Category Archives: Film Reels

Nicolas Cage’s Superman Story

 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story of “Action Comics #1” will soon be a feature film, but it will not revolve around the classic first Superman appearance contained within its pages. Instead, screenwriters Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (of “Reno 911” and MTV’s “The State”) will spin a tale of a “group of nerds” intent on stealing actor Nicolas Cage’s copy of the prized comic.

The story is based on the actual theft of Cage’s “Action Comics #1” back in 2000. Lost for eleven years, the rare collector’s item was found in a San Fernando Valley storage locker. At the time of its recovery, the actor said in a statement, “It is divine providence that the comic was found and I am hopeful that the heirloom will be returned to my family.” It eventually sold for an impressive $2.1 million at auction in November.

Lionsgate picked up the project with Garant and Lennon producing along side Peter Principato and Paul Young. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script is being written with Cage in mind for the key role of Nicolas Cage, but notes, “at this stage, it’s unlikely that Cage will play himself.”

Meanwhile, fellow actor Jason Statham has been named in connection with the project, but has no official involvement with the production at this time.

Garant and Lennon, besides writing and performing on “The State” and “Reno 911,” are known for their comedy scripts like “Taxi”, “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” “Night at the Museum” and its sequel. Last year, the duo released a book about their experiences writing movies in Hollywood called “Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!”

The origins of Superman will also be seen again on the big screen in 2013’s “Man of Steel,” staring Henry Cavill as the character first glimpsed in “Action Comic #1.”

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San Diego Comic Con 2012/Comic Con International 2012

Comic Con International Logo

On a Wednesday afternoon, Comic Con International decides to send out an email to those who registered to their Comic Con Member ID a few months back. I registered in hopes of going to the most iconic and famous comic convention in the world. Comic Con International in San Diego, CA. I waited, with no response or update from Comic Con. Then, they sent out an email to anyone who wants to volunteer. I’m one of those people. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to a comic convention without having to pay. All ou have to do (For WonderCon anyway), is work 3 hours a day, and you get that day free. Anyway, I personally did not sleep at all. I waited for hours. By 7:55am PST, I was just clicking the “top secret” link Comic Con gave us with Member IDs. There was nothing, just that “404 – Not Found” error message over and over again. I though to myself, “it is just 7:55.”

I literally waiter for 7:59am to change into 8:00am. When it did, I just clicked it. It didn’t work! I snapped and thought I peed my pants. Then, I thought of going to their website and see if there was a solution. Fortunately, there was. Right beside a bunch of words was a big, can’t-miss, green button. I immediately clicked it and was redirected to the EPIC online registration website. When you get there, the site automatically gives you a number corresponding to your position within the line. You have to wait, like any other person, for hours in line. My number was “#16548.” I thought to myself that I won’t be able to make it and buy tickets. Since the site was refreshing every 120 seconds, my position was actually getting better every time. I started off at #16548, after 45 or so minutes, I was at #276. After the last refresh time, I am in front and now prepared to buy my tickets. Unfortunately, the 4 Day w/ Preview Night, 4 Day w/o Preview Night, and the Saturday Single Day ticket were all sold out and I had no chance of getting that Saturday ticket. All there were left were the Thursday, Friday,and Sunday Single Day tickets. I bought all three, finished my transactions, and went back for a second time to purchase tickets for my little brother. I bought him the Friday and Sunday tickets.

All in all, this was another experience I can share with friends and families. If I get the chance and someone doesn’t want their Saturday Single Day ticket, I would gladly buy it. See you at Comic Con.

 

Here’s that email they sent out: 

 

“Dear **********************,

 
The wait is over! Comic-Con 2012 badges will go on sale at 8:00 a.m. PST on Saturday March 3rd, 2012. To access the EPIC online registration website, click the following link: http://www.comic-con.org/cci/badge_sales.php
 
Please note, this link will not be active until 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you click this link early, you will receive a “404 – NOT FOUND” error page and you will need to close your browser window and click the link again at or after 8:00 a.m. PST.
 
As a member of the Comic-Con Member ID preferred “E-List”, you are receiving first notification of the badge sales date/time and the exclusive link to registration. Although you are required to have a Member ID to purchase a badge, sharing the above link on a social networking site may decrease your chances of obtaining a badge. Although only those with a Member ID will be allowed to purchase a badge, the EPIC waiting room is open to the general public and if the link above is leaked online, we anticipate that several thousand people who did not sign-up for a Member ID will attempt to access the registration system erroneously. Additionally, should you choose to share the date or link online, it is likely to be picked up by numerous media outlets who will share this information with a larger audience.
 
We strongly recommend that you visit http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_reg.php and download the “Comic-Con 2012 Helpful Hints and Tips for Online Badge Registration” PDF. Reading this document may give you and advantage in obtaining a badge over others who choose not to read it. 
 
The following is the Member ID information we have on file for you. Please use the Member ID and last name below to log in to the EPIC registration website. Even if your last name is incorrect below, you must login with this information to validate your ID. You will be able to correct your last name at a later date. 
 
Member ID: **************

Last Name:  **************
 
All of us at Comic-Con would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding during the new Member ID registration and badge sales process. As you know because of limited space at the San Diego Convention Center we have had to cap attendance for the last few years. The new Member ID registration process is an attempt to streamline the process of purchasing a badge and hopefully reducing, to a great number, those who purchase badges only for resale. Thereby making more badges available to individuals.
We honestly wish we could accommodate each and every person who would like to attend the show, and while we are making strides to increase space by utilizing hotels and outdoor venues, the problem of attendance is one that all of us continue to work on constantly.
 
Thank you very much for your support of Comic-Con, and your love of comics and the popular arts.
 
If you are not planning to purchase a badge during online sales, please disregard this notice. This e-mail does not relate to professional, press, exhibitor, volunteer, or program participant registration. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Comic-Con International”

First Look: The Avengers’ Maria Hill

When the second trailer for “Marvel’s The Avengers” debuted earlier this week, fans caught a brief glimpse of Cobie Smulders as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill.

Now you can get your full first look at Agent Hill with two new photos from the film! Check out both images below, and let us know what you think on the official Facebook page for “Marvel’s The Avengers,” or send us a message on twitter @Avengers!

Plus, keep it tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest on “Marvel’s The Avengers” as we get ready for its premiere on May 4!

Cobie Smulders stars as Maria Hill in “Marvel’s The Avengers”
Cobie Smulders stars as Maria Hill in “Marvel’s The Avengers”

 

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.


In addition to “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including “Iron Man 3” on May 3, 2013; and “Thor 2” on November 15, 2013.


Chronicle Movie Review

Chronicle is directed by Josh Trank and stars Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, and Michael B. Jordan. Chronicle was brewing somewhere hidden. Facebook and its own website are the only place in the internet where you can see a preview to this very original movie. The site shows us a sneak peek in the form of the movie trailer. The trailer introduces us to three friends who somehow acquired telekinetic powers from a crater they intended to go to just for the fun of it. They start using their new found powers by showing off what they could do. One of them, Andrew, accidentally puts a driver in the hospital while they are driving back home. The ball starts rolling downhill literally for Andrew. He becomes dark and vengeful and slowly realizes the possibilities when he can do anything he wants with his powers, while the two try and stop him.

At the beginning of the film, Andrew has bought a new camera. The same camera used throughout until the middle of the film. His father grudgingly forces Andrew to open the locked door. Andrew not only doesn’t open the door, but he also insults him by insisting that his father is drunk. Right there and then, the audience can pick up that andrew is a loner and has a very stressful home environment where his father easily beats him around. On the way to school, we are introduced to Matt, Andrew’s cousin, who drives Andrew to school everyday. Once at school, bullies  treat him like as if he should not exist at all. This goes on for about another 2 to 3 minutes. When Andrew and Matt drive back home, Matt invites Andrew to a party. At first Andrew doesn’t want to go, but with a little convincing, he agrees to go. Here, he is again bullied and is forced to leave the party still carrying his camera. He sits by a tree, crying, and obviously in pain. He meets Steve, a popular student running for school president. Steve wants Andrew to bring his camera and come with him to film everything they are about to do. He tells him of a crater they found, presumably the same crater which gives them their powers. Andrew and Steve meet up with Matt at the site. They all climb down and discover something out of this world. A structure that looks like a ship or what looks like a part of a ship, but the specifics aren’t further explored in the movie. Steve touches it and begins bleeding through his nose. Then the structure starts glowing and violently releases some sort of telekinetic force and the whole scene cuts to black.

For the most part, they seem to have escaped the crater. The scene, from the pitch black darkness, it shifts to days after the incident and they are practicing what they can do with their powers.

From here on, the film focuses on the expansion of their abilities. From trying to build buildings with lego pieces, with Andrew being the most powerful of all three and Matt having trouble with his pieces. Later, Steve calls them both to show something. Steve has learned the ability to fly, Andrew has no trouble at all when trying to fly. Matt, on the other hand, fails and falls down to his face. That scene was very funny and explores the three’s friendship with each other. It then cuts to a scene where it shows that the camera is in the sky, the three friends are wearing heavy and thick jackets and are flying all over the place.

After the thrilling experience, Andrew, Matt, and Steve sleep over at Steve’s place. Matt confesses that “this is the best day of my life.” I was a little confused and thought that Andrew said those words since his life, before having his powers, sucked. Within the movie, scenes of Matt and Cassey, a girl from their school, are having a conversation about how Matt has changed and he came over to give a donation to a struggling country. My first thoughts were those scenes are just “flavor scenes,” in which it isn’t part of the main story but only for the purpose of giving the movie more shifting space.

Andrew is made famous in his school because of Steve convincing him to join the talent show. He uses his powers to perform “magic” tricks in front of the school. They attend a party, here Andrew meets a girl and engage in a little intimate foreplay, but all goes wrong when Andrew vomits on the girl. Back at school, the girl tells everyone and Andrew is again picked on by bullies. He snaps and used his powers on the bully by pulling three of his tooth. His home environment doesn’t change at all and his father punches him, Andrew gets angry and shoves his father away.

Andrew flies up into the sky and spends his time alone up there until Steve comes along to ask how Andrew is doing. Andrew gets mad and accidentally kills Steve by being struck by a lightning bolt. I really felt sad beacause of all the three, Steve seemed to be the kindest. Remember that scene where he talks to Andrew before they go down the crater.

Anyway, Matt begins to question whether Andrew is stable at all with his powers. Andrew flies away. He sees his mother in pain and tries to get some medications for her only to have him feel bad because of financial problems. He gets his father’s firefighter uniform, wears it, and goes out to take the money from the local thugs that hangs out near his place. He beats them all and steals their money, but it wasn’t enough. He robs a gas station, the guy behind the counter grabs a shotgun, points it at Andrew. Andrew uses his power to push the shotgun away but it shoots in the direction of a petrol tank and explodes, Andrew is caught in the blast and is sent to the hospital.

His father visits him and he doesn’t feel bad. Andrew gets mad and tries to kill him by dropping him outside. Matt comes to save him. The two battle it out in the city of Seattle. At the end Matt decides to kill his cousin and friend. That part there was very predictable. The ending shows Matt, holding a camera, flies to Tibet. Tibet is where Andrew wanted to go because of how peaceful the place is. He leaves the camera to capture the tranquility.

The ending, at first, was slow. But when you think about it, Matt was the logical choice to be the survivor. He, from being a complete jerk, went on to become a kind-hearted man. Steve’s death was a shocker since everyone has developed a love for him. Andrew is comparable to Anakin Skywalker. Anakin Skywalker later becomes the tyrannical Darth Vader. The difference between Andrew and Anakin is that Anakin had a chance to resist the dark side and avoid being darth Vader. From the beginning, Andrew’s life was messed up and his hate has been building up since he was a kid.

The movie is a new twist to the superhero genre. It is very hard to compare it to other superhero movies because most of them are based on comic books or other materials. Chronicle was never based on anything which is why the movie is so original. I would recommend the movie to other people and give it a score of 8.5 to 9 out of 10.


Donnie Brasco Movie Review

There’s a great little moment in the gangster film ”Donnie Brasco” that shows Al Pacino preparing to meet the Godfather. Fine, we’ve seen that before. But this Mr. Pacino is different: aging, weary, drab, down on his luck though desperately eager to please. Trying to put his best foot forward, he stands dutifully amid a crowd of low-level Mafiosi. The boss walks by without giving him a look.

It’s a sharp, clever encounter, overturning all manner of genre cliches and viewer expectations. And the crackling good ”Donnie Brasco,” the best crime movie in a long while, is full of similar surprises as it leads Mr. Pacino and Johnny Depp through a fine-tuned tale of deception. Surprise No. 1: Mr. Depp’s tremendous talent is no longer surprising. With this film his career reaches critical mass, turning an assortment of varied, offbeat roles into the trajectory of a major star.

Mr. Depp is not alone in being in the right place at the right time with ”Donnie Brasco.” It’s also an affirmation that the director, Mike Newell, has a gift for talkative, intelligent films that make his actors shine. Whether in sunny Italy (”Enchanted April”), mystical Ireland (”Into the West”), nuptial-mad England (”Four Weddings and a Funeral”) or now in the tacky realm of the American gangster, Mr. Newell can make the most out of tartly fine acting and good conversation. (His last film, ”An Awfully Big Adventure,” failed miserably because its backstage theatrical milieu, arch tone and English accents traveled badly. It’s worth a second look.)

”Donnie Brasco” is also a boon to Mr. Pacino, who brings such color and pathos to a story that automatically invokes the breadth of his own career. Whether in the mob (you know where) or undercover (”Serpico”), he has been here before as the brash young man, and now he graduates to the kind of senior status that is a character actor’s field day. A whole world of second thoughts about the gangster’s game can be found in the small strokes of his performance here. And Mr. Pacino’s reward for passing a generational torch to Mr. Depp is the chance to team up with a young actor on the same wavelength. These two stars have such good, macho chemistry that their scenes together really shoot off sparks.

As Donnie Brasco, a man who doesn’t exist, Mr. Depp turns tough so easily and charismatically that it’s easy to forget he was ever Gilbert Grape or Edward Scissorhands. Donnie is actually Joe Pistone, the undercover F.B.I. agent who infiltrated the Bonnano family in the late 1970’s and upon whose memoir Paul Attanasio’s screenplay is based. (Mr. Attanasio, who wrote ”Quiz Show,” is also in fine form.) Donnie’s initial mission is to befriend Lefty Ruggiero, the over-the-hill hit man played by Mr. Pacino with a mixture of regret and indignation over his career progress. ”Twenty-six guys I clipped,” Lefty complains. ”Do I get upped? No, they pass me by!”

The first meeting between Donnie and Lefty sets the tone for the long, artful two-man exchanges that separate this mob movie from the many others it resembles. In a bar, Donnie pretends to be a jewel expert and convinces Lefty that the new diamond Lefty just bought is fake. Without further ado Lefty scoops up Donnie, takes him to a different joint and confronts the seller, whom Donnie roughs up as a matter of mob etiquette. Before leaving with the seller’s car in tow, Donnie stuffs some money in the man’s mouth to pay a bar bill.

”Why’d you pay for that drink, Don?” Lefty asks paternally. ”Wise guys never pay for a drink.”

”You know something?” Donnie soon boasts, when he meets F.B.I. agents in a place the mob would never look (a kosher restaurant). ”I got him. I got my hooks in the guy.” But it’s the other way around. Lefty begins fouling up the plan by welcoming and instructing Donnie as his surrogate son, since Lefty’s real son is no good. And Donnie grows increasingly fond of the irresistible Lefty. But the undercover man also knows, throughout ”Donnie Brasco,” that Lefty will be the one to pay the price for Donnie’s treachery when the F.B.I. scam is eventually exposed.

That prospect gives the film dramatic tension, as does the threat that Donnie’s new mobster friends will catch him in a lie. There are well-timed bubbles of suspicion that deliberately stop the story, which otherwise has all the rowdy wise guy color that its genre requires. Michael Madsen (just right as an imposing new boss), Bruno Kirby and James Russo are the other gang members closest to Lefty and Donnie, and they share the small-time ethos that gives the film its distinctive flavor.

Even when — especially when — these guys strike it big and go from Brooklyn to Florida, they have no class. In one funny throwaway, they show up looking sporty in favorite loud polyesters and wind up in a melee on the tennis court. Mr. Newell may not have been at home in Brooklyn, but he is certainly enough of a humorist and anthropologist for this.

Mr. Depp moves through the film with a brand-new hardboiled grace to give it heat, and a more familiar conscience-stricken sensitivity to keep it interesting. Anne Heche does well with what could have been the thankless role of Joe Pistone’s wife, who is left to mind three children and shovel snow for months at a time while Joe is busy being Donnie Brasco. One quick, impassioned visit is all this character-driven film needs to show why these two are still married. But as an added bonus, they are seen visiting a counselor together. Donnie is not exactly inclined to let a jargon-spouting therapist tell him what to do.

Like all gangster films, ”Donnie Brasco” finally runs into unwelcome reality, turning cruel and bloody in ways that leave audience sympathy in the lurch. In the end it’s a sordid and deadly story. But along the way, it’s full of life.

”Donnie Brasco” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or guardian). It includes violence, profanity and one very brief sexual situation.

DONNIE BRASCO

Directed by Mike Newell; written by Paul Attanasio, based on the book by Joseph D. Pistone with Richard Woodley; director of photography, Peter Sova; edited by Jon Gregory; music by Patrick Doyle; production designer, Donald Graham Burt; produced by Mark Johnson, Barry Levinson, Louis DiGiaimo and Gail Mutrux; released by Tri-Star. Running time: 121 minutes. This film is rated R.

WITH: Al Pacino (Lefty), Johnny Depp (Donnie), Michael Madsen (Sonny), Bruno Kirby (Nicky), James Russo (Paulie) and Anne Heche (Maggie).

Plot:

“Starting in 1978, FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone is assigned to infiltrate the New York City–based Bonanno crime family. Calling himself Donnie Brasco and posing as a jewel thief expert from Vero Beach, Florida, he befriends Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero, a low-level mob hit man whose personal life is in tatters, and Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano, the captain of Lefty’s crew.

Lefty can’t seem to make enough money, his son is a drug addict and he is continually passed over for promotion to a higher position within the crime family. He continually reminds Brasco of his growing disillusionment about having spent 30 years as a wiseguy (and killing 26 people), with little to show for it.

In Donnie, at least, Lefty sees a young protégé who might be able to succeed where he failed. He takes Donnie under his wing. Donnie quickly becomes accepted by the other family members, as an “associate” (the lowest Mafia rank describing people who have criminal ties to the Mafia but are not actual members) and is later nearly officially inducted into the mob as a “made man.”

The longer Pistone plays the role of a gangster, the more he finds himself actually becoming Donnie Brasco during his rare off-duty hours. His long absences and change in personality drive a wedge between Pistone and his wife and three children. Meanwhile, the slightest mistake in his performance as a mobster could result in death to him and his family.

In addition, Pistone has come to regard Lefty as a close and trusted friend. He knows that when the day finally comes that the FBI arrests his mob associates, he will be ending Lefty’s life as surely as if he himself had killed him.”


WonderCon 2012

 

The first time I heard about WonderCon, my mind was too preoccupied with San Diego Comic Con that I just ignored it. Even with the fact that WonderCon held its convention in San Francisco. I was living in Milpitas at that time and thought I wouldn’t be able to go to San Diego with that much ease. It would mean driving to San Diego for SDCC and spend 9 to 10 hours on the road. Then I thought, why not just go to WonderCon. It’s pretty much the same. Then it said on the news that the next WonderCon, WonderCon 2012, will be held at Anaheim. Obviously it was just a coincidence, but a couple of months after that news, we moved to Riverside, CA because my Pops was transferred to Riverside Marriott. Anaheim is a 30-minute drive from Riverside and an hour and a half drive to San Diego. Now, I’ll be able to attend both.

After registering as a volunteer to WonderCon, they emailed me their policies and safety guidelines that included a form that I have to fill up and give to them so they can give me assignments to work on there at the convention. The way this works is I have to work three hours a day inside the convention and I get to be there the rest of the day to enjoy everything the convention has to offer. I’ll be volunteering for three days which gives me access to the entire convention.

 

WonderCon Wiki:

WonderCon is an annual comic book, science fiction, and motion picture convention, held in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1987.

The convention was conceived by retailer John Barrett (a founder of the retail chain Comics and Comix) and originally held in the Oakland Convention Center, where it remained until 2003, when it moved to San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The show’s original name was the Wonderful World of Comics Convention.

Retailer Joe Field (of Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff) and his partner Mike Friedrich owned and operated the convention for fifteen years. In 2001, they brokered a deal with the management team that runs the San Diego Comic-Con International to make it part of the Comic-Con International convention family. This gave the San Francisco show a wider audience and has made it a venue for previews and early screenings of major motion pictures, in particular ones based on comic books. These have included Spider-Man 2 in 2004, Batman Begins and Fantastic Four in 2005, Superman Returns in 2006, 300 in 2007, Watchmen in 2009, and Kick-Ass in 2010. All of these events featured the stars of the films fielding questions from the audience. In addition, WonderCon features an event called “Trailer Park,” wherein trailers for upcoming films are shown.

While the main attraction of WonderCon has always been various retailers selling back issues of comic books and action figures, the exhibitorship has grown to include retailers of specialty DVDs. There is also an “Artists Alley” featuring mainly comic book artists selling artwork, signing books, and doing sketches; and mainstream celebrities signing autographed pictures. Academicians and comic industry professionals have held the Comics Arts Conference in conjunction with WonderCon.
In addition to the comic and movie previews is the Wondercon masquerade, which usually takes place on Saturday after the convention closes. Awards are given to those with the most creative performances, but anyone can participate. In 2010, the convention had an attendance of 39,000 fans with 34,000 fans in 2009.”


Blue Flame

Hey guys, I just want to share to you buddies of mine a great anime that on Crackle.com right now. It’s also a manga, if you want to read the story instead.

I’m talking about the great series, Blue Exorcist.