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Quick Take: Prometheus to be shot in 3D, and everything else Ridley Scott makes. Ever.

22 Jul

The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Man of Steel, Bond 23, World War Z, Django Unchained.  These are just a few of the films that I’m looking forward to in 2012, what appears to be an uprecedented year for my bank account in terms of movie ticket purchases.  However, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is, without a doubt, my most anticipated film of 2012. 

Yesterday, Comic-Con got its first look clips from Prometheus, and while I’m still waiting for those clips to hit the internet, we did get a little bit of information about the film.  Scott told Comic-Con attendees (in a video conference) that Prometheus was shot entirely in 3D, and that he liked it so much he’ll never shoot another scene again in 2D.  I am no defender of 3D but in Scott I trust, so I’m expecting Prometheus to look incredible.  One concern I do have is the use of light, or lack there of, to create tone.  Evident by the recent rants about the projector lenses, 3D works best with high contrast and bright lighting; not something we should be expecting from a Ridley Scott sci-fi picture.  But if Ridley Scott can get so excited about the 3D of Prometheus to proclaim he’ll never work without it again, I can’t help but get excited.

http://www.slashfilm.com/ridley-scott-work-3d/

**Trailer Time**: “The Dark Knight Rises” Teaser Trailer, “Contagion”

18 Jul

The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan has been using the internet to his advantage to spread the mystery about the next and final installment in his Batman trilogy. He’s posted small, yet confusing clips and cryptic pictures of his characters. There are multiple stories about what the plot will be and the teaser trailer before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 did nothing to clear the water. I will let you come to your own conclusions after the trailer, but my opinion is that this film just continues to build anticipation and that if this is anything less than amazing people will be disappointed. I have a lot of faith that Nolan will not let his audience down.

Contagion

The next trailer on our list today is Stephen Soderbergh’s next film, Contagion, starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard and Laurence Fishburne. The film revolves around a strain of virus that spreads and kills the infected within days. The story seems to focus more on the panic and crumbling of structure than the actual fighting of the virus, kind of like a zombie film without the undead roaming around for brains. I think this one looks pretty strong as well and will probably put this on my list of most anticipated films this Fall.

What are your thoughts and comments about these trailers? Good/bad?

**Trailer Time**: “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” & Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse”

30 Jun

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

The Mission: Impossible franchise and I have a love-hate relationship. The first film was one of my favorite action films of the 90’s and I loved how it wasn’t so much about Tom Cruise being a badass, as it was him getting a team together and working with them to pull off some really stealthy missions. Except for the end, there weren’t a lot explosions and gunfire, the suspense was created in them not being caught. Mission: Impossible II was an atrocity. Instead of stealth, we had lots of them getting caught and fighting their way out, plus some ridiculous motorcycle kung-fu.

It was a John Woo film, I don't know what else I would've been expecting.

The film could’ve been done without a “team” because Tom Cruise just did whatever he wanted and kind of asked his friends along to watch. The third film got the franchise back in my good graces because it mixed the two styles up and also added some great characters as well. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was by far the best villain that the series had.

Here we are at the fourth film. Tom Cruise is getting old, so Jeremy Renner is teaming up with him in what is rumored to be a “passing of the torch”. When I watched this trailer, it seemed more like the second film. There were lots of random explosions, people sliding across floors with guns, and now Simon Pegg’s character has a gun too. So, it already looks like Pegg won’t be helping the team too much from behind the computer, and is getting in on the action.

Even though he's proved he's pretty good at it before.

While I will still definitely see this film, because the trailer could be deceiving and it has an awesome stunt at the end, I am just a little skeptical. However, I still hold out hope that it at least returns to the tone of the third one. I like the fact that they are going back to the “disavowed” list like the first film, because it was best when they had to improvise with the resources that they had, and didn’t have some big company to fall back on.

War Horse

Steven Spielberg is trying to bank on the Christmas season, with not one, but two wide release films, both including a young male protagonist and an animal. The first is The Adventures of Tintin, but now he just released the trailer for his epic War Horse and it looks beautiful, even if it does look a little sappy and I’ve never been a fan of horse films.

Especially you, Hidalgo.

 The book, upon which it is based, is a poignant look at war and friendship during World War I, as a horse is separated from his young master and moves through various phases of the war, encountering several different people on different sides.

I think that Spielberg is a great pick to direct this film, and I absolutely love the visual style that is employed. I just hope he can capture the emotions that the book portrays, but Spielberg rarely fails at that.

In case you missed it, here is the trailer for The Adventures of Tintin:

Haley Joel Osment Will “Wake the Dead”

28 Jun

Haley Joel Osment was once the talk of Hollywood after 1999’s The Sixth Sense earned him an Oscar Nomination at the age of 11. He then floundered around doing some other films like Pay it Forward and Secondhand Lions before practically disappearing off the screen. Well, he’s back, and he seems to have found a new way of dealing with dead people, bringing them back to life.

According to Variety, Osment is slated to star in an upcoming film called Wake the Dead, which will join the ranks of numerous Frankenstein reboots that are about to hit the screens. However, Osment is the only official star attached to any of them. Wake the Dead ,  based on a graphic novel of the same name, is a modern take on the Mary Shelley novel and Osment will play the main character, a college student who is trying to figure out a way reverse death. Slash, the Guns N’ Roses guitarist, and his company Slasher Films are producing.

That's madness. Slash isn't real, he is like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

I am glad to see Osment return to the screen, since he did display a lot of talent when he was younger. He apparently removed himself from the main Hollywood scene to focus on schooling, which is a smart move, so now that that is over maybe we will see him pop up more.

As for the project itself it might be fun to see this type of adaptation, but with all the Frankenstein reboots set in motion, it might just feel like it is beating a dead horse.

What are your thoughts about this? Are you glad to see Osment return? Is the adaptation a good idea? Or should Frankenstein just stay dead this time?

Michael Bay’s Letter to Fans & Projectionists

28 Jun

Michael Bay has made a lot of movie that I frown upon (to put it lightly). However, there is one thing about him that I respect, and that he really does have a passion for making movies (even if they’re bad). Even though he and James Cameron (or Jim as Michael Bay refers to him) are good friends, I don’t get the soulless vibe from Bay. He just knows how to make movies that will make money, but he also appreciates film as an art and he doesn’t seem calculated about it. He knows his fan base, teenage boys, and loves them.

That last sentence sounded wrong.

Anyway, realizing that about him, and appreciating his love of film, will never make me say that movies like Transformers 2 or Pearl Harbor are “good”.

Bay’s most recent installment in the Transformers series comes out this Wednesday and was conceived and shot in 3D, using the technology that James Cameron used in Avatar. In case you weren’t aware, there is a big difference between a movie that is “3D”, and a movie that is “conceived and shot” in 3D. The latter actually plans on and utilized 3D cameras and technology during the filming, while the former just adds it afterwards in what is called “post-conversion” 3D and looks more like a diorama than having the depth and scope of a film like Avatar. While I am normally against going to see 3D movies because most of them are “post-conversion” and a waste of money, I will probably see Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D to see what all the rage is about.

Michael Bay has even gone so fars as to write two letters, one to fans and one to projectionists, explaining how to have the optimal 3D experience for his film. Here is the one from fans (courtesy of Michael Bay’s blog):

THANK YOU NOTE FROM MICHAEL BAY (6/26/11):

I just want to take the opportunity to thank all the fans around the world for letting me have fun with the Transformers franchise. It has been a wonderful opportunity to have worked with about 4000 crew members around the world. These artists are some of the very best in the entire film business. I’m honored to have had you work along side me. We had an amazing time.

‘Dark of the Moon’ has some of the most technically challenging sequences ever shot. And shot in 3D. I must urge you to find the very best theatre and see this movie in that format. 3D was a forethought, not an afterthought in this movie. I’m glad Jim Cameron and Steven Spielberg really convinced me to shoot in this new technology. We used and invented many new techniques to make the 3D sharper, brighter and more color contrast. I think theatre owners heard their audience that they need to respect the specs of the projectors and not dim the bulbs to save money.

Many theaters are presenting it in the brand new 7.1 sound, which is awesome. This is the most complex, intricate sound track that me and my Academy Awarding winning sound team have done. They really out did themselves to make this a big picture experience. Hopefully you will have as much fun watching this movie as we all had making it.

Thanks,

Michael Bay

This could read one of two ways.

1) He truly cares about his fans’ movie experience.

Or 2)

Go see it in 3D so I can make it rain! Booyah!

 My inclination is to believe that he has more respect for his fans than to try coerce more money out of them, he already has enough, but then again he is friends with the Devil (James Cameron).

Here is his letter to projectionists (courtesy of Deadline.com):

While he may come off as demanding and kind of cold, I kind of appreciate his efforts to bring his viewers the best possible experience, even I don’t exactly enjoy those movies. However, projectionists are coming out from their enclosed doors and into the sunlight to tell people that many studios do this anyway, and it really isn’t that special. What do you all think of Bay’s efforts? Are they out of genuine love for his fanbase? Will you see Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D?

Christopher Meloni Joins the ‘Man of Steel’ Cast

27 Jun

Christopher Meloni, of Law & Order: SVU fame will be joining the increasingly impressive cast list for one of next years most anticipated films Man of Steel.  Meloni recently relinquished his longtime role on NBC’s popular drama and looks to be making a smooth transition back into full length features.  Accompanying Meloni in the next Superman film will be Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, and Julia Ormond.

While Deadline announced the news on Friday, they did not have any insight into which role Meloni would play.  This of course lead to various speculations, the most obvious being that he would possibly play Lex Luthor.  However, Latino Review is now reporting that Meloni’s role would be as a general.  No other specifics were released about the role, like whether this general would be Human or Kryptonian, but that does suggest that the role of Lex Luthor is either absent from this film, or still up for grabs.

Meaning Mad Men fans will still be petitioning for this to happen

As far as Christopher Meloni’s role is concerned, I have my own speculation.  There is one military General already well established within the Superman lore, General Sam Lane.  In addition to being a high ranking military officer, Sam Lane also happens to be Lois Lane’s father.  His involvement in a fight against a Kryptonian invasion led by General Zod (Shannon) would provide more conflict and emotional depth to the Lois Lane character (Amy Adams) and possibly also provide emotional conflict for Superman (Cavill).  With every casting announcement I get more and more excited to see this film, and it is closely battling Ridley Scott’s Prometheus for my most anticipated movie of 2012.  Man of Steel is directed by Zack Snyder and is scheduled for release in December of 2012.  Now excuse me, I’m gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Fondue Cheddar!

R.I.P. Peter Falk (1927 – 2011)

24 Jun

The film industry lost another class act today, and I feel like a small part of my childhood has died. Peter Falk, known best as the unassuming, yet cunning Lt. Columbo from the TV Show Columbo passed away last night. He was twice nominated for Academy Awards and he made a catch phrase out of the saying, “Just one more thing,” while searching for clues on his famous detective show.

I remember him best from Princess Bride as the narrator, reading to a young Fred Savage about true love and the wonders of its kiss. I must have watched that movie 20 times when I was younger. To read the full story, you can go to CNN.com, here

For now, here is a clip of him from Columbo.