Saturday, June 30, 2012

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) in THE AVENGERS.

$605 million and counting... That's how much The Avengers has made domestically since it was released nationwide on May 4. If it weren't for the fact Titanic was re-released in theaters two months ago, The Avengers could've ended its theatrical run as the second highest-grossing movie domestic-wise behind Avatar...which made $761 million in the U.S. alone after it came out in theaters in December of 2009. (Titanic ended its original run at $601 million in 1997-'98...but increased its box office gross to $659 million after last April's 3-D cinematic update.)

While the chances of The Dark Knight Rises making as much money in the U.S. as The Avengers seems unlikely (considering the fact the upcoming Batman film will be shown on IMAX but not in 3-D), Christopher Nolan's third and final installment in the Caped Crusader saga will make up for this in substance. Much like the first Iron Man movie in 2008, The Avengers will obviously be known as a great popcorn flick...while The Dark Knight Rises, like The Dark Knight in 2008, will be known for its substantial message about making sacrifices and how far people can be pushed before they descend into madness and lawlessness in society. Don't get me wrong though— I plan on buying The Avengers once it comes out on DVD, whenever that will be. But I'll be more excited to complete The Dark Knight trilogy on DVD once this July's much-anticipated flick eventually becomes available on disc in retail stores.

Batman (Christian Bale) and Bane (Tom Hardy) prepare to do battle in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Daniel Craig is back as James Bond in this November's SKYFALL.

Skyfall... Check out the official teaser trailer to this November's new installment in the James Bond franchise. Skyfall, which hits theaters nationwide on November 9, is directed by Sam Mendes and has Daniel Craig reprising his role as the iconic British spy. Judi Dench is back as M, while newcomers Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris are making appearances as Bond girls in Skyfall. Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem will also appear in the 23rd Bond film, with Bardem playing Raoul Silva—the movie's main villain.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Taken 2... Check out the international trailer for this year's sequel to the popular 2008 film about Liam Neeson beating the crap out of a whole lotta bad guys dumb enough to mess with his family. Speaking of which, someone on my Facebook page posted this cool meme below. So true.

Taken 2 gets released in theaters nationwide on October 5.

Liam Neeson is DA MAN.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Promotional artwork for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

The Amazing Spider-Man... Here are a couple of screenshots and publicity stills from the reboot of the hit comic book film franchise, which gets released in theaters nationwide on July 3.

Spidey (Andrew Garfield) is confronted by SWAT team members in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

A crowd gathers around Spidey in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) begins to transform into The Lizard in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

The Lizard finds his prey in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

The Lizard shows that he is not to be messed with in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace, center) investigates a mysterious extraterrestrial sculpture in PROMETHEUS.

Prometheus... I saw Ridley Scott's latest sci-fi thriller earlier today, and for those of you still wondering, yes— It is indeed a prequel to Scott's 1979 classic, Alien. Obviously, there are a ton of signs during Prometheus to show you that it's the latest installment in the space monster movie franchise, but it isn't towards the end of the new flick where you officially get the payoff to confirm the tie-in. Though in hindsight, that money shot may have seemed contrived and tacked if it just occurred to Scott late in the film's production process, Oh snap, I just realized that moviegoers are gonna watch this movie primarily to see an alien from Alien, and not because a hot, Oscar-winning babe like Charlize Theron is in it. I know I was waiting throughout the flick to see the iconic creature make its appearance onscreen. And yes, I also watched Prometheus because the lovely actress from South Africa is in it.

The ship Prometheus arrives at the distant moon LV-223 in PROMETHEUS.

As for the rest of Prometheus, it was entertaining. The ship itself is pretty cool. I like its design, though it's too bad Prometheus doesn't last long enough to get off the mysterious world Theron, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and company land on to investigate. In terms of the cast itself, they did a good job. Ridley Scott made the right choice in selecting Rapace (whose last major Hollywood film was 2011's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) to have the lead role as Elizabeth Shaw (who would have originally been played by Theron if she didn't have scheduling conflicts). Guy Pearce—who was in Academy Award winners like The Hurt Locker and The King's Speech, as well as this year's sci-fi flop Lockout—donned prosthetic makeup to play Peter Weyland, a decrepit man whose corporation was alluded to in past Alien films. Not to spoil the ending (other than what I've already mentioned in the previous paragraph), but the conclusion of Prometheus lends the movie to a potential sequel. Then again, maybe not; I think audiences won't be as excited to follow the exploits of a spiritual, knowledge-seeking protagonist like Elizabeth Shaw as they would be seeing Sigourney Weaver's heroic antihero Ellen Ripley kick some major extraterrestrial ass.

Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and Janek (Idris Elba) on the bridge of Prometheus in PROMETHEUS.

Prometheus, being a prequel, is obviously an origins story—just like the 2005 film Batman Begins (which, like Prometheus, also had several scenes shot in Iceland). In terms of horror, I personally thought Prometheus is relatively tame compared to Alien. It may possibly be due to the fact the extraterrestrial beings we see in Prometheus are human-like creatures (called Engineers) who seemed benevolent for most of the flick. By Alien, however, danger is in full swing...with Ripley fighting for survival against the familiar black xenomorph with sharp teeth, acid blood and an elongated skull. Not that this is a criticism of Prometheus. The mystery aspect of its storyline is well-done. To quote David, the android played by Michael Fassbender: "Big things have small beginnings."

Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), Elizabeth Shaw and David (Michael Fassbender) explore inside a dark chamber in PROMETHEUS.

All-in-all, Prometheus is a good flick. It didn't blow me away the same way other Ridley Scott films like Gladiator and Black Hawk Down did when I first watched them at the theater, but this new movie got the job done. It's a nice addition to the Alien franchise—which is more than you can say for the cheesy Alien vs. Predator films. Prometheus was shot in 3-D; my viewing experience of this flick probably would've been more enjoyable if I watched it in this format. But it is what it is...and I say that it's cool that Scott returned to his sci-fi roots with Prometheus. Now bring on Blade Runner 2! That is all.

David discovers that the alien creatures, known as Engineers, have something in store for Earth in PROMETHEUS.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Image of the Day... Darth Vader leaps into the air during his epic lightsaber duel with Luke Skywalker in this behind-the-scenes shot from The Empire Strikes Back. The photo was originally posted on Facebook.

Darth Vader leaps into the air during his lightsaber duel with Luke Skywalker in this behind-the-scenes shot from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Alien attackers strike a military airbase in INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Independence Day (in 3-D)... For those of you who enjoyed the hit sci-fi film like I did (even though the movie had lots of hokey moments in it), Independence Day is being re-released in theaters next year. However, audiences will get to watch the movie in 3rd dimension this time around...which should be pretty awesome. ID4 is the type of flick that was made for 3-D, what with memorable FX shots like the White House blowing up, Vivica Fox's dog leaping into that maintenance room inside the tunnel just as it is about to be engulfed in that alien-induced fireball (even though this is one of those hokey moments I was talking about), and pretty much every shot during the two aerial dogfights—plus that climactic chase scene aboard the Alien Mothership in space—that take place in the film. ID4, which was the highest grossing flick of 1996 (making $306.2 million domestically), won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects in the 1997 Academy Awards; here's hoping FOX will do the award justice with a flawless 3-D conversion of the movie.

Independence Day returns to theaters nationwide on July 3, 2013.

An alien destroyer emerges over New York City in INDEPENDENCE DAY.

An alien destroyer destroys the White House in INDEPENDENCE DAY.

New York City lies in ruins after the alien destroyer completes its attack in INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Man-made missiles explode harmlessly against a destroyer's force field during a counterattack in INDEPENDENCE DAY.

An evil alien being in INDEPENDENCE DAY.