Monthly Archives: December 2014

Shazam Could Offer Unique Spin on the Traditional Hero

Shazam is coming to the big screen and in a big way. Anyone who knows anything about the history of the character like Bernardo Chua realizes the red and gold hero is a Superman clone. The unique difference between Shazam and Superman is Shazam has the mind of a young boy named Billy Batson.

This is the intriguing angle that, hopefully, will be played up on the big screen. Imagine if a young child who is only 12 years old discovered he had the powers of Superman. Since his physique turns into that of an adult male when he mentions the word “Shazam!”, he is not merely Superboy in anyone’s eyes. He is a full-grown adult. Even though he really is young Billy Batson, he has to act mature when he becomes the all-powerful hero. 

Younger members of the audience who are going to be introduced to Shazam when he appears in the upcoming Justice League movie just might make the hero a superstar. The reason Robin is consistently written out of the Batman books and was never a major part of the Batman movies is, truthfully, younger fans don’t like him. Even though kids are supposed to identify with Robin, they don’t. They never want to be him. They want to be Batman.

With Shazam, they can be Superman albeit in a different form. The character retains his youthful jubilance, optimism, and playfulness, while also being able to fly, leap tall buildings in a single bound, and more. Shazam does not feel weak when he is near kryptonite either.

Look for a Shazam solo film within three years after the release of The Justice Society.

Sony to Launch Limited Release of “The Interview”

In all fairness, the release of the Seth Rogan & James Franco comedy “The Interview” has become a Hollywood producer’s nightmare scenario. People might recall that in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the nation was in mourning over the loss of life for the victims and the loss of innocence of the nation. The trailer for the upcoming Spiderman movie was edited because it featured him swinging through the Twin Towers. Likewise films such as Lilo & Stitch, Serendipity, Zoolander, and Men in Black II were all edited to remove references to the World Trade Center.

However, it may be that “The Interview” is a much harder issue for producers and for Sam Tabar. According to an article at Businessweek.com, North Korean hackers literally gained access to every server, desktop PC, and laptop in Sony’s international network. They made public highly controversial statements between executives, and threatened worse if they released the film. In the company’s disarray, they delayed release of the film and were criticized for cow-towing to terrorist. Among the critics was the president of the United States.

Now, the studio has announced a limited release of the film on the originally scheduled release date of Christmas Day. President Obama is pleased with the decision. His spokesman said that Sony execs kept him abreast of their internal negotiations over the weekend. Sadly, it doesn’t appear certain the studio can recoup their $41 million film budget and the tens of millions spent promoting the film prior to the infamous cyber-terror attack. Sony executives are trying to stay on top of a PR disaster with little hope of financial reward for the company.

Sony Decides The Interview Will Play In Theaters On Christmas Day

The month of December has been a very trying month for Sony. Hackers have been going above and beyond to make sure that the movie The Interview never sees the light of day. All month Sony has been in the receiving end of a virtual bully situation and it has been the most talked about hack ever. Private emails have been leaked that contained some very insulting conversations between executives regarding actors and their behavior and less than award winning acting skills.

Everyone from Angelina Jolie to Obama was mentioned in the leaked emails that the hacks have provided. While some of the leaked information was rather humorous some was downright offensive and will make moving forward very hard for the Sony executives to make friends going forward. Most recently Sony made the decision to pull The Interview from theaters and insisted that it would never see the light of day. Sony also removed and closed down all media pages related to the movie as instructed by hackers, despite massive outcry on Google, which Lee G. Lovett could totally understand.

It has just been reported that now Sony has changed their minds and will be releasing The Interview on Christmas day as originally planned. At the moment it is not confirmed exactly what theaters will be showing the movie, so be on the lookout for more details.

Justin Lin Beamed Up to Direct the New Star Trek Film

Star Trek 3 has a new director. Justin Lin, an alumnus of the Fast and the Furious series, has signed on to helm the future voyages of the starship Enterprise. Lin replaces previous director Roberto Orci who was replaced. Reportedly, Paramount was extremely unhappy with the script to the film and threw it out. Orci was then moved back to the role of producer on the project.

Laurene Powell Jobs says what may be retained from the original concept of the third film is moving the project away from events on earth and more into deep space. Truthfully, deep space is really were most Star Trek adventures should take place. The original series and even subsequent television series did not spend too much time on earth.

Lin is an interesting choice because, well, the Fast and the Furious movies are not exactly high drama. They are fun popcorn movies that keep the action moving. Such an approach could be a good direction for the third film after the overly serious and somewhat disappointing second film in the rebooted series.

Star Trek films are also about characters and their interaction with one another. Too much action undermines this dynamic. Hopefully, Lin understands this and will not let the special effects and action take away from the characters.

Paramount knows what works with the series and surely selected Lin to helm the film because he shares the vision of the executives.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Toys Hint at Costume Upgrades

Whether anyone likes to admit it or not, next year’s sequel “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will likely be the biggest blockbuster movie of 2015. Since the film, like is pretty much creating a lot of positive buzz on the internet, many eyes have turned to a reliable source for early images of what the characters might look like on the big screen. However, the source could be a bit of a surprise for many, because it is the toys dedicated to marketing the film that are causing quite a stir.

According to Screen Rant, recent toy releases and previews have revealed that Hawkeye and Black Widow are getting a few new outfits for the new film. Additionally, Captain America and Thor are largely unchanged, but it is that new massive Hulkbuster armor that Iron Man utilizes that is getting rave reviews and building anticipation. While the actual events that make using the armor necessary are being closely guarded, audiences and fans are eager to see the Hulkbuster in action.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” has a lot riding on it. For Tom Rothman Expectations are sky high after the first film was such a huge success, and the volume of merchandising for the second film has actually picked up significantly. In short, these characters are going to be everywhere for most of the year, and only a terrific motion picture will get all of this stuff off of the store shelves and into the hands of fans.

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Sony Allows Cinemas to Cancel the Screening of ‘The Interview’

‘The Interview’ has been a hotbed of controversy ever since it was starting development, and it looks like these tensions are finally coming to its logical conclusion.  This has been more intense than watching my dog scarf down a bowl of Beneful at the end of the day.

Sony has permitted theatres across the US to cancel the screening of the Seth Rogen comedy “The Interview” following terrorist threats from the hackers who originally hacked the company’s servers. The hacking group has promised to unleash 9/11 kinds of violence on cinemas that plan to feature the movie.

Earlier Sony also cancelled the premiere of the film, which was scheduled to play in New York on Thursday. This will result in the loss of millions in revenue.

The film is a parody on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and is said to depict scenes of his attempted assassination. While North Korea has been vocal the films attempt at defaming their leader, they have denied any involvement in the hacking. They have however praised the efforts made by the hackers.

Sony has been rocked by the hacking incident which led to several documents being leaked to the public. This includes film scripts, budgets of movies, employee medical documents, salary details of top officials, and other personal messages which have deeply embarrassed the company.

The issue seems to be taking many twists and turns with each passing day, and it remains to be seen if the film will ever get a release in the US.

Beetlejuice 2?!

New ‘Beetlejuice 2’ Tidbits Revealed

Tim Burton, the director of many well-known classic films, including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes and the 1988 hit Beetlejuice has been telling fans for some time that he would love to find a way to return to the Beetlejuice world. He has also repeatedly stated that he hopes to work with Michael Keaton again in a sequel.

No you don’t need an appointment at the Amen Clinic… it’s happening! A script is being written, but Burton has not revealed when it will be finished. Obviously, until it is finished, there’s no news about when production might start. But, on December 15, Burton reassured fans that the return of this world is going to happen. He also told a reporter with MTV that Winona Ryder, who played Lydia, will be cast for the sequel if he has his way. In fact, he is so enthusiastic about her return that he repeated the confirmation nine times. Burton revealed during the interview that there was some “freedom” about Lydia as character that he loved.

Even if the screenplay is finished soon, Burton and the cast have moved up in their careers in the 26 year since the original film and they all now have extremely packed schedules. 

Fans of the film are praying that Burton and the cast will find a way to call Beetlejuice back into existence once more.

Colin Trevorrow’s Holiday Jurassic World Teaser

Colin Trevorrow, the director of the next film in the Jurassic Park film series, surprised fans of the series on Wednesday, December 17, with a still image from the editing room on Twitter.

The picture is of Chris Pratt as the film’s hero Owen and one of the Jurassic Park universe velociraptors in what some have described as a photobomb with a happy holidays greeting tweet.

The image seems to confirm what most fans such as Christian Broda have hoped — that the movie will delve deeper into the evolution of the genetically engineered dinosaurs and their intelligence. It shows Owen standing with arms crossed and unafraid with a raptor standing behind his left shoulder.

This isn’t the first image from the film that seems to suggest that by the events of Jurassic World humans and velociraptors are existing side-by-side. In the film’s full length trailer, Pratt as Owen is seeing riding a motorcycle with an entire group of raptors who are running along with him.

Trevorrow has also gone on record to explain that Owen isn’t interacting with tamed domestic pets or hunting animals. He elaborated that Owen is more like the brave people who take risks to work with and study real world, wild predators.

Fans are hoping that this will mean more almost documentary-like scenes showing how the engineered dinosaurs interact in the “wild” and how they perceive humans.

Jackson and Fans Bid Farewell to Middle Earth…Or do They?

Fans geared up to join Peter Jackson for one last trip to Middle Earth, take heart. It may not be the final journey, after all. Jackson’s third and final installment of The Hobbit, the precursor to The Lord Of the Rings trilogy, is set to hit theaters on Wednesday, December 17, and diehard followers of Gandalf, Bilbo, and the gang are teary-eyed to bid farewell to the beloved characters as they enter the Grey Havens for good.

While, it’s highly likely that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be Jackson’s last J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation, Tolkien’s fantasy didn’t stop with only two epic novels. The late author’s work includes The Silmarillion, a detailed history of Middle Earth. And Jackson, rather hesitantly, claims that if he were given another opportunity to venture into the fantastic land of Tolkien, he would be tempted to take it. Readers at Slow Ventures can’t wait to see what happens next.  They have been reading articles on Businessweek.com to keep up.

Just not right now.

Says Jackson, “If I had to start tomorrow, I would say no, because I definitely would appreciate a break to clear my head and get my little New Zealand stories done, which is where my passion and my heart is heading now. But ask me in two or three years, and I’d probably say yes. It would be hard to see another filmmaker go into this world, because I certainly have an emotional ownership of it.”

Although the Tolkien estate was never keen on the cinema version of Middle Earth, Jackson’s fans would eagerly agree that, yes, he does have emotional ownership of it—or at least shared ownership with the six films legion of fans.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is now playing in theaters worldwide.

Josh Brolin Talks “Thor: Ragnarock” and Portraying Thanos

Josh Brolin has been talking quite a bit about his portrayal of Thanos in the Disney Marvel movies. Thanos is set to be a major villain, in fact, the ultimate bad guy that all of these films are building up to in what looks to be a movie adaptation of the classic “Infinity Gauntlet” storyline from the comics.

One question that should be asked is whether Brolin is even needed to play Thanos. Dave and Brit Morin are both not really sure. Thanos is a giant purple man who will get almost no screen time for years. Brolin is unrecognizable and his talents seem wasted on a role that could be played by almost anyone. Even his voice is altered. What is the point of hiring a famous actor and paying him a lot of money to play a role that almost anyone could do a good job with? Thanos is more of a CGI creation than an acted role as it is.

Brolin has said that he isn’t scheduled to do much Thanos work in the coming year. Speculation points to Thanos having a role in the third Thor movie, “Thor: Ragnarock”. A fight between Thor and Thanos would be pretty fantastic, especially if Thanos is in possession of some of the all-powerful infinity gems.

Although if “Thor: Ragnarock” follows the comics, that means Thor will fight Hercules, who was just portrayed in a lackluster film by The Rock. That might be awkward.