A Wizard of Oz prequel directed by Sam Raimi. Sounds like a winner right?
Here’s the plot summary – When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
The more I see of writer/director Rian Johnsons’s time-travel flick, Looper, the more I think that this is going to be one of the best scifi films of the year. Already, I am totally sold on the fact that the two leads – Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – play the same person at different ages in a life-and-death struggle with each other! All possible through that wonderful scifi device called time-travel. Wonderful!! Check out the trailer. Looper opens in late September.
Remakes can be tricky. Early on, the producers talked up the new version of Paul Verhoeven’s classic Total Recall as being more a adaptation of Philip K Dick’s short story We Can Remember ItkFor You Wholesale rather than a straight remake of the original movie. WRONG! As it is clearly apparent from this latest trailer, this is a straightforward remake of the movie as there are no three-breasted ladies or actual trips to Mars in the short story. Fact is, the short story would make a boring action movie if faithfully adapted. So is there any point to repeated the whole exercise once over again. Well… I think so. Based on the trailers, the effects and action sequences look pretty good and having Bryan Cranston on board as the villain of the piece never hurts. Also, the combined eye candy of Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale should make up for Colin Farrell’s anticipated over-acting. I mean come on, look at the image above and not picture Arnie in that chair. Try…
When I arrived at Lido 5 ten minutes late due to some unnecessary administrative hassle, the film had just begun and whilst I was struggling to find my seat, I missed a scene between a very young Peter Parker and his father Richard. Great start! BUT once I settled down in my seat, the story of awkward, geeky teenager Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) began to unfold before my eyes. Very soon, his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) were introduced, in addition to the gorgeous Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and I bought it lock stock and barrel!!!
With each new trailer of The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan has revealed more and more of his epic vision for this final chapter of the Dark Knight trilogy. This final (?) trailer is probably the best yet with enough reveals to send shivers down your spine but still with so much held back to keep one in eager anticipation of the power and glory to come. Certainly all bets are off on whether The Dark Knight Rises will be the best superhero movie ever… was there any doubt??
When I first heard that SONY Pictures had put a stop to developing Spider-Man 4 with director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire and decided instead to reboot the franchise completely with The Amazing Spider-Man I was skeptical about the idea as it had only been a decade since Raimi’s Spider-Man and I thought that it was much too soon (as did many many other geeks).
It is epic, visually dazzling and most definitely, the prequel to director Ridley Scott’s first movie, Alien, released back in 1979. Yes all that nonsense about Prometheus not being an Alien prequel but instead being set in the same universe was simply a distraction. In fact, Scott pretty much sets out the film’s narrative based on that found in Alien.
With John Carter, The Avengers and MIB3 out of the way, the serious contender for your hardcore scifi fan attention arrives in 5 days time as Prometheus opens in Singapore on 7th June. Marking director Ridley Scott’s return to scifi, Prometheus promises to be an epic horror-adventure flick to keep your senses and your mind engaged.
The expectations for Men in Black 3 were nowhere as high as for The Avengers, Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises or even The Amazing Spider-Man. In addition, the basic premise of the movie – Agent J (Will Smith) goes back in time to save Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones)’s life and therefore deliver the Earth from an alien invasion – seems trite and hackneyed. So rather surprisingly, despite its dodgy premise the movie succeeds in providing good old fashioned scifi-based comedic entertainment, never taking itself too seriously and generally being a big ball of FUN!
About a year ago, I grumbled and lamented that the Season 3 finale had been so disappointing. Basically, I opined that removing Peter from existence did not make any sense whatsoever and was wondering how the writers would resolve this in Season 4. Well, over the course of the 22 episodes of the excellent Season 4, I’ve had to eat my words numerous times.
With the resounding box office success of The Avengers, the summer blockbuster season has gotten off to the perfect start. To date, the Joss Whedon-helmed superhero movie spectacular has already grossed over US$800 million worldwide and there appears no reason to suppose that it will not surpass the billion dollar mark.
With science-fiction and fantasy themed movies capturing the imagination of the movie-going public, let’s take stock of what is the come in the months ahead and let’s speculate upon how well (or poorly – remember John Carter?) they will be received.
Despite all the hype that has been surrounding The Avengers movie, I had this nagging suspicion that the movie just could not live up to the huge expectations being placed on it. The key issue was whether writer-director Joss Whedon could juggle the four main characters (viz. Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America) and supporting characters (viz. Black Widow, Hawkeye & Nick Fury) and provide a coherent narrative at the same time.
With all the hype surrounding Marvel’s Avengers, it’s easy to forget that Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises opens in July and still remains one of the most hotly-anticipated films of 2012. A new trailer was released a few days ago and as trailers go, there’s not much slam bang action to go around but there are enough hints to suggest what will be transpire in this final installment of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
Bring together the talents of top writer Don DeLillo, acclaimed director David Cronenberg and urm Twilight actor Robert Pattinson and the result is Cosmopolis. The narrative follows a billionaire (Pattinson) as he takes a stretch limousine ride across Manhattan and the film chronicles his misadventures all in the course of a single day. Selected for competition at this years’ Cannes Film Festival – and based on its trailers so far – Cosmopolis looks like a highly sexed, socially charged study into our modern times, billing itself as “finally, the first film about our new millennium”. Also starring Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton and Kevin Durand.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a GEEK OUT! but watching the new AMC reality series Comic Book Men has inspired a return of sorts to all things geek at Power of Pop. What’s Comic Book Men about? According to AMC, it’s an unscripted one hour series, which dives deep into fanboy culture by following the antics in and around master fanboy Kevin Smith’s New Jersey comic shop, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. The series also features features Secret Stash employees Walt, manager and de-facto leader; Mike, a comic book virtuoso; Ming, the store’s technical expert and go-to whipping boy; and Bryan, who doesn’t actually work at the Stash, yet can always be found perched on a stool behind the front counter.
Having worked at a comic book store in the mid-80s (and enjoying every minute) this is like a geek fantasy/reality show and will definitely appeal to all the hardcore geeks out there. So far four episodes have aired and the latest one where Ming pitches his idea of a Zombie-themed store promotion to Walt is probably the one I’ve enjoyed the most. The show intercuts scenes from the store and the round table discussions, which includes Smith as well. Along the way, customers will be featured either buying or selling comics or toys to/from the store. An interesting segment found Walt actually paying top dollar for rare John Buscema Silver Surfer original artwork.
It’s a lot of fun with loads of laughter and even if you’re not a comic book fan, you will appreciate the banter amongst the various characters and of course, Smith is always good for a laugh or three! Only two more episodes before the first season wraps up – hopefully there will be more to come… Check out the trailer below.
I spent most of last night’s waking hours watching Plinkett’s reviews of two of those dreadful Star Wars prequels. These are featured at Red Letter Media, a no-holds barred film reviews site which I have recently discovered. Over at the Plinkett’s reviews section, we have video reviews of the Star Trek and Star Wars movies, which believe me will have you splitting your sides in uncontrollable laughter. But seriously, it is obvious that the maker(s) of these videos has put in considerable effort to come up with such detailed analysis. But be warned once you start, you will be addicted in no time at all! Not convinced, check out the trailer below. You have been warned!
Making a superhero movie is a fine balancing act. How to satisfy the comic book geeks without being incomprehensible to the general movie-going public? So far, I think The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and maybe Spider-Man 2, did a grand job in hitting that middle ground, the rest have been either too faithful to the comic book (Watchmen) or not faithful at all (the X-movies).
It’s been a long time since a second tier DC Comics character has been given a feature film adaptation and so much has been riding on this Green Lantern movie for Warners. With the recent successes of the Marvel film adaptations, Warners need a DC comic book movie hit. And despite the critical mauling that this movie has been universally receiving, I will stick out my neck to predict that Green Lantern will be a box office hit.
Well, considering that director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kickass) signed on with X-Men: First Class only in May last year, it’s amazing that he has managed to put together probably the best X-Men movie so far in the franchise. In fact, I will be bold enough to declare that X-Men: First Class is probably the best superhero team movie ever! Not that that is a grand achievement in itself when you consider that the only real competitors (other than the first X-Men trilogy) are the two truly awful Fantastic Four flicks.
Of all the movies slated for release this summer blockbuster season, the one which seemed to lack the necessary geek credibility was Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds. The first trailer did not help this perception as it played more like a comedy (think: Batman & Robin) than a dark epic superhero drama (think: The Dark Knight). But since then, Warners has taken great pains to address that imbalance with a second trailer which has certainly raised the expectations amongst the geek community.
With the movie release coming up very soon and perhaps concerned about public perception (non-geek), a third (and final) trailer has been released – narrated by GL Toma Re (as voiced by the excellent Geoffrey Rush), this trailer gives the requisite background into the GL universe so that neophytes may also understand what Green Lantern is all about. Take a look and you will be convinced that the Green Lantern movie will be a superhero action-adventure to look forward to.
This, for me, is the superhero movie of the summer, mainly because of what I have seen of Michael Fassbinder’s Magneto in the trailers. In addition, I am also putting a certain amount of faith in director Matthew Vaughn’s ability to make this work (but since his competition is the risible X-Men 3 and Wolverine movies, it will not be difficult).
Fox has issued four trailers focusing on the very subject matter of the film – the first class of mutants tutored by Professor X and Magneto viz. Banshee, Mystique, Beast and Havok. Whilst all look intriguing, it only serves to emphasize that the film deviates too much from the comic book to make it an absolute winner.
This is obviously an attempt to link this prequel with the X-Men trilogy in the eyes of movie-goers. Therefore, we get a Havok who is older than Cyclops, a different Angel, a young Banshee and a Mystique that was formerly an X-Man! Only the Beast remains from the original comic book team.
Of course, only geeks like me – who grew up loving the original X-Men – will be pissed off and bothered about this whilst watching the film.
The best compliment I can bestow upon Thor is that I was expecting more when it ended. The two-hour duration whizzed past so quickly that it actually felt short. Kudos to director Kenneth Branagh for bringing to life a comic book super-hero story that seems almost unfilmable.
Brilliantly interweaving two stories – one, in Asgard and the other on Midgard (i.e. Earth!) – Thor is delivered almost naturally for a movie that involves Norse deities. There’s not a single moment where you begin to feel that the concept is silly or corny – in line with other Marvel stories, the believability quotient is always high. No mean feat.