Thursday, March 31, 2011

Scream 4 Character Guide

April 15th is fast approaching and should be considered a National Holiday in my opinion -- kidding, but that's when Scream 4 hits theaters and I couldn't be more excited. It's been over 10 years since the release of the last Scream movie and the horror genre hasn't been the same since. So Wes Craven has decided to bring Ghostface out of retirement and scare the living hell out of everyone who thought it was safe to pick up the phone again.

Thanks to the guys over at Fandango, we now have this nifty character guide to get everybody up to speed on the current list of victims characters that will join Sidney, Gale and Dewey in a fight for their lives in this, the fourth installment of the very popular horror franchise.

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell): Sidney, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. Her appearance also brings the return of Ghostface, putting everyone she knows and the town of Woodsboro in danger.

Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox): After writing 6 "Stab" books based on the Woodsboro murders Gale's once successful career as a news personality has faltered.

Sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette): Sheriff Dewey is still (somewhat) competently patrolling the streets of Woodsboro and is now married to Gale Weathers.

Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts): Sydney's cousin, who has a relationship with Woodsboro's resident bad boy, Trevor Sheldon. Looks to take over as the "New" Sydney if in fact there is a new trilogy of films.

Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere): A quick-witted, outspoken, tough cinephile. “She’s sassy, she’s strong and she’s savvy,” Panettiere says of Kirby.

Trevor Sheldon (Nico Tortorella): Woodsboro's resident bad boy and high school big man on campus. The guy everyone in school loves to hate, Trevor saves a soft side for girlfriend Jill (Emma Roberts).

Deputy Perkins (Anthony Anderson): Sheriff Dewy gets some assistance in the form of Deputy Perkins.

Deputy Hoss (Adam Brody): Deputy Hoss assists Sheriff Dewy, representing the third man of the law on the trail of Ghostface. More cops mean more protection? Um, maybe.

Sherrie (Lucy Hale): Not much is known about Lucy's role, but in the trailer she wisely passes the phone to a friend after the terrifyingly familiar voice asks "What's your favorite scary movie?"

Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin): Charlie is the president of the high school cinema club who gains a lot of welcome attention for his horror expertise once the killings begin.

Robbie (Erik Knudsen): The most technologically adroit of Scream 4’s teens. “A big part of this film is not only the effect of movies on these characters but also the effect of the Internet and the fact that movies are leeching into the Internet. He’s the one who bridges those two generations," director Wes Craven says of Knudsen.

Rebecca Walters (Alison Brie): Sydney's driven publicist. "She's very ambitious. She's a little go-getter. She loves Gale Weathers. She looks up to her, and wants to be her," Brie says of her role.

Cameos (Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell): What Scream would be complete without the cameos. Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell appear briefly -- but how will they exit?

Ghostface (TBD): An expresion-less icon of fear, the Ghostface killer is the only slasher in the history of horror to change identity from film-to-film, continually haunting Sidney's tragic life.

Wes Craven (Wes Craven): Master of suspense Wes Craven has created more than one icon of fright in his impressive career. Will Wes Craven go uber-meta in Scream 4 and reveal himself as the killer? Hmmm?

So there you have it. The cast of character involved in one of the most highly anticipated (well at least by me anyway) horror movies to come out in a long time.  April 15th can't come fast enough and believe me I will be counting the days down until then! What's my favorite scary movies? I will tell you in 15 days!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Updates on X4 and X5, Deadpool and The Wolverine

Producer Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men Franchise) in the latest issue of Empire, provides updates on the X-Men films, Deadpool, and The Wolverine. She explains that the upcoming prequel X-Men: First Class doesn’t mean we’re done with X-Men films set in the present day:

"We took the treatment to Fox and they love it… And X4 leads into X5."

News broke the treatment she's describing was well liked by execs and that Bryan Singer's X-Men story will continue.

She also spoke about how The Wolverine will be different from it's previous installment, X-Men Origins: Wolverine:

"It will have depth and a dramatic backbone. And yet there’s more action in this one than in any one we’ve ever done. It’s such a good script. We have the great Christopher McQuarrie writing and it’s very true to the Japanese saga. This is Logan on his own…"

Later in the interview Donner gave us a more definite answer when it comes to all the talk surrounding the upcoming Deadpool spinoff with Ryan Reynolds. She reiterates that the movie won’t acknowledge Deadpool's role in "Origins" and that:

"[Deadpool will be] a total reboot. We’re either going to pretend that didn’t happen, or mock it, which he could do."

She continued by saying that this will be the Deadpool fans know from the comic and that you’ll see all of Wade Wilson’s various forms:

"You’ll see all of them. You’ll see Wade Wilson, the good-looking Ryan Reynolds! You’ll see Deadpool in his costume and you’ll see the cancer-scarred face."

All but one of these stories has me excited and that would be the X4 and x5 news that broke today. With the decision made to make two more X-Men movies I'm really surprised given the fact that a reboot has just occurred of the franchise and now they want to continue on with Bryan Singer's version of the films. I though the reason for the reboot in the first place is because the movies were going nowhere fast!

After Brett Ratner's failed attempt at making the third film a success (story-wise) a reboot was obviously needed but now they are saying that those characters and that movie franchise isn't finished telling it;s story. That's just weird to me. Guess we'll just have to sit back and watch all the pieces come into place. Gotta love Hollywood!

Season 1 of ‘Shameless’ Shows What #Winning is All About

So many great new shows this season, so little time. After watching the first season of Showtime’s ‘Shameless’, I can easily say it did not disappoint. Adapted from the UK series by the same title, this show is witty, raw, and perhaps, universally relatable. William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, lead a large cast of characters, personifying the struggle of a family trying to stay afloat while living at the poverty line, and relying on each other to overcome frequent obstacles. Their scramble to afford groceries, keep the utilities from being shut off, and avoid trouble in a rough neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, is reminiscent of a modern-day ‘Roseanne’. Each episode features one of the character’s introducing the recap, and as they often say, here’s what you missed:

Single “father” and unapologetic alcoholic, Frank Gallagher does everything he can to avoid any type of responsibility as he blunders in and out of the lives of his six children, who have learned to be savvy and self-reliant. Fiona, the eldest, has to try and intercept Frank’s erratic, and selfish behavior and provide for the others, all while getting involved with a man who steals cars for a living, and isn’t who he says he is. Eldest son Philip (Lip), takes SAT tests for money, exchanges tutor sessions for oral sex, and when he tries to share the wealth with younger brother Ian, Ian reveals that he is gay. Ian has a fake girlfriend, has regular sex with his married boss in the store where they work, and eventually doubles back, and starts a relationship with his fake girlfriend's, brother, who his boss shoots when he finds out, all just before Ian learns Frank is not his father.

The younger children, mostly left to their own devices, find unique ways to entertain themselves, Debbie borrowing a baby for an afternoon, and stalking Fiona’s boyfriend, and Carl’s increasingly disturbing and violent behaviors. They all care for youngest, toddler Liam, who looks black, but is proven biologically Frank’s, uncovering a humorous family secret about Nana Gallagher. And most of this happens before Monica Gallagher, estranged mother of the kids arrives with her new girlfriend, set on taking away baby Liam.

All of that is just a drop in the bucket. So much content is crammed into one season, that it never drags or lulls, no time is wasted. This show makes brilliant use of writing for a large cast, as well as giving plenty of scenes to secondary characters and their storylines. Neighbors Kevin and Veronica, are so wrapped up in the lives of the Gallagher’s that they’re practically surrogate members, even expanding on that by taking in a foster child, a 13-year-old mother from a polygamist cult. Frank and Lip are both uncomfortably involved with the Jackson family, who have their own bizarre problems ranging from Agoraphobia, to unusual sexual fetishes, to issues with clowns.

This series is gritty, funny, smart, and at times, even almost overwhelming, with the sheer level of madness they face on a daily basis, usually because of something Frank caused. The level of believability and realism is something that is rarely achieved on television these days, and has to have the backing of a network like Showtime in order to provide that sense of reality. I was hooked from the first episode, and can easily recommend it to new viewers. So it comes as no surprise it’s going to return next year with all-new episodes. There’s just one problem…waiting a year for it’s return.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

X-Men: First Class Character Profiles

One of the biggest and most anticipated movies of the summer, X-Men: First Class hits theaters June 3rd. The is the fifth installment of the X-Men film series (which includes X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and is a prequel to the first three movies. This film will focus on the relationship between Professor X (played by James McAvoy) and Magneto (played by Michael Fassbender) and the origin of their groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. With that said I thought we could go inside each character, seeing what their roles are in the film and the actors and actresses playing said parts.

Below is the official premise for X-Men: First Class to get you up to speed then on with the character profiles.

"Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men."

James McAvoy: Professor Charles Xavier is the leader and founder of the X-Men and one of Magneto's best friends until conflicts of opinion create a rivalry between them and their teams. He is a mutant with the power of telepathy. His power is so strong he can control the minds of others. Laurence Belcher will play a young Charles Xavier in the film.

Michael Fassbender: Erik Lehnsherr AKA Magneto is the leader and founder of the Brotherhood of Mutants and one of Professor X's best friends until conflicts of opinion create a rivalry between them and their teams. Magneto's mutant powers give him mastery over all electromagnetic forces. He can perceive the magnetic forces of the earth and bioelectrical patterns of all living beings. He can use his power to reshape even the most indestructible metals in existence, including Adamantium. Bill Milner will play a young Erik Lehnsherr in the film.

Kevin Bacon: Sebastian Shaw is the leader of a secret society bent on taking over the world called the Hellfire Club. Shaw is a mutant who possesses the ability to absorb kinetic energy and transform it into raw strength.

January Jones: Emma Frost AKA White Queen is a mutant with the power of telepathy which include mind control and thought projections. She can also change her body into diamond form. She is a member of the Hellfire Club and is described as coldly calculating, manipulative and secretive.

Rose Byrne: Dr. Moira MacTaggert is a HUMAN scientist with an authority on genetic mutation and the love interest of Charles Xavier. Dr. McTaggart was known for her fierce determination, her sympathy to the mutant cause, and her ability to argue even Professor Xavier down.

Nicholas Hoult: Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy AKA Beast is a former scientist and political activist, who transformed into a frightening looking mutant, but is kind at heart. A mutant, his powers are super-strength, invulnerability, and the ability to stick to the ceiling with his feet. He performed an experiment on himself when he was at the school which is the cause of his blue fur. He fights crime as a member of the X-Men and often acts as the brains of the teams, being the smartest of them all.

Jennifer Lawrence: Raven Darkholme AKA Mystique is a dangerous shapeshifting mutant with the ability to turn into anyone. Mystique assumes all physical attributes of those she is mimicing including finger prints, retinal patterns and she can shift her vocal cords to match their voice. However, she cannot replicate powers of people she copies. Her mutation also slows her aging process. Mystique is an extremely skilled hand to hand combatant and also highly proficient with a wide variety of weaponry. Morgan Lilly will play a young Raven Darkholme.

Zoë Kravitz: Angel Salvadore is a mutant with insectoid physiology. She has a pair of veined wings that grow from her back and allow her to fly. She can also vibrate her wings at high speed to create a deafening ultrasonic sound.

Caleb Landry Jones: Sean Cassidy AKA Banshee is an Irish mutant with the ability of sonic screaming. He can hover or fly at the speed of sound and generate sonic blasts which strike with tremendous concussive force, liquefying or outright disintegrating targets at his highest levels of power.

Lucas Till: Alex Summers AKA Havok is a mutant possessing the power to absorb ambient cosmic energy, process it and emanate it from his body as waves of energy that heat the air in the path, turning it into plasma in the form of a blast or discharge. These waves will emanate from his body in all directions unless he purposefully tries to channel them in a single direction, usually along the length of his arms.

Álex González: Janos Quested AKA Riptide is a mutant with the ability to spin his body at an incredibly fast rate. He also has the ability to generate calcium growth from his bones that protrude through his skin, often taking the form of shurikens and spikes. When he spins, Riptide can release these growths at will from his skin, the additional velocity that comes from his spinning making them lethal missiles that can even punch through steel.

Jason Flemyng: Azazel is Nightcrawler's father who has the ability to teleport across interdimensional distances, generate bolts and streams of paralyzing energy, as well as destructive energy which causes a form of disintegration, and can disguise his appearance.

Edi Gathegi: Armando Muñoz AKA Darwin is a mutant with the power of reactive evolution. His body automatically adapts to any situation or environment he is placed in, allowing him to survive possibly anything. Examples of his powers include gaining night-vision after a few seconds in the dark, functional gills after being submerged in water, fire-proof skin after being exposed to flame and converting his body into pure energy.

Profiles aside I think these characters, unlike the characters from the previous X-Men films will all get a chance to shine. There are so many new interesting characters to follow that it will feel good for a change to not have to solely focus on Wolverine, Storm and Cyclops. Once this film hits theaters a the new/old generation of X-Men will begin and seeing the state that superhero movies are in, it's a welcomed change and one that I look forward to seeing for years to come.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

UPDATE: Sci-Fi Series ‘Fringe’ Green-Lit for Season 4.

Fans, we’ve done it! After inciting a small virtual riot, Fox was deluged with emails to save the show, and word has come in the form of a tweet by writer/executive-producer Damon Lindelof confirming season four is a definite go. In addition, the season has been extended to 22 episodes.

Popular Fox Series ‘Fringe’ in Danger of Cancellation Without Fan Intervention

Hate it when perfectly good shows get canceled? Me too. That’s why when I found out the popular Fox series ‘Fringe’ was dipping into the red, I decided to take up the cause. If you’ve never seen it, or are only a casual viewer, you’re missing one of the best shows on tv, with high-concept plots that are inventive, interesting, and really bring the Sci-Fi series into the 21st century, avoiding the I’ve-seen-this-a-thousand-times-before blahs.

The series centers around mad scientist and former evil genius Walter Bishop (John Noble), who heads up a fringe sciences team, investigating cases that cross into the paranormal, with the aid of his son Peter (Joshua Jackson), and under the supervision of F.B.I. Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv). Walter, who is unpredictable and child-like, after having pieces of his brain removed and many years spent in a mental institution, is desperate to recover what knowledge he has lost. His frustratingly spotty memory keeps anyone from fully understanding the lengths he and former partner-in-crime William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) went to in their experiments, including the consequences of traveling to a parallel universe, or the full extent of his relationships with Peter and Olivia. Stuck between two universes, and trying to fill in the gaps in his mind, in this case what Walter doesn’t know could hurt everyone.

The way the writers combine realism with the surreal, paying close attention to the technical aspect of both physical and metaphysical sciences, while also speculating about the future is like an hour-long wet dream for any Sci-Fi nerd. In addition to the investigations, and the running storylines of the eccentric characters and their sketchy, shared pasts, nearly each scene features clues, and easter eggs, all meant to misdirect you from completing any theory you may have devised. The mystery, humor, and action will keep you captivated, and yelling at the screen, wondering what effects this episode will have on the next.

So why should such a high-quality show with a faithful fan base, and an 8.8/10 star rating on be in jeopardy of being canceled? The problem seems to be coming from the top. Fox’s decision to move it to Friday nights, coupled with long hiatus’, makes it appear that they have been taking steps to sabotage the series. There could be numerous reasons for this, anything from pressure from advertisers to loss of interest in the show, but there is still a way to get the series back for a fourth season.

First, forget anything you’ve ever heard about TV ratings. Unless you’re part of the relatively small Neilson test group, tuning in live for any show isn’t going to make much difference, and if you’re like me, you DV-R everything anyway. Keep in mind that the networks serve us, not the other way around, so it’s important to be vocal with them about their programming. The best ways to keep the show on the air, is to join the numerous fan communities online, and email Fox, urging them not to cancel the show. Some hardcore fans are mailing the network Red Vines licorice, but for everyone else, an email will do. That way, if the series does survive the cut, then we can say it was all our doing.

American Reunion Plot Details

News has already broke about the return of some of the main characters from the original American Pie Series. American Reunion, which is the official title now I guess, has already reached agreement with a trio of stars that include Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, and Eugene Levy. Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, and Jennifer Coolidge are all in negotiations to return.

New details have surfaced that highlight what the individual characters are up to and What's Playing has your first look at those possible plot details:

Jim (Jason Biggs) is still married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), but his next-door neighbor Kara has a crush on him. Marco wants to kill Jim. He’s been dating Kara for quite a while but now his woman only has eyes for the “pie f*cker!” Jim is also a YouTube sensation because of his unintentional web-show with Nadia from the film first film.

Stifler’s (Seann William Scott) fortunes have declined. He’s working as a temp for a boss that refers to him as “his bitch”. He’s also not having much luck with the ladies, but when he returns home, he manages to score with Laurie, a former hottie who is now 80 pounds heavier. He’s supposed to be working the weekend he’s at the reunion and attempts to keep up the ruse throughout the movie.

Oz (Chris Klein) “has hit the big time as a contestant on a Dancing with the Stars-type show. He also lives in a pricey Malibu mansion. He returns home a big-shot.” However, his girlfriend Mia appears to be a gold-digger.

Heather (Mena Suvari) is dating a 40-year-old surgeon who tries to act younger than he is.

Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) scores with Trish, a “smokin’ hottie bartender” who used to go to band camp with Michelle.

Stifler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge) will also make an appearance.

So what do you think? Will American Reunion be as funny as the previous (original) installments of the series? Will all of the original cast members make their return?

We shall see!

By the by, there has been no word of Alyson Hannigan or Shannon Elizabeth returning to the series.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Reel Scoop Remembers Elizabeth Taylor

Today we remember master of film and television, Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away quietly of congestive heart failure at the age of 79 in Los Angeles. In her momentous, life-long career, from her memorable rolls in “National Velvet” and “Little Women”, to the unforgettable “Cleopatra”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?”, “Suddenly Last Summer”, and “Giant”, she dazzled audiences with her talent and natural skill for the medium. A true industry legend, she worked with and was directed by cinematic titans from the golden age to the present. Beautiful and inspirational in both her performances and tireless efforts in raising awareness and funds for AIDS research, she was one of the last of the great champions of film and activism.

Even though for the majority of her life she was a hot topic for tabloid gossips, from her many high-profile marriages, to her friendships with fellow stars like Liza Minnelli and Michael Jackson, she always maintained an aura of dignity, and the ability to look beyond negative press with her head held high. She is survived by her four children, legions of fans, and yet-to-be fans as she now takes her rightful place in Hollywood history. In a world where talent and ability are no longer valued, she will live on in the rolls she made famous, and as a queen of modern cinema.

Monday, March 21, 2011

David E. Kelly Talks 'Wonder Woman' Pilot

Vulture recently talked to David E. Kelley about his upcoming NBC "Wonder Woman" pilot starring Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman, Elizabeth Hurley and Cary Elwes and here's what he had to say:

"Well I first said no, for all the obvious reasons. It’s not really what I do; it’s not a genre that’s in my wheelhouse. But then I started thinking about, What if there were such a person in today’s world and what must it be like to be her? And I was imagining the sense of social isolation that she must feel, that she indeed would probably be a rather complicated beast."

"When I started thinking about all the complications and potential layers to this superhero, I just got more and more intrigued. It was also something I was a little bit afraid of. That’s good, too. Any writer should get out of his or her comfort zone, and this was way outside of mine."

"So I took a deep breath and decided to go for it. I did not truthfully commit to doing it until I wrote the script. I was going to try writing it, and if I failed on my own terms, I would say no. If I thought, Yeah, this is something I believe in, then I’d turn it in. And it was something I ultimately did get behind. It was hard, but I had a good time writing it. And Warner Bros. and DC both responded very positively — and off we went."

Then he talked about the casting process and finding Adrianne Palicki who will play wonder woman in the series:

"It was not an easy search, but it went far quicker than I ever imagined. After writing this script, I remember looking at several people and going, "Yeah, now good luck trying to find her." She’s got to be strong, smart, emotionally accessible — and oh yeah, an Amazon! Good luck. I remember speaking to DC, and saying,
We may have to compromise on the physicality. We need to go with the best actress. And if the best actress is five-foot-five, we have to be open to that, because there’s too many layers for this character to also demand that she be nearly six feet tall. And then lo and behold, in comes this girl named Adrianne Palicki."

"I had seen her on Friday Night Lights and I always liked her work, but I didn’t get a sense of her stature. I guess he was sitting down in a lot of the scenes. So she stood up, and we met — eyeball to eyeball — she smiled ... and I knew during the course of the conversation that this was Wonder Woman. I just knew it. I had an instinctive feeling that this was her. So then she read. And she was. And she is."

Below is the first image of Adrianne Palicki in all her red and blue glory as Wonder Woman. You can compare this picture to Lynda Carter's version of the Wonder Woman all you want but in my opinion she looks hot and I can safely assume that's exactly the look they were going for. I think to judge Adrianne or the show itself based on this one picture alone isn't going to do anybody any good. Lets wait and see how this all plays out shall we. The show will premiere this fall on NBC!

Who is Jennifer Lawrence?

Every year around Oscar time there are movies that a lot of haven't seen but are hyped and praised which makes us wonder if those films are really any good or not. Winter's Bone which starred Jennifer Lawrence is one of those films I was interested in seeing and the film did not disappoint. She was nominated for an Academy Award for here role in that film which had great performances all around.

Now before I actually watched Winter's Bone I saw an interview she did on the Oscar Red Carpet and I was blown away by how drop dead gorgeous this girl was. Then I saw clips from Winter's Bone and couldn't believe this was the same girl. That's why it's called acting. After seeing that interview and after watching the movie I had only one question. Who is Jennifer Lawrence? Here's a quick look at her resume that includes both previous films and upcoming films the actress will star in.

Garden Party: It was a minimal role for the actress in the 2008 film where she starred alongside Willa Holland (The O.C.) but you have t get your start somewhere right?

The Poker House: This movie also came out in 2008, an independent drama in which she won the Outstanding Performance Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival. I saw this movie recently and even years ago you could still tell she had acting potential and she really showed that with this film and that role. A role in which she received her first award for acting achievement. Oh and she was only 16 at the time. Not bad!

The Burning Plain: A 2008 drama (she was hard at work that year) where she starred alongside Kim Basinger and Charlize Theron. The story follows a mother and daughter trying to rebuild there relationship. Jennifer play one of the three main characters in the film and working alongside Basinger and Theron who are both Academy Award winner is pretty damn good if you ask me!

Devil You Know: We skip forward a year to 2009 where she starred alongside Lena Olin and Rosamund Pike. I couldn't find this trailer anywhere but the movie is described as a thriller involving a movie star who tries to get back into he business but is stalked by a blackmailer. Rosamund Pike plays Zoe and Jennifer Lawrence plays young Zoe so i'm just guessing it's one of those stories told over time.

Now this is where it gets interesting. This is where Jennifer Lawrence's career really begins to take off and Hollywood begins to take notice of how truly talented this actress really is.

Winter's Bone: In 2010 Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Ree Dolly. She spends the entire film searching for her father who just got released from jail while trying to look after her younger brother and sister and take care of her sick mother at the same time. Her performance was excellent in this film which is the main reason why the offers are now pouring in for the talented young actress.

X-Men: First Class: Now out of all the roles she has played and will play from here on out, I have a feeling she will be remembered for this particular role for years to come. She will play Raven Darkholme AKA Mystique in the upcoming Matthew Vaughn directed reboot of the franchise. This time of role will clearly put her on the map and if the movie is a success she has a guaranteed role for many, many years to come. Nerds everywhere rejoice! The film hits theaters this summer!

House At The End Of The Street: Clearly a horror vehicle and I for one am truly excited! I love horror films and to now have one of the best up and coming actresses attached to the film, a starring role for her nonetheless is really exciting. The film follows a young girl who moves into a new house with her mother only to find out that vicious murders took place in, you guess it -- The House At The End Of The Street. She then befriends the only soul-surviving son which makes things even more complicated. Elizabeth Shue is also attached to star in this movie. I can't wait!

The Hunger Games: This bit of news is fresh of the presses. The Hunger Games will be adapted from a series of novels by Suzanne Collins. The lead role of Katniss Everdeen took forever to cast as Lawrence had to beat out True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and Emma Roberts. If this first film is successful they are looking to turn it into a franchise with more movies to come! She was recently asked about her landing the role in The Hunger Games:

"I couldn't be happier about being a part of Hunger Games and to play Katniss. I have a huge responsibly to the fans of this incredible book and I don;t take it lightly. I will give everything I have to these movies and to this role to make it worthy of Suzanne Collins' masterpiece."

Spoken like a true professional and I'm looking forward to seeing her performance.

With Beaver and Like Crazy also coming out in 2011 Jennifer Lawrence is clearly on the rise and looks to do big things with her career in the future. Now that she's on the map we can all take the ride right along with her. Now we all know who Jennifer Lawrence is.

David Slade on the NEW Daredevil, Wolverine? Deadpool?

David Slade via his twitter page @DAVID_A_SLADE commented on the rumors regarding his take on the new Daredevil Reboot and here's what he had to say:

"So without breaking confidentiality, yes Daredevil, we have a great outline for a very strong character driven take on Mr Matt Murdock. It will bare NO relation to the previous Daredevil movie IN ANY WAY. We are at early planning stages and have not yet discussed any cast."

He then commented on the rumors that he may direct the aforementioned Deadpool movie as well as the new Wolverine movie now that Darren Aronosky has jumped ship:

"Love DEADPOOL, was never engaged in the (quite fantastic) script, last I heard studio was looking at comedy directors. None of my business."

"WOLVERINE, there have been no discussions about this project to date. Interesting to see what will happen with that as the again excellent script by Chris McQuarrie was set largely in Japan."

I'll start off first by saying that I'm not a fan of reboots especially reboots of movie less than 10 years old as is the case with Daredevil. The one thing I do like about reboots is that they all carry instant potential and gives us hope that now a good film can actually be made. Daredevil was a disaster of epic proportions so I think in this case any reboot even if it's bad will end up being better than the previous film.

As for Deadpool and Wolverine I'm interested to see if a Deadpool movie even gets made given Ryan Reynolds constant work schedule and his upcoming take on superhero Green Lantern. While the search continues for the a new director for Wolverine, as long as the movie is an improvement on that last installment I see good things in that movies future as well.

Here's hoping!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sequels That SHOULD Happen!

Sequels in general make people cringe the second they are mentioned but there are some that deserve to be seen on the big screen. One movie sometimes isn't enough with more story left to be told. has a poll question up asking which movie sequels do you think should happen but without any certainty that those sequels will actually happen.

So here's a list of those movies that should or shouldn't not have sequels depending on your opinion of sequels in general.

Beverly Hills Cop 4: I for one liked the series as a whole even though the third entry wasn't that good. Eddie Murphy really needs to get back to making adult movies, well movies with any kind of relevance in general and what better way to do so that with one of the most iconic characters in Axel Foley.

The Brazilian Job: This would be the sequel to the 2003 heist thriller which was a remake of the  1969 British film of the same name, The Italian Job. This movie alone was very good and I certainly would mind seeing Charlize Theron again!

District 9 Sequel: District 9 was a very good movie and a little underrated if you ask me. It would be really interesting to see where they would take this story so I'm all for a District 9 Sequel.

Freddy Vs. Jason 2: I'm a huge horror fan, just ask anybody! With that being said, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger are two of the most iconic horror movie villains of all time and although the original Freddy Vs. Jason had moments of cheesiness,  I still think it was a good movie. Now add Michael Myers to the mix (for my own viewing pleasure), who in my opinion is the greatest horror movie icon of them all, and you have yourself a movie!

Ghostbusters 3: Nerds everywhere would go crazy if this rumored sequel got it's feet moving and if Bill Murry actually approves the script and official signs on, all of their wet dreams would come true as well. Come on Bill, it's all up to you!

The Goonies 2: I was surprised to even see this listed as one of the rumored sequels and to be honest this would be the only one in which I would say -- no thanks! Not that it wouldn't be good but the original movie came out so long ago that I don't think it would have the desired effect as a sequel. Now a remake or reboot as they are calling movies nowadays would be fine by me!

Hancock 2: The first one was bad enough so why put us all through that a second time! Knowing Will Smith though who's IMDB page of projects in development reads like names in a phone book, you can be sure that this will at the very least get some consideration. Plus with sequels to most of his previous films like MIB and ID4, I could see this one coming out one summer very soon in July as that is the month of "Will Smith" according to -- well Will Smith!

The Incredibles 2: Well it's about time! I can't believe this movie hasn't already happen given how awesome the first movie was! If this were to happen it would be gladly welcomed so whoever is in charge of making that happen I hope you're reading this because we all want this movie to happen! Don't we?

Independence Day 2: I'll just say that yes this movie was good. Yes Will Smith was is his prime when this movie hit the summer of '96 and yes there really hasn't been an extraterrestrial movie since that has been both exciting and entertaining while actually being a good movie in the process. If done right a sequel could be just as good as well. Someone would have to track down Jeff Goldblum though as he's gone missing from Hollywood since then (and no Cats & Dogs doesn't count!)

Indiana Jones 5: Enough already! It was one thing to give us a fourth movie during a time when everyone from John McClane to Jason Bourne came back to reprise their roles in film but watching Harrison Ford try to keep up in a role that clearly belonged to someone much younger was painful for me to watch. Just let it be Harrison Ford. Let it be!

Jarassic Park 4: I've been hearing about this sequel for I don't know FIVE YEARS NOW! I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say that it's never going to happen and leave it at that! So what that means is that a sequel is probably right around the corner because somehow I'm usually wrong about these sort of things.

The Matrix 4: YES! The first three movies were made well before their time and  forever changed the way we look at action films. One of the Charlie's Angels movies even used their signature slow-motion-camera-spinny-air-kick-thing (that's what it's really called too by the way...) because they thought it would look cool if they used it. Not so much! I'm all for a Matrix sequel only if the core actors are back on board and yes that means you Keanu. So whatever rock you are hiding under kick that shit over and lets go!

True Lies 2: This one I can actually report some news about. As we all know the original movie starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Arnold. Earlier this week Tom Arnold said he and Arnold (the other one) have read the script for True Lies 2 and are really excited to see that movie come to life. Schwarzenegger is trying to get back into acting again and with tons of scripts already waiting for the actor I can't see a better jumping over point that to see this sequel come to life as well. 

Other notable movies on the list:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith 2
Sin City 2
Terminator 5
Star Wars: Episode VII
The Thomas Crown Affair 2 (Really??)
Twister 2 (Seriously??)
Unbreakable 2
Wanted 2

Whether or not these movies get made is irrelevant but the stigma that all sequels have is somewhat unfair as there have been some that have either outperformed or enhanced it's predecessor in one way or another. Lets hope that if any of these films ever get made that they will try and do the same.

Nathan's Lazy Sunday DVD Review - The Reader, REC2, Bad Lieutenant

This week we are faced with Nazis, rage addled zombies and drug induced iguanas!

First up we have the Oscar nominated The Reader, starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet. The film opens in West Germany in 1958, where we meet Michael Berg (played by David Kross), a teenager who is on his way home from school after feeling sick. In a chance encounter he meets Hanna Schmitz (Winslet) who helps him home. Once he is recovered he returns to thank her for her help, and they embark on an affair.

The Reader moves between Michael Berg as a teenager (and later as a law student) and as an adult (Feinnes) in 1980s and 1990s. The affair blossoms as Michael borrows books from school to read to Hanna as he visits her more and more frequently. When Hanna leaves him one day Michael is left to come to terms with his feelings. Years later he would learn a shocking truth about Hanna's past.

This is a very moving and beautiful film, with Winslet and Fiennes delivering cultured performances we have come expect. Young David Kross, a relatively unknown German actor, is also exceptional in his role. If you fancy something with a little slower pace and intelligent story, this is one for you.

Rating 4/5

Next is REC2 the sequel to the highly scary and successful Spanish horror. For those who don't know, the series follows a virus outbreak in an apartment building. The virus is highly contagious (although not airborn) and when the residents are infected they become highly violent "zombies". The first film concerned itself with the initial outbreak, and followed a TV reporter documenting the events for her show, with all the action being seen through the cameraman's viewpoint.

This sequel is set immediately after the events of REC and follows a SWAT team as they go into the building to locate survivors and investigate what has gone on. We also follow a trio of teenagers who live in the building, as the break in to find out what is happening. The SWAT team are joined by a priest, who has ulterior motives. Through REC2 we discover more about the origin of the virus and how they intend on stopping it.

I am a big fan of the found footage genre, and the first REC is one of the best out there. REC2 started a little slowly and as event unfolded I was a little concerned this wasn't going to live up to the first, but as it got going I realised this is a great addition to the series. Without giving spoilers it evolves the story naturally and sets the viewer up for the next films REC3: Genesis and REC4: Apocalypse.

Obviously being Spanish it is in subtitles and I know this will put people off. If you haven't seen REC then you may wish to try "Quarantine" which is an American remake of the original, and is very similar. If you like it then come on over to REC2.....they're waiting for you!

Rating 4.5/5

Finally we have Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, starring Nicolas Cage. Cage plays Sergeant Terrence McDonagh, who is promoted to Lieutenant following his heroic work saving a prisoner trapped after Hurricane Katrina, but suffers a serious back injury in the process. He is prescribed vicodin, which he will probably need to take for the rest of his life to deal with the pain.

The film shoots forward several months where we meet Terry McDonagh again, now with a slight hunch, and it is soon clear that he has become addicted to the painkillers, and is a habitual user of recreational drugs. What follows is a crazy ride as McDonagh investigates a multiple homicide, whilst also dealing with his personal demons, including his estranged alcoholic father, and prostitute friend/lover played by Eva Mendes.

I had heard many good things about this film and was looking forward to it. Unfortunately it let me down a little. First
ly I was expecting more from Nic Cage. I am not his biggest fan to be honest, however I know on his day he is capable of exceptional work (Leaving Las Vegas, Matchstick Men hell even Con Air), but I just didn't enjoy him in this. Given the premise of the film, I was hoping for a full on bat shit crazy performance, but it was only in fits and spurts.

The film didn't flow very well either, and overall I was just left a bit underwhelmed by a film which could have been so much more.

Rating 2.5/5

See you next week DVD Players!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What I've Learned About Life from John Hughes

For those of us who grew up in the '80's and '90's, watching John Hughes films was like a rite of passage, and often a constant presence during our formative years. I spent countless hours watching classics like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and the Thanksgiving epic Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, again and again, never realizing that all the while, important life lessons were being downloaded into my impressionable young mind. Now as an adult and a screenwriter/filmmaker, I’ve since viewed many of these films more critically, finding that not only do they stand the test of time, but that Hughes was walking us through scenarios of living as an outcast, judging others, taking chances, and navigating love triangles, like practice drills for real life situations we would face. In honor of this new-found perspective, and fear that these films are being lost on younger generations, I’ve assembled a list of some of those lessons that I hope I’m not alone in learning from, (even if I didn’t always take the advice).

Everyone thinks they are weird

This theme is almost universal in Hughes films. Regardless of a character’s social status, everyone feels like they’re the odd-man-out, which comes as a welcome consolation to awkward teens, and life-crisising adults trying to remember who they were before their heart died.

Be ready to perform your own dance sequence at a moment's notice
It doesn’t happen often, but should the opportunity arise, take it. Whether on a float, in a record store, or a library, anything worth doing is worth doing in a dance sequence.

Don't [always] judge a book by it's cover
While Jake Ryan plays against popular jock stereotype, and pursues social misfit Samantha, a group of teens sentenced to a day of detention, find out that none of them are what they appear to be. And if they would have had Facebook in those days, they would find out no one is what they appear to be.

Take a day off once and a while, anything could happen
From the Griswold’s vacations to Ferris’ mental health day, in the two ends of the spectrum, we learn that anything can happen when we set time aside for ourselves. A series of the catastrophic failures, each one worse than the next, to the perfect day of taking the city of Chicago by storm, it’s all just a roll of the dice. Or, as it’s been recently proposed, an elaborate fantasy created by the lonely and abused Cameron.

Sometimes the hard way is the easy way
In Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, when everything goes wrong that can go wrong, and Neal exacerbates the string of disasters by being an uptight asshole, but not until the end of the journey when he’s finally free of Del, does he realize the error of his ways, we learn that no journey is complete without a little self-reproaching introspection.

Even if the movie's not about you, you can still steal a couple of scenes anyway
From Long Duk Dong to beyond obnoxious, older brother Chet, we learn that even when we’re mere bystanders in the events of another person’s movie, we can provide comic relief with a couple of well-timed one-liners, and eventually have our images immortalized on nostalgic t-shirts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alpha Dog Review

Wow! I didn't expect much of this film going in but by the end of the movie I was pleasantly surprised. The cast being a who's who of up and coming young actors made Alpha Dog one of those film you have to run and tell your friends about. I consider myself somewhat of a movie connoisseur and try to stay up top date with a lot of films even if I don't plan on seeing them. How I managed to go this long without seeing this movie is beyond me.

Alpha dog is directed by Nick Cassavetes and was one of those Sundance hits back in 2006. The movie is based on the true story of the kidnap and murder of Nicholas Markowitz which occurred back in 2000. A young drug dealer and his group of friends are implicated in the murder of the teen after holding him hostage as a bargaining chip against the teens older brother who owes the drug dealer some money. Going in I had no idea this film was based on a true story or true events as Hollywood likes to say but during the film that was a question I asked myself throughout. Kinda reminded me of the film Bully which was also based on a true story but both films had their differences as well.

The film started off very juvenile which didn't leave me with much hope that the movie would continue to keep my interest through the entire film. In a way the movie sort of lulls you to sleep -- figuratively speaking of course, but once the story reaches it's peek it grabbed my full attention and never let it go! 

The performances in Alpha Dog are what surprised me the most. Justin Timberlake, who at the time had no real acting credits to his name did a damn good job portraying a wanna-be gangsta with a heart. Emile Hirsh who's a pretty good actor in his own right played the role of the drug dealer very convincingly. The cast also included Olivia Wilde, Shawn Hatosy, Ben Foster, Amanda Seyfried, Amber Heard, Dominique Swan, Chris MarquetteBruce Willis and Sharon Stone. While complimenting each other very nicely they each added a little something to the film as well. 

I'm glad I had to chance to see this film and I highly recommend that you do the same. I'm not one for recommending movies at all I just like giving my opinions of them but if you want to see a great story play out right before your eyes and a performances that will most definitely surprise you then Alpha Dog is a movie you will end up recommending too. 

5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Biggest Box Office Bombs

It's no secret that 'Mars Needs Moms' is already considered one of the most underachieving movies in recent years. The movie which had a budget of $150M barely squeezed out $7M in theaters last weekend. Due to this debauchery of soon to be epic proportions, we decided to see what other movies make the list of Biggest Box Office Bombs. Some of the names may surprise you while others -- well they deserved to be on the list.

Most of the movies on this list from the outset had no chance of making any kind of money because well lets face it -- they sucked! Mars Needs Moms on the other hand had the kiddie audience to appease to and still failed miserably. That says a lot more about the people behind these films than the films themselves.

I'm pretty sure the studio execs that get paid these tremendous salaries believe they are the smartest people in the room but us moviegoers are a lot smarter than we're given credit for. When it comes to actually paying for our movie-going experience we avoided these list of films at all costs and I think that makes us pretty damn smart if you ask me.

So enough with my rambling. On to the list shall we...


Film↓Year↓Total cost (production + marketing) (USD)↓Worldwide theater gross (USD)↓Net losses (USD)↓Net losses inflation adjusted (2008 USD)↓
Cutthroat Island1995115,000,00010,017,322-104,982,678-146,947,958
The Alamo2004145,000,00025,819,961-119,180,039-134,784,016
The Adventures of Pluto Nash2002120,000,0007,103,973-112,896,027-134,396,524
The 13th Warrior1999160,000,00061,698,899-98,301,101-125,887,312
Town & Country2001105,000,00010,372,291-94,627,709-115,352,672
Speed Racer2008200,000,00093,945,766-106,054,254-106,054,254
Heaven's Gate198044,000,000*3,484,331-40,515,669-104,542,449
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within2001167,000,00085,131,830-81,868,170-99,798,592
How Do You Know2010120,000,00042,861,997-77,138,003-77,138,003
The Nutcracker in 3D201090,000,000234,928-89,765,072-89,765,072
Treasure Planet2002180,000,000109,578,115-70,421,885-83,833,389
The Postman199780,000,000*17,626,234-62,373,766-83,346,947
Red Planet2000100,000,00033,463,969-66,536,031-82,406,208
Around the World in 80 Days2004140,000,00072,178,895-67,821,105-76,700,771
A Sound of Thunder200580,000,000*11,665,465-68,334,535-74,740,255
Hart's War200295,000,00032,287,044-62,712,956-74,656,332
Hudson Hawk199165,000,000*17,218,080-47,781,920-74,619,989
Adventures of Baron Munchausen198846,630,000*8,083,123-38,546,877-69,286,783
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever200270,000,000*19,924,033-50,075,967-59,612,690
The Scarlet Letter199550,000,00010,382,407-39,617,593-55,454,143
Gods and Generals200360,000,000*12,923,936-47,076,064-54,996,536
The Last Castle200172,000,000*27,642,707-44,357,293-54,072,241
Battlefield Earth200073,000,000*29,725,663-43,274,337-53,596,134
The Bonfire of the Vanities199047,000,000*15,691,192-31,308,808-50,947,847
Nothing but Trouble199140,000,000*8,479,793-31,520,207-49,224,424
All the King's Men200655,000,000*9,450,897-45,549,103-48,603,808
The Avengers199860,000,000*23,384,939-36,615,061-48,156,375
Son of the Mask2005100,000,00057,552,641-42,447,359-46,426,400
Money Train199568,000,00035,431,113-32,568,887-45,587,820
Man on the Moon199982,000,000*47,434,430-34,565,570-44,265,696
The Majestic200172,000,000*37,317,558-34,682,442-42,278,444
K-19: The Widowmaker2002100,000,000*65,716,126-34,283,874-40,813,070
City of Ember200855,000,00017,929,684-37,070,316-37,070,316
Jonah Hex201047,000,000*10,903,312-36,452,283-36,452,283
Mars Needs Moms2011150,000,000*9,014,488-100,000,000-100,000,000

Source: Wikipedia