<p>All is most assuredly not full of love in Daniel H. Wilson's 'Robopocalypse,' the source of Steven Spielberg's summer 2013 film.</p>

All is most assuredly not full of love in Daniel H. Wilson's 'Robopocalypse,' the source of Steven Spielberg's summer 2013 film.

Credit: Doubleday

Source Material: Daniel Wilson's 'Robopocalypse' could be a bonanza for Spielberg and Goddard

A new column examines what Hollywood's buying and why

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're looking forward to the summer of 2013, when Steven Spielberg is set to release "Robopocalypse," which is certainly an attention-grabbing title.

PREMISE

Daniel H. Wilson's novel tells the story of what happens when an artificial intelligence named Archos becomes sentient and instigates a full-blown robot versus human war.  The book begins with what seem to be random incidents of machines turning on users, and then it follows the loose structure of something like "World War Z," telling the story of the war from several perspectives, returning to them over the course of the book.  It's sort of cut from the Michael Crichton cloth, ad Wilson is a computer engineer by training, with a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon.  He's the real deal, and his educational background informs his writing in terms of general authenticity.  He definitely followed the career track of Max Brooks, who preceded "Word War Z" with "The Zombie Survival Guide."  For Wilson, his first book, "How To Survive A Robot Uprising," sold to Paramount, and they had Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant write a few drafts.

Read Full Post
<p>Blake Lively and Benecio Del Toro co-star in 'Savages,' which just got a poster today.</p>

Blake Lively and Benecio Del Toro co-star in 'Savages,' which just got a poster today.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Striking graphic posters for 'Savages,' 'Carrie,' and 'ABCs Of Death' impress

Is a poster 'fan made' when it's made by the actual filmmaker?

I spend more time disappointed by movie posters these days than not.  Sure, I love the sort of secondary posters that Mondo is doing, but those aren't the actual theatrical release one-sheets for the most part.

No, instead, we are treated to an endless sea of photoshopped images and movie star faces, unimaginative art that seems to all look like it was made by the same marketing intern.  It's a real drag, especially for a movie fan who grew up in an age where movie posters became just as much of an art as the films they advertised.

It's always nice when I see a poster that stands out, but to see three posters in the span of 24 hours that all seem to be strong graphic treatments of upcoming movies… well, that's rare like a Bigfoot sighting, and worth a mention.

One thing's for sure… Kim Pierce appears to be very excited about her upcoming remake of "Carrie."

Read Full Post
<p>Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio play... oh, come on, it's 'Titanic.'&nbsp; Do I really need to explain?</p>

Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio play... oh, come on, it's 'Titanic.'  Do I really need to explain?

Credit: Paramount Pictures/20th Century Fox

Review: 'Titanic 3D' is technically impressive remaster but to what end?

HitFix
A-
Readers
A
James Cameron's update is best case scenario for post-conversion

I don't think I ever wrote a review of "Titanic."

I'm not sure, though.  I know I was already contributing reviews to Ain't It Cool in 1997.  I'm pretty sure I sent material to Ain't It Cool as early as 1996.  I know I was writing reviews for newsgroups as early as 1995.  But for some reason, I don't think I ever wrote a review of James Cameron's massive cultural event, which seems strange to me now.

After all, I've been a James Cameron fan since the moment my first screening of "The Terminator" ended in 1984.  And working in Los Angeles, it was impossible not to be aware of and fascinated by the stories of what was happening on the set of "Titanic".  What I found most interesting was that Cameron was getting a reputation as the guy who made the most expensive film of all time every time out, and each time, those big bets seemed to be paying off.  "Terminator 2."  "True Lies."    Giant expensive gambles that managed to shrug off the reports of trouble that plagued them during production.  But at a time when $100 million was still considered a lot of money to spend on a movie, "Titanic" was at least twice that, delayed, a nightmare, the moment he was bound to fail.

Read Full Post
<p>Donald Glover's stand-up is front and center in the new one-hour special 'Weirdo'</p>

Donald Glover's stand-up is front and center in the new one-hour special 'Weirdo'

Credit: E One Entertainment

One Thing I Love Today: Donald Glover does stand-up in new DVD 'Weirdo'

The 'Community' star reveals yet another aspect of his personality

I'm not 100% sure the people who released the DVD version of Donald Glover's one-hour stand-up special "Weirdo" actually watched the special.  When you watch the disc, all the previews are for black-themed entertainment of the Tyler Perry school, very specifically targeted, and none of them remotely similar to the work that Glover does.

I first became aware of Donald and his work when I saw "Mystery Team" at Sundance a few years ago, and it's amazing how quickly things have blown up for him.  Little wonder, though.  He is a prodigiously talented guy, and in many ways, he represents the ideal for how you have to be willing to work these days, doing any number of different things.  He was a staff writer for "30 Rock," he's a star on "Community," he's releasing albums as Childish Gambino, and, yes, he's got his own comedy material that he does.

Read Full Post
<p>Daniel Radcliffe may have been part of the commercial success of this spring's 'The Woman In Black,' but Hammer Films is betting they can lure viewers in for a follow-up as well.</p>

Daniel Radcliffe may have been part of the commercial success of this spring's 'The Woman In Black,' but Hammer Films is betting they can lure viewers in for a follow-up as well.

Credit: CBS Films/Hammer

Hammer's horror hit 'Woman In Black' gets next installment as company begins expanding

The classic horror studio starts to find its legs commercially and creatively

One of the great traditions of Hammer Studios is that when you have a hit, you make a follow-up.  As a result, I'm not shocked to hear that they announced today that Hammer is going to begin development on "The Woman In Black: Angels Of Death," the next installment in the story begun in their hit spring movie, "The Woman In Black."

Daniel Radcliffe's first major post-"Harry Potter" performance may have had something to do with the film's international success, but before there was a film, there was a book, and then there was a stage show, both of which were also very successful.  There was meat on the bones to begin with, and this wasn't just some cheap cash-in horror film.  Hammer's approach to film series has never been to just make the typical sequels, either, so it makes sense that they'd push the definition with this series as well.

For horror fans, the return of Hammer to the world of international production is a welcome event, and even if they did release the risible "The Resident," they also were part of the very well-made "Let Me In" and "Wake Wood," which both signaled that there were people involved in this new version of the veteran British company that were determined to try harder, who respected the legacy that their company represents.

Read Full Post
<p>Mark Wahlberg and a very dirty teddy bear co-star in Seth Macfarlane's summer comedy 'Ted'</p>

Mark Wahlberg and a very dirty teddy bear co-star in Seth Macfarlane's summer comedy 'Ted'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Watch: How dirty can one teddy bear talk in the trailer for Seth Macfarlane's 'Ted'?

HitFix
C+
Readers
B+
Mark Wahlberg looks like he's turned it up to full weirdo for this one

I would not call myself Seth Macfarlane's biggest fan.

I'm not going to waste time beating up on "Family Guy," because at this point, either you like its scattershot approach to pop culture comedy, or you don't, and there's not really much of a chance someone's going to convince you to laugh or convince you not to laugh.  I think the show has settled into its own weird, icky groove, and I think it's a little funnier now than it was in the early days.  Part of that is that Seth Macfarlane has become more and more comfortable with the voice of the show, and at this point, it's carved out its own weird corner of the comedy world.

My favorite moment of his so far is his work in "Hellboy: The Golden Army," where I think he gives a genuinely great vocal performance.  His choices there make me laugh out loud, and I think he also finds some great strange notes to play in the film that are unexpected and wonderful.  That was the moment that convinced me not to underestimate Macfarlane, and over time, I think he's proven himself to be a very sharp wit when he's appearing as himself.

Also, he could buy and sell me a zillion times over.  So he's got that going for him.

Read Full Post
<p>Colin Farrell braces for some serious mind games in the remake of 'Total Recall'</p>

Colin Farrell braces for some serious mind games in the remake of 'Total Recall'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Watch: 'Total Recall' trailer plays close to original with smart new twists

HitFix
B
Readers
B
Could this be a case of a remake that's actually worth remaking?

I am often surprised at the loyalty people display towards the 1990 "Total Recall."

It is a film with some great ideas embedded in it, many of which were either lifted from the Philip K. Dick short story, and some of which were created by Gary Goldman and Paul Verhoeven during the film's lengthy development process.

It is also a film that is bogged down by the baggage of its star, and there is no one on Earth who is ever going to convince me that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the right guy to play that part.  And as much as I adore the Verhoeven of "Robocop," I sort of hate the Verhoeven of "Recall."  I think it is one of the flat-out ugliest blockbusters of the '90s, fake and garish and dated the second it was released.

Looking at the trailer for the new "Total Recall," it's obvious that they started with the movie when building this remake.  This is not a new adaptation of the same story, no matter what they say, because so many of the elements that we see here were created for the film.  That's fine.  Even the title is a nod to the fact that they are directly remaking the film.

Read Full Post
<p>The giant squid attack is maybe the most iconic moment in Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,' but is it really the point of the film?</p>

The giant squid attack is maybe the most iconic moment in Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,' but is it really the point of the film?

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Film Nerd 2.0: An evening of '20,000 Leagues' and Mickey Mouse cartoons

Are Disney movies automatically 'for kids'?

Walt Disney is a major force in the lives of modern kids, whether you like it or not.

Their brand is so omnipresent, so in your face, that it seems like they absorb it almost by osmosis.  For example, why do kids love Mickey Mouse?  How often do you actually see Mickey Mouse cartoons these days?  How many kids have actually seen anything with Mickey in it aside from clips?  When you go to any Disney park, obviously Mickey is a huge presence, and mouse ears are probably the single highest-selling piece of merchandise at the parks, with kids thrilled to wear them.  But… why?

I've noticed it in my own kids.  On Allen's third birthday, we took him to Disneyland for his first trip there.  The whole ride down to Anaheim, Toshi worked to get Allen hyped up, telling him how cool Mickey's house was, and by the time we hit the parking garage, Allen was basically hovering a foot above his chair, like a hummingbird, superexcited, and when he saw the posts in the garage that you use to find your car later, he pointed and started to bellow "IT'S MICKEY! I SEE MICKEY! LOOK! THERE'S MICKEY! MIIIIICKKKEEEEEEEY!"

This is a kid who's never seen a single scene that Mickey Mouse even appears in, and yet he's acting like it's Shea Stadium 1964 and the Beatles just hit the stage.

Read Full Post
<p>Lily Collins looks downright animated as Snow White in the odd new family comedy 'Mirror Mirror'</p>

Lily Collins looks downright animated as Snow White in the odd new family comedy 'Mirror Mirror'

Credit: Relativity Media

Review: 'Mirror Mirror' lets Julia Roberts play bad and aims just for kids

HitFix
C
Readers
C+
A big silly comic riff on the classic fairy tale looks good but falls short

The first of this year's Snow White movies arrives in theaters this weekend, and one thing is immediately clear.

These movies are not competing with each other.

Whatever "Mirror Mirror" is, it is not looking to stake its claim as a big fantasy action epic.  You look at the trailer for "Snow White and the Huntsman," and they're looking to compete with films like "Wrath of the Titans" or "Thor."  That is not at all the sort of thing that "Mirror Mirror" has on its mind, and so the first thing you have to do when dealing with these two films is to remove all comparison from the way you regard them.  That's probably a good thing for both films, because if they were trying to play to the same audience, then any reaction you have is just about comparing and contrasting, and that seems like a losing game on both sides.

Read Full Post
<p>Emily Blunt, seen here at the premiere of 'Salmon Fishing In Yemen,' might make a pretty spectacular Nora Charles if a 'Thin Man' remake has to happen</p>

Emily Blunt, seen here at the premiere of 'Salmon Fishing In Yemen,' might make a pretty spectacular Nora Charles if a 'Thin Man' remake has to happen

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Could Emily Blunt, Emma Stone, or Amy Adams be the new Nora Charles for 'Thin Man' remake?

Word is they're about to start reading actors opposite Johnny Depp

How do you kill a 42 year old fat man who is waaaaaaay too emotionally invested in what happens with a remake of "The Thin Man"?

You hire Rob Marshall to direct it.

No matter what we hear about casting on this film, I'm going to be nervous to the point of irritated the entire time it's in production.  I'll do my best to be fair, but the bitter sting of the awful "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is still way too fresh for me to just assume Marshall will do right by one of my favorite films of all time.

No, scratch that.  The "Thin Man" series is one of my favorite anythings of all time.  It's right up there with things like fire and penicillin and indoor plumbing.  Nick and Nora Charles are my favorite married couple in Hollywood history, and no matter what I think of the individual films in the series, I will take any opportunity to watch William Powell as Nick and Myrna Loy as Nora.

Read Full Post