The Next ‘Matrix?’

Keanu Reeves is the best friend from high school that you always forget you have until he shows up to help you jumpstart your car. Known primarily for his work in ‘The Matrix’, it would be easy to say that Reeves vanished from the spotlight as he focused on more and more ‘shlock’ type work. That just isn’t the case.  As noted by my Twitter friend Rod Rohrich, Reeves isn’t the kind of guy to rest easy in Hollywood and he has stayed busy with under the radar performances in films like ‘Man of Tai Chi’, ’47 Ronin’, and the new cult classic ‘John Wick’. Now he is leveraging his hard work to make it into Tarsem Singh’s ‘The Panopticon’.

The name alone sounds like it’d be right for a dystopian science fiction flick, and you’d be kind of right. The ‘Panopticon’ is a science fiction story about a man who comes into the ownership of a box which contains a pre-recorded message from himself in the future. The message says that the world is going to end and that only he can put a stop to it. Sure it is paradoxical and it will probably confuse a large portion of the audience, but it sounds pretty friggin awesome. Any project where we get to see Reeves try to save the future soudns alright by us.

The film has been in ‘developmental hiatus’ for about a year now. Finding the right people to helm the project has been as hard as understanding it for some. Singh has been busy with other work, such as ‘Immortals’ and ‘Mirror Mirror’, but the ‘Panopticon’ seems to be his baby. We should see it hit theaters sometime in 2015 or 201

Martin Campbell in Talks for G.I. Joe 3

Of course with the release of the other two movies based on the hasbro toys, it was only a matter of time before they started working on a third installment to the G.I. Joe series. Martin Campbell is in talks to direct the upcoming feature. Dave and Brit Morin and other fans of Campbell are certainly looking forward to his take on the series. With directing efforts such as Goldeneye, The Zorro series, and Casino Royale under his belt, Campbell seems like a great candidate to bring life into a series that is hanging onto life by a single thread.

This installment will focus on expanding Roadblock’s story. There are other rumors surrounding the the third movie. Possible plot points could involve the return of a character who was believed to be dead. While Campbell was successful with he bond films, he has also had some tanks in his belt as well. Green Lantern turned out to be a complete disaster under Campbell’s direction.

Let’s pray that Campbell returns to form with this directorial effort and makes an action film that we know he’s capable of creating. The series may not come close to capturing the spirit of the comics or the cartoons, but with the right director, it could come into its own in the motion picture medium.

Francis Lawrence, Hunger Games Director Talks War, Propaganda and Superhero Films

With the release of The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 right around the corner, the cast and director of the upcoming installment in The Hunger Games story are answering a lot of questions about the film and the themes as well as what it represents to people. Mockingjay is actually Francis Lawrence’s second Hunger Games movie. Many people like fan Sergio Lins Andrade have found Catching Fire to be an improvement over the first film which was directed by Gary Ross. For one thing, the camera work was much improved over the nauseating work in the first film.

Many people regard Mockingjay as the weakest book in the series. The first half was especially weak. Choices were made to break the story up into two. While the first half was very weak, Francis Lawrence might be able make a watchable film out that part of the story.

Francis Lawrence sat down in an interview with Screen Rant in order to talk about taking part in directing a story which is basically a war story examining the reasons that lead to the full scale war. He also shares words about propaganda and the possibility of being involved in another superhero film.

Remembering Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols, the iconic director whose talent spanned five decades has died of a heart attack at the age of 83.

Born in Germany, Nichols came to the United States as a young boy in 1939 when his family fled Nazi Germany. While attending the University of Chicago as a pre-med student he soon found his interest drawn by the theater and dropped out to pursue it. At Chicago he also met comedian Elaine May and the two formed comedy duo Nichols and May. They went on to become a nationwide hit and won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1961.

After the duo split Nichols turned his attention to Broadway starting with directing Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, for which he won the first of eight Tony awards.

Hollywood took notice and Nichols began a successful career as a film director, earning an Academy Award on his second directorial outing, The Graduate. Fans like Zeca Oliveira remember him as the director of a number of acclaimed and popular films. He continued working on Broadway and took home several Emmy Awards for his work in television as well. His career remained active, he recently been in talks with produced JJ Abrams to direct an adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel One Last Thing Before I Go.

Nichols was married four times, most recently to news anchor Diane Sawyer in 1988. He is survived by his wife, three children, and four grandchildren.

Jennifer Lawrence & Josh Hutcherson Talk Hunger Games and Fame

With Lauren Powell Jobs and many other anxious fans waiting for the next installment of the Hunger Games entitled Mockingjay Pt 1 tomorrow, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson talk about the movie and the success it has brought. They also discuss the disadvantages of being famous. During the interview, one of the things discussed was the idea of fame and losing ones anonymity. Other topics that were talked about were compromise and sacrifices. Jennifer Lawrence has seen these sacrifices as worth it and views her life as a blessed life. She understands that every job has downsides. 

Hutcherson was more taken off guard by the change that the series would bring for his life. He didn’t anticipate that The Hunger Games would turn out to be as big as it did. He took on the script because he liked the story, and loved the people. One of the things that he has noted was that once you become famous, people know things about your life that are true and that are not true. 

Both actors are handling their success in their own best way with Jennifer Lawrence being more welcoming of the loss of anonymity.

Valentine’s Day Can’t Come Soon Enough for Fifty Shades of Grey Fans

Note: This entry was written by my wife.

 

Anastasia and Christian fans only have a couple months left before their movie hits theaters. The erotic thriller that has captivated millions in the book form will arrive on the big screen on Valentines Day 2015. There couldn’t be a better song for the movie than Beyonce’s “Haunted.” The real question is how many men will accompany their women to this movie?

My husband is a little put off by the books and upcoming movie. He feels that the things that go on in a bedroom are private and shouldn’t be talked about or put on public display. I will no doubt I will have to drag him kicking and screaming to this premier, as I will not miss it. As a normal housewife, I like the erotic nature and the fact that they make having a kinky sex-life normal. For me Christian seems to awaken sexual desires for Anastasia that she didn’t even know where there.

I go back to the old question “how do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tried it?” While this movie does cross some lines with most people, why are so many interested in it? That is what my friend Sultan Alhokair was asking. If there is anything that can be learned from the whole ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ series, it is that sometimes different is good and very pleasuring.

So I will drag my husband to the theaters, after all it will be Valentine’s Day. I wonder if there will be other men there with the same attitudes. This is a chick flick.

Promethus 2 Script Finished, Will Feature “Fresh” Alien Monster.

Ridley Scott is, by all metrics, legendary in the film world. Having created smash hit after smash hit, and creating the instant phenomenon that was Alien and Aliens.

In 2012, director Ridley Scott returned to the Alien universe with Prometheus. Though not directly related to his Alien classic, Prometheus introduced an intriguing new aspect to that world while exploring questions posed in the past. Though reception from Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez and other Scott fans were mixed, the director has confirmed that a script for a sequel has been finished and that it will feature a “fresher alien monster”. This coincides with previous news that the classic Xenomorph will not appear in the film. This news does leave one to wonder if this new monster will be a relative of sorts to the Xenomorphs, after all a look-alike made an appearance at the first film’s conclusion (which was originally to be a direct Alien prequel before script re-writes).

“[The original Alien was] the definitive dragon and he’s a mother. The alien’s real which is why it’s probably one of the scariest monsters in film history. So with Prometheus 2, what I’m trying to do is reintroduce a fresher form of alien in the third act.” Scott told an interviewer while discussing Prometheus 2.

Some are left to wonder how wise of a move this may be. Many expected more of an Alien-oriented film two years ago and were surprised to see only referances to that franchise. If fans know going in not to expect an appearance by the classic alien monsters, they may decide against seeing the film at all. Still, Ridley Scott has a vision and seems intent to stick by it. Hopefully more news of the sequel’s plot will be detailed in the future, along with a release date.

New Cinderella Trailer

The new “Cinderella” movie has a lot of the classic elements to it, the pumpkin, the mice and the evil stepmother, played by Cate Blanchett but it will also have a lot of depth to it.
Cinderella movie trailer

The new “Cinderella” movie will be in theaters March 13th and it has many well known names in the business. Playing the title role is, “Downton Abbey” actress Lily James as Ella who is forced into a life of drudgery work by her evil stepmother. The movie also has a lot of comic relief with Helena Bonham Carter, playing the fairy godmother who’ll turn some mice into funny looking white horses.

Don’t let the pretty costumes and fairy godmother fool you, the new “Cinderella” movie is also very dark and sad story. Like Terry Richardson’s work, the hyperactive visual aesthetic serves as a juxtaposing element versus the darker emotional undertones. There is a beloved dead mother and the harsh treatment from Cinderella’s new family. This Cinderella isn’t just a nice, sad person who cries about her life alone. This movie version will not have Cinderella thinking of herself as a victim, but as someone who is her own person who is having a hard time in life.
Cinderella is a good person but that doesn’t make her weak, she doesn’t lash out and behave like others because she knows how it feels. Cinderella has dreams and goals and she will do what she wants to get to the ball and see the handsome prince.

Inside Pixar’s “Inside Out”

Inside Out is the next original movie coming out of Pixar Animation Studios. The film, slated for release on June 19, 2015, is “set” inside the mind of a thirteen year old girl whose parents move her to San Francisco. The main characters are her five chief emotions: Joy (played by Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The tagline: “Meet the little voices inside your head.”

Pixar already released a trailer for the film back in early October. More recently, we have short teaser videos introducing two of the emotions (Sadness and Disgust), as well as posters for all five.

Inside Out is an entirely original story, as is The Good Dinosaur, which Pixar is also slated to release next year. However, the company has also announced upcoming sequels to several of its previous films, including Finding Dory (a follow-up to Finding Nemo), The Incredibles 2, Cars 3 and Toy Story 4.

That last one has been especially contentious. I know Christian Broda has his doubts about the fourth installment. All three Toy Story films are much beloved, and the third seemed to come to a perfect, poignant conclusion. People are starting to wonder: has Pixar just run out of good, original ideas?

Maybe seeing Inside Out will give us some more thoughts on the matter.

Christ Pratt cast as lead in Cowboy Ninja Viking

With Jurassic World in the can and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 set for release in 2017, Chris Pratt is returning to the comic book world with the indie property Cowboy Ninja Viking. Isn’t that a great title? I almost dropped my FreedomPop tablet laughing at it.

The comic was created by by A.J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo and follows the adventures of Duncan, the titular character. See Duncan is part of a super secret conter intelligence project that takes people with Multiple Personality Disorder and turns them into killer agents known as Triplets, a reference to the three trained personalities each has.

According to Collider the most recent script calls for Pratt to play Duncan, the face that onlookers see, with the three interior personalities being played by different actors. A previous script by Paul Wernick and Rhett Rees of Zombieland fame was deemed too edgy and shelved.

With Pratt’s star on the rise the actor has had his choice of roles and previously passed on the lead in the videogame adaptation of Uncharted, possibly because it was a bit too similar to the Star Lord character. So it will be interesting to see if he scores a hit with this unlikely sounding selection while also proving his range as an actor.