Tuesday, December 9, 2008

News - 12/09/08...

Horton, Dark Knight Arrive on Disc

BoldThis week’s biggest home video releases are both based on classic pop lit, one a time-honored children’s book and the other a comic book series that has become increasingly adult-oriented. Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who! From Twentieth Century Fox and Bluesky Animation and The Dark Knight are sure to rake in the dough hand over fist diring this first week of availability on DVD and Blu-ray.

Directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino from a script by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (The Santa Clause 2), Horton Hears a Who! stars Jim Carrey as Horton, a loveable elephant who hears a cry for help coming from a tiny speck of dust floating through the air and suspects that it may support life. Steve Carell takes on the role of the Mayor of Who-Ville and Carol Burnett lends her voice to the always skeptical Kangaroo, who doesn't believe Horton's claims of a tiny community in trouble. The cast also includes Seth Rogen (Knocked Up), Will Arnett (Blades of Glory), Amy Poehler (Shrek the Third), Isla Fisher (Hot Rod), Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury), Dane Cook (Employee of the Month) Jaime Presley (My Name Is Earl) and Jonah Hill (Evan Almighty).

The two-disc special edition DVD lists for $34.98 and offers director commentary by Hayward, a veteran Pixar artist, and Martino, an Oscar-winning vfx director whose credits include Total Recall. The two met while working on the Fox/Bluesky toon feature Robots. Other DVD extras include commentary by Carrey and Carell, and the new Ice Age short Surviving Sid. A single-disc release is available for the suggested retail price of $29.98. The two-disc Blu-ray set lists for $39.99.

The Dark Knight stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, who teams with future police commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Gotham's new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), to take on a psychotic bank robber known as The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger. The film has made nearly a billion dollars at the box office worldwide and will be re-released in theaters next month.

The special edition DVD offers two segments of Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene—“The Evolution of the Knight” and “The Sound of Anarchy,” a look at the scenes director Christopher Nolan shot in the IMAX format and Gotham Tonight, a Gotham Cable News premier investigative news program presenting hard-hitting stories about Gotham and the influential people that make the headlines. The Blu-ray version adds Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene, in which Nolan and visual effects and stunt artists offer a rare look at the detail and planning that went into creating in-camera stunts and effects for the film. There are also special Warner Bros. BD-Live features including exclusive content from the media center, and Batman Tech, a behind-the-scenes featurette that delves deep inside the Batcave to examine the gadgets and tools used by Batman that were inspired by state-of-the-art advances in military technology. Fans can also examine the mindset of Batman with Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight. The Blu-ray set lists for $34.99 and the special edition DVD can be had for $34.98 or less.

Fanboys Director On Vanguard’s Emo Boy

Vanguard Films has attached Fanboys director Kyle Newman to adapt the cult-favorite comic book series Emo Boy. Created by Stephen Emond and published by indie label SLG Comics, Emo Boy follows the travails of the most self-dramatizing young man in the history of the world. Known only as Emo Boy at his high school, this brooding, whining, sensitive, dramatic and intense young man even has special emo powers. Vanguard CEO John H. Williams describes the movie as “part Juno, part Zoolander, part Napoleon Dynamite and part Harold And Maude.”

Emo Boy enjoyed a succesful a two-year run and was reprinted as a series of graphic novels. Rob Moreland, long-time head of development at Vanguard Films, discovered the property at Comic-Con and has been overseeing its development as a live-action, feature-length comedy.

Moreland comments, “Part of what makes this project so great is the way Steve takes the most negative aspects and emotions of adolescence and spins them into greatness, while satirizing high school life from a really fresh point of view.”

“Emo boy is a one-of-a-kind character, and the story Steve has crafted is such a unique blend of heart and hilarity,” adds Newman. “It was hard not to fall in love with it.”

Emond, who adapted his own comic as a screenplay, also wrote the upcoming young adult novel Happyface for Little, Brown & Co. This novel with illustrations tells the story of a social experiment gone too far and a teenager learning to face the world with a permanent smile after a family tragedy.

Screamers Sequel Gets Disc Date
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing a cult sci-fi favorite back with Screamers: The Hunting. A sequel to 1995’s Screamers, an adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick shot story Second Variety, this latest futuristic thriller stars genre favorite Lance Henriksen (The Terminator, Aliens), as well as up-and-comers Gina Holden (Final Destination 3, Alien vs Predator: Requiem) and Jana Pallaske (Speed Racer). Sci-fi fans can look for it at retail on Feb. 17.

Thirteen years after the robotic killing machines known as Screamers destroyed the human population of mining planet Sirius 6B, a distress signal brings a team of rescuers to the supposedly abandoned planet. The unit doesn’t know what to expect when they land. They may have been contacted by a long-lost colony of human survivors, or by Screamers that have evolved into something even more sinister that needs to escape Sirius 6B to finish its mission of wiping out the human race.

Screamers: The Hunting was directed by Sheldon Wilson, who previously helmed the 2007 Sci-Fi Channel original movie Kaw. The screenplay was written by Miguel Tejada-Flores, who co-wrote the original Screamers with Dan O’Bannon (Alien). The flick runs 95 minutes and has been rated R for sci-fi creature violence and gore. Listing for $24.96, the disc will include a behind-the scenes featurette.

Widely regarded as an overlooked sci-fi classic, the original Screamers stars Peter Weller (Robocop) and features nasty, blade-wielding mechanical monsters animated with stop-motion by the Chiodo Bros. The new film presumably employs CG animation to bring the mechanized menaces to life. Watch the trailer below.

Bob and Doug’s “12 Days” is Animated

You don’t have to be a fan of the 1980s Canadian sketch comedy series SCTV to know the 12 Days of Christmas song as performed by the characters Bob and Doug McKenzie. Comedians Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis recorded the tune for their 1981 album, Bob and Doug McKenzie: Great White North, and it has remained a holiday staple that gets a lot of airplay around Christmas. Now the bit is animated thanks to Animax, a Los Angeles-based animation studio founded by Thomas. Watch it below.

Animax is producing The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie, an animated series that is getting some development support from the FOX network. The show is set in the fictitious Canadian town of Maple Lake, where the title duo mix it up with their addled mom, their cousin Rupert and his girlBoldfriend Mary Beth, their arch enemies the LeDoux brothers and other wacky neighbors.

Thomas is reprising the role of Doug, but Bob will be voiced by Dave Coulier of Full House fame. Moranis is involved as an exec producer but isn’t interested in taking part in the recording sessions. The cast also includes fellow Canadians Colin Mochrie (Whose Line is it Anyway?), Pat McKenna (Best Ed), Derek McGrath (Grossology), Ron Pardo (World of Quest), Jayne Eastwood (Ricky Sprocket, Showbiz Boy) and Ho Chow.

Animation Director Piotr Karwas Joins Asylum

Award-winning animation director Piotr Karwas has joined Los Angeles-based VFX and design company Asylum. Karwas previously worked for vfx shop Digital Domain, where he played an integral part in such high-profile feature films as Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Alex Proyas’ I, Robot and Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

“Piotr has an amazing resume, filled with distinct, visceral work," says Asylum exec producer Mike Pardee. “His dedication to creating innovative effects is in perfect sync with our goal of keeping Asylum at the leading edge of the vfx and design community.”

While at Digital Domain, Karwas also worked in the commercial division, collaborating with Michael Bay, David Fincher, Joe Pytka and other leading filmmakers. His stint at the company allowed him to build a portfolio of spots for Budweiser, Walt Disney, Mountain Dew, Adidas and Gatorade.

Karwas made his directorial debut with the digitally animated short film Masks, which earned the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, a win that led to directing PSAs for MTV and Greenpeace. His Digital Domain-produced Do Robots Dream of Bunnies? debuted at the 2006 SIGGRAPH convention, and he is currently in post on his most recent directing effort, Rapline.

Asylum created the visual effects for such films as
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Moulin Rouge, Minority Report, Phantom of the Opera0, the last two Pirates of the Caribbean films, Apocalypto, Déjà Vu, Man on Fire, Domino and Black Hawk Down
. The studio has also done spot work for brands such as Nike, Sony Playstation, Coke, BMW, Gatorade and Visa.

Disney Acquiring Jetix Europe

The Walt Disney Co. announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire outstanding shares of pan-European kids entertainment company Jetix Europe N.V. The move will give the mouse house a 96% stake, allowing it to expand its kids and family media business in Europe. Completion of the transaction is expected to take place before the end of the year, after which time Disney plans to pick up all remaining shares.

The sale price is set at €11 ($14.15) per share. Disney says the acquisition will position it to better serve its large and growing Jetix audience and distribution partners through improved programming, more targeted branding, more integrated management and the implementation of company-wide synergies.

“Television continues to be a strong brand builder for Disney around the world and this investment enhances our efforts to reach kids and families,” says Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group. “By achieving operating efficiencies, we will have additional opportunities to create more family-friendly programming and locally-produced content across Europe.”

Disney acquired its original interest in Jetix Europe (formerly Fox Kids Europe) when it purchased Fox Family Worldwide from News Corp. in 2001. Jetix Europe is comprised of television channels, program distribution and consumer products businesses. Its programming, geared toward kids6-14, currently reaches a combined 137 million television households in 58 countries. Disney operates other Jetix channels and programming blocks in Latin America, India, Japan and the U.S. Toon Disney in the U.S. airs 90 hours of Jetix-branded programming each week.

ABC Bringing DC Fables to TV

Iconic fairytale characters are exiled to New York City in Fables, a popular DC Comics series being brought to the small screen by Warner Bros. TV for the ABC Network. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network has given the property a put pilot commitment with Six Degrees creators/exec producers Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner writing the hour-long script.

Created by Bill Willingham and published by DC's Vertigo imprint, Fables is a grown-up fantasy comic that plays out like a soap opera involving such characters as Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf and Prince Charming. When a savage creature known only as “The Adversary” conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairytales, all of the inhabitants were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical folklore characters have created their own secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. Their peaceful existence is disrupted when Rose Red, Snow White's party-girl sister, is apparently murdered and Fabletown's sheriff, Big Bad Wolf, has to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose's ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

Veteran TV director David Semel (My Own Worst Enemy, Heroes, Life) is directing the pilot, which will apparently adhere fairly closely to the comic. The property comes to ABC after development efforts fell apart at NBC.

Fake Simpsons cartoon 'is porn'

An appeal judge in Australia has ruled that an animation depicting well-known cartoon characters engaging in sexual acts is child pornography.

The internet cartoon featured characters from the Simpsons TV series.

The central issue in the case was whether a cartoon character could depict a real person.

Judge Michael Adams decided that it could, and found a man from Sydney guilty of possessing child pornography on his computer.

The defense had argued that the fictional, animated characters were not real people, and clearly departed from the human form.

They therefore contested that the conviction for the possession of child pornography should be overturned.

Justice Michael Adams said the purpose of anti-child pornography legislation was to stop sexual exploitation and child abuse where images of "real" children were depicted.

But in a landmark ruling he decided that the mere fact that they were not realistic representations of human beings did not mean that they could not be considered people.

He ruled that the animated cartoon could "fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children," and therefore upheld the conviction for child pornography.

Rather than jail the man, however, he fined him Aus$3,000 (US$2,000).

Date for Fullmetal Alchemist

The new Fullmetal Alchemist will commence on Japanese TV on April 2009.

The original 51 episodes, BONES produced anime adapted Hiromu Arakawa's shonen manga concerning a teen who lost an arm and legs and while brother's soul was bound to a hulking suit on armor during a failed attempt to resurrect their mother. Because the anime progressed faster than its source, an original story was invented for the later part of the series.

Whether the new anime will continue the first series, adapt the manga or again create something new is unclear.

First Squad Media

Twitch has posted stills of the Studio4C (TekkonKinkreet, MindGame) production First Squad here.

It is 1942. The Red Army is putting up a violent and effective resistance against the German invaders. 14 year-old Nadya is a medium. In a deadly air raid the girl is shell-shocked. Recovering from her concussion, Nadya discovers her new gift – the ability to foresee the “Moments of Truth” - the most critical moments of future combat encounters, in which one person’s actions will decide the outcome one way or the other.

Nadya’s ability is indispensable for the classified 6th Division of the Russian Military Intelligence, which is waging a secret war against the “Ahnenerbe” – an occult order within the SS. The Ahnenerbe summons from the realm of the dead the powerful prince of darkness, Baron von Wolff. With him on their side they hope to change the course of history and achieve world domination. To oppose the Baron Nadya decides to enlist the support of her old friends from the beyond – the Pioneers of the First Squad.

New Anime From Girl Who Leapt Director

The Japanese NewType anime magazine revealed that The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (and almost Howl's Moving Castle) director Mamoru Hosoda's next project will be Summer Wars. The anime film is scheduled for a 2009 release. The MADHOUSE production will feature past Hosoda collaberators Okudera Satoko (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) on the screenplay and Sadamoto Yoshiyuki (Neon Genesis Evangelion, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) on character design.

A look at the NewType piece can be seen here.

Anime News Network describes the story as an "action entertainment" revolving around a modern-day family that embarks on a midsummer adventure together at the behest of a 90-year-old woman.

Jetix Schedules "Superman: Last Son Of Krypton" Feature For Upcoming Weekend

The Jetix block on Toon Disney schedules Superman: The Animated Series series opener.

The Superman: Last Son of Krypton feature, comprised of the first three episodes of Superman: The Animated Series that kicked off the critically-acclaimed series, is scheduled to air Saturday, December 13th, 2008 at 10:00pm (ET). The official description of the feature is seen below.

Superman: The Last Son Of Krypton
Survivor of distant, destroyed Planet Krypton, young Clark Kent grows to manhood on Earth, aware of super powers he vows to use for the benefit of his adopted planet. Moving to Metropolis, Clark becomes a reporter at the Daily Planet - and a rival of star journalist Lois Lane. He also arouses the ire of billionaire Lex Luthor, who may have more to do with the theft of a powerful battlesuit than he's saying. It's up to Kent's alter-ego Superman to battle ruthless terrorists and keep Luthor from unleashing his ultimate weapon.

The Sky Crawlers

Fulfilling its obligation to qualify for an Oscar nomination, the latest anime feature from Mamoru Oshii (Ghost In The Shell) opened in L.A. last Friday (at the Los Feliz Cinemas). In case you miss it this week, The Sky Crawlers will open in New York next Friday at the Walter Reade Theatre, and they’ll be free screenings for Asifa-Hollywood and Academy members within the month. Here’s the trailer.

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

"Dog With Electric Collar" wins Australian award

"Dog With Electric Collar" took a bow-wow Friday night at the Australian Film Institute's industry awards in Melbourne.

Produced by Damon Escott and directed by Steve Baker, it won the AFI Award for Best Short Animation.

Other nominees in the category were Chainsaw, by Fiona Cochrane and Dennis Tupicoff; Mutt, by Beth Frey and Glen Hunwick; and Paper City Architects, by Daniel Agdag.

Chainsaw's Tupicoff had been nominated for the AFI Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film. However, he lost to Rene Hernandez of the live-action The Ground Beneath.

In television industry awards, two animated shows came up winless. Animalia (Network Ten) was nominated for Best Children's Television Drama, but lost to the live-action Australia Broadcasting Corporation program Blue Water High. Dogstar (Nine Network) had AFI nominations for Best Screenplay in Television (Philip Dalkin) and Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama (Gary Files). However, it lost in those categories to live-action series The Hollowmen (ABC) and Underbelly (Nine Network), respectively.

Wolverine's Schreiber Is Feral

Liev Schreiber, who plays Victor Creed aka Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, told a group of reporters that Sabretooth is the most brutal character he has ever played. Schreiber takes over the role played by Tyler Mane in X-Men in a prequel tracing the early days of Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).

"I found it to be really intense," Schreiber said in a group interview on Dec. 7 in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting Defiance. "The character I play is incredibly brutal and feral and has a bloodlust unlike any other character I've ever played. This guy is a real killer."

Sabretooth faces off with Wolverine many times in the prequel film. Schreiber described choreographing the film's action sequences with Jackman.

"Just to do [a] fight scene with Hugh was really terrific because as a dancer, he has that kind of discipline and choreography," Schreiber said. "I always studied to be a fight choreographer and wanted to be a dancer, too, but didn't quite have the feet for it. We have some remarkable fight scenes together, and I'm looking forward to people seeing those."

Hugh Jackman (left) is Logan and Liev Schreiber is Victor Creed.

As a fan of the comic books, Schreiber vouched for the upcoming film's interpretation. "I was a fan of the comic books," he said. "I just loved the character of Wolverine. I always have. That sort of deeply ironic and very urban sensibility on a superhero was something that I thought was really groundbreaking, the style of writing, particularly the very sort of editorial style. I just always loved it, and I think that we were able to capture some of that darkness in this movie, so I'm very proud."

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is due in theaters May 1, 2009.

Is Dollhouse Doomed? 7 Trouble Signs

Rejoicing ensued when word came that Joss Whedon--creator of the beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly--was returning to network TV with Fox's upcoming SF series Dollhouse, starring Buffy/Angel alumna Eliza Dushku (Faith).

But that was months ago. And in the wake of news about the show's troubled development process, the buzz may be turning ugly.

"This may sound ridiculously nerdy, but I'm kinda scared to get all emotionally invested with another of Whedon's shows after the cancellation of Firefly," one person posted on YouTube.com after Dollhouse's trailer debuted there.

We are all big supporters of Whedon, too, but we have to worry ourselves, just like these others:

"In Joss we trust, but not Fox. Should we start the 'Save Dollhouse' petitions now? :0)>"

"So true. Let's hope Fox doesn't mess this up!! There is a space on the market for a show like this. Alias, Dark Angel, BTVS, Bionic Woman ... all gone. My fingers are well and truly crossed."

One of the most anticipated shows of the season, Dollhouse has had one of the most troubled preproduction journeys of any show in recent history. Dollhouse follows a group of mind-wiped secret agents who have different personalities and skills implanted in their brains for each mission. Dushku plays "Echo," one of the dolls who is starting to become self-aware. Going by premise alone, the show should be Whedon gold. But the devil is in the details. Here are seven reasons to worry.

1. Pilot issues. Whedon filmed the pilot episode, "Echo." Then it was announced that "Echo" would now be the second episode, and a new first episode was being shot. Then the pilot was thrown out completely. This is disturbingly similar to what happened on Firefly, Whedon's last network show, which Fox canceled abruptly in the middle of its first season. In the case of Firefly, the original two-hour pilot was bumped to later in the show, and a new one-hour segment was shot to introduce viewers to the complicated 'verse of the series. In the case of Dollhouse, Fox suits were reportedly concerned that the original pilot was too hard to follow. "Once it became clear what paradigm the network was shooting for, it just didn't fit at all, even after I'd reshot more than half of it," Whedon posted on the site Whedonesque.com. How do you not know what the network is looking for? Didn't they tell you?

Stars Tahmoh Penikett (left) and Eliza Dushku (right) with creator Joss Whedon.

2. Work stoppage. Production was actually halted. Twice. Once for script issues on the fourth episode, and once for the sixth and seventh. Whedon said in a blog, "To get a sense of how completely turned around I was during this process, you should know there was a scene with Eliza and the astonishing Ashley Johnson that I wrote and shot completely differently three different times, with different characters in different places (actually I wrote it closer to eight times), and none of it will ever see air." Really? The creator of the show had to reshoot something three times, and it still didn't work?

3. Bad buzz. Fans started a "Save Dollhouse" campaign pretty early on, even before the show began production. Check out this fan video:

I asked Joss about the fear at Comic-Con this year. "I think the campaign is a little bit of a ... it makes people think, 'Hmm. What's wrong with Dollhouse? Why does it need saving?' I say, 'Wait, whoa, whoa, we're not on yet! We're OK.' I think."

4. Bad dialogue. I watched the trailer, hoping for a laugh. Whedon is known for his snappy dialogue and witty lines. But not this time, at least not in the trailer. Where is the "Prince of Night, I summon you. Come fill me with your black, naughty evil." Or "Every well-bred petty crook knows that the small concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting." In the Dollhouse trailer, we get "Did I fall asleep? For a little while."

5. Friday night Death Slot. On Nov. 10, Fox announced that Dollhouse would debut on Friday nights (starting in February), following the ratings-challenged Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Friday night has traditionally meant cancellation for shows of the sci-fi persuasion, The X-Files being the lone exception. We're talking Sliders, Dark Angel and the infamous Firefly. The term "Friday Night Death Slot" even has its own page on Wikipedia. I'm pretty sure Fox has seen it. Contrary to popular belief, TV watchers sometimes have dates on Friday nights: "Moving a brand-new show to a horrible time and night, and moving a highly rated, already established show to a great timeslot, is just insulting," one person posted on YouTube.

In an interview with SCI FI Wire, Dushku dismisses the death slot sentence. "Dude, we're in the age of DVR," she said. "People watch what they want to watch."

"I suppose you can talk yourself into saying that Fox has enough faith in the show to pull in ratings in the Time Slot of Death," another fan wrote. "But you can also say that Fox has already written off the show and isn't even going to bother."

6. Cast/crew issues. Viewers loved Dushku as the kick-ass slayer Faith on Buffy and Angel. They loved her as Tru in Fox's Tru Calling, which aired for two seasons. But hot as she is, Dushku's buzz is taking a bit of an ugly turn. Some are calling her "tired-looking" in the trailer and saying she seems bored.

Time magazine, which recently reviewed the first episode, said that Dollhouse "is less a series concept than an actress' showcase." Of Dushku, the magazine adds, "I thought she was fine on Buffy. But she's not exactly Toni Collette. ... Watching her inhabit her imprinted 'personality' [of] a tough negotiator with secret vulnerabilities, I did not see her becoming another person. I thought, 'Oh, look! There's Eliza Dushku with glasses and her hair in a bun!"

As for other cast members, the show scrapped the character of November, played by the strangely named Miracle Laurie, who will instead play a different character. The entire character description of Dr. Claire, meanwhile, was altered so that
Angel alumna Amy Acker could play her. It's arguable that such alterations are par for the course, but added to the show's other upheavals, they are troubling.

Behind the camera, the show lost former
Buffy writer Steven DeKnight early on. The good news is that he was replaced with another Buffy alumna and favorite, Jane Espenson, who is currently writing Dark Horse's Buffy comics and Battlestar Galactica

The Time review wasn't all bad. It said it was both better and worse than expected. But the draw seems to be Whedon, not the actors, which doesn't exactly scream success. "If it weren't for Whedon's pedigree, I'm not sure I'd be dying to see a second episode. But for me, the main draw now is not seeing Dushku become a different person every week, but getting to see Joss Whedon become a different writer every week."

7. Lack of network support. The move to Friday, the constant requests for reworking, the low-ratings lead-in: All signal a lack of support on the part of Fox. Reports say the network spent all the money on sets instead of the pilot. Sure, I get the whole "It's called Dollhouse, so let's make a pretty one" thing. But it's all going to be very expensive trash once the show passes its fourth episode and gets the ax. To add insult to injury, the show debuts on Friday the 13th this coming February. Coincidentally, that's the day Angel was canceled.

Christmas Vacation with Thirty Second Bunnies

Thirty-second Bunnies are up with their version of Christmas Vacation which can be watched here.

Behind the scenes of Monsters Vs Aliens

Latino Review has posted a behind-the-scenes featurette with the cast of the upcoming sci-fi comedy, Monsters Vs Aliens. A spoof on B-movies of the 1950’s, the film includes the voice talents of Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Kiefer Sutherland, and Paul Rudd. Monsters Vs Aliens hits traditional and 3-D equipped theaters on March 27, 2009.

The Dark Knight’ Director Christopher Nolan On Sequels: ‘They’re Hard To Do’

Let’s face it, folks — when “The Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan talks, people listen (especially if you’re a geek like us!). And while we patiently wait for his answer on whether he’ll return for the sequel to “The Dark Knight,” we’ll gladly check out anything the fan-revered director has to say about both the 2008 summer blockbuster or any hints he drops about the next installment.

In an interview with USA Today, Nolan is once again asked about his status with the production of the third installment of the current “Batman” film franchise, and once again, Nolan spoke briefly about the challenges he’d face if he does indeed sign on for another tour of duty, echoing what he mentioned in previous interviews.

“I don’t know why they’re hard to do,” Nolan said in the USA Today story. “Maybe there’s so much expectation to them. It was obvious when the box office was so big that we had underestimated how ready fans were to reboot the franchise. The worst thing you could do now that you’ve gotten the plane back in the air is mess up the landing.”

So while Nolan remains cryptic in terms of a return to the director’s chair, one thing he did talk about is the upcoming release of “The Dark Knight” on DVD and Blu-ray, and specifically the reason why fans won’t be seeing a lot of Heath Ledger or many deleted scenes in the extras.

“For my past three films, I really haven’t had scenes that didn’t make it in the movie,” said Nolan. “If it’s in the final script, I tend to put it on screen. I don’t like outtakes or gag reels. I don’t think it’s respectful to the actors, who signed on to have their performance on screen, not the takes that didn’t work out. It discourages actors from going all-out if they think every mistake is going on the disc.”

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