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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sir Ian McKellen reprises his role as Gandalf the Grey in THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.
James Fisher – © 2011 New Line Productions, Inc.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY... In December of next year, Peter Jackson is set to unveil the first installment of his film adaptation of another beloved J.R.R. Tolkien book. Set before the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey focuses on the Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins...who must venture up the Lonely Mountain with a group of dwarves to recover a treasure that was taken from them by the dragon Smaug. Even though The Hobbit is a prequel to Jackson’s Oscar-winning film series, An Unexpected Journey sees the return of Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Andy Serkis as Gollum and Christopher Lee as the evil Saruman. Martin Freeman plays the role of Bilbo Baggins.

An Unexpected Journey is set to be released in theaters nationwide on December 14, 2012, while The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be released at the cinemas on December 13, 2013, respectively.

Martin Freeman plays a young Bilbo Baggins in THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.
James Fisher – © 2011 New Line Productions, Inc.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL... Check out the trailer for the upcoming fourth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, which once again stars Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames, as well as features Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Simon Pegg (2009’s Star Trek), Paula Patton (Deja Vu), Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) and Léa Seydoux (2010’s Robin Hood). Ghost Protocol (which sounds like the title for a Metal Gear Solid video game or a Call of Duty-type shooter for Playstation 3... That’s a compliment) will be released in theaters on December 16 of this year.

On a side note, I had the pleasure of watching Mission: Impossible 3 film a few times at Paramount Pictures when I worked there in 2005-‘06. Didn’t see Tom Cruise or any other M:I:3 cast member in person, but it was awesome. I hope Ghost Protocol will be as action-packed as the previous film.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The crew of the USS Enterprise.

STAR TREK 2... I was looking at the IMDb page for the planned sequel to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 hit film, and saw that Zoe Saldana (who played Nyota Uhura in the Star Trek reboot) currently has top billing for the Star Trek 2 cast...despite the fact the first film primarily focused on the rise of James Kirk (played by Chris Pine) in the Starfleet Academy. Of course, the majority of information on this page is preliminary (it’s not even mentioned if Abrams will return to direct the sequel...even though he’s listed as one of the producers), but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a lovely and talented actress who had a leading role in a flick that grossed around $2.7 billion worldwide and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture (yep, I’m talking about Avatar) would be at the head of the cast. Star Trek 2 is unofficialy aimed for a December 2012 release date, with production currently targeted to start this Fall.

Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura.

Friday, July 22, 2011

SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS... For those of you who enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes film in 2009 (which I did... I didn’t realize the awesome Oscar-nominated music score to this flick was composed by Hans Zimmer till I saw his name in the end credits), the trailer for the sequel has been released online...and is currently showing at theaters in front of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows will be released nationwide in the U.S. on December 16, with Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as the skilled detective and Jude Law returning as Dr. Watson. Rachel McAdams is back for this installment, and new to the cast is Noomi Rapace and Jared Harris (as Professor Moriarty). Check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Webslinger is back in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN... Released earlier today was the official teaser trailer for Columbia Pictures’ reboot of the extremely-successful movie franchise that starred Tobey Maguire, James Franco and Kirsten Dunst. The Amazing Spider-Man has Andrew Garfield (from last year’s Oscar-nominated The Social Network) as the superhero this time around...with other well-known actors and actresses such as Denis Leary, Emma Stone (replacing Bryce-Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy in the new Spidey flick), Martin Sheen, Sally Field (as Uncle Ben and Aunt May, respectively) and Rhys Ifans (as Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. The Lizard...the main villain of The Amazing Spider-Man) rounding out the cast.

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spidey in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

The Amazing Spider-Man will be released in theaters on July 3, 2012 (a little more than 2 weeks before The Dark Knight Rises is unleashed in cinemas everywhere). You can view the trailer below. Oh, and on a side note, I was an extra in the first Spider-Man movie that came out in May of 2002. I was in a scene that was filmed in March of 2001.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Update... A week after the teaser poster for Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated final installment in his Batman trilogy was revealed online, the teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises was officially unveiled on the Web yesterday...courtesy of its Facebook fanpage. To see The Dark Knight Rises preview on the big screen, check out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2...now in theaters. (I’m pretty sure I didn’t have to remind you about that last part.) The Dark Knight Rises comes out in theaters on July 20, 2012. Check out the trailer and some screenshots below:



Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) is the victim of rising violence in Gotham City...courtesy of Bane (Tom Hardy) in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
Batman (Christian Bale) confronts Bane in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter battle for the final time in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2... Almost ten years after leaving douchey stepparents behind and arriving at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter has finally met his destiny. I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 this past weekend, and it’s interesting to see how this movie series concluded its final chapter. I never read the books, but I watched every single installment in the Harry Potter franchise since 2001...remembering how good Prisoner of Azkaban, Half-Blood Prince and Part 1 of Deathly Hallows were, and how bored and indifferent I was to Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix.

Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger look out for trouble in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2.

My main complaint about Goblet of Fire after watching it in 2005 was how obnoxious the story seemed to get as the tone got darker and darker. I enjoyed the childlike wonder that was conveyed in Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets...but it wasn’t till Lord Voldemort fully returned in Half-Blood Prince that I finally accepted the change in mood for the Harry Potter series. Actually, I think Voldemort returned to full form in Goblet of Fire, but as I said earlier, I didn’t enjoy the film enough to remember that. And Order of the Phoenix was one-long training film...minus the cool montage with the song Eye of the Tiger playing in the background.

Professor Snape reveals his true intentions in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2.

So what did I like about Deathly Hallows 2, you ask? (Beware of plot spoilers for the remainder of this review.) It was totally action-packed. Much like the satisfaction of seeing a setting like the Galactic Senate go from being boring in The Phantom Menace to becoming the arena for the awesome lightsaber duel between Yoda and Darth Sidious in Revenge of the Sith, it was refreshing to see casualties and destruction fall upon Hogwarts (and even that stadium where the Quidditch matches were held) in the middle act of Deathly Hallows 2. I was unaware that there was a twist to Professor Snape’s treacherous act of killing Dumbledore in Half-Blood Prince, and didn’t actually realize that Voldemort was already dying a slow and agonizing death as Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were destroying Horcruxes one by one in the last couple of films. That just comes to show you how memorable the dialogues in the Potter films were.

The survivors of Hogwarts prepare to take on Lord Voldemort's forces in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2.

After ten years of watching Harry Potter wandering around Hogwarts and the rest of Scotland and England to unravel the mystery of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, it was finally good to see the ultimate um, wand battle between Potter and Voldemort outside the ruins of Hogwarts in the movie’s climax. Since I didn’t read any of the books, I had no idea that Potter’s much-talked-about death was only a ploy to weaken Voldemort even further before he was finally defeated. To see Voldemort disintegrate once the final Horcrux was destroyed was almost as epic to see as the Eye of Sauron exploding at the end of Return of the King, right after the One Ring was dropped into Mt. Doom. Harry Potter now joins Star Wars and Lord of the Rings (despite the fact The Hobbit is currently being filmed) as fantasy film series completing their uber-successful run at the cinemas.

Lord Voldemort's minions in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2.

If there’s one major nitpick I need to make about Deathly Hallows 2, it’s with the very final scene of the film. Much like the protracted ending for Return of the King, that last moment at the train station felt like it was better off being left on the cutting room floor. Don’t know if this scene was in the book, but the shot of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Co. being all grown up and whatnot looked very cheesy. Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson may both be 21-years-old in real life, but they still looked and sounded pretty adolescent in the movie’s epilogue...which was suppose to take place 19 years after the death of Voldemort. Hermione seemed to have the Queen Amidala syndrome from Attack of the Clones (where Natalie Portman’s character was suppose to be 9 years older in Episode 2 but looked like she didn’t age one bit from The Phantom Menace). I guess it would’ve been even lamer if the voices of Radcliffe and Co. were altered to make them sound more mature...which is why director David Yates should’ve left this scene out altogether.

Hermione Granger in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2.

The whole happy ending thing didn’t work in 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (as well as Minority Report and a lot of other recent Spielberg films), and it didn’t work here either. At least for me. Have the Harry Potter movie franchise conclude with that shot of Harry, Hermione and Ron standing atop that damaged bridge outside of Hogwarts...remaining silent as they stare off into the distance and contemplate a future that doesn’t include an evil wizard trying to return from the dead and killing them all. Carry on.

Lord Voldemort and his minions in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) confronts his mean-spirited boss David Harken (Kevin Spacey) in HORRIBLE BOSSES.

HORRIBLE BOSSES... I finally got around to seeing the Seth Gordon-directed comedy yesterday, and needless to say, it was pretty hilarious. Kevin Spacey was convincing as a mean-spirited (and homicidal) company president, Colin Farrell played a douchey slacker of a boss (or in a title bestowed upon him by the film: a Dips**t Cokehead Son) and Jennifer Aniston was...totally awesome as a sexually-aggressive and conniving maneater of a supervisor. Jason Bateman played his usual role as a mild-mannered white-collar employee thrust into crappy circumstances (see Arrested Development, The Switch and the upcoming The Change-Up) and Jason Sudeikis was amusing even though his character somewhat reminded me of the husband he played in this year's earlier Hall Pass...where Sudeikis was put on time-out by his wife (played by Christina Applegate) for sexual indiscretions. I don’t think I’ve seen another movie that had Charlie Day in it...but he was to Horrible Bosses what Zach Galifianakis was to The Hangover. Which is a compliment if you saw that last film. Which I’m sure you did.

Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston) loves making advances on Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) in HORRIBLE BOSSES.

My favorite moments of the film, unsurprisingly, were when Bateman, Sudeikis and Day interacted with their tyrannical bosses. And in terms of my favorite employee-employer scenes, the best moments were when Dale Arbus (played by Day) had to have close-door 'meetings' with Dr. Julia Harris (played by Aniston) inside her dental office...'cause you don’t know just how far Julia would go in her next attempt to get inside Dale’s pants. Bobby Pellitt (played by Farrell) is definitely a major tool, but to the benefit of Kurt Buckman (played by Sudeikis), Pellitt isn’t around long enough (won’t tell you why) to screw Kurt over the same way David Harken (played by Spacey) screws over Nick Hendricks (played by Bateman) and even his two buddies later on in the movie. Julia actually screws Kurt at one point in the film...but that doesn’t come as a surprise since Dr. Harris is an Evil Crazy Bitch.

Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) deals with his boss/tool Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell) in HORRIBLE BOSSES.

Jamie Foxx, Donald Sutherland and even Bob Newhart show up in the film as well. Foxx’s character isn’t what he appears to be (Before you give $5,000 to a former convict who you've just met at a bar so he could become your "murder consultant", ask him why he was in jail in the first place...even though he was locked up for 10 years and calls himself 'Motherf**ker Jones'), Sutherland plays the wise, sympathetic boss whom everyone should have, and Newhart’s CEO is hiding something in his closet—err, trunk...literally. Lindsay Sloane plays Day’s lovely fiancée and the reason why Day wants to get rid of the Evil Crazy Bitch, Julie Bowen plays Spacey’s supermodel-ish wife who Harken has trust issues with (deservedly so) and Meghan Markle plays a Fed-Ex employee who Sudeikis' character thinks is too "cute" to drive around and deliver packages.

Bobby Pellitt has issues with his wise father (Donald Sutherland) AND Kurt Buckman in HORRIBLE BOSSES.

All-in-all, if you want good laughs at the theater this month, watch Horrible Bosses. Even though there are actually some slow moments (which surprisingly involves scenes where Nick, Kurt and Dale are snooping around the houses of their three employers...hoping to get "intel" on how to off them), the movie is a nice catharsis for folks out there who have bosses that are almost as sinister as the ones portrayed in this film...and also conveys an interesting message on how people are trying to make ends meet in the current recession. Here’s a bit of advice: Don’t resort to giving handjobs to people to make money. That is all.

Dale, Nick and Kurt meet Dave Harken's (very) friendly wife Rhonda (Julie Bowen) in HORRIBLE BOSSES.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Update... Superhero Hype posted an article earlier today mentioning that the Tumbler, a.k.a. the Batmobile from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, will return in Christopher Nolan’s third Bat flick next July. A photo from the Pittsburgh set of The Dark Knight Rises is shown below...with the Tumbler and Batpod (the motorcycle that Batman used to escape the Gotham police force and its dogs at the end of The Dark Knight)—which is covered by the blue tarp—sitting on a trailer.

For those of you wishing that a new Batmobile was used in The Dark Knight Rises (after the original Tumbler was destroyed by the Joker in The Dark Knight), keep in mind that Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman’s character) stated in Batman Begins that two Tumblers were manufactured at Wayne Enterprises...since two were needed to erect portable bridges in a combat zone. I’m glad that Nolan is bringing back this vehicle. The Batmobile in Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns was awesome...but nothing beats a tank-like automobile capable of colliding head-on into a speeding garbage truck and remain unscathed. And eject an armed motorcycle complete with grappling hooks in the event of an emergency. Carry on.

A photo of the Tumbler and Batpod (which is concealed by the blue tarp) from the Pittsburgh set of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES... Check out the teaser poster for next year's highly-anticipated summer blockbuster film, which will once again be directed by Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway. The poster comes courtesy of Superhero Hype. The Dark Knight Rises gets released in theaters on July 20, 2012. Can't wait.

The theatrical teaser poster for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Posing in front of the Peterbilt truck that represents Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, EVERYONE! Earlier today, I drove down to ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood to take pictures of the Peterbilt truck immortalized by Optimus Prime and the Chevy Camaro that portrayed Bumblebee in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Ever since the first Transformers movie came out in 2007, the cars and trucks made famous in the Michael Bay-directed film series have been put on display at ArcLight during each of the three flicks' opening weekends. Wasn’t able to see the Peterbilt truck when it was at the historic Hollywood theater in ’07, but I did take pictures of the life-size Bumblebee movie prop when it was exhibited in west Los Angeles that respective year. I was also able to take photos of several Autobot vehicles at the ArcLight back in 2009, when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was released.

The Peterbilt truck that represents Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

The Autobot logo on the Peterbilt truck that represents Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

The Peterbilt truck that represents Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

Posing in front of the Chevy Camaro that represents Bumblebee in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

The Chevy Camaro that represents Bumblebee in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

Autobot logos on the Chevy Camaro that represents Bumblebee in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

The Chevy Camaro that represents Bumblebee in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

Here is an image of the clothing worn by Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley during the Chicago battle sequence in Dark of the Moon. Judging from Whiteley’s outfit in this shot, she’s actually a bit shorter than LaBeouf. You just couldn’t notice that in the movie ‘cause she was wearing high heels the whole time. Must’ve been a b***h for her to run around on the film set all day...obviously.

The outfits worn by Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.