Friday, October 02, 2009

EA Sets Up 'Spore' Movie At Fox

Twentieth Century Fox has paired up with Electronic Arts to turn the publisher's popular "Spore" game into an animated creature feature, with "Ice Age's" Chris Wedge attached to helm.

Greg Erb and Jason Oremland, who penned Disney's upcoming "The Princess and the Frog" and Ben Stiller pic "The Return of King Doug" at Paramount, will write the script for the "Spore" movie.

It will be produced as a CG-animated toon by EA and Blue Sky Studios, which is behind the studio's "Ice Age" pics, "Robots" and its next effort, "Rio."

In the game, which was released in September 2008, players create their own creatures and the worlds they live in and share them with other gamers to create an overall universe.

EA Entertainment's Patrick O'Brien will exec produce the "Spore" pic with Lucy Bradshaw, VP of Maxis Studio, which developed the game with Will Wright, who also created the blockbuster "Sim City" and "The Sims" franchises for EA.

I have never played the PC game, but I have always wanted to. What was stopping me from playing this game was the fact that it is only on PC. I'm mostly an Xbox 360 gamer considering my PC (about 5 years old) ain't powerful enough to run most of today's games. As for the news, I think this could be a pretty cool idea. I mean I'm sure Fox will probably intervene with the project like they always do with their movies, but I think this could be a fun experience if done right. Spore is all about creatures and how different they are from one another. If the CGI animation is done right than this could be one beautiful looking film in terms of visual effects.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Michael Bay Announces Transformers 3 Release Date!

Well its official: We have a great Transformers 3 story. The release date is now July 1st 2011. Not 2012.

Today is Day One. This morning started with an ILM meeting for five hours in San Francisco. Currently I'm flying with writer Ehren Kruger to Rhode Island to talk to Hasbro about new characters.

P.S. Megan Fox, welcome back. I promise no alien robots will harm you in any way during the production of this motion picture. Please consult your Physician when working under my direction because some side effects can occur, such as mild dizziness, intense nausea, suicidal tendencies, depression, minor chest hair growth, random internal hemorrhaging and inability to sleep. As some directors may be hazardous to your health, please consult your Doctor to determine if this is right for you.

I really don't have much to say about this other than I wont be seeing it. Transformers 2 was a HUGE disappointment and that was mainly due to director Michael Bay's experience in not knowing how to make a proper movie instead of a 2 hour commercial. I am not going to be fooled by him again and no matter how cool the trailers may be, I ain't going to see it in theaters. Maybe if I'm really drunk one day, Ill consider giving it a rental. I'm amazed on how many people on his website are actually looking forward to this. It makes me wonder what kind of drugs they are taking.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Josh Brolin Replaces Sean Penn In "Cartel"

Universal Pictures has set Josh Brolin to star in "Cartel," the Asger Leth-directed drama that will begin shooting January in Mexico City. Brolin takes the role Sean Penn was to perform until he left the project in June to take a movie business sabbatical for personal reasons.

Brian Grazer is producing the Peter Craig-scripted drama for Imagine Entertainment.

Brolin will play a man on a mission to protect his son after his wife is brutally murdered in the gritty world of Mexican drug cartels.

The drama is inspired by the 1993 Italian film "La scorta," which followed four cops' struggle to guard a special prosecutor trying to bring mob bosses to justice.

“Cartel” was one of several films that Penn abruptly departed in June.

Robert Stone and Webster Stone will exec produce "Cartel." Leth makes his dramatic feature directing debut after helming the 2006 documentary "Ghosts of Cite Soleil."

Brolin is more than capable of playing this type of character. Hes a talented actor and his films lately have ranged from being good to great. I would have loved to see Penn in this role, but Brolin is an excellent replacement. I'm excited to see this film and hopefully we can hear more about it soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Teaser For The Nightmare on Elm Street Remake

New Line Cinema has revealed the teaser trailer for the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Directed by Samuel Bayer, the April 30th release stars Jackie Earle Haley as the new Freddy Krueger, as well as Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy and Connie Britton.

I honestly wasn't expecting anything good coming from this remake especially since the original Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) isn't playing the role that made him famous. With that said, this teaser trailer actually wasn't that bad. It looks like it could be a decent remake in a world full of terrible remakes. My only grip is that Jackie Earle Haley really needs to work on the voice. It's beyond terrible and doesn't come close to matching the scary Freddy voice done by Mr. Englund himself.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sony Revs Up Ghost Rider 2

Columbia Pictures is working on a second installment of "Ghost Rider," with David Goyer in early talks to create the story and supervise writers for a film expected to once again star Nicolas Cage.

Former Marvel topper Avi Arad, Michael De Luca and Steven Paul are producing, with Gary Foster as exec producer.

Through a spokesman, Goyer said he hadn't signed on to a second "Ghost Rider" yet. But plans are already under way to base the sequel on a "Ghost Rider" script written years ago by Goyer, whose superhero work includes hit screen transfers of DC's "Batman Begins" and Marvel's "Blade" franchise. The original "Ghost Rider" was scripted by director Mark Steven Johnson.

Oh please god make it stop. The first one was horrible and had some of the worst reviews ever for a Marvel property. Doing a sequel with the same cast members and production team is a very dumb idea and goes to show you that Sony doesn't give a damn about what people think of the Ghost Rider movies. My idea would have been to either reboot Ghost Rider or do a sequel in the form of The Incredible Hulk, where it was a different cast and explaining the origin story in the introduction credits.

Barbie Heads To The Big Screen

Universal Pictures has added Barbie to its star stable. The studio has made a deal with Mattel to build a live-action film around its signature Barbie toy line. With studios racing to build films around well-known concepts, Universal brass feels it has landed the queen of globally branded toy figures.

Laurence Mark will produce.

According to Mattel, the 50-year-old Barbie has 99% worldwide brand awareness, and it's the No. 1 girls property in the toy industry, the top doll property in the U.S., and the No. 1 worldwide property in the traditional toy industry.

"Barbie is the most famous doll in history, a unique cultural icon in the world of brands," said Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger. "So many representations of Barbie frequent pop culture. We're grateful to Mattel for entrusting us with this extraordinary opportunity.

"Mark said the next step will be to canvass writers and decide on a creative take for a family-friendly movie. Mark, who just produced "Julie and Julia" was one of several A-list producers who met with Mattel and U execs. "Barbie may be the most popular girl in the world, and has always been a wonderfully aspirational figure, so we must do her proud," Mark said, noting that there's no shortage of plot possibilities since Barbie has held more than 120 jobs over the years.

I'm actually surprised that its taken this long for Barbie to hit the big screen in a live-action film. Even though I'm not remotely excited about this, you cant fault that its a smart business decision. I mean who doesn't know Barbie? This is guaranteed to make a shit load of money at the box office. I mean if crap like G-Force and The Hannah Montana Movie can go on to be box office hits, than I don't see why Barbie wouldn't have similar success.

Monday, September 21, 2009



Year: 2009
Director: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor
Starring: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Amber Valletta, Ludacris, Logan Lerman
Distributor: Lionsgate
MPAA: Rated R

Lionsgate has been keeping a good eye on its fellow Crank creators/directors Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor simply because they have had a good relationship through out the two Crank films. In May 2007, Lionsgate and Lakeshore Entertainment teamed up with the two Crank directors to develop a "high-concept futuristic thriller". Neveldine and Taylor wrote the script which was currently known as "Game". In March 2009, the films name was changed from "Game" to "Citizen Game". With lead star Gerard Butler already filming another film called "Law Abiding Citizen", Lionsgate decided to change the tile once again on May 2009 from "Citizen Game" to "Gamer".

Plot Outline:
In the not too distant future, mind-control technology allows humans to control the actions and movements of other humans, allowing reclusive billionaire Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) to create the ultimate video game. It's called "Slayers," and it's a mass-scale, multiplayer online first-person shooter that's as controversial as it is popular. In the world of gamers, Simon (Logan Lerman) is a rock star; miraculously managing to keep his character alive week after week, he racks up frags like Billy Mitchell jumps barrels. But unlike Mitchell's Mario, Simon's video-game avatar is a living, breathing human being named Kable (Gerard Butler). Defying the odds to keep Kable running and gunning though even the most explosive battles, Simon captures the imagination of a global audience.

Gamer's storyline is a disappointment on all fronts. The premise sounds very interesting and it certainly could of been a good film, but it just doesn't live up to it. The film's romance feels tacked on and hardly effective. The action scenes suffer from horrible editing and can be very difficult to see whats happening most of the time. Cheesy dialogue very much hampers the films dialogue, resulting in hardly any tension for the film to breath naturally. Its also very funny and worth mentioning that most of the cast consists of actors that have their own TV sitcom. What tickles my bone even more, is that those TV shows are a hundred times better than this film. Their are certainly some cool ideas in Gamer such as the "social network thing", but it just doesn't feel fleshed out enough to be incorporated into the story in a more straight forward way. I did enjoy some of the humorous scenes that are nicely implemented into the film, but even these aren't enough to help this movie from being the crap fest that it is. The ending is also un-satisfying and doesn't make up for the disappointing beginning. It seems like Gamer could have been a fascinating film if you take into fact its interesting premise, but it just got lost in translation. It almost feels like the creative team behind the film were not on the same page with one another.

Gerard Butler plays as the lead character of the film, Kable. His performance here is very one dimensional and hardly satisfying. In fact, I enjoyed him ALOT more in the romantic comedy The Ugly Truth than in this film, which is really weird considering he has done more action films than comedy. His character also doesn't feel fleshed out enough, making him nearly impossible to root for. Michael C. Hall plays the villainies character of Ken Castle and hes probably the saving grace in this film. Hall is a talented actor and hes proven this with his HBO hit show "Dexter". His character Ken Castle is hardly as mesmerizing or effective as Dexter, but hes still kind of fun to watch. Amber Valletta plays as Kable's love interest, Angie. I'll admit that Valletta looks absolutely gorgeous in this film, but even that's not enough to make up for a lacking performance. Her character hardly feels crucial to the story and practically feels like a character that was added in the last minute. Ludacris plays as the rebel leader trying to overthrow Ken Castle, Humanz Brother. I cant explain how annoying his character is at the start of the film, literally appearing everywhere and telling people to stop playing with Castle's games. He also feels like a missed opportunity and could have been left out in some cases.

The visual look of Gamer is really the only thing I cant complain about. The films source is an excellent condition considering it was just released a couple weeks ago. Their were some grainy scenes here and their, but hardly enough to warrant any problems. Colors are mostly grounded to grayish colors with only a few instances that shine with vibrancy, mostly in Castle's virtual game, "Society". Other than that, the film is practically grey, which is alright considering the filmmakers were trying to go for a gritty action film. Black levels are strong and hold up well in some of the later darker scenes. Flesh tones are natural and you can easily make out everyone in the film. Detail is also quite strong and is really worth mentioning. Close up shots show a great deal of sweat and pores. To put it in perspective, Gamer is definitely one of the sharpest films I have seen recently. I guess this was kind of expected considering the Crank films looked pretty damn impressive transfer wise, especially the Blu Ray versions.

The soundtrack in Gamer is a notch below the visual look of the film, but its still pretty damn good. The film's original music is done by Robb Williamson and Geoff Zanelli. The music is mostly rock with some hip hop here and their. Its good stuff and goes well with the tone of the film, but having to listen to Marilyn Manson's Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) played several times through out the film, can get alittle annoying. The bass in Gamer is really something I wasn't expecting. Not only is it as aggressive as some of the best action films of the decade, but it also competes with the likes of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which still stands as the king of bass usage. Gamers bass is pretty dynamic at times, but tends to lean alittle more front heavy than usual. Its still nicely spread out at times, but like I said, its alittle more front heavy. Its definitely reference material and should easily give your home entertainment device a run for its money when it hits DVD/Blu Ray later this year.

Gamer is a disappointing action thriller that stops short of everything. It has an interesting premise that definitely could have been very cool to see if put in the right hands, but here, it just feels like a mess. Its action scenes although intense at times, are horribly edited to the point where you can hardly see whats going on. Most of the characters feel very one dimensional and their lines tend to come off cheesy at times. The ending isn't satisfying and doesn't make up for a lackluster story to begin with. The cast is mostly a hit and miss with only Dexter himself (Michael C. Hall) being the only one that's somewhat interesting to watch. It also doesn't help that most the cast is made up of people that have their own TV shows. The visual look of the film can tend to be grey at times, but its still one of the sharpest films I have seen recently. The soundtrack is kind of awesome with one killer of a bass. I really didn't enjoy Gamer and I don't think you would either. I went in expecting at least a "B" type action film, but was left with a disappointing execution of what I wanted to see. Its certainly not the worst film I have seen this year, but it comes pretty close.

Grade: D