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Press Conference - Public Enemies - Johnny Depp, Michael Mann, Marion Cotillard


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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Public Enemies

I'm back from my Public Enemies trip to London. I've seen the film and it is great and I thought the press conference was fantastic. I had the opportunity to ask Marion Cotillard and Johnny Depp a question. So weird to have Johnny Depp talking straight at you.

I will post the full report and my review of the film tomorrow.


Monday, 29 June 2009

Off to London to see the Depp

There won't be many more posts today and tomorrow as I am heading off to London. It is the Public Enemies screening and press conference tomorrow so I will be reporting on that late tomorrow or Wednesday.

I would schedule some posts for while I am away but the blogger scheduling system is cabbaged for the moment so schedule denied! Plus I don't have a laptop with wifi so can't post while I'm away.

Stay tuned for more updates as and when - If I get on a PC with internet access in London then I'll post more.

Hope your Live for Films withdrawal isn't for too long.


What will Stan Lee's Iron Man 2 cameo be? You could win a No-Prize

Almost every Marvel comic film has had a cameo by Stan Lee. They started off with him as an everday joe saying a line here and there, then he became more character based when he played the postman Willie Lumpkin in the second Fantastic Four film. In the first Iron Man film he was Hugh Hefner at the big bash that Stark attends.

Now Collider have some news on who he will be playing in the sequel. Apparantly he will be Larry King and will ask Tony Stark when he will be appearing on his show. Nukethefridge also say he will be asking Stark about his new Black Iron Man suit - could this be War Machine? Still waiting to see a photo of that.

'Nuff said True Believer. Excelsior!


Burning Bright - Is that a tiger in your hallway?

When 20 year old Kelly is startled awake late at night during a violent hurricane, she discovers she's not alone; a ravenous tiger is stalking her through the halls of her home. Trapped inside with every door and window boarded up, her stepfather is nowhere to be found, Kelly fights frantically to save her life and her younger brother Tom from the killer beast.
Lionsgate's Burning Bright, a new horror-thriller starring Briana Evigan (Sorority Row, S. Darko), Garret Dillahunt (The Last House on the Left) and directed by Carlos Brooks.

Source: Bloody Disgusting


An American Werewolf in London - Can you say remake? No doubt we'll see it next Wednesday!

John Landis' classic comedy horror was one of the first film that gave me nightmares as a kid. The bit in the dream when the Nazi Werewolves kick the door in and shoot the family did it for me. A bit older and with repear viewings made me realise just how good it was.

The bit on the London tube is one of the spookiest, suspenseful scenes in an movie and the actual transformation scenes is one of the greatest physical effects ever.

Now comes a rumour which could lead to the greatness of the movie to be diminshed.

John Landis has sold the remake rights for An American Werewolf In London to Dimension Films according to a tipster over at Bloody Disgusting.

Of course even if this is true it doesn't necessarily mean that we will see a remake, but the chances are we will soon be seeing a crappy CGI wolf running around London cracking wise and looking at the camera with a wink while chewing on a bloody corpse.

Would you want to see a remake of this classic? How will they piss all over the original?


Sunday, 28 June 2009

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl


Public Enemies Featurette - Real to Reel

This featurette offers a behind the scenes look at how they are able to make the film seem like it was shot in 1934. It aslso shows how they were able to film in the exact same locations that Dillinger lived and escaped from.


Michael Bay to direct I Am Number Four

Michael Bay is undertaking a new sci-fi venture to produce and possibly direct. According to Variety, DreamWorks is finalizing a deal for I Am Number Four, which will be the first in a six-book sci-fi novel series. Bay is currently attached to produce the film, and it was said that he may direct the film as well.

One of the more unusual developments is that one of the book's two authors was said to be James Frey, the infamous author who penned A Million Little Pieces. The book was shopped around under psedonyms, but a source for the trade indicates that Frey is one of the authors of the new book. The studio wouldn't confirm if Frey is indeed one of the authors.

The book centers on nine teenage aliens who escape their home planet right before its obliteration and head to Earth to blend in as high school kids. The title character then discovers that he is being hunted by the enemy species that destroyed his home planet. It was said that the book's publishing and screen rights were being shopped simultaneously.

Frey became embroiled in scandal when it was learned that his beloved non-fiction book, A Million Little Pieces was partially fabricated and embellished by the author.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Gamer - International Trailer


9 - Characters posters for all rag dolls 1 to 9

9 takes place in a world parallel to our own, in which our very humanity is threatened. A group of rag dolls living a post-apocalyptic existence find one of their own, 9, who may be the key to their survival.

Source: First Showing


Friday, 26 June 2009

9 - New Poster

Source: MTV


The Invention of Lying - Trailer for Ricky Gervais' new film

Imagine a world where everyone can only tell the truth. And no-one has ever lied. There are no big lies. There are no small lies. Not even white lies. Until one man discovered how to lie.


Pirates vs Ninjas


The Princess and the Frog - Featurette - Return to Hand Drawn Animation

A special featurette where Lasseter, Deja, Clements and Musker discuss Disney's return to hand drawn animation in The Princess and the Frog. The film is due out on Christmas Day.


V.I.N.CENT is getting closer

This figure of V.I.N.CENT from Disney's The Black Hole is looking better and better. Produced by MINDstyle you can see in these photos how production is moving on since the last photos. I really want one when they come out.

Source: ToysREvil


Запрещённая реальность (Forbidden Reality) - Russian Sci-Fi

Not sure what is going on in this trailer for Russian sci-fi film Запрещённая реальность (Forbidden Reality), but it looks very nice. Any Russian readers care to translate it in the comments?

Based on the novel by very popular sci-fi writer Vasiliy Golovachev, the film tells a story of an agent betrayed by his partner when transporting new psychic weapon. Believed to be dead, he escapes and takes new identity so he can live in peace far away. But later he is forced to return to Moscow to confront a secret organization, led by his former partner, that attempts to use the dangerous weapon in order to take control over the country. Now he is a key figure in the battle between forces of darkness and light.

Source: Twitch


Amelia - Trailer for biopic starring Hilary Swank

Here is the trailer for Mira Nair's Amelia. Hilary Swank stars as Amelia Earhart along side Ewan McGregor, Richard Gere, Virginia Madsen, Joe Anderson, Christopher Eccleston, and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland).


Paul - Video blog with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

I posted a few behind the scenes photos for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's new film, Paul, a few days ago. It is directed by Greg Mottola.

Now the official site has gone live and there are a couple of video blogs with the boys themselves.

Joe Lo Truglio discusses the efforts of the film's production to go green by saving on plastic water bottles and cups

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Kristen Wiig spend a day learning to drive the film's featured RV under the watchful eye of 'Al'.


Daybreakers - Trailer for Willem Dafoe vampire film

I love the concept of this - a world of vampires - and the trailer looks great. Puts me in mind of the Blade universe if Deacon Frost had won.

Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) is a researcher in the year 2019, in which an unknown plague has transformed the world's population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race.

Check out the poster and photos for the film. Watch the trailer and let me know what you think.

Written & directed by Peter Spierig
Starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan

Out on 8th January 2010


Michael Jackson has passed away

Michael Jackson has died after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest.

His brother Jermaine Jackson said he believed the 50-year-old singer fell ill at his Holmby Hills home in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon.

He was taken to the UCLA medical centre where he was pronounced dead at 2.26pm Pacific time (10.26pm BST).

The self-styled king of pop had been due to perform 50 farewell concerts in London this summer, bowing out on an illustrious music career spanning several decades while aiming to resurrect his fortunes.

Jackson's brother told reporters: "My brother, the legendary King of pop, passed away on Thursday June 25 at 2.26pm.

"We believe he suffered a cardiac arrest at his home, however the cause of his death is unknown until the results of the autopsy are known. The personal physician who was with him at the time attempted to resuscitated him."

A spokesman for the Ronald Reagan UCLA medical centre added: "When he arrived at hospital at approximately 1.14pm a team of doctors including emergency physicians and cardiologists attempted to resuscitate him for a period of more than one hour, they were unsuccessful."

TV footage showed a rescue helicopter flying the star's body to a waiting ambulance.
A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said the robbery and homicide team was investigating Jackson's death because of its "high profile" but warned reporters not to read anything into his team's involvement. A post mortem examination is expected to take place, Los Angeles Coroner's Office spokesman Fred Corral said.

As tributes flooded in, close friend Uri Geller told the Press Association that it may have been the "stress" of Jackson's London comeback that killed him.

Jackson is survived by three children - Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince "Blanket" Michael Jackson II.

Source: MSN


Thursday, 25 June 2009

Chaw - Giant Pig Horror


The Coffin - Trailer for Thai Horror

In Thailand, there is a legend that if you lie in a coffin for one night, then you can fool the grim reaper and escape bad luck. To prolong his girlfriend's life, Australia-raised Thai architect Chris overcomes his claustrophobia and participates in the mass coffin ritual. Diagnosed with terminal cancer one week before her wedding, Hong Kong nutritionist Sue (Karen Mok) also runs off to Thailand for the ritual in hopes of cheating death. Soon after the ritual, however, Chris and Sue realize there are consequences worse than death as they begin to encounter strange and terrifying paranormal experiences.


Farrah Fawcett has passed away

Actress Farrah Fawcett, best known for her role in television series Charlie's Angels, has died after a long battle with cancer, her long-time companion Ryan O'Neal says. She was 62.

Fawcett died in hospital surrounded by friends and family shortly before 9.30am on Thursday (0230 AEST on Friday), reports said.

"After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away," O'Neal said in a statement released by Fawcett's publicist Arnold Robinson.

"Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we take comfort in the beautiful times that we shared with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world."

O'Neal told People magazine's online edition he had talked to Fawcett through the night.

"She's now with her mother and sister and her God. I loved her with all my heart. I will miss her so very, very much. She was in and out of consciousness. I talked to her all through the night.

"I told her how very much I loved her. She's in a better place now."

Speculation that Fawcett's death was close at hand had mounted after veteran ABC television interviewer Barbara Walters said the actress had been given her last rites earlier on Thursday.

Reports said O'Neal and Alana Stewart were at Fawcett's bedside when she passed away at St John's Hospital in Santa Monica.

Earlier this week, O'Neal revealed he planned to marry Fawcett, who has been battling cancer for three years. "I've asked her to marry me, again, and she's agreed," O'Neal said.

O'Neal, 68, and Fawcett had been romantically involved off-and-on since 1982. The couple had a son together, Redmond, but never married.

Redmond O'Neal is in jail in California for drug offences and was not at his mother's bedside when she died but spoke to her on the phone before her death, his father told People.

Fawcett's son told her "how much he loved her and asked her to please forgive him that he was so very, very sorry," Ryan O'Neal was quoted as saying.

Fawcett emerged as a pop-culture icon in the 1970s and 1980s after her role in Charlie's Angels and appearance in a famous poster wearing a red swimsuit that would come to be her defining image.

During the 1970s, Fawcett was married to Six Million Dollar Man star Lee Majors, from whom she separated in 1979. In 1982 she began a long romance with actor O'Neal and the couple had Redmond in 1985.

After splitting from O'Neal in the 1990s, Fawcett faded from view, although she appeared in Robert Altman's 2000 comedy, Dr T and the Women, in an ensemble cast that included Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, Laura Dern and Kate Hudson.

In recent years, Fawcett's health was the subject of intense scrutiny by a voracious tabloid media.

News of her cancer fight broke in October 2006, sparking an outpouring of support from fans and well-wishers.

In 2007 she declared that months of gruelling chemotherapy had seen her beat the cancer despite "excruciating pain and uncertainty".

"It never occurred to me to stop fighting - not ever," she said.

However, in April this year it emerged that the cancer had returned and the actress was gravely ill.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published in May, Fawcett criticised the media frenzy over her health, saying she would have preferred to have kept details of her illness private.

"It's much easier to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope," Fawcett said.

"I'm a private person," she continued. "It would be good if I could just go and heal and then when I decided to go out, it would be OK."

Source: Livenews


Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, 2009 - Movie Review

Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson
Running Time: 150 minutes
Score: 6.5 / 10

This review by Jinja. Spoilers ahead....

What's it about?

IMDB blurb: "Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers. Joining the mission to protect humankind is Optimus Prime, who forms an alliance with international armies for a second epic battle."

Was it good / bad?

I probably didn't do myself any favours by watching the first one the night before seeing the sequel. But I did have my expectations very low due to a couple of friends mentioning their disappointment.

+ The CG again was phenomenal - but, I said this first time round, the transformations were overly complex.
+ The eye-candy in this movie was spectacular.
+ Giant transforming robots fighting!

- Unfortunately I think the CG is also what totally overpowered the flick.
- The story was overly ambitious and complex - not for the younger audience.
- There was unnecessary language, that again I wouldn't be overly comfortable with my 10 year old nephew hearing.
- Some gratuitous shots of Megan Fox and Isabel Lucas - now don't get me wrong I enjoy the sight of an attractive woman, but the bit with Megan Fox painting the bike at the beginning was ludicrous!
- Slow-mo overload!
- A robot that transforms into a human!?
- Way way to long.

Just another thought what happened to the characters played by Anthony Anderson and Rachael Taylor?

Coolest / worst scene?

Coolest scenes were Optimus going berserk (on a few occasions) on decepticons and BumbleBee kicking ass.

Worst, the ridiculous geography that goes on at the end. One minute they are at the pyramids in Cairo, then the adventure takes them to Petra in Jordan. Then from Petra they see the military parachute out and land near the pyramids...and within minutes they are driving to meet up with them (I know I've seriously paraphrased that). Now Cairo and Petra are around 251.1 miles (give or take) apart. Sorry no, that last part of the film all took place within the same 'evening' - I know this is a film about alien life-forms that transform from giant robots into vehicles but come on. There wasn't even a mention of the fact Israel even existed between Egypt and Jordan.

The Robots - What about the robots?

The twins were initially annoying, the half way through they were annoying and by the end you had enough of them as they were annoying and you hope the devastator kills them! A pair of street jive idiot punks, mildly ammusing but generally annoying - did I say that already?

The return of Megatron - acceptable, was expecting the whole cargo ship to transform rather than just the five overly suspiscious vehicles on-board. Unfortunately too many bad guys leaders, Megatron, StarScream and the Fallen, wanting screen time.

Soundwave - good idea as the satellite, but where was the voice!?

The Devastator - the biggest overly complex transform of the lot. Was just too big.

The Fallen - a lazy bugger who'd been hanging out on one of Jupiters moons for the past 17,000 years.

Did you laugh / cry / cover your eyes / walk out?

Laugh - yes, some very funny bits especially John Turturros paranoia and still some of the 'aliens out of place on earth' moments.

Cry - not even with laughter.

Cover my eyes - followed by a shaking head of disapproval at some of the continuity errors and pretty much the whole last half hour.

Walk-out - I didn't walk out of Vertical Limit (my current leader of absolute chod movies) so wouldn't walk out on this - worth staying for the visuals.

Anything we should watch out for?

You may miss it near the beginning, but the bit of an argument in China between the army and couple of Transformers. The governments manage to cover up the whole thing as a little earthquake or something...its complete and total destruction of downtown Shanghai!!! (BTW yes sarcasm set to very much high on that comment)

Why should we see / avoid it?

Big robots, lots of fighting, CG overload - your choice.


The Losers and Freddy Krueger to go head to head in 2010

It looks as if the Comedian and Rorschach will be battling it out in the box office next year.

According to Box Office Mojo, the adaption of DC Comics The Losers will hit theaters on 16th April 2010. This is the same release date as New Line’s A Nightmare on Elm Street

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jackie Earle Haley are the leading men of The Losers and Nightmare.

As far as I was aware The Losers had yet to start filming so it is a bit of a surprise for the release date to be announced so soon.

2010 should be quite a good year for Comic Book lovers - The Losers, Iron Man 2, Jonah Hex and Scott Pilgrim vs The World announced so far.

Out of The Losers and The Nightmare on Elm Street remake which one are you most looking forward to?


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen did quite well at the box office

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had an estimated take of $16 million from a 3,000 screen midnight run last night reports Variety.

That number is second only to The Dark Knight last Summer which took in $18.5 million from Thursday midnight runs last July. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" previously held the record for a Tuesday midnight run opening with $12 million in 2007.

By this Sunday, 'Fallen' is expected to have a first five-day haul not far off from the $203 million take that 'Knight' scored last Summer.

Reviews have been pretty bad all over

Rotten Tomatoes : The first film had a 57% approval rating and 5.8/10 average score. 'Fallen' however sits at 20% and 3.9/10.

Metacritic: The original scored 61/100, whereas 'Fallen' sits at 40/100.


Shamelessly She-Hulk - Fan Film

Fan Cinema Today did it again when they found the trailer for a new She-Hulk fan film.

Garrett Gilchrist is making Shamelessly She-Hulk, an ambitious, feature-length fan film that sports not only Jennifer Walters (AKA She-Hulk), but also Spider-Man, The Punisher, Blade, Captain America, Iron Man, Superman, Batman, Black Widow and even an animated Howard The Duck.

Here's the trailer. Let me know what you think of it.


8 - Character poster from Shane Acker's 9

The style and imagery for this rag doll post apocalyptic film is fantastic and this new character poster for 8 is just as good.

Armed with a giant kitchen knife and half a scissor blade, the none-too-bright muscle and enforcer of the group, 8, is created to help the others physically survive the dangerous, post-apocalyptic world.

8 is voiced by Fred Tatasciore, who studied animation at UCLA with director Shane Acker, where he became known for his voiceover talents on other students' films. Fred was enlisted to voice 8, the "brawn to 1''s brain if you will," says Acker.

Source: io9


Wolverine - The End?

Any idea what story this Marvel image is for? There has already been a comic mini-series called Wolverine: The End so your thoughts on this one would be welcome. io9 had the image.

Ryan Reynolds is Buried

After playing Deadpool in X-Men Origins:Wolverine and then starring opposite Sandra Bullock in romantic comedy The Proposal, Ryan Reynolds will next be seen in something a little darker.

According to Variety is going to star in Buried, playing a civilian contractor who's kidnapped in Iraq and awakens buried in a coffin in the desert, armed only with a cell phone, a candle and a knife.

Rodrigo Cortes will direct a script by Chris Sparling. Production will begin this month in Barcelona.

The picture will shoot entirely in Spain, which is home to Cortes, best known for directing The Contestant.

Reynolds apparantly took the indie film role to improve his acting range in the movie with a claustrophobic premise, and one in which he holds the screen through most of the picture.

It will be good to see Reynolds in something that is quite different to films he has previously starred in.


Watchmen Director's Cut to have limited theatrical release

Collider spoke with Zack Snyder and got confirmation that the extended Director's Cut of Watchmen will be officially hitting theaters on 17th July. That is the weekend before Comic-Con.
Mr Beaks over at AICN has seen some of the extra footage and had this to say "I can verify that you will get to see the brutal murder of Hollis Mason by a bunch of top-knotted thugs. As with most of the violent scenes in WATCHMEN, Snyder has taken a dozen or so panels from the graphic novel and transformed them into breathtaking cinema. He's also turned the sequence into a half-clever, half-heartbreaking homage to Raging Bull, with Hollis flashing back to his crime-fighting heyday as the "Intermezzo" from CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA briefly dominates the soundtrack. The music - and his punch-drunk reverie - ends abruptly when the gang's ringleader busts open Hollis's skull with his Nite Owl trophy. This is a brilliantly shot-and-edited sequence."
Snyder said that it will only show for one weekend in one theater in only Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis, and New York City. Get your tickets as soon as you can. I can' wait to see the director's cut and it is meant to have an extra 25 minutes worth of footage. There will also be a new poster for the release. Will you be going to see the new cut?

The 188-minute Director's Cut of Watchmen will hit Blu-ray and DVD on 21st July.

UPDATED: The Box - Trailer for Richard Kelly's latest film

Have a look at this trailer as I think it is very good. The Box is based on the short story "Button, Button" by Richard Matheson and was used in an episode of The Twilight Zone. It is the one where a couple are given a box with a button. They are told that if they press the button they'll get a million dollars, but someone they don't know will die. Bit of a moral dilemma.

Now Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales) has adapted it into a full length feature starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, and Frank Langella. It looks as if Kelly is back to his Darko goodness after the disappointing and confusing Southland Tales.

The film is set in the 70s and in a way is autobiographical as the two main characters are based on Richard Kelly's own parents.

Let me know what you thought of the trailer. Would you press the button?

UPDATE: I found the story about the film being semi-autobiographical. It was an interview with Richard Kelly over on AICN. Well worth a read as he talks about technical aspects of the film as well as developing the story. This is what he had to say about his parents being an influence on the film.
The short story is six pages long, and Arthur and Norma... there wasn't time for their backstory. So I thought, "Here's this amazing premise about greed and responsibility and so many things that you can't put into words. There's this button, and being responsible for the death of another human being, and what constitutes responsibility." And I thought, "We want to tell this story and expose this premise to two characters, let them be very moral people, very likable people." And I figured that I felt that way about my parents, and that this is the type of movie they would love. They exposed me to Alfred Hitchcock when I was a young teenager; they showed me REAR WINDOW and THE BIRDS and PSYCHO. So I thought, "What if I take their love story and life in Richmond, Virginia as an upwardly middle class couple in 1976, and place them into Richard Matheson's short story?" And that's what I did - which all of a sudden made it the most personal film I've ever made. (Laughs) They have a son [in the film] who's ten or eleven. I obviously would barely be one year old in 1976, but you could argue that their single child is maybe a representation of me in the story. So all of a sudden I feel like I'm making this profoundly personal film, which, at the same time, is this mainstream studio thriller with this high-concept premise. So it was sort of an interesting merger of my parents' story with Matheson's story, which was written before I was even alive but that I discovered on THE TWILIGHT ZONE in 1986. I was in my parents' bedroom watching THE TWILIGHT ZONE with my dad when I saw "Button, Button" for the first time. So to think that I've taken them and plugged them into this Matheson concept is... to this day, I can't believe that we pulled it off.

So that's why Jimmy and Cameron spent a lot of time around my parents. Cameron listened to my mom talk for forty-five minutes and recorded it. She recorded a phone conversation of my mom talking about her life. And then she went to a dialogue coach to learn how to do my mom's Texas accent. Meanwhile, Jimmy did a Virginia accent because my dad's from Virginia. Their Southern accents are slightly different. And when my parents came on set for five or six shooting days, they were just freaking out. They felt like they had stepped into a TWILIGHT ZONE episode by being on set. It's very meta. You have my parents feeling like they're in a TWILIGHT ZONE episode watching James Marsden and Cameron Diaz portray very personal, autobiographical things about their life with their son directing it in this amazing Richard Matheson story that we've all grown up with. (Laughs It was really, really interesting.

Then we shot at NASA down at Langley for a week, which is where my dad worked for fifteen years. Marsden drives a silver Corvetts in the film - and my dad didn't drive a Corvette; he drove a Pontiac. But Marsden drives into this press conference at the NASA campus facility down there where my dad attended the press conference for Viking. He also used to play basketball for the NASA basketball league. But literally my dad is looking at a younger version of himself driving to work in the same exact manner that he did at a place that hasn't changed since the '70s. The Langley facility down at NASA has not changed at all since the '70s; it's like you're in a time warp down there. So it was really pretty surreal. It really gave Jimmy and Cameron homework to do. That's one thing: you want your actors to leave your meeting with a big stack of books, because then they come back to you with so much and so many questions. You get a lot of the direction out of the way, so when you're on set you can focus on the details. Everyone's not trying to play catch up.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Oscars to have 10 Best Picture Nominees.

The Motion Picture Academy announced Wednesday that for the first time in more than 65 years, the field of best picture nominees will be expanded to 10 contenders for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards according to Variety.

“Having 10 best picture nominees is going allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize,” said Academy President Sid Ganis in announcing the shift. “I can’t wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February.”

The last time the Oscar race featured 10 best pic contenders was the 16th annual contest in 1943, when "Casablanca" emerged with the top prize. There were 10 best picture nominees for most of the Academy Awards' first decade. In 1935 there was a bumper crop of 12 nominees.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on 2nd February 2010 with the awards handed out 7th March 2010 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

When I first heard this news I thought "Great, lots of films in the running." Then my second thought was "Hold on a minute." If there are more nominess for best picture then doesn't that sort of devalue the prestige of having a Best Picture Nominee?

It brought to mind that bit from The Incredibles when Dash is talking to his Mum.

Helen: Everyone's special, Dash.
Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is

What if there are not 10 films worthy of a nomination? What do you think of the news? Have we seen any films in the first half of the year that should be nominated for Best Picture - Moon, The Hurt Locker, Let the Right One In?


The Pacific - Sort of a sequel to Band of Brothers

Executively produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the team behind the Emmy-winning 2001 HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” this epic ten-hour miniseries tracks the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines – Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda) – across the vast canvas of the Pacific. The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain forests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day. Produced by HBO Miniseries in association with Playtone and DreamWorks Television, and scheduled to debut on HBO in early 2010.

Could Tyrese Gibson be in the Captain America film?

Busy promoting Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and his new comic book, Mayhem, Tyrese Gibson mentioned a few interesting things.

“The energy from Comic-Con really did something to me,” Gibson told MTV News of what prompted him to try his hand at comics. “Instead of me sitting back and waiting on ‘Luke Cage’ to finally happen — which I’m still looking forward to doing once they get the script together — and instead of me waiting on ‘Captain America,’ which they were talking about me for, I’m going to create my own. And that’s what I did.”

Now what could Tyrese be in talks about Captain America for? There was the rumour that Will Smith could be playing Steve Rogers, but nothing more has been said. Smith as the First Avenger is a bit of a stretch, but he would bring in a wide audience (I don't think it will happen though), however Gibson as Cap would never work. He's just not that big a name to pull in the punters.

There are a couple of characters that spring to mind for Tyrese.

First there is the role of Sam Wilson aka The Falcon. Sam debuted nearly three years before Luke Cage so is one of the first African American characters (Black Panther is from Africa).

The Falcon, as the name suggests, had the ability to fly via a high tech winged suits. He was also a top spy kind of character and had many an adventure with Steve Rogers.

Maybe Tyrese is in talks to play Sam, maybe not. As The First Avenger film is supposedly going to be set for the most part in World War II then it seems unlikely that The Falcon will feature in the film. However, he is a cool character and it would be great to see him on screen.

The other, more likely, option is Isaiah Bradley who featured in the Truth: Red, White & Black mini series.
Project: Rebirth began as a collaboration between US, British and German eugenicists led by Dr. "Josef Reinstein" (real name Dr. Wilfred Nagel), and Dr. Koch. When WW II began, Koch took over the German program and Josef Reinstein took over the American program. Each was attempting to recreate the super soldier serum which had previously turned Steve Rogers into Captain America a year prior to Pearl Harbor. Reinstein's early attempts to refine the formula were tested on African-Americans. Three hundred of these soldiers were taken from Camp Cathcart and subjected to potentially fatal experiments at an undisclosed location in an attempt to re-create the Super Soldier formula, as seen in Truth: Red, White & Black. Only five subjects survived the original trials. In the name of secrecy, US soldiers executed the camp's commander and hundreds of black soldiers left behind at Camp Cathcart. The government told the families of the three hundred subjects that their loved ones had died in battle.

The sole survivor of his test group, Bradley stole a spare costume intended for Captain America before he engaged in a suicide mission to destroy the Super-Soldier efforts of the Nazis at the Schwarzebitte concentration camp. There, he was also able to assassinate Koch. The mission ended when the Germans captured Bradley. Nazi interest in the American supersoldier was high; he was even brought before the Führer himself. Bradley was later rescued, only to be court-martialed and imprisoned at Leavenworth around 1943. In 1960, Bradley was pardoned by President Eisenhower and released.
This is all supposition on my part based on the few words mentioned by Tyrese. Isaiah Bradley seems the role most suited for the film.

What do you think Tyrese Gibson was talking about in relation to Captain America?


Exclusive Interview - Toby Wilkins, director of Splinter

Splinter is an excellent horror movie. Creepy, scary and even though it only had a small budget it looks like it cost a lot more. It has a great creature knocking off a cast who act their socks off. It also leaves you pondering what caused the creature and a few well placed shots and comments mean you can have great discussions afterwards.

The highlight for me was the creature itself. At first you think it is a straight forward zombie kind of thing, but then things grow, mutate, stretch and crawl. Before you know it you are watching something rather different to the usual creature feature.

Trapped in an isolated gas station by a voracious Splinter parasite that
transforms its still living victims into deadly hosts, a young couple and an
escaped convict must find a way to work together to survive this primal

It stars Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip), Jill Wagner (who would make a great Wonder Woman), Rachel Kerbs, Charles Baker and Laurel Whitsett. Small cast, small set, big horror.

I really recommend the film (check out the review) and I was lucky enough to have a chance to ask the directer, Toby Wilkins, a few questions. It was a quick little interview via Twitter.

Describe Splinter to those who have not yet seen it

It's a fast paced, gory indie horror film. My homage to the creature features and contained siege horror that I loved as a kid

The design and movement of the creature is creepy and quite unique. How did it develop?

The creature idea had been in my head for ages. Bringing it to life practically took many talented SFX artist and physical performers

How did you get into the film business?

I started in design, doing titles for films and some vfx, but always directing my own stuff on the side. I guess it was just will power.

What was the first film you ever watched?

I have no idea. In England we had just three TV channels, and the BBC would show great old movies, no ads, and I couldn't get enough.

If you were going to be killed by any movie villain or monster who or what would it be? What would your last words be?

It would have to huge, like maybe the creature from The Host, and I would take it with me, with a cheesy quip like "Eat This!"

What will you do differently when making your next feature?

Hopefully I will get more time to shoot and rehearse, so far every film I have done has been on a pretty insane shooting schedule

Did the low budget help or hinder the feel of the film?

I think the film fit the budget well. A contained setting, very few characters, and we kep the energy high shooting as fast as we did.

What advice can you give to any new filmmakers filming this?

Just get out there and make films, shorts, whatever. Lots of them. Learn as much as you can from each, and then move on to the next.

What are your favourite films and what films are you most looking forward to seeing this year?

Alien, Blade Runner, 28 Days Later, The Game, 2001, The Ring, The Shining, Time Bandits, Inglourious Basterds, Where the Wild Things Are.

What are you working on next?

I'm not ready to announce anything just yet.

Thanks for your time Toby.

Check out Toby's blog and follow him on Twitter.


Level 5 alert! Non-Humans Have Escaped District 9

Non-humans have escaped from District 9. For up to the minute information visit the http://www.d-9.com/ or call 866-666-6001


UPDATED: Could we be seeing the new Doctor Who sooner than we think?

The Daily Mirror is claiming that Matt Smith and the first ten Doctors will all appear in a special 15-minute episode filmed for the BBC's Children In Need charity night. The episode will air in November, and the first three Doctors, the late William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee, will be represented by footage from their old stories. A BBC source supposedly tells the Mirror:
This is a momentous episode for all Doctor Who fans. Never before have all the Doctors been in the same room, let alone in the same show. It's been a logistical nightmare getting all the actors together and available for shooting on the same days. But the script has already been started and it's classic Doctor Who – really witty and very sharp. Viewers will see the Time Lords regenerating and emerging one by one from the Tardis, each with their own quirky opening line. David Tennant is the central character in the episode. He's trying to hunt down some special time travel apparatus. What he's actually lost has not yet been decided, but the idea is for all the other Doctors to club together to help David find it. The actors who are no longer with us, William, Jon and Patrick, will make special cameo appearances, with footage from original shows being flashed up on screen. It's a really exciting project – and all for a good cause.
Source: io9

UPDATE: Looks as if the BBC are denying this story A spokesman told the newspaper: "Nothing has been finalised yet, although there is discussion of a Children in Need Doctor Who special. It is too early to say what."

Source: Digital Spy


James Bond to enter the Dream House

Daniel Craig is in early talks to star in Dream House, a psychological thriller set up at Morgan Creek to be directed by Jim Sheridan, though principals stress that the two sides have not reached a deal. THR had the news.

In the David Loucka script, Craig would play a man who moves his family to an idyllic small town, only to find his house haunted by its former inhabitants, who were murdered there.

This is no doubt all part of the plan to make sure he doesn't get typecast as Bond. His recent films have, Defiance and Munich have also involved fighting and guns. However, before Bond Craig was in many different types of film so I honestly don't think he will have that much of a problem.

Craig has recently signed up for the Broadway drama A Steady Rain. His name also surfaced in connection with The Eagle of the Ninth, Kevin Macdonald's period piece for Focus Features.


Taken 2 is in development

In amongst some other news Variety mention that Taken 2 is in development.
EuropaCorp founder Luc Besson announced that the company has entered the TV production biz at a Paris presentation of annual results.

It has also initiated development on "Taken 2," the follow-up to the Liam Neeson starrer that has grossed $145 million in the U.S.
That is all it says on the matter so no mention if it will have Liam Neeson or director Pierre Norel returning.

I hope they both return as the first one was a great surprise when I saw it. I can't see Neeson's daughter being kidnapped again so I'm not sure what the story could be. Maybe Holly Valance's character is taken or Neeson heads off to try and bring down the kidnapping ring?

What story do you want to see in the sequel?


Alex Pettyfer is Beastly

The Manhattan-set and modern-day take on Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a handsome rich kid with a mean streak. When he ditches a date, a curse is placed upon him, turning him into everything he hates. The grotesque transformation leaves him with the seemingly impossible task of finding true love to break the ugly spell.

It stars Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker, Tormented) as the Beast. Bring back Ron Perlman as Vincent I say.

Beastly also stars Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris and will open on 30th July 2010.


Johnny Knoxville and Heather Graham join the Father of Invention

According to The Hollywood Reporter Craig Robinson, Heather Graham, Johnny Knoxville and Camilla Belle are joining Kevin Spacey in Father of Invention.

Spacey is producing the film via his Trigger Street Production company.

The story shows what happens when a simple inventor (Spacey) becomes a millionaire. Things get interesting when he gets eight years in prison for inventing something bad. When he gets out of jail he plans to get back to the top of his field, but he finds that his family is falling apart.

Craig Robinson will be the husband of the Spacey's ex-wife. Robinson's character now lives in his house but he helps Spacey out upon his release from prison.

Belle will play the daughter of Spacey's character. Heather Graham will be her lesbian roommate who has a liaison with her father. Johnny Knoxville gives Spacey a job when he leaves the big house.


Cemetery Junction - First photos of Ricky Gervais & Matthew Goode

Cemetery Junctionis the new film by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Gervais posted these photos from the shoot on his blog with the comment "This is me in character (Len Taylor). I play a fat middle-aged bloke from Reading by the way. Chameleon."
Below is Matthew Goode (Watchmen) sitting on a nice car.

UPDATED: From Paris with Love - What the director of Taken did next

Taken was an excellent film. One of my recent favourites. Liam Neeson was brilliant and it was non-stop action all the way. Pierre Morel was the man at the wheel and his next film sounds like it could have some excellent action scenes. Plus the poster is a great design and actually puts me in mind of the first volume of The Umbrella Academy comic by Gerard Way.

From Paris with Love stars John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Travolta plays a crazy American spy looking to stop a terrorist attack in Paris, while Rhys Meyers plays a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador who meets up with him.

The only problem I have is with the cast. Travolta can be good, but he's been coasting and shouting an awful lot in recent movies. If he can bring his Pulp Fiction cool then he'll be okay. JRM is a different matter. I personally don't really rate him, but I think that could be more to do with some dreadful aftershave adverts he has been in lately.

We shall have to wait and see.

UPDATE: Thanks to Tsukpo for sending me the link to the trailer. What do you think of it?


Avatar - Footage of James Cameron's sci-fi 3D film has been seen and it is stunning

The first footage from James Cameron's Avatar has been screened to the public for the first time in Amsterdam at the Cinema Expo International.

It looks as if everyone who saw it was stunned.
Market Saw said: Until now, all we saw was the base in 3D, mostly humans and now the 2 N'avi Avatars.
They look NOTHING like the drawing you've seen. They're living creatures with blue skin, bigger yellow eyes than humans with tails. The avatars even look like their human connectors. You will NOT believe the detail. Jake's character will get a wound in a scene we saw later, it looked so real. You could see beneath the skin's first layer, like only real wounds show. We later meet creatures that look like the evolutionary link between a pherodactyl and a bird. They can connect with the N'avi and hunt with them. They connect with only ONE N'avi and do this by swallowing the N'avi's tail with their mouth so they stay connected.

The world outside is amazing. It all lives, breathes and works.
You will not believe the amount of leaves that look like someone created that jungle for real. Later scenes involved Grace, Norm and Jake in the jungle exploring. Jake encounters a animal which stomps towards him, Grace tells him to stand his ground. He does and the animal backs away to reveal a more sinister animal behind them. Jake fights it and runs.

ComingSoon: “jaw-dropping experience.” … “3-D until now has been used as a gimmick.” On the human characters inhabiting their Avatars: “It took my breath away. I thought–just like you guys–that I’ve seen it all with Gollum, or The Hulk, but Cameron has done it again. These creatures seem so real, that within minutes you forget you’re watching an enormous and very blue CGI character. Even the eyes are totally convincing. The characters have real personalities and a soul.” … “How the hell is it possible that I never once felt like I’ve been watching a movie where almost everything comes out of a computer?” … “The effects are in a league of their own. After some disappointing or even pointless 3-D movies, Avatar maybe the first movie where 3-D is properly utilized.”

Sounds as if James Cameron has got his King of the World hat on with this one. I'm still not sure if the story will be as good as the look of the film.

If you happen to be going to this years Comic Con you may be able to see some footage of the film.


Posters for Iron Man 2, Shutter Island, The Last Airbender and Up in the Air

Here are some promo posters for Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, M Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2.

Film1.nl were the ones who got the photos off them from the Cinema Expo International 2009 being held in Amsterdam.

These are not the finished official posters but rather a way to advertise the films at the show.

I think the Last Airbender one is my favourite.


UPDATED: David Fincher may make a film about Facebook

David Fincher is in early talks to direct Columbia's untitled movie about the founders of the popular social networking site Facebook according to THR.

Aaron Sorkin is writing the project while Scott Rudin, Kevin Spacey, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing.

If a deal makes, Fincher could be behind the camera by the end of the year.

Fincher last directed one of last year's awards darling, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." He came close to directing the period Eliot Ness serial killer movie "Torso" but Paramount allowed that project's option to lapse. He still has the adaptation of the graphic novel "Black Hole" set up at that studio.

This just seems like a pointless kind of film that is just surfing the zeitgeist sea. However, Fincher does make some interesting films - Benjamin Button was a bit of a non-event for me though. How do you feel about a Facebook film?

UPDATE: Suddenly this sounds a bit more interesting. /Film have the news that the film will be based on a new book by Ben Mezrich called The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.
Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends–outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a geeky awkwardness with women. Eduardo figured their ticket to social acceptance–and sexual success–was getting invited to join one of the university’s Final Clubs, a constellation of elite societies that had groomed generations of the most powerful men in the world and ranked on top of the inflexible hierarchy at Harvard. Mark, with less of an interest in what the campus alpha males thought of him, happened to be a computer genius of the first order. Which he used to find a more direct route to social stardom: one lonely night, Mark hacked into the university’s computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus–and subsequently crashing the university’s servers and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In that moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born.

What followed–a real-life adventure filled with slick venture capitalists, stunning women, and six-foot-five-inch identical-twin Olympic rowers–makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year. Before long, Eduardo’s and Mark’s different ideas about Facebook created in their relationship faint cracks, which soon spiraled into out-and-out warfare. The collegiate exuberance that marked their collaboration fell prey to the adult world of lawyers and money. The great irony is that while Facebook succeeded by bringing people together, its very success tore two best friends apart. The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost–and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another.


Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Johnny Depp talks Dark Shadows and The Mad Hatter

While talking at a recent press conference in LA for Public Enemies, Johnny Depp spoke about some of his other projects. Frosty of the excellent Collider got the details. Here is what Depp had to say about Dark Shadows, the remake of the old American TV show.
“‘Dark Shadows’ is happening. Tim is working on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which is obviously quite a large piece of work there. So when Tim is done with ‘Alice’ and we get the script, which is very, very close, in order we’ll probably attack it next year. It’s exciting, very exciting. It’s like a lifelong dream for me. I loved the show when I was a kid. I was obsessed with Barnabas Collins. I have photographs of me holding Barnabas Collins posters when I was five or six. I’m very excited to do it.”
This also seems to confirm that Tim Burton is attached to direct as previous news cast doubt on that.

Then Depp was asked about what research he had done for his role of the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
Well, certainly the book. The book is the basis for everything. There are little mysteries, little clues in the book that I found fascinating that were keys to at least my understanding of the Mad Hatter, like him saying, “I’m investigating that begin with the letter M.” That was huge for me because when you do a little digging you realize you’re talking about a hatter, a man who made hats and if you go back and look at some of the historical hatters there’s that term that this guy or that guy is as mad as a hatter. There was a reason for that and the reason for that was mercury poisoning. So I found out what the M was and why they went nuts. So that became a huge thing. Then it was just kind of what I saw and what I thought the guy should look like. I made my little weird drawings and water colors and brought them to Tim [Burton] and he brought me his weird little drawings and water colors and they were not dissimilar [laughs]. You could’ve put them right together and they were pretty darn close. There’s a lot of color and brightness and then de-saturation in The Hatter. He’s like a mood ring I suppose.
Thanks to Pam for sending me the link and the photo. Are you excited about Alice in Wonderland? How about Dark Shadows? I've never seen it but it does intrigue me.


Blood Simple to be remade by Zhang Yimou

Zhang Yimou (Red Sorghum,To Live, Ju Dou, Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower) has started shooting a remake of the Coen brothers' debut, Blood Simple, the director's first film since designing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics last year according to THR.

Filming began on 9th June for San Qiang Pai An Jing Qi or The Stunning Case of the Three Gun Shots.

The thriller-comedy, which will be released late this year, stars Chinese actor Sun Honglei, comedian Xiao Shenyang and actress Yan Ni, Ping said.

No official details of the plot for the new film have been released. However, Blood Simple is about a Texas bar owner who hires a private detective to kill his wife and her lover. The 1984 movie starring Frances McDormand won the Grand Jury Prize for best film at the United States Film Festival, the predecessor to the Sundance Film Festival, helping establish Joel and Ethan Coen's reputations.

Blood Simple is a great film and Yimou's films always look stunning so it should hopefully be a good film. However, while I enjoy Yimou's vision as a filmmaker the films themselves often leave me cold. There always seems an emptiness to the story and characters, but that's just me.

How do you feel about a Yimou helmed remake of a Coen Brothers classic?


Yoo Hoo, Mrs Goldberg - The Most Famous Woman in America You've Never Heard Of - Documentary Trailer

Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg is a humorous and eye-opening documentary about television pioneer Gertrude Berg, who played the loving Molly Goldberg. Directed by Aviva Kempner, Peabody Award Winner for “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg”.

Gertrude Berg had a popular radio show and became the first lady of television. She combined social commentary, family values and lots of humor to win the hearts of America. Berg was the creator, principal writer and star of “The Goldbergs” a popular 1930’s radio show and a 1950’s weekly situation TV comedy, about a Jewish family living in New York City.

Berg received the first Best Actress Emmy in history, paving the way for women in the entertainment industry. Berg was polled as the second most respected woman in America after Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Oprah, Martha, and Rachael Ray of her day, Berg was a media trailblazer with popular audio and television shows, a cookbook, jigsaw puzzles, advice column, and a clothing line for modern women of her time.