Monday, 21 November 2011

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Behind the Scenes clip with Dwayne Johnson, Michael Cain, Josh Hutcherson & Vanessa Hudgens...

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It’s been fewer than 2 weeks since the first trailer for Journey 2 was released, but with the film itself due out in just a few months, we’re getting our first behind the scenes look too. This film faces an uncertain level of competition as it goes head to head with the 3D release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. It seems almost impossible to predict what level of interest there will be in seeing that film on the big screen again. It is certainly a more popular film than many die-hard Star Wars fans would like to believe; however it is popular with the kind of fans who are more than happy to watch the film at home, and not so popular with those who are most likely to shell out for another, 3D priced, trip to the cinema.

Star Wars Episode 1 3D: Trailer for next year’s 3D cinema release...

Journey to The Centre of The Earth was a fair sized hit a few years and the ending of that film teased potential further adventures exploring the realities of Jules Verne’s fantasy stories. Hutcherson, Johnson and Caine all have “certain” hits due out later in 2012 with The Hunger Games (Hutcherson), G.I. Joe : Retaliation (Johnson)  & The Dark Knight Rises (Caine), but all 3 will be looking to kick off the year witha 3D hit that will be expected to outdo the first film’s $241,995,151.

Young Sean Anderson receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It's a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret.

Unable to stop him from going, Sean's new stepfather, Hank, joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter, they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever.

The Dark Knight Rises; “...our story picks up quite a bit later...he’s an older Bruce Wayne. It is ... years after The Dark knight”...

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This month’s (Well technically next month’s) Empire Magazine has some interesting titbits and scraps of information, ahead of the movie’s IMAX prologue preview on the 21st of December. (Recall how successful the Joker bank robbery preview was 4 years ago.) The most interesting of which may be that, contrary to many assumptions , this film will not only fail to pick up directly from The end of The Dark Knight; where Bruce sacrificed the Batman’s reputation for “the good of the city”, but will in fact take place a full 8 (EIGHT) years after that film. Nolan explains...
“It’s really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne’s story. We left him in a very precarious place at the end of The Dark Knight. His reputation in tatters, on the run. And I think, perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later. Eight years after The Dark Knight. So he’s an older Bruce Wayne. He’s not in a great state.”

There has been an awful lot of debate about the choice of Bane as the main villain, or at the least the most visible villain, for this film. Nolan explains why he felt it was necessary to go to Bane and how he poses a different challenge to those seen so far in Nolan’s Batman films, and also a type of challenge that was vital for a trilogy ending story.

“The world of Batman, indeed the world of all graphic novels, deals with archetypes... You want a different archetype. What Bane represents in the comics is the ultimate physical villain.”
Christian Bale says “It’s the first time in Chris’ movies that we’ve had an adversary who is physically superior.”

There’s also a little confirmation on the nature of Bane’s mask; which is sufficiently different enough from the comic book creation to have comic book fans speculating, alongside those who had never heard of Bane, as to how the character would play out, and what his mask / costume represented. In the comics Bane, who is extremely intelligent, gets his incredible strength from “Venom”, which is injected, intravenously via tubes in the back of his head. That all seemed a little bit much for the “real world” vision of Nolan’s Batman films; not to mention the mask suggested gas, not liquid. Well according to costume designer Lindy hemming, Bane’s costume, like Batman’s is full of history and practicality. The look of the mask was inspired by her desire to have it be “like an animal”, most notably Silverback Gorillas. Bane has suffered an injury earlier on in his life, the severity of which is that he cannot survive the pain without the gas. The mask acts as a permanent delivery system for the gas.

There’s much more on Bane and the Dark Knight Rises in the latest issue of Empire which is either on sale now or about to go on sale.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Gone Trailer; Amanda seyfried may be the only person who can save her sister from a serial killer, or just be insane...

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The ‘are they right, or are they nuts’ story is not an easy one to get right. Add to that the propensity for the marketing guys to ruin the ‘mystery’ by showing us the answer by the end of a trailer and this intriguing genre is often fighting an uphill battle.

In this film Jill (Amanda Seyfried) clams that her sister has been abducted and that the kidnaper is the same man that took her years earlier. The problem is the police didn’t believe her then and so are doubly certain she’s wrong now, and more in need of medical help than police assistance.

 The film also stars Jennifer Carpenter, Sebastian Stan and Wes Bentley; it is out on the 24th of February 2012.

Ender’s Game: Lead role offered to ‘Hugo’ star Asa Butterfield...

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It’s no secret that Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is one of my 5 favourite books of all time. It’s also one of those books that sounds frankly ridiculous and simple if you try to describe it, so over the years I’ve either just lent people my copy of the novel of encouraged them to seek it out if they aren’t in my physical sphere of influence. In over 20 years I haven’t had a single person come back anything other than thrilled by the book, so, once again, if you haven’t read it, I really suggest that you do, it is excellent. A great many stories, including The Hunger Games, could trace their ancestry through this story.
Asa Butterfield in Martin Scorsese's Hugo

The basic plot of the film revolves around a military training camp in space where the best of Earth’s children are being trained  in military combat, training and tactic in a desperate attempt to find an ‘Alexander The Great, Julius Caesar, Nelson type military genius. Earth has survived an alien Invasion, by an enormous combination of good fortune and ‘the one right guy in the right place at the right time’. But the aliens will be returning and in greater force; it is a battle the human race has no chance of winning on ‘equal’ terms unless they can find a person, or group of people, on a par with the greatest military geniuses of all time. To that end children have been ‘monitored’ for signs of genius level intellect AND a propensity for violence / strategic thinking. Children that are viable candidates get shipped off to a space station for a combination of education in war ad a series of games designed to both test and fine tune their military prowess. Again, I know this doesn't read that well, but it is very much worth a read.
It seems that no book worth filming doesn’t come with a tale about years and years of aborted attempts to bring it to screen. I remember “speaking” to Card about the film way back in 2002, where he confirmed that a film of the story was best served as a combination of the 2 separate novels Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. As he said then My point was that no matter what happens with the movie, my books will still exist, and the movie will not erase them.  Meanwhile, we have a creative team assembled - including the Warner executives involved - who all want the same thing I want - an excellent Ender's Game movie - and are all agreed on the same fundamental storyline combining the core story elements of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow.
The Ender series of books continues to be adapted by Marvel Comics

Asa Butterfield is currently most famous for his roles in ‘The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas’ and 'Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang', but that will change over the coming weeks as he is the star of Martin Scorsese’s ‘children’s’ 3D film ‘Hugo’. He hasn’t accepted the role yet, but he’s a fantastic young actor and I happen to hope he takes the part.

The film is being produced by Robert Kurtzman & Bob Orci, the writing team behind J J Abrams’ Star Trek films, Transformers and Fringe. It is to be directed by Gavin Hood. Now that appointment will send shudders down the spine of  some, because they didn’t like X-Men Origins: Wolverine; but they should remember that, even if they don’t like that film (and millions did), Hood got the job as director of Origins because of his multi award nominated work as director of Tsotsi; and he has been nominated for other films too.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hugo featurette: Martin Scorsese & James Cameron discuss Scorsese’s 1st 3D film...

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When the old Masters jump into 3D they do it with both feet. Spielberg’s first 2D film (Tintin) was also his first animated film and first time directing a Motion Capture movie. Scorsese has ventured into the world of Children’s adventure film making. I can’t wait. 

"Imagine Citizen Kane in 3D. I'm not saying do it." Quality...

“Hugo tells the story of an orphan boy living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station. With the help of an eccentric girl, he searches for the answer to a mystery linking the father he recently lost, the ill-tempered toy shop owner living below him and a heart shaped lock, seemingly without a key. Based on Brian Selznick's award winning and imaginative New York Times bestseller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, this magical tale is Academy Award(R)-winner Martin Scorsese's first film shot in 3D.”

Release dates...

New Zealand

The Avengers movie get 2 shiny new posters...

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It’s been a little quiet on The Avengers front since the teaser trailer debuted to a record smashing 10m downloads in 24 hours, back on the 11th of October. Since then we’ve had trailers for The Hunger Games, pretty well received by fans and non fans alike, and Snow White & The Huntsman, which has gone down an absolute storm. (Point of reference since The Avengers trailer hit Marvel’s YouTube on the 11th of October it has had an excellent 4,754,237 views; SWATH went up on the 11th of November (6 days ago) and has had 7,252,065 views!)

Snow White & The Huntsman trailer. Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron & Kristen Stewart take Snow White to war; is this trailer the fairest of them all? Yes, yes it is...

Snow White & The Huntsman Trailer passes 2.3 million YouTube hits in a day!

The Hunger Games trailer is here, and...

So just to keep us all reminded that the 2most ambitious” super hero film ever made is only 6 months away Marvel Studios have just given us the banner poster. It’s a bit of weird one to be honest. The thing has a bit of a fan-made look to it and Ruffalo’s greenish tint (He’s Hulk you know) makes me think more of Toad than The Hulk. Still The Avengers is still pretty much top of the list of “big” movies to look forward to next summer.

“Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures "Marvel's The Avengers"--the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, "Marvel's The Avengers" is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series "The Avengers," first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when "Marvel's The Avengers" assemble in summer 2012. In "Marvel's The Avengers," superheroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.”

The Solo-Avengers...
North American Gross
International Gross
Iron Man
The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man 2
Captain America: The First Avenger

The Avengers hits the world’s cinema screens from the end of April 2012...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Titanic 3D trailer: James Cameron celebrates titanic passing 10 million Facebook fans by releasing the trailer there...

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Titanic is a keystone film in American cinema. For months the industry’s media had been sniping at the film and speculating on just how much damage the extremely costly film was going to do to Fox when it failed to break even; How far it would set back Cameron’s own directing career too. Well the film made money in a fashion that hadn’t really been seen in cinemas in the “multiplex age”. Making either the same or more money weekend after weekend for months to become the highest grossing (unadjusted of course) of all time around the world. Titanic grossed 1,843,201,26; $600,788,188 from North America and $1,242,413,080 from the rest of the world. Only Avatar has gotten anywhere near it since, passing it on the way to an even more impressive $2,782,275,172. 

Here's the trailer sans Cameron's intro in higher quality. To hear the King of the World, seee the trailer at the end...

More than that it went on to win several Oscars; including a Best Film and Best Diector combo for Cameron. That led to what I still consider to be one of the most bizarre misunderstandings in awards history. Cameron shouted out “I’m the King of The World” emulating countless thousands of people who had, and still are, copying that famous line from the film. But somehow this is seen as some crazed, ego-maniacal declaration of intent to conquer mankind and he still gets stick for it.
As it was way back in1997

We shall see if the allure of seeing the film again, or for the first time, on the big screen is significant enough to draw big crowds to the cinemas for Titanic 3D. One thing is certain; this is no half assed ‘Clash of The Titans’ or ‘The Last Airbender’ 3D Conversion. (See my article for the SyFy channel on this subject; linked below)This is the real deal with a whole lot of time, effort and money put into making this film look right.  $18m and about 60 weeks is what it is taking to get Titanic 3D to the cinema. Cameron describes the film as being “...about 90% of what it would have been if it was shot in 3D, a filmmaker I would much rather shoot in 3D than convert to 3D to get an equal outcome.”

The Avatar Effect - 3D for the Masses






Brave; trailer for Pixar’s latest animated film...

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A lot of people think Pixar made their first, big, misstep with Cars 2 this year. The first of their films to get a negative critical response (38% / 5.5 on Rotten Tomatoes) Cars 2 was seen as a largely commercial affair designed to make Disney billions of dollars in merchandising revenue by making the brand more popular overseas. John Lasseter refutes that suggestion and the fact remains that the film made an impressive $551.7m worldwide (including a jump from $217.9m to $360.4m from international markets.) and kids loved it.

“Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In "Brave," a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts. Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late.”

Brave features is the first Pixar film with a female lead character and it will be hoped that the film represents a return to form for Pixar, for those who didn’t like Cars 2 that is, and it is certainly looking beautiful. As ever there is an impressive voice cast with Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane all helping to remind us, just a tad, of Dreamworks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon.