their going-into-space uniforms?)  And, of course, that last shot with Captain Marvel was fantastic; now that we’ve seen the mid-credits scene in Captain Marvel, it’s fun to imagine what role she will play in Endgame.  I’m impressed at how little we actually know about this film’s story, this close to release.  Note that NONE of the film’s trailers have shown new footage of Thanos, who the Avengers will obviously be confronting, eventually, in Endgame.  But we don’t have any idea how this will all play out, which I find very exciting.  Once again, I am hoping and hoping that Marvel will be able to stick the landing.

In other Marvel news — James Gunn has been reinstated to direct Guardians of the Galaxy volume 3!!!  This is fantastic news, I am overjoyed.  What a relief.  I am excited to see how Mr. Gunn will finish this trilogy of films.  (I’m a bit bummed that we’ll have to wait until after he makes his planned Suicide Squad sequel/reboot, which he’s signed on to do after getting dumped by Disney, but if this is what it takes I am not complaining, and I’m happy these two companies, Marvel and Warners, were able to work this all out.)

Here’s our first true substantial look at Game of Thrones’ final season, now only a few weeks away!

I am excited.  I am hoping against hope that they can stick the landing.  (Here’s an interesting look at the lengthy runtime of the series’ final six episodes!)

Rifftrax is 10 years old!!  Here’s a funny short highlight reel they put together:

For those not in the know, Rifftrax is an offshoot of Mystery … [continued]

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Let’s start with this amazing creation:

Topher Grace and Jeff Yorkes wove together footage from every single Star Wars film so far to create a gorgeous, emotional five-minute tribute to the Star Wars saga.  I have watched this thing a LOT of times so far.  What an incredible expression of love for Star Wars, and what an impressive achievement of editing.  I love the way they juxtaposed moments from the different films in order to connect events and characters.  And I love that they even included snippets of deleted scenes from Episode III, A New Hope, and Return of the Jedi.  Most impressive!

The second trailer for Dark Phoenix recently appeared:

I’m not sure what to think.  X-Men: The Last Stand broke my heart because it bungled the Dark Phoenix storyline.  I’ve long hoped for a reboot.  But so far what we’ve seen of Dark Phoenix doesn’t look any more faithful to the original comics (by Chris Claremont and John Byrne) than The Last Stand was.  For example, the trailer’s opening moment in which a tearful Jean asks “why did you make me do that?” implies that she’s not in control of her actions, which in my opinion is a complete misunderstanding of the Dark Phoenix story, which is about how ultimate power can corrupt even the most noble of souls.  (True, the later comic book stories that returned Jean to the Marvel Universe retconned the Dark Phoenix Saga to suggest that the Phoenix power wasn’t from within Jean, but was an alien entity that had bonded with her.  But even so, I still think it’s incorrect to depict Jean as being controlled by that entity.)  Also, from what we can see on this recently-released poster, Jean’s Dark Phoenix attire doesn’t look anything like her iconic look from the comics, but instead looks almost exactly like the sort of silly dark red jacked that Famke Janssen wore as Dark Phoenix in The Last Stand.  What a weird choice!  With the X-Men characters returning to MCU control following the Disney-Fox merger, Dark Phoenix feels like a “lame duck” movie, as I expect these characters and stories to soon be rebooted and incorporated into the MCU.  I still want Dark Phoenix to be amazing… but as of now I’m not expecting too much…

(And, actually, there is one other remaining Fox X-Men film — the much-delayed New Mutants.  Apparently the planned reshoots for that film still haven’t happened… will they ever…?)

We also recently got our second trailer for the rebooted Hellboy film:

As with Dark Phoenix, I’m not blown away by what we’ve seen of this film so far.  I desperately want this film to be great.  This second … [continued]

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News Around the Net! UPDATED with Avengers 4 Trailer!

UPDATE: The first trailer for Avengers 4 has finally dropped!

First off: the title.  Endgame.  That’s… OK.  Not a bad title, but it’s a bit generic.  I think the phrase “endgame” is a bit overused in genre circles, and Dr. Strange’s line in Infinity War that “we’re in the endgame now” frankly wasn’t my favorite piece of dialogue in the film.  I’m not sure why Marvel felt the need to keep this title so top-secret for the last few years!  After such a build-up, this title is a bit disappointing.  But it’s fine.  The title underlines the importance of Dr. Strange’s line of dialogue in Infinity War that there was only one way in billions to defeat Thanos.  I’d commented in my original review that I suspected that Strange’s choice to give Thanos the Time Stone wasn’t a defeat but, in fact, the key to victory.  From this title, it looks like I was right, big time.

As for the rest of the trailer — excellent!  We don’t actually see very much, but it’s a great tease.  The first half with Tony Stark is fantastic and strikes the right “hopeless” tone.  I like seeing this more substantial clip rather than just fast-paced shots.  I love the way the Marvel logo dissolves just like everyone dying at the end of Infinity War.  I’m delighted to see Hawkeye (who appears to be dressed up as Ronin from the comics — that’s an interesting touch and a nice reference for comic book fans) and Ant Man in the trailer, since they were the two main characters left out of Infinity War.  (Looks like Scott escaped from his perilous situation in the post-credits sequence of Ant Man and the Wasp!)  I love what I am seeing so far.  I really hope Marvel can stick the landing on this one.  I am counting the days.

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled post…!

Stop what you’re doing and please watch Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie’s new short PSA about how the motion-smoothing setting on most HD-TVs ruins movies.  Their life-and-death, super-serious tone is sort of hilarious. But also, I agree!! I am evangelical about this, though most of my friends and family just shake their heads. Turn off this setting so that you can watch movies properly!!

Then, for follow-up reading, this is a great piece on Tom Cruise and Mr. McQuarrie (author of The Usual Suspects)’s many recent collaborations.

This is an inspiring interview with architect Frank Gehry on how he got started.

I’m impressed and awed that, after more than a half-century, Doonesbury continues.  Here’s a great interview by Rolling Stone with Garry Trudeau.

Red alert: Nicholas Meyer, one of the … [continued]

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Check out this gorgeous new trailer for Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land)’s new film about Neil Armstrong, First Man:

Wow that looks spectacular!  I love movies about the space program.  This looks like it has the potential to be something special.

Here’s our first look at Shane Black’s Predator reboot:

I dunno.  I desperately want this to be good, and I have enormous faith in the amazingly talented Shane Black (who appeared in the original Predator and wrote and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys, two films I adore), but this trailer isn’t giving me much reason to think this will be better than all the other bad Predator sequels we’ve gotten previously…

Here’s the latest trailer for Sony’s Venom:

Oy.  Look at all this talent and money put towards a movie that feels like a shameless attempt for Sony to make money on a character they have the rights to.  I don’t see any true creative reason to make a movie about one of Spider-Man’s greatest villains that doesn’t include Spider-Man.  I am intrigued to see Tom Hardy playing another weird-talking character, though…!

In better Spider-Man related movie news, I love this new trailer for the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

I love that Miles Morales is getting a movie focused on him, and the animation looks fantastic.  I am very curious about this, and hoping it will be good.

Not to be ignored: this past season, The Simpsons finally did what had long been considered to be impossible, and surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running primetime scripted series in U.S. history.  Wowsers.

Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars TV show will be set seven years after Return of the Jedi.  I can’t wait to learn more about this project!  A Star Wars TV show, if done right could be amazing.  (And if done wrong, it could be The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles…)

Speaking of TV shows tangentially connected to huge movie series: Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show will apparently begin by following the adventures of young Aragorn.  (The Young Aragorn Chronicles??)   I have been dubious about this idea since it was announced — I feel like Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies adapted Tolkein about as well as can possibly be done, so I’m not sure that going back to this well is of much interest to me.  Still, I will withhold judgment until we learn more…  I’m glad, at least, that the show won’t just be a retelling of the same events we already saw on screen in the LOTR and Hobbit films…

This is a fantastic round-table interview with a group of TV critics … [continued]

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Movie Trailers and More News Around the Net!

February 9th, 2018

As usual, quite a few interesting new movie trailers debuted during the Super Bowl.

My favorite was this new look at Infinity War:

Holy cow am I excited for that movie.  Every shot in that short teaser is great, highlighting this crossover movie’s assemblage of heroes.  Thor is with the Guardians off the Galaxy!  Iron Man and Spider-Man and Doctor Strange!  Captain America and the Hulk and the Black Panther and the Black Widow together in Wakanda!  Very cool.  I love the triumphant presentation of the Avengers theme.  And that last shot of Thanos looks terrific.

We’ve finally gotten our first glimpse at Solo (coming out in just THREE MONTHS, which is crazy), with the Super Bowl trailer and then an extended version:

Any glimpse of footage from a new Star Wars film is a cause for excitement, and we see a lot of great stuff in those teaser trailers.  The cast looks great (I love the shots of Donald Glover as Lando — I am excited to see his interpretation of the character) and those shots of the Millennium Falcon in action are gorgeous.  (I love that look at the pristine white corridor of the Falcon.)  But I don’t see anything yet to convince me that a Young Han Solo movie is anything other than a dumb idea.  (I also continue to be worried about whether Alden Ehrenreich will work as Han.  He looks the part, but I wasn’t taken by his voice-over in the longer trailer.  His voice sounded too high-pitched to me.  He didn’t sound anything like Han Solo, to my ears.)  We’ll see…

I absolutely loved this first look at Mission: Impossible — Fallout:

That is a pretty bonkers trailer!  The last few Mission: Impossible movies have been pretty great, so I have high hopes this will continue.  The cast is once again great (I love how many returning characters we glimpse) and there is a lot of pretty terrific-looking action in that trailer.

On the other end of the spectrum is this trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom:

Blech.  I thought Jurassic World was terrible, and so far the trailers for the sequel look even worse and more nonsensical.  I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t expect to be.

I loved the first two Cloverfield films, and I am excited for the third:

And it’s available to watch RIGHT NOW on Netflix??  Fantastic.

Wow, following the success of DC/Warner Brothers’ Wonder Woman, Marvel has made a Black Widow movie?  Fantastic!

Oh, sorry, that’s Red Sparrow.  My mistake.  This one feels like it could go either way.  With Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton, this could be a great adult thriller… or it … [continued]

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Taking a Deep Dive into the Avengers: Infinity War Trailer!

December 1st, 2017

Howsabout that new Avengers: Infinity War trailer, huh?

That’s a great trailer.  I feel as excited as I did during the months of anticipation for the first Avengers film, wondering whether Marvel would be able to pull off this grand experiment and succeed in their unprecedented super-hero crossover film.  Boy, did they.  The Avengers was a fantastic film, a terrific payoff to the stories woven through that first wave of solo films.  It satisfied fans and was an enormous global blockbuster.

We’re only a few years later, but at this point we are so much deeper into this interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Thor: Ragnarok was the seventeenth Marvel Studios film, and Avengers: Infinity War will be the nineteenth.  How crazy is that?  We are so far beyond any comparisons to any other film franchise.  Infinity War promises to draw together the tapestry of this massive film saga.  (There are still several films left in Marvel’s “Phase Three” of films, but by the time we arrive at the as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers film in 2020, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige promises what we’ve “never seen in superhero films: a finale.”)

Just look at all the characters in this trailer!  Pretty much every Avenger is glimpsed, along with Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, the Black Panther, and, in that fantastic tease of a final shot, the Guardians of the Galaxy.  If you thought seeing the handful of original Avengers teaming up was cool, Marvel is telling us, just wait until you see ALL these characters team up in Infinity War!

Of course, we don’t know yet when or even if all these characters will ever actually appear on screen together, but this trailer hints at several exciting new character pairings, from Bruce Banner and Tony Stark hanging with Doctor Strange and Wong to, of course, Thor bumping into the Guardians.

I have been wondering how closely this film will hew to the classic Infinity Gauntlet story from the comics (written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by George Perez and Ron Lim).  Thanos already HAS all of the Infinity Stones (they were called Infinity Gems in the comics) by the time the Infinity Gauntlet story begins.  I have been assuming that this first Infinity War movie will actually me more of an adaptation of Thanos Quest, the two-part story that came before the Infinity Gauntlet, in which Thanos wreaked havoc across the galaxy in his quest to acquire all of the Infinity Gems.  We see hints of that in this trailer, as in several shots of Thanos we see him with only two of the Stones in his gauntlet.  The purple one looks to be the Power Stone which we last saw being given … [continued]

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So, how about this gorgeous new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer??

Wowsers!  I’ve been waiting for months for another peek at this new film after the terrific first trailer, and this sure delivered.  There’s a lot to take in.  I cannot wait for this to come out in two short months.  My tickets are purchased!  (For a great analysis of the trailer, click here.)

So it seems that 2016’s six-episode X-Files mini-series was not the end, and an additional ten episodes are coming our way later this year.  Here’s the new trailer:

I have been a huge X-Files fan since the very beginning, so I have to admit that trailer gets me excited for new episodes.  (That “Mind is I smoke?” line is great.)  We’re getting ten episodes this time, which feels like a real season, so that feels like a good thing.  However, I thought the 2016 six-episode re-launch was mostly a disappointment (click here for my over-all review, and click here for my episode-by-episode analysis) and with basically the same creative team behind the scenes I am not that optimistic the quality will improve.  I’d love to be wrong.  This once-great series deserves to go out on a high note.

Speaking of things about which I am not hugely optimistic, here comes a new trailer for Justice League:

With all the behind-the-schenes meshugoss at DC/Warner Brothers, I am certainly curious to see what kind of movie this winds up being.  Just how much influence will Joss Whedon wind up exerting over the finished product?  We’ll see very soon…

Last month was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and I posted links to some wonderful articles looking back on that phenomenal show.  Here’s one more, a great oral history of the show.

So James Cameron is going to be involved with the next Terminator sequel, and it will star both Arnold Schwarzenegger AND, for the first time since 1991’s T2: Judgment Day, Linda Hamilton??  Is it still possible to make a good Terminator film after so many failed attempts??  I am dubious, but with James Cameron’s involvement I can dare to dream.

Here is a link to two video clips of Jerry Seinfeld on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, in which Mr. Kimmel asks Mr. Seinfeld whether he can still enjoy Bill Cosby’s comedy now, knowing all that we know now.  Mr. Seinfeld has long spoken of Cosby as one of his main comedic heroes (this came up a lot in the movie Comedian).  It’s interesting in these clips to see Mr. Seinfeld wrestle with this question, at first giving an automatic answer and then changing his mind as … [continued]

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Updates to the Site and News Around the Net!

Do you like the new Guardians of the Galaxy cartoon on the homepage?  We’ve made a few updates to the site, most notably finally getting some social media buttons back on the individual pages, so feel free to share away on-line and spread the MotionPicturesComics.com goodness!  I’ve also added a “portfolio” section to the site, with samples of some of my illustration work.  Go ahead and take a peek and let me know what you think.

OK, what else is happening around the interwebs?

Let’s start things off with this extraordinary, in-depth interview with David Letterman.  Sit back and enjoy this great read.  You’re welcome.

Let it be known that I believe in the Oxford comma.  Here is a great reason why.

Oh man, a new film from Edgar Wright is coming out this summer?  I cannot wait.  Look at this cast.  This looks like a lot of fun:

Here’s a trailer for Becoming Bond, which tells the story of George Lazenby and his one Bond movie (the vastly underrated On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) through what looks like a combination of documentary footage and reenactments with a great cast.  I am intrigued:

Holy cow check out this new trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes:

I cannot wait for that!!

How great is this new Spider-Man: Homecoming poster??  I love it!  There’s also a new trailer, but I’m not going to post it here because unfortunately gives away far too much of the movie’s plot.  I hate trailers like that.  I wish I hadn’t watched this one.  So click on the above link at your peril.

Meanwhile, in DC-land, this new Wonder Woman trailer looks great.  Is this film going to break the DC movieverse’s losing streak?  Here’s hoping:

This new trailer for the Justice League (the DCU movie following Wonder Woman) is a little less encouraging.

There’s nothing bad in the trailer, but neither is there anything thrilling.  For the most part, this looks like more of what we got in Batman v. Superman — dark, loud, and messy — and if that’s truly the case, then we’re in trouble.  (Though I do love that snippet of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.  J.K. Simmons can do no wrong.  Is there any possibility that we can get him to reprise his role as J.J. Jameson in an upcoming Spider-Man movie??)

I didn’t know anything about this movie Atomic Blonde before watching this trailer, but now I am desperate to see it.  The trailer makes this look like a Matthew Vaughn type of mix of mayhem and fun; if the actual movie delivers on this promise, this one is going to be great:… [continued]

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News Around the Net

Coming out of the spectacular Rogue One, my excitement for all things Star Wars is riding high.  Coming to fan the flames is this awesome new teaser for the remaining episodes of Season Three of Star Wars: Rebels:

Obviously the huge bombshell is the first animated appearance of Alec Guinness-era Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the tease of a long-awaited rematch with Darth Maul.  But there’s a lot more than just that to get excited by.  There’s Saw Gerrera from Rogue One, with Forest Whitaker returning to voice the character, a super-cool crossover.  We see hints of what looks like an enormous space battle between the Rebel Alliance and a group of Imperial Star Destroyers.  There’s Mon Mothma and Bail Organa and General Dodonna, and I think we get a glimpse of Wedge Antilles, too!  I’m excited by the idea that these upcoming episodes will start to show us the assembly of the Rebel Alliance that we know from the Original Trilogy, and now also from Rogue One.  It’s also cool to see more of Admiral Thrawn.  (Is the show going to allow Thrawn to be defeated to easily?  That’d be a letdown. But, on the other hand, I wonder… the opening crawl of the original Star Wars describes what we just saw in Rogue One as the Battle of Scariff as the Rebels’ “first victory” against the Empire.  Is it possible that Rebels is going to show the Rebels LOSING this fight, and Thrawn coming out on top?  That would be very interesting, and very cool…)

I am super-excited by this first full trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming:

Holy cow that is a spectacular trailer.  The reinvention of Spider-Man seen in Captain America: Civil War was phenomenal, and this strong trailer only makes me even more excited for Tom Holland to star in the role in his own film.  I love how gently this trailer reminds you that Spidey is now firmly in the Marvel cinematic universe — doesn’t it just feel so perfect?  I love the Avengers bank-robbers and WOW that show of Spidey and Iron Man together at the end was incredible.  I loved the way the Civil War writers crafted the relationship between Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Tom Holland’s young peter Parker, and I am so excited that this upcoming Spidey film will explore that dynamic further.  It is super-cool that they got Mr. Downey Jr. to appear in this film.  Also — is that Ganke as Peter’s best friend??  Ganke is a character created by Brian Michael Bendis as the best-friend of Mr. Bendis’ “ultimate” Spider-Man, Miles Morales.  Have they co-opted the Ganke character to be Peter Parker’s best friend for this movie?  I’m beyond excited … [continued]

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News Around the Net

We’ve been getting some fun teases lately for Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2.  (Great title, by the way.)  This is a solid poster and the tag-line, “obviously”, is genius.  And then there is this tantalizing new trailer:

That hits all the right notes for me.  Love it.

After the release of a series of photos, we also got our first real look at the upcoming Wolverine solo film, titled Logan, with this trailer:

While this trailer squashes any hope I might have had for a more faithful adaptation of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s brilliant comic book story Old Man Logan (something I really never should have even dared hope for, since this X-Men series, even when it is great, has never shown any interest in faithful adaptations of classic X-Men stories), I am very happy by what I see here.  It looks like they’ve taken some of the general ideas of Old Man Logan to craft an entirely new story, and I am impressed that they’ve chosen to jump into the future and leave the rest of the X-Men franchise behind.  Hugh Jackman (sporting a crazy Mel Gibson-like beard) and Patrick Stewart both seem as awesome as usual.  I am excited for this.  (My one quibble — one of the coolest ideas of Old Man Logan was that Logan had vowed never to unsheathe his claws again, and so they make you wait a long, long, long time before you finally get a “snikt.”  From this trailer, in which we see plenty of Logan’s claws, I guess the film is taking a different approach…)

Holy cow, is there really a new Martin Scorsese movie coming out next month??  Here’s a look at Silence:

Whoo, that looks harrowing.  I am very intrigued by that trailer.

This new look at Kong: Skull Island is… well… take a look:

This trailer really shows us a lot of the shape of the movie.  Most significantly, we see the real monsters/villains of the film other than Kong.  I was surprisingly taken by the goofy tone of the trailer.  Is this movie going to balance a war-movie aesthetic with a lot of humor as well as this trailer does?  We’ll see…

Cars is my least favorite of all the Pixar movies.  As a result, Cars 2 is the only Pixar movie I’ve never seen!  So I’m not really interested in a Cars 3, though I admit that my eyebrows were raised by this weird, grim teaser:

I’m not sure I understand Disney studio’s desire to seemingly create a live-action remake of every single one of their animated films, but this trailer for Beauty and the Beast is impressive:

That’s a spectacular cast and the … [continued]

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News Around the Net!

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]

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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?

Oh man.

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]

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Return of the Jedi

December 1st, 2014

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]

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August 13th, 2013

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]

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“If You Awaken That Beast… It Will Destroy Us All!” First Trailer for The Desolation of Smaug!

June 11th, 2013

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!

And Smaug!!

Can’t wait.

 … [continued]

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Pineapple Express 2!

April 2nd, 2013

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]

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“I Will Walk Over Your Cold Corpses” — New Trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness

March 21st, 2013

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]

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Much Ado About Whedon

March 8th, 2013

Oh my god.  Yes please.


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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:

In a similar end-of-the-world vein, here’s the first photo from Simon Pegg’s The World’s End, re-teaming him with Nick Frost and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz).

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]

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News Around the Net!

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]

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Benedict Cumberbatch + Star Trek = Great

December 6th, 2012


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…


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The Marvel Universe Phase 2 Begins as the Mandarin Strikes!

October 23rd, 2012

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]

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News Around the Net!

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]

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“The World is Ahead” — Peter Jackson Unleashes a New Trailer for “The Hobbit”!!

September 19th, 2012

Magnificent.  LOVE the use, as dialogue, of a lyric from Pippin’s mournful song from Return of the King.

See you there!… [continued]

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July 31st, 2012

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]

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The Man of Steel Rises

July 21st, 2012
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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]

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James Bond Will Return!

May 21st, 2012

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:


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The Dark Knight Rises

May 1st, 2012
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This Is Forty

May 1st, 2012

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]

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I Know That Voice!

April 17th, 2012

Check out this trailer for a fascinating-looking documentary about voice-over actors.  I really want to see this:


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In Space, No One Can Hear Anyone Deny that Prometheus is an Alien Prequel

December 27th, 2011
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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…

This isn’t a trailer.  Well, not exactly.  It’s a “sweded” version (come on, you’ve seen Be Kind Rewind, right?) of the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, and it’s pretty phenomenal:

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:


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December 22nd, 2011

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!


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An Unexpected Journey

December 20th, 2011

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]

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Muppets Assemble!

October 20th, 2011

OK, I’m in!… [continued]

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Avengers Assemble!

October 18th, 2011

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]

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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.

You can read the rest of Rabbi Linden’s terrific post here.

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]

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When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield!

July 6th, 2011

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]

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Green With Envy!

May 24th, 2011

Thirty seconds into this trailer, you might be thinking “hey, I like Jason Segel, but why the heck am I watching this trailer??”

Trust me.

Was I wrong??  Heh heh.  Can’t wait.… [continued]

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News Around the Net!

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 a very funny trailer for 30 Minutes of Less.  I love the idea of Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari as buddies.  I’m looking forward to this one.

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]

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“Now, Mister Stark” — Full-Length Trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger!

March 24th, 2011


OK, I’m officially excited.… [continued]

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News Around the Net!

December 28th, 2010
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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!

Speaking of Pixar, these posters promoting Toy Story 3 for consideration for a Best Picture Oscar are pretty freakin’ phenomenal.

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!!

I am really loving the new web-site Badassdigest, and articles like this piece by Devin Faraci called Can We Ever Love Jack Black Again? are one reason why.

Speaking of bad-ass, here’s a funny piece from JoBlo called 10 Bad Ass Villains Who really Weren’t.

OK, one last trailer for you: Simon Pegg & Nick Frost’s new film Paul.  Can’t wait.… [continued]

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News Around the Net

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]

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New Trailers!

November 18th, 2010

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]

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A New James L. Brooks Film is Nearly Upon Us! Trailer for How Do You Know

August 26th, 2010

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]

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News Around the Net!

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.

Here’s another great video from collegehumor.com: a Star Wars google ad parody.  SO FUNNY!!  This is well worth two minutes of your time.

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]

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April 15th, 2010

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]

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall spin-off Get Him to the Greek trailer debuts!

February 18th, 2010

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!)

Hey, while I’m laying new trailers on you, check out this new preview for Toy Story 3!  Nice ascot!… [continued]

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News Around the Net: Previews!

February 11th, 2010

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.


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News Around the Net!

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]

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News Around the Net

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!

Star Wars: Uncut Trailer from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.

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.

Here’s a great piece from DVDActive.com (one of my favorite DVD/Blu-Ray web-sites) that calmly and methodically dissects everything wrong with … [continued]

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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]

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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]

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New Trailers!

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]