Film News Friday Update

Release Date Set for Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Dimension Films announced today that the sequel to Sin City will open in the States on October 4, 2013. Casting is underway, with original cast members returning to work with directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, from their script co-written by Academy Award winner William Monahan. Academy Award nominee Mickey Rourke and Jessica Alba are already confirmed to return.

Juno Temple Joins Maleficent

The cast for Walt Disney Pictures’ reimagining of the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale, Maleficent, has been coming together over the last few weeks and the new name joining the cast is Juno Temple, who will play Thistlewit, one of three pixies along with veteran British actresses Imelda Staunton and Lesley Manville.

These pixies are in charge of caring for Aurora, the actual sleeping beauty played by Elle Fanning, although they’re “neglectful and superficial.” Angelina Jolie plays the title character, the witch Maleficent who puts the curse on Aurora that sends her into a permanent sleep on her 16th birthday.

The film shoots this winter and is slated for a 2014 release.

Original Blade Runner Screenwriter to Write Sequel

Hampton Fancher is in talks to reunite with his Blade Runner director Ridley Scott to develop the idea for the original screenplay follow up to the ground-breaking 1982 science fiction classic, it was announced by execs at the film’s production company Alcon Entertainment.

Alex Proyas Setting Up Gods of Egypt at Summit

A few years back, I, Robot director Alex Proyas helmed the sci-fi thriller Knowing for Summit Entertainment, and it’s being said at the moment that they plan to reunite for Proyas’ Gods of Egypt project, an original story set in ancient Egyptian times that he’ll be co-writing with Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.

Produced by Proyas’ Mystery Clock Cinema with Thunder Road (Clash of The Titans production company), the film is “the story of a common thief and a god on a magical quest set amongst the pyramids and sphinxes.”

First Look at Liam Neeson in Taken 2

Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a particular set of skills who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) from Albanian kidnappers. When the father of one of the kidnappers swears revenge and takes Bryan and his wife hostage during their family vacation in Istanbul, Bryan enlists Kim to help them escape, and uses the same advanced level of special forces tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers one by one.

Click the Images for larger versions.

The Avengers Climbs to 9th on the All-Time Global List

Walt Disney Pictures reported today that Marvel’s The Avengers has climbed to the 9th spot on the all-time worldwide box office list, surpassing the studio’s own Alice in Wonderland ($1,024.3 million) and Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace ($1,027.0 million). The film has grossed $1,036.2 million worldwide.

The movie should easily pass up the next three films on the all-time global list which are all three Disney films – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($1,043.9 million), Toy Story 3 ($1,063.2 million) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($1,066.2 million).

Contagion Writer Penning Rise of the Planet of the Apes Sequel

Heat Vision is reporting that Twentieth Century Fox has hired Contagion and Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z. Burns to pen the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which earned $481.8 million worldwide last year on a budget of $93 million.

The site says the follow-up “is taking the story to the next level, with the apes on the path to emerge as society’s new rulers.”

The original film’s writers, Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, were previously brought on board to write a draft of the sequel. Director Rupert Wyatt and Andy Serkis, who did the performance capture for Caesar, are set to return.

Red Band Trailer for Shark Thriller Bait 3D

Umm yeah…

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Forecast – The Festive Edition

Looking for something to see over the Christmas Break? Or a DVD to give as a present? The New and Improved Nicholas Linde’s Film Blog is here to help!

CINEMA

New Years Eve

The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve. Starring: Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Héctor Elizondo, (Take a quick breath…) Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank and Sofía Vergara. It’s another attempt at the success of Love Actually… I fear for this film because we saw how well Valentine’s Day went, and with the same writer and director. Final Verdict: I doubt this will be worth seeing.

Melancholia

Lars Von Trier’s newest work. On the night of her wedding, Justine is struggling to be happy even though it should be the happiest day of her life. It was an extravagant wedding paid for by her sister and brother-in-law who are trying to keep the bride and all the guests in-line. Meanwhile, Melancholia, a blue planet, is hurtling towards the Earth. Claire, Justine’s sister, is struggling to maintain composure with fear of the impending disaster. Sounds like an interesting concept and it’s Lars Von Trier! Final Verdict: If you are in to a twisted form of drama/sci-fi… See this film!

Puss In Boots

Years before meeting Shrek and Donkey, the adorable but tricky Puss in Boots must clear his name from all charges making him a wanted fugitive. While trying to steal magic beans from the infamous criminals Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), the hero crosses paths with his female match, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), who leads Puss to his old friend, but now enemy, Humpty Dumpty (Zack Galifianakis). Memories of friendship and betrayal enlarges Puss’ doubt, but he eventually agrees to help the egg get the magic beans. Together, the three plan to steal the beans, get to the Giant’s castle, nab the golden goose, and clear Puss’ name. Ummm… Yeah… This movie should be good for kids… but to be purr-fectly honest (pun definitely intended) the Shrek franchise is dead and gone… this looks to be a feeble attempt to revive a series that only finished last year. Final Verdict: Good for the kids.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name. J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise produce while Incredibles and Ratatouille writer-director Brad Bird directs the latest in the Mission Impossible franchise. We’ll see how this goes… a sequel to this is a possibility as Cruise, Pegg and Bird are interested in a fifth film. Final Verdict: It’s Mission Impossible! (Possibly one for the Boys more than their dates).

Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Having bought a model ship, the Unicorn, for a pound off a market stall Tintin is initially puzzled that the sinister Mr. Sakharine should be so eager to buy it from him, resorting to murder and kidnapping Tintin – accompanied by his marvellous dog Snowy – to join him and his gang as they sail to Morocco on an old cargo ship. Sakharine has bribed the crew to revolt against the ship’s master, drunken Captain Haddock, but Tintin, Snowy and Haddock escape, arriving in Morocco at the court of a sheikh, who also has a model of the Unicorn. Haddock tells Tintin that over three hundred years earlier his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock was forced to scuttle the original Unicorn when attacked by a piratical forebear of Sakharine but he managed to save his treasure and provide clues to its location in three separate scrolls, all of which were secreted in models of the Unicorn. Tintin and Sakharine… One of the most anticipated films of the Summer! Steven Spielberg teams up with Peter Jackson, Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and many more to produce a film that in my opinion should win best animation hands down. If we can call it animation… the film uses 3D performance capture technology which makes the animation look incredible. Final Verdict: Super Excited!

Happy Feet 2

Mumble the penguin has a problem: his son Erik, who is reluctant to dance, encounters The Mighty Sven, a penguin who can fly! Things get worse for Mumble when the world is shaken by powerful forces, causing him to bring together the penguin nations and their allies to set things right. Hmmm… I don’t know about this film. Final Verdict: We’ll See.

The Iron Lady

Tells the story of a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a surprising and insightful portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher from what I’ve seen… WOW! Brilliant accent and reflecting the type of woman she was. Final Verdict: A must see! I Smell an Oscar!

The Skin I Live In

It’s definitely no Puss In Boots… Antonio Banderas stars in The Skin I Live In – In honor of his late wife who died in a flaming car accident, scientist, Dr. Robert Ledgard, is trying to synthesize the perfect skin which can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage. As he gets closer to perfecting this skin on his flawless patient, the scientific community starts growing skeptical and his past is revealed that shows how his patient is closely linked to tragic events he would like to forget. Interesting concept, it’s in Spanish, so yeah… I’d like to see how this goes. Final Verdict: I might just stick to Darkman.

Tower Heist

Josh Kovacs is the manager of a residential apartment in New York. He is close to all the tenants, especially Arthur Shaw, a financier. One day Shaw is arrested by the FBI for fraud. Josh thinks it’s a misunderstanding that can be resolved. But later he learns that the employees’ pension which he asked Shaw to handle is gone. When one of the employees tries to kill himself, Josh’s views of Shaw change. He goes to see him and loses his temper. He loses his job. The FBI agent in charge of Shaw tells him that Shaw might walk and recovering the pension fund is unlikely. She tells him that it’s been rumored that Shaw has 20 million laying around if he needs. Josh thinks he knows where it is. So with two other employees who also lost their jobs and an evicted tenant, they set out to get into Shaw’s penthouse to get the money. But they realise they need the assistance of someone who knows what they are doing… Some of you may disagree but this film has not really caught my attention. It might be a laugh or two but yeah. I might skip this until I hear otherwise. Final Verdict: It is the only ‘comedy’ out this festive season… (Rom-Coms DO NOT COUNT).

War Horse

Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on. I don’t know much about this film but I’m impressed by the trailer and I think I can feel an oscar coming on. Final Verdict: See It! It’s Spielberg and War… It’ll go far.

We Bought A Zoo

Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo. I’m sure it’s a nice film… But just not for me. Final Verdict: Up to you really… use your judgement.

DVD

Out Soon

Space Battleship Yamato

In the year 2194, alien marauders, the Gamilons, bombard the Earth with planetary bombs sent from space. Humanity fights back but is defeated and escapes underground. Five years later, those who remain on the devastated planet gather together for one last plan to save the Earth. Armed with mysterious alien technology and an old battleship called the “Yamato”, they embark on a quest to find a device that has the power to save humanity from destruction. The Japanese anime springs to a live action stage. – Perfect for your anime nerd friend.

Conan the Barbarian

The most legendary Barbarian of all time is back! The tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village. – For your fantasy action fan.

Friends with Benefits

Dylan (Justin Timberlake) is done with relationships. Jamie (Mila Kunis) decides to stop buying into the Hollywood clichés of true love. When the two become friends they decide to try something new and take advantage of their mutual attraction but without any emotional attachment. Physical pleasure without the entanglements. Sounds easy enough for two logical adults, right? Not so much. They soon realise romantic comedy stereotypes might exist for a reason. – For the Rom-Com lover (you could alternatively buy them a gun).

One Day

After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day. – For the (Actual) Romance Lover. (A good late Christmas Present as this comes out on the 29th.

Priest

In a post-apocalyptic world, a savage war between man and vampire has raged for centuries. A warrior priest (Paul Bettany) receives word of fresh attacks, but now it`s personal, his niece has been kidnapped by a new hive of merciless vampires. To save her, he must break his vow of peace and hunt down the hive before it’s too late. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel and packed with bloodthirsty action, this full throttle crusade takes you on the hunt for a deadly new breed of killer. – For the Sci-Fi/Action Fan.

Out Now

Cowboys & Aliens

Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an event film for summer 2011 that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way: Cowboys & Aliens. Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, he brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. 1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrson Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear. – For the blockbuster lover.

Senna

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34. – For the Motor Head.

Green Lantern

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite force of protectors for peace and justice has existed for centuries. They are the Green Lantern Corps. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of the Corps’ newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). Bringing the popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, Green Lantern also stars Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Peter Sarsgaard (Orphan), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett and Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins. – For the Kids.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

During experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee uses its greater intelligence to lead other apes to freedom. – For the Sci-Fi or Original Apes Fan.

Merry Christmas Film Fans!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Review

“Get your paws off me you dirty ape!”  “You finally made a monkey out of me.”  These, to whom it may concern, are two lines dreadfully sung by Troy McClure featured in The Simpsons episode ‘A Fish Called Selma.’  It also represents the breadth of my knowledge about The Planet of the Apes before my voyage to its prequel.  To the uninitiated, fear not.  You don’t need to have seen the original to understand the storyline.

James Franco plays Will, a determined scientist developing a substance that potentially serves as a cure to Alzheimer’s disease.  Sticking to the good-old-fashion laboratory formula, the team continually test the serum on assorted apes throughout its development, one of which begins to show a marked improvement in mental capacity.  Jumping the gun, Franco and his stereotypically greedy boss (I swear you can almost see the oversized dollar signs in his pupils), present said primate to investors, however things go disastrously and the project is left in ruins.  Out of the chaos, Franco stumbles upon a baby chimp whose green flecked eyes (a side effect of the serum) indicate that this ape’s got potential.  Therefore Franco decides to play daddy and names him Caesar.

Overall, meh.  Performance wise, Franco strikes me hot and cold.  Yes, we feel him connect with the animal that he’s raised essentially as a human (teaching him sign language, clothing him), yet the first time they’re torn apart, it just didn’t feel like it HURTS Will enough.  They built it up as a father son relationship.  Care a little more dammit!  Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto plays Will’s love interest, who serves little more purpose than to run, offer the occasional titbit of opinion and stare in a concerned manner.  Forgettable.   John Lithgow solidly plays Will’s Alzheimer’s riddled father, a role in which he is allowed two opposite elements of mental stability.  You can tell he enjoyed the challenge.

However this is Caesar’s movie.  The visual effects crew at WETA Digital have again shown the fruits of motion capture done right.  Of course, this couldn’t have been possible without the extraordinary talent of Andy Serkis, king of the funny dots on your face.  It’s the eyes that have it in this film.  At one point I felt quite apprehensive at the impending presence of the monkeys, even though they aren’t even real!  A testament to the successful collaboration of the physical and digital.  One of the most fascinating elements of the film is the progression of Caesar’s character, from innocent baby to a somewhat malicious leader of a revolution.  Special mention: when Caesar speaks English.  Perfectly timed and quite affecting.

However a lot of the film feels like a giant cliché.  Sometimes it feels like the writers got stuck trying to represent CHIMP DOMINATION, resorting to the ridiculous.  The majority of the characters seem a bit one dimensional, the stereotypical villains in particular, so you don’t really give a rats when the inevitable happens.

Overall, predictable, but has its moments.  Go for the chimps, not the people.

P.S. This movie is a giant spoiler for Planet of the Apes.  Just sayin’.

3 Stars

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is currently in cinemas now.

This review was by Danielle Muir.

Forecast – Week 31, 2011

FILM RELEASES THIS WEEK

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where Man’s experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Starring James Franco, Frieda Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox and Tom Felton, Rise of the Planet of the Apes seeks to breath life in to in to the Planet of the Apes franchise which hasn’t had an instalment for ten years, the last being directed by Tim Burton. This ‘reboot’ is again an addition to the escalating numbers of franchise sequels, reboots and remakes this year… However, I have some hopes for this film and I believe that this all rests on weather the apes talk or not in this film… It can be very effective if they don’t, so fingers crossed!

THE BEAVER

Two-time Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster directs and co-stars with two-time Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson in The Beaver – an emotional story about a man on a journey to re-discover his family and re-start his life.

LOVE CRIME

“Crime d’amour”

Ruthless executive Christine brings on Isabelle as her assistant, and she takes delight in toying with the young woman’s innocence. But when the protégé’s ideas become tempting enough for Christine to pass one as her own, she underestimates Isabelle’s ambition and cunning — and the ground is set for all out war.

RED DOG

Adapted from the novel of the same name by award-winning author Louis De Bernières, ‘’Red Dog’’ is the true story of a charismatic kelpie who united a mining community in North West Australia in the 1970s and ‘80s.

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DVD RELEASES THIS WEEK
Just Go With It (Film)
Hop (Film)
Robot Chicken: Star Wars III (TV Series)
Downton Abbey: Season One (TV Series)

Film News Fridays – Week 15, 2011

Here’s what has been happening in the movie world this week…
  • Zod to be Enemy in Man of Steel, Michael Shannon is playing the evil Kryptonian General, Faora is also rumoured as an enemy.
  • Jessie Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin and Penelope Cruz, all join the cast of a new Woody Allen movie.
  • Peter Jackson has announced he is filming the Hobbit at  48fps… double the regular rate… and calls for cinemas to be ready or to miss out.
  • More cast join The Dark Knight Rises – Josh Pence as a young Ra’s Al Ghul as well as Daniel Sunjata, Diego Klattenhoff and Burn Gorman who are penciled in at this point. Production is not too far away!
  • Bradley Cooper to play the lead in The Crow remake. Penned by Aussie Musician Nick Cave.
  • Avatar 2 Development and Pre Production is gearing up.
  • Anthony Horrowitz to write the second Tin Tin movie.
  • Ben Affleck to join Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby.
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer released. Check it out below.