23
Jul
2014

Space Station 76 - robot

Space Station 76 is taking us back to the future in the most awesome way possible.

There was just something awesome about the way we the world viewed the future in the 1960s and 1970s. It felt so other worldly and awesome, but when you look back you realize it was very much viewed through the prism of sensibilities of those times. As off as those views were, they were still awesome.

An upcoming comedy called Space Station 76 will take a look at all of that and poke some fun at those views, and I’m all for it. Nothing like a cigarette and booze on the bridge.

The film already debuted at SXSW earlier this year, and no release plans have been announced yet, but it will be out there some day for all of us to enjoy.

22
Jul
2014

Lucy Lawless

Lucy Lawless is heading to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but no one knows for quite how long.

Best known for playing the lead role on Xena: Warrior Princess, Lucy Lawless will next be appearing in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. The show, which is entering its second season on Sept. 23, will be adding the genre favorite actress, but little else is known about the role so far. Speculation is pointing to her being a former agent that is highly trained and possibly named Mary.

My guess is this will be a trial run and if viewers take to her she’ll stick around.

That being said, my gut tells me she’ll be around for a while.

22
Jul
2014

star-wars-x-wing-episode-vii-1

How do you make sure everyone watches your charity video? You debut a brand new Star Wars spaceship in it.

Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams released another charity video on Monday, but the biggeer news than the prize of being in the film, or the exclusive screening, was the fact a brand new starfighter could be seen in the video complete with a pilot.

It appears the new fighter is some sort of X-Wing variant with one engine per wing set than the two we’re accustomed to. It also looks like the wings don’t split like the more familiar models from the original trilogy. It looks a tiny bit like the Expanded Universe pre-cursor to the X-Wing, the Z-95 Headhunter. Lucasfilm, however, has confirmed this is the evolution of the X-Wing, not a step backwards.

Seeing as this fighter was seen in the leaked set photos of a few months ago, this isn’t a big surprise, but it’s still nice to see it officially.

Star Wars Episode VII hits theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

21
Jul
2014

Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-posters

In all actuality, no one really came out a winner this weekend.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes won its second weekend with a respectable 50.4 percent decline to take in $36 million to bring its domestic total up to $138.9 million off of a $170 million budget.

Second place went to The Purge: Anarchy which took in $28.3 million off of a $9 million dollar budget. Considering the advertising budget on this, the usual rule of “double your budget to be profitable” doesn’t apply.

Planes: Fire & Rescue took in $18 million off of a $50 million dollar budget. In reality, the Planes movies are far more about home video. The box office takes are gravy.

Sex Tape bombed opening in fourth with $15 million off of a $40 million dollar budget.

Rounding out the top five was Transformers: Age of Extinction with an additional $10 million.

The numbers this summer are failing to impress on all fronts.

The only big releases next weekend are Hercules and Lucy.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2014 – 3rd Quarter report.

20
Jul
2014

Marvel logo

Marvel has announced more release dates for its Cinematic Universe, but don’t think that means we know what’s coming.

On Friday night Marvel announced the release dates for seven more films. Here is how the schedule breaks down for the next 11 films.

  • Aug. 1, 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • May 2, 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • July 17, 2015: Ant-Man
  • May 6, 2016: Captain America 3
  • July 8, 2016: Unknown (Assumed to be Dr. Strange)
  • May 5, 2017: Unknown
  • July 28, 2017: Unknown
  • November 3, 2017: Unknown
  • July 6, 2018: Unknown
  • November 2, 2018: Unknown
  • May 3, 2019: Unknown

It sounds to me as though we will be seeing a heck of a lot of announcements at San Diego Comic-Con next week. It also looks as though Marvel Phase 3 is going to be a long one with the May 3, 2019 being the best guess for Avengers 3. By comparison Phase 1 was six films, and Phase 2 was down to five.

Can Marvel sustain this many films? Well, with the way things are going, it sure looks like it.

19
Jul
2014

Space Invaders

Warner Brothers is moving forward with a Space Invaders movie.

Yes… THAT Space Invaders.

The Wrap is reporting that Warner Brothers is moving forward with a film based on the 1978 Space Invaders video game. Amongst the announced producers is someone known for his quality projects, Akiva Goldsman.

What has Goldsman produced before? Lost in Space, Starskey & Hutch, Jonah Hex amongst others. Yep… his resume just screams quality.

Oh, and he wrote Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

Yep, this is going to be awesome! A film based on an archaic, though iconic, video game with absolutely zero storyline. When was the last time we saw something similar? Oh yeah, Battleship. And that went so well.

Come on, Warner Brothers. Really? Is this really where we are now with films? Apparently so, and it’s just depressing.

[ Source The Wrap ]

18
Jul
2014

Big-Bang-Theory

The Big Bang Theory could become a lot more expensive for Warner Brothers TV if the stars get their way.

As the seventh season of the hit CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory, the current contracts for the five main players - Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar – drew to a close. Under that agreement the stars were each receiving $350,000 per episode (or about $7.7 million a season based on 22 episode orders), and each had .25 percent ownership in the series residuals.

CBS made the bold move of renewing the series for three more seasons, and season 8 begins filming in two weeks, but currently none of the core five are locked in to return.

According to a report from Deadline, the holdup is over the new pay scale the five actors are looking for. Apparently each is looking for $1 million per episode along with an unknown increase in the residual share as well.

While this may sound like a crazy amount of money for stars to ask for, Warner Bros. TV recently sold the series at a price of $4 million per episode for reruns. The Big Bang Theory has become so huge globally that it is estimated the series will bring in somewhere around $3 billion over its lifetime and well into the future.

While I don’t begrudge the stars their paydays, it does always annoy me when people tend to forget that there are writers who are coming up with the words those people say. There are also lighting people who make sure they look their best. Hair. Make-up. Cameramen, boom operators and more. This series, or any other for that matter, is not successful just due to the people in front of the camera, and one would hope those behind it would also be seeing a substantial pay increase as well.

Should the contracts not be sealed in the next two weeks, filming could be delayed. While a short delay would not put the Sept. 22 premiere date of season 8 in jeopardy, a lengthy one indeed could.

[ Source Deadline ]

17
Jul
2014

Deborah Ann Woll

The Netflix Daredevil series has added yet another cast member in the form of Deborah Ann Woll.

It was announced today that Deborah Ann Woll would be joining the Netflix Daredevil series in the role of Karen Page, a long term love interest of Matt Murdock.  Page started off as the secretary for Murdock and Froggy Nelson and eventually became the former’s girlfriend throughout the run of the series.

Woll is best known for her role as Jessica on True Blood, which was easily one of my favorite characters on that series. As a matter of fact, she kept me watching the show long after I had lost interest in the main characters.

No word yet on when the series will launch on Netflix other than the vague time frame of 2015.

16
Jul
2014

Avengers Age of Ultron Entertainment Weekly Cover

At last we have a good look at what Ultron will look like when Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters.

Thanks to this week’s Entertainment Weekly cover, we know what to expect when it comes to Ultron in the second Avengers film. Not only do we see him splashed across the front, but also the latest iteration of Captain America and Iron Man’s costumes. And in the background we can see Ultron will have his army of minions with him.

The cover story – which was published in the lead up to next week’s San Diego Comic Con – reveals that it will be Tony Stark that builds Ultron in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and not Hank Pym as it was in the comics. Apparently Stark comes up with the idea so he will no longer have to wear the Iron Man armor and also to give his fellow Avengers a rest. As is the usual with robots, however, things go wrong and Ultron decides that the world would be safer without humans. Writer and director Joss Whedon explained Ultron’s motivaations.

Ultron sees the big picture, and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Mwahaha, soon I’ll rule!’ He’s on a mission. He wants to save us.

Sounds like fun to me.

Entertainment Weekly shared some of the first photos from the film which you can see in the gallery below. In addition to the usual heroes, you also get your first official looks at Quicksilver (Aaron Talyor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in their costumes.

Avengers: Age of Ultron will hit theaters in the U.S. on May 1, 2015.

15
Jul
2014

The Joker

According to one new rumor, the folks over at Gotham are going to keep us guessing about who will become The Joker.

While the previews for the upcoming Gotham series – including the new one below – show us people that will go on to become some of Batman’s Rogues Gallery, The Joker has been notably absent. In the pilot episode there are hints that a stand up comic could eventually become the Clown Prince of Crime, but apparently that was intentional.

According to a report from Bleeding Cool there will be a different unknown character in every episode that does something related to The Joker. Be it having a giant smile, being a clown, selling flowers or something similar.

While this may sound annoying at first, it’s fitting as The Joker’s true origin has never been revealed. The prevailing one is what was laid out in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, but even that has questions surrounding it. So keeping us guessing completely fits in with the way it should be handled. Speaking with Moviepilot, Bruno Heller said of The Joker’s introduction, “I would say he is, for everyone involved to a degree because it’s about the villains, he’s the crown jewel in the villains’ crown. So we’re going to be very careful and thoughtful about how we roll that character out.”

A hint every episode sounds pretty careful to me.

[ Source Bleeding Cool ]

14
Jul
2014

Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-posters

Apparently moviegoers were ready to return to the Planet of the Apes.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took in $73 million in its opening weekend, almost $20 million more than Rise of the Planet of the Apes did in its opening weekend. Considering the stellar reviews, and an A- CinemaScore, it’s probably going to have some legs.

Transformers: Age of Extinction slid to second place and took in $16.5 million to bring its domestic total to $209 million, and it stands at $752.53 globally off of a $209 million dollar budget.

Third place went to Tammy which slid a healthy 40.2 percent from its opening weekend to take in $12.9 million. It now stands at $57.3 million off of a $20 million dollar budget.

22 Jump Street is still going strong in fourth place with $6.7 million and has a domestic total of $171.9 million off of a $50 million dollar budget. I’m surprised we haven’t heard a third film announced yet.

Rounding out the top five was How to Train Your Dragon 2 with $5.8 million. Domestically it’s at $152 million and globally it stands at $166.7 million for a total of $318.8 million off of a $145 million. In Hollywood parlance, it’s profitable, but not by much.

Overall this summer is not doing well and is down 19 percent from last summer. I’m not too surprised by this, however, as the studios have loaded the heck out of 2015. This year was definitely a transition season.

Next week’s big releases include Planes: Fire & Rescue, The Purge: Anarchy and Sex Tape.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2014 – 3rd Quarter report.

13
Jul
2014

World Cup 2014 logo

After 30 days and 64 matches, World Cup 2014 has come to a close.

As World Cups go, this one was messy to be sure. Favorites fell. Records were set. Brazil wasn’t as ready as it could have been. But all in all it was a good tournament, and now the long road to 2018 begins.

Which countries will be there? Russia is the only one guaranteed as the host country, and beyond that it is a wide open field. But, all that being said, I have to toot my own horn for a moment. I would like to point everyone to a post I wrote at the end of World Cup 2010. More specifically, this section:

It’s impossible to predict what countries will even be in the group of 32 when the tournament begins on June 13, 2014 (except of course the host nation). My personal prediction?

Germany.

If Germany holds together the team we saw this year, which only lacked in experience due to their young ages, and they get four years of experience under their belts, they could be an unstoppable force. They were tight, they were cohesive and they were one of the few teams that played as an actual team. They were by far one of my favorite teams to watch this year, and I was rooting for them to go all the way, but at least they came in third.

Phew… glad I don’t regret writing that.

Sadly I can’t make a similar perdition for 2018. No teams truly impressed me this time around beyond Germany (7-1 Brazil), and this team is now aging and won’t hold together for another four years. So, I’m going to skip making the prediction this time. A lot of countries need to work on their teams over these years, and hopefully a real contender will emerge.

See you June 8, 2018 as Russia hosts the 21st World Cup.