Friday, February 26, 2010

Ciarhan Hinds on John Carter and Harry Potter plus has Pixar lost it?


Well after the last few days at least I'm at least trying to put myself back together. Hopefully my story will be a warning. Now some actual news.

First up Collider has scored an interview with actor Ciarhan Hinds, who is busy promoting the thriller The Eclipse (not to be confused with Twilight 3: Eclipse). In this video piece http://www.collider.com/2010/02/25/exclusive-interview-ciaran-hinds-talks-john-carter-of-mars-and-harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows/though Hinds talks about his role in John Carter of Mars and gives some news-first he is playing the role of Tardors Mors (it was rumored he was but no official statement was ever made) and that the film's beginning does resemble the opening of the first novel-John Carter being chased into a cave, passing out and the astral projection. Given that the film is being filmed in caves in England (http://johncartermovie.com/ has info on that) at least something has survived. After the story of composer Michael Giacchino's involvement could it be possible that the film is actually improving after the recent dispiriting news that has leaked out? We'll see. (Viewers will also get some news on Hinds' role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the video).

The second piece comes from Ropes of Silicon who asks the question "Has Pixar lost its originality?" The piece concerns the company's next films-the sequels Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 as well as the apparent scrapping of such projects like Newt and Brad Bird's live action 1906. It is also one of the few pieces to state that John Carter is not a Pixar production. You can decide for yourself at http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/what-happened-to-originality-at-pixar

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Real World Aggravation

This is off the usual purpose of this blog, but what happened to me yesterday just makes me angry.

Earlier yesterday I received an email from someone who I have had brief email contact with asking why I had sent him email about Viagra. I then noticed a couple of other emails marked undeliverable, one of which had an email address I did not even recognize. After running antivirus and my security software and even restoring the system to a previous date I did my research and found out I had become the latest victim of spam artists who are now using people's email addresses to send out spam. I believe it is called "spoofing" where these people somehow get an active email address and the address book and use it to send out spam, since the idea is that if the email is coming from someone a person has had previous contact with they will open it instead of deleting it. Most of the time is also used to spread worms and viruses. What was even more annoying was the fact that as several sites who were trying to help said, there was little I could do except change my email password and make sure all my system's security functions were up to date and working correctly. I've done all that and I hope that solves the problem but it still makes me mad that somebody would violate my privacy for their own use and drag my name into the mud with people.

So make sure to keep things up to date and if this happens to you just try your best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

John Carter Composer Revealed


With most of the recent news surrounding John Carter of Mars being less than confidence inspiring, here's a piece of actual good news. Composer Michael Giacchino, who composed the music for several Pixar films (including the Oscar-nominated score for Up) and JJ Abrams' Star Trek, has been revealed as the music composer for the film. In an article on the composer, http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=50374 it let slipped that the film is his next project, even though it will be a good year away before he begins work on it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Doc Savage is Now Official!


Some might remember a few months ago that Aint It Cool News reported that writer-director Shane Black (of Lethal Weapon and the funny Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) was hired to write the script for a new take on the pulp hero. Well now Columbia Pictures has given the go ahead on the project with Black also directing according to Variety http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118015613.html?categoryid=10&cs=1&nid=2248 Black promised at the time the film would be a more serious take than the 1975 film and it would remain in its period. Sounds good and I wish Black the best of luck.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

DN: Flash Gordon, John Carter and Avatar-the Prequel


Well today we go across the universe (as an actual genius once sang) with three different planets on our list.

First up Hitflix has an interview with director Breck Eisner (promoting his upcoming remake of George Romero's The Crazies) in which he talks about his plans for the long gestating Flash Gordon reboot http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/2008-12-6-motion-captured/posts/breck-eisner-talks-about-his-goals-for-flash-gordon. Eisner does reveal that the script should be ready in another month or two and that the film will follow the Alex Raymond strips instead of the Buster Crabbe serials or the 1980 film. He also says that it will more likely follow John Carter of Mars to the screen and actually says it has a "great script." Does he know more than we do about it?

One person who should know is actor James Purefoy, who is playing Kantos Kan. Purefoy also on the PR trail promoting the British release of Solomon Kane and has briefly talked about his role to interviewers. No big bombshells and most of the comments read like a hawk-eyed Disney publicist is in the room but it will be "huge" and Purefoy shares fellow countryman Mark Strong's opinion of Andrew Stanton-he's a "genius." (No offense to Misters Purefoy or Strong but is there a genius shortage in England? Or is it just the fact the rest of us aren't getting paid to believe Stanton's apparent brilliance.) http://www.johncartermovie.com/ has the collection of Purefoy's quotes.

Finally for those going through blue people with drawl, well you can book your return trip to Pandora-and a lot quicker than expected. Several sites are reporting that James Cameron has signed a deal to write a prequel novel to Avatar that will be out at the end of the year. No word on the plot but producer Jon Landau did tell a reporter it will follow the characters before the events of the movie. More info is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/18/james-cameron-avatar-prequel-novel

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dejah Thoris-Action Figure Princess!


I said it before I'll say it again. I hate winter. At this point by the time spring hits I'll be imitating Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.

But one group braving the snow is the people behind the New York Toy Fair, which is going on this week. And in honor of that here is something for those who can't wait for Disney to produce their own-a Dejah Thoris action figure. Produced by Triad Toys, the figure is supposed to be the first in a new line of figures inspired by John Carter of Mars. (This isn't the first time though that Dejah has gotten the plastic treatment. She was included in a line released to promote the short lived Tarzan: The Epic Adventures TV series). The downside? The 100 buck price tag is steep and I'm sure for some the figure's accessories will seem wrong. You can check out more photos at http://www.triadtoys.com/Licenses/A+Princess+of+Mars/DEJAH+THORIS+12+INCH+FIGURE.html and you can judge for yourself (also and maybe it's just me but the figure in the face does resemble Lynn Collins quite a bit.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Metropolis Gets Restored and Disney's First Trip To Mars


Sorry for the lack of updates. Not much really to report except the snow has melted but we're expecting more. But here's two unique visions getting their spotlight...

First up the restored version of Fritz Lang's silent sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis was screened this past week at the Berlin Film Festival with 30 minutes of previously missing footage that was found in 2008 in Buenos Aries. According to http://www.firstshowing.net/2010/02/13/restored-version-of-metropolis-hitting-theaters-in-summer/ the restored version will be hitting theaters this summer. I've only seen the film twice-once in film class and the second time being the infamous "Moroder" version with Queen and Pat Benatar music. I wonder if that will ever see the light of DVD?

The other piece is linked from http://www.johncartermovie.com/ In 1957 Walt Disney produced a series called Tomorrow Land, looking at space travel as an eventual possibility. One of the episodes was called Mars and Beyond, which used animation to show what was on the red planet. One segment looked at Mars and its use in pop culture from The War of the Worlds to Edgar Rice Burroughs. This video piece contains the animators' vision of life on Barsoom and is definitely worth checking out. I wonder if it will be included on the DVD of John Carter of Mars? We'll see.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Green Lantern and John Carter of Mars News


Well I'm sure I'm not alone with this-I hate winter. Hope the rest of you are having at least a safe blizzard anyway. Now some briefs...

First up casting continues on Green Lantern. I know it seems I'm going on about this flick but honestly I always loved the character and it isn't scaring me with bizarre news (see below). In this case Heatvision is reporting that Tim Robbins has joined the cast as the senator father of Peter Saarsgard's Hector Hammond http://www.heatvisionblog.com/2010/02/tim-robbins-green-lantern-senator-hammond.html. Let's just pray its better than Robbins' last comic book flick-Howard the Duck. And before anyone asks-no that is not an official photo of Ryan Reynolds in costume but a cool piece of fan art that has been floating around-so credit to the guy or gal who created it (whoever you are.)

And now for something completely I don't know what...While the cast and crew of John Carter of Mars have apparently been threatened with who knows what if they reveal anything, some news has leaked. First up is http://twitter.com/ChloeBruce_ a page kept by kickboxer and stunt woman Chloe Bruce who has been hired for the film. And boy did she drop a doozy-one day she was painted orange and had "tattoos" painted on. While the orange could be to help create the copper red coloring of the Barsoomians still-tattoos? The other piece comes from Universal Extras, a British company hiring extras. Their site has a recent posting looking for "males to pretend to be workers on an archaeological dig set on Mars!" That and some other listings for male and female warriors are listed here-http://universalextras.co.uk/wordpress2/wordpress-pg-1.2.1-1.0/index.php Maybe it's extras for the scene exploring the ruins when the Tharks attack and capture Dejah Thoris. Or its Raiders of the Lost Thark. It makes you wonder what is going on with this film.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Movie Review: Smallville-Absolute Justice


So how was it? In a few words...

As the show-movie opens, Chloe (Alison Mack) has been contacted by a man, Sylvester Pembleton, with possible information. But before he can tell her anything she gets thrown in a dumpster while a fight between Pembleton and an unseen assaliant ends with Pembleton dead and covered in ice. This brings in Clark (Tom Welling) and Oliver Queen aka The Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) into the mystery, especially when a second man is found murdered in similiar fashion. Eventually it leads to the discovery of a former group of masked vigilantes known as the Justice Society of America, their rather bitter leader Carter Hall (Michael Shanks), the mysteriosu Dr. Fate and the young Stargirl who are also trying to prevent anymore deaths of their former teammates. But what does a mysterious agent (Pam Grier) have to do with the proceedings? And can the killer be stopped?

Okay I'll admit up front-I haven't watched Smallville recently so I spent much of the time playing catch up. Once I got past that though the show did work as a good stand alone story-at least up to a point. My major disappointment was the lack of other JSA members. No Flash, Green Lantern or Dr. Mid-Nite. The plot-a killer knocking off former superheroes-also made me think of Watchmen and ultimately ran out of steam. And since this was setup as two standard episodes originally it closes with an unresolved cliffhanger to bring back the viewer for next week.

What did work though was the actors and the little homages to the classic heroes. I always liked Alison Mack's Chloe and she still has charm and humor with her part. Welling also has grown into the mature Clark pretty good and his scenes with Erica Durance's Lois had more chemistry than some of the later episodes with Lana Lang. A scene where Clark explores Carter Hall's museum was the high point as was Dr. Fate predicting Clark and Lois' eventual future. I also liked Fate's costume better than Hawkman's (many had complained it looked silly. It did.).

In the end it was an okay attempt to bring in the classic heroes and give some of them their moment. Still would have loved to see more of them though. My rating: (adjusted for TV) *** out of 4.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

John Carter of Mars on Facebook?

At least according to Collider http://www.collider.com/2010/02/02/walt-disney-releases-synopsis-for-john-carter-of-mars-and-creates-a-facebook-fan-page/, Disney has released a brief synopsis and has created a Facebook page to promote the movie. The synopsis reveals nothing new while the page itself has nothing but links to articles from other sites. If it is legitimate its nice that Disney has finally come around to setting up a John Carter of Mars site in some fashion but at the same time you would think there would be more there than just old articles. You can judge for yourself at http://www.facebook.com/JohnCarterOfMars UPDATE: May 18-well it looks like its bit the dust. When I just clicked on it a page to sign in came up. I wonder if it was legit or if the paranoids at Disney felt that it was too much info (even if there was not much there.)