Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Star Wars Episode 7 due out in 2015 and several more films every 2 – 3 years, as Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4.05b!

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So the final trilogy, that George Lucas said wouldn't happen, is finally going to happen. Not only tat but it is going to be a Disney product and other filmmakers will be calling the shots. This is pretty huge news indeed and with Disney also having The Avengers 2 out that year, they could already have the 2 biggest films of the year. (Of course there’s room for all sorts of other contenders, from more Avatar to The Justice League.)
The interesting point here is that rather than just the final trilogy, in the super trilogy; Disney, and Lucas, expects to carry on releasing films set in the “Star Wars Universe” indefinitely, every 2 to 3 years. So who knows where the Star Wars films will go from here. It will also be interesting to see what Disney owning one of the premier special effects houses, Industrial Light & Magic, will play out.

Lucas had this to say…
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next…It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

The Indiana Jones series is not as clear cut, as Paramount has far more rights there than Fox do with star Wars.

Lucas explains his decision…

Monday, 29 October 2012

Hansel & Gretel Witch hunters: Red Band (age restricted) trailer. More blood, more gore, more exploding body parts…

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Ok this is a better trailer than the first one. It is a hell of a lot clearer who the film is aimed at for a start. Oh and did I mention the serious increase in body parts. Witches do not die well in this film; neither do their victims.

Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Hurt Locker) and
Gemma Arteton (The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Clash of The Titans) take on the evil Famke Janssen (X-Men, Taken2) in the very adult take on what happened to Hansel & Gretel when they grew up.

Red Band…


Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Wolverine: The film is set in the future, the X-Men are gone, and Logan is finding immortality a bit of a let down…

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Everyone has been trying to work out exactly how Famke Janssen’s cameo in The Wolverine was going to work out. Did it mean we were getting a Marvel Studios style post credits tease for X-Men First Class: Days of Future Past? Was it an unlikely moment in Logan’s past where the two met, but conveniently forgot each other by the first X-Men film? Well James Mangold (3:10 To Yuma) has confirmed to Empire magazine that The Wolverine is even more of a standalone film than we had previously thought.
"I wanted to be able to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it…”
Logan may not have any friends left to help hm out...

So, and I happen to think this is another good sign for the film, in order to tell a better story, Mangold is removing that which may get in the way. Of course that, plus this following comment, seems to suggest that perhaps Jean Grey isn’t making an appearance in the film after all, or at least if she is, I is purely in “flashback” or “dream” form...
"Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all…Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there’s a tremendous sense of isolation for him."

This leads rather neatly to the central theme of The Wolverine, like Highlander, Logan is finding that living decade after decade may not be as great as so many people would like to believe…
“The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me that’s such an interesting part of Logan’s character that is nearly impossible to explore if you have a kind of league or team movie."

So there you have it, much more can be found out if you buy the latest issue of the magazine itself, but this is definitely interesting news.

Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D the TV series gets a 2nd cast member as Ming Na joins Clark Gregg…

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Ming Na (Mulan, E.R, Stargate Universe) has signed up to play Agent Melinda May; described as “Soulful and slightly damaged by her combat experiences, Melinda is an ace pilot, a weapons expert and a soldier who can — and has — gone beyond the call of duty.” Those of you with sharp memories will likely recall that the character was original called “Agent Althea Rice, aka The Calvary”. 

Ming-Na is was one of many fine actors in the annoyingly short-lived Stargate Universe; we can only hope that this show retains that ones will to do things with some depth and quality, but has better luck than Joss Whedon is used to when it comes to get cancelled. Ming-Na will doubtless continue Whedon’s tradition of very strong female characters, from Buffy to River Tm to his excellent writing and directing of The Black Widow in The Avengers. Still no word on when this show is et, or in which Universe. (The same one as the films, or a different one where Clark Gregg’s agent Coulson never got killed by Loki.)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Evil Dead: Red Band trailer (not for kids) for the remake of the classic horror film is going to get you…

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For the uninitiated a Red Band trailer can show pretty much anything that may be in the film, sex, violence, profanity and scary horror thrill! Mwa ha ha ha. You may not be too impressed by a remake of The Evil Dead; odds are you have never heard of The Evil Dead; but rest assured this comes with more to recommend I than some. Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) may not be directing this remake of the ultra low budget film that introduced him to the world, but he is certainly a part of it. They may have dropped the “The”, but Sam Raimi is firmly on board as the producer of this film. 

“In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.”

The old gang’s all here. Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell, all produced the low budget original classic horror movie way back in 1981. Through their company ‘Ghost House  Pictures’.) Rodo Sayagues & Fede Alvarez have written the script; Diablo Cody (Juno, Jennifer’s Body)is working on the script re-write / polish.
The original film became a surprise hit, especially given the way it was filmed, and led to two sequels and any number of spin offs (video games, comics etc.) and imitators. In it Bruce Campbell and some friends go off to a remote cabin for a holiday but unwittingly awaken a host of demons Deadites) leading to no end of bloody confrontations, filmed in Sam Raimi’s (Spider-Man) now iconic style. The task here will be to somehow again make this film stand out from the, increasingly crowded, horror crowd. Hoping to achieve this with her re-write is Juno’s Diablo Cody. Aside from the very well received Juno, Cody has also written the less well received Jennifer’s Body; which I happen to think fits in very well with the Evil Dead’s brand of horrific humour and was on the end of a bit of an unfair Megan Fox backlash.

“In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.”

Red band trailer…

James Bond: Could Idris Elba be the first Black 007; and why is that such a problem for some?

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So the internet has been awash with the rekindled (for many it never really unkindled (it’s a word!) rumours / hopes / fears that a black James Bond (That’s what he’d be called) is closer than you think. Not only that, but that Idris Elba is on the radar of the Bond films’ equivalent of M, producer Barbara Broccoli.

The We want Idris Elba for James Bond Facebook page currently stands at 20,735 likes; so this is not a small thing. There are of course many people, friends of mine included, who don’t believe that James Bond should ever be anything other than a white man. But with the character having changed height, hair colour, accent (technically nationality surely – ‘Scottish British’ to ‘English – British’)  not to mention being played by an Australian (George Lazenby), a Welshman (Timothy Dalton), a Scotsman (Sean Connery) and an Irishman (Pierce Brosnan), as well as two Englishmen (Daniel Craig and Roger Moore). But Bond himself is more than happy with the possible change.

In fact back in 2009 current Bond, Daniel Craig, said…
“… I think we might have reached the moment for a [non white] 007. I think the role could easily be played by a black actor, because the character created by Ian Fleming in the 50s has undergone a great deal of evolution and continues to be updated."”

So what would be a problem with a black Englishman (or from any other part of the U.K) playing Bond? Well not a lot really, but it would certainly be a problem for a number of people. The simple fact is some people simply just don’t like change; they also often don’t ‘understand’ how the films they ‘love’ work.  Here’s an example of an anti ‘Black Bond’ opinion…

“…I'm not sure how they would explain Bond suddenly becoming black. Idris is great and he'd make a great Bond, but at the same time I don't want them to recast the character as randomly having a change in skin colour, nor do I want them to reboot the series again to explain the skin colour change that way…”

Well, there’s nothing to explain. Every change in actor is effectively a partial restart/ reboot anyway. Sure, you call upon the character’s background, but Timothy Dalton is very clearly NOT Sean Connery, or Roger Moore; yet there’s no 2 minute aside where it is explained that Bond has been recovering from all over burns and broken bones, explaining his change in appearance and sudden lack of a Scottish accent. So why would you assume that this is any different. What, because he’s black he now has to have come up from ‘Da streets’, been raised in Tottenham on a council estate and only turned to the military and then spying after a promising career as a footballer for Arsenal was cut short by injury? No, Bond’s background would remain almost entirely intact. Not that there’s usually a need to get into Bond’s past in such detail, but that which makes the character who he  is, is not changed in any way by his skin colour. Being British (English really) is, loving his country is important. You merely have to look at Britain’s successful Olympic team from London 2012 (for example medalists Nicola Adams, Jessica Ennis, Mo Fara, Antony Joshua, Lutalo Muhammad, Anthony Ogogo, Christine Ohuruogu and Louis Smith) and you’ll quickly be reminded (or shown) that the idea of somebody being British Heart and soul, and having to be white is very, very outdated indeed. In fact perhaps the most representative, as showcased in Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for London 2012, would be a mixed Race Bond.

So ask yourself, what is there about Bond, in the books you've read and/or the films that you have seen, that means his character only works if he is white? Tarzan may work on some levels, but you lose an awful lot if you change his colour; The Black Panther wouldn't work on any level if he was white and Prime Suspect becomes utterly pointless if the protagonist is a man. But Bond? English/British? Yes. Handsome, a lady killer? Yes Smooth and sophisticated? Yes? White? Why? What about him being a smart, deadly, slightly damaged, British ex-Military, well educated killing machine means he has to be white? In the 1960s maybe there’s an argument for it; there’s certainly an argument that he would be less useful as a covert operative at many of the Cold War antagonists; but those days are over and it is the 21st century?

Elba in a Guardian interview…
“So would you fancy a spin as the legendary superspy? "Who wouldn't like to play Bond?
Do I think it will happen? No, but I've got what it takes to do it. I can run around, flirt with ladies and drink. Plus I'm English."
As for the actual cause of the current debate; Skyfall star Naomie Harris told The Huffington Post…
“I didn't realise that there was this talk, and then I did a film with Idris, and he said that he met Barbara Broccoli…And that it does seem like there is a possibility in the future that there could very well be a black James Bond. And I would have to vote for Idris because I just finished working with him and he's a great guy."

…So, and of course there are no details here, it does seem that the owners of the James Bond films are open to the idea. There is little doubt that if this happened there would be a huge noise (not necessarily negative) in the press and this wish would go immensely unfulfilled…
"I would do it, but I don't want to be called the first black James Bond. Do you understand what I'm saying? Sean Connery wasn't the Scottish James Bond and Daniel Craig wasn't the blue-eyed James Bond. So if I played him, I don't want to be called the black James Bond."
Sorry to correct the great man himself, but Craig was very much discussed as the first “Blonde Bond” when he got the part; so if his hair colour is getting a mention, you’d better believe whoever ends up as the first non-white James Bond, will be getting that. Of course, what matters is how you’re remembered. Craig has already cemented his legacy as arguably the best Bond. IF Elba get the job, he simply needs to do well and make sure that the skin colour thing is at best a footnote; as it should be. Still I guess fans of Elba can at least look forward to the probable Luther film, not to mention Thor: The Dark World and Pacific Rim.
Suited up for Pacific Rim

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Iron Man 3: Trailer for the first of Marvel Studios “Phase 2” films…Oh and it's beyond awesome by the way...

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Iron Man! Go back 5 years and the common “wisdom” in Hollywood was that borrowing $525m to make their own films and making the first of those films about a guy in a metal suit that most people had never heard of (starring “never guaranteed a hit in his life” Robert Downey Jr. and from the director of Elf) was a bad, bad idea. Nothing like being able to say “I told you so!” is there Marvel? Whilst the film that sold and rented the most after The Avengers was Thor, few would argue that Iron Man now stands as Marvel Studios most popular ‘Solo Avenger’. The world will be watching eagerly to see if the post Avengers glow will result in a significant bump in the takings for Iron Man 3,not that it matters, the film will be a big hit even if it “merely” falls into line with the first 2 Iron Man films.

“Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?”

Iron Mann 3 isdirecte by Shamne Black (Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang) and has another excellent cast including; Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau and Sir Ben Kingsley.

Iron Man...
North American Gross
International Gross
Iron Man
Iron Man 2
*Shooting budget – does not include P&A costs.

Iron Man 3…

Friday, 19 October 2012

Skyfall: New trailer for the latest adventures of James Bond…

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With the UK release now just a week away, anticipation for the return of Daniel Craig’s 007 is reaching fever pitch. It is hard enough for those of us who weren’t born at the time, to believe that this film series has been going for 50 years, so I can only imagine what it must be like for those who went to see Sean Connery’s Bond in Dr. No waaaay back then.

“Daniel Craig is back as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in Skyfall, the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time. In Skyfall, Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.”

Skyfall will git UK cinemas on the 26th of October and begin rolling out around the world.  North American IMAX cinemas get the film one day early on the 8th of November. The film is directed by the Oscar winning Sam Mendes and has a first class cast including Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney and Dame Judi Dench.

Final trailer…

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tai Chi Zero: The Steampunk VS Kung Fu Trilogy begins soon, here’s the new trailer and a clip…

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There are some films that you can tell are really going to split the audience. Personally I think this film just looks like so much fun it would almost be disingenuous not to enjoy it. However people have very different tastes and the mad, crazy mix of Western Steampunk with Eastern Martial arts (all but definitely an allegory at play here) will be heaven for some and hell for others. Of course, being the type of person foolhardy enough to read what I have to say, you’re going to see this right?

Trailer 2…
“In legendary Chen Village, everyone is a martial arts master, and uses a powerful form of Tai Chi in all aspects of their life. Yang has arrived to try and learn it, only to find that it's forbidden for the villagers to teach their secret style to an outsider. But when a mysterious man comes to town with a frightening steam-powered machine and plans to build a railroad through a village, the villagers realize they may have no choice but to put their faith in Yang, who has a secret power of his own. With action directed by the legendary Sammo Hung (Ip Man 1 & 2), Tai Chi 0 is a full-on steampunk kung-fu throw down that will knock you out of your seat.”

I’ll take another chance to remind you that this film is from the people responsible for the excellent ‘Detective Dee: Mystery of The Phantom Flame’ and ‘Ip Man’; both films are well worth a look and Detective Dee is a wonderful Mystery, like Sherlock Holmes, but better. The story is planned as a trilogy, with parts 1 & 2 shot back-to-back, so Tai Chi Hero (or Pt.2) will be with us just a few months from now. The film gets a limited U.S release from the 19th of October.

There’s a monster…

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Jack Reacher: New trailer shows Tom Cruise in Collateral mode…

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There was (still is) a lot of noise from fans of the Jack Reacher Novels (This is an adaptation of ‘One Shot, by Lee Child) about Tom Cruise being cast in the lead. Reacher is basically a man Mountain, just a bit taller than Cruise, well much taller. 20 years ago I wouldn’t have bet on Mr Cruise’s ability to carry off a role like this; but the 21st Century Cruise is much improved, or maybe just a lot more effort is put into his work. Tearing through bad guys doesn’t always require the physique of Liam Neeson. Just like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee an attitude can be just a important. (Ok and amazing Martial arts skills.)

“When a gunman takes five lives with six shots, all evidence points to the suspect in custody. On interrogation, the suspect offers up a single note: "Get Jack Reacher!" So begins an extraordinary chase for the truth, pitting Jack Reacher against an unexpected enemy, with a skill for violence and a secret to keep.”

Adapted and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (writer of The Usual Suspects & The Wolverine) this film has genuine potential. Well at worst it has to be better than Taken 2 right?

Trailer 2…