<p>'Wait... are you serious? That's seriously what Jurassic Park 4 is about? Don't make me eat you, little man.'</p>

'Wait... are you serious? That's seriously what Jurassic Park 4 is about? Don't make me eat you, little man.'

Credit: Universal Home Video

Universal sends 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' writers to 'Jurassic Park'

Will the studio finally get the fourth film in the franchise off the ground?

Every couple of weeks, I get an e-mail asking me if I can send someone a copy of the "Jurassic Park 4" script that was co-written by John Sayles and William Monahan, and every time, I have to write back to explain to the person that I never had a digital copy of it.  Sure, Sayles accused me in print of hacking Steven Spielberg's personal computer to steal the file, but that just suggests to me that Sayles has little or no idea just how many people have their hands on a script over the course of the development process.

One of the reasons so many people remain so curious about that proposed version of the sequel is because of just how crazy it sounded.  I still wish Universal had gone ahead and made it, because even if it turned out to be completely insane, it would have been the sort of insane that you can't stop watching, sort of like this summer's "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter."  There are some films that you can't believe exist, even after you see them, and I think it's safe to assume that "Jurassic Park 4" had the potential to be one of those films.

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<p>O (Blake Lively) is in trouble in 'Savages,' and it's up to Ben (Aaron Johnson)&nbsp;and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) to save her.</p>

O (Blake Lively) is in trouble in 'Savages,' and it's up to Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) to save her.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Source Material: 'Savages' seems like perfect pulp for the Oliver Stone mill

The novel's author is part of the screenwriting team, so this one could be close

With the way Hollywood churns through material these days, we thought it was worth taking a look at the various sources they're pulling from and discussing what they might make from these books, games, TV shows, or whatever else they use.  For today's column, we look at Don Winslow's "Savages," a crime novel that is the inspiration for Oliver Stone's new film.

PREMISE

Chon and Ben are friends.  They grow marijuana.  No, scratch that.  They grow the very best marijuana.  They have a successful distribution network that has made them both very comfortable.  Ben travels the world doing philanthropic work that makes him feel good about how he earns his money.  Chon stays at home and tends to the nastier details of their trade.  It's a pretty great arrangement.

And then there's O.  She's the girl who loves them both.  They share her in every way.  Sometimes in explicit detail.

When the Baja Cartel decides to expand its reach into Southern California, they put pressure on Chon and Ben to join them and allow them to take over operations.  All they want is for the guys to keep growing.  Ben and Chon try to quit the business, at which point the Baja Cartel kidnaps O.

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<p>Paul Verhoeven must be itching for a fight, because there's no other way to explain his ongoing urge to make a movie about Jesus, which Roger Avary has been hired to write.</p>

Paul Verhoeven must be itching for a fight, because there's no other way to explain his ongoing urge to make a movie about Jesus, which Roger Avary has been hired to write.

Credit: AP Photo/Allessandro della Valle

Roger Avary set to write 'Jesus' for controversial director Paul Verhoeven

If any film could set the world on fire, this could be the one to do it

Paul Verhoeven is determined to make a film about Jesus Christ.

In related news, Paul Verhoeven is determined to get himself shot by someone who can't handle any discussion of Jesus as anything less than the literal Son Of God.

While I love "Robocop" dearly, I am convinced that Paul Verhoeven ruined his career by making that film.  Before that, he was an interesting, provocative European director whose sensibilities were resolutely art-house.  Anyone who has ever spoken to Verhoeven can testify to his keen intellect and his almost innate desire to push buttons.  I think that's the way he attacks any subject.  He loves to ask questions because he is fascinated by human behavior, particularly at the polar extremes of good and bad.

His Hollywood career has seemed like one long misuse of his talents, and it's been painful watching him try to turn garbage like "Basic Instinct" or "The Hollow Man" into something worth his time and his skill.  At least with "Black Book," it seemed like he was working on material with some weight to it again.  It was a huge step in the right direction.

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<p>Jonah Hill,&nbsp;Vince Vaughn, and Richard Ayoade get comfortable in an early scene from the new science-fiction comedy 'The Watch'</p>

Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn, and Richard Ayoade get comfortable in an early scene from the new science-fiction comedy 'The Watch'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

International trailer for 'The Watch' shows more about Stiller, Vaughn, and Hill

This Indian trailer gives a much clearer picture of who everyone is playing

There's a new trailer for "The Watch" online today, and it appears to have originated from India. 

So far, the domestic campaign for the film has mainly emphasized a certain attitude, setting up Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade as suburban guys who seem to be taking an unreasonable degree of pleasure from working as part of a neighborhood watch.  In the second trailer, Fox finally revealed the science-fiction elements on the film's premise, but it's still more about attitude than what actually happens.

The international trailer is much more focused in selling the film and the characters.  Ben Stiller is Evan, the guy who is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too involved in community activities, and he's the one who organizes the Neighborhood Watch in the first place.  The other three are all volunteers, and they don't start the film as close friends. 

Vince Vaughn appears to have found a perfect vehicle for his particular brand of motor-mouthed eccentricity as Bob.  Jonah Hill's Franklin is a guy who wanted to join the police department but failed the qualifications in pretty much every way possible.  Ayoade's Jamarcus seems to be hoping that Neighborhood Watch work will lead directly to a letter from Penthouse Forum.  Just knowing that much about the three of them already gives me a better idea of what to expect from the four of them bouncing off of each other.

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<p>Doona Bae plays a pivotal role in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of David Mitchell's epic existential novel 'Cloud Atlas'</p>

Doona Bae plays a pivotal role in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of David Mitchell's epic existential novel 'Cloud Atlas'

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Cloud Atlas' gets a date, and now the hard work starts for Warner Bros.

Even with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, this one's not going to be easy

There is never going to be an easy date for Warner Bros. to release "Cloud Atlas."

Some movies are simply challenges, no matter what.  That doesn't make them bad films, and it doesn't make them good films.  It just means they are hard to sell to an audience.  When you have to cut a 30-second commercial that conveys the main idea or appeal of a film, that is a very difficult thing on certain movies.

Warner Bros. digs "Cloud Atlas."  I feel fairly safe in saying so.  They know what movie they've got, and they know what sort of challenge is ahead, and so declaring a release date is step one in setting the table for the eventual release of the film.

It helps when you have Tom Hanks and Halle Berry starring in your movie, especially when you can advertise that each of them ends up playing a variety of different roles in the film.  And when the supporting cast includes Jim Broadbent, also playing multiple parts, Hugo Weaving reteaming with his "Matrix" directors, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, and younger familiar faces like Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, and James D'Arcy, you've got enough leeway that you can let a relatively unknown actress, internationally speaking, like Doona Bae star in the film in one of the main key roles.

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<p>Philip Seymour Hoffman is front and center in the second trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'</p>

Philip Seymour Hoffman is front and center in the second trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Master' gets a second trailer and a better look at Philip Seymour Hoffman

Paul Thomas Anderson's new film is running the year's most interesting campaign

Okay, now I fully believe that Paul Thomas Anderson is a sadist.

How else do you explain his decision to start dropping these tantalizing clues about his new film "The Master" when we've still got months and months until we actually see the thing?

"Why all the skulking and sneaking?"

When I was at Cannes, the first teaser was released, and that night, I went to the presentation that the Weinstein Company held, where they showed us a much longer trailer.  I transcribed that entire footage reel in the article I published that night, and this new trailer features some of that material as well as footage that wasn't part of it at all.  This new stuff makes a really strong case for this as something special, and I find myself excited because of how much it looks like it fits with Anderson's other films, about unconventional groups that form around charismatic centers, about these charming monsters.  And if that's what Hoffman's playing, that sounds like it's going to fit him like a glove.

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<p>George Lazenby only made one film as James Bond, but maybe he would have hung around longer if it didn't look like such abject misery to be on that set.</p>

George Lazenby only made one film as James Bond, but maybe he would have hung around longer if it didn't look like such abject misery to be on that set.

Credit: MGM/UA Home Video

James Bond Declassified: File #6 - 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' changes everything

HitFix
A-
Readers
n/a
Would this have been the best Bond ever with Connery playing the part?

JAMES BOND 007 DECLASSIFIED
FILE #6: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"


This series will trace the cinema history of James Bond, while also examining Ian Fleming's original novels as source material and examining how faithful (or not) the films have been to his work.

Directed by Peter Hunt
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum
Produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli

CHARACTERS / CAST

James Bond / George Lazenby
Countess Tracy di Vicenzo / Diana Rigg
Ernst Stavro Blofeld / Telly Savalas
Marc-Ange Draco / Gabriele Ferzetti
Irma Bunt / Ilse Steppat
Sir Hilary Bray / George Baker
Grunther / Yuri Borienko
Shaun Campbell / Bernard Horsfall
M / Bernard Lee
Q / Desmond Llewellyn
Miss Moneypenny / Lois Maxwell
Ruby / Angela Scoular

CREDITS SEQUENCE

Full Orchestra Sting.  The familiar "DAH-DAH, dah! DAH-DAH, dah! DAH DAH DAH DAH!"

HARRY SALTZMAN and ALBERT R. BROCCOLI Present

Then the rest of the theme kicks in, swinging and a little bit tweaked, like it's being played on a Moog harpsichord.  Lazenby walks in and the gun barrel follows, taking his time, and when he turns suddenly to fire, he drops to one knee.  It's him making that moment his with a new move.

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<p>They can remake the 'Twilight' films if they want, but they'll never top the sheer comedy genius that this image suggests.</p>

They can remake the 'Twilight' films if they want, but they'll never top the sheer comedy genius that this image suggests.

Credit: Lionsgate/Summit

Lionsgate says they don't plan to remake 'Twilight,' but is this a sign of the future?

Franchise filmmaking hasn't reached its lowest point yet, but it could soon

Here's how you know "Twilight" is a giant pop culture phenomenon:  even the denial of a story about the series becomes a headline across the entire Internet.

Bloody-Disgusting ran a story over the weekend saying that Lionsgate has begun having internal conversations about the idea of rebooting "Twilight."  Considering they haven't even released "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II" yet, it seems premature to start having these conversations, but that would suggest that there is some sense of logic or rational behavior that drives the decision-making process in Hollywood.  Lionsgate has denied the report, of course, but it makes sense.

Here's the cold hard truth.  "Twilight" is giant business, and one of the reasons Summit was such an attractive purchase for Lionsgate this past January is because they own the "Twilight" franchise.  While Open Road Films certainly hopes to have a success on the same scale with their upcoming adaptation of the Stephenie Meyer novel "The Host," my guess is that lightning will not be striking twice.  With nothing else to sell, Meyer has pretty much reached the end of her commercial lifespan unless she finds a new way to exploit Edward, Bella, Jacob and the rest.

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<p>Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg play two different versions of the same character in the most successful of the multiple storylines in Woody Allen's new anthology film 'To Rome With Love'</p>

Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg play two different versions of the same character in the most successful of the multiple storylines in Woody Allen's new anthology film 'To Rome With Love'

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Review: 'To Rome With Love' is Woody Allen on automatic pilot

HitFix
C+
Readers
B
Is that necessarily a bad thing, though?

"To Rome With Love" is the 11,000th motion picture by writer/director Woody Allen, and he deserves congratulations for the sheer volume of work he's produced, if nothing else.

Perhaps I exaggerate slightly, but I do find myself often pleased by the mere existence of a new Allen film because of the place it occupies in the natural order of things.  A new Allen film every year.  That's federal law at this point, right?  And when people talk about what distinguishes Allen's work, you'll hear them talking about dialogue rhythms or the font he uses for his titles or his soundtracks, but those are mere gravy on the actual meat of what it is he does, and I think he's fascinating for the way he basically found his own approach to storytelling and he's worked variations in that same form ever since.

He's taken steps away from his main approach a few times, but he always eventually finds his way back, and it's been true from the jokes he wrote as a stand-up to the short pieces he collected in books like "Without Feathers" and continued directly into his filmmaking career, one of the richest and most fully explored of any American director, now or in the past.  Woody Allen worships at the altar of the high concept.  He loves to imagine a mundane world where one crucial detail is tweaked to comic effect.  Sometimes, those high concepts are super high concept, like "The Purple Rose Of Cairo" or "Midnight In Paris" or "Zelig." 

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<p>Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is forced to learn some unconventional definitions of the word courage over the course of the new Pixar film 'Brave'</p>

Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is forced to learn some unconventional definitions of the word courage over the course of the new Pixar film 'Brave'

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Pixar

Review: 'Brave' takes Pixar in some new directions by embracing some old forms

HitFix
B+
Readers
A-
The trailers may not tell the whole story, but Pixar's not playing games

Pixar finds themselves at a particularly vulnerable moment in the mythology that surrounds the studio.  Since the release of the first "Toy Story," they have released a string of movies that have been nothing less than dazzling, a series of films that have both commercial and critical hits.  Last year's release of "Cars 2" was the first moment where they seemed to be operating like any other Hollywood studio, putting commerce ahead of their craft, and for many fans of their work, it was a moment that rattled their faith.

Since we live in an age where each and every decision during the production of a motion picture can be scrutinized, often free of the context that led to the decision, much has been written about the process by which "Brave" emerged from what was originally known as "The Bow and the Bear."  Brenda Chapman was the first director on the picture, and she still gets a co-director credit as well as a "story by" in the credits.  She was set to be the first female filmmaker to direct a feature for Pixar, and she absolutely deserves credit for getting this original fairy tale from her first idea to the final film that is about to open.  But it's hard to get upset about the process when we have no idea what happened that resulted in Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell getting co-director credits with her.  After all, Andrews has been kicking around the business for years, working on the storyboard department for "The Iron Giant," working as head of story for "Osmosis Jones," "The Incredibles," and "Ratatouille," and directing the short film "One Man Band."  Purcell has paid his dues as well, creating the popular "Sam and Max" computer game series and working as one of the many screenwriters on the original "Cars."  Chapman put in years as an animator, working on TV shows like "The Real Ghost Busters" and "Heathcliff" before working in the story department on films like "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," and "Chicken Run."  She was one of the directors of the very ambitious "The Prince Of Egypt," and that was a milestone at the time, making her one of the few women to ever reach that sort of position on a major studio animated movie.

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