208 posts in the Film Category

World War Z's chaotic production revealed

A long re-telling of creative conflicts, rookie mistakes, discarded writers, blown budgets, and finding the heart of a tentpole zombie flick.
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Joss Whedon to succeed Nolan and Abrams as Hollywood's next big thing

Move over Chris Nolan and J. J. Abrams. Make room Dark Knight and The Hunger Games. Joss Whedon is about to show you how it's really done.
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Are directors as interchangable as spark plugs?

Directors come and go on television, where all the best stories are told, and even on hugely successful franchise films. Do they even matter anymore?
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Where The Hunger Games stands against the champs

Weekend box office numbers for April 13-15, and where The Hunger Games' first installment ranks against the great franchise series films.
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Entertainment Weekly debunks its own rumor about next Batman flick

A rumor started by Entertainment Weekly has been confirmed as bullshit, by none other than the intrepid reports at Entertainment Weekly.

Top Eight Movie Scripts of 2011 - So Far

A guest post by Isabella Woods.

Actor to Plead Guilty to Leaking Black Swan to BitTorrent

Feds wasting money on being copyright cops, movies that get pirated early and then make tons of money, and innovate uses for iTunes.

Trailer: Twight Breaking Dawn

Trailer for Part 1 of Twilight: Breaking Dawn.

Abrams officially commits to raping Star Trek's dead body

J. J. Abrams has officially signed up to helm Star Trek "2" (aka Star Trek 12, aka Not Really Star Trek Just A Massive Cliche Waiting To Gently Rape Your Fond Childhood Memories).

Bucky Larson bombs, surprising everyone

Another day, another mindbogglingly bad movie with eight funny reviews.

New X-Men isn't first class, Ebert says

Most critics and fans seem pleased with X-Men: First Class, but Roger Ebert can't manage much more praise than "meh" for the fourth installment in the flailing franchise.

Peter Jackson talks The Hobbit with fans

Peter Jackson answers the first in a promised series of questions from fans about The Hobbit.

Trailer: Super 8

Movie trailer for "Super 8".

Trailer: Fast Five

Movie trailer for "Fast Five", the fifth "The Fast and the Furious" film.

Trailer: Monsters, Inc. 2

A "trailer" for a sequel to "Monsters, Inc." that was never made.

Trailer: Certified Copy

Movie trailer for independent "Certified Copy".

Trailer: Thor

Movie trailer for "Thor" (May 6th 2011).

Trailer: Hersher

Movie trailer for "Hersher" (April 2011).

Trailer: Apollo 18 (HD)

High-Definition trailer for "Apollo 18" (April 22nd 2011).

Trailer: Transformers - Dark of the Moon

Trailer for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (July 1st, 2011)

Forget obscure movies, Oscars can't even find obscure winner

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences went so obscure for this honorary Oscar that it can't even find the winner.

Worst Pun of the Day: IGN

IGN wins today's Worst Pun in the World award for cross-medium puns against humanity.

Lost/Stargate prop auctions, lawsuits, Potter test screening, more

Silly lawsuits, spoiler-ific test screenings, dumb reality show ideas and more in quick links.

Tillman doc stuck with R rating because he swore while being shot at

The MPAA has rejected an appeal by The Weinstein Company to reduce the rating for their Pat Tillman documentary from 'R' to 'PG-13', for the dumbest reason possible.
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Four things to keep in mind about "Inception"

Inception opened last night and has big expectations.

Paranormal Activity 2 trailer arrives

A trailer for the sequel to Paramount's surprisingly successful Paranormal Activity has already hit theaters, and I've got it.

Writing duties for Batman 3 relegated to Chris Nolan's brother

While Chris Nolan is enjoying vanity film making with hapless "Inception", his no-name brother has inherited writing duties for one of the modern era's biggest franchises.

The sad state of MGM

The failed auction-sale of MGM has left its creditors desperate for a quick fix.

Hollywood has a problem

Prince of Persia is being criticized for a lack of diversity in the cast.

Paramount is hiding Heigl's new film from critics

Paramount is refusing to show Katherine Heigl's new film to critics; that's not a good sign.

FCC gives prehistoric Hollywood permission to be retarded

The FCC approved "selective output control" a few weeks ago that could allow Hollywood to disable your TV while trying to watch new movies, under certain conditions.

Arrested Development movie not dead or alive

Rumors of the death of an Arrested Development movie are as premature as last year's exciting over its impending arrival.

Mel Gibson is ready to go away. Maybe.

Mel Gibson is looking to get a project going with Leo DiCaprio...about Vikings.

MGM's problem is Stargate's problem

The delay on the anticipated Stargate movies can be traced back to a single road block: MGM's financial woes.

Paramount effectively reboots Paranormal Activity

As a reward for handing them a complete film shot on the cheap with somebody else's money -- a movie that made $141 million at the box-office (it cost $15,000 to shoot), Paramount is pushing aside Oren Peli for a new writer and director for a sequel to Paranormal Activity.

Spider-Man 4 goes up in smoke, but why?

Sam Raimi and Tobey Macguire are off the franchise and Sony is headed for the total reboot of a massively successful franchise that raked in $2.5 billion and was destined for much more.
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A greenlight for Green Lantern, or a rumor?

Rumors are out that Green Lantern has gotten a green light to go into production, but there's a small catch.

Sam Mendes on as consultant for Bond, not director

True to form, the erroneous headline I highlighted from Cinematical yesterday has already turned out to be wrong.
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MGM moving forward on next Bond, despite financial woes

MGM is reportedly negotiating with Sam Mendes to direct the next Bond flick, but they still may not have the money to move to production when the time comes.

Non-franchise sequels you'd like to see

An online poll conducted by movietickets.com lists the top five non-franchise films that people want to see a sequel for. It is...interesting.

40 nominations and 18 wins for Inglourious Basterds so far

Listing all the nominations and awards received by Inglourious Basterds in anticipation getting a Best Picture Oscar nod.

Fan-made Zelda movie squashed by Nintendo

A fan-made movie based on the Zelda game franchise that was four years in the making and had screenings in New York and Los Angeles has been squashed by Nintendo for rights violations.

Sci-fi masters, or confused bloggers?

Another day, another misguided list of supposed science fiction from io9 that forgot to bring the science fiction.
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FBI captures movie pirates now, instead of terrorists

The FBI has arrested a man for leaking an early copy of Wolverine online, rather than, say, hunting terrorists, serial killers, or fraud and identity theft rings.

Still not your daddy's Sci-Fi

The misapplication of "sci-fi" to many shows that are no such thing is making it almost impossible to actually discuss sci-fi at all.

New Moon opens huge, falls hard and fast

Taking a look at how "New Moon" is performing against The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3.

Nothing Paranormal about bad choices

Paranormal Activity's success illustrates the near constant failure of the studio system to create compelling, original content that makes money -- and proves that it can be done.
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Arrested Development script doesn't mean much

A script being in the works for an Arrested Development movie probably doesn't mean what you think it means.

Diablo Cody/Megan Fox horror flick crashes, burns.

Megan Fox after Transformers + Diablo Cody after Juno and a TV show + horror = a $2.7 million flop.
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Writers' earnings plummet 18% in 2008

According to the Writers Guild, pay for writers suffered a steep decline in 2008 due at least partially to a strike, down nearly 18% across film and television, the second year in a row TV saw a falloff in pay.
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What will Disney do when Marvel runs out of gas?

Even Marvel's extensive collection of characters can't last forever; what will Disney do when the best material has been mined, and will their $4 billion deal be worth it looking back?

Accusations of lying between John Wells and John Bowman

Accusations between WGA Presidential candidate John Wells, and former neg-com chair John Bowman, and an attempt to erase at least some of it from history.
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MacGruber? Do we really need this?

A movie, based on an SNL sketch, which is parodying a show from the 80s. This cannot end well.

Breaking down Transformers 2

Links to dozens of reviews and graphs comparing Transformers 2 to other block busters both good and bad. How does Revenge of the Fallen stack up against the Harry Potter franchise, and The Matrix trilogy? I'll show you.

Revenge of the Fallen gets universally bad reviews

Reviews critical of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen are clogging the Internets with complaints over adult language, pot brownies, dog sex, and insulting racial stereotypes. And that's actually the good news. The bad news is the rest of the film sucks, too.

Bryan Fuller quit Heroes. Again.

Addressing a number of thoughts from Transformers 2, Bryan Fuller leaving Heroes (again), and Cameron Diaz looking goofy.
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Ed Harris adds to growing opposition to SAG contract

Ed Harris has let his thoughts be known in a video opposing the tentative SAG contract, and he's sounding a lot like the writers did right before they struck the AMPTP.
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SAG's new leadership a lot like the old

Almost a year after their contract with the studios expired, the new "United for Strength" faction running SAG has the guild anything but united.

Some things are better left alone

The rights holder of the "Buffy" franchise are heading back to the cinema, perhaps even without Joss Whedon.

Watchmen postmortem

Eleven weeks later it looks certain that Watchmen was a blowout. (Updated)

Not bloody likely

Fox was quickly caught lying about the "missing 10 minutes" of footage in the Wolverine screener, but are they lying about lying?

Good news for Dollhouse, deceptive news for Ron Brown

Dollhouse gets renewed and Angels & Demons disappoints. Fox did the right thing, but did Sony?
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Miley Cyrus movie triples expectations

"Montana" was only expected to pull in about $16-17 million for the entire weekend, but grossed that much in just its first day for #1 on at the box office.

Warner Brothers is threatening to sue India

Lost joins Heroes with record low ratings, SG-1 alumni to appear in SGU pilot, Iron Man 2 begins shooting and more.

Verbinski is done with Pirates franchise

A rumor from last spring has come to pass: Gore Verbinksi is dumping the Pirates franchise in favor of adapting Take-Two Interactive's BioShock into a feature film.

Roger Friedman is not the first pro to review a bootleg

After James Hibberd pirated new TV pilots last fall, it shouldn't be any surprise that Fox's Roger Friedman did the same for the new X-Men spin-off.

Watchmen flames out against The Rock

Watchmen stumbles to second place behind The Rock and Race to Witch Mountain over the weekend; history will remember as a financial flop.
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Watchmen experiences mass walkouts in New York City

A Chicago Tribune writer described a mass walkout during his screening of Watchmen, matching reports from other screenings this past weekend.
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Watchmen - in 600 more theaters - won't even beat "300"

Fantasies that Watchmen would open to $70 million this weekend went up in flames after the early numbers came in on Saturday.
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io9: bloggers love Watchmen, critics..not so much

io9 said it better than I ever could: bloggers love Watchmen, mainstream critics pretty much hated it.
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It's all Watchmen this weekend

Claims of excessive sex and violence, an 'R' rating, bad reviews and a creator that wants nothing to do with the film. It's time for Watchmen.

Nolan Ices Next Batman For 'Inception'

Chris Nolan is putting the next Batman on ice to go make a crappy film that nobody wants to see.

Watchmen sequel may be off the table for Snyder

Director Zack Snyder sat down with the Times to discuss the film for the first time after the lawsuit between Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox was settled.
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Top entertainment stories, or top media fascinations?

MSNBC's list of the top 10 entertainment stories of 2008 gets reshuffled according to their actual impact on our culture and society, rather than based on media obsession.

SAG delays strike authorization vote

The Screen Actors Guild notified their membership late Monday night that the January 2nd strike authorization vote would be postponed in lieu of a national board meeting in the 12th and 13th.

When criticism becomes reverse-fanboyism

When you're using industry-standard cherry picked quotes from critics as a point to attack a film maker -- a studio sin -- you're delving into reverse-fanboy territory.
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Why is Frank Miller pushing crap?

One early review of The Spirit says it's worse than Battlefield Earth. How much longer can Frank Miller play games before he loses the chance to make a sequel to Sin City?
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A SAG state of things

The sorry state of labor unity is laid bare as the regional New York board is demanding an emergency meeting of the national board to avert a strike auth vote they had previously supported.

Screen Actors Guild sets strike vote for Jan. 2

The Screen Actors Guild has set the date of January 2nd for their strike authorization vote.

Bond may have finally met his match

Quantum of Solace hasn't been quite as impressive as Casino Royale was at the box office, but even with Daniel Craig revitalizing the franchise, is it too late to stop The Bourne Phenomena?

Twilight rocked 'em

Summit Entertainment's vampire Flick did big business over the weekend and like any greedy studio, they are already talking about shooting back-to-back sequels.

Here we go again -- SAG asking for strike vote

The Screen Actors Guild has announced that a federal mediator has failed to work out a solution, will seek strike authorization vote.

High ticket sales, a franchise does not make

Twilight is selling a lot of tickets in advance of its opening amongst women, but nothing about this movie is screaming success to me.

While you were sleeping

Bush the movie does well but Max Payne wins the weekend; SAG calls for a federal mediator to intervene; The Sarah Connor Chronicles gets a full season; THE DEBATES ARE FINALLY OVER!

Zucker's conservative "American Carol" bombs

David Zucker's sick anti-American fantasy "American Carol" bombed this weekend in 9th place on what is by most measures a pretty slow weekend to begin with.

About those '300' sequel/prequel rumors

Supposedly "confirmed" reports of a 300 sequel/prequel are still nothing more than weak, unsubstantiated rumors.
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Conservative film makers just don't get it

David Zucker is moving on from fictional comedy to political garbage complete with gun-toting judges murdering civil liberty-defending lawyers.

Ratner and Fraser loved Abrams' crappy Superman script

Bret Ratner who was on tap to direct the next Superman flick, circa 2002, professed his love for J. J. Abrams crappy script to MTV on Tuesday. Wow..
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A look back at J. J. Abrams Superman screenplay

Did you know that J. J. Abrams wrote a Superman screenplay in early 2000? Neither did I. Unfortunately, it sounded absolutely dreadful.

Sorkin does Facebook

TV luminary Aaron Sorkin is diving into the short history of Facebook for his next feature film project, which may not be quite as bad as you think.

Film production plummets in de facto lockout

The Screen Actors Guild hasn't struck yet, but LA Times staff writer Richard Verrier says that film production has virtually stopped nonetheless.
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Screeners, Watchmen, Stargate and actual jobs

An update on this blog, a cool job offer, late screeners, the Watchmen lawsuit with more to follow, and a coming Stargate Q&A with Joe Mallozzi.
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Dark Knight dumped to third by Tropic Thunder

Dark Knight fell from first at the boxoffice over the weekend under pressure from Tropic Thunder, which took first, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars in second.

Will Dark Knight Go Down?

Looking at the Dark Knight's position on the all time boxoffice lists, and asking whether or not a new Star Wars flick will end its run of first place weekends at four.

Kevin Smith vs. MPAA

Kevin Smith beats the MPAA and gets his R rating for Zack & Miri after appealing the NC-17 decision.
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Will Dark Knight go the distance?

Approaching its third week in theaters, it doesn't look like Batman: The Dark Knight will be making a run at the all-time worldwide gross record holder, Titanic.

Final verdict on Hulk 2.0

Two months after another Hulk remake was released, the numbers don't lie: both failed.
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FCC vs MPAA vs us, no matter who wins, we lose.

The MPAA censors Kevin Smith's latest flick, will the FCC is blown out of the water by a federal appeals court over "fleeting images."
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Dark Knight Crushes Your Mom

Dark Knight crushes records and flips critics into fits of praise, but is it the movie driving it, or the hype?
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On The Dark Knight hype and $100 tickets

On Heath Ledgers passing giving rise to hype larger than life, and $100 movie tickets paid for by morons.
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Why does Hollywood hate writers?

Entertainment writers raised hell when it looked like Marvel was too cheap to bring back director John Favreau for Iron Man II, so where's the rage over new writers?

Will Smith defending champ of July 4th

Who owns the 4th of July box office? Will Smith does, and I've got the numbers to prove it.
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DHD publishes part 1 of SAG/AMPTP series

Taking a look at the first part in a three-part series on the SAG/AMPTP negotiations as written by Nikki Finke for Deadline Hollywood.
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Wall*E beats Jolie's Wanted, or does it?

Pixar's big ticket Wall*E faces off against Angelina Jolie's first financially successful pic.
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If it's Kevin Smith or the MPAA, the MPAA has to go

The MPAA doesn't have it out for Kevin Smith, they are simply the remnants of a bygone era that needs to be replaced or shut down altogether.
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It's business as usual for besieged New Line

New Line's new chief dumps a hotly anticipated horror flick in order to clear the schedule for something he previously produced. And New Line is better how?

Michael Bay to Megan Fox: Just look hot ok?

The follow-up to Michael Bay's huge Transformers blockbuster is showing cracks at the script level, and all Bay do for directing Megan Fox is to tell her to "look hot."
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Hulk vs. Hulk vs. The Happening

Did the new Incredible Hulk do better than Ang Lee's version, and did The Happening do better because it will earn a profit?

On lost icons and naughty thespians

Ruminating on the loss of Tim Russet, Stan Winston, and how much I wish we could "lose" Katherine Heigl somewhere, preferably in a desert or a crowded mall.
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'Hulk', 'The Happening' bring interesting weekend

Two hit-or-miss films opened well in a surprising weekend, proving critics and nay-sayers wrong -- Norton's 'Hulk' and Shyamalan's 'The Happening' get it done in theaters.
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Darabont's original Indy IV script leaked

Frank Darabont's script for Indy IV has leaked, and one review says that Spielberg and Lucas should have stuck with what they had.

What ever happened to Postal?

Infamous German director Uwe Boll's latest, a film based on the video game Postal, was nowhere to be seen last month when it was due for theatrical release.

MPAA censorship has got to stop

Kevin Smith's online-only teaser for his new comedy -- Zack & Miri Make a Porno -- has been censored by the MPAA.

McG blogs from set of Terminator flick

Director McG blogs from the set of Terminator: Salvation in New Mexico.

Zak Penn wins sole credit on new Hulk film

A WGA credit arbitration committee hands sole credit to the scripts original author, Zak Penn, over a rewrite by star Edward Norton.
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At least my studio isn't on fire

"Raging Inferno" isn't the title of a film, just a really bad pun when Universal City Studios caught fire over the weekend, sending billions of tons of ego and hot air into the atmosphere.

On gifting away the posessory credit

Any director that wants the posessory credit can get it just by asking, but who needs to ask when the media and bloggers just give it away automatically?
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New TV shows and movies released on DVD

Rambo, Darfur Now, Lipstick Jungle, He-Man, Rawhide, Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Invaders; other new movies TV shows recently released on DVD.

New TV shows and movies released on DVD

National Treasure 2, 24 Season 1 - Special edition, Bill Engvall, A Haunting, Jeff Corwin, Young Maverick; more recently released on DVD.

Narnia sequel not so spectacular

Narnia sequel falls well below expectations after another studio breaks the bank just because they can.

Movies, TV shows recently released

Recently released movies, recently released TV shows -- Stargate Infinity, The Incredible Hulk, Two and a Half Men, Untraceable, The Great Debaters, Drawn Together; more..

Jimmy Caan and Peter Jackson are awesome

Lindsay Lohan has nothing on Jimmy Caan for being an awesome failure at life.

'Pirate's' Verbinski to helm Bioshock for Universal

Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski will adapt 2k Games 'Bioshock' into a feature film for Universal.

Nobody wants to see Speed Racer

Early returns for Speed Racer look grim; this is a project that should have never been done in the first place.

Abrams gives bad vibes towards Trek sequel

Abrams doesn't strike me as a person that understands this. Quite the opposite, J. J. Abrams was the safe bet that they knew wouldn't try to take Trek out of the box in that way, and his choice was in service of that philosophy and practically guarantees this won't be what people really want to see.
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Iron Man cashes in $201+ million globally

Fears that the release of GTA IV could threaten Marvel/Paramount's Iron Man were for naught; flick opened over $200 million globally for one of the largest releases ever.

Iron Man wins early praise

Marvel's self-financed Iron Man looks to take off huge this weekend, perhaps their second-best performing movie ever.

In Brief

24 webisodes work well; WGA strike has lasting impact, Bear Grylls is a wimp, Still on Tropic Thunder, more of my reading list..
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In Brief

Viacom starts own pay-cable channel; NBC blurs the line between entertainment and paid programming; Lohan falls off the wagon, more..
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Uwe Boll thinks Michael Bay is a retard

Uwe Boll says will stop making movies if a petition reaches 1,000,000 signatures -- calls Michael Bay a retard.

Clooney goes fi-scab

George Clooney has gone fi-core in protest of losing credit arbitration over rewriting the screenplay for Leatherheads. The man is now officially a pathetic scab.

Fanboys will be fanboys

Fanboys -- a comedy by The Weinstein Company -- has pissed off real life fanboys who have urged a boycott of the film.

Terminator, Jericho, Stargate movie thoughts

The Terminator TV show will return for another go; Jericho got canceled again; thoughts on Stargate: The Ark of Truth
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Nicholl, ABC/Disney Fellowship reminders

Since I'm running behind on this myself, I suppose it might be helpful to anyone that's interested in writing for either television or film: The Nicholl Fellowship has been open for 2008 submissions since January, and their deadline is coming up on May 1st. This is a fellowship, not a contest. Winners are paid by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars people) to do nothing by write for the period of one year, somewhere around $30,000 I believe. The point is to discover new writing talent, and then give them the financial means (at least for a single year) to do nothing but write. The judging process is extensive and includes Academy members, professional script readers,...

Best scifi film poll topped by non-scifi flick

The Scifi Channel website recently ran an email poll asking readers to pick their top 10 favorite science fiction films of all time, from AFI's own top 50 list published at times unknown. It's of little surprise that one of the Star Wars films topped the list, even though isn't not anything remotely close to science fiction unless you broaden the meaning to include pretty much anything that takes place in space. If it's 50 years in the future, and I'm standing on the moon taking a dump, well that's science fiction according to Scifi.This -- coming from The Science Fiction Channel -- that shows pro-wrestling and B-horror movies on the weekend. This list represents the best of science fiction...

A wager built on sand

Came across a post by Steve Gaynor this afternoon via Penny Arcade, whereby Gaynor wagers that video games won't be any more culturally ingrained or introspective as films and books have been 50 years from now, or pretty much ever. I don't believe in betting generally because it's the essential definition of risk without mitigation, which is obviously never really a good idea. That aside, I believe this wager is crafted too narrowly and therefore is weighted too heavily in favor of the person proposing it.I could make all sorts of analogies here, but I'll just cut to the chase. To say that video games won't be as culturally ingrained as films and books at any point in time is...

This ain't your daddies Scifi

There's a funny poll running on Scifi Wire today asking readers which of the listed films should win the Saturn award for best Scifi flick. It's funny because of the six choices, only two of them are actually science fiction, while most are borderline stupid and just do not belong. I could go on for pages about how the term has been so abused over the years that it doesn't really resemble the original use in any way. It feels like virtually anything that isn't a comedy can be called Scifi now, and people don't even think about it.I've seen people say that Lost is science fiction, and Heroes, and these films are even more ludicrous; Transformers, Fantastic Four, and...

No Oscars For Old People

I missed the first hour or so of the Oscars last night, which quickly brings me to my first point: it's on too late. They need to either tape the show on Saturday and broadcast it Sunday so that it'll be on at a reasonable time in every timezone, or hold the event in New York or anywhere else in the eastern timezone.Of course that'll never happen, even though to not do it is self absorbed and logistically retarded on every imaginable level. It must be nice for the program to start at 5:30pm and have it wind down at around 9pm, but the left coast is pretty much the only place that can happen, and with the ratings the...

'Punisher 2' scribe has life threatened over film

You could see this coming from a hundred miles away -- one of the writers working on the next Punisher flick has opted to take his name out of the hat, come credit arbitration time, to totally disassociate himself from the film. That's an exceptionally bad sign, as if this film actually needed more of them, that it's going to be a true junker that won't even come close to making a profit in the theaters.I wouldn't bother with repeating something like this normally, since I don't think it's all that out of the ordinary for doomed projects to have a merry-go-around of writers that each in their own way are going to be unhappy about what's going on. Some...

Warner Brothers does Valerie Plame, Enron

If you're a fan of films based on real-life events, this will be some welcome news for you. I count myself amongst that group to a degree, though I'm so much more of a television person that I don't take the time to watch many films at all, much less something that has mostly a niche these days.Warner Brothers is working on three high profile based-on-true-story movies: one about outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, another about poisoned ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, and finally one about the Enron scandal from 2001. Conspiracy of Fools is the movie that tells the story of the Enron scandal and it was just announced today that Robert Schwentke has been attached to direct. Leonardo DiCaprio...

Michael Bay penned 'Transformers 2' during strike

You can read other peoples thoughts on this here, here, here, and here, but you didn't come here for their thoughts, now did you? Look, I'm willing to give just about anyone the benefit of the doubt when they are trying something new, but I'm not a sucker willing to fall face first on the floor without making sure there's somebody else already down there that I can land on.In other words, before I'd ever give the nod to Michael Bay writing his own scripts, a couple of things would have to happen first to reassure me that he's serious and dedicated to the task.With the kinds of movies this guy makes, it's a difficult pill to swallow even then,...

The Rock almost beat up Cloverfield

I'm only pointing this out because it's not just funny, it's damned funny, and in a way, a very scathing indictment of Hollywood in general. Dwayne Johnson -- a.k.a. The Rock, from his former pro-wrestling careering -- finally had a successful film this year with The Game Plan. Not only did it do well in the theater, it's now doing pretty well on DVD as well.The Game Plan was the 31st best performing film of 2007, bringing in $111 million worldwide on an estimated budget of about $22 million. That's actually amazing when you consider that Cloverfield cost about the same, and may have made a ton more when all is said and done.We're talking about The Rock leading a...

Scabs or just inaccurate reporting?

Along with obvious and inevitable rumors that character X would get his or her own spin-off movie after appearing in movie Y, I raise a certain uncomfortable question where the answer is going to suck either way. Let me explain; you can see the rumor that Venom of Spider-Man 3 -- which I just saw this weekend and didn't was all that great -- would be getting his own flick just about everywhere on the entertainment blogs over the past few days, but I don't see anybody asking the obvious question that ought to follow this statement:...

They'll give any movie a sequel these days

Zap2it reported on the 31st (yes I'm coming to this late) that Paramount wants J. J. Abrams and company to give them a sequel to Cloverfield, even though the film burst out of the gate in its first weekend, only to splatter itself all over the pavement in its second and third weekend stints at the box office. I don't know if that's actually true or not, and Paramount will certainly be in a good position to rethink those cravings after it's seen what Abrams can do with its Trek franchise.That could go either way, you know. This will be the most expensive Trek film so far, and none of them have been blockbusters. I can't really see Abrams bringing...
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Cloverfield was anything but a stellar success

For all the hype, there was remarkably little known about Cloverfield other than it was a completely typical and well explored Godzilla knockoff. You could infer certain things based on who worked on the film, and in all honesty, those were not benefits so much as they were serious questions about the viability of the film as a film, rather than an open ended quagmire than neither satisfied nor really entertained -- though it may have been very intriguing.I haven't seen it so I can't really make any judgments, but I figured what ought to be at least as enlightening is how well the film did end up doing, versus its hype. Snakes on a Plane, for instance, had three...

Justice League is a mess

I know a lot of people seem to be drooling at the thought of a Justice League flick, but I'm not one of them, so I'm looking at this movie from the same kind of perspective I look at any other film. Who wrote it? Who is directing? Who's starring? Is it a niche theme or will it appeal to a large audience?Well it looks like the writer is a career TV freelancer which is never a good sign. He's been able to make a living doing it for a number of years, so he must have some talent, but never quite enough to get hired on a writing staff. Somehow though, this qualifies you go take on a top...

SMG says a new Buffy flick wouldn't work

Insert the obligatory introduction mentioning how if it hadn't been for the production and failure of a Buffy movie, there wouldn't have been a series to begin with, and hence no opportunity for Sarah Michelle Gellar to piss all over the hopes and dreams of many-a-devoted fan.Then edit to remind readers that there has already been one Buffy flick, so you can't really say a Buffy flick wouldn't work. Struggle with the inevitable formatting difficulties of inserting a blockquote with the proper spacing both above, and below, the introduction paragraph and summarization.Buffy the Vampire Slayer, from creator Joss Whedon, was itself a reboot of the flop 1992 movie of the same name that starred Kristy Swanson.Point out the painfully obvious:...

WGA signs landmark digital deal

I call this a landmark digital deal because the interim agreement may the first step towards changing how television is created and then delivered to viewers. Doug Liman has founded a startup called Jackson Bites to foster out-of-industry development of online entertainment."If the last strike is best remembered for the studios attempting to show they could create programming without writers, this could be the strike where the writers show they can do it without the studios," said Liman. "We are at a moment of opportunity in television where we have gone from three networks to six, and from a handful of channels to a thousand and YouTube. In that environment, what matters is compelling programming -- and compelling programming starts...

Uwe Boll fails again

Uwe Boll, that German guy that keeps adapting perfectly good games into horrible films using foreign financing -- repeatedly -- has gone and done it again.In the Name of the King: Dungeon Siege Tale pulled in just $1.5 million after the theaters cut this past weekend, after costing a whopping $70 million to produce.That's not including the marketing budget, of course.For whatever reason, with each failure more spectacular than the last, people keep throwing more money, more intellectual property licenses, and more jobs at this jerk, and he keeps on raping them into the ground. There is hope to be had though, according to Hollywood Reporter, the tax shelter laws in Germany may have finally done what no amount of...

Weinstein's make WGA deal; SAG & DGA Items

I admit, I thought the "divide and conquer" strategy wasn't much more than PR. "They want to split the guild and weaken us, so we'll do it right back!" and all that, only unlike the AMPTP which hasn't made so much as a dent in the writers' solidarity, independent companies are telling the AMPTP to bugger off one after another with opportunities to get back to work while their richer and more stubborn (and greedy) rivals sit on their hands, holding their breath.David Letterman's Worldwide Pants came first, and was dismissed as irrelevant since that company only owns two shows: Letterman's, and that other guy who comes on after. Then United Artists signed a deal and was "inundated with scripts...
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United Artists' big score

Everybody talks about how United Artists is a has-been studio with no future prospects, one that only produces a couple of bad flicks per year, as reasons for why the deal between UA and the WGA doesn't really matter.With the epic game of chick going on in Hollywood, I don't happen to agree. Any movement in getting deals signed is a positive step forward that will put pressure on the other players to stop holding their breath and eat the massive financial hit the new guild contract will cost them: a grand total of an extra $50 million per year.Or, put another way, about 60% more than CBS CEO Les Moonves makes all by himself in a single year.But hey,...

WGA scores *HUGE* independent deal with United Artists!

I'm sorry I missed (only by an hour..) that Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the Writers Guild of America has signed or is about to sign (within 36 hours) an independent deal with United Artists, the film studio that Tom Cruise and his partner took over after being ejected from Paramount.If this is true -- and that's anything but certain given how unreliable Nikke Finke's sources can be -- it's every bit the huge news she says it is....
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Routh ejected from Superman? Singer bailing?

Ah, how sweet the smell of desperation.The most recent Superman flick was a boring rehash of everything we've seen before, and frankly it could have been edited together by a child using Windows Movie Maker, pasting together clips from all of the previous films, costing a fraction of a fraction of this that train wreck, and still drawing just as many people into the theater regardless.It cost too much, explored basically no new territory, but hey, it was directed beautifully, was it not? So sad then, that Bryan Singer is looking to jump ship (or make any excuse to do so) along with the supposed ejection of..wait, what was that guys name again? You know, the one that played Superman?...

January 4th 2008, In Brief

I don't think anybody is reading these, but I'll give it some time, because really there's just no place else to put this stuff and a lot of it is click worthy. I've got a link to a page listing the season finale dates for all the shows ending in January, a Dark Knight trailer from a couple of days ago, some Stargate stuff, Lost (trying to) go viral, more.....
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Top 10 stolen films and TV shows of 2007

I came across a post on Torrentfreak via NewTeeVee (a site you should consider scoping out) listing the top ten pirated films and TV series of 2007, which is worth mentioning for two reasons. The first being that a couple of the shows on the TV list are -- depending on how you view things -- ratings challenged, to say the least.All the people stealing these shows may do well to consider that if they acted like responsible adults and paid for this stuff like everybody else does, then these shows wouldn't end up getting canceled so often.Dexter, #9 on the list, is Showtime's most viewed show and set a personal ratings record for them in both the second season...

Money matters most

The title says it all: money matters most to the multi-national congloms that own our domestic television and film production. If, as this one anonymous writer claims, NBC\NBC-U didn't make any money for GE, it would have been sold off already. The same goes for every major studio.Here, I'll let this person explain it far better than I could:...

5 Things to do During The Strike

With only a few series left to air new episodes in January, there's just not going to be much to watch on TV if you're not a fan of reality for a good long while. That got me thinking of things you could do to get your fix, and if your life is anything like the rest of ours, then there's plenty of things to see now that over the years you just didn't have time for.But now you do!Subscribe to Netflix and look up some TV series that you thought you'd probably like, but knew you didn't have time for. For me, that means the second and third seasons of House, and pretty much every season of Lost. With...

Peter Jackson and New Line kiss, make up

But Jackson won't be directing either of the Hobbit films, instead he'll produce while exerting creative control over the projects. I find it kind of strange that any director would sign on without having his or her run of the ship, especially with something this high profile. I mean yeah, we've all heard that Sam Raimi would do it if Jackson produced but does anybody really think one of them is going to take second seat to the other?...

Will Smith overpaid? Give me a break

There's a questionable list of the most overpaid actors in Hollywood running on Zap2it.com, if you care to take a look. Russell Crowe tops the list which I think is kind of unfair. Most of the list is actually pretty unfair because it seems to run under the assumption that A-list talent -- real A-list'ers -- can open films and bring in audiences on a regular basis and hence earn their paychecks while the rest are just pretty faces who got lucky once or twice and have since proven unreliable novelties.Really, the people on this list are subject to the simple reality that films are hit-or-miss ventures where 90% miss on a regular basis, and anything less than that is...

Cameron's Avatar moved to blunt strike shortfall?

That's what I'm asking myself, with news that Avatar has been moved May 22nd, 2009, all the way back to December 18th, 2009. It's not a production delay, we know that for sure. We also know that the writers strike isn't going to hurt any 2008 productions because they were ready to into production before the strike hit.That means the feature films that will be crunched would have been the films still being tweaked and put together right now for release sometime in...2009. If the studios are predicting a growing shortfall in '09 because of a strike that seems like it's going to last into the second quarter of next year, it only makes sense to start spreading out your...

A list from the past at AICN

Quint at AICN wrote about a couple of new flicks recently, one of which I had a weird experience with a number of months ago. For a while I was spending time in a screenwriting newsgroup (until I realized it was nothing but a personal chat room for one huge jerk, a bunch of wannbes that could have been contenders, etc) where a new guy showed up one day looking for help with the basics. A short time later he showed up celebrating the purchase of a spec script called The Bucket List in a way that intimated it was his sale.Nobody questioned this right off the bat, but things eventually came crashing down around the troll and he later...

So what if Golden Compass is anti-religion?

There have been people raising a stink over The Golden Compass since before it went into production from what I gather, and certainly since the book it's based on was published, though probably not as much as the film has generated. So what's the beef?While all anybody talks about is how Catholic groups (gee, what's new there?) aren't just complaining about it - they are boycotting it - I don't see anybody saying "so what of it is?" And we should, too. Who else is always the loudest in the room demanding tolerance for beliefs, but only when they happen to be on the defensive? Imagine what would happen if a rational response to this was people boycotting the Catholic...

Bale confirmed for T4

This is old news by now, so I'm going to take advantage of it sitting around to test out posting for this site with Windows Live Writer. The latency of my Internet connection (satellite) makes even the speediest and most responsive sites feel incredibly slow, pretty much because they are when you've got to route your requests for data to an object 20,000 miles above your head - and that's not really accounting for the fact that it has to come back down, go out over the Internet, go back up, and come back down again to complete the circuit.So, anyway, the rumor going around the past week or so was that Christian Bale was going to play John Connor...

Bonds movie? What about Patriots?

So Barry Bonds was indicted for lying to a grand jury about using steroids. I thought people didn't go to jail for that? Oh wait, that's only when the president is your personal friend. Darn, sorry Barry. At least HBO is making a movie about how you cheated your way into the record books just like Mark Mcguire did. You guys really did a bang up job setting an example for all the kids coming up in baseball today.The only question I have is when HBO is going to make a movie about the Patriots getting caught cheating. They probably won't since I guess they didn't do anything legal, other than invalidate every game they've played since Bill Belichick stepped...
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Donnie Darko is Joe Namath

The writers strike may have stopped a number of pictures dead in their tracks, and delayed the beginning of countless others that would be moving ahead right now if they could, but not having anyone around to pawn off those silly writing duties to apparently isn't enough to stop the merry-go-ground deal making from keeping Variety primed with stories that would make it appear as if everything in Hollywood is moving along as fast and efficient as it ever has.One would think that not having anyone around to come up with a good story would make the studios a little apprehensive about signing deals with unpredictable star talent that, as Brad Pitt has recently shown, can be quite temperamental about...

AICN scores high-res stills from Indy 4

I'm not real big on linking to or posting pictures from upcoming films because there are plenty of fan sites you can go to get that kind of stuff, and you'll end up with far better coverage of it than you'd get at a generalized news blog such as this one. That said, if I've got something to say about things, I'll go ahead and use that as an excuse because lets face it, every excuse is a good excuse.AICN (via a reader) has posted three high-res stills from the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel, all of which feature Harrison Ford and that really goofy kid Shia LaBeouf. No offense, but somebody explain to me how the goofy kid in I,...

Crappy script has Brad Pitt walk from 'State of Play'

This is going to be a little controversial and will undoubtedly lead to somebody somewhere calling me an idiot, but I see this as a good thing. Of the movies that looked as if they had gotten their scripts into a shootable form before the Nov. 5 strike, a few came up just a little short, and we get word every few days now of another flick that just wasn't quite there yet and will have to be put on ice until the differences between the Writers Guild of America, and the Association of Motion Picture & Television Producers, is settled.State Of Play has apparently fallen apart primarily because Brad Pitt didn't like the script, and now there isn't anybody...

Christian Bale may star in next Terminator flick

Trying to catch up on a bunch of stuff I've missed over the past week and a half, one item crept into view this afternoon that I'm glad I didn't miss like a lot of other stuff: Harry Knowles of AICN reported this afternoon that an anonymous source told him that Christian Bale has been cast, or is being considered/talked to for the role of John Connor in the fourth Terminator feature film.This franchise is already on its third owner and is about as far removed from James Cameron as the Alien flicks are these days. I'm excited that Bale may be on board for this next installment, but also gravely concerned that he's walking into fourth-level trash that should...

Strike unexpectedly claims 'Angels & Demons' as victim

Wow, this is pretty big news. We all read about how Akiva Goldsman was working night and day to finish off the script for Angels & Demons, a follow-up to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Everything looked good and they were one of the big projects that looked as if he had cleared the deadline. Turns out they didn't quite make it.Says Variety:"While the filmmakers and the studio feel the screenplay is very strong, we do not believe it is the fully realized production draft required of this ambitious project," a Sony spokesperson said. "At this time, there is no new start date for 'Angels & Demons,' but we are setting a release date of May 15, 2009, and...

Theater Watch: November 16th, 2007

The days of back-to-back blockbusters is long over I'm afraid, but that doesn't mean there aren't still good flicks to see this weekend if you enjoy spending $10 to have people spend two hours talking on their cell phone. Personally I'd rather wait a few months and watch it at home where I can pause it, eat a real dinner, rewind and watch something I didn't understand, turn on subtitles, and all the new experience stuff you get having a home theater.I think most of this year's flicks with the exception of just a few are destined for rental and not really even worth buying after you've seen it. The first couple of Spider-Man films were good but 3, and...

'Dragonball Z' Coming to Theaters in 2008

Dragonball (with a Z if you can read this language) is being made into a live-action feature film by 20th Century Fox sometime in the coming months with a tentative release date of August 2008. If you're anything like me then you've heard of this before but may not know what it's about, and frankly I don't care what it's about. Why? Because of the talent bringing this Japanese science fiction tale to life in the form of James Marsters (the bad guy) and James Wong (of the dynamic Wong and Glenn Morgan duo) will direct.These two could do a dog show on TBS and I'd still tune in.Sadly though, the whiny jerk (Justin Chatwin) that played Tom Cruise's son...

Jennifer Morrison in Trek XI?

A couple of days ago, somebody descended on a shoot taking place for J. J. Abrams new Trek flick and managed to snap some pics of what most people assumed were extras hanging out, waiting for something to do. At the place where I found this one pic (source) the poster noted the striking resemblance between this woman, and Jennifer Morrison of Fox's House.I can see how people would make that leap but I didn't actually believe it. She's hot, she looks like Morrison, and hey, there isn't exactly a hell of a lot to speculate about when it comes to J. J. Abrams movies.Turns out everybody had it straight on - Jennifer Morrison has officially boarded the Enterprise. Or...

Marky Mark will bring you Maximum Payne..if you ask nicely

The bad news is that movie studios are continuing to bring us game-to-film adaptations that we don't really want, even though Uwe Boll continues aborting one after another after another, all of which we really don't want. The good news is that Uwe Boll isn't directing this one, so it will probably only half suck depending on how bored you are. Max Payne came out in 2001 and I think was the first game to utilize the "bullet time" special effect pioneered in the Matrix films, along with semi-destructible walls and levels, although it was otherwise unremarkable.Mark Wahlberg is in talks to play title character Max Payne in a venture for Fox, with a script written by Beau Thorne (we...

Polanski Finds a New Flick

Wanted fugitive Roman Polanski has selected his next directorial feature, according to Variety, an adaptation of a novel called The Ghost by Robert Harris. As is always the case, the film must be shot in a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, as Polanski is wanted for fleeing justice after pleading guilty to drugging and raping a 14-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski's home country of France does not extradite its own citizens.More info in the original story if you're interested, though personally I don't think people ought to be watching films made by a wanted fugitive, much less one wanted for the rape of a little girl, who has been on the run for...

Strike News Roundup: November 8th

Defamer has a number of great links today, including news that Fox has shelved 24 in favor of Prison Break and The Sarah Connor Chronicles due to running short on episodes for the former ailing drama. 24 and Chronicles were scheduled to debut side-by-side with Prison Break being pushed back, but now it looks like PB will hit the air first, followed by Chronicles mid-month, with 24 to be held back until the strike ends.If you choose to count it, 24 makes the eighth show to be negatively affected by the strike earlier than planned.Nikki Finke had the hilarious idea that agents are the magical solution to the strike, that both sides negotiators be benched and replaced. Let's think about...
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Michael Eisner Calls Writers' Strike "Stupid", Says They Can't Afford To Pay Writers More -- Time Warner Announces $1 Billion Profit On Huge Summer Box Office

$250 Million dollars -- About 1/28th what Time Warnermade this year.Two different stories from two different corporations on two different websites emerged today, that when put together, says all you need to know about why the writers are striking right now and how dishonest and pathetic the major studios are. Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner was on Wall Street today telling the stock market bigwigs that the writers' strike is "insanity" and "too stupid", according to The Hollywood Reporter, that "writers had been premature in pressing for digital revenue when the model was still unproven, and should have postponed action for at least three years."NBC and Fox recently initiated a beta test of their new video publishing website called Hulu.com...
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Is Judd Apatow's Number Finally Up?

You can't argue with the mans success to date, but as Moariaty over at AICN points out, he's bound to get raked over the coals eventually. A reader sent in his review of an early screening of Apatow's latest flick Walk Hard. FYI, Apatow is doing sound mixing on one of his upcoming features but has already been walking the picket line with the striking writers, and plans to join them in force once the mixing is done within a weeks time.Straight to the point – WALK HARD was a boring movie. It was not awful, and nowhere near good, but just bland and forgettable. I think John C. Reilly is an okay actor, and he’s definitely one of the...
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New Trailer For 'The Mist'

This is an Internet-only trailer that IGN found, which I found via AICN. Yes, we're all just one giant link whoring society that enjoy bouncing you guys from site to site because really, what else is there to do? While I'm on the subject of just making stuff up, why the hell are people calling this film "Frank Darabont's Steven King's The Mist"? What the hell? King wrote it, and unlike in Hollywood where writers don't get to attach their own names to features they actually wrote, he gets full cred for it and the title sets it apart from everything else, and rightfully so.It's a freakin' Steven King story.Pre-pending the directors name when it already has the authors name...

Viacom Raking It In This Year

Viacom owns many of the companies that are represented by the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the trade group that took such a hard line against the Writers Guild of America this fall that a strike has been called beginning Monday, after which no new writing will be done until a new contract is signed. While browsing around this morning on the light weekend news, I found a post on Defamer pointing to something in Variety where Viacom is bragging about its awesome financial earnings this year and how it is just rolling in the money.Viacom crows about the "phenomenal success" of "new global brand Transformers" that helped lift their net income by 80 percent, forgetting to transfer...

'American Gangster' Opens Big

I like to pick on Nikke over at Deadline Hollywood a lot because sometimes she has the tendency to get suckered by her studio/network sources when they want certain information pushed out over the wire, such are the problems of using anonymous sources in the first place. Truth is, I go there a lot because she has great information on tracking that I don't, and I'm happily surprised to find that according to her, the star-laden animation out of DreamWorks isn't going to clean up this weekend at all.I have early box office numbers for the top two movies tonight. I'm told Universal's American Gangster stole the show Friday by snatching $17+ million in domestic gross receipts at 3,054 theaters....

Gerard Butler Leaves 'Escape From NY'

More light posting since I have catching up to do - it looks like the remake of John Carptener's Escape From New York was going to stink so bad that both the director and character lead have abandoned the project. Gerard Butler after finding fame and fortune with Frank Miller in 300 was going to take on the role forged by Kurt Russel, but has bailed over the dreaded creative differences - meaning it was going to suck, so rather than stick around and make it better with his glorious talent, he's just running away.Now we're stuck with this guy instead. Ugh....

James Vanderbilt to Pen 'Spider-Man 4'

James Vanderbilt (who?) has been tagged by Sony to pen the script for Spider-Man 4, continuing the revovling door of scribes for the franchise which is now on its third writer in four films. Seems a little odd, with the tremendous success thus far, that they can't manage to hang on to a single writer for more then two flicks, doesn't it? And they are kind of taking a big risk handing this thing to a guy who hasn't done anything notable in his career, too. Of course I'm actually happy when that happens, since it means there's a rare opportunity to actually be surprised for once.The trade has no information about the potential "Spider-Man 4" plot except to promise...

Underworld 3 Becomes Underworld 2.5

Kate Beckinsale has bailed on the Underworld prequel, which I guess would mean it needs a different title than 3, since 2 becomes 3 and 1 becomes 2. Right? Wait, what?"Underworld" creator Len Wiseman, who directed his wife Beckinsale in the first two films, will hand over the reins to Patrick Tatopoulos, who created the creature effects for those films. Danny McBride, who co-wrote the first two "Underworld" screenplays with Wiseman, penned the third script. Wiseman will serve as a producer. Sony's Screen Gems will distribute domestically.Did Beckinsale only get the gig because she was married to the director, or did she only do it because her husband directed it? Can she even act? Does it even matter? Not...

AvP 2 Creature Effects Are Lame

I found this goofy looking picture on the right on aintitcool.com, who found it in USA Today. Does goofy appropriately describe these creature effects, or should we go down a notch or two and just call this shit laughable and pathetic, and perhaps only worth the value of the latex and paint it's made from?Seriously, did somebody just cut a couple of pieces off the predator costume and glue them onto the alien one, after cutting some pieces off it as well?When I saw AvP - which was a terrible film by the way - it was exceedingly clear that whoever wrote and directed that movie had either never seen, and certainly wasn't a very big fan of either...

More 'Underworld' On Tap, Perhaps Opening Next Spring?

Wouldn't you know it, just as soon as I published this post about an hour ago, the rain came back and knocked me off-line for a spell. I have managed to collect a number of news items and have them opened locally so I can write some posts, the only question is will this lull last long enough to write and then publish them. Firstly and least importantly, just a day or two ago somebody noticed a foreign film commission released a document listing filming schedules for that country - I debated post it but decided not to since it wasn't confirmed - with one feature that took people a little bit by surprise.Namely that a prequel to Underworld is...

Writing With Partners

Cinematical has an actual employed (and probably about to be unemployed due to the coming strike) writer on staff writing about..well, writing. What else would he write about? If you're interested in this story of thing, he has five in-depth tips for collaborating on scripts when you don't physically meet with your writing partner, which I found terribly odd. Then again I find the entire notion of collaborative writing odd. If you're supposed to write the second act of a telescript and your partner is in the process of writing the first act, how do you know where to start when you don't know where he or she is going to end?I guess you'd have to heavily rely on writing...

Dan Brown's 'Angels and Demons' On The OH-MY-GOD-WE'RE-ALL-GOING-TO-DIE-Fast Track

It feels like you can't go five seconds without reading an article about the fast approaching writers strike, although that may just be because I read Hollywood trade papers fifteen times a day looking for cool news to post, such as this little bit about Columbia rushing another one of Dan Brown's novels through pre-production in order to get the script locked down before the strike comes, which could happen anytime after October 31st.As Hollywood scrambles to make deals before the Oct. 31 expiration of the WGA pact, one fast-tracked project has almost flown under the radar -- though it could become one of the biggest films assembled during this frenzied period. Producers Brian Grazer and John Calley, Col, Howard...
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MTV Pumps Trek and Quinto

I definitely feel a sense of optimism surrounding the new Trek flick, though I credit it less to J. J. Abrams directing than I do the lack of Rick Berman and company pitching in. Berman has become the most reviled producers in Trek history for the way he's treated the Trek franchise with the terrible Voyager, three bad seasons of Enterprise, and the absolutely dreadful films featuring the TNG cast. I'll be looking forward to seeing this new flick, but only once it comes out on DVD. Abrams has no credibility with me because I'm one of the few people that think Lost is a hackjob, and I'm certainly not alone in pointing out its huge drop in the ratings...
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Can You Rewrite a Script in Seven Days? I hear Fox is Hiring

No joke, according go the L.A. Times, 20th Century Fox is desperately searching for a writer to perform emergency surgery on the script for X-Men spinoff Wolverine with just seven days left before the WGA's contract with the producers expires on November 1st. I'm sure that given enough money and other incentives (I'd take a development deal over a pickup truck loaded with cash, nothing says you love me like commitment after all) someone with the appropriate level of talent could be found and the job done in the few days we have left before Hollywood beats the terrorists to ending the world first.As the smog caked rag writes, Wolverine isn't the only project on a rush job right. The...

Feature: Drinking Jesus Juice at Deadline Hollywood

Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood and I don't see things eye-to-eye when it comes to Hollywood labor. She drinks the coolaid the studios gave out to the press when they took their retarded residual rollbacks off the table in the first sign that perhaps they are actually interested in trying to negotiate a new deal before the strike occurs. For somebody who appears to be a legitimate "expert" on industry execs - insofar as one can be such a thing - and I respect her insight, access, and stinging if not often insulting and unprofessional attacks on said execs, she just continues to miss the big picture....
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Is Jim Carrey Back?

I know how people have written that Jim Carrey hasn't had a good opening in years, and that's absolutely true even though I thought he was hysterical in Fun With Dick And Jane. But it isn't because his brand of funny isn't hot these days, anymore than Steve Carell's brand of funny is near or at the top of the pecking order. Carell has had the good fortune of being in decently produced films that were well suited to his brand of funny, and Carrey is simply striking out time after time trying to find projects that are suited to his.Maybe a little Christmas cheer is all Carrey needs to get back into the swing of things.Jim Carrey will star...

'Superman Returns' Scribes Running From Their Own Failure

Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris aren't coming back to pen the next Superman screenplay, which is probably a good thing. Getting the job in the first place raised their profile to the point where I'm sure they can pick pretty much any project they want, even though the movie sucked and they should be punished by having to write nothing but commercials for the next six months. I'm deadly serious about that - Superman Returns was one giant cliche on the entire franchise, there wasn't one single original thought in that entire movie.You could have made Superman Returns just by splicing together scenes from previous films in a new order - it was that dearth of originality - and as...

Finke Drinks The Studios Cool Aid

Nikke Finke - whom I love to read yet think is wrong about 50% of the time - has published her story about the WGA strike authorization vote. I'm heartened by her insistance that the studios are unnerved by the resolve shown by writers, and as she writes, "the feeling was always that if the total of the 'Yes' votes was anywhere above 75%, the studios and networks had a giant headache on their hands."As I posted a few minutes ago, the precise number of members voting to authorize a strike was 90.3%, so I'd imagine based on what Nikki has observed that things have gone from a giant headache to continuous vomiting in corner for their expensive offices. Try not...
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Interview: DC Comics VP Gregory Noveck

Fanboy website voicesfromkrypton.com (just kidding guys) scored an interview with a VP at DC Comics which is actually a pretty good read if you're interested in how they see things from the comic-side of film adaptation. I skimmed through it and I'm left with the impression that Noveck doesn't really understand the film business, and what he does know and understand comes mostly from common misconceptions concerning industry culture.The man may really know the comic business, but he misses the mark otherwise. The interviewer who apparently preferred to go by an alias rather than his real name asks what Noveck thinks about casting rumors for the upcoming Justice League of America, which is essentially just a fanboy's wet dream where...
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Spider-Man 4 Looking For a New Direction

Perhaps Sony listened to some of the criticism leveled at Spider-Man 3, that despite its historic opening day numbers (it's still nearly $1 billion behind Titanic, overall), it was a bit of a letdown. I can't say, I haven't seen it yet, but clearly some people were disappointed with what was brought to the table. For whatever reason you choose to believe, Sam Raimi told MTV News that they are looking for new writers for the fourth installment in the overwhelmingly popular franchise and he is still noncommittal towards directing it.Raimi won't have a hand in the script, although he apparently has confirmed that he'll be returning as a producer regardless of anything else. I like that Sony is open...
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Plot News For Shyamalan's 'The Happening'

This is the first time I've seen any information about the plot of M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, a flick he'll be doing for 20th Century Fox after Avatar: The Last Airbender. This movie is interesting in that Shyamalan took the script to the studio heads of all the major studios and was rejected by every single one of them. Despite that, he got some advice, when home to Philly to retool the script, and got an instant buy from Fox who seems to be pretty enthused about this one.But nobody seemed to know what the heck it was about, other than it's a Shyamalan-style disaster flick. In a short post on MTV's movie blog, there are some quotes from...
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Straczynski's 'Changeling' Cast Grows; Writer Gets Dissed

Consider this a nitpick if you will, but it matters to writers. I've now seen in three different places headlines that go something like this: "Clint Eastwood's 'Changeling' Cast News Blah blah.." which is ridiculous and shows immense disrespect for J. Michael Straczynski who wrote the damn script. Not only was Eastwood not the first director (Ron Howard was until a scheduling conflict forced a change) he may not be the last one, either.This movie is on the fast track and if the studio was willing to move forward without Ron Howard at the helm, that really tells you what they think about the director's role in this property. Unless and until Eastwood alters reality with evil magic, this is...
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Theater Watch: October 21th, 2007

Perhaps the big dog in theaters this weekend won't be a new arrival, but a flick that is expanding instead. Then again, there are no sure winners in the bunch and they could all easily end up equally sucking and wasting your entire weekend. Just so long as it doesn't turn you into an unsavory prick on Monday, that's all I ask..Michael Clayton - The movie with a title that tells you absolutely nothing about the film, and has a trailer that confuses and makes me want to sleep for a very, very long time. Reviews have been really favorable and it wouldn't surprise me if it took the #1 spot this weekend, and yet I don't expect this to...
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WGA Steps in it Over Supposed Animation Ban

There were two curious rules the Writers Guild of America set forth within the past day or two, called Strike Rules (pdf), where WGA supposedly banned its own members from taking part in feature animation writing, which is not covered in the current contract with the studios and is not an area the guild tends to represent. (Forget for now the other odd rule.) Now, the union that does actually represent feature animation writers is none too pleased with WGA's new rules and is threatening to sue over the matter....
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'From a Buick 8' Coming to Theaters

There's a note on Scifi Wire that another of Stephen King's books, From a Buick 8, is being adapted for the silver screen by Tobe Hooper (director) and the writing duo of actors Johnathon Schaech and Richard Chizmar (who?). There is basically no other information out there about this like when it might start filming or who has signed up for the cast, so rather than just leave this at a heartless and boring blurb, I'll also point you to this op-ed written by the man himself about violence in movies.In the movie of the same name, it's what the main character (played by Viggo Mortensen) turns out to have. It's also true of American movies in general, which were...

A Comment on "No More Female Leads"

A couple of days ago, Nikki Finke wrote on her blog that three anonymous sources recounted hearing a top Warner Brothers exec say that they weren't going to produce films with female leads anymore. I didn't think very much of it at the time because the world is full of people who would say things like that, people who would say it and not really mean it, and people who would lie to screw over somebody else.A couple of other blogs picked up the story, got an official denial from Warner Brothers which was expected and means absolutely nothing, but Robert Sanchez of IESB raised an interesting question, one he didn't bother to find the answer to.Given how tough it...

EverQuest Movie Greenlit

Yes, those evil fiends we like to call studio executives are once again wasting their $4.3 billion record summer booty so they can spend their woeful days running writers babies through blenders to squeeze more money out of them are making a movie based on an RPG (Role Playing Game) and for whatever reason, they choose the one that isn't the most popular of the bunch to spend their coin on.Because I don't play, don't like, and know nothing about MMORPGs (don't ask what it means or you'll turn into one of them) I simply present you with this picture of Boston pitcher Curt Shilling playing EverQuest.Click on the picture to see a larger version, or read about this sad,...

Next Terminator Flick Inches Foward

Though don't expect it anytime in 2008, with something this early in the workings, there's zero chance it'll move forward beyond where it is today until well after the writers strike ends. If it ends. If there is a Hollywood left after it ends. Then again, the strike might crumble early and hard and set writers back for another couple of decades at the feet of greedy studios that are swimming in money from a record setting summer box office....

J.J. Abrams' Trek Flick Gets a Villain

Before I tell you who it is, when did it become written in stone at Paramount that Star Trek feature films have to have a villain? Why are they treating this franchise like they would any other action flick with clear-cut good guys and clear-cut bad guys, and a battle where the good guys beat the bad guys? I don't think you could be more brainless and typical than that.I know Voyager relied heavily on bad-guy-of-the-week stories and I know that most people hated Voyager for it. There are so many stories you can tell, and have been told in past Trek films that show how enjoyable films can be when you stop writing according to a formula meant to...

Studios Move Towards Writer Lockout

Hardly ever do you hear about what the studios do in preparation for a strike that is just as damaging to the situation as anything the writers do. The writers you see are not the only people who can refuse to stop working with the other side.Will the writers strike until they get what they want, like whiny children bound and determined to stay up just another five minutes? Or will they be fair to those poor production studios who are out there just trying to make an honest buck in a cruel world full of pirates and thieves?...

Box Office Booty: October 08, 2007

Neither of this past weekends three new flicks managed the top spot while The Rock is showing off not just his ability to open a weekend for the first time, but also that he can hold onto a top spot for more than a single weekend. I'm talking about The Game Plan which held steady against The Heartbreak Kid, and stood unchallenged by the meekly The Dark is Rising. Feel The Noise didn't even factor into the top 5 though was handicapped by a limited opening in just a tad over 1,000 theaters.From what I've been able to gather, none of these films had stellar budgets, about $22m for Game Plan, and another 20 for Rising. That means Rock's flick...
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More 'Halo 3' Rants From So-Called Experts

Am I obsessed with this? No, just slightly annoyed. You haven't seen obsessed yet. Nikki Finke is undoubtedly more of an expert on all things Hollywood than I am, and her cited games expert is certainly better placed than I to speak authoritatively on many game related discussions, and yet the silly hype over the Halo 3 sales numbers continues and the so-called experts are still content to compare apples and oranges....

Theater Watch: October 6th, 2007

It has been a rough couple of days, trying to catch the new fall shows while also watching and recording the MLB playoff games. I actually managed to record all my regular programs plus see all three games on the first day of the playoffs. In addition to that, I had a day-and-a-half long problem with two people who have websites hosted on the same webserver mine is on. One was hosting warez and pirated foreign films, another had a horrible designed blog that was causing the servers CPU to go to 100% usage every single time somebody loaded a page.Beyond that, other things simply kept me off the site until this afternoon. To make up for the lack of...
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