Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FORTUNATELY, I DON'T OWN A BLU-RAY PLAYER... Other websites are reporting that for the upcoming release of the Star Wars saga on Blu-ray, George Lucas is rumored to be altering the scene in Return of the Jedi where Darth Vader hauls Emperor Palpatine to his demise inside the Death Star II's reactor shaft. Vader would be saying "Nooooo" as he throws the Dictator-Formerly-Known-As-Darth-Sidious into the pit. It's an understatement to say that Lucas enjoys fiddling with (RE: ruining?) his beloved science fantasy films...even the ones that were directed by someone else (sorry Richard Marquand). If the numerous VHS and DVD releases and re-releases over the past fifteen years are any indication, it's that Lucas just loooves creating Special Editions of his movies. You can check out a video of how the updated Episode VI scene might play out on Blu-Ray discs below, if this news was to be believed:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

LAST FRIDAY, I attended a special IMAX 3-D screening of Transformers: Dark of the Moon at the AMC 16 theater in Burbank, CA. The reason why the screening was special was because the first 50 people who showed up in line received free tickets to watch the film. And after the movie ended, everyone in the audience got a free limited edition Sentinel Prime poster (shown below) before they exited the auditorium. I learned of this "TF3 Tweetup" through the official Dark of the Moon page on Twitter.

The poster I received is still rolled up and tucked inside its plastic sleeve. Can’t decide on whether to hang it up on my wall or try to sell it on eBa— Nevermind.

Limited edition Sentinel Prime poster for TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
TF3Movie - Twitter.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

APOLLO 18... This movie doesn’t exactly look like it’ll be of the same caliber as the Oscar-nominated film Apollo 13, but I’ll still watch it. I assume Apollo 18 will explain how NASA and the rest of the U.S. government could hide the existence of this mission when thousands of people in Florida would’ve seen that mighty Saturn V rocket soar up into the sky... Or will it be mentioned that the vehicle was sending up a prototype of the Skylab space station or something? Anyways, I’m reading too much into this horror film. By the way, I like the comment posted near the top of the trailer’s YouTube page about how it was the Transformers who caused Apollo 18 to go awry. Looks like Michael Bay and Ehren Kruger were onto something when they created the story for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, ey?

Apollo 18 comes out in theaters nationwide on September 2.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A close-up of Bane's mask during filming of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

IMAGES OF THE DAY... ComicBookMovie.com posted this cool fan-made poster below that was inspired by Drew Struzan—who is best known for his awesome artwork on Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future and other classic movies. The two other images in this entry were taken on the set of The Dark Knight Rises as it filmed in Pittsburgh during the past month.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES fan-made poster.
Alexander Stojanov - deviantART

Bane (Tom Hardy) fights Batman (Christian Bale) during filming of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
Getty Images

Monday, August 22, 2011

DARK OF THE MOON Update... For those of you dying to see Transformers 3 again on the ultra-big screen, the film will be returning to 246 IMAX theaters this Friday (August 26) and stay there till September 8...according to an announcement made by Paramount Pictures today. I'll just wait till Dark of the Moon comes out on DVD to see it again, but I'm definitely looking forward to buying the Steve Jablonsky music score on CD—whenever its release date will be. I'm well aware that I can now buy the tracks as MP3s via Amazon.com. It's okay. I'll be patient.

Concept artwork of Shockwave from TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A close-up of Batman inside the Batwing movie prop during filming of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

THE TUMBLER-WING REVEALED... I’m sure that half of you who are searching for awesome news about The Dark Knight Rises have already seen these pics, but for those of you who haven’t, here’s a look at Christopher Nolan’s Batwing! Pretty kick-ass. Not as elegant-looking as the Batwings in Tim Burton’s original Batman film and um, Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever, but this aircraft looks like it can do some serious damage...overlooking the fact these photos were taken on a day the Batwing movie prop was actually damaged during filming (it was immediately repaired and production resumed). These pics come courtesy of MovieWeb, by the way.

The Batwing movie prop is driven around THE DARK KNIGHT RISES' film set on top of a stunt car.

All I can say is, it’s gonna be interesting to see how The Dark Knight Rises explains how Batman obtained this aircraft. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just gathering dust inside the basement of Wayne Enterprises the same way the Tumbler was in Batman Begins. Speaking of the Tumbler, who’s driving it if Batman is pursuing the vehicle from the air? No wait— I answered this question with a previous entry that shows Bane (and Marion Cotillard's character...who as a Wayne Enterprises employee may have had something to do with Bane obtaining the armored automobile) standing on top of the vehicle. Nevermind. As a reminder, The Dark Knight Rises comes out in theaters nationwide on July 20, 2012.

The Batwing pursues the Tumbler during filming of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Friday, August 19, 2011

GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE... Check out the poster for the upcoming sequel to the 2007 comic book film. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance once again has Nicolas Cage starring as the antihero with a flaming skull, while Fergus Riordan, Ciaran Hinds, Violante Placido, Idris Elba and Johnny Whitworth round out the cast. Spirit of Vengeance comes out in theaters on February 17 of next year. The poster comes courtesy of Superhero Hype.

Of course, the main reason why I’m promoting Spirit of Vengeance is because the first Ghost Rider movie was directed by Mark Steven Johnson...who went to my alma mater, Cal State Long Beach. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor directed the sequel this time around.

The theatrical poster for GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Caesar (played by Andy Serkis) will set plans into motion that will affect the entire world in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES... I saw the movie earlier today, and I must say, it was really good. Much like Batman Begins, Rise of the Planet of the Apes gave a very interesting origins story for a well-established film franchise...with the depiction of Caesar growing from an orphaned ape born with special abilities to the would-be leader of a new race of primates who rule the world after the humans’ demise being very compelling. The film has a stellar cast—with James Franco and the lovely Freida Pinto leading the charge—and other actors such as John Lithgow, Brian Cox and Tom Felton (best known as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies) giving good performances as well. In fact, I might be a bit overdramatic when I say that Lithgow’s performance as Franco’s Alzheimer’s-inflicted father in the movie was very moving, and actually is a nice twist in the explanation to how the apes become the intelligent (and eventually belligerent) creatures that became famous in the 1968 classic film.

Andy Serkis, best known for his CGI’ed performances as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Peter Jackson’s subsequent film, King Kong, did a great job portraying Caesar. How Caesar goes from becoming a frightened new arrival at the San Bruno primate facility near San Francisco to the confident leader who would liberate the other apes being held captive there and give them the unique abilities that he has is very convincing. But it can’t be understated that his moments with Franco, Pinto and Lithgow in the household scenes were pretty heartwarming. And how his scenes with Felton’s abusive caretaker at San Bruno were pretty intense...and pivotal to how Caesar would rise to prominence in the world his race will soon dominate.

I can’t say enough positive things about Rise of the Planet of the Apes. One thing’s for sure, it was much better than 2001’s Planet of the Apes. Unlike that film, which was directed by Tim Burton and starred Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth and Michael Clarke Duncan, Rise didn’t have a WTF(?!) moment at the end of the flick like Burton's movie did. In fact, there was no twist to the finale of this Apes prequel...it was fairly straightforward. But unlike the 2001 flick, I look forward to seeing what lies in store for Caesar and company in future installments...since I read online that this movie is intended to be the start of a new Planet of the Apes film series. As long as the sequels will be as good as this one, I hope the new series will be long-lasting.

Will Rodman (James Franco) and Caroline Aranha (Freida Pinto) witness the rise of the apes in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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

HARRY POTTER FINALLY SURPASSES TRANSFORMERS at the U.S. box office... 'Bout time. Domestic-wise, the first Transformers movie made more money ($319 million) than Order of the Phoenix ($292 million) in 2007, while Revenge of the Fallen made more money ($402 million) than Half-Blood Prince ($302 million) in 2009. Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is currently at $344.9 million domestically, while Dark of the Moon is at $344.7 million...according to Box Office Mojo. Dark of the Moon will fall out of the Top 10 by next weekend while Deathly Hallows will fall to the 7th or 8th spot by the end of this week.

The new million dollar question is: Will Harry Potter finally make some noise at the Academy Awards next year? We'll see.

Sentinel Prime confers with Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2... The first Amazing Spider-Man movie isn’t set to come out in theaters for another 11 months (on July 3) and Columbia Pictures has already provided a release date for its sequel. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is scheduled to debut in cinemas on May 2, 2014...which means it will be kicking off the summer movie season that year (the same way that Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man flick started the summer blockbuster season of 2002, on May 3). No other high-caliber movie that I can think of right now is currently in pre-production or even the developmental stages for a 2014 release. The Superman reboot Man of Steel is aimed for a 2013 release at the cineplex, while The Hobbit: There and Back Again will come out in theaters on December 13, 2013, respectively.

The Webslinger is primed for action in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Catwoman (played by Anne Hathaway) rides the Batpod in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

CATWOMAN Revealed... And more pictures of the Tumbler from The Dark Knight Rises.

A stunt double dressed as Catwoman rides the Batpod during filming of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.


Three Tumbler stunt vehicles drive down the street during filming of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

PHOTO OF THE DAY... Today’s image is a first look at Man of Steel, the new Superman film that is being directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch) and co-produced by Christopher Nolan. Henry Cavill plays the iconic superhero, while Academy Award nominees Amy Adams (The Fighter), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix trilogy), Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and Diane Lane (Unfaithful) will be part of the main cast...as well as Oscar winners Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves) and Russell Crowe (Gladiator). Nolan and David S. Goyer, who both wrote Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, respectively, also penned the story for Man of Steel...which will be released in theaters in 2013.

Henry Cavill as the new Superman in MAN OF STEEL.
Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in late 2012.

JAMES BOND 23... For those of you who are looking forward to the next Bond movie, which should start filming soon for a release date around Christmas of next year, the main cast for the currently-untitled spy flick was recently announced. Daniel Craig returns as the resourceful and arse-kicking British intelligence agent, while Naomie Harris (who was in such movies as Miami Vice, Ninja Assassin and the first two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels) will play Miss Moneypenny. Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, of No Country for Old Men fame, will once again play a villain in James Bond 23. Oscar-nominee Ralph Fiennes, completing his stint as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, will play Q...the well-known gadget-maker of the Bond franchise. Judi Dench will reprise her long-standing role as M, the foreign intelligence head of Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Hopefully, Bond 23 will be as awesome as Casino Royale and have better editing than Quantum of Solace. Plus...a better locale for the climactic action scene at the end of the movie this time around. What was the reason why there’s a hotel in the middle of the Bolivian desert at the finale of Solace? I forgot.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Batman (Christian Bale) confronts Bane (Tom Hardy) on the set of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Update... Just Jared, AceShowbiz and MSNBC recently posted photos from the film shoot for Christopher Nolan’s third and final Bat flick. In the pic above, Batman (Christian Bale) confronts Bane (Tom Hardy) as (fake) snow falls around them...while in the photos below, we see another good image of the villain who broke the Dark Knight’s back in the Knightfall comic book series 18 years ago. We also take our first glimpse of Marion Cotillard as Wayne Enterprises employee Miranda Tate. Look closely, and you can see that she is standing on top of the Tumbler.

Speaking of the Tumbler...it makes sense that it would have the camouflaged paint scheme from Batman Begins going on in the photos below—seeing as how two vehicles were manufactured by Wayne Enterprises for use by the U.S. military as mentioned in the 2005 film. I’m sure that during The Dark Knight Rises, it will be shown how Lucious Fox (played by Morgan Freeman) or even Bruce Wayne manage to take possession of the second Tumbler. How Wayne is able to obtain the armored car without tipping off the previous owner (the Army?) that he’s Batman, we’ll find out. The Dark Knight Rises gets released in theaters nationwide on July 20, 2012.

Bane and Miranda Tate (played by Marion Cotillard) appear in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
The Tumbler returns in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.