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    Sunday
    Aug232015

    'Project Greenlight' is Back; Trailer Released

    Even though this is technically a television show, it is about filmmaking so I figure it can go in the MOVIES section.

    If you had HBO back in the early 2000s, you may remember a documentary series produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck called Project Greenlight. It basically centered on giving a first-time filmmaker an opportunity to make a movie and watch as they go through the trials and tribulations of taking on a feature film.

    The first season actually began way back in 2001 and resulted in the little seen comedy/drama, Stolen Summer. The second season came back in 2003, when then little known actor Shia LaBeouf starred in The Battle of Shaker Heights. Also a comedy/drama and also seen by very few. Finally, we had 2005, when the show moved to Bravo Network and resulted in the horror film, Feast. While this also was seen by very few, it did spawn two sequels so it was certainly more of a success than previous years.

    Now, after over a decade, Project Greenlight is back, not only with HBO but with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck too. The trailer for the upcoming season has been released and while they are once again making what looks to be a comedy/drama, the director this season looks to be a little more demanding and hands-on than previous seasons (asking to rewrite the entire script before shooting will do that).

    Anyway, see for yourself below.

    Project Greenlight premeires Sunday, September 13th at 10pm on HBO.

    Source: HBO

    Saturday
    Aug222015

    2nd Trailer for 'The Martian' Debuts

    If I haven't expressed how excited I am for The Martian, well, I am. I loved the book, I love everything I've seen from the film thus far (literally as if the book has come to life), and now 20th Century Fox has released the 2nd trailer for the film, which you can view below.

    As you can see, the newest trailer gives a little bit more insight into the plot compared to the first trailer while also showing off what look to be stunning visuals. Say what you will about Ridley Scott, but the man knows how to create art on screen, and I really like how everything looks very realistic and practical. I know they shot the Mars scenes in Southern Jordan and worked very closely with NASA to keep all the space related aspects of the film accurate as well. Let's just hope they took Drew Goddard's apparent 'amazing' script and executed wonderfully.

    Also in terms of casting, Matt Damon really does look spot on as Mark Watney, the humor especially. I really can't think of any other actor who would have worked for this role, especially when they have to be on screen by themselves for such long periods of time.

    Anyway, enough of my babbling, here's the trailer:

    During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel.

    The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott from a script by Drew Goddard, stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It will have it's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and release in theaters everywhere October 2nd.

    Source: 20th Century Fox

    Sunday
    Aug162015

    First Poster for Disney's Live-Action 'The Jungle Book'

    Falling in line with Disney's recent live-action remakes of their beloved animated properties come The Jungle Book, the adaptation of Ruyard Kipling's story about a boy named Mowgli who is raised in the jungle by wolves and goes on a journey of self-discovery when he comes to the civilized world.

    Jon Favreau (Iron Man) is directing, newcomer Neel Sethi is starring as Mowgli, and the voice cast for all those beloved animal characters ranges from Bill Murray, to Idris Elba, to Scarlett Johansson, to even Christopher Walken.

    With Disney's big D23 event this weekend, we have our first look at the teaser poster for the film, which you can see below.

    It looks pretty well-done, as if the animated film really has come to life. I'm just curious how they're going to mix live-action with CGI, as we have seen many examples recently (Avengers: Age of Ultron the biggest culprit) where excessive special effects in a film can really take you out of the moviegoing experience.

    The Jungle Book opens in theater April 15th, 2016 and expect the first trailer to be released in the next coming months.

    Source: Disney

    Saturday
    Aug152015

    Colin Trevorrow to Direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

    If you didn't know, Disney is having their big D23 event this weekend (their version of Comic Con) and have dropped some major announcements for many of their properties, including (not surprisingly) Stars Wars.

    With J.J. Abrams helming the first installment of the new trilogy this December (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Rian Johnson taking on the second (Star Wars: Episode VIII) due out in May 2017, we now have an official announcement of who will be closing things out with Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019: Colin Trevorrow.

    Yes, the man who co-wrote and directed what has now become the 3rd highest grossing film of all-time with Jurassic World, will be leading the way with the final installment.

    While I don't think Trevorrow is a bad filmmaker by any means, he's a bit of a letdown compared to Abrams and Johnson. Don't get me wrong, I really liked Jurassic World and thought it was very good, but it didn't 'Wow' me to think, "This guy's a hell of a filmmaker."

    Anyway, Disney and Lucasfilm seem pretty high on him as they released an official press release (which you can read below), and I'll just state this two cents in regards to Star Wars:

    I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the biggest fan. I've seen the original trilogy, and while I merely just liked them (I grew up with Terminator, Die Hard, and Rocky), I understand why this franchise is so important to so many people.

    With Disney and Kathleen Kennedy now in full control of Lucasfilm (seriously, thank God), I think what they're doing with this franchise is groundbreaking and will certainly dominate the film industry for years to come.

    Again, while I'm not the biggest fan, it's people like me who will still undoubtedly go to the theater to check out what amazing things they're coming up with, and that's what counts.

    ANAHEIM, CALIF. (August 15, 2015)—Today at D23, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn announced that writer-director Colin Trevorrow will direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set for release in 2019. 

    While production won’t begin for a few years, Trevorrow is heading to Lucasfilm this year to begin working with artists and his fellow Star Wars directors. “Colin is someone I’ve been interested in working with ever since I saw ‘Safety Not Guaranteed,’” says Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “The power of that film paired with the enormous success of ‘Jurassic World’ speaks volumes about his abilities both as a storyteller and skilled filmmaker. We are thrilled to have such an incredible talent as Colin join our family and step into the Star Wars universe.” 

    Trevorrow states, “This is not a job or an assignment. It is a seat at a campfire, surrounded by an extraordinary group of storytellers, filmmakers, artists and craftspeople. We’ve been charged with telling new stories for a younger generation because they deserve what we all had—a mythology to call their own. We will do this by channeling something George Lucas instilled in all of us: boundless creativity, pure invention and hope.” 

    Star Wars: Episode IX will conclude the third trilogy of Star Wars movies that begins with Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.

    Source: Disney/Lucasfilm

    Monday
    Aug102015

    Leonardo DiCaprio Will Be Your 'Devil' In the White City.

     

    Coming hot off of his new film The Revenant it appears DiCaprio will go from revenge to murderer as The Hollywood Reporter is stating the TITANIC and Great Gatsby actor will team with Martin Scorcese yet again for the long awaited adaptation of the non-fiction best seller, The Devil in the White City.

     The feature adaptation of Devil in the White City is back at Paramount, with Leonardo DiCapriohaving enlisted his frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese to help make his passion project into a reality.

    Paramount, after having acquired and let go of the project twice before, has scooped up the project, with DiCaprio on board to star, Scorsese to direct and Billy Ray to write the script, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

    The Erik Larson novel takes place in 1893 at the World's Fair, and follows the architect of the White City itself, Daniel H. Burnham, and the bloodthirsty Dr. H.H. Holmes who lured victims with his charm to his murder castle, a macabre and twisted monument to depravity in a world on the edge of the millennium. 

    Graham Moore is penning the script, fresh off his Oscar win for The Imitation Game. 

    Monday
    Aug102015

    Steven Spielberg Courting Gene Wilder for 'Ready Player One'?

    I don't usually do two entries in a row about the same project, but this seemed like an exception to make.

    With news coming last week that Warner Bros. had set a release date of December 15th, 2017 for the film adaptation of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One with Steven Spielberg directing, we now we have word of what legendary actor might be getting persuaded to come out of retirement to come onboard.

    None other than Gene Wilder himself is rumored to be taking or has already taken a meeting with Spielberg about an upcoming film of his.

    While it's speculated the project could be a voice role in the animated adaptation of Ronald Dahl's famed children book, The BFG, that movie's not only due out in less than a year but the full voice cast is already set. I would imagine the bulk of the work has already been recorded, which leads us to Ready Player One...

    It seems fitting that for a book described as "Willy Wonka meets The Matrix", Mr. Wilder could in-fact be getting courted to play the vital role of James Halliday, the creator of the virtual universe of OASIS and the man who sets off a global search to find his hidden fortune from beyond the grave.

    Now this is all pure speculation and the original story is nothing more than an unconfirmed rumor, but damn, if this is any hint of what Spielberg is aiming for, we might be in store for something pretty special.

    We'll keep you posted on any more news about this project. Sound off with your comments below though. Would you like to see Gene Wilder - Willa Wonka himself (sorry Johnny Depp) - back on the big screen, in a Steven Spielberg movie nonetheless?

    Source: AICN

    Friday
    Aug072015

    'Ready Player One' Set for December 15th, 2017; Steven Spielberg To Direct

    Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow and DreamWorks Studios have set a December 15th, 2017 release date for Ready Player One, to be directed by none other than Steven Spielberg himself. The film is an adaptation of Ernest Cline's novel of the same name about a not-too-distant future where virtual reality is valued by society above the real world.

    It is still somewhat surprising that this project is moving forward, especially with Spielberg still attached. You see, Ready Player One centers on a teenager named Wade Watts who, throughout his short life, has grown up with OASIS, a virtual utopia that humans can enter to escape the real world. Basically, a video game that anyone and everyone around the globe can play at any time. Watts - along with many, many others - is set on finding the creator of the virtual reality's fortune, hidden somewhere inside the utopia. This utopia is littered everywhere in 80s pop culture, from video games, to movies, to TV shows, to books because the creator was obsessed with the decade. Or in other words for a film, a licensing nightmare.

    In order to make the film work, these references to 80s culture need to be in there, and you can't just put them in like that. Money needs to be paid to whomever owns the rights to...whatever it is your referencing in order to allow it in the film.

    For movies specifically, the ones that are referenced a lot in the book (which, by the way, if you haven't figured out by now, I'm currently reading) are The Goonies, Back to the Future, Gremlins and even E.T. I believe is in there too. Getting the rights to use footage and even mentioning these films on screen can be extremely costly, that is, unless you're Steven Spielberg. That's where the big guy comes in.

    Spielberg, in terms of 80s pop culture, basically defined the decade. Go back and look at many of the great films from that time and I bet you he's involved in nearly every single one. You know who produced The Goonies? Spielberg. Back to the Future? Spielberg. Gremlins? You guessed it, Spielberg. A special mention for Poltergeist? Spielberg (though it's widely believed he ghost directed that thing too). Oh and I probably don't need to tell you who created E.T.

    By having Spielberg on as director, it gives the project ease and availability in using these films for reference. The man running the show is also the key to make this book come alive. In short, the studio and all involved better hope Spielberg doesn't drop out of this thing, otherwise it'll be tough to still move forward with any other director (well, maybe other than Robert Zemeckis).

    The book has been adapted by Zak Penn for the screen. Not exactly a name that brings confidence to mind (X-Men: The Last Stand anyone?) but with Spielberg behind the camera, it can be great.

    Dan Fellman, the president Warner Bros. domestic distribution, had this to say regarding the December 2017 release date:

    “Any film from Steven Spielberg is an event film, so it felt right to date this thrilling new project from one of our greatest filmmakers for the holiday season."

    Very true, but let's just hope that doesn't change.

    Source: Variety

    Thursday
    Aug062015

    'The Dark Tower' Has a Release Date!

    After several years of development, many studios (and actors) attached, it looks as though Stephen King's epic novel series is finally getting close to hitting the big screen.

    Sony Pictures has officially set a January 13th, 2017 release date for The Dark Tower. While that may seem far away, remember that we are already halfway through 2015. That's only a year and a half from now.

    We know the project has a director (Nikolaj Arcel), multiple screenwriters (Arcel and Anders Thomas Jensen) and producers (Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Stephen King himself), but now it's time to find a lead actor.

    A lot of big name actors have flirted with project over the years including Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, even Christian Bale, but as of right now there's no word on if any of those names are still being considered. They need to find the right guy and frankly, I have no clue who would fit. A Dark Tower expert might know.

    The one thing I'd like to point out is the seemingly short time period between now and that release date. The project must be further along than we think in terms of filming locations, budget and casting as they would have to start shooting by the end of this year, early next year to have the film ready by January 2017.

    I only hope they have everything in order and aren't about to make this a rush job, certainly not after the long road the page to screen adaptation the project has taken.

    We will definitely keep you posted on any more news about this as you can expect more big announcements in the next coming months.

    Source: Sony Pictures

    Tuesday
    Aug042015

    X Gon' Give It To Ya' in Red Band DEADPOOL Trailer 

     

    The 4th wall-breaking quip-machine was the talk of the town after Comic-Con when the trailer was circulating the web in low cell-phone quality (along with Suicide Squad) and now, weeks later, the trailer for the 20th Fox gamble of "fine here's the movie you all have been bitching about wanting for 5 years" has made it's way online officially. 

    Deadpool follows Wade Wilson, a cancer patient who undergoes a life-saving experimentation from the Weapon X program, as he is turned into the grizzle faced mercenary known as Deadpool who goes on the lamb from the organization that created him and along the way finds Negasonic Teenage Warhead, a child from the house that Xavier built as they are hunted and haunted by their estranged pasts.

    DEADPOOL stars Ryan Reynolds as he reprises his role from 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine and is joined by a bevy of talent such as Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, and the stunning Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, and newcomer Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic. 

    The film opens everywhere February 12, 2016. 

    Tuesday
    Aug042015

    Promo Video for 'The Martian' - Ares 3: The Right Stuff

    Having recently finished reading Andy Weir's The Martian, I am beyond psyched to see the film.

    The combination of science, suspense, reality, authenticity and most of all, humor, makes the book one of the best I have ever read. I am just praying and hoping the film is able to capture that same spirit as the book.

    Seriously, Mark Watney is like my friggin hero now.

    Anyway, if you haven't seen the trailer, you should check it out (as I have about 100x). Today though, we have another promo video for the film where the 'crew' is being interviewed by a psychologist before their mission after each spending 10 days in isolation. It's safe to say, all the actors here (especially Matt Damon) have seemingly translated their characters from page to screen. Even reading the book, I couldn't help but picture all of these actors in their respective roles.

    The Martian opens nationwide October 2nd.

    During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

    Source: 20th Century Fox

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