Inside Movies & DVD with Drew McWeeny
The very end of over ten years of Harry Potter trailers
The third and final trailer for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" hit the scene today, and given that Drew swore earlier not to watch it in a twitter post, It is left to me to bring it to you.
As the guy that puts up all the video on HitFix, I am not afforded the luxury of not viewing such things. I have to watch all the trailers and all the clips, and though it may somewhat lessen the surprises of watching a film for the first time, at least I know when I can go to the concession stand and not miss much.
If you, like Drew, do not want to know anything new about it, or the movie, stop reading now. There are lots of other great news items to read about, including an awesome "Cars 2" article about frighteningly violent Pixar movies have become, just a few posts down. If not, video and more after the jump.
Sherlock and Bilbo will be reunited for Peter Jackson's two-part epic
One of the greatest characters in "The Hobbit" is the dragon who lies at the heart of the quest that takes Bilbo Baggins from the comfort of the Shire to the heart of the Misty Mountains, and since they decided to make "The Hobbit," I have been waiting to hear who they would announce to play Smaug.
When Guillermo Del Toro was attached, I think there was at least a 60% chance Ron Perlman was the man for the job, but with Peter Jackson casting as wide a net as he has for casting on the films, I figured it would be someone surprising and possibly out of left field. For those of us who are fans of "Sherlock," the BBC series that stars Martin Freeman, already cast as Bilbo, the announcement today is one of the coolest possible choices.
Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch will play Smaug, both as a voice and through performance capture for the face, and it strikes me as a tremendous choice.
Is there a movie in the Michael Lewis book? Here's your first chance to judge
Last night, when I introduced a special screening of "Attack The Block" at the Arclight in Hollywood, they ended up showing two trailers in front of the film. One was that crazy "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" trailer, which plays as a total assault on the senses in the theater.
The other was the just released trailer for "Moneyball," the first glimpse we've gotten at the new movie by Bennett Miller, and I'm surprised by just how much I liked the trailer in general.
I've had some real questions about how they're going to turn the book into a movie, and I'm not sure how this subject matter translates to something that will travel around the world. One of the most fundamental questions is how you make a movie like this out of a story that doesn't have a Hollywood-approved happy ending.
Andrew Stanton talks a great game as Disney kicks off their ad campaign
"John Carter" might technically qualify as the "longest-in-development" movie of all time. They've been trying to make a film version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs character since the very beginning of the film industry, and yet, for myriad reasons, the film that comes out next year represents the very first onscreen vision of the character and the world he lives in. Considering next year is also the 100th anniversary of the creation of John Carter, that seems astounding to me.
During the era where Harry Knowles was working to produce a version of the film with a round-robin of directors including Jon Favreau, Kerry Conran, and Robert Rodriguez, I watched a lot of the work they were doing, including production art and concept work, and the one thing that was obvious no matter who was in charge was that Barsoom and the world of John Carter is a rich feast for the right filmmaker, and it's all a matter of how you choose to embrace all the opportunities laid out by Burroughs in the first place.
The director of 'Walk The Line' and 'Copland' may be next up for 'X-Men' franchise
James Mangold is, according to reports, in final negotiations to direct "The Wolverine" for 20th Century Fox from the screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie.
This is the same script that Darren Aronofsky was attached to for a while, and it will take Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman, to Japan. Fox has been looking at possible directors for a while now, since Aronofsky left the project, and with Mangold aboard, they can start to get serious about when they're going to make this.
There are some complications ahead, though. Tom Hooper is finally bringing the musical version of "Les Miserables" to the bigscreen, and it appears that Jackman may end up playing Jean Valjean for him. Great role, and Jackman's been itching to do a major movie musical for a while now.
More importantly, with "X-Men: First Class" in the loop and with the film getting better critical and fan response than either of the last two films in the "X-Men" franchise, Fox has a choice to make. Do they really want to make another Wolverine-only movie, starring the single most expensive cast member in the franchise, or do they want to move forward and build on something that people seem to be enjoying tremendously?
Check out the new red-band look at the year's coolest cult hit
In just a few minutes, I'm on my way out the door to the Arclight Theater in Hollywood, where I'll be introducing a screening of "Attack The Block," then moderating a Q&A with a very special guest from the film right afterwards. This will make the third time I've seen the film, and I'm looking forward to it again.
It's exciting that they're going to be releasing the film in July in limited release, and I sincerely hope it does well enough to eventually go wide. I think it could happen, too. It's going to take a strong campaign on Sony's part, and they're putting out a new trailer that's red-banded and that is going live online right now.
They're also showing the film to people, as much as possible. It's a tactic that really worked for the original "The Hangover," which screened approximately 4,750 times before it was finally released. They've got the film booked at the LA Film Festival, they're going to end up with some sort of Comic-Con presence this summer, and then they're hitting theaters. They're being aggressive about this, and I hope it pays off for them.
The sequel skews older with an action packed sub-plot
I have to admit that I had always kind of avoided the original "Cars." It had seemed like the most nakedly "market tested" Pixar film to me. I saw it as a movie that popped up right at the height of the NASCAR craze replete with hundreds of cute toy-ready cars just begging to be merchandized. The design of the characters, with their extra big adorable eyes leant the whole thing a syrupy air that had kept me away.
Of course when I sat down and actually watched the movie I was taken in by heart of the thing. It has a solid story of cocky little red race car who is forced to slow down and appreciate small town values and the beauty of the countryside. Still not my favorite Pixar film, but a solid effort and I'd recommend it.
So my cynicism had melted a bit as I rode the bus across the Bay Bridge to visit the Pixar campus back in March to get a sneak peek at "Cars 2" and meet the folks behind the film. We had been bused out the night before to have a tour of their newly built office building, attend a Pixar 25th anniversary mixer and screen the "Toy Story" Short "Hawaiian Vacation," which will be released theatrically in front of "Cars 2." I don't have a lot to say about the night before, however, as I can't talk about the the short, and the mixer was pleasant but not much to write about.
More after the jump.
Secret cameo gives big hints at the film's overall thematic direction
I would hate to be the guy who blows all the big secrets for Christopher Nolan's upcoming "The Dark Knight Rises." In fact, after some of the ways I've stumbled across giant secrets over the years and blabbed them without knowing full well what the impact would be, I try to err on the side of caution when I can.
Having said that, some news crossed my desk today that is too cool not to share. However, I want to ask you to respect that not everyone is going to want to know this news, and without knowing context for it, we're still not sure what it means for this third film in Nolan's saga. If you reprint this news, please try to preserve some sort of a secret for people. I'm going to run the actual news after the fold, and I'm warning you… it could be a bombshell of a spoiler.
I contacted Warner Bros. to ask them to comment on this story, and they politely refused, saying that's simply not policy when it comes to the Batman films that Nolan and company make. They know already that they're not going to get him to confirm something, especially not something like this.
DC's big summer superhero movie fails across the board
I want to like "Green Lantern."
I don't want to be the guy who calls the time of death at the scene of the crime.
I walked in with several different levels of expectation for the movie, and to fully explain my reaction, I'll have to clue you in to what I was thinking as I sat down. First, my two sons are absolutely out of their mind crazy to see the movie, and I was watching it as a parent wondering if it would be appropriate for the boys based on the other things they've seen. Second, I like the idea of DC and Warner Bros. trying a big DC Universe on film, and I hoped for "Green Lantern" to be the movie to kick that off. Third, I think Ryan Reynolds is a guy who is primed for stardom, and he's just looking for the right movie. I walked in liking the last few major pieces of marketing, the stuff I saw at Wondercon and the big online trailer and the last big mythology trailer. I like Martin Campbell at times. In general, I was pumped and primed and buttered to go.
I don't like "Green Lantern." Not even a little bit.
I think the movie is pretty much inert, artificial and dead on arrival.
Just because the author of the books likes the idea, does that make it right?
What, are you people trying to kill me?
Look, I'm dealing with the third case of mono I've had in my lifetime, and my entire central nervous system is a little shaky to start with, so when I see the headline "Tom Cruise In Talks To Play Reacher," my first reaction is to kick my computer into little pieces then run outside and bellow impotently at the sky in rage.
That's normal, right?
I wrote an article last year where I brought up a candidate for the job, Dwayne Johnson, and I admitted that I'm still fairly new to the world of Jack Reacher. Love the character. I think Lee Child writes awesome, compulsively readable pulp. And one of the things that I love about his character is the image I get as I read each of the books. Like John D. McDonald's Travis McGee, Reacher is a very specific type of man, a huge slab of beef who can fall on a bad guy like a goddamn house. When you cast these roles, you need burly, outsized macho men. You need physical specimens that will make the rest of us feel painfully inadequate.
So you hire Tom Cruise and Leonardo Di Caprio?