Monday, April 28, 2008

Guillermo Del Toro confirmed as director for "The Hobbit"

Most of you won't recognize this guy's name, since the only mainstream movies he has made have been the Hellboy movies (the second of which arrives this summer). Having said that, his real claim to fame as of late was the Spanish-language classic, Pan's Labyrinth, from a year or two ago. Back in the glory days of CleanFlicks, I rented this fantasy/war hybrid, and really loved it. It had a look and feel that was completely unique and convincing, and was equal parts terrifying fairy tale and gritty war drama. It's one of those movies that I've had a hard time forgetting.

Now Guillermo Del Toro has been confirmed as the director for the new Hobbit movies, with Peter Jackson & Co. serving as producers (and likely screenwriters as well). I was nervous when I heard that Peter Jackson wouldn't be directing, but I think that Del Toro is a great choice, as long as he doesn't allow his dark and creepy tendencies to overwhelm the story. After reading this article, I'm a little more confident that he'll try to stay true to the vision that Peter Jackson started out with.

No release dates have formally been announced, but I'm guessing we won't see hobbits on the big screen again until at least 2011. Does anyone else think that the director of Pan's Labyrinth is a great choice to helm these new LOTR movies?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Angels & Demons" finds its Vittoria...

...and I'm not happy about it. The character of Vittoria in Dan Brown's Angels & Demons was supposed to be blond and beautiful, if I remember correctly. According to this article at, Naomi Watts was originally in talks to play Tom Hanks' romantic foil, but producers have apparently cast Ayelet Zurer (???) instead, who in my mind is neither blond nor particularly beautiful.

Additionally, I just read that Ewan McGregor (Obi-wan from the newer Star Wars movies) has signed on to co-star in the movie as well. I can't possibly think of which character he would play. The camerlango?

Who is casting these movies anyway? Have they ever read the books?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

David Archuleta - Think Of Me - Top 6 Finalists 04/22/08

Here's Little David's performance from of his strongest so far if you asked me.

My humble opinion

We just watched American Idol, and as I expected, Carly and Little David came off as two of the strongest tonight. Carly picked a song that, though unfamiliar to me, suited her big voice, and gave her the chance to show that she really is having a good time. As for Little David, his Think of Me was a complete surprise; just as everyone was beginning to write him off as not being hip or versatile, he comes up with a pleasant little twist on a very feminine song. Yes, he overdid some of the runs at the end, and appeared to have forgotten a lyric or two, but I think it was one of his best songs so far in the competition. He's known for making strange song choices, but tonight I think the strangeness actually paid off. Both Carly and Davie got votes from me.

As for the rest, The Artist Formerly Known as Comb-over David did well, as expected, although I still think he struggles when he's not pushing his voice into rock-realms. Syesha surprised with a lively little number, which was actually worth a vote from me. And David Castro once again proved that he could sound completely misplaced and dreadful, and Paula will still offer to carry his baby after the show ends.

Finally, Brooke. What can we really say? Her song choice actually seemed to fit her quite well, and were it not for her lyrical flub early on (which clearly flustered her, and made all of America cover their eyes and ears), I think she might have done quite well. As it stands, I believe it will be Brooke, Jason, and Syesha in the bottom three, and I'm guessing this will be the last time we'll see Brooke play nanny to the judges. I think I'm ok with that.

Who did you vote for?

"American Idol" pecking order

As they do every week, Entertainment Weekly has posted a power list of the remaining six contestants on American Idol. This is who they think has all the momentum, and who should be packing their bags going into tonight's Andrew Lloyd Webber night:

1. David Cook
2. Jason
3. David Archuleta
4. Carly
5. Brooke
6. Syesha

This means that as of right now, this is their guess at the pecking order for the remaining weeks of the competition. It's a pretty good list, although I'd swap Jason and Little David because for some reason I just foresee a finale filled with Davids.

As for tonight, I'm really interested to see what the singers do with some classic Broadway tunes. If Little David and Carly (the two strongest voices in the competition, if you asked me) don't just blow it out of the water, I'll be shocked.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"X-Files: I Want to Believe"???

Yes, that's right. The official title of the upcoming X-Files sequel is X-Files: I Want to Believe. Read all about the title and the movie by clicking here.

Could this very possibly be the worst title ever for a movie?

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Lost" update

As I have mentioned before, we don't get another new episode of Lost until April 24, at which point we'll have weekly new episodes on May 1, 8, and 15. Because this writer's strike business, however, Lost has to contend with the two-hour finales of both Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy, meaning that we won't actually get our season finale until May 29, with another break on May 22. That's the bad news.

The good news is that ABC just gave the green light for Lost producers to film one additional hour than what was originally planned for the show's post-strike run. This extra hour will be aired on May 29, making for another two-hour season finale (and keeping with the two-hour season finale tradition of the first three seasons). That means that altogether, we'll get 14 of the 16 hours that were originally planned for the season.

It is a little strange that ABC would wait until May 29--after May sweeps has ended--to air the finale of one of its most popular shows, but I won't complain. Lost this year has been, overall, very, very good. For all of you out there that keep dragging your feet about getting into this show, it's time to start watching the DVDs and get caught up. Lost isn't perfect, but it will likely go down in history as one of TV's most exciting and groundbreaking shows.

Watch a preview for the April 24 episode here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

This and that...

  • American Idol last night was good, but again, no one blew me away. It was a rare off night for David Cook, and Brooke White didn't really impress either (I think we're starting to see the limits of her talent). Little Davey had a good (but not great) performance...he seems to be a little more nervous when at the piano. Michael Johns gave a mediocre performance (I agree with Simon that he seems to be too comfortable imitating other performers), as did Syesha, Kristy Lee, and Carly. I still don't get Jason Castro, and can hardly stand to watch him sing, but I know I'm in the minority. My guess is that the bottom three will be Syesha, Carly, and Michael Johns.
  • I just had to LOL when it was pointed out to me that the horrendous Legend of Zelda trailer I posted here last week was just an elaborate April Fool's joke. Now that I know it's a fake, I've got to say that someone really did a great job making the trailer. At least I never fell for the equally convincing Snoop Dogg/Mormon prank...
  • Disney and Pixar announced yesterday their slate of upcoming animated films for the next four years. As I reported here earlier, many of these will be released in 3-D, including a previously only-rumored sequel to Pixar's Cars. I really liked Cars, although it was probably my least-favorite of the Pixar classics. That they are doing a sequel surprises me a little, as I didn't believe that the movie was as profitable as some of the studio's previous efforts. Still, they must have made a killing off the tie-in toys and products alone, and a Cars 2 makes a lot more sense than a Finding Nemo sequel.
  • Finally, I saw Leatherheads on Monday night. It was a passable little football comedy, although not nearly so funny as I would have expected. George Clooney was charming, as always, and John Krasinski (Jim from The Office) held his own. Renee Zellwegger fit the roll nicely, although I have an increasingly hard time watching her scrunched up face. In the end, it was a breezy enough diversion, but probably not worth a full admission price (**1/2 out of four). Can't wait for the big summer movies to start up in a few short weeks; I'll try to do a little summer preview here in a few days.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

NBC greenlights "The Office" spinoff!

Details are still emerging, but The Hollywood Reporter claims that NBC will announce tomorrow their fall/winter schedule, including a proposed spinoff to The Office, which will air directly after the original on Thursday nights starting in February. NBC is also apparently set to renew Chuck, Life, Law & Order and ER (for its final season).

No word on whether the new, as-yet-untitled sitcom will pilfer any of the cast from The Office, or even where the new comedy will be set. Stay tuned!

"The Legend of Zelda" on the big screen?

Now as much as I love the Legend of Zelda video games (one of the very few video games series that has actually captivated my attention as a child and an adult), I'm not sure a movie adaptation is a good idea. For one, has there ever been a good video game-to-movie adaptation? The Resident Evil series is the closest I can think of, and even fans wouldn't say that they are very good movies.

But if you are going to do a movie for one of the all-time great games, don't you think you should have assembled a semi-recognizable cast and a bigger budget than your average toothpaste commercial? Because to me, this trailer makes this movie look like a bad, bad idea.

The movie, by the way, is set for release in April 1, 2009. (I'm certain that somewhere, Stephen Groo has circled this date on his calendar....)

What do you think? Does the trailer ignite a firestorm of nostalgia, or make you want to take a nap?