Lots of movie news and trailers coming out of Comic-Con International, so let’s get started!
Oz: The Great and Powerful
It seems like the pairing of Sam Raimi and a Disney prequel to The Wizard of Oz starring James Franco wouldn’t exactly be on the top of “Things to be Expected at Comic-Con 2012”. But alas, Oz: The Great and Powerful is very much real. A Comic-Con panel revealed that the story would follow The Wizard before he became The Wizard of Oz, starring James Franco as the title character. Raimi also revealed that longtime friend and fan favorite Bruce Campbell will have a role in the film. I don’t think I’m alone when I say he’d be awesome as the leader of the munchkins.
The trailer, which was released soon after the panel finished up, reveals a similar style to the original film in that it begins in black and white and turns to color once our hero reaches The Land of Oz. I’ll admit, once Franco reaches The Land, the whole thing becomes Tim Burton-y in the Alice in Wonderland variation, a film that I despise with every fiber of my being. Joe Roth, one of the producers of Alice in Wonderland, serves as a producer on this film which may explain the similar style.
But here’s the thing, Raimi is better than 95% of most mainstream action/adventure directors working today. His projects always have an immense amount of passion regardless of the budget, and he has the decency to give the audience a self-aware wink, but not to the point of pretentious overload. I’ve yet to encounter a Raimi film that I didn’t like, and hopefully Oz: The Great and Powerful won’t be an exception. Here’s the trailer:
You can read more over at Bosco’s Grindhouse.
The Lone Ranger
After what seemed to be a falling out on production of The Lone Ranger due to an inability to find a suitable actor for the title character, a surprise visit from Trailerland has made its way to Comic-Con. A thus far unreleased preview for The Lone Ranger has been screened at the Con, and this is what Collider had to say about the goings-on of this important preview.
Most of the trailer has Tom Wilkinson (who plays the film’s villain) providing narration about the importance of trains. He explains that because trains will be the fastest mode of transportation in the old west, and whoever controls them “controls space and time.” It’s unintentionally funny because, it’s, you know, trains. But the visual style is full of Verbinski’s indulgences, like a brief shot that goes into a saloon and there’s a prostitute swinging from a wooden crescent moon that’s suspended from the ceiling. There’s also a slo-mo shot of a bunch of white guys in around a table getting shot at.
Then there’s the big reveal of Tonto (Johnny Depp) and The Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer), and the shot is the first official image from the film. Then there’s a bunch of quick action shots including the Ranger drawing down on an unseen enemy, and Tonto clinging on to the bottom of a speeding train. But if there’s one big take-away from this trailer, it’s trains. Trains are really, really important. The film also stars Helena Bonham Carter, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Frain, Ruth Wilson, and James Badge Dale.”
Personally, I think Armie Hammer is an awesome choice for any movie, especially one as epic as The Lone Ranger. He has a certain screen presence about him that led to very powerful performances in The Social Network and even J. Edgar. Put Johnny Depp in just about anything and I’ll watch. I’m not too worried about his performance here. The Lone Ranger is set to release July 3rd, 2013.
Again, read more over at Bosco’s Grindhouse.
A new trailer for the upcoming Tim Burton film, Frankenweenie, was released at the Con today. It’s an extended version of the trailer that’s been running in theaters for the past couple months, and it furthers the tone set by the partially creepy and partially cute trailer we’ve already seen. This is definitely a passion project for Burton because it’s based off a short he made at the beginning of his career. I’m actually very excited to see how he extends the idea to feature length, and the way the premise seems to be played out is reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands. Will this be Burton’s first good film since Big Fish? I hope so.
You can read Collider’s summary of the Con Panel with Burton right here and you can watch the extended trailer for the film below:
The Expendables 2
One of the most anticipated panels of the year was The Expendables 2 which brought together literally every major action star of the past forty years. From Stallone to Schwarzenegger to JCVD to Liam Hemsworth, The Expendables 2 has something for everyone and this panel only proved that. One of the high points of the evening was seeing Schwarzenegger awarded IGN’s Action Hero Hall of Fame Award by last year’s recipient, co-star and friend Sylvester Stallone. A collection of Arnold’s best scenes and kills was shown to the audience and met with uproarious applause.
The bromantic panel that followed allowed for the actors to brag about how great everyone in the movie is. Stallone went as far as saying that audiences will be surprised by JCVD’s performance. The stars also got to talk about how much fun it was to interact with other legends in their genre. Some new clips were shown including “a truly kick-ass gunfight scene set at an airport between JCVD’s bad guys and the Expendables.” Despite Chuck Norris’ involvement (sorry, Kronner) and the film’s PG-13 rating (which is because of Chuck Norris [sorry again, Kronner), I’m pretty excited for this movie, especially because the first one was so truly bad-ass and will go down as one of the most popular cult hits of all time.
Here’s the panel for your enjoyment:
Disney’s newest film, Wreck-it-Ralph, looks to be something like The Avengers (Ed. Note: Nothing is like the Avengers.) meets Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World with animation similar to Tangled. What comic books were to The Avengers, video games will be to Wreck-it-Ralph. A valentine to gamers everywhere, this is one of my top ten most anticipated films for the rest of the year, and one that I’m getting more and more excited for as the release date approaches.
Ralph is the antagonist of an old school arcade game called Fix-It Felix, Jr., where he destroys builds as Felix (30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer) makes repairs with his magic hammer. This is Ralph’s job, where he’s seemingly stuck forever as a destructive, brutish villain. The only time he can truly be his good self is after the arcade closes or during his Bad-Anon support group meetings with other video game heavies.
The lonesome Ralph is determined to find himself a new video game home, one where he can finally be the hero. What appears to be a simple power strip on the floor of the arcade is, in fact, Game Central Station, which allows characters to venture to the different game worlds of the arcade. Some of the other game worlds Ralph journeys to include the sci-fi combat shooter game Hero’s Duty and the cart-racer Sugar Rush, encountering no-nonsense Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch) and Vanellope Von Schweetz (Silverman) along the way.
Sugar Rush offers Ralph his best chance yet at heroism (and love via his burgeoning relationship with Vanellope), but all is threatened when it’s discovered that the seemingly safe and saccharine realm of Sugar Rush holds a deadly secret that threatens to destroy all the game life in the arcade itself.
I think this is a fantastic premise for a film and I’ve been waiting for something that incorporates a bunch of different video game characters in a movie setting. While I’m not the avid player I once was, I know I’ll be able to understand most of the retro references that come up even in the film’s trailer. Something that disappointed me, though, was the reported absence of Mario and Luigi. According to the panel (which you can watch part of below) at the Con, Super Mario Bros. asked too much for an appearance in the film so Disney scrapped the idea.
A bit of news that redeemed this bad news; Skrillex will be providing music for the “Hero’s Duty” portion of the film. Guess where you can read more about Wreck-it-Ralph? Yep. Bosco’s Grindhouse.
And that’s the beginning of the news. Seriously. We’ll talk again, real soon.