The past seven days

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I bid farewell to Blogger

I have been blogging on this website for quite sometime now and it's been fun, but I have found a new arena to blog on that gives a better outlook and outcome for the posts created.  As a result, I am bidding farewell to this blog and won't post on it anymore. If you're still interested in reading posts and reviews from me, you can find me on Movie Pilot (here).

Time to pick up my popcorn and move on. See you guys later. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Maleficent sequel announced

$750+ million dollars later, Disney saw one of its biggest releases in recent years with Maleficent. Despite how lousy the movie itself was people did like it and it made a ridiculous amount of box office revenue. Linda Woolverton is returning to write the script and Angelina Jolie is being approached to reprise her role as the classic villain.

Maleficent was sort of a character origins story. It followed the villain and we got to see how she became so evil and essentially painted her in a sympathetic light. Especially as we got to see her develop a rather loving relationship with Princess Aurora. I personally didn't like it one bit.
However, it is worth mentioning that Jolie is practically impossible to nail down for sequels. Aside from voice work in Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2, she hasn't been in a sequel since reprising the role of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life back in 2003. She declined sequels for Wanted and Salt and has since moved on to more directing than acting. I would assume that a Maleficent sequel depends on her returning so if she declines I would think Disney will scrap it or completely reinvent it once again.

Halloween Returns set for July start date

There have been rumors and speculation about a new Halloween movie since Rob Zombie's H2 was released in 2009, but there is now official word from Dimension Films that Halloween Returns is set to begin filming in July.
In the directors chair will be director/screenwriter Marcus Dunstan. In addition to directing, Dunstan co-wrote the screenplay with longtime writing partner Patrick Melton. The pair previously wrote scripts for several Saw films, Piranha 3DD, and both Collector films.

Personally, I'm not as excited as just about everyone else seems to be. I saw what Melton and Dunstan did to destroy the Saw franchise and also remember how horrible Piranha 3DD was. I enjoyed The Collector for what it was, but The Collection was pretty bad in comparison. Seeing these guys attached to my favorite horror franchise doesn't give me much hope. Here's to hoping they don't give us something worse than H2.

Pitch Perfect 3 receives a release date

After a rather successful opening for Pitch Perfect 2, Universal has announced that there will indeed be a third installment (aca-believe it) and that it will hit on July 21, 2017. That smacks it right in the center of Summer release season and actually puts it in between the new revamp of Spider-Man and the third Planet of the Apes.

Also included in this release was confirmation that Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson will be returning to complete the trilogy. No word yet on whether the other members of the Bellas will return, like Hailee Steinfeld, but I highly doubt that Kendrick and Wilson will be the only returning cast members. It is also unclear whether Elizabeth Banks will return to direct.

Jack Huston exits The Crow

And yet another reason why they need to just stop pushing this reboot.

After replacing Luke Evans in the upcoming reboot of The Crow, Jack Huston has now exited the project. There really isn't any disclosed reason as to why Huston left the film, but the rumors are regarding creative differences and/or scheduling. It seems as though whenever something moves forward there is something that pops up that sets them right back where they were. Variety and several other sites are claiming that the studio is trying to move quickly on replacing Huston and the top candidates are Jack O'Connell and Nicholas Hoult. Pre-production has already begun in London, so I would expect to see any re-casting news in the next week or two.

In addition to all of this, the studio announced today that Forrest Whitaker was in negotiations for an unspecified role. It looks like they are still pursuing Andrea Riseborough for the lead villain role, too. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jurassic World sets domestic box office records

The fourth installment of the Jurassic franchise, Jurassic World, has just smashed its way through records with its release this weekend. The film brought in over $500 million internationally and $262 million domestically at the box office this weekend which makes it the biggest domestic box office opening of all time. Jurassic World beat the previous record setter, Avatar, which opened with $259.9 million back in 2009.

What makes this so impressive is the film was released on a non-holiday weekend. Most of the time movies see the big box office tallies are holiday weekends or summer releases later on in July and August. This is very impressive.
I went to see it today and despite the dinosaurs looking horrible, the movie was pretty enjoyable and fun. Definitely not as good as the first one, but it wasn't by any means bad. I'm sure it will continue to bring in the bucks throughout the week.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Good Dinosaur drops entire voice cast

The voice cast for Pixar's The Good Dinosaur was looking pretty awesome. That is until practically the entire voice cast was dropped and replaced.

The cast which previously included Reese Witherspoon, Bill Hader, John Lithgow, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, Lucas Leff, and Frances McDormand has been completely dropped with the exception of McDormand. The new voice cast is as follows:

Raymond Ochoa as Arlo, the Apatosaurus

Jeffrey Wright as Poppa, Arlo's father

Steve Zahn as Thunderclap, the Pterodactyl

AJ Buckley as Nash, a T-Rex

Anna Paquin as Ramsey, a T-Rex

Sam Elliott as Butch, a T-Rex

Frances McDormand as Momma, Arlo's mother

Marcus Scribner as Buck, Arlo's brother

Jack Bright as Spot, Arlo's human friend

This marks a first time that Pixar has completed a film and recorded all of the dialogue and then re-recorded with a brand new cast. This would also make sense as to why the teaser trailer had absolutely no dialogue in it. This also came after Pixar all but scrapped The Good Dinosaur entirely. We were originally supposed to get the movie last year, but when the studio delayed it to revamp the entire story it resulted in no 2014 Pixar release and two releases for 2015.
I was really excited for The Good Dinosaur until the shit hit the fan... and until seeing the teaser. To me, it looks very subpar for Pixar. The dinosaurs look overly cartoonish and I think dropping the voice cast for, in my opinion, bad voices is a mistake.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mockingjay: Part 2 - First Teaser

We have our first look at the war moving into the Capitol in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2... and it looks pretty awesome.

Jon Bernthal joins Daredevil as The Punisher

The Walking Dead's Jon Bernthal officially joined the Marvel universe today as Frank Castle (aka, The Punisher). Bernthal will primarily appear in season two of the Netflix series, Daredevil, but it is important to remember that the actors signing onto Marvel television shows have film options in their contracts. This might be paving a future path towards another Punisher solo film.

 Bernthal is most recognizable to television viewers as Shane from The Walking Dead where he exited the zombie drama after two seasons. He's also been seen in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and Fury and also appeared in the short-lived series, Mob City.

The Punisher previously had a film treatment back in 2004 with Thomas Jane in the lead role. It was alright for what it was, but still nothing special. That film eventually got a sequel, Punisher: War Zone, in 2008 complete with Ray Stevenson in the lead role but the franchise kind of died after that. 

To those unfamiliar with The Punisher, he is basically a similar vigilante to Matt Murdock (aka, Daredevil). He acts as an individual with a mission to keep Hell's Kitchen clean by any means necessary. He crosses the line of life and death that Murdock doesn't want to cross so it should prove an interesting feud, or ally, for him. My guess is they are bringing in as many potential allies as possible for Daredevil seeing that The Kingpin is in jail and very angry and rumor has it that Bullseye will be a part of season two as well. It's naive to think they will introduce all of these villains and leave Murdock out on his own.

I personally really loved the Daredevil series and I think the character is well suited for a show and not a single film. It works and I'm happy to see Marvel is exploring the television/streaming platform for lesser known, or lesser liked, heroes and villains. It also leaves good potential to tie everything together so I wouldn't be surprised to see cameos from some of these actors in Phase Three films. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Warner Bros. revives Akira adaptation

Akira seems to have some life once again. The question is for how long.

Daredevil writer/showrunner Marco J. Ramirez has been tapped by Warner Bros. to write a new script for the live-action adaptation of Akira. Ramirez previously worked on shows such as Sons of Anarchy and Da Vinci's Demons.

Akira has been in development for years. The latest revival of this project was back in 2011 when the cast attached to the film was Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, and Gary Oldman. The project was indefinitely postponed right before filming to polish the script, but it never picked itself back up. With the success of Daredevil it seems that Warner Bros. is trying to turn to what is working to get this project off the ground one way or the other.

Confirmed: Marvel is skipping SDCC 2015

It's been rumored for months, but we now have confirmation that Marvel will not have a Hall H panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con International. Marvel has been the star of Hall H for quite a few years now and it's a bit confusing as to why they are skipping this year.

Many are speculating this is due to Marvel's somewhat lackluster panel last year. They had attempted to use the platform to announce all of Phase Three, tease Guardians of the Galaxy, and announce Joaquin Phoenix as Doctor Strange, but his negotiations fell through just prior to the convention. As a result, they didn't reveal much at all.
However, there are a couple options why. Seeing that Marvel is a Disney owned entity now, Kevin Feige might decide to save whatever they have for the D23 Convention in Anaheim. They are Disney owned, after all. Another theory is they just don't have enough to show. Captain America: Civil War just started filming, Spider-Man hasn't begun production yet, and there is no point trying to hype Ant-Man because it's hitting next month.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

James Wan to direct Aquaman

This might be the one movie so far that Warner Bros. has done right regarding the new DC Universe. The studio has brought on horror director James Wan to direct Aquaman starring Jason Momoa.

Wan is coming straight off an overwhelming success of Furious 7 along with the lingering success he had with the 2014 horror hit, The Conjuring. He is also well known and respected among moviegoers for the Saw franchise as he co-wrote and directed the first film and co-produced all seven as well as the Insidious trilogy. Wan is currently in pre-production for The Conjuring 2, but he is up for the challenge of joining the DC Universe.

Personally, I'm a bit disappointed that Warner Bros. snagged him and not Marvel. I think he fits in better with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I won't count him out. I've been a fan of his since the beginning of his career and I definitely know he can do great things. Whatever he does will be better than the bullshit Zack Snyder pumps out.

So far Aquaman is set to make a cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it's assumed he will appear in the Justice League films. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Eddie Redmayne officially joins Fantastic Beasts

Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne has been on the radar for a while to play Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Warner Bros. officially announced yesterday that Redmayne has landed the lead role and will star in the film.

Demand and popularity surrounding Redmayne has increased since his rather surprising Oscar win for portraying Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He's previously starred in Les Miserables, My Week with Marilyn, and Jupiter Ascending

The film will be directed by David Yates with Potter author JK Rowling making her screenwriting debut. Warner Bros. is still in the casting process with several actresses testing and being considered for the roles of Tina, Jacob, and Queenie. Fantastic Beasts is currently set to hit theaters on November 16, 2016. It will be the first Harry Potter related film since the initial franchise ended with The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 back in 2011.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tron 3 officially... not happening

Despite recent rumors surrounding a third installment of Disney's Tron franchise, it appears that Disney decided to take matters into their own hands. The studio announced that there are currently, and possibly never, plans to film a third installment of the franchise.

The rumors were claiming that filming was set to start in Vancouver late this year with Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde returning as well as director Joseph Kosinki returning.

I would have liked to see a third Tron, but oh well. In a way it bugs me but at the same time it doesn't.

Rick Baker's retirement is actually a big deal

Hollywood make-up legend Rick Baker has retired from the industry. This is not only sad on numerous levels, but it should serve as a wake-up call for Hollywood.

Baker has had some pretty notorious clients and done a lot of groundbreaking projects in the world of practical effects and make-up. He frequently worked with pop legend Michael Jackson as he created the zombies in Michael Jackson's iconic video for "Thriller," created numerous ghosts and monsters for the "Ghosts" short film, and created the extraterrestrial characters in Captain EO. He was also instrumental in the groundbreaking werewolf transformation in An American Werewolf in London, created alien transformations in the Men in Black movies, brought Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes to life, and he turned Eddie Murphy into the morbidly obese Klump family in The Nutty Professor.

Despite his body of work, he cites the quick hurry of Hollywood and the ease of turning to digital effects. You could look at this as Rick Baker being ready to retire or you could see it as him feeling forced to retire because he can't work anymore. His newer projects, such as Maleficent and Men in Black 3, were heavily tainted with CGI and the quick production forced a lack of time spent on practical effects.
Other legendary practical make-up artists, like Greg Nicotero, have seemed to find a way to balance the digital world and practical world but I find that a hard compromise to have to make. I'm all for the return of practical effects because, in my mind, they look better than half the digital stuff out there.