Nov 30, 2012

"Skyfall" tops $800 million in global box office

"Skyfall" is one of the feel good movie stories of the year. After the mis-step that was "Quantum of Solace" and after the prolonged delay caused by studio financial troubles, Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig et al delivered what, in my opinion, is the best movie of the year. Skyfall has shown remarkable legs at theaters worldwide and Thursday surpassed $800 million in global box office reciepts. That's a full $200 million more than the previous franchise record holder, the equally excellent "Casino Royale". With China and Japan still to open it now seems likely "Skyfall" will top $900 million in global receipts. It's particularly good to see a thoughtful adult movie reach such lofty numbers. The results also bode well for those who'd like to see Sam Mendes return for Bond 24.

"That's right. I'm bad." - Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"

Nov 29, 2012

Teaser for Del Toro's "Pacific Rim"

Guillermo Del Toro channels "Cloverfield" in this teaser montage for "Pacific Rim" which purports to follow the first attack by the monstrously big "Kaiju" who inexplicably rise from the Pacific one day and move to take over the earth. In response, mankind constructs equally gigantic robots called "Jaegers" and the battle is joined.

"Pacific Rim" hits theaters July 12, 2013.

New TV spot for "The Hobbit"

2 weeks and counting down until the US release. This is the first spot I've seen that has Frodo front and center. It also demonstrates pretty clearly that the great Ian Holm is too old to have played the younger Bilbo as many fans were hoping he would when the film was being cast. Still, it's good to see both him and Elijah Wood in Middle Earth again.

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

"Avatar 2" to begin filming in 2013

While attending the New Zealand premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" James Cameron had a few things to say about his own long-awaited sequel.

Speaking to the press on the red carpet Cameron stated: “I want to get these scripts nailed down. I don't want to be writing the movie in post production. We kind of did that on the first picture, I ended up cutting out a lot of scenes and I don't want to do that again.”

He also indicated that he'd be open to 48 FPS for his return to Pandora if the public accepts its use in Peter Jackson's new epic and that he's been working on the Avatar 2 and 3 scripts on his New Zealand farm but "Unfortunately it's too damn distracting because it's so beautiful". Still, he believes he'll have both scripts finished by February and begin filming before 2013 is out.

Source: The West Australian

Nov 28, 2012

"Star Trek Into Darkness" has a new official synopsis

J.J. Abrams super-secret Star Trek sequel now has an official story line trekkers can dissect with a fine tooth comb for the next six months and here it is:

"When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.”

While I'm not sure how one "detonates" a fleet the story in general sounds like a blast (so to speak).

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in Paramount's "Star Trek"
 "Star Trek Into Darkness" hits theaters May 17, 2013.

Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen return to the X-Men universe

Brian Singer has announced via twitter that both Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will be reprising their roles as Magneto and Professor X respectively in the upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past". This seems to confirm that the storyline for the new film will more or less follow the 1981 comic book which alternated between a future where mutants lived in internment camps and a "present" where they were fighting the good fight to achieve basic rights. I for one welcome the return of these iconic stars to the cinematic world they helped create and can't wait to see the final product (which is due in theaters in December 2014).

Ian McKellen with Patrick Stewart. Photo: Tim Whitby/Getty Images Europe

Nov 26, 2012

The top 10 movies for the weekend of November 23 - November 25, 2012

1) Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 $43.6 Million
2) Skyfall $35.5 Million
3) Lincoln $25.6 Million
4) Rise of the Guardians $23.7 Million
5) Life of Pi $22.4 Million
6) Wreck-It Ralph $16.5 Million
7) Red Dawn $14.2 Million
8) Flight $8.4 Million
9) Silver Linings Playbook $4.3 Million
10) Argo $3.8 Million

The number one movie a year ago this week was Summit's "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1" which held on to the top spot for a second week with $41.6 million.

(Green indicates new release)

First TV spot for "Zero Dark Thirty"

Kathryn Bigelow's real-world thriller is due for wide release January 13th and the first TV spot is finally here. Some of this material was already used in the trailer but there's some new stuff too. Just for the record "Zero Dark Thirty" is a military term for late at night.

Nov 24, 2012

Production video #9 for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

It's hard to believe there's less than 3 weeks to go until the big premiere of "The Hobbit" but it's true. After years of legal wrangling with fans having their hopes repeatedly raised and dashed the hour is nearly upon us when we can sit down in a dark room with a bunch of strangers and indulge in some first rate fantasy!

Just to add fuel to the anticipatory fire Peter Jackson et al have released what will probably be the final production video which takes us through some of the madness as deadlines loom in Kiwi country and folks are living on coffee and fear. Let's have a look.

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

Nov 23, 2012

First footage from horror sequel "The Host 2"

The good folks at Twitch have posted a first look at the upcoming monster sequel "The Host 2". At the end of this short clip (which actually looks pretty cool) is what's being touted as a "visual effects breakdown" but is really just an incredibly insipid imitation of a breakdown whose big reveal is that the-fish-from-Raccoon-City was actually added digitally after the car footage was shot. Who would have thought they could do such a thing in this day and age? What will they think of next? Wireless telephones?!

Nov 22, 2012

Thanksgiving treat - deleted scene from "Thor"

I'm of the opinion that Kenneth Branagh's "Thor" is the best superhero movie out there. It confidently occupies both the real and mythic worlds with grace and humor, is perfectly cast, full of compelling action and at its heart is a story strong enough to spin "The Avengers" off of. I've seen it perhaps 20 times and never tire of it.

Though the movie works just fine as is it's still interesting to see what wound up on the cutting room floor and now Marvel has released a scene from the end of the film that has Natalie Portman attempting to send a signal to the big guy in the sky, just in case he forgot where she lived. It's a nice scene though I don't think it adds anything to the story really. But view it and decide for yourself.

Off the beaten track trailer of the day - "Valley of Saints"

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful there are still beautiful places like Kashmir in the world and that there are people out there dedicated to capturing these beautiful places on film. So for nothing more than purely aesthetic reasons I present to you the gorgeous trailer for "Valley of Saints". Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 21, 2012

Sam Mendes to direct Bond 24?

Sam Mendes - Getty images
Not too long ago (less than a month ago actually) Sam Mendes seemed to take  himself out of the director's chair for the next installment in the adventures of 007. He claimed exhaustion and talked about how the second time around you don't have the luxury of an untapped well of ideas. Now, however, he seems to be inching back toward Bond in comments he made to Time Out:

“I’ve enjoyed it enough to do it again. I think the choice is in the audience’s hands. If people love the movie and they want to see another one from the same people who brought you ‘Skyfall,’ then that would mean a lot to me.”

You'd have to have spent the past couple of weeks under a rock not to know how positive the reception has been for "Skyfall" both critically and commercially. So does this mean Mendes will indeed be returning? Honestly only time will tell but it's looking better all the time.

December 14th: Trailer day

With 9 minutes of "Star Trek Into Darkness" set to premier before IMAX 3D showings of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and the first real trailer from said Star Trek flick set to premier before non-IMAX showings of said "Hobbit" film December 14th was already shaping up to be a pretty good day from coming attractions. Now you can add to that a new trailer for Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" which the director implies will also be attached to Peter Jackson's "Hobbit".

Snyder broke the news to MTV: "I can't wait for The Hobbit, so it will be fun to see our crazy Man of Steel trailer and then enjoy the Hobbit because that's going to be great. It just feels like a fun Christmas thing to do, drag the whole family out for that action."

"Man of Steel" bows in cinemas June 14, 2013.

Nov 19, 2012

Interesting clip from upcoming sci-fi project "2088"

It's just another night on the beat in the year 2088 for LA's finest... until the attack bots arrive! I hate when that happens!

Here's a promotional blurb from SMI-Entertainment which attempts to put into context what we're looking at here.

The challenge: To produce, direct and write a transmedia sci-fi/drama property that will entice audiences from all around the world, allowing people to experience this story through multi-platform touch points.

The top 10 movies for the weekend of November 16 - November 18, 2012

1) Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 $141 Million
2) Skyfall $41.1 Million
3) Lincoln $21 Million
4) Wreck-It Ralph $18.5 Million
5) Flight $8.8 Million
6) Argo $4 Million
7) Taken 2 $2.1 Million
8) Jab Tak Hai Jaan $1.2 Million
9) Pitch Perfect $1.2 Million
10) Here Comes The Boom $1.1 Million

The number one movie a year ago this week was Summit's "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1" which debuted in the top spot with $138.1 million.

 (Green indicates new release)

Another one bites the dust - Brad Bird rules himself O.U.T.

Well another day means another big name director taking themselves out of the picture; the "Star Wars Episode VII" picture that is. Today's director-who'll-be-the-first-in-line-to-see-Ep7 is Brad Bird. “The science fiction film I AM doing, is gonna be cool,” he said via a fan hookup on Twitter. That cool film he's referring to is "1952", a film about which little is known at this point.

Correct me if I'm wrong but this Star Wars thing is supposed to be a coveted gig isn't it?

May the force be with you 'cause I'm outa here.

Nov 17, 2012

"Star Trek Into Darkness" trailer coming December 14

J.J. Abrams already revealed that the first 9 minutes of his new Trek film will preview before "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" on 500 IMAX screens December 14th. Now it's been learned that a full trailer for "Into Darkness" will play before non-IMAX showings of the Hobbit. Trekmovie claims multiple confirmed sources for this information and states in their story that this will not be a condensed version of the 9 minute IMAX preview, nor will it be merely a short teaser trailer. So something for every Trek fan coming December 14th, as well as a little something for Hobbit fans too.

One of 3 frames from "Star Trek Into Darkness" previously released by Paramount.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" warps into theaters May 13, 2013.

Bilbo takes center stage in new "Hobbit" TV spot

The latest TV spot for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has hit the small screen and it's all Bilbo all the (30 second) time. Lot's of previously unseen shots. Check it out.

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

Nov 16, 2012

Tarantino thinks old directors should go away

Steve dude! Time to hit quitsville road man!
In an interview with Playboy a soon-to-be 50 Quentin Tarantino offered his opinion of aging directors and, to quote QT himself "it's not pretty". Here's what he had to say.

"Who knows what I’ll do? I just don’t want to be an old-man filmmaker... I want to stop at a certain point. Directors don’t get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film f---s up three good ones. I don’t want that bad, out-of-touch comedy in my filmography, the movie that makes people think, 'Oh man, he still thinks it’s 20 years ago.' When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty."

Coming from a guy who hasn't directed a decent movie since 2004's "Kill Bill Vol 2" he certainly knows what he's talking about with that last statement.

Nov 15, 2012

"Star Trek Into Darkness" to preview before "The Hobbit"

Paramount and IMAX® Filmed Entertainment have announced that the first 9 minutes of J.J. Abrams "Star Trek Into Darkness" will preview before Peter Jackson's long awaited "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in 500 IMAX 3D theaters starting December 14th. The second installment in Abram's re-imagining of the Trek universe opens May 19th of next year.

Here's a portion of the announcement.

 “Our longtime partners J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and the Bad Robot team have really hit it out of the park – the footage is absolutely incredible... Their use of the IMAX Camera and canvas is sure to impress current and future Star Trek fans alike, and we’re thrilled to once again work with our friends at Paramount Pictures to offer this extended ‘first look’ at this highly anticipated summer blockbuster.”

A first look at Star Trek Into Darkness is coming December 14th.

"The ABCs of Death" - trailer

Bring together 26 directors of varying reputation, give them each a letter and task them with making a short film that has to do with dying by way of some means that starts with their assigned letter and what do you get? Why "The ABCs of Death" of course. Most definitely Not Safe For Work.

The ABCs of Death will be available on demand January 31, 2013.

Nov 14, 2012

New trailer for "Oz: The Great and Powerful"

I still want to know why you need an origin story for someone who was a character in Dorothy's dream. That said it looks like it could be decent afternoon at the movies for the young-uns.

"Oz: The Great and Powerful" opens March 8, 2013.

Frank Marshall dishes about Indy, Bourne and more

MTV news caught up to mega-producer Frank Marshall at the LA premier of the latest "Twilight" movie and asked him some pointed questions about the future of the Bourne franchise, the identity of the director for "Episode 7" and whether the LucasFilm sale to Disney had any impact on the future of the long talked about "Indy 5" movie. That film had pretty much slipped into the development underworld a while ago but there were some diehard Indy fanatics who'd hoped that recent events might have breathed some life into the corpse. Unfortunately instead of breathing life into Indy Marshall seems to toss dirt onto the Jones casket. Listen to the whole thing.

Nov 13, 2012

Entire early version of "Prometheus" script available online

If you're like me you thought Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" was a film that got lost somewhere in the writing process. Brimming with potential and visually stunning with a great cast the film seemed to suffer from too many cooks in the kitchen. It's been well documented that Jon Spaihts' original story was subjected to revision and embellishment at the hands of Damon Lindelof and many, including me, feel the film suffered mightily for it.

Now a pre-Lindelof version of the script has surfaced online and anyone willing to take a trip over to here is welcome to read it. (If you're willing to sign up to scribd you can even download it.) While I'm not sure this script would have been everything I wanted as it is, I do think it has a much more cohesive feel to it start to finish than "Prometheus" wound up having. Read it yourself and decide.

Nov 12, 2012

The top 10 movies for the weekend of November 9 - November 11, 2012

1) Skyfall $88.3 Million
2) Wreck-It Ralph $33 Million
3) Flight $14.7 Million
4) Argo $6.6 Million
5) Taken 2 $4 Million
6) Cloud Atlas $2.6 Million
7) The Man with the Iron Fists $2.59 Million
8) Pitch Perfect $2.57 Million
9) Here Comes The Boom $2.52 Million
10) Hotel Transylvania $2.4 Million

The number one movie a year ago this week was Relativity's "Immortals" which debuted in the top spot with $32.2 million.

(Green indicates new release)

"Skyfall" rewrites the Bond box office record books

There was only one story at the box office this weekend and it's name was Bond, James Bond. "Skyfall" smashed the previous opening weekend record for a 007 film by hauling in an estimated $87.8 million at the North Amerian box office. Add to that another $95 million it pulled in overseas during the weekend and Daniel Craig's 3rd run in Bond's shoes has already captured an estimated $518 million in global treasure. The film is poised to become the first Bond film to shatter the $600 million mark worldwide and with Japan and Australia still to open and a long run ahead in North America is probably looking at a final global take that's north of $750 million. Amazing and well deserved.

Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Director Sam Mendes and Bernice Marlohe of "Skyfall"

Nov 10, 2012

Off the beaten track trailer of the day - "Tragedi Penerbangan 574"

Take a corpse and load it into the cargo hold of an airplane full of superstitious types and what d'ya get? "Tragedi Penerbangan 574" which I'm thinking means something like "We couldn't afford a continuity guy". First the trailer:

Not that it really matters but I couldn't help noticing they placed that corpse on a rear-engine Fokker F28...

but once it headed down the runway it took on the distinctive profile of a Boeing 737 with flat-bottomed engines out on the wings.

What's more, the poster for the film shows a jet with yet another engine type: out on the wings and perfectly round.

I think that ghost is trying to mess with my mind!

Nov 9, 2012

Michael Arndt confirmed to write "Star Wars Episode 7"

Michael Arndt with his bling
Who'da thought Star Wars would be back in the forefront of tentpole talk as we wind down 2012? Not anyone I know. But here we are and here it is with the latest piece of news coming out of the marriage of LucasFilm and Disney being that Michael Arndt is officially confirmed to be writing the screenplay for Episode 7.

Arndt, well known for his work on "Toy Story 3" and "Little Miss Sunshine" (for which he won an Oscar), is said to have already completed a 40 - 50 page treatment for the saga as it moves forward. Said treatment is reported to call for appearances by cast members from the original trilogy playing older incarnations of their beloved characters.

Now all we need is a director. To that end the name Brad Bird keeps popping up though no one will go on the record at this time to either confirm or categorically deny that rumor. It shouldn't take long, though, to fill the chair with a summer 2015 release date looming a mere (in blockbuster terms) 2 1/2 years away.

Mark Walhberg joins "Transformers 4"

In a move that shocked the hell out of me Michael Bay has announced that Mark Walhberg has joined the cast of "Transformers 4". The move certainly lends some gravitas to the upcoming installment (if a Transformers movie can be said to have gravitas) - the first without series anchor Shia LaBeouf. From Bay's official announcement:

“Mark is awesome... and I’m so fired up to be back working with him. An actor of his calibre is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers legacy.”

Bay also credited internet "chatter" for giving him the idea to cast Walhberg:

"...let's say that very internet chatter gave me some ideas. We are at the inception of our story process right now on T4. Let's say some ideas are gaining traction with me and my writer – so I'm here to say thanks internet chatter."

Just how many films Walhberg has signed up for is unknown. Transformers 4 is due in theaters June 27, 2014.

"World War Z" - trailer

The whole zombie thing got old for me about, oh, 10 years ago so I was uber-skeptical about the upcoming "World War Z" with Brad Pitt. But I have to say this trailer is an absolute hoot! Check it out.

"World War Z" is due in theaters next June.

Nov 7, 2012

Oh my! Elijah Wood goes that extra bloody mile in new "Maniac" trailer

Maybe something about his role in 2005's "Sin City" gave him a taste for blood. Or maybe he felt that that particular cannibal just wasn't far enough out on the edge for his taste. Then again maybe he just felt that in order to truly and effectively avoid being typecast the rest of his career (for playing you-know-who) that he had to go out and try and one up Norman Bates. But whatever. At this point the reasons aren't as important as the work itself and so without further ado here is Elijah Wood in the new international red band trailer (and I mean RED) for Franck Khalfoun's "Maniac".

Definitely Not Safe For Work and not for the squeamish. You have been warned.

As of this writing there is no American theatrical release date for "Maniac". It opens in France on December 26th.

Nov 6, 2012

The top 10 movies for the weekend of November 2 - November 4, 2012

1) Wreck-It Ralph $49 Million
2) Flight $24.9 Million
3) Argo $10.2 Million
4) The Man with the Iron Fists $7.9 Million
5) Taken 2 $5.9 Million
6) Cloud Atlas $5.3 Million
7) Hotel Transylvania $4.4 Million
8) Paranormal Activity 4 $4.2 Million
9) Here Comes The Boom $3.5 Million
10) Silent Hill: Revelation 3D $3.2 Million
The number one movie a year ago this week was Paramount's "Puss in Boots" which held onto the top spot for a second week with $33 million (a remarkable drop of only 3% from it's debut weekend).

Nov 5, 2012

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

Starring the son of legendary cinematic visionary/cult figure/loose cannon Alejandro Jodorowsky "Tau" apparently tells the tale of a man carrying a water cooler bottle across Joshua Tree National Park before putting it down and setting up his tent. "Tau" apparently means "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".

But seriously, I'm all for experimental cinema even when the experiment yields little in the way of response other than "WTF?" This seems like the kind of piece that, upon the 200th viewing, you'll either say "Oh! I get it!" or "Did I really view this f*#*king thing 200 times!?!"

Nov 4, 2012

"Skyfall" - 2012 - movie review

Where "Quantum of Solace" started off with an ear-splitting symphony of red lining engines, metal screeching against tunnel walls and relentless machine gun fire "Skyfall"s opening returns to the more nuanced environs of "Casino Royale"s exhilarating physical action and death defying stunts. Indeed in most every way "Skyfall" - and not the regrettable "QoS" - is the legitimate heir to Casino Royale and every bit that wonderful movie's equal.

The film opens with Bond coming across a badly wounded MI6 agent who's apparently been double crossed. Bond tracks the perp out into the streets of Istanbul where he's joined by Eve (Naomi Harris) and all hell breaks loose in the form of the most exhilarating chase you'll see at the movies this year. The chase moves from car to motorbikes atop the Grand Bazaar to the interior of said bazaar back to the streets and finally to the top of a moving train where Bond turns an ordinary back hoe into the most unlikely action prop imaginable.

All this action is prompted by the fact that the wounded agent had on him a hard drive containing a list of all NATO agents around the world who have infiltrated major "terrorist" organizations. Being that Britain's NATO allies didn't know such a list existed, nevermind that someone was carrying it around with him on his laptop, M (Judi Dench) is very interested in making sure whoever took the list doesn't get to keep it. In her zeal to kill the list thief M tells Eve to take a risky shot at the thief while he wrestles with Bond on the roof of the train. Eve, however, misses her mark and Bond plummets into the river below presumeably KIA.

So Bond is dead and the list is gone and M has to go to the principal's office where she's notified that she'll be voluntarily retiring in 2 months. On her way back to her own office her car becomes stuck in traffic and while she's arguing with a traffic cop a huge bomb goes off in nearby MI6 headquarters, taking out nearly an entire floor. Had M not been stuck in traffic, well...

Meantime it seems reports of Bond's death have been somewhat premature (whew!) as we see him cavorting on some tropical island with the local talent and in self-destructive games involving hard liquor and scorpions. (I have to say that as he slammed his shot glass down onto the bar I almost expected him to cry out "Pistore!") On the heels of another all-nighter he's lurched over a seaside bar at sunrise when on the TV comes a report of the MI6 explosion. A half dozen MI6 personnel were killed in the attack and this gets Bond's dander up. He returns to London but since he was declared dead he must re-qualify for active service and that means taking a range of tests. These tests reveal that time may be catching up to him. M clears him for service anyway much to the chagrin of Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) the new MP overseeing all things clandestine for the government. Mallory wants Bond to go away. M, though, identifies with his struggles and insists he stay.

Things then move on to Shanghai which in 20 short years has gone from overstuffed backwater to the prototypical 21st century city. Unelected totalitarian "government"? Check. Gross imbalance in income distribution? Check. 2000 foot skyscrapers? Check. Lots of multinational corporations fleeing Western pay scales and benefit packages? Check. All right then! Where London is all stone and wood Shanghai is all glass and neon light. Which brings me to another point. This film looks great. Roger Deakins' photography and Chris Lowe's art direction bring the film into the real world while maintaining an air of the mysterious and exotic. A shadow-puppet-like dance of death between Bond and one of his quarry in a Shanghai high-rise with the electronic billboard curtain wall of an adjacent building as backdrop is one of the most breathtaking sequences I've seen at the movies in years.

That man Bond was "dancing" with turns out to be a dead end but he inadvertently leads Bond to Severine (Berenice Marlohe) and through her he's introduced to the man behind the curtain of the recent chaos; former MI6 agent and malcontent extraordinaire, Silva (Javier Bardem). Bardem takes Silva in bold and unexpected directions that are sure to make some in the audience squirm a bit uncomfortably in their seats while imbuing him with the kind of dark self-certainty that made his otherwise very different Anton Chigur the walking black hole that he was. Bardem proves once and for all that his "No Country For Old Men" performance was no fluke and I'd be shocked if he wasn't nominated for his performance here.

Skyfall is a self conscious film but not in a cheesy wink-wink kind of way. More in the sense the film makers are aware the character has been around the block a few times and and may have outlived his usefulness in both a fictional and movie-business sense. After all, in a world where you can see and hear nearly everything everywhere in real time, where someone can hack into one of the most secure computer systems in the world and reek havoc and where unmanned drones are sent by unseen techies to kill the enemy continents away what the hell do you need boots on the ground for? That's certainly the topic of the back and forth between Ben Winshaw's Q and Bond when they first meet. Their terse dialogue concludes with Winshaw dismissively stating that "sometimes you need someone there to pull the trigger." and Bond replying "Or not to." Touche.

Importantly, Skyfall represents a step back from the influence of the Bourne films. If any recent movies could be seen as influencing it I would site Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" as well as Martin Campbell's aforementioned "Casino Royale", the film in which James Bond finally grew up. To be sure, though, Skyfall stands confidently on its own.

This Bond is no consumer wet-dream with all the emphasis on the externals, this Bond demands we pay attention to what's going on inside the characters. To my thinking this is where Bond has been heading since Pierce Brosnan inherited the role 15 years ago and with Skyfall the journey from cheeky consumer fantasy to smart, intense action/drama is now complete. From the outset Skyfall asks the question "Does Bond have a place in the 21st century?" By the time the final credits roll it has answered that question with a resounding "Yes!"

Beautifully filmed, intelligently written, deeply satisfying, with first-rate performances from all the main players - capped off by an Oscar worthy performance from Javier Bardem - "Skyfall" is the best movie of the year.

Nov 3, 2012

Advanced tickets for "The Hobbit" go on sale Wednesday

According to Deadline tickets for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will go on sale Wednesday November 7 at noon, both online and in theaters. That's more than a month ahead of the December 14th release date. All-day screenings of the full, extended edition version of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy are scheduled for December 8th and 9th in selected theaters nationwide and you'll be able to buy tickets for these "Rings" marathons on November 7th too, along with your Hobbit tickets. 

Nov 2, 2012

"Side Effects" - trailer

Starring Jude Law, Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum Steven Soderbergh‘s "Side Effects" tells the tale of a woman who turns to prescription drugs as a way of dealing with the anxiety she feels around her husband's upcoming release from prison. The cure, in this case, turns out to be much worse than the disease.

"Side Effects" hits theaters February 8, 2013.

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

This film, from Filipino director Richard Somes, tells the tale of a young woman lost in the big city searching for her sister. It would seem by the looks of things that her sister has a taste for the wild side. The trailer may set some kind of record for most cuts in 50-odd seconds but the imagery is compelling and the characters seem plucked from the dingiest corners of Manila.

"Skyfall" sets 7 day UK box office record

In its first week of release "Skyfall" has raked in an astonishing $60 million at the UK box office. Those would be good North American numbers for just about any film. By comparison the previous record holder - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - had earned $57.5 million in its first week in UK theaters with half of that total coming from 3D showings (Skyfall is being shown in 2D only).

Producers Barbara Broccoli and  Michael Wilson along with MGM brass were gushing over the combination of extremely positive early reviews and record setting box office. Broccoli thanked all "the Bond fans and all U.K. cinema audiences for making Skyfall the biggest opening week ever..." and MGM chair Gary Barber added: "The continued record-breaking success of this film is a true testament to all involved and the global power of this 50 year old franchise."

Dynamic Duo: Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig of "Skyfall"
All this bodes well for JB as he prepares to launch stateside on November 9th.

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" - trailer

Looks like the Rock and Bruce Willis have kinda moved in and nudged Channing Tatum aside but with with the fate of the world hanging in the balance (and the hills teeming with mountain ninjas) I suppose it only makes sense to call the big guns.

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (newly converted to 3D) will hit theaters March 29, 2013.

Nov 1, 2012

Poster for "Oz the Great and Powerful"

I don't know anyone who's not a little uneasy about the idea of Disney tackling a "Wizard of Oz" prequel. That movie is such an iconic piece of cinema, so central to so many people's childhoods that to add, subtract or otherwise try and butt in and profit off all the good vibes seems almost sacrilege. But the prequel - starring James Franco, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis - is coming and here's the first poster. Mila Kunis looks good in black!

New international TV spot for "The Hobbit"

Sometimes you gotta go overseas to get those little snippets you won't see stateside. This spot has a nice balance of humor and heaviness as well. Take a look.

Mark Hamill speaks out on sale of LucasFilm to Disney

Mark Hamill
Everyone from Mars to Middle Earth has heard by now of the sale of LucasFilm to Disney and Disney's intention to slog on with Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII and IX. One question the latter fact raises is "If we're going to pick up the story after 'Return of the Jedi' does that mean there's a place for the original 'big three' of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in the new films?" It's not such a wacky notion and Luke Skywalker himself has weighed in on the possibilites in an interview with EW.

Turns out George Lucas had already informed Hamill and Fisher of his intention during a lunch some months ago and Hamill's response was one of surprise, to say the least. "So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” 

There's lots more in the interview. Read it here.