Inside Movies & DVD with Drew McWeeny
Paramount's ready to wrap up 2011's summer of superheroes
Chris Evans straps on some red, white, and blue in 'Captain America: The First Avenger'
Credit: Paramount/Marvel Studios
I'm seeing it this weekend, and here's how you know I'm genuinely excited: I hate traffic in Los Angeles worse than I hate anything, and I am driving into Carmageddon not once, but TWICE this weekend in order to both see the film and talk to the cast and the director. There are not many movies coming out this summer that could get me to do that.
If you're going to be in San Diego for Comic-Con and you want to see "Captain America: The First Avenger" on Thursday, there's a 10:00 AM screening at the Horton Plaza Theater, and it's going to be complete with special guests and special surprises. It is worth making the effort for this one. We've got 30 pairs of tickets to give away, and I wish you luck. I'll just say this... the people who saw it tonight who I talked to sounded happy about what they saw. I'm avoiding any more footage or scenes or spoilers at this point because I just want to see the movie and see it all put together.
And if it weren't enough for us to hand out 30 pairs of tickets for you, we have something else as well, a brand-new poster for the film that brings together almost all of the film's major characters, with an imposing and decidedly evil Red Skull looking down at everything.
Will this be a holiday treat from one of our greatest filmmakers?
One thing's for sure... the Scorsese film 'Hugo' seems to adapt the images from Brian Selznick's book 'The Invention Of Hugo Cabret' very closely
Credit: Scholastic Press/Brian Selznick
Well, then. That's a little bit more "running into things and falling down" than I'm used to from my Scorsese trailers.
I have not read the book The Invention Of Hugo Cabret, but it sounds like a heady mix of influences, and the idea that Martin Scorsese signed on to make a 3D film aimed at kids because of this book is reason enough to pay attention to the book. Today, we've got the first trailer for the film to give us a hint of what we'll see when the film is released this November, and whatever I expected, it wasn't this.
Brian Selznick, who wrote the book, was inspired by Georges Melies, one of the giants of silent cinema, and evidently the book was a combination of a novel, a picture book, and a flip cartoon, a combination of words and text that was designed to work as a puzzle as much as a narrative. In his own words, the book is all about "Paris in the 1930's, a thief, a broken machine, a strange girl, a mean old man, and the secrets that tie them all together." And based on the trailer, the film covers the same ground.
How did we all miss this story?
Spike Lee will once again play Mookie, the character he created in 1989's 'Do The Right Thing'
Credit: Universal Home Video
Sometimes, I am disappointed by the way news spreads online, and by which news becomes important. This week, Spike Lee's name has been all over the news because of the announcement that he's attached to the in-development remake of "Oldboy," and it seems like everyone wrote about that. After all, "Oldboy" is a critical favorite, and whoever signs on to make that film is putting themselves in the hot seat right away. We wrote about it here, as well, so I'm not pointing fingers.
But the real Spike Lee news this week went largely unreported, and it's embarrassing to see that the new community can't at least match their excitement over a hypothetical remake when it comes to reporting on a new film by Lee that is actually shooting right now, especially since it's a semi-sequel to his best film, "Do The Right Thing."
Yes, that's right. Mookie's back. And it's happening right now.
Vintage movies, deranged comedy, and more fill out this round of titles
This year's Fantastic Fest poster, created by Mike Saputo, is loaded with geek easter eggs and promises all sorts of lunacy from the week-long event.
Credit: Fantastic Fest/Alamo
Hey, 2011, you wanna pump the brakes for me?
I can't believe we're already hearing announcements for Fantastic Fest programming. After all, FanTasia in Montreal is just kicking off today, Comic-Con is next week, and then we've got… oh, that's right, it's just over a month until we reach September, or as I like to call it, "The month I am gone at film festivals." We just finished making all of our arrangements for Toronto, and now we're starting to think about Fantastic Fest.
For me, the highlight of the festival is going to be welcoming Tim and Karrie League's new twins into the world. I still can't believe they're scheduled to deliver their kids right in the midst of all the madness they've got planned for this year's edition of my favorite film festival, but I guess that just adds to the excitement. In the meantime, we've got a chunk of titles to check out, and one of the things that surprised me is how many vintage titles are part of this wave of announcements. I like that. I'm looking forward to those as much as any of the new titles, and let's take a look at all of them so far:
So this is what live-action Pixar feels like
The mix of real locations and exotic alien architecture seems to be one of the signatures of Andrew Stanton's adaptation of 'John Carter'
Credit: Walt Disney Company
This one's been a long time coming.
So far, timing has kept me out of the loop on all things "John Carter." I didn't visit the set. I didn't visit Pixar to see footage with Andrew Stanton. My one real afternoon around pre-production art from the film was an accident because of where Disney held a "TRON: Legacy" event. And through all of this, I've been perfectly content to wait, because this is one of those films that will arrive with a lot of history attached to it, and I'd rather wait and let them show us whatever they're happy with when they're happy with it.
I love pulp fiction of all types. The "John Carter Of Mars" books by Edgar Rice Burroughs are great, spirited, inventive adventure novels that have been picked clean by people borrowing ideas and inspiration from them over the years. One of my biggest questions about this film is how they plan to make it feel fresh when so many movies have stolen elements of the source material over the years. It would be like making a "Lensman" movie and having to deal with angry "Star Wars" fans yelling about getting ripped off. Sometimes, you wait so long to make something that there's a chance it is going to feel like the imitation even if it's not.
At least we know it's in the hands of a fan
Do you really need Ash to make an 'Evil Dead' movie work, or is it possible to take the basic idea and spin something new and scary from it?
Now is the time on "Sprockets" when we eat some crow.
All my reservations about a new "Evil Dead" movie of any kind are on the record from yesterday. My basic feelings are the same. If your'e just dealing with the bare bones (a bunch of college kids, a cabin in the woods, a cursed book, and terrible things happening), it's not the strongest spine to hang a remake on. We're going to see Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard play with the conventions in "The Cabin In The Woods," a movie that sort of makes the tropes of "Evil Dead" obsolete by design.
In order to truly make a new "Evil Dead" work, you have to do a few things. You have to make it genuinely scary, you have to do something we haven't seen from the genre, and you need to craft characters who matter and who aren't just generic spam in a cabin.
Hiring Diablo Cody is a step in the right direction. In my opinion? A big step.
Does this mean they're getting closer to a greenlight for the King Of Monsters?
Legendary distributed this image of Godzilla at Comic-Con, which makes me wonder what sort of plans they have for him at this year's San Diego event.
I've had several conversations over the last few years with Thomas Tull about Godzilla, both generally and specifically.
If you don't know Tull's name, he's the Big Cheese at Legendary Pictures, the company that has served as one of the primary financing partners for Warner Bros. the last few years, and he is a fascinating figure, a guy who came to Hollywood from the world of high finance but who is genuinely a giant movie nerd. Sure, he's a financial partner in the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a guy who build a giant hedge fund, but movies are one of his great passions.
And even with movies as a general passion for Tull, the character of Godzilla is a particular passion, something he loves dearly. Right now, as Legendary prepares for their first Comic-Con panel next week, I'm excited to see what sort of presentation they've put together for "Pacific Rim," which is a big giant demented monster and mecha movie that Guillermo Del Toro and Travis Beacham have cooked up. It's a wild read, and I can't even imagine what sort of outrageous energy Del Toro's eventual film will have. I know there was some confusion during development when it was reported that "Pacific Rim" would be replacing "Godzilla," but despite the presence of giant monsters in both projects, I don't think that would be as easy as previously suggested.
Sam Raimi's still involved, but will there be room for The Chin?
Seriously... if you don't have this goofball running around cutting off his limbs and the limbs of others, how can you call it an 'Evil Dead' movie?
I'll be honest… I don't really want an "Evil Dead" sequel or a remake, and no matter what you think you want, I'm willing to bet you don't either.
Sure, I know the mere mention of more "Evil Dead" of any sort is a guaranteed draw for traffic, but at some point, fandom's going to have to start to absorb some hard lessons and really reconsider what it is they demand from studios.
I'm going to offer you two benchmarks to keep in mind as you consider the idea of a return to "Evil Dead." First, I want you to consider the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." And then, I want you to consider "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull."
And then I want to you admit to yourself, even if it's difficult, that the odds are strong that any return to "Evil Dead" is going to end in tears.
Can Holmes survive his first encounter with 'the Napoleon of crime'?
Jared Harris will battle the world's greatest detective this Christmas when 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows' hits theaters
Credit: Warner Bros
Sure enough, the avalanche of new marketing materials continues today with the release of the trailer for Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows." We ran a piece the other day about the two teaser posters that debuted over the weekend, and now there's a trailer to go with it, and there's a lot to digest here.
It does not appear that Ritchie's made any major shift in style here, and that's a good choice. His "Sherlock" was marked by some very big choices in terms of how it's shot and cut, and it looks like the new movie is absolutely in line with the first one. The chemistry between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. appears to be front and center as well, which was obviously a big part of the first film's appeal.
But what this trailer's really selling is the larger scope, with what looks like pretty much non-stop action, as well as the new cast members that have been added to the mix. Noomi Rapace appears to be a fortune teller of some sort, and casting her as a gypsy is a very natural fit for Arthur Conan Doyle's version of London. Just dealing with the friction between what is real and what is hustle in a character like hers is a great nod to the concerns that plagued Doyle in his real life. How they use her is important, but as far as a type of character, she is a perfect addition to the world.
An introduction to a new monthly feature here at Motion/Captured
The original pulp paperback cover for 'The Deep Blue Good-by,' the first novel in John D. McDonald's Travis McGee series
Credit: Fawcett Gold Medal
Welcome to The Travis McGee Book Club.
The first question... why?
Well, I guess I could say this is a countdown of sorts to whoever finally wrestles Travis back up onto the big screen. Someone will. It's inevitable now that there's a script and a studio's spent money and there are various producers and talent attached. Even if it doesn't happen exactly the way they're considering right now (Oliver Stone directing Leonardo Di Caprio was one recent configuration), it's going to happen. At least once.
But the truth is, I don't have the stomach to contemplate what they're doing to him to turn it into a movie. And I don't have to. The books are the thing here. John D. McDonald's voice… that's the thing.
I can honestly say there's no writer whose work gives me more reading pleasure than McDonald. And those are big words. My favorite novel of all time is John Irving's A Prayer For Owen Meany, and the writer who I'd say is the biggest influence on me because of when and how I read him is Stephen King, but in terms of sheer pleasure, a sort of meditative joy that I get lost in with each of his books, it's McDonald, pound for pound.