What characters were rip-offs of others? Are comics and pro wrestling actually tied together? Is the story from the comic better than the story in the movie? Just what the heck was happening in comics in the 90’s?
These are some questions any reasonable human being who contributes a portion of their weekly salary to the funny books may ask. The Flickcast alumni Jonathan ‘Wally’ Weilbaecher and I join forces with Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles to answer these and more.
With regulars Joe Slepski of The Joe on Joe podcast, Pablo Romero-Estevez and Alan ‘Sizzler’ Kistler of Crazy Sexy Geeks and some guests like Lucha Underground’s Joey Ryan and The Flickcast co-founder Matt Raub, we haven’t come to many conclusions but we have had a ton of fun arguing our way there.
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This weekend had the distinct feel of a throwback celebration with a Reboot-make, a re-release and a sequel to an 80’s iconic franchise inhabiting three of the top four positions.
Coming in at number one, with $26 Million, was the incredibly well advertised Evil Dead which played very strongly for an extreme horror film aimed squarely at a specific niche. Due, in part, to that specific audience target, the film’s reviews have been mixed and the word of mouth has been less than stellar on the whole. Still, the film plays very well to its target audience and with a big weekend under its belt will go into the books as a big win for all involved.
The next two spots ended up being an estimated tie between last weekend’s top two films. G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Croods. Both brought in an estimated $21.1 Million, with the tie break going to last weeks number 1 because the Rock is in that one and the main event at Wrestlemania this weekend.
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The Amazing Spider-Man was a divisive film. Some people thought it was a fair reboot that rejuvenated a popular, if tired, franchise. While others felt a resounding hollowness from a, seemingly unnecessary, reboot of a franchise that was still reasonably healthy. Despite the mixed reception from the Spider-faithful, the film made gobs of cash and a sequel is fast approaching.
We thought we had a good handle on the villainy of ASM 2 with the assumed inclusion of Norman Osbourne and Jammie Foxx as an unorthodox Electro set to conflict with the web-head. However a surprise twist to the film’s rogues gallery might just have been uncovered via a Hollywood Reporter scoop:
Paul Giamatti is in talks to join The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as the villain known as The Rhino… The Rhino first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #41in 1966 as a thug from a Soviet Bloc country who wore a superhuman suit that made him invulnerable while giving him superstrength and superspeed. It also had a deadly horn on top.
What What What?
This film is certainly heading into some bold and interesting directions. Not only is the one-two punch of Rhino and Electro rather random, but the actor choices the casting department targeted for these roles are either brilliant or completely nutter-butter.
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It hardly seems like a month can pass by without some sort of out of left field news popping up regarding the upcoming RoboCop reboot. This is a remake that should be easy to file away as a bad idea, the original worked despite it’s premise because of Verhoeven and everything else in the franchise after that has been a miss on one level or another.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t at least trying to give us an enjoyable film next year, and today’s casting shuffle news seems to indicate that at least some one really cares about this project. Secret British badass Hugh Laurie was in line to play the CEO of OmniCorp until he wasn’t, so the film replaces Dr. House with a damn Batman, Variety reports:
Michael Keaton has been tapped to play the villain, Raymond Sellars, in the “RoboCop” reboot for MGM and Sony… The Sellars character is the CEO of the corporation that builds RoboCop, played by Joel Kinnaman. The film, described as a “reimagining” of the 1987 Paul Verhoeven pic, is scheduled to begin shooting next month.
As much as Hugh Laurie was an exciting choice for the role originally, Keaton is easily ten times more intriguing. He has a manic energy that can really bring something fun to the head of the ever-present OmniCorp. You can even gauge from the actors connected to the role that the character is not meant to be a two-dimensional prick, but perhaps a character with some interesting perspective.
This film once again has us nodding our head in approval at the choices it has made in pre-production, let us hope that good mojo translates to the production phase that is set to begin soon.
There are two prime ‘seasons’ on the Box Office calendar, summer and holiday. Both represent times of the year where most people like to go watch movies, and as a result, most of the best films get released in those windows. During these seasons there are single weekends that are the marquee slots, reserved for the films most likely to draw in the biggest audiences, the fourth of July and Christmas.
If you want some idea of how much faith Paramount has in their new Jack Ryan reboot, you have only to look at its freshly minted release date for an answer. Kenneth Branagh’s CIA thriller reboot will be hitting screens December 25th, 2013. The new potential franchise starter stars Chris Pine as the titular analyst, Keira Knightley as his love interest, Branagh himself as the villain Kevin Costner in an important but as yet unidentified ‘key’ role.
One of the most interesting developments for this film is the way Paramount is setting the franchise up. They don’t seem content in just developing a new franchise in the style of the Bourne films or James Bond, instead Paramount thinks that there is a whole shared universe of Tom Clancy characters that they can develop like Marvel Studios has done with The Avengers.
So the development of this film has turned into a rather interesting experiment, stay connected to The Flickcast for any future updates.
A&E is setting up a new series that will serve as a prequel to Hitchcock’s classic Psycho. The new show, Bates Motel, will attempt to tell the tale of how young Norman went from mama’s boy to psychopathic killer and the show has just cast its Norma Bates.
The news comes from Deadline which is reporting that academy award nominated actress Vera Farmiga is set to take on the role:
[Bates Motel] examines the twisted relationship between serial killer-to-be Norman Bates and his mother Norma. Farmiga will play Norma Louise Bates who is described as passionate, and compelling, a smart, multidimensional character who is always capable of surprising us. The Universal TV-produced Bates Motel has a 10-episode straight-to-series order for a 2013 premiere.
Between Bates Motel and Hannibal, it looks like TV execs are very interested in using the TV format to explore the unexplored pasts of some of cinema’s greatest killers. Hopefully the long form nature of a TV series will provide a better venue to tell these tales as opposed to prequel movies that have thus far been very uninspired.
The good news is A&E does have faith in the show as they already ordered it straight to series with out the need for a pilot. So it will have more of a chance to tell its tale sans the ratings pressure that Hannibal will feel over at NBC.
Keep tuned to The Flickcast for more news from the impending series as it gears toward production.
Martin Campbell’s particular skill set seems to be geared towards remaking something. He is best known for his two James Bond reboots, Goldeneye & Casino Royal, both of which routinely rank among the best Bond adventures.
When he tries to make an original movie, or at least one with out cinematic forebears to stand on, he makes Green Lantern. So consider it a positive turn of events when Deadline reports that Campbell is getting back in the reboot game:
Martin Campbell [will] revive the cult 1978 adventure/sci-fi series Blake’s 7. Writer Joe Pokaski will pen the re-imagining of the original series created by Terry Nation, a prolific UK TV writer who also created the Daleks for the classic BBC series Doctor Who. Campbell is attached to direct the Blake’s 7 reboot, which is being shopped to U.S. networks.
If Campbell’s revival can connect with modern thematic elements and topical stories like the Battlestar Galactica relaunch did, this has all the makings of a great new show. There is a reason why those classic old series still resonate today, and if given the proper respect we could see something special.
Or we could see dreck, the man did do Green Lantern after all, and he still has some time left on his director jail sentence for that one.
Stay tuned to The Flickcast for any future updates on this potential project as it makes the rounds at US networks.
It seems as if every super hero project at Fox has to go through at least one director kerfuffle during it’s pre-production. So it is hardly a surprise to hear that Daredevil just lost its director.
David Slade has officially dropped out of the project that can ill afford any delays. If Fox can’t get this movie into production soon they run the risk of losing the rights back to Marvel. A pleasant prospect to anyone who doesn’t work for Fox.
Which is exactly why this is bitter-sweet news, because the fans ultimately win if Fox totally screws the pooch on this film and loses the rights.
That isn’t the only pertinent Fox based director news to hit today either. Josh Trank, who made the stellar super hero found footage movie Chronicle, has finally signed on the dotted line to take over Fantastic Four. Trank has been rumored for the job since the 8:00pm screenings let out on Chronicle‘s opening day, but it is nice to see the deal get inked.
While it would be nice to see FF get mired in the same sort of limbo that might bring Daredevil back to the Marvel Studios fold, I think Fox is capable of letting Trank make a Fantastic movie. Fox has done a lot to mend the fences with genre fans in the last couple of years with the resurgence of their X-Men and Apes franchises.
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The concept of a new Vacation movie is tricky. On one hand there is juice left in the original franchise, you could bring as much of the original gang back as possible and make a great flick out of it.
On the other hand, remaking the movie might allow it to be more relevant to today’s modern, family vacationing world, which has changed a lot since the original’s early ’80s release.
Well, it looks as if New Line has decided on a bit of compromise between the two concepts. The film will follow Rusty Griswold, Chevy Chase’s son in the series, as he takes his family on the titular trip.
And Variety is reporting that the new Rusty has just been pegged:
Ed Helms is getting ready to continue a Griswold family vacation tradition as the actor is in negotiations to star in New Line’s “Vacation.”… The new version of the vacation adventures of the quirky dad and his family will follow Rusty, who now has his own family misadventures on the road.
Helms is a great actor, and keeping the franchise rooted to the originals is a classy choice. Unless they fail to get Chase and Beverly D’Angelo back for at least a torch passing cameo.
Stay tuned to The Flickcast for any breaking news, as we are watching the development of this one closely and with fingers tightly crossed.
The original Total Recall is a classic in most senses of the word. Paul Verhoeven’s original film might have taken liberties with the source material, but it exceeded as a sci-fi action extravaganza. The remake hopes to capitalizes on the original film’s name brand, while adapting a story more close to the Philip K. Dick story that inspired both films.
In most of the marketing thus far we have seen hints of familiarity with the 80’s classic, but this new trailer all pretense seems to have been shed. Even though the film is purported to be a more faithful adaptation, the film clearly is taking a lot of its cues from the previous movie.
Even though there are many more parallels exposed in this new trailer, the movie still looks like a slick and handsome sci-fi actioner. The cast is beyond solid, we know the story is a stand out, and the effects work looks to be as competent as you could ask for. Even if Total Recall doesn’t turn into a classic, the trailer suggests it will at least be an adequate summer adventure.
You can check out the full trailer after the jump, and if it sells you, Total Recall hits cinemas later this summer.
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