The past seven days

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jessabelle - First Trailer

We now see the first peek at the latest effort from longtime editor turned director, Kevin Greutert. I'm a bit disappointed that Jessabelle is PG-13, but what can you do.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Disney halts Frozen sequel to develop musical

It seems that Disney sees more of a future in a theatrical production than a sequel. At least for now.

It was assumed due to the massive success of Frozen that a sequel would be fast-tracked into theaters. Disney Chairman Alan Horn recently touched on the subject and not only claims that a sequel hasn't even been discussed yet, but he also brought up the subject of a Frozen musical.
Disney is no stranger to Broadway as we have seen stage productions of several films such as Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, and Tarzan. There are even musicals for The Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland coming before too long. It appears that due to the success of Disney's plays (aka, The Lion King being the seventh longest running stage production in history) it would make sense for Frozen to be expanded in that way.

I personally would rather have a musical done than a sequel. Without expanding on stupid storylines and bringing in unnecessary characters, like kids, I think this would be a good way to interpret the story in a different setting. Walt Disney Imagineers would definitely be able to come up with a cool show to go along with this story. I have seen both The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin on stage and I must say that Disney knows how to put on a great stage production.

For those of you who don't quite understand what is brought to the table at a Disney stage show, go ahead and check this out from The Lion King.

[UPDATE] Marilyn Manson joins Salem

The new WGN witch-themed show, Salem, has added a somewhat notorious cast member. Shock rocker Marilyn Manson has joined the show as a "master heathen" according to the show's Twitter account. It is unclear whether he will be a recurring character or just a guest star, or just contributing music, but either way we can expect to see him at some point.
This won't be Manson's first venture into film and television as he has made cameos in Party Monster, Jawbreaker, Bowling for Columbine, Eastbound and Down, and Californication just to name a few. 

Salem premiered this past Sunday on WGN America. I chose to skip it but if I gain the motivation I'll catch the episodes on demand and see what it's like. I've read mixed reviews on it so far.

[Update] Apparently Manson has teamed up with composer Tyler Bates to create the show's theme song. "Cupid Carries a Gun" will play as the opening credits song starting at this week's second episode. It will also be included on Manson's new album.

Star Wars Episode VII budget revealed; casting almost complete

Disney Chairman Alan Horn has been giving some information regarding Star Wars Episode VII. Some are still speculating a full announcement regarding casting and whatnot will happen on May 4th (aka, May the Fourth be with You). Either way, it is coming soon as principal photography starts in May. However, for now we have some news on the budget, filming, and casting.

Horn revealed that the budget Disney has granted the film will range between $175 and $200 million. This includes Episodes VII, VIII, and IX as well as any potential spin-off movies. This shows that Disney is being a bit more cautious with their money after the flops of John Carter ($250 million) and The Lone Ranger ($215 million). This also puts the Star Wars franchise on track with the Marvel films in terms of budget and will give J.J. Abrams his biggest budget yet as Star Trek Into Darkness only topped at $190 million.
He also gave some info regarding the casting which is still not 100% completed but is evidently close. The only thing that worries me in terms of casting is how much preparation is needed for any physical scenes. I recall the actors signing contracts for Episode I back in 1997 and the film wasn't released until 1999. Similar things went down for Episodes II and III because the actors had to train for lightsaber battles and fight scenes. If they are casting people just weeks prior to shooting I am nervous about preparation and quality. Either that or the budget is going full CGI.
As for the news that Episode VII had already started filming, he did confirm that second unit filming has already begun. George Lucas is also consulting with Abrams, so let's hope that isn't a sign of another shit storm.

Horn also gave some insight on future releases and stated that the tradition of May release dates might be returning for Episodes VIII and IX. The main reason for the December release of Episode VII is primarily because Disney refused to grant Abrams any extra time. They wanted it out in 2015 and told him to get it done.

Patience. We must have patience.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jessica Chastain in talks to play Marilyn Monroe

Yes, yet another film about Marilyn Monroe is coming and we will see yet another actress tackle the role. Blonde, to be directed by Andrew Dominik and produced by Brad Pitt, is apparently negotiating to have Jessica Chastain to play Monroe. This film is said to be an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' novel which is more of an emotional look at Monroe rather than a "cradle to grave" story.
Originally, Naomi Watts was attached to the role but she dropped out of the project months ago. Apparently Brad Pitt has been instrumental in persuading Chastain to accept the role seeing that the role comes with a lot of criticism and expectation. She already is set to film The Zookeeper's Wife this year and is currently wrapping up a new film by Guillermo del Toro called Crimson Peak. She is also part of Christopher Nolan's upcoming film Interstellar.

Personally, I don't mind this so much. If she can act similar to how she did in The Help I'm sure she will be just fine. She has also shown versatility with Zero Dark Thirty, The Tree of Life, Mama, and Take Shelter.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quentin Tarantino rewriting The Hateful Eight

As you might know, Quentin Tarantino was developing a Western. It was put on indefinite hold after Gawker leaked a copy of the screenplay after Tarantino had given it to a handful of people. After the leak Tarantino decided to scrap the project, as well as file a lawsuit, but the project might be seeing new life.

Tarantino is apparently rewriting the screenplay to The Hateful Eight. He stated during a live reading that he will be writing a third draft of the script. Whether or not this will still become a film is up in the air, but sources are claiming he still hopes to film the new draft in the winter.
Given the readers at the live reading, it is predicted that if the film ever happens that it will star Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen, and Kurt Russell. Now that isn't guaranteed but it is somewhat likely especially given Tarantino's casting history.

First footage of True Blood's final season

I'm not excited, but at the same time I am happy it is ending.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Transcendence - Review

While researching technology which would allow computers to interpret the human brain's full potential, Dr. Will Caster is poisoned by a radical anti-tech group leading his wife and research partner to test his theories on his own, dying body in Transcendence.

I'm not saying I was overly excited to see this one, but I do enjoy a good sci-fi movie every so often so I was intrigued. I thought the concept seemed really promising but that's about it. It was promising but didn't really deliver.
Personally, I didn't have a hard time following the subject matter and I found the basis of it interesting, but it wasn't really executed that well. They introduce this massive conflict between AI and anti-AI terrorists and it doesn't really live up to it. It's mostly about a wife's struggle to let go of her husband and I didn't go in expecting that at all.

The acting was mostly flat, including Johnny Depp, and given the cast I expected more. Cillian Murphy was not utilized properly as was the same with Morgan Freeman. Rebecca Hall wasn't bad but she didn't really have a lot of chemistry with Depp which didn't help when she was forced to communicate with an audio recording of his voice.
Aside from this, I just found it boring. Nothing was really carried out properly, the plot was rushed, and overall there wasn't really a good lead into the short-lived climax of the movie. If you wanted to see Transcendence I would wait until it's on Netflix. It's not worth the theater time.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[Updated] Mrs. Doubtfire sequel in development

I just have to start by saying I did a major, huge "what the fuck" at this one.

A sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire has been in the works pretty much since 2001, but it was officially canned in 2006 after Robin Williams kept rejecting scripts. Williams has stated in the past the reason was because you found out who Mrs. Doubtfire was at the end of the movie. Well, technically the viewers know the whole time but who really cares.
Apparently it must have worked somehow because word has it that Fox 2000 has revived the sequel and accepted a script from David Berenbaum. Robin Williams is on board as well as director Chris Columbus.
If you have never seen Mrs. Doubtfire you must be living under a rock or were not born in the latter half of the 1980's or by the mid-1990's. It tells the story of a divorced actor who is desperately trying to find a way to be with his children more than each Saturday. His solution is to dress up as a fictional 70-year old, British nanny named Mrs. Doubtfire. The film starred Robin Williams in the lead along with Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, and Matthew Lawrence.

This appears to be following a new trend in Hollywood. First we had Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels agree to reunite as Harry and Lloyd in a long awaited Dumb & Dumber sequel 20-years later. Then rumors circulated, with some minor confirmation, that a sequel to The Goonies was happening close to 30-years after the first one was released. Now we have Mrs. Doubtfire coming back after 21 years. Let me guess, Matthew Lawrence's character loses custody of his kids and decides to dress up as a nanny.
What's next? My bet is either another Wayne's World or someone who will decide to try and do a catch-up for a John Hughes movie. Breakfast Club: The Reunion anyone? The problem is most kids today have never even seen these movies and if they have, they have watched the shitty television edits that air on TBS, ABC Family, and Comedy Central.

I am in no way saying I hate Mrs. Doubtfire. That is literally one of my favorite movies. Watch it, quote it, crack up every single damn time. I just am tired of Hollywood taking great movies that were relevant to a generation and trying to either continue them and bring back the old cast or completely reboot them. It's never enough.

[UPDATE] Mara Wilson, who played Williams' youngest in the film and has since left acting, wrote a series of tweets on Twitter detailing how she will not be in the sequel. She also noted that they have not approached her but even if they did she would still say no. You can read the tweets and see an updated picture of the former child star here. Good for her.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If I Stay - First Trailer

I will admit this looks better than I thought it would, but even then I am debating it. The book wasn't bad but I don't think it's interesting enough to merit a movie. Kudos to them for not making the coma sequences seem too surreal, but I think the casting of Adam is way off.

Gone Girl - First Trailer

David Fincher's newest effort had its first trailer released and it looks pretty intense. By intense I mean awesome.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Friday the 13th reboot has its director

Despite already being rebooted in 2009, Friday the 13th will get a fresh start and Paramount has hired David Bruckner to helm the movie. Bruckner directed the underground horror success V/H/S/ and also directed The Signal back in 2007. This will be the 13th installment of the Friday the 13th franchise since 1980 and has a release date of March 13, 2015.

Michael Bay, who directed the last reboot, will stick around as a producer as Platinum Dunes is also bringing this to us.

Magic Mike 2 receives 2015 release date

Expect production on this to start before too long.

Despite being overly crowded already, Warner Bros. has elected to give the sequel to Magic Mike (rumored to be titled Magic Mike XXL) a July 3, 2015 release. It will face off against Terminator: Genesis in a rather important 4th of July holiday weekend.
Channing Tatum recently revealed that everyone is likely to return for the sequel including a newly dubbed Oscar-winner, Matthew McConaughey.

I still don't understand this because Magic Mike sucked ass (figuratively and literally), but it made money so what can you do.

Hans Zimmer to score Batman vs Superman project

There were a lot of mixed reviews on Man of Steel, but one consistent high point was the score composed by Hans Zimmer. Director Zack Snyder seems to want to recreate that magic as Zimmer has been confirmed to be composing the score for the upcoming Batman vs Superman project.

Previously, the theme to Superman belonged to the legendary John Williams. Zimmer was given the task to rewrite the theme and come up with a new score for Superman and he was pretty successful with his interesting take on Man of Steel. It was the second DC reinvention for Zimmer as he also scored Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. It also changed the pace for Snyder as he was a longtime collaborator with composer Tyler Bates.
There is no telling whether Zimmer will come up with a new Batman theme for this project or if he will carry over the Dark Knight musical elements. Either way this should prove to be very interesting.

Batman vs Superman is still in pre-production and Zimmer is currently composing Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. He also scored The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which you can see on May 2nd.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Michael Bay confirms new Transformers trilogy

Michael Bay dropped a bomb regarding the new Transformers installment, Transformers: Age of Extinction, stating that is the start of... you guessed it... a new trilogy of films.

Bay stated the fourth installment serves as a start to the next Transformers trilogy. It is unclear how much involvement Bay will have in a fifth and sixth movie, but I would assume he will at least stick on as a producer if nothing else. You can catch Transformers: Age of Extinction, starring Mark Wahlberg, on June 27th.