Tag Archives: Jon Favreau

The Jungle Book: New TV Spot & Cast Photos Showcase Amazing Visual Splendor

Walt Disney Pictures has released a new TV spot showing off the photo-realistic  elements of Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic adventure tale The Jungle Book, as well as a series of images featuring the film’s cast  posing next to their CGI counterparts.

The minute-long spot also brings out the immensely realistic recreation of the jungle and it’s residents, showing us effects of the state-of-the-art technology used for the movie. It certainly delivers on spectacle and is a return for Favreau to tent-pole films since his departure into mid-budget filmmaking with Chef. Take a look at the new TV spot for yourself:

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Your Writer/Director for The Avengers 2 is…

Joss Whedon, come on down! You’ve just been chosen to continue on the path of greatness and while adding to your god-like status amongst the human population! According to several news sources, ranging from the Hollywood Reporter, EW.com, Newsrama etc., Joss Whedon is back in the saddle as your writer and director for Marvel’s The Avengers 2.

In the deal, Mr. Joss “I Own The World, Bow Before My Awesomeness” Whedon, signs a deal with Marvel Studios that keeps in the fold through the end of June 2015. In that, he will cover his duties as director and writer for The Avengers 2, as well as helping develop a live action series for ABC and, according to the Marvel Studios’ press release, “will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.” Basically, as I have read it, he will take the Jon Favreau role in making sure that the universe that Marvel Studios has cultivated will be ushered into the next set of movies, culminating in The Avengers 2 movie. You can bet that the TV show will deal in the Avengers universe and it is safe to say that it is NOT the Guillermo del Toro Hulk series being developed for ABC apparently. Excited much? Yessir. Let us face it, Joss Whedon knows his characters and his television. While not successful all the time in terms of nielsen ratings, his television shows always are great and at least will cater to the cult crowds and die hard geeks his drops his wisdom on. Plus if it’s set in the Marvel Universe, umm, insta-hit?

A live feed from the Whedon household after the deal

From a Hollywood perspective, this should be zero surprise of course. The Avengers has made 1.5 BILLION worldwide. A large part is because not only the commercial acclaim of putting together the most brilliant way to market your movie (uhh, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger? Yeah, those were basically marketing teasers for that movie, profitable ones too at the very least), but the critical acclaim that got people coming back for more. The onus on Whedon and Marvel was making sure the characters were enjoyable to watch and developed to where they both electrified the screen individually AND as a team. Whedon solidified the Marvel Studio’s universe in this movie because he made sure this ambitious project did not implode like a dying star. With egos and sheer enormous size of this project, this could have been an unmitigated disaster with everything that was going on but instead, Mr. Firefly himself controlled the movie and its stars (and the future of this universe) and made sure the next several movies are events flicks that people of all walks and sizes will need to see.

So let’s recap, this will be Joss Whedon’s universe for the next three years and with Iron Man 3 for May 3rd, 2013; Thor: The Dark World in November 8th, 2013; Captain America: The Winter Soldier for April 4th, 2013; Guardians of the Galaxy launching on August 1st, 2014; with possibly Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man figuring into the equation too, this will probably confirm Avengers 2 hitting theaters in 2015, right when the contract ends. Not too mention the TV show that, crossing my fingers and just a hypothetical guess, will probably be S.H.I.E.L.D. related? Excited? You know it baby. So much that this ScarJo pic will be used to match the badassness of this news.

NBC Takes Gold with Fake Fall Lineup

Last year, NBC spent $4.38 BILLION to obtain the rights to broadcast the Olympic games through 2020. Their ratings for the 2012 London games have been stellar, despite outrage from critics professional and amateur alike. By the time they air, sports broadcast during NBC’s evening segments have been completed for nearly twelve hours. That leaves plenty of opportunity for viewers to know the results beforehand.

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Grizzly Dailies: Abraham Lincoln (Not A Vampire Hunter), ANOTHER Men in Black Movie, and More!

Jumanji is Getting the Reboot Treatment

Source: AV Club

In some of the most unexpected and surprising news of the week, Columbia has announced that they’re rebooting the classic kids’ movie, Jumanji. In an attempt to “appeal to a younger audience”, the studio is bringing the game of Jumanji back to the big screen with a modern twist. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any stupider, I was pleasantly surprised.

See, this doesn’t work for many, many reasons. The first one being that a plot involving two kids playing a glorified Ouija Board with a mysterious man is probably not something we need to revisit in theaters. Oh, wait just a goddamn minute. We did see a Jumanji reboot except it was called Zathura and it had a lot of Kristen Stewart doing what Kristen Stewart does. And as much as we’d like to admit that maybe technologically advanced visual effects will improve cult classic remakes, let’s take a look at the quality of such films as the Conan the Barbarian and Dark Shadows. Yeah….no.

21 Jump Street Sequel in the Works

Sources:  AV Club/Bosco’s Grindhouse

Anyone who saw 21 Jump Street this year was more likely than not pleasantly surprised by how well-made it was. From the extremely clever script by Michael Bacall to the immense chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, who showed a new found strength as an actor, 21 Jump Street was one of the most pleasant surprises of the year other than the other Channing Tatum vehicles of 2012, The Vow and Magic Mike. Don’t hate on me for liking The Vow. You liked it too. Don’t lie.

Anyway, word has hit the streets (or actually, the “twitter-sphere” as Captain Dickson says in the film) that a sequel to the film is in the works. The news came from C-Tates himself after a fan asked him if he thought that a sequel to 21 Jump Street would be a good idea.

Personally, I’m conflicted. 21 Jump Street was such a great comedy and it should/would/could work beautifully as a standalone stroke of genius. But of course, in the consumerist Hollywood that we live in, that’s just not an option. The ending of the first film even left the possibility of a sequel open, but I always hoped it could be left to the viewers’ imaginations. With that being said, if done as well as the first film, I’d be totally open to a sequel. The first film did a great job at avoiding tired cliches and actually just…farting in the general direction of conventional storytelling.

Bringing back the original writer, Michael Bacall, and directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, would be the best idea, because no one else would be able to handle the characters like they did. Also, the entire cast would have to return or else it just wouldn’t work. And for the love of all that is holy, please make sure that Jonah Hill and Brie Larson stay together as a couple throughout the sequel. Please.

Men in Black IV Approaching as a Reality

Source: AV Club

Will Smith, the guy who says he “doesn’t want to be the sequel guy”, is in talks to star in Hancock IIBad Boys III, and now Men in Black IV. Seems legit. Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad says that he believes the Men in Black series is “an ongoing franchise” but, “We don’t have clarity yet on how it should be done.” Again, seems legit. If you ask me, I think this is code for: Will Smith is pushing 50 and he’s going to hand down the franchise to his son, Jaden Smith, like it was his Grandfather’s watch.

Personally, the Men in Black formula only truly worked for the first film which is, in every way possible, a perfect sci-fi comedy. Few films have been able to reach the level of the original Men in Black, but the two sequels just kind of ruin the legacy and if they keep making them it’s just going to bury the original even more. As for other Will/Jaden Smith projects, we’ve got After Earth coming up, a film written and directed by the infamous M. Night Shyamalan.

M. Night gets a bad reputation for making The Last Airbender, a film I refuse to watch. But I think almost everything else he does is really quite fascinating. I’m one of the few defenders of The Happening and Signs is one of my favorite films. He has a chance to make this a really interesting movie, but judging by the viral video, this may end up being Will Smith’s first truly abysmal film that reaches (or degrades itself) to the levels of Battlefield Earth.

Abe Lincoln no longer hunting Vampires

In the most unpredictable decision made so far this year (please note the sarcasm), the Spielberg-directed Lincoln, starring Daniel-Day Lewis as our 16th President, is set to release on November 9th, three days after Election Day as well as in the midst of awards season. Does this news surprise me? Not at all, am I still excited to see Daniel-Day Lewis in a movie? Always, but it’ll be difficult for an actor even of his skill to top Bill Oberst Jr.’s portrayal of Lincoln, something he’s been doing for years now on stage.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about this movie, especially because the cast includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adam Driver, Jackie Earle Haley, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, and James Spader, but Spielberg has lost his touch in recent years and period pieces have to be done to perfection to truly work. Due to this, I remain skeptical. I just hope it’s not another “Oh, look! Daniel-Day Lewis is in this and we’re releasing it during Oscar season so GIVE US A BEST PICTURE NOMINATION PLEASE!!!!” If you want a perfect example of that, watch Nine. Well, don’t watch it…but, yeah. Nine. That.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 5 Trailer

The Clone Wars ended on a bit of a high note last season. Darth Maul is back, apparently stronger than ever, shirtless and sporting a nice robotic torso and matching legs. Our hero Obi-Wan Kenobi couldn’t stand up to him and even had to resort to teaming up with bald broad Assaj Ventress to survive. And at the end of this ordeal? Maul is still on the loose along with his equally dangerous brother Savage Oppress. This team up gave a bit to think about as in who will be in Maul’s path when he inevitably begins cutting a swath of mayhem throughout the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Now, from the first trailer from the upcoming season 5 we know a little more.

It was fully expected that Maul will continue to pursue Kenobi. I mean, I would totally be after someone for separating me from the favorite half of my body. Then of course there is the question of Sidious. Would he have known that Maul still lived or would he have just left the poor bastard for dead either way? It appears that Maul will be focusing that part of his rage against Count Dooku, whom he proclaims to be a Sith pretender. So not only will there be a big emphasis on the Maul brothers in season 5, but the Death Watch seem to be returning in a big way. The last time we saw them it was a brief skirmish with Ahsoka that showed us how merciless the Death Watch can be. Jon Favreau returns to voice the slimy Pre Viszla and looks to be leading the Death Watch into persuading the Mandalorians to re-don their warrior ways.

I really can’t agree with this more and truly hope that the show clears up the whole Mandalorian pacifists angle by maybe….killing Satine and her Mandalorians? I know that sounds harsh but in all of the other expanded universe material the Mandalorians were always warriors and bounty hunters with the Death Watch being the worst of them. It doesn’t mean all Mandalorians were murdering scum, but there definitely weren’t pacifists amongst them. Something that would really be welcome is a team up between Darth Maul, Savage Oppress and the Death Watch as is possibly hinted at by Darth Maul’s dialogue in the trailer. It would seem they all have mutual beef not only with the Jedi and the Republic but with Dooku and his Separatists as well. One of the most interesting parts of the Clone Wars may now be a third faction joining the war in the form of the Sith and Death Watch. I wonder if Sidious foresaw that whole thing. Then again this is all up for speculation and I’m sure we’ll find out more after Star Wars Celebration and the summer comic conventions.

Also of note in the trailer is the healthy amount of beloved bounty hunter Embo… and his hat. The hat still shows itself to be useful as a shield and now as a snowboard too! Pirate Hondo Ohnaka appears to be back in action as well, helping Ahsoka out on the planet Onderon. Onderon as you may or may not know plays an integral part in the Tales of the Jedi stories from way back, taking place thousands of years before the Clone Wars and even years before the Old Republic MMORPG. It will be interesting to see if they touch on the stories of ancient Jedi and Sith Lords Ulic Qel-Droma and Exar Kun.

It looks as if the Clone Wars will continue to get better as each season goes on and I can’t wait for fall to start! If you’re interested there is a leaked clip of Embo doing his snowboarding thing below. The quality is so so, but excellent nonetheless.