Sunday, May 31, 2009

Paper Cuts

Here's that trailer for The Twilight Saga: New Moon that aired during tonight's MTV Movie Awards...


Nowhere To Go But...

The latest CGI animated flick from Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar UP floated to the top of the weekend box office....

Dave McNary of Variety:

Disney/Pixar's "Up" flew high over rivals to dominate the domestic weekend box office with an estimated $68.2 million at 3,766 playdates.

The "Up" launch marked the third biggest Pixar opening weekend after "The Incredibles" with $70.5 million and "Finding Nemo" with $70.3 million. The Mouse House reported 31% of the audience consisted of moppets, aged 2 to 11 -- allaying concerns that a pic starring a grouchy old man would present difficulties attracting kids.

"Up," buoyed by a massive promo push and laudatory notices, posted a stellar $18,110 per location average. It scored a 98% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes review site and an A plus on Cinemascore.

"Up" also received an extra lift at the box office from a record 1,530 3-D venues. Disney domestic distribution topper Chuck Viane said the 3D sites generated an average for "Up" -- Pixar's first 3D pic -- that was 2.2 times that of conventional locations.

"If there was any issue, it was that there were not enough 3D seats but that usually meant that people then went to a regular screen," Viane noted.

The frame's only other wide opener, Universal's horror entry "Drag Me to Hell," scared up $16.6 million at 2,508 as a counterprogrammer to up and Fox's second frame of "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonsian." That was below outside forecasts but in line with studio expectations, according to U distribution chief Nikki Rocco, who asserted that "Drag Me to Hell" should benefit in coming weeks from its positive reviews.

"Drag Me," marking director Sam Raimi's return to his horror roots, drew mostly from the under-25 demo and skewed slightly female.

The frame saw family films dominate as "Battle of the Smithsonian" sequel showed decent holding power, declining 52% for the three days to $25.5 million at 4,101 for a 10-day cume of $105.3 million. Fox senior VP Chris Aronson said the "Smithsonian" hold against competition from "Up" indicates that the marketplace expanded to accomodate both pics.

The sequel's already grossed 42% of the final $251 million domestic total for the original "Night at the Museum."

Warner Bros.' second frame of "Terminator Salvation" found traction elusive as it fell 62% to $16.1 million at 3,602. The fourth version of the franchise has cumed $90.7 million domestically in 11 days.

"T4" may have seen some of its potential audience opt for Paramount's "Star Trek," which remained a solid performer in its fourth frame with $12.8 million at 3,507. "Trek" has cumed $209.5 million, becoming the year's first title to cross the double century mark.

Sony's third weekend of "Angels and Demons" declined 48% to $11.2 million at 3,464. "Angels," which is performing far better outside the United States, has taken in $104.8 million in 17 days.

"Smithsonian" and "Angels" became the eighth and ninth pics to crack the $100 million mark at the domestic box office this weekend ...

Nicole Sperling of EW:

Is there any topic Pixar can't turn into a hit? The studio has now transformed its geriatric fantasy adventure Up into its third highest grossing opening ever, behind The Incredibles ($70 million) and Finding Nemo ($70.2 million)...

...Star Trek is still very much alive at #5 Space legs indeed!

Talkin' Tomb And Megan Fox

Producer Dan Lin recently talked up the reboot of the "Tomb Raider" film franchise to

"It's a great origin story that we're going to tell. A very character-oriented story. I would say more realistic than the past Lara Croft movies...I would say it's like Terminator - character-driven action. I think for me the Lara Croft games and movies have gone a little too action-oriented. I wanted to have action, but with character".

Going back to the beginning after only 2 films...

I wonder if Megan Fox will be cast as Laura Croft? After all--she's not gonna be doing say Wonder Woman after calling the Amazon Warrior 'A Lame Superhero'. Uh oh!

If she does Tomb Raider The Reboot--I am so there in line--Regardless of my lukewarm feelings about the other films in the series.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Nostromo No-No

On Thursday Bloody Disgusting had posted news that either a remake or a prequel to Ridley Scott's original Alien movie was being prepped.

Now it's been confirmed as a prequel by Collider's Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub

Scott will oversee the film with his brother Tony Scott and Michael Costigan

The concept is to harken back to the one alien, one ship notion with a non-Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) flick set before the events of the now 30 year old classic...In order to avoid both continuity problems and potential compliments from the franchise's fans like me who'd be very upset over a straight remake.

Last Month Ridley was said to be "toying around with the idea" of another "Alien" film.

Up and comer Carl Rinsch will direct the movie.

What works for Star Trek eh will do for Alien?

The studio's planned reboot of the other monster series-"Predator" with Robert Rodriguez pushing it has also been announced.

A Littlle Bird Told Me

Want to follow updates on this blog all day long using your portable device?

Well now you can..

The Last Reel is now on Twitter!

Toys At Play

A fun teaser trailer for June 18th 2010's Toy Story 3 has popped up online...

Looks like it's gonna be as good as the other two films in the series... Can't wait!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rage Against The Machines

The latest video from ItsJustSomeRandomGuy has the Marvel/DC heroes spoofTerminator Salvation...

Playing Footsie?

Entertainment Weekly says that Dancing With The Stars professional dancer/singer Julianne Hough screen tested for a lead role in the Footloose remake.

Producer Neil Meron says Hough's success as a country singer should serve her well as the team reaches a decision. It's an expanded part from the 1984 original:

"It's a much more singing-intensive movie for the female lead."

Chace Crawford is set to star in the lead role.

While I don't watch DWTS at all and have never heard her sing...I can't help but say she's a real cutie...If she lands the role...Crawford is one lucky guy.

Kenny Ortega is directing the film.

Hench Hunch

Danny McBride is not sitting back resting on his past comedy success including Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder

He's up for the lead in a comic book adaptation says Variety.

"Hench", based on the graphic novel created by Adam Beechen and Mario Bello, will see McBride playing a football player who suffers a career-ending injury and needs a job.

He then signs on as henchman to a successful villain.

McBride will write the script with Shawn Harwell, who both penned scripts for HBO's Eastbound & Down series

If Seth Rogen can play a superhero in the upcoming action flick "The Green Hornet" why can't McBride play a baddie's sidekick?

Chasing A Film Comeback

Chevy Chase has joined the time-travel comedy Hot Tub Time Machine says The Hollywood Reporter.

The story follows a trio of unsatisfied guys, (John Cusack, Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson) who get thrown back to their younger days in 1987 via their Jacuzzi.

Chase plays a mysterious repairman who dispenses pearls of wisdom and may or may not be behind the metaphysical road trip.

Steve Pink calls action from a Josh Heald script.

Filming is underway in Vancouver for a February 2010 release

High Seas Drama

Sony Pictures has landed the life rights and the upcoming memoir of Capt. Richard Phillips says Variety.

The film will recount the events that made headlines worldwide in April. After his cargo ship was hijacked on the high seas off the Somali coast, Phillips surrendered and was taken hostage by pirates in order to protect his crew.

The married father of two made one unsuccessful escape attempt before an elite squad of US Navy Seals snipers shot and killed three of the four pirates - an action authorized by President Barack Obama A fourth pirate surrendered and is in custody.

Actor Kevin Spacey will co produce the pic...Will he perhaps play the heroic skipper?

Character Assassination

Here's a 90 second look at August 28th's Halloween 2

I love how Rob Zombie continues to want to distance himself from the man who helped create the characters John Carpenter and yet used them for his remake of the original Halloween. Why not kill everyone in the 1st film and call the sequel something else?

Boys On The Side

When will the madness end?!

There's a remake of the 1985 comedy "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" on the way says Variety.

The original film told the tale of two girls who share a passion for dancing and the hit show "Dance TV."

Shannen Doherty, Helen Hunt, and Sarah Jessica Parker headlined the Alan Metter helmed pic inspired title wise by the Cyndi Lauper song,

Michelle Morgan adapts the script for the 21st century.

One word Yikes!

The High Life

The question everyone seems to be asking this weekend at the movies is: Which way is UP (reviews)?

If CGI animation isn't your thing then there's always Sam Raimi's horror pic Drag Me To Hell (reviews)...

Dave McNary of Variety:

Amid sky-high expectations, "Up" should live up to its title as the latest in the long line of Disney/Pixar toon successes.

"Up" opens today at 3,766 playdates, including a record 1,530 3-D sites, following an extensive promo campaign driving home the premise of a crusty old man tying thousands of balloons to his home and sailing off into the sky.

U's "Drag Me to Hell" offers a vivid counter-programming choice, aided by a PG-13 rating, at 2,508 venues. The weekend will also demonstrate how much traction exists for Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" and Warner's "Terminator Salvation," both in their second frames.

But the frame clearly will belong to "Up." With Ed Asner voicing the lead and Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc.) directing, "Up" is likely to rack up an opening weekend above $60 million -- a milestone already surmounted by five of the 10 Pixar entries, including "Wall-E" last June. The last major animated entry, Paramount/DreamWorks' "Monsters vs. Aliens," opened with $59 million two months ago.

The $60 million mark looks achievable for "Up," given stellar reviews, additional coin from 3-D surcharges and the ongoing strong demand for family fare, evidenced over the four-day Memorial Day frame when "Smithsonian" bowed with $70 million. The second frame of "Smithsonian" is likely to take a hit in the 50% range and wind up in the 20s over the three days.

"I think 'Up' looks like a four-quadrant film," noted Disney distrib topper Chuck Viane. "The 3-D is quite spectacular and a real departure from what people have seen before, so that's going to be a real draw."

The growing number of 3-D venues -- representing more than 40% of the "Up" screens --should prove helpful to Disney, which saw "Bolt" wind up in 982 3-D locations, or 27% of total screens, while contributing 42% of the $114 million domestic cume.

"Drag Me to Hell," starring Alison Lohman as a bank officer who's supernaturally cursed as payback for her lack of customer service, comes into the market with the added zing of "Spider-Man" helmer Sam Raimi returning to his horror roots. Universal scared up $21 million a year ago with the opening of another horror entry, "The Strangers," and the last major scary pic, Lionsgate’s "The Haunting in Connecticut," wound up with $23 million in its launch.

"Drag Me" may cut into support for "Terminator Salvation," which opened slightly below expectations with $65.3 million in its first five days. "T4" was at $71.9 million as of Wednesday.

Par's "Star Trek" will remain a factor in its fourth frame. The reboot of the franchise has shown impressive legs, outgrossing the second weekend of "Angels and Demons" over Memorial Day, and has already become the year's top grosser with $195 million as of Wednesday, surpassing "Monsters vs. Aliens."

From EW:

Nicole Sperling expects Pixar's latest and Sam Raimi's horror flick ''Drag Me to Hell'' will drive a big-money weekend...

Both widers have out of this world critical reactions but diffent audiences--I know it's a longshot but I am rooting for Raimi to nip at Up's heels and do boffo box office...

Nexr Up: Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Anna Friel are among the Land of the Lost--updating the classic Saturday morning 1974 TV series. While Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis get The Hangover courtesy of Todd Phillips...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Buffer Zone

Normally I would not care about an actor walking around shirtless on a film set....but an aspect of the story caught my attention and comment is warranted.

Robert Pattinson bares his chest for scenes in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" with filming currently underway in Italy.

Just Jared has the photos.

There's also pics of a lip-filled kissing scene with co-star Kristen Stewart...

In Pattinson's solo photos that have his six pack abs--lines are painted on ala "300", as are black dots which are apparently used as visual effects reference points.

We know that Pattinson's role has been "beefed up" versus that of his character from the book and that he is competing for tween screams in the film with the shirtless Wolf Pack also in the film.

Have not read the book have not seen the 1st therefore I don't know the context or anything but it just seems like the filmmakers want as much beefcake as possible here. What other reason could there be? And what's with the CGi enhancements for Robbie--adding story or sex appeal?

Just pointing out here a bit of hypocrisy here.. I have had women complain to me that film often objectifies their gender with scenes of gratuitous nudity-especially the teen/adult comedy genre...Ladies I ask you are these bare chests really necessary in New Moon?--Is this not the same thing that you females complain about in Guy Flicks?

Meanwhile, MTV says the first trailer for the November 20th. sequel will debut on the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, airing at 9:00 pm ET on Sunday. Then at 10:45 p.m., the high-definition version will go online ...

Chewing On Iron

Director Jon Favreau talked to the folks at Empire Online about the character arc that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) will have in Iron Man 2.

"Tony's expected to be a role model and I don't think he's ready to be one. He's under a great deal of pressure and when you're under pressure, I think you find outlets for that. That's one of the tensions of the film: it's one thing to say you're Iron Man, and another thing to actually become Iron Man."

Favreau also said that Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle), as hinted at in Iron Man, may be stepping into some hardware this time around.

As for Mickey Rourke-playing Whiplash he says "I'm having the time of my life!".

Filming on 2010 sequel is about 50% complete.

Watch And Learn

Bad Santa in heels and using a chalk board...

Jake Kasdan will direct the comedy "Bad Teacher" according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The story concerns a foul-mouthed seventh grade teacher who is dumped by her sugar daddy and starts to pursue a colleague, which provokes conflict with the school's model teacher.

Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (Ghostbusters III) wrote the script.

Over Done

Alan Cumming is set to play the villain in the upcoming sci-fi thriller "Escape to Donegal" says Coming Soon in an exclusive story

Writer/director Jonathan Blitstein helms the stylized film set in a dystopian future.

Chris Minori's script is described as a classic Philip K. Dick like story.

Aimong kinda high comparing the script to Dick's works aren't ya?

We'll just have to wait and it measures up.

Shooting kicks off in Brooklyn this Fall

Kill Joy

John Stockwell has signed up to direct the action-comedy "Roadkill" says The Hollywood Reporter.

The story revolves around two amateur private detectives who take on more than they anticipated when they agree to protect a high-end escort being pursued by a female assassin.

While on the run, they discover what could be a government conspiracy.

Nick Ball and John Niven penned the script.

With fluffy films like Turistas, Into the Blue and Blue Crush under his belt...Roadkill seems like a good fit...

Barney's Dad

Dustin Hoffman will star with Paul Giamatti for the indie drama "Barney's Version" reports Variety.

Hoffman plays a retired cop and father of the story's title character (Giamatti) -- who has led a reckless life highlighted by three marriages, two children and status as a "person of interest" in the mysterious disappearance of his friend.

The story is based on Mordecai Richler's last book.

Richard J. Lewis' calls action from the adaptation by Michael Konyves.

Great potential here to see some on screen magic--Will Oscar come calling?

Shooting kicks off August 17th in Rome.

The New "Couple"

Seann William Scott (Role Models) and Adam Brody are joining Bruce Willis for Kevin Smith's new buddy action comedy " A Couple Of Dicks." according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Robb and Mark Cullen script follows a maverick cop (Willis) and his partner (Tracy Morgan) who, while tracking a valuable stolen baseball card, tangle with a memorabilia-obsessed gangster and rescue a Mexican beauty who holds the key to millions in laundered drug money.

Scott plays a thief known as the Sh*t Bandit for the souvenirs he leaves at his robberies. Brody is an abrasive detective not happy to be working with Willis and Morgan.

Scott's role seems like a perfect fit...While usually playing the nice guy--Brody is going against type...Either way this one could be lots if fun.

Shooting begins Monday in New York

The Chosen Among Choices

Tom Cruise has added yet another pic to his already crowded roster of potential projects-among them--Len Wiseman’s Motorcade, and The Tourist, which would have been opposite Charlize Theron. Right now, though the action/comedy Wichita, helmed by James Mangold seems to lead the pack reports Variety.

Cruise would play a secret agent who pops in and out of the life of a single woman (Cameron Diaz).

Cruise and Diaz, who previously were seen together in "Vanilla Sky" (and there was her Minority Report cameo) in 2001, are in advanced negotiations and have approved the script.

The script has been in the hands of many writers, most recent drafts were done by Scott Frank, before it was tweaked by Mangold and Laeta Kalogridis.

This story first popped back in late March of this year--But now seems more likely--having its script issues resolved...And a title

The film should be out by next Summer

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This Just In....

Moviehole says Will Ferrell could be heard on Australian radio saying that everyone “is meeting next week” to discuss a sequel for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy .

Co-stars Paul Rudd and Steve Carell are said to be attending that meeting....

Director Adam McKay and Ferrell have been hinting at a sequel as far back as last summer telling EW that they were already developing a script that would put Ron Burgundy in the 80's...

I know I'm probably in the minority here but I think Anchorman is funnier as a premise than it is as a film. The idea of a sequel is meh...

Liman Loves Charchi

Israeli actress Liraz Charchi joins the cast of Doug Liman's Fair Game, says The Hollywood Reporter.

The story follows former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson (Naomi Watts). Plame's status as an operative was severely compromised when Bush administration official Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage leaked her identity to columnist Robert Novak.

Done allegedly because of an editorial that Plame's husband, ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, (Sean Penn), wrote called "What I Didn't Find in Africa" claiming that the administration doctored intelligence on Iraq to make a case for war.

Charhi is set to play the role of Sawsan, an Iraqi doctor living in Cleveland who Plame sends to Baghdad to help gather intelligence on Saddam Hussein's nuclear program.

The catch is that Plame has to bring Sawsan's brother to the U.S.

The film is currently shooting in New York and the Middle East.

Friends Of Paul

Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, and Bill Hader. Seth Rogen have joined the cast of "Paul" says Variety.

Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz funny men Nick Frost and Simon Pegg's script follows two sci-fi geek loves who find their "conspiracy dreams" coming true when they visit an escaped alien at Area 51.

Rogen will be voicing the alien.

Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan will produce

Directed by Superbad helmer Greg Mottola, the flick is scheduled for a 2009 release.

Death Becomes Him

Al Pacino is in close to starring in the Jack Kevorkian biopic "You Don't Know Jack" says The Hollywood Reporter.

Kevorkian, known as Dr. Death, assisted in more than 150 cases of suicide and had beaten the state court system in Michigan numerous times, but was finally convicted after he willingly sent a videotape of himself euthanizing a terminally ill man to TV news show "60 Minutes."

He was convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 and he served eight years of a 10-to-25 year sentence before being released on parole for good behavior and his own declining health

The film will trace him as he conducts his first assisted suicide, and starts a national debate defending a patient's right to die.

Barry Levinson calls action on the film, from a script by Adam Mazer (Breach) taken from Neil Nicol and Harry Wylie's book "Between the Dying and the Dead ".

Mr. Pacino is perfect for the role....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shades And Shadows

Roger Donaldson is in negotiations to direct the paranoia thriller "Umbra" says Variety.

Plot details on the project are being kept under wraps. Steven Karczynski penned the original screenplay.

Donaldson's previously directed paranoid thrillers No Way Out and The Recruit with much success. His Thirteen Days was also top notch...

No word on a production timetable---since he's also got The Day They Stole The Mona Lisa on his plate.

Flight Plans

There's a remake of 1986 sci-fi family feature "Flight of the Navigator" on the way according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The original followed a twelve-year-old boy (Joey Cramer) who is abducted by an alien spacecraft in 1978 and reappears eight years later, still the same age and with no memory of what happened.

NASA scientists discover a connection between the boy and a downed spacecraft and try to exploit the boy, who ultimately escapes with the ship and attempts to reunite with his family.

Wild Hogs writer Brad Copeland is on script duty while David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing.

Executive producer of the 1986 film, John Hyde, is back...

The original is noteworthy only for featuring Paul Pee Wee Herman Reubens as the voice of the ship and future "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker as Carolyn McAdams.

Since Disney has remade (or will remake) just about all of their classic live action films already They are moving on to their bottom shelf I guess...

Buffy Who?

"Buffy The Vampire Slayer" is coming back to the big screen says The Hollywood Reporter.

But not in the way fans of the TV series may expect...

Fran Rubel Kuzui, the director of the the original Buffy 1992 flick featuring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, Rutger Hauer, Paul Reubens, and Donald Sutherland- with cameos by Hilary Swank, Ben Affleck, David Arquette, and Ricki Lake is mounting this new effort with--Roy Lee and Doug Davison of Vertigo Entertainment Production Company.

Buffy mastermind Joss Whedon's involvement has not been ruled out--but he has not been offered to participate yet either....

The new film will not have any connection to the TV series, nor would it use popular supporting characters--It would start anew without Sarah Michelle Gellar or anyone else and it would be a darker, event-sized movie that would, of course, have franchise potential that includes sequels.

A Buffy film without Whedon is like a Star Wars without George Lucas...Having a whole new mythology only serves to alienate fans. Since Kuzui was there for the series she should know that a total new beginning is a mistake...Buffy is not Star Trek of course, but at least that reboot respected much of what has come before and did it every step of the way...

If Joss isn't there on the film neither am I as a supporter....

Office Chatter

Now that the the holiday weekend is over--It's back to work and that means Pamela McClintock of Variety has the final box office numbers:

Twentieth Century Fox's sequel "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" charged past Warner Bros.' "Terminator: Salvation" to gross $70 million in its domestic debut.

That was more than enough for "Smithsonian," playing in 4,096 runs, to top the Memorial Day box office. Pic benefited handsomely from being the first all-audience comedy of the summer.

"T4" grossed $53.8 million from 3,530 runs for the Friday-Monday stretch in a lower-than-expected start for the film, which relaunches the franchise sans Arnold Schwarzenegger. Pic opened Thursday to $13.4 million, putting its five-day total at $67.2 million.

Also, "Star Trek" could have cut into "T4's" action. "Star Trek" placed No. 3 for the weekend, declining only 49% to an estimated $29.4 million for a cume of $191 million in its third sesh.

The other summer event pic that's opened so far is Columbia's "Angels and Demons," which continued to see more action overseas in its second weekend. Domestically, the adult-skewing title slipped a relatively steep 54% to an estimated $27.7 million for a cume of $87.8 million.

The third pic to open over the holiday was Paramount's raunchy sendup "Dance Flick," from director Damien Wayans. Film overperformed in its opening, grossing an estimated $13.1 million from 2,450 runs for the four-day holiday weekend.

Weekend ran essentially flat with Memorial Day weekend in 2008, when "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" grossed north of $125 million for the four-day sesh.

"Smithsonian" scored the top Memorial Day opening ever for a PG-rated film.

Internationally, "Angels" won the weekend, grossing $60.4 million at 10,610 playdates in 99 markets for a foreign cume of $198.3 million and worldwide tally of $286 million. Sony expects the film to jump the $300 million mark Wednesday.

Did not see "Night 2" But I saw T-4. Star Trek's numbers and longevity are impressive considering the competition...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Say What?!

A few bits...

*Bradley Cooper has now denied that he is playing 'Face' in The A-Team film, telling C.H.U.D his comments were taken out of context - "I haven't read a script or met Joe Carnahan"

Cooper seemed originally very much in context to me.

*Director Sam Raimi still seems uncertain whether Kirsten Dunst will be in Spider-Man 4 telling MTV

"I think I'm going to have to read the screenplay and make sure everything we've talked about is working, before I could honestly tell you absolutely how [Dunst's possible return] would go."

Last Fall Dunst sounded like she was ready to return

Raimi also says that the first draft by Lindsay-Abaire should be complete next month...

*Hip hopper Eminem AKA Slim Shady (pictured) tells Vibe that he has a cameo in Judd Apatow's upcoming dramedy "Funny People "...

"There Is No Fate, But What We Make."

It was announced that the Terminator franchise would be relaunched and I was intrigued...even though Arnold Schwarzenegger was busy playing California's Governor and could not really participate...I became excited by the prospect of finding out where the story would go after the end of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. And then it was announced that Charlie's Angels helmer McG would be calling action on the film and I got nervous...When Christian Bale was cast as John Connor--I got really excited again...Given all of those ups and downs before the release of Terminator Salvation I suppose it's fitting that my feelings for the finished product ended up being pretty mixed...

The film opens--it is 2003, death row inmate Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) is housed at the Longview Correctional Facility where he meets with Dr Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter), a representative of Cyberdyne Systems to donate his organs and tissue for what he believes will be a good cause.

He wakes up 15 years after his execution, in 2018, to find a desolated downtown Los Angeles...

At the same time, John Connor (Bale) on a nearby Skynet base, is the sole survivor of an assault. He discovers plans to develop the T-800, as well as a Skynet transport carrying captured humans, who are being moved to Skynet's main base of North American operations in San Francisco.

Connor returns to a nuclear sub acting as Resistance headquarters and tells Resistance leader General Ashdown (Michael Ironside) of his discovery. Ashdown informs Connor that, even though it will result in the deaths of most of the prisoners, an offensive against the Skynet base in San Francisco is planned to take place in four days. When Connor asks why it would be in four days, it is revealed that the Resistance intercepted a transmission from Skynet, listing people that they planned to kill in four days: first on the list is Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), second is Connor, and the rest are the command staff of the Resistance.

The resistance has also discovered a frequency that could possibly be used to force Skynet machines to shut down. After leaving the submarine, Connor speaks with his second in command, Barnes (Common). He also reunites with his wife, Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard).

Meanwhile. after stealing clothes from a dead Resistance fighter, Marcus makes his way through the city to discover that the only human survivors there are a teenage Kyle Reese and his young, silent, child companion named Star (Jadagrace). .

As Marcus and Kyle leave L.A. city behind to meet Connor, their vehicle comes under fire by various terminators, which takes Kyle and Star alive in a round up of humans to transport to a prisoner camp. Marcus, however, is left behind.

Connor is determined to discover why Skynet is taking human prisoners. The Resistance picks up unusually concentrated machine activity in the Los Angeles Basin and dispatch fighters to intercept the hunter-killers in the area. One of them, Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) a pilot, is shot down and rescued by Marcus, and the interception fails.

The script from John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris sets up things nicely--allowing for plenty of T-action....But...I know that we are dealing with the end of the world type stuff--I must say, the film is almost too dark...I missed the type of humor (provided by Arnie) from the other films...Everything was too serious...

McG staged some great action scenes and the late great Stan Winston's crew pulled off some great FX and all--But this is a summer flick that's STILL not all that fun to watch--

As Connor Bale was just OK--which in and of itself was a surprise--Was I expecting too much from him? Maybe...I was more impressed with Worthington as Wright--Whose character had an engaging arc in the film and he really pulls it off.

Yelchin's Reese served as more of a major "Save him or we wreak our future" plot point than anything else. Hopefully he's got more to do in the next one.

Howard, Bloodgood and Carter are there yes--but are pushed out to focus on Bale and Worthington.

Salvation is solid but has tonal issues that really took away from the cool factor--

Apocalypse is serious biz...But as a Summer Blockbuster it need not forget to have fun.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ben Bests The Machines

The fact that McG's Terminator Salvation opened a day before Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian doesn't seem like it's going to matter once the receipts for the 4 day weekend are done being counted...

Maybe star Christian Bale should have worn his Bat-suit in the flick....?

Check out these T-headlines: 'Terminator Salvation': No wonder Christian Bale was angry‎, New "Terminator" no fun without Schwarzenegger, and Clues to Christian Bale's on-set meltdown can be found...

This doesn't bode all that well--especially when you consider that Mueseum's reviews were worse than Salvation's...

So much for insisting that the film be rated PG-13..

Pamela McClintock of Variety:

Twentieth Century Fox's sequel "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" won the domestic war against Warner Bros.' reboot "Terminator: Salvation" at the holiday box office.

"Museum 2" grossed an estimated $53.5 million from 4,096 theaters Friday through Sunday, while "T4" grossed an estimated $43 million from 3,530 runs. Opening Thursday to $13.4 million, "T4's" cume is $56.4 million.

Four-day totals for the long Memorial Day weekend won't be released until Monday. But even with Monday's grosses yet to be factored in, "Museum 2" appears to have the race sewn up.

Box observers had expected the contest between "Museum 2" and "T4" to be much closer, despite the fact that one is a family film, the other, a sci-fi actioner.

Benefiting from being the first family summer tentpole, "Museum 2" reps the best live action opening for a Ben Stiller pic.

Overseas, "Museum 2" also made a strong debut, grossing $50.1 million from 8,100 playdates in 93 markets. That puts the film's worldwide opening at roughly $103 million through Sunday.

"Museum 2" came in No. 2 overseas, beat by Sony holdover "Angels and Demons" ($60.4 million).

"Museum 2" saw a boffo 30% jump Friday to Saturday. Also, 52% of the audience were non-family. Film was able to overcome a box office hit in Los Angeles and Denver as sports fans in both cities tuned in to the NBA basketball playoffs.

Sequel easily bested the $43 million opening of "Night at the Museum" over the Christmas holiday in 2006.

In a not-so-good sign for "T4," "Museum 2" beat it on Friday. Fan-driven pics usually do better on Fridays, while family films do bigger business on Saturday and Sunday.

However, "T4's" five-day opening number should be in the vicinity of the five-day opening of "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," which clocked in at $68 million.

"T4"--directed by McG and toplining Christian Bale--was produced by Halcyon. Project was a negative pickup for Warners, which invested roughly $50 million in the reboot (not including marketing costs).

Sony, which is handling "T4" overseas, invested roughly $75 million. "T4" doesn't open at the international box office for another two weeks.

Meantime-'Angels & Demons' still strong overseas...

From EW:

Sunday estimates show Ben Stiller family comedy widening its box office lead over ''Terminator Salvation''

Possible negatives aside I still saw T-4 and will have my review posted shortly...

The Abolish Polish

On the set of Jonah Hex this past week--Josh Brolin told Coming Soon that he is developing a project about John Brown, an American Abolitionism pioneer who killed five Southern slave-owners before the start of the American Civil War.

"The script was already out there; I read the script, I loved it. It would be a very tough character for me to play. We're going to do some tests once I'm done with this, but it's a great script and story. Somebody who I know, because of Howard Zinn's thing [the documentary The People Speak], and I know the character really well.

"[Writer] Mark Gordon and I had a conversation, and we said, 'Let's do this, let's get this done.'

"People have been wanting to do it forever and there's a lot of directors who'd love to be involved, so I think now's the time" says Brolin.

Brolin has a few more weeks of work on "Hex" before heading to England to star in Woody Allen's next film ...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cinema Stew Returns!

A lot of film news pops that I don't have time to get to through normal posting...In an effort to include as much content as possible---I will create headline-filled posts every so often (about 2 times a month) with bits from all over the Net.

These posts will include very little comment from me--if at all--except on rare occasion.

A holiday weekend offers a prime opportunity for such a post...

*Recent script deals via The Hollywood Reporter.

*The previously shelved sci-fi comedy "Used Guys" is being reworked as a romantic comedy says The Hollywood Reporter.

*A remake of I Saw What You Did is in the pipeline says Variety.

*BloodyD says that Alex Litvak will pen the script for the reboot “Predators”.

*The synopsis for next month's "Transformers 2" has gone online over at Latno Review with mild spoilers

*MTV posted that Robert Rodriguez’s planned remake of the classic cult sci-fi film “Barbarella”, to star Rose McGowan, is officially “dead”.

*Clancy Brown has joined the cast of the A Nightmare On Elm Street remake. He will be playing a character named Allan.. Get full details...

*A review of a fairly recent draft of the script for the remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is up and Nancy's Mom Cast in the Remake played by the great Connie Britton (pictured, Friday Night Lights)‎ .

*Matthew McConaughey's up for doing a Dazed And Confused sequel but director Richard Linklater has to "pick the right way to do it"...via MTV

*McG hints that Terminator 5 could see the various Terminator models of Skynet coming back through time to invade our pre-Judgement Day present...via MTV...

*Raven-Symoné is rumored to be up for the role of the Focker's babysitter in the upcoming third film in the series "Little Fockers". Get full details...

*Jon Favreau’s confirmed that John Slattery, has a role in the upcoming sequel Iron Man 2. Get details...

*A remake of the 1985 vampire horror comedy cult classic Fright Night is on the drawing board for sure says The Hollywood Reporter.

*John Ratzenberger says the first trailer for Toy Story 3 will be attached to UP when it hits theaters next week Get full details...

*"There are more shots of Michael Myers running around in his mask in this movie than in any of the other movies I don’t think anybody has to worry" says Rob Zombie in regards to rumors of the upcoming H2: Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 features a mask-less Michael Myers. Get full details...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Logan's Run

A scribe two-fer-one post....

David Logan will re-write "Sebastian Knight" according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Knight" sees a secret agent who after he has a one-night stand with a woman while on vacation in Monaco has to deal with her neurotic behavior as she begins to stalk him.

Could be fun...

Logan is also set to adapt author Ken Bruen's novel "Once Were Cops:"

"Cops" sees two unbalanced New York police officers work their way through the city's criminal underworld.

Sounds a little French Connection-esque

On The Bubble


Mark Hammer has signed on to pen "Bazooka Joe", a feature film adaptation of the Topps bubble gum comic strip The Hollywood Reporter.

Joe, who wears an eye patch for reasons never explained, has child-friendly misadventures, sometime joined by various friends like Pesty, Mort, Toughie, Hungry Herman, love interest Jane and a dog named Walkie Talkie.

Since just about every comic book ever created gets at least one film--comic strips are the next logical step I suppose...

...Early in March it was announced in The Hollywood Reporter that Tom Dey is going to adapt the classic strip Marmaduke for the big screen as well.

Taking Time To Get Wet

Lyndsy Fonseca, who just finished shooting the adaptation of the comic series Kick-Ass has joined the time-travel comedy "Hot Tub Time Machine" says The Hollywood Reporter.

Fonseca plays Jenny, the girlfriend that slipped away from John Cusack's character in 1987 whom he revisits when he and some friends accidentally travel back in time via their Jacuzzi.

The film also stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Lizzy Caplan, Crispin Glover, Sebastian Stan and Charlie McDermott.

Steve Pink calls action from a screenplay by Josh Heald.

Filming is underway in Vancouver for a February 2010 bow.