Category Archives: Movie Slice
Just yesterday we got confirmation of standalone Star Wars films that will likely be released in between the milestone episodes of the new trilogy. Disney CEO Bob Iger said we can expect at least five films in the Star Wars universe released over a six-year period starting in 2015. While rumors swirl about Yoda starring in the first spin-off, Iger says the standalone films “are not part of the overall saga.” That likely means they don’t impact the new trilogy but will still have some established characters, but we’re not sure. In the meantime, we’re left to anticipate Star Wars: Episode VII which now has director J.J. Abrams officially on board, and this new fanmade trailer just makes us more excited.
The use of Benedict Cumberbatch’s voiceover, music and Inception style horn blares from the Star Trek Into Darkness trailer are used perfectly with footage from The Force Unleashed and Old Republic video games, starfighter sequences from the prequels and more. Obviously it’s more of a teaser since it’s vague on a story, but the real issue is a lack of any emotional ground to stand on, which even the Star Trek sequel trailer has. Of course, you can’t really do much when you’re using existing footage from other media to make a trailer, but this is still edited pretty well, and just gets us excited for Star Wars: Episode VII arriving 2015.
Polygon spoke with J.J. Abrams following his on-stage discussion with Newell. “It’s as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets,” Abrams said of the just-announced plans to develop movies based on Portal and Half-Life. “Which is that we are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas.”
Original Story: Valve and director J.J. Abrams want to make a video game together and perhaps a film based on Portal or Half-Life, Abrams announced with Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell during their storytelling discussion at the 2013 DICE Summit today.
“There’s an idea we have for a game that we’d like to work with Valve on,” said Abrams. Newell added, “We’re super excited about that and we also want to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie.”
For most of their 25-minute talk, Abrams and Newell rolled clips of each other’s work — Valve games such as Half-Life 2 and Abrams films like Cloverfield — as well as other films, including Die Hard. They focused on similarities and differences between the ways in which films and games tell stories, as well as the successes and failings of both forms in doing so.
“I love the experience of playing your games,” Abrams told Newell. The Valve co-founder mentioned a scene from Cloverfield in which a woman explodes, and called it “one of my favorite moments in any of your movies.”
At the end of the talk, Newell revealed that the DICE lecture was a public rehash of discussions that he and Abrams already had.
“What we are actually doing here, we are recapitulating a series of conversations going on,” said Newell. “We reached the point that we decided to do more than talk.”
Disney just wasn’t big enough already, I guess. The company announced today that it has purchased Lucasfilm (you know, the Star Wars factory) for $4.05 billion.
They also announced a targeted 2015 release date of Star Wars: Episode 7. I have to assume that means the film will take place after Return of the Jedi, but that’s about all we know. Will it delve into the extended universe stuff seen in the books? Will Luke Skywalker be back? Who knows?
George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm, said in a statement, “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
Combined with the fact that Disney also owns Marvel as well as Pixar, that’s a lot of beloved franchises under one roof.
This leaves me with a few questions right off the bat:
Does this affect the Star Wars live action TV series that Lucas has been trying to get off the ground for awhile?
When will we see “Star Wars Land,” or at least Star Wars attractions at Disney Land/World?
Will Obi-Wan Kenobi appear in the new Kingdom Hearts game?
When will we see the Donald Duck and Howard the Duck crossover Christmas special?
Does this affect LucasArts, the Lucas game studio currently working on Star Wars 1313?
UPDATE 3:30 PM: According to Twitter reports from a Disney investor call, Star Wars Episode 8 and 9 are also confirmed, with the plan being to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.
The first two Paranormal Activity movies left a lot of questions unanswered with regard to Katie Featherston’s possessed Katie and her character’s infant nephew Hunter with whom she absconded at the end of PA2. Questions like, “So, uh, what happened next to Katie Featherston’s possessed Katie and her character’s infant nephew Hunter with whom she absconded at the end of PA2?”.
That particular query went unanswered by the last year’s prequel Paranormal Activity 3 and when EW recently spoke with PA3 and Paranormal Activity 4 directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman they were predictably tight-lipped about the plot of the franchise’s forthcoming fourth entry and whether Featherston even appears in the movie (“We’re not allowed to say but she definitely haunts our dreams,” is all Joost would admit).
The new PA4 trailer, on the other hand, strongly hints that the film will clear up the situation: In fact, that’s the promise it makes right at the start. Also featured? A creepy kid (is that Hunter? Maybe) a shadowy female figure (is that Katie? Could be) and a fridge full of food (is it time for me to grab some lunch? For sure).
Check out the trailer for the film — which arrives in cinemas October 19 — and tell us what you think.
A new Hobbit trailer has been released ahead of Peter Jackson’s adaptation.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will open in cinemas on December 14 this year. The Office star Martin Freeman plays Bilbo Baggins, the title character and Ian McKellen reprises his role from The Lord of the Rings films as the wizard Gandalf.
Jackson announced earlier this year that The Hobbit will be split into three films, all due to be released a year apart.
Nine years after giving us “The Matrix” trilogy, the Wachowski siblings return in mind-bending fashion with “Cloud Atlas,” a sprawling historical/science fiction tale based on the award-winning novel by David Mitchell.
Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess and Hugo Weaving, “Cloud Atlas,” bowing October 26, is an examination of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future.
Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I watched a five-minute trailer for a major studio pic; then again, “Cloud Atlas” is so vast and ambitious in nature, it would be impossible for Warner Bros. to tease in 60 seconds. Having said that, I still have no clue what this movie is about (!), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Produced by Philip Lee and Uwe Schott, “Cloud Atlas” premieres at the Toronto Film Festival.
“Phase two” has officially begun for Marvel Studios, which is riding high on the domestic and world-wide success of superhero film “The Avengers.”
During its presentation at Comic-Con International late Saturday afternoon, Marvel used its time in Hall H to confirm two new films, announce new titles for two other films and preview footage from its currently-shooting “Iron Man 3.”
Following an introduction video that thanked the fans for making “The Avengers” the “biggest superhero movie of all time,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced that the sequels to 2011’s “Thor” and “Captain America” would be subtitled “The Dark World” and “The Winter Soldier,” respectively, and hit theater November 8, 2013 and April 4, 2014.
Feige also officially confirmed Marvel was working on a “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie for August 2014. The film centers on an Avengers-like team of superheroes that includes characters like Rocket Raccoon, a gun-toting animal crime-fighter, and Drax the Destroyer. Feige also invited British filmmaker Edgar Wright to help him announce an “Ant-Man” film, which will follow the exploits of a scientist who discovers a chemical that allows him to change sizes. Though no one has been cast yet, Wright has shot a test scene of “Ant-Man” taking down two guards.
“Ant-Man will kick your a– one inch at a time,” Wright said.
The studio’s new announcements were quickly followed by footage from “Iron Man 3” and a panel discussion with the actors and creative team. Currently halfway through production, the last film in the “Iron Man” trilogy stars Robert Downey Jr. as the title millionaire-crimefighter and Ben Kingsley as new villain the Mandarin. Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall co-star as scientists.
Filmmaker Shane Black, who took over directing duties from Jon Favreau, told the crowd that his goal with “Iron Man 3” was to go “back to the roots” and get into the mythology of the character.
The star of the show, however, was undoubtedly Downey, who took his time strutting to the stage — with Luther Vandross blaring over the stereo system — and spent much of his panel time riffing with both his colleagues and fans. With Don Cheadle, who plays Rhodey in “Iron Man 3,” Downey Jr. said the duo was trying to figure out which Brinks trucks they wanted to show up at their door to do another “Iron Man” movie. The actor later helped close out the session by leading the audience singing “Happy Birthday” to a fan turning 15.
Here’s the (ridiculous) trailer for RZA’s directorial debut The Man With the Iron Fists. Written by RZA and Eli Roth and produced by Quentin Tarantino, the film follows the (very violent and flashy) adventures of stars Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, and RZA himself in feudal China.
As if that were not a stacked enough roster, according to the trailer, the film’s soundtrack includes new music from Kanye West, the Black Keys, Wiz Khalifa, Wu-Tang Clan, and RZA himself, as Consequence of Sound points out.
Out in theaters on Dec. 25, “Django Unchained” tells the story of the title slave (Jamie Foxx), who teams with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz, in typically perfect form) to track down a pair of nefarious brothers and free Django’s wife in the process. That will prove difficult, as she’s been captured by Calvin Candie (a delightfully creepy Leonardo DiCaprio) who runs the plantation Candie Land with extreme prejudice. Literally.
Starring Foxx, Waltz, DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, Franco Nero and M.C. Gainey (holler, Mr. Friendly!), “Django Unchained” is in theaters on Dec. 25.
The Cannes Film Festival got its biggest shot of celebrity adrenaline yet on Tuesday, even if it was only half the dose some were expecting.
Brad Pitt arrived at the festival with the stylish, hardboiled film “Killing Them Softly,” which he produced and stars in. The film, an adaptation of a George V. Higgins crime novel directed by Andrew Dominik, was screened Tuesday in competition for the Palme d’Or.
While many were wrangling with the film’s audacious juxtaposing of a story of violent back-stabbing criminals with an overt political subtext, others were being gently let down by Pitt: No, Angelina Jolie wasn’t with him, as she’s preparing for a role, he said. And their highly anticipated wedding has no date set, he said in a press conference.
But “Killing Them Softly” left much for discussion. Pitt stars as a kind of fixer who organizes the necessary retribution of two thieves (Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn) who rob a poker game of gangsters. Woven throughout are billboards, radio broadcast and televised speeches of U.S. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush.
Though the book (“Cogan’s Trade”) takes place in the 1970s, the film is set in 2008, during the presidential election and the financial crisis. At one point, Pitt’s character pronounces: “America’s not a country, it’s a business.”
“We were certainly at the apex of the mortgage loan debacle,” Pitt said on the beginning of the project. “I felt that I was reading a gangster film and it wasn’t until the very end that it coalesced for me as far what the direction of the film is pointing to overall — that this microcosm is actually saying something about the macro world.”
Pitt said he doesn’t intend “Killing Them Softly,” which is scheduled for theatrical release this September, to be read as his views or to be fodder for the upcoming election season.
“I always feel that crime films are about capitalism,” said Dominik, the director of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” ”It’s the only genre where it’s perfectly accepted for all the characters to be motivated by a desire for money only.”