Monthly Archives: July 2012

Upcoming DVD Releases

Here are the release dates of some of the movies I am looking forward to either owning or renting.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. ~ August 7, 2012

 The Hunger Games. ~ August 18, 2o12

 Starship Troopers: Invasion. ~ August 28, 2012

 The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season . ~ September 11, 2012

 Snow White and the Huntsman.  ~ September 11, 2012

Terra Nova. ~ September 28, 2012 

 Family Guy: Volume 10 ~ September 28, 2012 

 Marvel’s The Avengers ~  September 28, 2012 

It’s Official!! The Hobbit to be a Trilogy!

Last week there were rumors floating about that Peter Jackson wanted to make a third Hobbit movie and today it has been confirmed that there will be a third Hobbit movie! This is the statement Peter Jackson released.

It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’

We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance. The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.

So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.

It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, “a tale that grew in the telling.”

Cheers,

Peter J

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=93086

Monday’s Box Office Results

The Dark Knight Rises remains atop the box office standings this week.Dark Knight Rises took in  $62,840,000 and has so far made   $287,112,810  domestically. My source for the over seas box office has been down all day so I cannot give exact figures but I do know that it has taken in over $500 million world wide!

How does Dark Knight Rises fair against the Avengers at this point? Let’s take a look. 

At ten days out The Dark Knight Rises has made  $287 million while the Avengers had made $373.1 million giving the Avengers is in the lead! 

What will Godzilla look like? Part III

Here is another design of Godzilla floating around the internet. I am not saying that this is the official design I just think it is one of the best designs I have seen. My only critique is that the very large spine needs to switch places with the one behind it. Either that it needs a smaller one before it. (click on picture to see a bigger version). 

SuperHero Photography by Adam Jay

I wanted to draw the attention of my readers to the SuperHero Photography by Adam Jay. I recently discovered his brilliant work myself and I wanted to share it with you. He has got a great eye for superheros and really captures their essence. I think his work is very creative and Adam is an amazing photographer. I suggest checking out his Facebook page and his work!

http://www.facebook.com/superherophotography

Winners for the 38th Annual Saturn Awards

The Saturn Award is an award presented annually by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films to honor the top works mainly in science fiction, fantasy, and horror in film, television, and home video. 

The awards were held last night. These are the winners. 

FILM AWARDS

Best Science Fiction Film:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Fantasy Film:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Best Horror/Thriller Film:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Action/Adventure Film:
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Best Actor:
Michael Shannon
Take Shelter

Best Actress:
Kirsten Dunst
Melancholia

Best Supporting Actor:
Andy Serkis
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Supporting Actress:
Emily Blunt
The Adjustment Bureau

Best Performance by a Younger Actor:
Joel Courtney
Super 8

Best Director:
J.J. Abrams
Super 8

Best Writing:
Jeff Nichols
Take Shelter

Best Music:
Michael Giacchino
Super 8

Best Editor:
Paul Hirsch
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Best Production Design:
Dante Ferretti
Hugo

Best Costume:
Alexandra Byrne
Thor

Best Make-Up:
Dave Elsey
Fran Needham
Conor O’Sullivan
X-Men: First Class

Best Special Effects:
Dan Lemmon
Joe Letteri
R. Christopher White
Daniel Barrett
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best International Film:
The Skin I Live In

Best Animated Film:
Puss in Boots
TELEVISION AWARDS

Best Network Television Series:
Fringe

Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series:
Breaking Bad

Best Television Presentation:
The Walking Dead

Best Youth-Oriented Television Series:
Teen Wolf

Best Actor on Television:
Bryan Cranston
Breaking Bad

Best Actress on Television:
Anna Torv
Fringe

Best Supporting Actor on Television:
Aaron Paul
Breaking Bad

Best Supporting Actress on Television:
Michelle Forbes
The Killing

Best Guest Star on Television:
Tom Skerritt
Leverage

All Monsters Attack (aka Godzilla’s Revenge) 1969

The next movie in the Godzilla franchise, All Monsters Attack (aka Godzilla’s Revenge), was a very different take on the Godzilla movie and this one squarely aimed at children. I remember seeing this on TV as a kid back in the 70s and even then I was bored out of my mind with it. I was impatient with the human aspect of the story, I was bored, and waited for the monsters to show up. With trepidation I watched this movie again so I could review it here and I must say I like it a little more than I did as a child but not by too much.

Many TV shows, such as The Simpsons, for example, will have a clip show every now and then. It will be a show that has a plot that revolves around clips from other episodes. Well, All Monsters Attack is a Godzilla clip show because about 90% of the monster scenes is stock-footage from other Godzilla movies. The human story is new but not the much of the monster footage. I guess it was a way for Toho to save some money. Now Toho, or at least the American version of the Godzilla movies did contain stock footage, but this was the first time that stock footage was used from previous Godzilla movies.

The plot is pretty basic. We have a latchkey kid who is being bullied and escapes into a dream world where he goes to Monster Island to meet with Godzilla’s son, Manilla, who also has a bully problem. Now with bullying a hot topic, and rightfully so, I think the movie is a bit timely. There is also a strange subplot involving kidnapping when the young protagonist, Ichiro, is exploring and old abandoned building. The majority of the movie surrounds Ichiro’s adults who watch over him while his parents are working. By today’s standards some of this comes across as quite neglectful. One of the more colorful characters Ichiro interacts with is his neighbor, Shinpei Inami, a toy maker that lives next door. At one point Shinpei shows Ichiro a “computer for kids” where they watch a spaceship take off (before the internet was around). The film, which Ichiro is disinterested in, was actually stock footage from Invasion of the Astro-Monster.

In his dreams Ichiro meets with Manilla who is having his own bully problems. His bully is Gabara, a giant half reptile half cat looking giant monster that walks upright has scales and a tuft of blonde hair and a horn on the top of his head along with the most annoying roar ever devised by the sound men at Toho studios! After running away from Gabara several times, Ichiro and Manilla (who talks!) watch as Godzilla beats other foes which is where much of the stock footage comes in. Eventually Ichiro and Manilla face their respective bullies and everyone lives happily ever after.

This is not a bad movie, it just can be a little boring and depressing. Tokyo is depicted as a very dirty, smoggy and crowed city. One of the good aspects of this movie is that it clocks in at 69 minuets, so you only have to suffer for a little over an our. Another good aspect about watching the American dubbed version is that it changes the most horrendous song ever recorded in the history of mankind: Kaiju no Māchi or March of the Monsters, sung by Risato Sasaki and the Tokyo Children’s Choir. I will link to it at the bottom of this review. Also distracting with the usage of stock footage is the fact that the Godzilla suits used for each of the movies this movie “borrows” from is a different suit and Godzilla looks different one scene from the next!

One of my last critiques of the movie is how changed Ichiro is at the end of the movie. Sure he faces his bully, fights and wins and also wins the respect of the bully and his gang. But then Ichiro goes over to a man who is painting a billboard and Ichiro annoys and harasses him until he gets angry and does a pratfall and spills pain all over himself. Ichiro and his new found friends laugh and they all run off. The End. I know that the last scene was supposed to be humorous but to me it looks like the only thing Ichiro learned was how to be a bully himself!!!

I know I have been harsh on the movie but I do applaud Toho’s risk of going in a different direction with Godzilla. This is not your typical Godzilla movie and it really has left the fan base with a love-it-or-hate-it attitude. Guess where I fall in the spectrum? This ends the movies of the 60s for Toho and in the weeks to come we will see that the tone of these movies will continue to change in the 1970s.

I rate this movie: D-

If you are brave enough to listen to the song the “singing” doesn’t begin until about 0:42 into the song. You have been warned!

 

What is in the Hopper?

This December Part one of a two part Hobbit movie will be in theaters. Now Peter Jackson is talking about doing a third part! He is in talks with the producers and Warner Brothers to get the financial backing and trying to secure new contracts with the cast of the first two movies. He also needs to make sure he has the rights to material that is no included in the original Hobbit book. I hope he is able to pull it all off. A nice Hobbit trilogy would be very sweet!

Producer Frank Marshall reports to CraveOnline that George Lucas is NOT working on the script for Indiana Jones 5. After the poor reviews of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which I liked) fans had hoped a part 5 would improve the franchise. So, I guess Indy 5 isn’t in the hopper. 😦

According to Deadline, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment has an animated movie in the works starring the little yellow Minions from Despicable Me that is being aimed for a release in 2014. 

The Top 20 Fantasy Films.

This is the final entry in the series looking at my favorite science fiction, monster, superhero and fantasy films.

20. Reign of Fire

A dark and gritty movie with a dystopian view of the future. It gets a little too macho at times but the special effects are great and has an exciting story.

19. Immortals


This movie is dark, not just thematically but also visually. It is graphically violent but a well told story with great action by Henry Cavill.

18. Clash of the Titans (1981)

This movie feels more like a throwback to the Sword & Sandals epics of the 50s. This may be due to Ray Harryhausen’s special effects which gives the movie a distinctive charm.

17. Kull the Conqueror

Starring Kevin Sorbo, this was filmed during his portrayal of Hercules and it fits right into that world striking the right balance of action and adventure with lighthearted humor.

16. Conan the Barbarian (2011)

I was actually bored to tears with Arnold’s take on Conan. This version is more gritty, violent full of action and adventure and more fun. I also think it has a better story.

15. Dragon Slayer

When I first saw this movie I was surprised how good the story is. It has twists and turns that took me by surprise.

14. Troy

This movie is light on the Fantasy aspect and heavy on a realistic feel which still makes it enjoyable. Loosely based on the  Iliad by Homer. 

13. The Wizard of Oz

A timeless classic for many many reasons.

12. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


I saw this in the theater as a kid and I still love it. Gene Wilder is simply brilliant as Willy Wonka. The movie has wonderful music and it is funny, frightening and heart warming. Based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
11. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

This movie was panned by fans but I love it. Sure it is implasuble, but aren’t all the Indiana Jones movies? It has comedy, roman action and adventure and also aliens. What more could you want?

10. Matilda

This is based on a book by Roald Dahl. This movie is aimed at kids but it is really fun and very funny. The cast of Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, and Pam Ferris are simply brilliant. If you’re an adult reading this and have not seen this movie give yourself a treat and watch this movie!

9. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

This is another movie that got a bad ra0p. It is a fun action adventure story that involves time travel my favorite science fiction theme. The story of betrayal and plays out like a mystery. It is a good story with great effects and very visually stunning.

8. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The classic that started it all and Harrison Ford will always be Indiana Jones. It still plays very well today.

7. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade


This one is a heck of a lot of fun. Brilliant casting of Sean Connery as Indiana Jones’ father. My favorite of the Indiana Jones movies.

6. John Carter


Another movie that doesn’t deserve the bad rap it received. A very good and compelling story, great creatures depicted though wonderful special effects.

5. Wrath of the Titans


A sequel to the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans. Great special effects, Great story and pure enjoyment.

4. Clash of the Titans (2010)


I enjoy this better than the 1981 original. The special effects are much better. I love the size and the look of the Kraken in this movie. The story is tighter and smoother in this movie than the original.

3. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


The Lord of the Ring Trilogy are the top three. I like this one but the build up to the battle at Helms Deep gets a little tedious for me.

2. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring


This is an excellent movie that really set up the trilogy well. Suspense, emotion and beautiful scenery.

1. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


A true great movie. It has action adventure and heart and a very emotional ending.

The Watch

When I did my previews of the Summer block buster movies from the science-fiction and fantasy genres the movie The Watch had slipped under my radar. This movie was originally titled The Neighborhood Watch but the titles was changed after March 27, 2012, when it was reported that 20th Century Fox had the poster and trailer removed from Florida theaters due to the increasing controversy and tension over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.

The movie stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade and  Rosemarie DeWitt It was directed by Akiva Schaffer. The Watch is a science fiction comedy about a Neighborhood Watch that happens upon an alien who is threatening the existence of the world. The movie comes out this Friday, July 27, 2012. From the previews I have seen it looks like it will be fun!