Category: Movies

More Chili, Opie’s Girl & More

  • John Travolta is in talks to reprise Chili Palmer, the character he played in “Get Shorty.” The sequel, “Be Cool” would be based on the novel by Elmore Leonard who wrote the original novel as well. “How cool is that?”
  • Kirsten Dunst has dropped out of talks to star in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Woods.” Bryce Dallas Howard [director Ron Howard’s daughter] will take on the role in her film debut. Set in 1897, “The Woods” revolves around a close-knit community that lives with the frightening knowledge that a mythical race of creatures resides in the woods around them. “I’ve got a sixth sense about these things… the signs are all there… the movie will be a hit and my record will remain unbreakable.
  • Mike Tyson said, in an interview to air tonight that he’s so angry about his rape conviction 11 years ago that he wants to rape his accuser and her mother now. Now that’s a way to win back fans.
  • A Nebraska lawmaker is so fed up with constituents crossing the state border to Iowa to gamble that she proposed going to war with the state. Anyone wanna bet that it doesn’t happen?

Rodriguez, Underworld & More

* I’m really really looking forward to Robert Rodriguez’s “Once Upon a Time in Mexico.” It’s the third in his trilogy. Denmark MSN has posted up some cool shots from it. Check ’em out! [Thanks to Dark Horizons for the link]
* The official site for
“Underworld” has opened. Watch the trailer and then mark your calendar for the premiere!
* 33.7 million people
tuned in to watch Ruben Studdard win the title of “American Idol” last night. That’s more than the number of people who watch the Academy Awards which is traditionally the most-watched entertainment event of the year!
* Scott Bairstow who appeared in last year’s Disney flick “Tuck Everlasting” as well as in several TV series [“Lonesome Dove,” :Wolf Lake,” “Harsh Realm,” and “Party of Five”] has been charged with having sex with a 12-year-old girl. What’s worse is that she’s a relative by marriage… and the evidence looks like it’s true.

Must See TV?

  • “The Matrix Reloaded” set one box office record by raking in over $42 million on it’s first day. I“The Matrix Reloaded” should also set a new record for a “R” rated movie’s weekend gross [“Hannibal” holds the record with the $58 million it made during its opening weekend].
  • Rob Lowe’s returning to in a new tv series called “The Lyon’s Den.” I enjoyed him in “West Wing” and would have been more interested if his character there spun off into his own series. Although I may give it a try since there’s nothing else I watch on Sundays at 10PM.
  • “Tarzan and Jane” is a modern day look at Tarzan, but with a twist. He’s been brought back to “the glass and steel canyons of another jungle – New York City. From his rooftop perch, Tarzan protects the city with the primal morality that proclaimed him king of the jungle.” Throw in a love triangle with Jane and you’re on to something… something I would watch except that it’ll be on the same time as “Alias.”
  • James Caan stars in “Las Vegas” as Big Ed Deline, a former CIA agent who runs the best surveillance company in Vegas. “You can bet on high stakes and high-speed action in this adrenaline-fueled drama from the writer of “The Fast and the Furious.” You can bet that I’ll give it a shot.
  • “Jake 2.0” is about computer technician who through an accident can shrink to an atomic level, possesses superhuman strength, lightning-fast speed, heightened hearing, magnified vision and the ability to communicate telepathically with computers. Now if he only has the power to bring in an audience! [I’ll be watching “West Wing.”]
  • Based on the character portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in Elmore Leonard’s Out of Sight, “Karen Sisco” could benefit from the curiosity factor and a weak competition. It might be worth a look.
  • “Threat Matrix” follows “a highly specialized, elite task force trained and equipped to counter anyone or anything that threatens our nation. The head of this super-secret team is Special Agent John Kilmer. He reports only to the President and has authority to call upon the technical skills, firepower, and specialist agents of the FBI, CIA and NSA. ” Man, this sounds like fun… the question is can it survive “Survivor”?
  • Joe Pantoliano, [“The Matrix”] is “The Handler,” an FBI agent who trains street operatives and prepares them to go undercover. Maybe.
  • So what looks good to you?

Arnie, ReLOADED & More

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger said today that “Terminator 3” was the toughest movie he had ever made and that his days as an action hero were far from over. This could be really great news…
  • “The Matrix Reloaded” has already set one box office record by grossing $42.5 million on it’s first day! Whoa!
  • A Florida policeman has resigned after a teenager complained that he made her do jumping jacks while topless to avoid arrest. And just how do you explain THAT to the Captain?
  • Although I’m probably going to wait to rent it, Jim Carey’s “Bruce Almighty,” has some really funny ads.

X2, Pop King and More

  • “X2: X-Men United” held on to the top box-office spot for the second weekend in a row. It took in $40 million for a total of $147+ million!
  • “The King of Pop,” Michael Jackson has sued Universal Music Group for royalties for the re-release of songs he made in the 1970s.
  • CBS loves Ray Ramano, the star of “Everybody Loves Raymond” to the tune of about $1.8 million an episode next season.
  • Boxing’s return to network television has generated competitive ratings and led to talks for more weekly fights. Now that IS good news!
  • The finale of “Survivor: The Amazon” saw 21-year-old Jenna take the crown and the $1 million prize. Man, I was hoping Rob or Matt would win!
  • Whoopi Goldberg, James Caan, Rob Lowe and Alicia Silverstone will have tv shows on NBC in the fall.

Cruise, Yao & OZ

  • Tom Cruise has completed nearly four months of filming in New Zealand for his next film, “The Last Samurai.” which is set for release this December.
  • NBA star Yao Ming took center stage at a telethon Sunday, which raised more than $300,000 to help researchers seeking a cure for SARS. The Houston Rockets center said this was his way of giving back to his homeland. If only more celebrities felt this way!
  • I rented season one of OZ. I’ve heard great things about the HBO series… and ya gotta love a good prison story.

Cruise, Ming and OZ

 

  • NBA star Yao Ming took center stage at a telethon Sunday, which raised more than $300,000 to help researchers seeking a cure for SARS. The Houston Rockets center said this was his way of giving back to his homeland. If only more celebrities felt this way!

 

  • Was it a break-in or a break-out? Speaking of Prison… I rented season one of OZ. I’ve heard great things about the HBO series… and ya gotta love a good prison story.

Just Some Trivia

  • Dark Horizons posted that The Hollywood Reporter says that Ving Rhames is in talks for the “Dawn of the Dead” remake. I like Ving and would love to see a well-done re-make!
  • Tom Sizemore [“Saving Private Ryan”] has been arrested for allegedly threatening former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss to keep her from testifying in his domestic violence case. Sizemore’s another favorite actor but this doesn’t help him in any way…
  • Roger Moore was released from the hospital…
  • Aretha Franklin will hold a candlelight vigil / prayer service on May 19th for Luther Vandross, who remains in critical condition after suffering a stroke last month.

Dangerfield & Ridley

  • Rodney Dangerfield looks to fully recover from brain surgery. Dangerfield is one of my favorite comedians, so I’m especially happy to hear that he’ll be providing more laughs in the near future!
  • John Ridley has signed on to direct the thriller “Let Me Take You Down” from his screenplay. The project is an “eerie tale of murder, obsession, intrigue and Hollywood folklore” when a young woman who is murdered has similarities with the 1947 Black Dahlia case. John Ridley is one of my favorite writers. This could be a winner!

Four Things to Look Forward To:

  • Paramount is going to release a new film version of “The Honeymooners,” based on the classic Jackie Gleason television series. Cedric the Entertainer is set to take over the role once held by Gleason. This movie may be funny… and it does have potential but nothing will ever replace the original series!
  • The “Indiana Jones” trilogy will be released on DVD for the first time on Nov. 4th! It will be a four disk set with behind-the-scenes documentaries, cast and crew interviews and other special features.
  • Jackie Chan is hard at work on “Around the World in 80 Days.” The film is based on the classic Jules Verne novel and should be out sometime in 2004.
  • Elton John and Bernie Taupin are collaborating for a Broadway show based on Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, tentatively titled “The Vampire Lestat,” and aimed for a 2005 theatrical run. This could be interesting!

It’s All About Timing…

  • Grease’ is still the word at Paramount where reports say that plans for “Grease 3” are well underway. The idea is to set the sequel in the late-’70s, feature plenty of disco music and bring back John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Didi Conn, who played Frenchie, is serving as an executive producer. I was never a fan of either of the “Grease” movies, but there’s no denying that it has a very strong, very loyal following. The time might be right for this one.
  • David Hyde Pierce, who plays Niles Crane, on “Frasier” believes next season will be the last. You know, “Frasier” used to be on my “must see tv” list, but the last couple of seasons I haven’t even tuned in. Seems to me the show “jumped the shark” when Niles married Daphne. It’s time has passed.
  • A lone protester stood outside a sold-out Dixie Chicks concert during the band’s first concert since a member criticized President Bush over the war with Iraq. Seems the protestor’s timing was off.
  • William Bennett [Republican Party activist, former Cabinet secretary, former US Drug Czar and Book of Virtues author] said in a statement today that he was giving up the high-stakes gambling that has cost him millions over the past decade. The timing is right on this one, but Mr. Bennett’s timing was obviously off on his bets.

“X2” – George Wyle – Jennifer Garner – Stephen King and James Brown!

  • “X2: X-Men United” opened with a projected $85.85 million debut . This would make it the fourth highest opening ever and almost a sure thing to spawn an “X-Men 3.”
    With the popularity of some of the individual characters, such as Wolverine and Nightcrawler, it might be interesting to see them spring off into their own films separate from the other “X-Men.”
    What do you think about that idea?

  • George Wyle, who wrote the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island” has died at the age of 87. I was going to say that even if that was the only song that he ever wrote that attained any level of popularity, he had accomplished more than most. The I discovered that he also wrote the Christmas classic “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and more than 400 other songs. Although most people probably don’t know his name, I’ll be they can sing the theme to “Gilligan’s Island”! Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Wyle’s family and friends.

  • “Alias” star Jennifer Garner will replace Gwyneth Paltrow in “Happy Endings,” which is set to shoot this summer in Los Angeles. Lisa Kudrow will co-star in the comedy.It’s really amazing how popular Jennifer Garner has gotten. Seems she’s everywhere these days. Not that I’m complaining! ; )

  • Two new Stephen King stories have been discovered. “The 43rd Dream” and “Code Name: Mousetrap,” are believed to be among the earliest published works of best seller Stephen King. Believe it or not, they appeared in his high school newspaper… copies have been selling on e-Bay for several hundred dollars.

  • James Brown celebrated his 70th birthday Saturday! Ya gotta love it. “The Godfather of Soul” is still touring, has recently lost weight and… uh, he feels good! Ugh!

Movies In Our Future

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a theater to see a movie, but with the summer season approaching that’s going to change. The best trailer that I’ve seen lately has been for Underworld. I really haven’t heard much about this movie, but the preview kicks and kicks hard. It will be on my “must -see” list.

Of the other new trailers, here are a few you might want to check out: S.W.A.T. looks like a sure thing with Samuel L. Jackson, Collin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez.  Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle looks to be as much fun as the original, so I’ll plan to see it..

Hollywood Homicide [with Harrison Ford], Pirates of the Carribean and The Hulk look to be movies I’ll pass on, at least until a rental is available.

I’m sure that we’re going to see more trailers for “Terminator 3,” “Spy Kids 3D,” and many more in the next few weeks. And you know I’ll post up my thoughts and the links here!

AtlantaCon 2003 Report, Part 2

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So where did we leave off? Oh yeah…

I’m at AtlantaCon with my son, Mike. I’ve picked up sketches from Jason Alexander, Andy Lee, and Cully Hamner. Adam Hughes has told me that he’ll have my sketch ready on Sunday and somehow the day gets even better! How? Glad that you asked! Well, let me tell you.

AtlantaCon and Chud.com teamed up to present a special screening of “Equilibrium” and a Q&A session with writer/director, Kurt Wimmer, to follow the movie. Seating was limited, but I was able to sign Mike and I up. The only thing that I knew about the movie was that it starred Christian Bale and Taye Diggs, was scifi, set in the future and received a pretty good word of mouth. I figured we’d be in for an entertaining evening even if the movie was just “ok.”

The screening was set to start at 7:30 but everyone was supposed to get there by seven. Mike and I arrived about 6:40 and a crowd was already forming. People were milling around. Mike and I ended up next to Nick from Chud. We had a pleasant conversation. I was pleased to learn that he knew of StalloneZone and had a warm place in his heart for Sly. Nick said that we were in for a very cool film with “Equilibrium” and that it was a movie that he was really proud to help promote. I also spoke briefly with Jen who has set up a very nice “Equilibrium” fan site.

Soon it was time to go in. Mike and I decided to take seats in the middle of the last row. People continued to come in and the theater was nearly full. Nick thanked us all for coming and said that Kurt Wimmer had flown in from LA to attend the screening. Kurt had also brought in drinks and chips for the crowd! As Mike went down to get a couple of sodas Cully Hamner, Phil Noto, Brian Stelfreeze, and Karl Story came in and sat directly in front of us. When Mike came back and saw them sitting there a giant smile came across his face. [For those of you who aren’t comic fans, this would be like driving to a basketball convention and having Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, and well, you get the idea, sitting in front of you.] Right before the movie started a gentleman and his young son took seats next to Mike.

The movie started and immediately took you to another place. It’s our world, but in the near future. The opening scene is so cool and so well done that I knew we were in for a ride. Then comes the action and – MAN – it is AWESOME! I loved Christian Bale‘s work in “Shaft” and “Reign of Fire” but “Equilibrium” shows that he is a star. Taye Diggs, Emily Watson and Sean Bean are also excellent… but the real star of the show is Kurt Wimmer who wrote and directed it.

Kurt has also written other screenplays including “The Recruit” and “The Thomas Crown Affair”. This guy is someone to lookout for! After the movie ended Kurt Wimmer was introduced and asked to come to the front of the auditorium for the Q&A session. The guy sitting next to Mike got up and took his son with him to the front! Mike looked at me like he couldn’t believe it… watching the movie with the Gaijin guys and the director of the movie! Kurt was really entertaining. He spent an hour answering questions about the film and pulling no punches. After the Q&A ended a group of us [including Brian Stelfreeze] stood in the lobby discussing how cool the film was. The dvd will be out in May. My advice is to pre-order now. I think this baby is a sleeper.

Sunday arrived. The final day of the show. The main question on my mind: Would Adam Hughes be able to get to my sketch? As we walked through the doors I heard John Higashi yelling, “Craig, come and see what Adam did for you!” Needless to say, I was excited. Adam had created a very, very cool drawing of Sly dressed for an audition for Superman. I absolutely love the idea and execution. Adam Hughes is da MAN! I got a picture of Adam holding the sketch and thanked him.

Phil Noto was setting up and I checked to see if he would be able to fit me in. Unfortunately Phil was booked solid. He did say that he would do something for me and asked if I would leave him my address. I left him my address and offered to pay for the sketch in advance but Phil said we’d settle up once he was finished with it. Believe me, it will be worth the wait! [Next on my list will, hopefully, be Brian Stelfreeze!]

Mike and I then went over to see Dan Brereton. We discussed a Stallone sketch. Dan was leaning towards a Rocky, but as he looked through my reference book he mentioned that he really liked “Nighthawks.” I said whatever he wanted to do was fine by me. He said to check back in a couple of hours.

Mike and decided to visit some artists one last time. Mike got a headshot of Batman by Phil Hester; Batman Attacked by Dave Cook of Splatter Comix. Tim Flanagan drew Mike a nice Batman. Our final stop before heading back over to check on the progress of the Bererton piece was with Jacen Burrows. Jacen was doing some really interesting sketches. Mike got one for his sketchbook. I asked Jacen if he’d be interested in doing a Sly drawing for me. He said he would, but that he’d want to do it at home. We agreed on a price and Jacen said he’d have it to me in about a month!

Mike and I then headed back over to Dan Breretons table. The piece was finished and it was a knockout! Dan had opted to do Deke DaSilva from “Nighthawks!” I got a picture of Dan and his lovely lady, thanked him and Mike and I got back on the road for home.

It was a great show. I’ll post pictures of the artists and their artwork later this week. Mike and I hope to return next year. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Osbourne & Garner Are Free and Diesel is Apart

I didn’t post anything up yesterday. I could use April Fool’s Day as an excuse. But I won’t. I’m not much for April Fool’s jokes… especially people and websites that post up something which seems like exciting news and then ends with APRIL FOOLS!

Sharon Osbourne is cancer-free. That’s great news. I don’t think that Ozzy could get along without her. Jennifer Garner [Alias] is also free, but this news isn’t happy. She and her husband, Scott Foley [“Below”] have separated.

Vin Diesel‘s “A Man Apart” had its world premiere in Hollywood yesterday and opens everywhere on Friday. Although it’s getting mixed reviews, I’ll probably see it before it leaves theaters. I’m not overly excited about this one. I say bring on “The Riddick Chronicles!”

See you tomorrow. No fooling.