Disney Loops in Rian Johnson for ‘Star Wars’ Sequels

rianjohnsonCelebrated indie director Rian Johnson – known for his time-travel action film Looper, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well as Brick – has been chosen by Disney to direct the next two Star Wars sequels, Episode XIII and IX. He will also script XIII and write at least a treatment for Episode IX if not the actual screenplay.

This move reinforces the trend of choosing bright young directors on the rise to rebuild Lucasfilm’s franchise, such as the previously announced Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four), who will oversee so far unspecified spin-off movies.

CGI of the Planet of the Apes

When the primates of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hit the big screen on July 11, a lot computer wizardry will have gone into making Caesar and friends look like real apes.

Take a look at this clip showing side-by-side examples of live-action filming of the actors and the finished product:

Let’s not forget that the realistic apes owe a lot to the talents of Andy Serkis and his fellow motion-capture artists! One of these years, Serkis will win the Oscar he deserves!

Meet the Baddies of GOTHAM

This trailer focuses on the villains — present and future — that young Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) will encounter on the increasingly mean streets of Gotham City in the Batman prequel series GOTHAM.

Looking at this clip suddenly made me realize a very HUGE problem facing the producers of GOTHAM: How to avoid making Gordon look like a failure and a screw-up! After all, he can hardly take down Penguin and Catwoman before Batman confronts them, so the entire series could be about how the baddies foil Gordon, the last good cop in the city.

Of course, the corruption of the GCPD could be the key to this problem: every time Gordon and partner Haevey Bullock (Donal Logue) arrests Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) or Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith) the dirty system puts them right back out on the street, thus Gordon is allowed to win many battles but lose the war.

New ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ UK Trailer

The second international trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has dropped, and it does the best job yet of sketching out the premise of the movie — while still making it look like more fun than we have any right to expect!

I’m at the point now where I’m starting to worry just a little bit: Can the movie possibly be as fantastic as it looks? (For example, as it appears in this “Spirit in the Sky” trailer.) Can our wishes come true a second time this year? (Captain America: The Winter Soldier was everything I’d hoped for and more!) Director James Gunn has been very reliable so far…

Let’s hope this movie lives up to the tag line, “You’re welcome.”

GotG’s Ronan the Accuser Revealed!

ronanJames Gunn, director of Marvel’s Next Big Thing, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, posted the first clear image of Ronan the Accuser, the Big Bad antagonist of the movie, on his Twitter today.

Ronan (played by Lee Pace) is a badass member of the Kree race, and he’s known for carrying a big… hammer-thingy… which he appears to be pointing toward us in this photo. You can find this, accompanied by Gunn’s witty caption, here, on his official Twitter feed.

GotG opens Aug. 1 here in the USA.

War in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

There’s a lot going on in this new trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but I’m disappointed that Gary Oldman‘s character seems to be driving the plot with his belief the apes are just animals and he’s the savior of humanity.

What I found most shocking about this clip (in a good way) was the battleship — implying that there is still a sophisticated human civilization somewhere. I had assumed that the plague talked about in the previous movie and  trailers for this one had wiped out most of the human race around the globe, but unless ship is from a flashback or dream sequence, that is clearly not the case.

Perhaps the battle for the planet of the apes will be tougher than the simians are expecting?

USA About to Mix It Up in FIFA World Cup

klinsmannSo… yay?

For fans here in America, the contrast between last week’s thrilling, edge-of-your-seat excitement and non-stop, breakneck action during the Stanley Cup Finals and the actually-see-the-grass-grow-on-the-pitch dullness of the soccer tournament could not be more obvious.

So, with Team USA about to take the field pitch against Ghana without Landon Donovan, the greatest international player in American history, the big question is, Will the Americans be able to score a single goal before being booted from the tourney?
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