Jul 31, 2012

"The Hobbit" is now officially 3 films

After several weeks of teasing and speculation Warner Brothers, MGM, New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson have officially confirmed that "The Hobbit" will become a trilogy. The question this immediately raises is "Will Tolkien's beloved tale, that introduced the world to middle earth and the comings and goings of Bilbo Baggins, become so bloated by material fished out of "The Lord of the Rings" appendices (Jackson's reported source for all the additional footage he's hot to shoot) that it's simply unrecognizable?" Maybe. But I for one have to think that the studio would have taken a pass if they thought Jackson didn't have a strong enough concept and/or enough material to make it all work. A tentative release date of summer 2014 is floating around but I hope everyone involved takes a deep breath and gives the project the time it needs to be realized in a satisfying way. If that means waiting until December 2014 (or later) then so be it. Good luck to all involved.

Here's Jackson's official announcement:

"It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie - and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.'

We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance. The richness of the story of "The Hobbit", as well as some of the related material in the appendices of "The Lord of the Rings", allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.

So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of "The Hobbit" films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.

It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, "a tale that grew in the telling."


Peter J"

The top 10 movies for the weekend of July 27 - July 29, 2012

1) The Dark Knight Rises $62.1 Million
2) Ice Age: Continental Drift $13.3 Million
3) The Watch $12.7 Million
4) Step Up Revolution $11.7 Million
5) Ted $7.3 Million
6) The Amazing Spider-Man $6.7 Million
7) Brave $4.3 Million
8) Magic Mike $2.6 Million
9) Savages $1.8 Million
10) Moonrise Kingdom $1.4 Million
The number one movie a year ago this week was Universal's "Cowboys and Aliens" which debuted in the top spot with $36.4 million.

Jul 30, 2012

Off the beaten track trailer of the day "Giant God Warrior Appears In Tokyo"

If you're looking for a break from CGI but still want those potential-world-ending circumstances Studio Ghibli's "Giant God Warrior Appears In Tokyo" may be just what the doctor ordered.

"La Jetee" director Chris Marker dies at 91

If you've never seen Marker's 1962 short masterpiece you owe it to yourself to track it down and give it a look. Constructed almost entirely out of still shots in black and white it tells the story of a post-nuclear war Paris where scientists are experimenting with time travel in an effort to head off the apocalypse. Terry Gilliam's 1995 film "12 Monkeys" with Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis takes it basic concept and many of its particulars directly from "La Jetee" and scores of film makers have cited it as an influence. In 2010 Time magazine rated "La Jetee" the best time-travel film ever, and for good reason.

Still from La Jetee

Jul 29, 2012

New "Total Recall" tv spot

"Blade Runner" meets "Attack of the Clones", with Jessica Biel.

"Total Recall" opens August 3rd.

Jul 28, 2012

New trailer for "Skyfall"

This new trailer debuted during the Olympics opening ceremony last night and has me psyched for the November release. Daniel Craig returns in the title role alongside Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Berenice Marlohe, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney.

Jul 27, 2012

New "Machete Kills" poster features Lady Gaga

With her musical star fading faster than an ice sculpture in the desert Lady Gaga has reached out to Hollywood to try and prolong her stay in the spotlight. She's certainly not the first music star-du-jour to attempt the transition and unfortunately it's certain she won't be the last. The pros and cons of gimmick casting aside though here is the latest poster from Robert Rodriguez's upcoming Machete sequel. Aside from the fact that it looks like Ms Germanotta is wearing an adult diaper, the poster itself is pretty hot.

Jul 26, 2012

First trailer for the Wachowski's "Cloud Atlas"

If big ideas are what drive you to the movie theater then this is the film for you. The Wachowski's long-awaited return to the silver screen is an existential meditation on the cycle of birth, life and death told from the perspective of characters who skate across time and continually collide during the course of their lives (yes, lives). With a cast that includes Halle Berry, Bae Doona, Susan Sarandon, Zhou Xun, Hugo Weaving, Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess and Hugh Grant the siblings are aiming high with this one.

Below is the first official trailer (made for the Chinese market). The movie itself will makes its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival and is scheduled for US release October 26th.

Jul 25, 2012

Possible "Hobbit" trilogy more than just rumor

Peter Jackson teased fans during ComicCon recently when he talked about wanting to shoot a bunch of additional footage for "The Hobbit". He was asked if this additional material might become a third Hobbit film and said “It’s very premature... The discussions are pretty early.” As a result a lot of people began to get their hopes up although, realistically, it seemed like maybe he was just engaging in some flight-of-fancy speculation.

Well now it seems that there might be something to it after all as EW has confirmed that serious discussions are taking place between Jackson and Warner Brothers about possibly extending The Hobbit to a third film. There's no word on exactly what shape such a film might take and there are a slew of logistical problems that would have to be worked out before Jackson and the studio could commit to a third Hobbit film but the fact that its actually on the table is music to the ears of Middle Earth fans the world over. We'll keep you posted.

Jul 24, 2012

New video blog from "The Hobbit"

This will be the final production video now that principle photography has wrapped and things have moved on to post-production down in New Zealand. This is my favorite of the videos to this point with lots of previously unseen sets and footage and even a rare glimpse of Orlando Bloom. It all looks pretty amazing and I can't wait for December 14th.

The top 10 movies for the weekend of July 20 - July 22, 2012

1) The Dark Knight Rises $160.8 Million
2) Ice Age: Continental Drift $20.4 Million
3) The Amazing Spider-Man $10.8 Million
4) Ted $10.1 Million
5) Brave $6 Million
6) Magic Mike $4.2 Million
7) Savages $3.3 Million
8) Madea's Witness Protection $2.2 Million
9) Moonrise Kingdom $1.8 Million
10) To Rome With Love $1.4 Million
The number one movie a year ago this week was Paramount's "Captain America: The First Avenger" which debuted to the tune of $65 million.

Jul 23, 2012

New international poster for "Taken 2"

The new French language poster for "Taken 2" plays up the Eastern European slant which is only fitting I suppose. The first film may have played out in Paris but the baddies were Balkan and now they're back to exact their pound of flesh from Bryan Mills.

"Taken 2" opens October 5th.

Jul 21, 2012

First poster for Schwarzenegger's "The Last Stand"

"The Last Stand" represents Ahnuld's return to Hollywood headlining though it seems that maybe the film makers were at a loss to figure out how to make the aging Impregnator seem like a compelling action lead. Their apparent solution is to turn him into a comic character (automatic face-lift!) which is what they do with this first teaser poster for the film.

"Man of Steel" - two trailers, two fathers

In these very early teasers Zack Snyder focuses on Superman's dual nature by letting each of his fathers have their say. The footage is identical but in teaser 1 we hear the cautionary words of Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and in teaser 2 we hear Jor-El's (Russell Crowe) promise that great things lie in store, if only his son can be patient with his new hosts.

Hans Zimmer will be handling the music for this film but any Lord of the Rings fan will recognize the music in these teasers as Howard Shore's haunting elegy from "Fellowship of the Ring".

"Man of Steel" opens June 14th 2013.

"The Dark Knight Rises" - 2012 - movie review

The first hour of "The Dark Knight Rises" is well paced, intriguing and darkly mysterious. Director Christopher Nolan sets up all the major players and the production is infused with the unmistakable air of Frank Miller's graphic novels, if not the actual storylines. Bruce Wayne lurks in the shadows, a ghost unable to find rest. Commissioner Gordon lumbers through various Harvey Dent-related official functions the weight of his deception regarding circumstances around the death of the former DA dragging his spirit down like an anchor caught on a pile of corpses at the bottom of the East River. Selina Kyle works these official functions looking for wealthy marks, playing the greedy, corrupt, public flotsam like violins and making off with their hearts and jewelry. While the unworthy celebrate themselves and the blissful state of affairs in post-orgainzed-crime Gotham (a state they had nothing to do with creating but which they each leverage for personal gain) a mysterious masked figure half a world away engineers a dramatic mid-air escape from CIA custody and sets his sights on the city by the sea.

That figure is Bane and as it turns out he's far better connected than anyone suspects. Before he ever sets foot in Gotham various members of the board of Wayne Enterprises along with a rogues gallery of Gotham baddies have laid the groundwork for his arrival and the implementation of his master plan, which bears a suspicious resemblance to the agenda of Ra's Al Ghul from "Batman Begins". That film in fact is much more the direct predecessor of The Dark Knight Rises than 2008's "The Dark Knight" which when taken in the context of the new film seems to have existed solely to set up the circumstances of Bruce Wayne's apathy. Wayne is a mess at the beginning of "Rises". Hobbling around on a cane because his years of being Batman have left him with no cartilage in his knees, ankles and shoulders he is, (to borrow a line from "Black Hawk Down"), "combat ineffective". But he's not just physically out of action he's also an emotional basket case having never reconciled himself to the death of Rachel Dawes. In the eight years since the events of The Dark Knight he hasn't been completely sedentary however. He has managed to oversee the rebuilding of Wayne Manor which returns to take it's place in Wayne's personal narrative ever more the occupied mausoleum it was in "Begins". The other occupant of that mausoleum is Alfred who has been waging a pitched battle to get Bruce up off his ass and back into the billionaire dating scene, alas, to no avail.

This first hour of "Rises" is breathtaking film making with Nolan at his story telling best and I sat through it wide-eyed and mesmerized. All the actors inhabit their roles with gusto while newcomer (to the series) Ann Hathaway steals the early show with her deft portrait of the determined, amoral, infinitely pragmatic cat burglar (she's never referred to as "Catwoman" in the film). Her Selina Kyle is the embodiment of all the other self-serving toadies who collectively make up the upper crust of Gotham society. The only difference between her and the "elite" is the scale of amorality. As the saying goes "steal a little and they put you in jail steal a lot and they make you king".

One of the things she steals is a pearl necklace that belonged to Bruce Wayne's mother. She acquires it by acting as a waitress at a Wayne Foundation function and sneaking into Wayne Manor's east wing where she lifts it from a safe. Her activities, however, get the attention of the Hermit of the East Wing and they have the first of many face offs. She gets away but Bruce's interest is piqued. His investigation into her identity is just what his rusty old instincts need to get him back on the horse and his pursuit of her sets him on a collision course with Bane who has snuck into town and is busy building an underground prison where he'll entomb Gotham's police force.

Here's where things get muddy. Turns out Wayne Enterprises had developed a fusion reactor which would apparently be able to provide the world with almost unlimited free energy. Bane has been using various proxies in order to gain access to this device, which BW had shunted away underground when it became apparent to him several years earlier that the reactor could be used to create a nuclear weapon. Bane and Company have devised a plan to rain financial ruin on BW (though I'm never really sure why) that includes a daring daylight assault of Gotham Stock Exchange and the implementation of a computer program that bankrupts Bruce. Selina Kyle covets this program because it'll apparently help her wipe out her identity and thereby operate with impunity.

Meanwhile without ever getting much of a brief on Bane or what he's up to BW decides he represents a significant enough threat to dust off the batsuit. But his return doesn't last long and he spends much of the movie's middle down a hole in the desert trying to remember "why we fall". There's so much exposition in the 2nd act, (much of which has little bearing on the outcome), that you start to wonder if Nolan got paid by the word. While I admire his desire to present us with characters that are more than cardboard cutouts the fact is all this talk serves more to bog the story down than flesh it out. That's particularly true when it comes to the story's principle threat: the nuclear annihilation of Gotham (Manhattan). Nolan seems to be of a mind that 'wordy' equals 'realistic' when in fact all the talk used to convince us of the 'reality' of the nuclear threat simply adds up to 'ponderous', not 'realistic'. And one more thing: this is not a film that unfolds over a 24 or 48 hour period yet the handling of the passage of time is nothing short of confusing and more often than not simply has a toss off feel to it ("Yeah. Yeah. It's a month later than it was a minute ago. Deal with it.").

Once we get into the 3rd act things thankfully begin moving again. Batman escapes from his 2nd act prison and returns to the streets of Gotham determined to take down Bane and Nolan injects a couple of clever twists into the story line that reinvigorate it. The action sequences are for the most part top notch though they play out on eternally unpeopled streets. (Nolan's preference for shooting on location in large urban areas and then emptying them of all but essential cast didn't work in "The Dark Knight" and it doesn't work here either. There are supposed to be several million people trapped in Gotham with no way to escape. Where are they?) The film's climax is riveting and ultimately things wrap up in a way that is sure to please some and infuriate others, while leaving several possible ways for Warner Brothers and DC to move on with the franchise.

Taken as a whole Nolan's Batman swan song is a good film that could have been a great film. Unfortunately, like that other blockbuster director with creative control, James Cameron, Nolan doesn't know how to edit himself. Had The Dark Knight Rises trimmed much of the fat of the 2nd act we'd be talking about a lean, mean movie machine; the best of all the Batman films. Instead what we've got is the 2nd best of Nolan's trilogy, after "Batman Begins".

Jul 19, 2012

New still images from "Dredd" remake

Comingsoon has a gallery of 17 new images from the upcoming "Dredd" remake starring Karl Urban. The film opens September 21st and is directed by Pete Travis. The story centers around events in Mega City, a sprawling megalopolis running the length of the Northeast coast of the US. Dredd must find a way to take out drug lord Ma-Ma, distributor of the new street drug/scourge 'slo-mo'.

Below is one of the new images. Click here for the whole gallery.

Still from Arum Productions' "Dredd"

Jul 17, 2012

Amazing "Punisher" short from Thomas Jane

This incredible short from Thomas Jane is careful not to call itself a "Punisher" film but it is just that in all but name (Jane himself calls it a "love letter" to the character). Its far and away the best "Punisher"-related piece I've ever seen. If you thought the Hulk had anger management issues you ain't seen nothin' yet.

"You know the difference between justice and punishment?" If your answer to that question is "no" - or if you're just in the mood for an extremely violent refresher course - check this out.

The top 10 movies for the weekend of July 13 - July 15, 2012

1) Ice Age: Continental Drift $46.6 Million
2) The Amazing Spider-Man $34.6 Million
3) Ted $22.4 Million
4) Brave $11.1 Million
5) Savages $9.3 Million
6) Magic Mike $9 Million
7) Madea's Witness Protection $5.5 Million
8) Part of Me $3.8 Million
9) Moonrise Kingdom $3.7 Million
10) Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted $3.6 Million
The number one movie a year ago this week was Warner Brother's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II" which debuted with a new (for the time) weekend box office record of $169.1 million.

Jul 16, 2012

2 new TV spots for "The Dark Knight Rises"

The superhero hype machine is in overdrive with the curtain going up on Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight swan song this Friday. These 2 new TV spots are jam packed with superlatives from the critics who've been lucky enough to see the film. I'll have my review here after I see it Friday night. Can't wait.

Jul 15, 2012

"The Hobbit" Parts 1 and 2.... and 3?

In this clip courtesy of hitfix Peter Jackson is asked flat out if he's thinking about splitting part 2 ("There and Back Again") of the upcoming Hobbit films into 2 parts and surprisingly he doesn't shoot the idea down. Give a listen (and forgive the 30 second ad that precedes the Jackson segment).

He doesn't come out and state categorically that turning "There and Back Again" into "There and Back Again: Parts 1 and 2" is something that's going to happen (and many people will argue that there just isn't sufficient source material to warrant a third Hobbit movie) but he clearly leaves the door open. I suppose an awful lot will depend on the reception "An Unexpected Journey" receives when it debuts December 14th.

"Thor 2" has a real title

Marvel Studio's head Kevin Feige revealed the full title of the "Thor" sequel, now lurching its way through pre-production. The new film will be called "Thor: The Dark World", though Feige wasn't of a mind to explain what the title meant. For my money Thor was far and away the best of the "Avengers" setup films and much of the credit for that has to go to Kenneth Brannagh's sure-handed direction. He's not returning for the sequel which will be helmed by Zachary Levi, but most of the cast is slated to return. Principle photography is scheduled to begin in August.

The big guy's return to the cinematic realm is set for Nov. 8, 2013 in "Thor: The Dark World"

Jul 13, 2012

Selina Kyle gets a "Dark Knight Rises" clip of her own

And it's about time if you ask me.

Mads Mikkelsen out of "Thor 2"

Not that he was ever officially "in" but it was assumed by many when Mikkelsen was in talks to assume the villain role for "Thor 2" that he'd sign on and all would proceed according to plan. But sometimes it doesn't work that way. In fact a lot of things aren't working that way for this sequel which has been flirting with the "problem production" label for several months now. In any event it's back to the drawing board (so to speak) for Marvel.

For his part Mikkelsen sounds maybe just a little pissed off at how things were handled by the studio. Here's a snippet from an interview he gave to Zoomin Movies.

“Yeah, that’s not happening unfortunately. I had a meeting with them, but they were a little too late. And then ‘Hannibal’ came in, and everything just came in the same period, so now it’s not happening.”

"Thor 2" is scheduled to begin principal photography in August.

Jul 12, 2012

"Oz The Great and Powerful" - trailer

Sam Raimi directs this origin story about the Wizard of Oz starring James Franco. For my money the black and white sequences look amazing while the color ones look like out-takes from Alice in Wonderland, though, to be sure you can never have enough flying monkeys.

Also, I haven't read all the books in the series but since Dorothy's visit to Oz was revealed to have been just a dream how could the Wizard have an origin story? Wouldn't his origin be Dorothy being hit on the head by that screen window?

"Oz The Great and Powerful" opens March 2013.

Off the beaten track trailer of the day - "Maatran"

They're lovers! They're fighters! They're sharp-witted and swarthy! They're.... conjoined?!

Jul 11, 2012

New TV spot for "The Bourne Legacy"

This new spot spends a lot of time driving home the main premise of the film: that Jason Bourne was only the tip of the kamakazi-super-agent nightmare. I don't think this film can be legitimately called a reboot, it's more like a spin-off and my personal hope is that the movie itself steers away from all the "Jason Bourne wasn't the only one" marketing-department dialogue and gets a chance to stand on its own because Jeremy Renner looks more than capable of carrying the film without having to stand on Matt Damon's shoulders.

"The Bourne Legacy" opens August 10th.

Trailer for Batmobile documentary

This great looking documentary which will have a partial premiere at Comic-Con this week investigates the history of the Batmobile from its debut waaaay back in the 30's to its most recent version: the Tumbler of Christopher Nolan's trilogy. Principles from most of Batman's live action incarnations pipe in with everyone from Adam West to Christian Bale professing their love of The Caped Crusader's ride.
Source: comingsoon.net

Jul 10, 2012

Outsized banner poster for "The Hobbit"

This is about the most exciting piece of material I've seen yet from the production, which recently completed principal photography. The banner is both gorgeous and enormous and needs to be seen in full to truly appreciate (the image below is just a snippet from the left hand side). Collider has posted the full image here.

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opens December 14th.

New Poster for "The Expendables 2"

This new poster seems a step up from the previous ones though most of the cast is still relegated to occupying various slices of Stallone's senior-beefcake. The poster is intended as a giveaway during this week's Expendables Comic-Con panel.

Looks like mayhem a-plenty is in store August 17th at theater near you.

The top 10 movies for the weekend of July 6 - July 8, 2012

1) The Amazing Spider-Man $62 Million
2) Ted $32.2 Million
3) Brave $19 Million
4) Savages $16 Million
5) Magic Mike $15.6 Million
6) Madea's Witness Protection $10.1 Million
7) Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted $7.5 Million
8) Part of Me $7.1 Million
9) Moonrise Kingdom $4.5 Million
10) To Rome with Love $3.1 Million
The number one movie a year ago this week was Paramount's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" which held on to the top spot for a second week with a $47.1 million haul.

Jul 9, 2012

"Lawless" - trailer 2

Tom Hardy continues his rise to the top, Guy Pearce continues his renaissance and Shia LeBeouf looks for Hollywood relevance outside the world of "Transformers" in John Hillcoat's "Lawless".

LAWLESS is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic gangster tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant's family in his novel "The Wettest County in the World", the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation's most notorious crime wave.

"Lawless" opens August 31st.

Jul 8, 2012

13 minute long TV featurette for "The Dark Knight Rises"

Warner Brother's and Christopher Nolan have released a lot of promo material for "The Dark Knight Rises" but this is by far the most comprehensive yet. 13 minutes long this featurette covers a lot of ground and contains appearances from all the major players. Nolan talks about his motivations and the decision to bring the finale to New York (something I heartily applaud). Christian Bale discusses Bruce Wayne's moral dilemma regarding whether or not to dust off the Batsuit and the others all have things to say about their characters and laudatory words for Nolan's vision and direction. There's also plenty of new footage.

I wasn't too hyped for this film when I first heard that Bane was going to be the villian in the Caped Crusader's swan song but the more I've seen lately the more I'm beginning to think it all might work. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Jul 7, 2012

"The Amazing Spider-Man" - 2012 - movie review

The reboot nobody asked for is finally here. Why a studio would choose to restart a fabulously successful franchise that's only a decade removed from its launch is now officially a moot question; or is it? I, personally, cling to the belief that as customers we pretty much decide what's moot and what's relevant. So I'm not going to shy away from the 600 pound gorilla in the room with this review.

My biggest gripe with the 'reboot' of Spider-Man is the same as everyone else's: having to sit through another retelling of the origin story. Didn't we get all that out of the way already and wasn't it just a few years ago? In order to justify this rehashing of the familiar the film makers promised us the "untold" story but as far as I can tell the only thing untold here is the beginning where the film makers substitute genetic engineering for radioactivity as the causal agent for Spidey's superpowers. I guess radioactivity was just too old school. After all, it's not like people are wary of radioactivity anymore. Heck there's been hardly any meltdowns in the past couple of years so I can see why the writers would feel compelled to tilt the narrative toward something more timely.

With what must surely be the big "untold" element out of the way I was left wondering "what else could the movie possibly bring to the table that would justify spending my hard earned money on?" Well, how about how they reveal that Peter Parker is actually a d*ckhead? That's right. According to Marc Webb and Co those of us who were faithful fans of the web-slinger for years and never knew him as anything other than a dutiful son/worker/boyfriend got it all wrong. He's actually just a smartass with a smartphone. A wise-guy with a secret and few redeeming characteristics other than his claim to victimhood. Hey, maybe that's the big "untold" story! Peter the weiner! Or maybe the big untold story is that this is not actually a Spider-Man movie. They just licensed the name and kept it "in the spirit of".

So after the first hour or so I began to feel I was finally up to speed on all the "untold" stuff and I was feeling better about being ripped off, uh, I mean buying a ticket. I recalibrated my expectations and settled into watching this movie about an unsympathetic, 30-something teenager who bears more than a little resemblence to "Black Spidey" from "Spider-Man 3" (except he's nowhere near the dancer). This new Spider-Man-type character also lives with an Aunt May, though (in keeping with the "Black Spidey" theme) this Aunt May has dark hair, not the grey hair of the actual Aunt May. (Wait a minute! Maybe that's the "untold" story. Aunt May is using "Just for Men"!) This new Spider-Man-type character discovers that his late father worked with a guy named Dr Curt Connors; a wack-job who decides to grow back his missing arm by modifying his DNA with that of a lizard. Predictably this experiment doesn't exactly work out and the resulting Dr Curt Lizard sets about causing all kinds of trouble for everybody.

The second hour brings together the two narrative lines: the d*ckhead growing into his superpowers and the wack-job growing into a lizard and proving he's too much for the po-lice to handle. A showdown is inevitable (but does anyone care?). In the middle of all this is the police chief: who also just happens to be the Spider-Man-type character's girlfriend's father. He specializes in mis-reading leads and mis-interpreting evidence. The ensueing mayhem along with the penultimate scene where Spider-man rescues a boy trapped in a car dangling over the East River seem like little more than minor outtakes from Marvel's truly marvelous "The Avengers".

The Amazing Spider(type)Man is not a bad movie per se. The technical people have all done their jobs admirably. It's well crafted and all with most of the actors doing a pretty decent job too (though it must be said that Emma Stone (Gwen Stacey) and Andrew Garfield (PP) have about as much on-screen chemistry as oil and water and Sally Fields is not Aunt May and never will be). It's just not a movie that has a place to fill and in attempting to create one the film makers have conjured up a movie that's unneeded, unwelcome, disrespectful to the canon, boring and tedious in its pretended sincerity. I take some solace however in imagining that this miscarriage of a movie may yet prove to be the catalyst for exactly what it purports to be: a needed reboot of a beloved franchise.

Johnny Rotten famously quipped "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" as the Sex Pistols stumbled off the stage at the end of their one and only real US tour in 1978. As I walked out of the theater after seeing this movie his quote was the only thing that came to mind.

New TV spots for "The Bourne Legacy"

Courtesy of comingsoon all three of the film's new tv spots are gathered together for you here. I have been incredibly skeptical about this film from the start (and still think they should take "Bourne" out of the title) but the more I see the more I'm starting to think that Jeremy Renner might make it hard to bring Matt Damon back. We'll see August 10th when the film opens.

Jul 6, 2012

International TV spot for "The Dark Knight Rises"

It's mostly previously seen stuff but there's a new tidbit or two thrown in for seasoning. "Nothing like a little air superiority." Indeed.

16 days and counting...

First IMAX poster for "The Dark Knight Rises"

Gotham is a red-hot town in this first IMAX poster for "The Dark Knight Rises". This is my favorite DKR poster to date though from the look of things the Caped Crusader needs to stop staring heavenward and get a move on if he's going to prevent Gotham from becoming naught but a pile of cinders.

Jul 5, 2012

Sneak peak at Matt Damon in "Elysium"

Neil Blomkamp (District 9) returns to the big screen with this dystopian tale of a future where humanity has been segregated into two groups: the haves who live on the orbiting city Elysium and the have nots who must scrape out a living on the ravaged, overpopulated remains of earth. The film stars Damon, Jodie Foster and William Fichtner. Below is the first official image from the production.

Though the premise bears a resemblance to that of "Battle Angel Alita" it remains to be seen if the similarities are more than just skin deep. That story was supposed to be developed by James Cameron before he declared recently that he's decided he's only going to make Avatar movies and documentaries from now on.

Elysium is scheduled to hit theaters early in 2013.

MGM attempts to put the kibosh on "Raging Bull 2"

Robert DeNiro as Jake LaMotta in "Raging Bull"
In one of the most welcome pieces of news to come out of Hollywood recently it's being reported the MGM is taking 91 year old Jake LaMotta and the producers of the wanna-be Raging Bull sequel to court to stop production.

MGM claims it has a contract that grants them exclusive rights to make any followup film and that LaMotta knew this, as did RGII productions, which is producing the film. According to Deadline MGM also wants compensatory and punitive damages and exemplary damages “awarded in an amount sufficient to punish the RB II defendants and to deter those who would commit or knowingly seek to profit from similar actions, now or in the future.”

We'll keep you up to date.

Jul 4, 2012

New "Dark Knight Rises" viral material

These latest images via Superherohype show Officer John Blake's performance review and seem like a nifty way to flesh out the character some without having to add to the film's already formidable 164 minute run time. Among other things the review states that Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) shows "great dedication and tenacity" but that those qualities make him "somewhat judgmental" of his fellow officers. Read the whole report below.

Dedicated and judgmental. Hmmm. Seems like the kind of guy Bruce Wayne could really take a liking to.

Jul 3, 2012

The top 10 movies for the weekend of June 29 - July 1, 2012

1) Ted $54.4 Million
2) Magic Mike $39.1 Million
3) Brave $34 Million
4) Madea's Witness Protection $25.3 Million
5) Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted $11.8 Million
6) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter $6 Million
7) Moonrise Kingdom $4.926 Million
8) Prometheus $4.921 Million
9) Snow White and the Huntsman $4.49 Million
10) The Avengers $4.42 Million
The number one movie a year ago this week was Paramount's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" which debuted in the top spot with a $97.8 million haul.

Jul 2, 2012

Off the beaten track trailer of the day - "Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles"

From Philippine director Erik Matti comes this green screen scream fest. Not sure what they're saying at the beginning of this trailer but I'll bet it goes something like: "I think we're about to get our throats ripped out by the the blood-sucking Aswang!" or words to that effect.