The past seven days

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Hobbit extended edition hits in October

An extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be digitally released by Warner Bros. on October 22nd, as if it needed even more footage. The edition features 13min of additional footage along with 9 hours of bonus features. On November 5th the extended edition will hit 3-disc Blu-ray ($35.99), 5-disc DVD ($34.99), and 3D Blu-ray ($54.98). Each format will also include an Ultraviolet digital copy.
The new special features include a commentary track with Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens, a chronological history of filming The Hobbit trilogy, and more on creating Middle Earth.

Personally, I think this is a massive waste of money. You might as well just wait until the extended edition box set comes out like it did with Lord of the Rings. I remember watching my brother and my dad buy each Lord of the Rings movie and then the single extended editions and then the big box set. It is such a waste and I laugh at people who do it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The CW developing The Flash; puts Wonder Woman on hold

The CW seems to be enjoying their recent hit Arrow as they have announced they are developing a new series, The Flash, from the creators of Arrow. Barry Allen (aka, The Flash) will be introduced in Arrow and will then spin-off with his own series.
With this it does appear that The CW is looking to bank on their own mini-DC universe, but it still won't include Wonder Woman. At least not yet. With the announcement of The Flash, The CW has put Wonder Woman on hold. The network previously tried to lift the character from the ashes but the potential series never made it to a pilot episode. We also can't remember The CW (previously the WB Network) had a smashing success with Smallville which was based on Superman.

What is curious about this is how or if The Flash series will play into the planned movie set for 2016. At Comic-Con the studios had announced their plans to have Batman vs. Superman out by 2016 and Justice League by 2017 with The Flash squished in between the two in 2016. WB produces and oversees The CW so it's not like this television series is happening without their knowledge. They will either find a way to tie the show into the movie or will have two completely different interpretations and stories going at the same time.

Oldboy pushed back to November

Spike Lee's adaptation of Oldboy has been pushed from October 25th to November 27th. The film had already been pushed from October 11th to the 25th. There is no reasoning other than the lack of genre competition over the Thanksgiving week. Oldboy will be competing with Disney's newest animated feature Frozen and the Jason Statham flick Homefront.
Another reason they might not want to mention just yet is Spike Lee recently coming under fire for moving to Kickstarter to try and fund his next project. The studio probably figures an extra month to let people forget about it might not hurt.

Personally I don't see a reason for the move. The only competition Oldboy had was Paranormal Activity 5 and that got pushed back to January. Oh well. I don't really want to see it anyway.

#Oldboy #SpikeLee

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Star Wars Celebration moving to Anaheim

With the Star Wars Celebration wrapping up in Germany we learned many things. I previously posted (link) about Kathleen Kennedy vowing to stick with a good mix of practical effects and CGI and we can rest assured that J.J. Abrams isn't leaving Star Wars. We also learned the location and dates of the next Star Wars Celebration.

Yes indeed, the next Celebration will take place in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center from April 16-19, 2015. As you may have noticed, this was chosen specifically to coincide with the Summer 2015 release of Star Wars: Episode VII.
Another reason could be, but isn't confirmed yet, is possibly to lineup with the announcement and/or opening of a Star Wars themed land or park at Disneyland in Anaheim. That is due to the fact that the Anaheim Convention Center is approximately a 5min walk from Disneyland. It has been rumored for a while now but the likelihood of this happening shot sky high after Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced Episode VII. The rumors as of right now are Disney will be announcing either the conversion of Tomorrowland to Star Wars land or opening a third gate park specifically dedicated to Star Wars and other franchises such as Avatar and Marvel (The Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, etc.). Said announcement(s) are apparently going down at the D23 Expo in a couple weeks. 

Either way... I just might have to save up and kill two birds with one stone in 2015 and head to Anaheim.

Star Wars Episode VII to utilize practical effects

Executive Producer Kathleen Kennedy is starting to speak out about Star Wars: Episode VII due to the Star Wars Celebration in Germany this weekend. She stated that as of right now she is splitting her time between Lucasfilm and Bad Robot to meet with J.J. Abrams and the writers citing that all they are focusing right now is the story and the characters. Kennedy believes if you don't spend the time to create a good story and great characters any effects you use will be useless.

On the subject of special effects, Kennedy responded to the question of how much CGI will be used in Episode VII. Episodes I-III had a ridiculous amount of CG effects to the point that it distracted from the story. Kennedy has worked on several cutting edge and culturally defining films like Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and ET and understands the ways technology can be used. However, she also understands the balance that exists between CGI and practical effects. She stated,
"It's a conversation we're having all the time in the development of Episode VII. Looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feel for what even some of the early films did, combining real locations and special effects – that's something we're looking very seriously at. So we're going to find some very cool locations that we're going to use in support of Episode VII and I think we're probably going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox to create the look of these movies."
That statement apparently resulted in an uproar of applause and approval from the fans in attendance. In addition to that statement, Kennedy promised they will be using model makers to create real droids and use real artwork to be combined with tasteful CG effects.

I'm still not 100% on board with this whole Episode VII thing, but reading this made me extremely happy. It would be nice to see something that is tasteful and not just a CGI, green screen crapshoot that George Lucas gave us for three movies.

Source via IGN

#StarWars #EpisodeVII

Denis O'Hare returning to American Horror Story

Denis O'Hare, who played the burn victim Larry Harvey in season one, is returning for American Horror Story: Coven. The show's third season is centered around witchcraft and also stars Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Gabourey Sidibe, Emma Roberts, and Angela Bassett.

O'Hare has been in numerous things, both TV and film, and is an absolutely fantastic actor. He most recently portrayed the relentless vampire king Russell Edgington in HBO's True Blood. His character in season one of American Horror Story was quite weird, too. I'm interested to see what character he will have this time around.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

[Random] My favorite Disneyland rides

Seeing that there is practically nothing else to talk about and so many Disney attractions are going the movie route, I figured I would share the current Disneyland attractions from my most to least favorite with #1 being the most. Bear in mind this list is limited to the rides I have been on and won't include any that I have never experienced. Good? Excellent. Here we go!


1. Pirates of the Caribbean
2. Haunted Mansion (also Haunted Mansion Holiday)
3. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
4. Splash Mountain
5. Indiana Jones Adventure
6. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
7. Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
8. Jungle Cruise
9. Star Tours (used to be higher on the list before the "new adventures" refurb)
10. Snow White's Scary Adventures
11. Pinocchio's Daring Journey
12. Space Mountain
13. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
14. Captain EO
15. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
16. Alice in Wonderland
17. Gadget's Go Coaster
18. Matterhorn Bobsleds (love the ride, but the new sleds are downright painful)
19. Peter Pan's Flight
20. Storybook Land Canal Boats
21. Sailing Ship Columbia / Mark Twain Riverboat
22. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
23. Enchanted Tiki Room
24. Casey Jr. Circus Train
25. Finding Nemo Submarines
26. Autopia
27. Innoventions (the Iron Man exhibit was pretty cool, though)
28. Tarzan's Treehouse
29. Mad Tea Party
30. It's a Small World

California Adventure:

1. Toy Story Midway Mania
2. Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue
3. The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure
4. Radiator Springs Racers
5. Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
6. MuppetVision 3D
7. Turtle Talk with Crush
8. Goofy's Sky School
9. Grizzly River Run
10. Golden Zephyr
11. Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
12. Luigi's Flying Tires
13. Soarin' Over California
14. Jumpin' Jellyfish

Rides I have never been on:

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
California Screamin'
King Triton's Carousel
It's Tough to be a Bug
Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies
Flik's Flyers
Francis' Ladybug Boogie
Mickey's Fun Wheel (or as I call all ferris wheels, the wheel of death)
Silly Symphony Swings
Astro Orbitor
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island
King Arthur Carrousel

As for the rides I have never been on, I'm not so good with heights and/or rollercoasters so that explains why I have never done Tower of Terror or California Screamin'. I would like to do Tower of Terror because the POV's I have seen on YouTube look awesome, but I am adult enough to admit the heights aspect and the sudden drops terrify me.

And as a bonus, because I am nice and will gladly give anyone Disneyland pointers, here is a list of some of the best food in the parks. Some of it is sit-down service but not all of it.


1. Blue Bayou

This place pretty much requires a reservation (I always book 2 weeks ahead) and it is really expensive, but it is seriously delicious. The atmosphere is unbeatable, too. I mean, you are eating inside of Pirates of the Caribbean. And in all fairness you do get a decent amount of food for the price. You get bread, a choice of gumbo or salad, and an entree. Lunch is a bit cheaper than dinner but you don't have as many menu items to choose from. I ate here for the first time last year and I won't ever miss eating here at least once whenever I visit. I would advise anyone to book for lunch smack in the middle of your trip if you are staying multiple days. I usually stay for a 5-day pass so my lunch at Blue Bayou usually is on Wednesday. It's a nice middle of the week, sit-down treat.

2. Cafe Orleans

Yet another New Orleans Cafe spot that is absolutely delicious. This remains high on my list primarily because they have the best french onion soup I have ever eaten. You usually don't need a reservation and if you play your cards right you can get in and stay to watch Fantasmic and/or the nighttime fireworks show. You won't have the greatest view but you can still see. They are fairly inexpensive, too.

3. Corn Dogs

I am a big fan of corn dogs in general, but the ones at Disney are to die for. They are a pretty decent size and you get your choice of apple slices or chips to go along with for around $5 (without a drink). It's quick, filling, and available in both Disneyland and California Adventure.

4. Dole Whip Float

I'm almost impossible to describe the utter awesome that is a Dole Whip. It's worth the line. Trust me.

5. Cream Cheese Pretzel

I just had one of these earlier this year and I just about died. They are so damn good. Another treat that is pretty inexpensive, quick, and quite filling. These are also available in both parks.

6. Churros

Bottom line... delicious. Simple as that.

7. River Belle Terrace

This is an excellent place if you are looking for a spot to watch Fantasmic. The food isn't too expensive and is pretty good, but if you play it right you can get an outdoor table and watch the show from the restaurant. The CM's (aka, Cast Members) won't kick you out of the spot no matter how long you sit there because it isn't a table service restaurant. If you utilize the River Belle for Fantasmic, it's best to get there at least 90min prior to showtime and snag a table. 2 hours is best but you can usually stretch that extra half hour and still get a good spot. You can also see the fireworks from the River Belle.

California Adventure:

1. Pacific Wharf Cafe

Four words: soup in bread bowls. Not only are the sourdough bread bowls baked onsite, but the soup is so blasted delicious. I always get clam chowder but I have tried the other soups as well. You just can't go wrong with this place. The only downside is there is almost always a line (I've waited close to 30min before) and it can be real difficult to find a table outside. It all depends on what time of day you go. I have eaten my soup sitting on a bench around the corner because I couldn't find a table, but it's worth it.

2. Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill

I was skeptical about theme park Mexican food and I don't really like Mexican that much to begin with, but I was really impressed with Cocina Cucamonga. You get a very generous amount of food for the price. I got carne asada steak for $11.99 and I got a full steak, beans, rice, a chicken tamale, two soft tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. It tasted really good, too. Next time I visit I am definitely eating here again. Similar to the Pacific Wharf Cafe, it can be difficult to find a table. They are located next to each other so the whole complex can be a bit difficult to navigate depending on the time of day.

3. Corn Dog Castle

Like I said about corn dogs before, they are just a great deal and are really good.

4. Award Wieners

This obviously depends on if you like hot dogs, but they are one of the best deals in the parks. This place has a couple kinds of hot dogs, like chili cheese, and you get the choice of apple slices or chips. It's inexpensive and good enough to keep you full for a while.

5. Paradise Garden Grill

I found this place by complete accident last year when I was searching for a shady spot to relax for a bit. Not only is this area of the park practically deserted, but they have Mediterranean food (which I love) that is really good. I got a steak skewer with rice and it tasted great. It wasn't too expensive either. When I ate there a small band was playing in a gazebo nearby and it was just relaxing. Very much recommended.

I have yet to try it, but if you want to splurge and spend a small fortune you could check out the new Carthay Circle restaurant inside California Adventure. I have heard it's delicious and has a great atmosphere. You can also get World of Color show packages where you get a meal and premiere viewing for the show. It will cost you, though. I looked into a similar deal for Fantasmic inside Disneyland and it was $60 a person.

And, of course, these aren't all the places I have eaten inside the parks. These are just my personal favorites and what I think are the best deals for what you get. Other ones that aren't terrible, but aren't great, are the Hungry Bear Restaurant, Tomorrowland Terrace, Taste Pilot's Grill, and Bengal Barbeque.

That does it for my take on the Happiest Place on Earth. You may not know this but it is probably my favorite spot. It's expensive as hell but I love it. I go whenever I have the chance. If you have never been give it a shot. I can help you with a lot of pointers and give great tips on how to get the most done during your trip.

The Wolverine - Review

The Wolverine follows Logan to Japan where he is summoned to meet a friend from the past. Little does he know the physical and personal conflicts that are ahead of him will show him not only what it is like to be mortal, but they shape who he is destined to be.

Going into The Wolverine I didn't really know what to expect. I knew it was a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand and has Logan isolated after the X-Men disbanded and Jean Grey was killed. I also knew it took place in Japan. That was about it.
The film begins in WWII at the Nagasaki bombing where Logan is being held captive along with other American POW's by the Japanese. He saves the main villain, Yashida, from the blast and is later summoned by him to return to Japan when Yashida is an old, dying man. He tells Logan he wants to give him a gift of mortality and an ordinary death in exchange for the healing powers Logan possesses. That is the basic set up of this movie. As far as the plot goes I thought it was decent. Basically a man who was saved by a mutant became obsessed and wanted the power for himself. Pretty standard but solid. Everything else was just a bump in the road for Logan.
Acting wise I thought everyone did a pretty good job. Hugh Jackman, of course, did a great job as Wolverine. I don't think he will ever shake this role as long as he is able to do it. The only character I thought was a bit dumb was Viper, the poisonous mutant who was basically a biochemistry genius. Yashida uses Viper as a means to obtain Logan's healing powers and produce Adamantium.
I did like the flashbacks to Jean Grey, though. I thought they weren't overdone and they served a really nice purpose. It shows the struggle Logan has been dealing with. 

There were things I didn't like, though. The main one was the ridiculous train sequence with the Yakuza trying to kill Yashida's granddaughter. I thought it was overdrawn and a bit ridiculous. Another was the whole Yakuza subplot in general. It gave Yashida's son, Shingen, a potential God complex in basically predicting everything that happened was going to happen before it even happened and placed precautionary measures years in advance. I really hate that in movies and it was very prevalent in The Wolverine with quite a few characters. The love plot between Logan and Mariko was forced, too, and Yukio's character and mutant abilities were severely underdeveloped.

Overall it was good despite the hiccups. Well, it was better than X-Men Origins. I wouldn't say this was a great movie but it did its job. Similar to the Hulk, I just think Wolverine is one of those characters that works best in an ensemble piece and not by himself. I have loved Wolverine in each of the X-Men films but when he's put out there by himself it just isn't the same.

There is one spoiler alert regarding an after credits scene, so click the jump to read on.

John Williams to score Star Wars: Episode VII

After some speculation and rumors, we now have confirmation that composer John Williams will return to the Star Wars franchise to score Episode VII. This shows J.J. Abrams making a bold move as he is breaking apart from his frequent composer Michael Giacchino who has scored all of Abrams' previous films.

Williams scored all six of the previous Star Wars films and has made some of the most iconic and memorable music in recent film history including scores for Jurassic Park, Superman, Indiana Jones, and the Harry Potter franchise. His return to Star Wars, at the age of 81, is a pretty big deal.

Good to have you back, Mr. Williams!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Butterfly Effect to be rebooted

Variety is reporting that FilmEngine and Benderspink are looking to reboot the 2004 film The Butterfly Effect. The film starred Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart (and also a young Logan Lerman) and told the story of a young man who was able to travel back in time to change the fate of his and his friends lives in an attempt to fix the results of several childhood traumas. The Butterfly Effect also had two direct-to-dvd sequels that followed.
Eric Bress, the writer and director of the 2004 flick, is returning to write a new script and producers AJ Dix, Anthony Rhulen, Chris Bender, and JC Spink are returning as well. Looks like the only new member we have is FilmEngine president Navid McIlhargey. No director or cast is set just yet.

Now... I think it's a bit odd that they are rebooting this film with the same people. If they didn't think it worked the first time then why would you try it again with the same people? It's not like the movie was a failure either. It made almost $100 million at the box office and only had a $13 million budget through New Line Cinema.
I personally like The Butterfly Effect and have since it came out. I thought the story was cool and that Ashton Kutcher wasn't all that bad. The segment where he went to jail was my favorite.

Here's the trailer for the original movie. If you've never seen it I would go ahead and check it out.

Black Widow a huge part of The Avengers 2

It appears that Joss Whedon is trying to make up for lost screen time.

After revealing that Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) was going to have a bigger role in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Whedon also elaborated on how Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) will be a big part of the sequel as well. This comes after some criticism came after the two characters had very low screen time compared to the other heroes despite the fact that Black Widow had more screen time than both Thor and Hulk in The Avengers.
Hawkeye brought in a whopping 12:44 and Black Widow had 33:35. She brought in just 4min less screen time than Iron Man and Captain America and is a main focus in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so I don't know how she can be an even bigger part in The Avengers: Age of Ultron unless she surpasses the other heroes and becomes the absolute main character.

Also added for Age of Ultron are Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, the twin children of Magneto. Whedon expressed his fun with Black Widow due to the fact that she is just a spy who doesn't have the same morality the others possess.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spike Lee moves to Kickstarter to raise $1.25 million

Director Spike Lee has turned to Kickstarter in an attempt to raise $1.25 million to fund an upcoming film project. His time limit? 30 days.

The current Kickstarter trend was started after musician Amanda Palmer, formerly of The Dresden Dolls, unexpectedly raised over $1 million (after setting a $100,000 goal) in May 2012 to fund her album Theatre Is Evil. Following suit were Kickstarter pushes for a long awaited Veronica Mars movie which raised $5 million and a push by Zach Braff who raised $3.1 million for his film I Wish I Was Here.
Depending on the project starter, you are able to win certain prizes for donating a certain amount of money. For the Amanda Palmer project you were able to win things such as having a personal dinner party with Palmer at your home or simply getting a signed art book. Spike Lee is offering a dinner and courtside seat to a New York Knicks game for a $10,000 donation to the project. For a $5,000 donation the backer will receive a producer credit and for $1,000 you can be an extra in the film. Lee stated, and I quote,
"Do you wish to see Human Beings dealing with each other on a Human Level? GET DOWN FOR THE CAUSE. How many more explosions with Ear splitting Sound Effects can you take? Nothing in Life is Free and if you want something you got to pay for it."

So in other words, if you want a project from Spike Lee you need to dig deep and donate money to him and pay up. As of right now, Lee's Kickstarter project has raised $29, 105.
Lee recently directed the upcoming American adaptation of Oldboy. A film in which he had a $30 million budget to work with and most likely will receive, or did receive, more than enough to back the film he is trying to fund via Kickstarter.  He also holds a current net worth of about $40 million as he and his production company, 40 Acres & A Mule, has produced 35 films since 1983.

As you might be able to tell, I think this is ridiculous. Spike Lee has studios bringing him in to direct and produce films on a steady basis, he has directed music videos for stars such as Michael Jackson and Public Enemy, and has courtside tickets for just about every Knicks home game which run about $800 a pop... but he wants our money to fund a movie? Fuck that. He has more than enough to fund it himself or get a studio to back him.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sacha Baron Cohen leaves Freddie Mercury biopic

Well, I can't say I'm unhappy about this one.

Sacha Baron Cohen has left the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic over creative differences. If you don't know who Freddie Mercury is then I just feel sorry for you.

I'm just kidding. He is the late singer of the band Queen. Baron had been cast as Mercury quite a while ago and cited disagreements and creative differences with the living members of Queen as reason for his departure. Queen apparently wanted a family friendly, PG-rated film and Cohen wanted an R-rated raw look at Mercury's life. He had commissioned a script and had shopped it to directors like David Fincher and Tom Hooper. However, the band members never signed off on it.

Sony Pictures and GK Films is setting up this biopic but there is no telling where the project will go from here or who will replace Sacha Baron Cohen. If Queen wants a PG movie based off their late frontman I think they should just quit while they're ahead. Mercury did not really lead a PG-rated life. He struggled for privacy despite being openly gay and died of AIDS in 1991. I don't know how you can put a PG spin on that.
I say I am happy about this because although Cohen was a fairly decent choice to play Freddie Mercury, I don't think this should happen. Ever. I hope this departure leads to the project dying entirely.

X-Men: Days of Future Past images emerge

We have some post-CC news for X-Men: Days of Future Past. We now have an official logo along with two character posters for Magneto and Professor X.

I think these look great and it definitely boosted my excitement level a bit.

First photo of Finnick Odair in Catching Fire

I know I'm not the only one who has waited for this.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22nd.

#CelebrateYourVictors #CatchingFire #Finnick

[Updated] J.J. Abrams dropping out of Star Wars Episode VII?

According to the internet there are various sources suggesting J.J. Abrams is close to dropping out of Star Wars: Episode VII.

You may be aware that it was recently announced filming would begin soon as the production has already moved to London, England to make the 2015 release. A move that Abrams protested severely, but in the end he was overruled by the studio. According to sources the location isn't the only disagreement Abrams has had with the studio.
It is suggested that if Abrams is truly dropping out of the director's chair it will become apparent at the upcoming Star Wars Celebration held in Germany from July 26th to the 28th. Either that or if there is no mention of Episode VII whatsoever.

This all comes after news that new writers are being sought after in for the third Star Trek film. Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) are reportedly close to a done deal to write the third Star Trek and many feel this is also leading toward Abrams committing to direct the third installment. That is if he leaves Disney high and dry and drops out of Episode VII. Not to mention Miller and Stentz are part of Abrams' Bad Robot family, so if he is considering it the move back to Star Trek is very likely. This has to move fast if Star Trek 3 is going to make the 2016 release date Paramount wants so they can use the film as promotion for Star Trek's 50th anniversary.

You might have asked the same question I did... how can J.J. Abrams realistically direct both projects? As of right now there really is no answer to that. It is likely that Abrams will have to pass on one of them. However, if he chooses to leave Episode VII that doesn't necessarily mean he will automatically choose to direct Star Trek. He is a pretty in-demand guy right now so I'm sure he has plenty of potential projects to choose from.
I will definitely be watching this one closely. I wasn't too psyched they chose Abrams for Episode VII, but I'm sure I could tolerate what he would produce. If he drops out and they try to fast track a director to still make the 2015 release, which I'm sure they would, I fear who they would choose. I highly doubt they can do any better than J.J. Abrams with the available choices.

[UPDATE] Apparently this is just what it started as. It's a rumor. A rep for Lucasfilm stated there is no truth to the rumor and that Abrams is looking forward to production. Whether that was just them trying to do some damage control to diffuse the rumor before it gets too big remains to be seen.

#StarWars #EpisodeVII #JJAbrams

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Avengers: Age of Ultron not based off comic arc

Or so Joss Whedon says. Now bear in mind this is the same guy who assured us Iron Man 3 wouldn't have the Iron Patriot, so I take what he says with a grain of salt.

But on with it... Joss Whedon has said that the upcoming Avengers sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, will not be based off the Age of Ultron comic arc where Wolverine and the Invisible Woman are sent into the past to kill Ant-Man so he can't create Ultron. Whedon assured us that they are working on an original interpretation of the origin of Ultron story. He basically also said that people should stop thinking Ant-Man (aka, Henry Pym) will make a cameo in The Avengers 2 as a lead into Edgar Wright's Ant-Man movie.

Other than that he mentions that Age of Ultron will feature Hawkeye in a bigger, more important role and we will see him as more than the possessed scapegoat he was in The Avengers. Age of Ultron will also be a more global film in regards to the team not only worrying about the United States but about the fate of Earth and the whole galaxy.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015 and will be followed by Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.

SDCC: First image from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

We got our first image of Caesar from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Such a tongue twister.

Director Matt Reeves warned guests at Comic-Con that the footage of the apes was limited due to the fact that it takes 10-12 weeks to render a single ape, but we do have enough to see Caesar wearing some war paint. I still think the apes look ridiculously real. I am excited for this one.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes starts on July 18, 2014.

#SDCC #PlanetOfTheApes #20thCenturyFox

Saturday, July 20, 2013

SDCC: Captain America fights the post-Avengers world

Captain America: The Winter Soldier seems to be the first Phase Two movie that will actually acknowledge the post-Avengers world. Comic-Con revealed that Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) fights alongside Captain America (Chris Evans) while he struggles with adjusting to the modern world.

The panel consisted of Chris Evans, Frank Grillo, Emily Van Camp, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, and Colbie Smulders along with directors Joe and Anthony Russo.

What we learned from the panel:

1. Steve is struggling with the modern world not in terms of technology, but in societal and moral changes. It's tougher to tell right from wrong than it was in the 1940's.
2. Black Widow is an integral part in The Winter Soldier and fights alongside Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D.
3. The Winter Soldier (aka, Bucky Barnes) is close to the comic arc set by Ed Brubaker.

And, of course, there was a trailer. Here is the description:

It begins with a fantastic scene of Cap riding in an elevator.  He’s alone, wearing his costume (no helmet) with the shield on his back.  He’s lonely.  The elevator stops and two men board led by Grillo’s character.  Grillo’s character and Cap tersely acknowledge each other, and the elevator continue to go up.  The process repeats with more men getting on at multiple stops—some are dressed as agents, others are soldiers.  It’s a great visual metaphor for the sinister forces working alongside and closing in around Rogers.  Captain Amerian can sense their malovelent intentions towards him and he says, “Anyone who wants can still get off.”  No one moves, Cap hits the emergency stop, and the fight begins.  Despite the cramped quarters and handheld cameras, it’s a thrilling fight with Cap taking on eight or nine guys.  The Russos capture the action perfectly, and it’s cut together in a way that we move with the momentum of the fight rather than just trying to keep up with it.
After Captain beats up his attackers, we move on to the rest of the trailer which is a big montage.  One key moment is Fury telling Rogers, “We have to deal with the world as it is; not how we’d like it to be,” and Rogers responding, “That’s not freedom.  That’s fear”.  We also see the return as well as the destruction of the helicarrier.  We see Falcon fly and firing guns at a helicopter that’s chasing him and trying to shoot him down.  There are also a lot of fisticuffs on display from Natasha, and although the action has its own flavor, we don’t see much of the gritty spy stuff. Admittedly, it’s difficult to translate that an assault of images.  The closing shot is Cap’s shield embedded in the ground, and we see a bionic arm grab the top of it.  We pan up to reveal our first official look at the unmasked Winter Soldier.

[UPDATE] Here is a picture of the panel

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is aiming to give audiences a better glimpse into Steve Rogers as a character and also to further develop his individual storyline. It also gives the biggest reveal of the post-Avengers world in terms of how the public is dealing with the "outing" of the superheroes and aliens.

#TheWinterSoldier #Marvel #SDCC #CaptainAmerica

SDCC: Thor: The Dark World brings Loki back once more

We managed to get a new trailer for Thor: The Dark World at Comic-Con but that was about it. And that should be taken literally.

No panel. No Q&A session. Nothing except a trailer. Oh, and this but it kind of already came out.

However, the trailer did come in style. Kevin Feige brought in Tom Hiddleston as Loki for the last time to present the trailer. I found the Loki introduction on YouTube and it is real fun. Here is a description from Collider:
"It begins with a battle in a burning village with Sif and Warriors Three fighting masked warriors.  Thor beams in, makes some quips with Sif, and slays a rock monster.  We then see London attacked, Thor beams in, nd beams Jane Foster out to Asgard.  We see him recruiting Loki, and the Warriors Three and Sif threaten to kill Loki if he betrays them.  This is interspersed with loads of action.  It’s tough to go beat by beat, but it looks exciting and finally lets Thor be Thor in a world that fits him.  It’s the grand tone we only briefly saw in the beginning of the first movie.  While I can’t go through every moment, I will say that the trailer ends with Loki slicing off Thor’s hand, a moment that was greeted with a collective gasp from the audience."

[UPDATE] Here is video of the Loki introduction along with a picture.

I'm pretty shocked that Thor: The Dark World didn't get a panel. They must be pretty confident that people are excited enough which is a mistake, imo. Most people think Thor was the weakest movie in Phase One.

#SDCC #Marvel #ThorTheDarkWorld #Loki

SDCC: The Avengers 2 gets an official title

Say hello to The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Kevin Feige gave fans more than was expected including the surprise Guardians of the Galaxy panel and now the official title for The Avengers sequel. Feige brought in Joss Whedon to reveal a trailer of quotes for The Avengers that ends with Nick Fury telling Maria Hill that the group would be coming back together, and then the camera pans to reveal Ultron's helmet. After the helmet this showed up:

For those who don't know, here is the basics on Ultron:

He is the creator of the synthezoid, The Vision, who Ultron tries to use as a weapon to destroy The Avengers. Further flashbacks reveal that Dr. Henry Pym (aka, Ant-Man) is the creator of Ultron. However, the robot eventually created his own intelligence and rebelled. He tried to kill Pym and became interested in Janet van Dyne (aka, The Wasp).

The biggest question for most, including me, is with all these bad villains being introduced (like Ultron, The Vision, and Nebula), how exactly does Thanos fit into all of this if he is the main villain? Are they going to make him the one who is controlling all of this? It is also possible that Thanos has been announced but will be saved until The Avengers 3. At this point anything is possible.

It is also been suggested that the Age of Ultron comic arc will be the basis. Click the jump for a summary of that:

SDCC: Marvel has surprise Guardians of the Galaxy panel

Along with the publicized panels for Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel decided to surprise Comic-Con guests with a panel and footage from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Kevin Feige brought out director James Gunn who was joined by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Benicio del Toro, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, and Djimon Hounsou.

What we learned from the panel:

1. Chris Pratt used a tapeworm to get in shape for the role of Star-Lord (gross).
2. James Gunn approached his first superhero movie like his other films by planning everything ahead of time.
3. Benicio del Toro has not begun filming yet and met the cast for the first time prior to the panel.
4. Filming has only taken place for 10-13 days.
5. The footage suggests the film will be funny with a lot of James Gunn's style.

We also got some new concept art.

That's about it. I'm sure you'll be able to find some YouTube uploads of the test footage before too long. I guess this was Marvel's way of showing us the expansion of the Cinematic Universe.

[UPDATE] Here is a picture of the panel

#SDCC #Marvel #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy

SDCC: X-Men: Days of Future Past wows at Comic-Con

Apparently this is the panel that got the first standing ovation in Hall H.

Along with The Wolverine and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 20th Century Fox brought X-Men: Days of Future Past to Comic-Con and had a gigantic panel consisting of old and new X-Men actors. In attendance was Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, Shawn Ashmore, Hugh Jackman, Peter Dinklage, Nicholas Hoult, Omar Sy, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, writer Simon Kinberg, and producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker. Also joining was director Bryan Singer.

Here is a nice group shot of everyone:

What we learned from the panel is limited but enough:

1. Days of Future Past is in 3D.
2. A majority of the effects are still unfinished, but there was some footage screened. A description is listed below.
3. Omar Sy is indeed playing Bishop.
4. Deadpool is not in Days of Future Past at all, so we can all hang our heads in disappointment.

Here is a description of the footage screened from Collider:

"So many mutants but the core is that we see Xavier, Magneto, Storm, and Wolverine in the future.  Xavier says they need to send Logan’s mind back to his younger body and convince young Xavier and young Magneto to avert the disastrous future.  In the future, we see the cast members from the first three movies in dark, futuristic-looking clothing but not cheesy.  It’s austere, and so is the landscape, not the ragged, post-apocalypse from the comics.

When Wolverine goes back, we see the First Class members, and young Xavier looks absolutely beaten and tired.  We then go through a big montage of almost all the characters.  Memorable moments include Beast trying to drown young Magneto, and a young Magneto using his power to drag a helpless Mystique towards him.  The trailer finishes out with young Xavier shouting, 'I don’t want your future!'  We then go to a two-shot with young Xavier and old Xavier facing each other.  Old Xavier tells his younger self, 'Please.  We need you to hope again.'"

In other words... X-Men: Days of Future Past looks like it will surpass First Class and be pretty damn cool. 

SDCC: Catching Fire Comic-Con trailer premieres

The new Comic-Con trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is upon us!

 I honestly think it's better than the first trailer we got. I want to see more of the other victors, but at the same time I like that they focused on Katniss and Peeta. I still highly encourage everyone to read the books prior to seeing the movie.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22nd. 

#CelebrateYourVictors #SDCC #CatchingFire #TheHungerGames

SDCC: Justice League to hit in 2017; Flash planned for 2016

WB has announced their movie plans for the DC universe after several stalls regarding Justice League and the future of all the characters. What we know as of right now is:

A Batman/Superman movie will hit in 2015 in what is described as the sequel to Man of Steel. It is expected that Henry Cavill, Zack Snyder, and Christopher Nolan will all return and I'm sure we will see more information on who will be the new Batman before too long.
In addition to the Man of Steel continuation, we will have a Flash movie in 2016 that will lead into the Justice League movie in 2017.

Now... This is all still just planning. It was pretty much announced at Comic-Con that this will happen but I am still not holding my breath. As of right now this is all we have and for the few DC fans out there that actually give a crap about this, you're welcome.

[UPDATE] Zack Snyder officially announced the Batman/Superman World's Finest storyline at Comic-Con on Saturday, July 20th. Fans are basically peeing themselves all over the internet because this is finally happening.

Friday, July 19, 2013

SDCC: The Walking Dead returns October 13; Season 4 trailer debuts

Today we had the panel and Q&A for AMC's The Walking Dead at Comic-Con. We not only learned that season 4 will premiere on October 13th, but we also have the first trailer for the season. It looks like things heat up quite a bit.

A lot of people, including myself, were a bit disappointed about how Season 3 ended but by the looks of this trailer... Season 4 is going to kick some serious ass.

#TheWalkingDead #ComicCon #SDCC

SDCC: Kick-Ass 2: Extended NSFW Trailer Premieres

We have a new, extended trailer for Kick-Ass 2 straight from Comic-Con in San Diego. It is branded NSFW primarily due to violence and language, but other than that it's good to go. I personally think it is a bit too long and it probably showed a majority of cool stuff in the movie, but that is pretty much what trailers do these days.

 #KickAss2 #ComicCon #SDCC

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Conjuring - Review

The Conjuring tells the true story of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. They encounter a supernatural force while investigating the Perron household in 1971. What they find is both disturbing and dangerous.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the clapping teaser trailer earlier this year. I am also a big fan of James Wan's work so I probably would have seen it regardless. This movie has been surrounded with hype about how terrifying and disturbing it is and I have seen pictures on Twitter where some theaters are posting warnings outside of the theater exit. Now that I have seen it I have to say that although I didn't find it terrifying, it was definitely very creepy at times. Very well done.

As far as the plot goes, this is a tricky one seeing that it is based on a true story. The keyword is "based." The basis of the movie is Ed and Lorraine Warren are asked to investigate a supernatural entity inside Roger and Carolyn Perron's farmhouse. The couple acquired the home via auction from the bank so they didn't know the history of the home. The Warrens uncover the truth and immediately begin work trying to find proof so they can identify the problem.
The oldest Perron daughter, Andrea, explains the film as an interpretation of their story through the point of view of the Warrens. Andrea Perron has actually written a 3-part book about the family's experiences in the house titled House of Darkness, House of Light. She credits James Wan for taking the essence of their experiences and condensing them into a two hour movie. She also notes that both she and Lorraine Warren gave the studio tons of information and the screenwriters were basically forced to pick and choose what to include and what not to include. She describes the movie as a work of art and not a work of fiction. She welcomes the skeptics and asks that they send any comments and questions her way and is sticking to the fact that the movie is indeed based off a true story.

With all that said, I loved the flow of the movie. I thought the intensity and overall creep factor was very high. Like I said before, I didn't find it terrifying but it was pretty creepy. The way the movie starts is with a separate case to introduce the Warrens. One thing to remember when going into this movie is the central characters aren't really the members of the Perron family. The main characters are Ed and Lorraine Warren.
I thought the acting was fantastic and it was apparent that the actors did their research. Lili Taylor was fantastic and it's kind of a shame that she didn't have more screentime. Very believable portrayal of a woman scared out of her mind. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were also very good. I enjoyed the way they portrayed the characters and they had great chemistry.
One thing I loved was they didn't overuse the cheap scares. Of course there were jump scares, but in my opinion those types of scares rely on sound cues as well. The way the moments went in this movie was the initial imagery came before the actual scare. It gives you a little time to process what is happening and lets you almost react before the person on screen does. It's always a fun feeling to look at the person on the screen and want to shout, "look behind you!" I had a lot of fun with it.
I do have to say that I didn't expect it to be a possession movie in the end, though. It didn't kill the movie for me but it wasn't what I was expecting. 

Overall I found this a very well done movie in general, not just a horror movie. It had an interesting story, interesting characters, and it had a very creepy atmosphere. Comparing it to Wan's previous movie Insidious I will say it is very similar in nature and a lot of the cinematography was familiar, but I thought The Conjuring was better. That isn't saying Insidious was bad, but it wasn't on the same level. The Conjuring had more of an interesting story for me.
As a horror fan and a movie fan in general I definitely recommend this movie. I was not disappointed in any way. I don't want to spoil anything or discuss too much, but I think the part that gave me the biggest creep factor was the clapping sequence. It was teased in the trailers but it was a lot more intensive in the final product.

More info regarding the real case of the Perron family and the Warrens work can be found here.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Conjuring comes with a warning

I saw this on Twitter earlier. Check out my review of The Conjuring here.

The Conjuring is James Wan's newest horror film and stars Lili Taylor, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Ron Livingston based on the true story of the Perron family. It starts this Friday, July 19th.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

[UPDATED] Paranormal Activity 5 delayed until 2014

2013 might be the first year since 2009 without a Paranormal Activity film. Sources say that Paramount Pictures is considering delaying the film from October 25, 2013 until an unannounced date in 2014. They are citing uncertainty that the film is exactly what they want. It has been test screened and has received positive numbers, but the studio still isn't positive it's the result they want.
Seeing that it's already mid-July and there is really no word on Paranormal Activity 5, a delay might be in order for that reason alone. Each of the previous movies has been filmed rather quickly but despite the box office numbers, the reception and feedback has steadily been declining along with the releases. If the film is delayed it is likely that most if not all of it will be re-shot. Some are guessing a possible January release, but that isn't confirmed. Either way they need to make up their minds pretty quick.

Either way, I personally think this is about money and not about them "second guessing." Horror films released in January have become quite profitable so it would make sense for them to try and capitalize on the time frame and move away from the overwhelming Halloween season. Also bear in mind that this October we will have Carrie and Oldboy that it will have to compete with. Early January is pretty vacant so they probably see it as an opportunity to get the post-Halloween crowds back in the theaters in January like they did with Texas Chainsaw 3D and The Devil Inside.
I'm also not expecting much anyway. Paranormal Activity isn't a great franchise. The plot is weird, the characters are lousy, and they aren't scary. I think people are starting to realize they suck.

UPDATE [7/17]: Paramount officially announced they have pushed Paranormal Activity 5 to January 3, 2014. It will compete with Fox's horror film Devil's Due. Paramount has filled the October 25th spot with Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.


The Conjuring sequel and franchise in development

Just when you think you can have nice things, leave it to Hollywood to rain on your parade.

New Line Cinema has made a point to mention their plans to make more films based off the Warrens, the paranormal investigators in which The Conjuring revolves around. You have seen other movies already based off their cases including The Amityville Horror (1979 & 2005) and The Haunting in Connecticut (2009). Whether this exploration will involve a direct sequel to The Conjuring or will just explore the other cases Lorraine and Ed Warren investigated is still unclear, but they obviously don't want to pass up this opportunity.
It also must be said that it's unlikely James Wan would return to direct another film of this nature. He recently won the director's chair for Fast and Furious 7 and has mentioned his desire to expand beyond the horror genre and direct different types of movies. You have probably seen Wan's work already as he directed Saw, Insidious, Dead Silence, and Insidious: Chapter Two (out September 13th).

However, this all obviously depends on how The Conjuring does at the box office. So far the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and New Line is expecting a solid release. All I have to say if it actually scares me I am a fan. I don't know how on board I would be with sequels without Wan, though.

The Conjuring tells the true story of the Perron family's experience with the paranormal in their Rhode Island farmhouse. It comes out this Friday, July 19th


New character posters for Catching Fire

Well these are just fantastic.

I am getting very excited for Catching Fire.

#CatchingFire #TheHungerGames