Archive for November, 2012

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Ever since The Simpsons got the movie treatment everyone who’s a fan of raunchy animated content has been wondering when Family Guy would be traveling down that same road.

Well, friends, wonder no more.  The show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, has gone on record as saying that it’s “just a matter of when” not if the movie will happen.  Speaking at UCLA as part of MTVU’s Stand In series, MacFarlane stated;

“It’s just a matter of when,” MacFarlane said. “It’s hard to do that while you have the series going on at the same time; I think that’s why it took The Simpsons 20 seasons to figure out how to do it.

Gauging what MacFarlane is saying it would appear that a Family Guy movie wouldn’t be able to be done on television and would literally have to be a full fledged theatrical release.

We do know what the Family Guy movie will be. The Simpsons movie, I thought, was hilarious, but the one criticism I would have is that it’s a story they probably could’ve done on TV. There could’ve been an episode that had that plotline,” he said. “That’s the challenge with animation. You pretty much can do any story you want, so what is the reason for the movie? We finally hit on the answer to that question, and it will be something that would be impossible to do on TV.

MacFarlane would not delve much deeper than that, however from what he’s saying it would appear that when they do create the film that they’ll, more than likely, it will be an R-rated affair.

MacFarlane’s directorial debut Ted is widely regarded as the best comedy of the year and grossed over $200M in the theaters.  That’s not even counting the countless millions Ted is about to make when it is released on DVD/Blu-ray in a weeks time.  MacFarlane is set to host the Oscars in February in a departure by the Academy from the norm.

Via Cinemablend

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Well, if you’ve seen the end of The Dark Knight Rises you knew this bit of news wouldn’t be that far off.  As many have suspected and more expected, it seems that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be playing the Caped Crusader in Warner Bros. upcoming superhero team up film, The Justice League.

According to a report over at HitFix, Gordon-Levitt will be reprising his role of John Blake in the upcoming film and might even be donning the cape sooner than 2015.  The author the HF article seems to suggest that Warner Bros. wants Gordon-Levitt to make a cameo appearance at the end of next summer’s Man of Steel film, setting up a Batman/Superman team up film for 2015 – The Justice League.

This all makes perfect sense if you think about it.  Instead of a reboot, Warner Bros. is going to be transitioning – for the first time – from one character playing a superhero to another.  Before, if you remember, the Batman film’s have always simply been rebooted or have been stand alone films in the Gotham universe.  Tim Burton went to Joel Schumacher went to Christopher Nolan.  They were all rebooted.  Now it appears that there will be at least some continuity in the Gotham universe as the film’s will be continuing one character’s story in to a entirely new set of films.  I imagine this is the closest thing we’re going to get to a Batman Beyond movie.

It also makes sense to have Gordon-Levitt make an appearance in the only DC Comics film on the slate, Man of Steel, then reprise the role again for The Justice League movie.  From there, you can have Gordon-Levitt star in his own Batman films in 2017 and beyond.  It’s a fantastic plan if done correctly and allows DC Comics to stay right on course with Marvel and their Avengers Initiative.

The author the HF article, Drew McWeeny (what a name), is supposedly very reliable so this news is probably true, we’re just going to have to wait for a press release for it to be official.

My honest opinion is that this is fantastic news and allows comic book and movie film buffs alike a sense of peace and continuity knowing that Warner Bros. is finally on the right path with the future of the Batman film franchise.  The Justice League film does not yet have a director but it’s already got a script so we shouldn’t be too far out from a bunch of huge news regarding this project.

 

Via CinemaBlend

It was a holiday weekend at the box office and that usually means that new releases perform pretty well.  This year was no exception however it was the old releases out-lasting the new ones as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 held the top spot once again scoring nearly $50M in its second week.  It’s a drop of nearly 70% but anytime you can clear $40M in your second week you’re doing just fine.
Number two at the box office this Thanksgiving weekend was the James Bond hit Skyfall, bringing in another solid $35.5M totaling a baffling $221M in just under a month.  By far the largest money maker the James Bond franchise has ever seen.
Third this past long weekend was the Spielberg biopic Lincoln, which continues to perform well despite being a period-drama, pulling in $25.6M.  The film has done particularly well in its two weeks and has brought in nearly $63M.  In comparison, Spielberg’s last film – War Horse – only managed to gross $70M in its lifetime at the cinema.  Definitely a shift in support.

The weekend’s new releases, Dreamwork’s animated holiday tale Rise of the Guardians and the Ang Lee directed visual spectacular Life of Pi, rounded out the top five bringing in $23M and $22M respectively.

As a side note, the weekend’s other new release film – the Red Dawn remake – only managed to bring in $14M being beat out by Disney’s animated Wreck-It-Ralph.

Here is the full chart:

*Numbers in millions* (TOTAL)

1) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 – $43.6 ($227.3)

2) Skyfall – $35.5 ($221.1)

3) Lincoln – $25.6 ($62.8)

4) Rise of the Guardians – $23.7 (NEW)

5) Life of Pi – $22.4 (NEW)

6) Wreck-It-Ralph – $16.5 ($149.2)

7) Red Dawn (2012) – $14.2 (NEW)

8) Flight – $8.4 ($74.7)

9) Silver Linings Playbook – $4.3 ($6.2)

10) Argo – $3.8 ($98)

 

Via Box Office Mojo

It’s over.  It’s finally over and we – as a collective people – can go on caring about something other than sparkling vampires and shirtless werewolves.  You have been set free from the mind control capabilities Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight adaptations have had over you.  Be free, friends.  Be free.

Seriously though, this weekend’s massive blockbuster that the likes of November rarely sees, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 managed to smash the competition this weekend at the box office to the tune of $141M.  Breaking Dawn Part 2 is the second largest Twilight film and just missed becoming the highest grossing vampire film by just $1M, Twilight: New Moon brought in $142M back in 2008.  Collectively the Twilight franchise has made $1.2 BILLION to date, and Breaking Dawn Part 2 just came out.  No matter what you think about the books or the films or the culture that was created from them, this franchise has been one of the most successful film franchises of all time.

Coming in second this weekend at the box office was last week’s big winner, Skyfall.  No one expected Skyfall to do as well as it did last weekend and certainly no one expected it to take down the juggernaut that is Twilight, but James Bond still brought in a respectable second week total of $41M, bringing the film’s two week total to $161M.

Third place this weekend was Spielberg’s historical drama/biopic Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones.  The film, which technically opened in like 15 theaters last week, brought in $21M which is surprising.  The demographic for a Abraham Lincoln movie isn’t that strong, so kudos to them.

Rounding out the top five was Disney’s strong animated hit, Wreck-It-Ralph and Denzel Washington’s pilot drama Flight, bringing in $18M and $8M respectively.
Here’s the full top 10:

*Numbers in millions* (TOTAL)

1) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 – $141.3 (NEW)

2) Skyfall – $41.5 ($161.3)

3) Lincoln – $21 (NEW)

4) Wreck-It-Ralph – $18.3 ($121.4)

5) Flight – $8.6 ($61.3)

6) Argo – $4 ($92)

7) Taken 2 – $2 ($134.6)

8) Pitch Perfect – $1.2 ($62)

9) Here Comes the Boom – $1.2 ($41)

10) Cloud Atlas – $0.9 ($24.8)

 

Via Box Office Mojo

Video game junkies rejoice!  First it was Ubisoft announcing that the great Michael Fassbender will be playing Altair in the Assassin’s Creed adaptation due out in the next couple of years, and now we’ve got confirmation of another longstanding Ubisoft franchise getting the movie treatment.

It was announced today that Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless) will be playing the role of superspy Sam Fisher in the film adaptation of popular video game franchise, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.  Cinemablend reports (via Variety) that while the project does not yet have a production studio, Ubisoft have already met with Warner Bros. and Paramount.  The film will be written by Eric Warren Singer – who only has one film credit, The International – and does not yet have a director.

CEO of Ubisoft Motion PicturesJean-Julien Baronnet issued a statement;

“Tom Hardy is currently one of the biggest talents in the film industry, and he has a phenomenal ability to take on complex and varied roles with his broad range of acting skills. His involvement in the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell movie is exciting news for movie and video game fans alike. Meanwhile, Eric Singer is one of the most talented writers of the moment, and … we’re confident he’ll bring a fresh approach and create a thrilling story … while still respecting all the codes and traditions of the franchise that are so important to fans.”

Tom Hardy is already committed to another Tom Clancy feature Without Remorse, so there’s no telling how this new project might impact that one.

Splinter Cell first made its appearance in the video game world back in 2002.

This weekend we saw the masses flock to the 50th anniversary of James Bond in his new film Skyfall.  And by flock I absolutely mean FLOCK, to the tune of $87M.

Skyfall is the reboot and origins story that James Bond not only needed, but he deserved. For the longest time James Bond was this suave playboy who had nifty gadgets and witty one-liners.  Those were the days of Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan.  These are the days of Daniel Craig – by far the best Bond since Connery.  Skyfall came in with a $200M budget and while there isn’t anything really extravagant about Skyfall, the action pieces are relatively modest by Bond standards and there isn’t anyone flying a jet plane in this one – shooting on location is still expensive.  I think it’s safe to say that Skyfall will turn a profit domestically and has already made back all its money from global sales.  It’s such a good reboot for the franchise and I’ll be anxious to find out who they get to direct the next film.

The number two film this weekend at the box office was the successful Disney Animation title Wreck-It-Ralph, which debuted in the number one spot last weekend.  It brought in $33M this weekend, which is only a 33% decline over last weekend – pretty good for an animated film.  Ralph has now made $93M in two weeks.

The third film this weekend was Denzel Washington’s pilot drama Flight, which brought in $15M.  Considering the film only cost $31M to make and has now made nearly $50M – I think it’s safe to say that Flight is a certified hit.

Rounding out the top five is the Ben Affleck drama Argo and the Liam Neeson sequel Taken 2, bringing in $7M and $4M respectively.

 

Here is the full top 10:

*numbers in millions* (TOTAL)

1) Skyfall – $87.8 (NEW)

2) Wreck-It-Ralph – $33 ($93.6)

3) Flight – $15.1 ($47.7)

4) Argo – $6.7 ($85.7)

5) Taken 2 – $4 ($131.2)

6) Here Comes the Boom – $2.5 ($39)

7) Cloud Atlas – $2.5 ($22.7)

8) Pitch Perfect – $2.5 ($59)

9) The Man with the Iron Fists – $2.4 ($12.7)

10) Hotel Transylvania – $2.3 ($140.9)

 

Via Box Office Mojo

The character of James Bond has been around now for 50 years and through that half century we’ve gotten numerous actors to play the superspy playboy; Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan.  However, none of those actors – and they’re all pretty damn good – have portrayed James Bond with the sense of realism and mortality that Daniel Craig has for the past 5 years.  It’s what makes Craig the best Bond actor in the franchise’s 50 years of existence.  He’s the working man’s Bond, the real Bond, the “this guy might actually die” Bond.

You see, in past film’s (before Daniel Craig) you never got the sense that James Bond was actually in any real danger or that the mission he was on might not actually work out.  Whether it was Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan you always felt that Bond was three steps ahead of his enemies.  That all changed with the film version of Casino Royale, Craig’s first portrayal as Agent 007.  At the time Casino Royale was considered the best James Bond film to date, and I couldn’t argue with them, Martin Campbell’s realistic portrayal of the character had never been done before and it was fantastic.  Then Quantum of Solace came around, and while Daniel Craig was once again spot on, the film was a giant let down considering what it was following up.  Critics began questioning whether the “working man’s” Bond could work on screen or if it would just be another spy thriller.  Afterall we’re talking the James Bond, not just some guy wearing a tuxedo working for his country’s spy organization.  Thankfully Sam Mendes and MGM saw the stink of Quantum of Solace and rectified it with Skyfall.

Skyfall is James Bond’s redemption/resurrection story.  It’s the origin story he never received and we never saw, it’s the humanizing effort by a director to make us fall more in love with 007.  It’s both the James Bond we deserve and the James Bond we need.

Skyfall starts out with a failed mission in Turkey where Bond is presumed dead and spends quite some time away from MI6 somewhere drinking his sorrows away and banging pretty ladies.  Not a bad gig if you can get it.  However, Bond is sprung back in to the fray of things after a terrorist attack on MI6 headquarters in London where M (Judi Dench) was the target.  The rest of the film revolves around Bond hunting down the film’s villain, Raoul Silva (played by the magnificent Javier Bardem), a psychopath out for vengeance against MI6 for past transgressions.  The plot is rather simple and doesn’t ever get too complex but it’s Mendes’ direction that truly shines in this one.  He completely reboots the James Bond character and looks as if he’s starting from scratch – even though Casino Royale was technically this franchise’s reboot.  Mendes takes an old fashioned Bond and puts him in the new world of technology and forces Bond to adapt.  In many ways it’s the film’s best quality.

There are returning characters that you’ll recognize from films past, like Q – Bond’s Quartermaster – who is played by the young Ben Whishaw.  Bond and Q’s first meeting is one of the best scenes in the film.  I hope they give Q more scenes next film.  Then there’s a returning character, who – if you’re a fan of the Bond franchise – will recognize right off the bat (not by looks but by actions) before their names is ever given.  There is a changing of the guard with this film, and without spoiling anything I’ll keep it at that.

Javier Bardem’s portrayal as Silva is completely and utterly fantastic, the first time I heard him talk and watched his facial expressions I immediately thought of Heath Ledger’s Joker.  Now, the two characters are nothing alike but the way both actor’s seemed to delve into the roles is what I likened them to.  It’s too bad that these James Bond films don’t have an over-lapping story arc because I would love to see Silva in more James Bond films.

By the end of the movie you’re left wanting more, and that’s a great thing for this rebuilt franchise.  No more days of Pierce Brosnan flirting his way to the end of the film, no more quirky gadgets to save the day, just great wit and action is all we need.  Mendes delivers here.  I don’t know how many more Bond films Craig will star in but here’s hoping he doesn’t stop anytime soon.