“Two teenage yoga enthusiasts team up with a legendary man-hunter to battle with an ancient evil presence that is threatening their major party plans.”
I worked a lot of years behind a video store counter, and if you take the words “yoga enthusiasts” out of the above description, it could describe several 1980s genre movies. However, times have changed, and attaching Kevin Smith, Johnny Depp and a slew of other recognizable names to a project like this has drawn the ire of a lot of critics. For some, fond memories of Clerks and Chasing Amy now seem a lifetime ago, and plenty of once loyal Smith-fanatics are jumping ship. This movie isn’t likely to stop that exodus.
If you’ve ever hear the term, “beating a dead horse”, it was probably immediately followed by a review of Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Despite grossing just over $1 billion, critics condemned the movie as Rotten Tomatoes burned it at the stake. Meanwhile back at Disney headquarters, a group of people were counting money and laughing their asses off. The laughter may have finally come to a halt.
Ichabod Crane. Who does that name make you think of? Recent audiences associate the name with Johnny Depp’s portrayal in Tim Burton’sSleepy Hollow. Rightfully so. Depp added elements to the character that no one else had even considered prior. The truth is there are vast differences between the Ichabod Crane of 1999’s Sleepy Hollow and the original character introduced in Washington Irving’s 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Because of nearly two centuries of interpretation, and the blatant creepiness of the story associated with Crane, he has made #7 on the Grizzly Bomb Countdown to Halloween.
[tabgroup][tab title=” Gangster Squad “] Inspired by a true story from the 1940s and 50s, Gangster Squad is about the Los Angeles Police Department putting together a small squad of policemen tasked with the goal of keeping East Coast mobs out of their city’s streets.
The cast list is impressive, including the acting veteran Sean Penn and the recent favorites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. With a setting and tone much like the video game L.A. Noir, we’re excited to see how this one turns out.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, and Sean Penn
Release Date: January 11, 2013
[/tab][tab title=” The Lone Ranger “]
Tonto and John Reid go back a long way… like to the 1940s. And now they’re making a comeback in Walt Disney’s version of their story with a new twist – Tonto is going to recount the American Old West adventures that made John Reid into the fighting-for-justice legend we all know him to be [SuperHeroHype].
With a winning combination of Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer (they made the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films), we’re expecting lots of humorous adventures, entertaining fight sequences, and interesting lore. Also, Johnny Depp’s crow headpiece is pretty wicked.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham Carter
Release Date: July 3, 2013
[/tab][tab title=” Broken City”]
New York City’s mayor appears to have done well for the city since he was elected, but he has one personal problem: his wife is sleeping around. So the mayor hires an ex-cop to track down the man she’s cheating with. However, the situation escalates when the ex-cop finds out that there’s more to the mayor’s situation (and his political games) than he’s letting on.
Audiences will undoubtedly be tired of politics by the time this film comes out, but maybe Marky Mark’s ambition to take down a conniving politician will be just what some Americans want at that point.
Director: Allen Huges
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Release Date: January 18, 2013
[/tab][tab title=”The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2″] After several years out of the spotlight, Bruce Wayne becomes Batman again, this time as a middle-aged man still ready to take on the new criminals that have arisen in Gotham City. But this time Batman’s being called a murderer, and a warrant is out for his arrest. Superman claims he must follow the law and find Batman, but will he?
The story is nothing new, as superheroes have been called vigilantes and murderers before, and there have been show-downs between Batman and Superman in the past, but judging from the trailer we’re guessing DC Comics isn’t going to drop the ball on this one, especially if Part One was any indication of how good the finale will be.
Director: Jay Oliva
Stars: Peter Weller, Michael McKean, Wade Williams, Ariel Winter, David Selby, and Gary Anthony Williams
Release Date: Winter 2013
[/tab] [tab title=”Movie 43″]
The most we can say about this movie is that it’s a comedy featuring a large, all-star cast that will be “intertwining different tales” [IMDb]. It was also going to be called Red Band at one point. If you’ve seen Love Actually or Valentine’s Day, it’s supposedly something like that, but with a far more adult approach, in all aspects of the word.
Director: PatrikForsberg, Peter Farrelly, Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, and several more…
Stars: Chloe Grace Moretz, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Elizabeth Banks, Gerard Butler, Kristen Bell, Kate Winslet, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, Jason Sudeikis, Chris Pratt, and many more…
Release Date: January 25, 2013
Once upon a time, Tim Burton did what he does very well and gave us the movie Edward Scissorhands. The hero of this movie was, as you can guess, Edward Scissorhands, a man created by an eccentric inventor (Vincent Price) who died before being able to give him regular hands. Edward is taken in by the Boggs family, and he falls in love with their teenage daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder). However, due to mistrust from neighbors and many unfortunate situations, Edward’s character is called into question and he is eventually forced to go live alone again, but not before Kim lets him know that she loves him back.
Lots of movie news and trailers coming out of Comic-Con International, so let’s get started!
Oz: The Great and Powerful
It seems like the pairing of Sam Raimi and a Disney prequel to The Wizard of Oz starring James Franco wouldn’t exactly be on the top of “Things to be Expected at Comic-Con 2012”. But alas, Oz: The Great and Powerful is very much real. A Comic-Con panel revealed that the story would follow The Wizard before he became The Wizard of Oz, starring James Franco as the title character. Raimi also revealed that longtime friend and fan favorite Bruce Campbell will have a role in the film. I don’t think I’m alone when I say he’d be awesome as the leader of the munchkins.
The trailer, which was released soon after the panel finished up, reveals a similar style to the original film in that it begins in black and white and turns to color once our hero reaches The Land of Oz. I’ll admit, once Franco reaches The Land, the whole thing becomes Tim Burton-y in the Alice in Wonderland variation, a film that I despise with every fiber of my being. Joe Roth, one of the producers of Alice in Wonderland, serves as a producer on this film which may explain the similar style.
But here’s the thing, Raimi is better than 95% of most mainstream action/adventure directors working today. His projects always have an immense amount of passion regardless of the budget, and he has the decency to give the audience a self-aware wink, but not to the point of pretentious overload. I’ve yet to encounter a Raimi film that I didn’t like, and hopefully Oz: The Great and Powerful won’t be an exception. Here’s the trailer:
After what seemed to be a falling out on production of The Lone Ranger due to an inability to find a suitable actor for the title character, a surprise visit from Trailerland has made its way to Comic-Con. A thus far unreleased preview for The Lone Ranger has been screened at the Con, and this is what Collider had to say about the goings-on of this important preview.
Most of the trailer has Tom Wilkinson (who plays the film’s villain) providing narration about the importance of trains. He explains that because trains will be the fastest mode of transportation in the old west, and whoever controls them “controls space and time.” It’s unintentionally funny because, it’s, you know, trains. But the visual style is full of Verbinski’s indulgences, like a brief shot that goes into a saloon and there’s a prostitute swinging from a wooden crescent moon that’s suspended from the ceiling. There’s also a slo-mo shot of a bunch of white guys in around a table getting shot at.
Then there’s the big reveal of Tonto (Johnny Depp) and The Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer), and the shot is the first official image from the film. Then there’s a bunch of quick action shots including the Ranger drawing down on an unseen enemy, and Tonto clinging on to the bottom of a speeding train. But if there’s one big take-away from this trailer, it’s trains. Trains are really, really important. The film also stars Helena Bonham Carter, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Frain, Ruth Wilson, and James Badge Dale.”
Personally, I think Armie Hammer is an awesome choice for any movie, especially one as epic as The Lone Ranger. He has a certain screen presence about him that led to very powerful performances in The Social Network and even J. Edgar. Put Johnny Depp in just about anything and I’ll watch. I’m not too worried about his performance here. The Lone Ranger is set to release July 3rd, 2013.
A new trailer for the upcoming Tim Burton film, Frankenweenie, was released at the Con today. It’s an extended version of the trailer that’s been running in theaters for the past couple months, and it furthers the tone set by the partially creepy and partially cute trailer we’ve already seen. This is definitely a passion project for Burton because it’s based off a short he made at the beginning of his career. I’m actually very excited to see how he extends the idea to feature length, and the way the premise seems to be played out is reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands. Will this be Burton’s first good film since Big Fish? I hope so.
You can read Collider’s summary of the Con Panel with Burton right here and you can watch the extended trailer for the film below:
The Expendables 2
One of the most anticipated panels of the year was The Expendables 2 which brought together literally every major action star of the past forty years. From Stallone to Schwarzenegger to JCVD to Liam Hemsworth, The Expendables 2 has something for everyone and this panel only proved that. One of the high points of the evening was seeing Schwarzenegger awarded IGN’s Action Hero Hall of Fame Award by last year’s recipient, co-star and friend Sylvester Stallone. A collection of Arnold’s best scenes and kills was shown to the audience and met with uproarious applause.
The bromantic panel that followed allowed for the actors to brag about how great everyone in the movie is. Stallone went as far as saying that audiences will be surprised by JCVD’s performance. The stars also got to talk about how much fun it was to interact with other legends in their genre. Some new clips were shown including “a truly kick-ass gunfight scene set at an airport between JCVD’s bad guys and the Expendables.” Despite Chuck Norris’ involvement (sorry, Kronner) and the film’s PG-13 rating (which is because of Chuck Norris [sorry again, Kronner), I’m pretty excited for this movie, especially because the first one was so truly bad-ass and will go down as one of the most popular cult hits of all time.
Here’s the panel for your enjoyment:
Disney’s newest film, Wreck-it-Ralph, looks to be something like The Avengers (Ed. Note: Nothing is like the Avengers.) meets Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World with animation similar to Tangled. What comic books were to The Avengers, video games will be to Wreck-it-Ralph. A valentine to gamers everywhere, this is one of my top ten most anticipated films for the rest of the year, and one that I’m getting more and more excited for as the release date approaches.
A new, ten minute clip was premiered at the Con today. A detailed description of the clip can be found here. According to IGN, the plot goes something like this:
Ralph is the antagonist of an old school arcade game called Fix-It Felix, Jr., where he destroys builds as Felix (30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer) makes repairs with his magic hammer. This is Ralph’s job, where he’s seemingly stuck forever as a destructive, brutish villain. The only time he can truly be his good self is after the arcade closes or during his Bad-Anon support group meetings with other video game heavies.
The lonesome Ralph is determined to find himself a new video game home, one where he can finally be the hero. What appears to be a simple power strip on the floor of the arcade is, in fact, Game Central Station, which allows characters to venture to the different game worlds of the arcade. Some of the other game worlds Ralph journeys to include the sci-fi combat shooter game Hero’s Duty and the cart-racer Sugar Rush, encountering no-nonsense Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch) and Vanellope Von Schweetz (Silverman) along the way.
Sugar Rush offers Ralph his best chance yet at heroism (and love via his burgeoning relationship with Vanellope), but all is threatened when it’s discovered that the seemingly safe and saccharine realm of Sugar Rush holds a deadly secret that threatens to destroy all the game life in the arcade itself.
I think this is a fantastic premise for a film and I’ve been waiting for something that incorporates a bunch of different video game characters in a movie setting. While I’m not the avid player I once was, I know I’ll be able to understand most of the retro references that come up even in the film’s trailer. Something that disappointed me, though, was the reported absence of Mario and Luigi. According to the panel (which you can watch part of below) at the Con, Super Mario Bros. asked too much for an appearance in the film so Disney scrapped the idea.
A bit of news that redeemed this bad news; Skrillex will be providing music for the “Hero’s Duty” portion of the film. Guess where you can read more about Wreck-it-Ralph? Yep. Bosco’s Grindhouse.
And that’s the beginning of the news. Seriously. We’ll talk again, real soon.
For more CCI coverage click here. For pics from the con check out our Tumblr!
Before we get to this weeks episode, that despite it’s name has no goofy vampires played by Johnny Depp, we must quickly go over the happenings in Episode 508 “Lady Lazarus” which missed it’s review last week. (sorry)
We start the week with Peggy playing her increasingly frequent new role of being a jealous bitch. She is upset that Megan has had such an easy time being a copywriter and doesn’t seem to be enjoying her success. After taking a verbal scalding Megan decides it’s not only that her father doesn’t believe in her capitalistic ventures, but also that Peggy is right that her heart isn’t in it which leads her to quit SCDP to return to what she believes she is destined for; acting. Don is not pleased but he hides it well, from Megan anyways. At this point if Megan curled up to him and said “Don, I think I’m going to drive across country in the nude murdering and pillaging as I roam because that’s the best thing for me!” you almost feel he would grudgingly agree with her.
The other big development of the week comes in the form of Pete Campbell’s continued emulation of the Don Draper of old. When he finally meets the wife of his train companion, a sexy turn by Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel, Pete eventually caves to her advances and has a one-night fling. We quickly learn the difference between Don behaving badly and Pete behaving badly however. Campbell becomes a puppy and quickly becomes absolutely obsessed with Beth Dawes, following her around and even entering her home on the pretenses of buying life insurance from her husband. She insists it was a one time thing, but ends the episode by giving Pete a glimmer of hope in his schoolboy heart by drawing a heart in the fog of her windshield as he sheepishly looks on.
As the episode closed, we are given a brief moment where, in an attempt to get Don up to speed, Megan buys him the newest Beatles album – Revolver. This scene is present to help display just how out of touch Don is, and it wasn’t a cheap example either. According to the New York Time, the show’s producers had to drop $250,000 to play the track. Which is probably why it picks back up during the credits. Waste not…
In “Dark Shadows” we see a little bit more of what is becoming an increasingly disturbing fact; Don is getting old and losing his touch. As we’ve come to learn, Don has lost touch with modern music and “what kid’s like these days” and has been so head over heels with Megan that he hasn’t been putting in the office time either. At the beginning of the episode he look over the copy work and realizes for the first time what everyone else knows. His hand isn’t in any of it. Thus when it’s time for Don to make the pitch to the Sno Cone execs and the choice is between Ginsberg’s series, which people seemed to prefer over Don’s Sno Cone eating devil. Guess which ad piece got left in the cab. Don’s ad piece isn’t bad, in fact it’s good enough to make the sale but that’s not the point. It’s the first time we see Don’s cracks when it comes to advertising. He sounds lame as he tries to sell the devil’s creepy voice and has clearly become out of touch with not just the youth of the day, but the youth of his own office. This also opens up a new Mad Men rivalry between the young and the old where we find an ignoble and emboldened Michael Ginsberg flying in the face of the man he once so admired. It will be interesting to see how Don handles this new metamorphosis into the figurehead role that has already claimed Sterling and Cooper. As Don regresses it will also be interesting to see if the absence of Megan from his everyday office life will sully the sheen of new love and open the door for the Don of old’s philandering ways.
Speaking of old dogs learning new tricks, Roger has become a little fed up with being strictly a schmoozer and wants to take his rivalry with Campbell to a new level by actually bringing in client of his own, namely Manishewitz wine. As Roger is technically still married to a honest to goodness Jew he enlists Jane’s help to impress his client at his upcoming dinner meeting. He also enlists the other reigning Jew on the SCDP staff, wonderboy Ginsberg, to make him look smart with a winning advertising proposal. The meeting goes well but Roger still manages to make a mess of things when he rekindles the romance with Jane ruining her attempt to start a new life in the blackmail induced new apartment that she was hoping to keep free of memories of their marriage. Roger also manages to piss off an increasingly perturbed Peggy Olsen by using Ginsberg instead of returning to her for his back alley advertising needs.
We also see a little bit from Megan and one of her acting class friends reading scenes for an audition for the show…Dark Shadows. Which they railed. Kind of funny. This whole scene was simply to show Megan finally realizing how people see her, fair or not.
The other major storyline of the week ,or “Dark Shadow” if you will, involves the nest of jealously between Don, Megan, chubby Betty and Sally. Betty has joined the relatively new Weight Watchers in an attempt to regain her control over her appetite, and while the lessons from her meetings seem to help her attitude at home, she can’t help but be blinded by jealously when she sees Don’s immaculate New York apartment inhabited by his svelte and sexy new wife.
Her weapon of choice, as always, is the young Sally Draper who is more than willing to become catty and petulant when she feels shes been lied to by Megan. Betty’s scheming ultimately backfires however when Megan recognizes her meddling and keeps Don from flying off the hook which allows a more aware Sally to turn the whole ordeal into a hurtful jab towards her mother. If Mad Men lasts long enough for Sally Draper to televise her teen years then watch out! She’s only 10 or 11 on the show, but already has all the attitude and maliciousness of a teenager with the “bad boy” boyfriend to boot.
Mad Men seems to really be hitting it’s stride season and it seems there will be no end to frustrations and controversy in the SCDP office. Jared Harris will finally make his return next week as he has been noticeably absent from the series since his dust-up with Campbell. We should also expect a lot more of Pete and Beth in more that the fantastical version that aired this week as it seems that Pete’s obsession is coming to a head. With only four episodes left in the season you can feel the tension ramping up in the Mad Men world and we should be in for a great last few weeks.
Quote of the Week – Betty Draper:
“I’m thankful I have everything I want, and that no one else has anything better.”
The new trailer for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows has finally arrived online. Starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, a vampire who wakes up in a world that’s not his own to find a family he doesn’t understand. I think I’ll let the official synopsis explain the rest:
After a few delays and moaning and groaning about an overinflated budget, Disney’s Lone Ranger movie is finally making headway. Sure, we knew that filming was underway but now we have our first glimpse into the movie by way of a photo of the Lone Ranger himself and his faithful companion Tonto. Tonto as you probably heard about a million times is being played by Johnny Depp, who has a penchant for the ridiculous ever since bringing the world Jack Sparrow, possibly one of the best on-screen characters in recent memory behind Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight. So, without further adieu, here is the picture:
And yup, Johnny Depp is there in all of his ridiculous glory. Though I must say that this version of Tonto is way better than what could have been if they had stuck with the old TV show version of the sidekick. I’m actually hoping they change it up a little bit in the movie and make Tonto not so much a sidekick, but perhaps the Lone Ranger’s mentor or something more useful. Of course there is only this picture and no details on anything else, so everything including what I just typed is all speculation at this point. This official film synopsis is all we have to go on thus far:
“The Lone Ranger” is a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.
I have to say I was never really thrilled with the Lone Ranger, it’s definitely a franchise that needs updating to make it more intriguing to modern audiences including myself, but look at what they’ve done with a literary classic like John Carter. The movie isn’t out yet but all of the clips shown thus far promise us at least an entertaining movie going experience. I’m also faithful that Pirates director Gore Verbinski will be helming the movie because aside from the story of the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie being utterly convoluted he still has a knack for giving us a very aesthetically pleasing movie. It was almost a given he could only give us two out of three good Pirates movies. Let’s hope the cycle doesn’t repeat with the Lone Ranger being a certified hit that spawns mediocre sequels.
Now comes the wait for the first trailer and more than likely a slew of production and set photos before that. I’m not overly excited for the Lone Ranger movie, but I am cautiously optimistic. Most of that is to see exactly what Depp has done with the Tonto character and to see if he outshines the main character as Depp normally tends to do when he’s not the leading man.