Log Entries: 09/14/2012

STAR TREK INTO THE DARKNESS — that’s the official title of J.J. Abrams sequel to his Star Trek reboot …And actor Chris Pine recently commented on the nature of the film sequel: “It’s bigger, it’s darker, it’s funnier, and it has character development.” He also added, “There’s comedy, which I think J.J. does a great job of, but, like the first one, there’s some serious issues being dealt with. And I’d say the threat is even greater in this one… The [Enterprise crew] are met with is much more frightening. It’s relentlessly action-packed and in terms of character development it goes places you’d never expect. The arc is huge for all the characters” … STAR WARS: ATTACK OF THE CLONES & STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH, will each be released back-to-back in 3D, just like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace before them.  The first on September 20, 2013 and the second on October 11, 2013 … AND SPEAKING OF PREQUELS AND SEQUELS of heavily disputed merit, Total Film Magazine has conducted a poll of the 50 most disappointing movies of all time.  Here are the results:

  1. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008)
  2. Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace (2001)
  3. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  4. The Godfather Part 3 (1990)
  5. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
  6. The Hangover Part 2 (2011)
  7. Sucker Punch (2011)
  8. Superman Returns (2006)
  9. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
  10. Ocean’s 12 (2004)
  11. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  12. Terminator Salvation (2009)
  13. Green Lantern (2011)
  14. Quantum Of Solace (2009)
  15. Fantastic Four (2005)
  16. The Golden Compass (2007)
  17. Planet Of The Apes (2001)
  18. Alien 3 (1992)
  19. Batman and Robin (1997)
  20. Troy (2004)
  21. Kill Bill Part 2 (2004)
  22. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  23. Prometheus (2012)
  24. Jersey Girl (2004)
  25. Southland Tales (2006)
  26. Godzilla (1998)
  27. Miami Vice (2006)
  28. Hulk (2003)
  29. The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse (2005)
  30. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  31. The Spirit (2008)
  32. Catwoman (2004)
  33. Vanilla Sky (2001)
  34. Alice In Wonderland (2010)
  35. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
  36. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
  37. Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2004)
  38. Sex And The City 2 (2010)
  39. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
  40. Jennifer’s Body (2009)
  41. Public Enemies (2009)
  42. Alexander (2004)
  43. Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
  44. The Avengers (1998)
  45. The Lady In The Water (2006)
  46. The Lovely Bones (2009)
  47. Speed Racer (2008)
  48. Shrek The Third (2007)
  49. Congo (1995)
  50. The Tourist (2010)

THE ORIGINAL ACTION-ADVENTURE CLASSIC, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK was re-released in IMAX to theaters on Sept. 7th for one week, and as of this writing, has generated approx. $2 Million in 267 theaters .. STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE, was re-released in 3D in over 2,000 theaters in February, for approximately a month, and made just over $40 Million … GODZILLA will once again trample the silver screen on May 16th, 2014 — and brought to you by Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. … NOW THAT PETER JACKSON HAS ADDED A THIRD HOBBIT FILM, a new title has emerged for the second film: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  The last film will be titled: The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and the first film — do in theaters this Christmas — will be The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyTHE TRAILER FOR WRECK-IT RALPH has been releasedThe film, which opens in November, takes place in the world of video games.  All kinds of video games.  And “Wreck-It Ralph” the villain in a 1980’s arcade game has decided he no longer wants to be the villain.  Looks like fun, take a look:

THE MARVEL COMICS CHARACTER DR. STRANGE is rumored to pop up in the next Thor movie, Thor: The Dark WorldWARNER BROS. have officially passed on producing an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series …AND ALTHOUGH WITHOUT A DIRECTOR, UNCHARTED now has new writers.    The first entry in the intended franchise adaptation of the hit video game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, will be re-drafted by Marianne and Cormac Wibberley.  The Wibberley’s are known for having written the National Treasure films.  Former director Neil (The Illusionist) Burger left the project to helm a knock-off of The Hunger Games, called DivergentAND SPEAKING OF VIDEO GAMES, Avi Arad (formerly the head of Marvel Studios) has put his full weight behind a film adaptation of Metal Gear SolidDISNEY has been quietly hinting that they are planning to reboot The RocketeerSPEAKING OF COMICS ADAPTATIONS, decades after comic artist Rob Liefeld became famous and got a slew of movie deals, one of them may be about to hit the big screen.  Bloodstrike, a book about the adventures of a covert U.S. task force comprised of undead agents brought back to life with vampire blood, is currently in development.  Stay tuned … RELEASE POSTER FOR DIRECTOR SAM (ROAD TO PERDITION) MENDES’ JAMES BOND OUTING, SKYFALL:

MICHAEL KEATON HAS REPLACED HUGH LAURIE as the CEO of OMNI Corp. in the remake of RobocopVIN DIESEL will star in director Breck (Sahara, The Crazies) Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter.  Story follows, you guessed it, the last witch hunter … hunting witches and discouraging them from reproducing.  Seriously.  … JASON MAMOA, who, according to many female fans, filled the role of Conan: The Barbarian in the recent remake, quite well, will now star as the heavy in writer David (X-men, X2) Hayter’s first directorial effort: Wolves.  A thriller which is said to avoid many of the werewolf cliche’s … THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE HASBRO toy company has taken it upon himself to reveal that the title for the next Transformers film will be Transformers 4, and that the film will feature an all new cast of robots, in direct correlation with Hasbro’s new Transformers toy line.

No word yet from either director Michael Bay or Paramount Pictures … DIRECTOR GEORGE MILLER recently gave a brief synopsis of his 4th Mad Max film: Mad Max: Fury Road.  Said Miller, “(Max) is caught up with a group of people fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by the Imperator Furiosa. This movie is an account of the Road War which follows. It is based on the Word Burgers of the History Men and eyewitness accounts of those who survived.”  … LEGO: THE PIECE OF RESISTANCE,  has added Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pratt and Morgan Freeman, to voice various characters in the 3D CGI animated film which opens February 14th of next year … JOE (GREMLINS) DANTE’S KIDDIE HORROR FILM, THE HOLE, is finally being released stateside on September 28th.  Several years after its release in the UK. … WRITER/DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON has stated that he is being given more creative control over the next Avengers film, by Marvel.  Whedon also commented on the character dynamic of the next film by saying, “The creation of the team is not the happy ending,” he said. “It is the beginning of something that is complex and difficult, and now I get to dig a little deeper. And maybe, while I’m digging, just twist that knife. And that’s exciting for me.” … DIRECTOR ROLAND EMMERICH recently confirmed that the sequels to Independence Day have been titled ID Forever Part 1 and ID Forever Part 2E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL will return to theaters for one night only on October 3rd … JAMES CAMERON has personally reaffirmed that he is planning “3” Avatar follow-ups — the first two of which will reportedly take place mostly in an underwater ecology.  A two-picture sequel will be next, followed by a prequel.  Following that, he has also reiterated that he will be making Battle Angel, contrary to previous reports insisting that the project had been scrapped … AND SPEAKING OF JAMES CAMERON, most have probably forgotten the bidding war that accompanied the sale of the movie rights to the original Jurassic Park, back in 1992 when the novel was being read by literally everybody.  Among the bidders accompanying major studios, were Tim Burton, Richard Donner, Ridley Scott — and James Cameron, who recently commented on what kind of film he himself would have made.  Said Cameron: ““I’d have gone further, nastier, much nastier… [M]ine would have been ‘Aliens’ with dinosaurs.”  Cameron said, “[W]hen I saw the film, I realized that I was not the right person to make the film, he (Steven Spielberg) was.  Because he made a dinosaur movie for kids…  Dinosaurs are for 8-year-olds.  We can all enjoy it, too, but kids get dinosaurs and they should not have been excluded for that.  His sensibility was right for that film.” … DAVID SLADE, the director who helmed Twilight Saga: Eclipse, will next make the science fiction romance, Matched.  The official description is as follows: in “the Society”, Officials decide: who you love, where you work, when you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices, but she begins to question just how perfect her world really is when she notices things are not what they seem. As Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility, she is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow. … UNIVERSAL PICTURES IS PLANNING TO TEACH YOU SOME DRAGONOLOGY.  Based upon a series of fake non-fiction children’s books written by Dr. Ernest Drake, that describe in detail the reality of dragons in our world, their origins, anatomy, vital facts and general knowledge about them.  The film will delve into that, while also telling the modern story of a group of dragon experts, hunting a wealthy magnate who intends to use dragons to further his own illicit purposes — not realizing that what he has in mind will destroy the world.  The script was written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Transformers, Abram’s Star Trek,) based upon a 2008 draft by Leonard Hartman.  Hartman will stay on as a producer.  WRITER MAX (CHRONICLE) LANDIS has penned yet another version of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein story.  This one to be directed by Paul (Lucky Number Slevin) McGuigan, and from the perspective of the character, Igor … SONY PICTURES have purchased EPSILON from the writers of Zombieland.  The future Sci-Fi story concerns a failed robot uprising.  The remaining robots have retreated to an orbiting space station and keep several humans there as lab rats.  One of them rebels.  (Hollywood is crazy for robots right now due mainly to Steven Spielberg’s upcoming production of Robopocalypse.)  … AND SPEAKING OF STEVEN SPIELBERG, Dreamworks has purchased the remake rights to the 1984 Steve Martin/Lilly Tomlin body-switching comedy, All of Me.  And while a lawsuit is looming over said rights, Dreamworks is already deep in development on this property … ANOTHER VARIATION OF ON THE BEACH is headed your way, courtesy of TNT.  (There is another currently airing on ABC, called Last ResortThe Last Ship will be directed by Jonothan Mostow.  Based upon a novel by William Brinkley, The Last Ship focuses on the crew of a naval destroyer, who are the only ones to survive a world catastrophe.  Michael Bay is producing … AND SEAN (GOLDEN EYE) BEAN will star in Scorched Earth.  A post-apocalyptic story about a bounty hunter who’s as bad as his quary.  This film is no doubt riding the wave of post-apocalyptic films in development and/or production right now, including the Tom Cruise vehicles All You Need is Kill, and Oblivion … THE CW NETWORK will add to their current DC Comics lineup of sci-fi action drama, with Amazon.  The show will focus on the origin of Wonder Woman … AND SADLY, MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN, an actor many new as either Mike Duncan, or simply Big Mike, died on September 3rd of complications from a previous heart attack on July 13th.

An imposing presence, yet known for being a very kind man, Duncan appeared in films like Tim Burton’s reboot of Planet of the Apes and Frank Darabount’s adaptation of Stephen King’s serial, The Green Mile.  And there were others as well: Sin City, Daredevil, The Island, Armageddon, etc, etc.

Duncan did quite a few high profile films.  And the reason was probably his personality.  When I worked on the television show E.R. several years ago, I used to get made up once in a while as what they call “walking wounded.”  Then I would make my way to Starbucks to get some coffee.  I was never really sure what Mike was doing on the lot, but I passed him repeatedly, illiciting a cackle of laughter from him every time.  Always due to the fake head trauma the make-up girls had put on me. One day, Mike stopped me and introduced himself, we chatted a moment, and from then on and for several days in a row, he would pass me saying, “You gone be all right, Jim.  Don’t even let that bother you, it’s just a scratch.”  Along with undoubtedly many, many others, I will miss Mike Duncan.  Wish I could’ve had the chance to really work with him.  A nice guy who always made everybody smile.  Mike was only 54 years old …

AND EQUALLY AS SAD is the death of director Tony Scott.

Scott committed suicide for unknown reason(s) on August 19th.  Scott, always seen in a pink ball-cap (he wore them so frequently, he often lost track of them.  Some people even say that I have one of his ball-caps,) was one of the most prolific directors working in Hollywood today.  Among the many TV commercials, TV shows, and films produced by Tony and Ridley Scott, along with the many films directed by Tony himself, are DeJa Vu, and the upcoming television remake of Coma.  In fact, you would be hard pressed to find an avid movie watcher who hasn’t seen at least one of his many popular films.  From Top Gun to Crimson Tide.  Tony Scott was 68 years old … AND LANCE LEGAULT, an actor many will remember fondly from episodes of the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Knight Rider, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Quantum Leap, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, also passed away recently.  Legault will be best remembered as Colonel Decker, always 2 steps behind the elusive A-Team