Having been out of the daily movie news loop for a while, I somehow ended up forgetting that Crank director’s Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were heading up the Ghost Rider sequel, Spirit of Vengeance. But after viewing their panel and footage of the film from Comic-Con today, I’m happy to report that the duo have successfuly brought their special brand of crazy energy to the film — so much so that I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Seemingly everything has been improved over the first Ghost Rider. Cage’s flaming skull now looks menacing, and not laughable; the action looks insane, with plenty of crazy Neveldine/Taylor camera angles; and the duo are also taking full advantage of nightmarish aspects of the character, something that they said led them to take on the project in the first place. Read More »

While we’re all very excited for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, the prolific director has also had an action spy film, Haywire (formerly known as Knockout), sitting in the wings for a while. Today at Comic-Con, Soderbergh hit the stage to premiere the film’s trailer and chat with MMA fighter Gina Carano, the star and inspiration of the film.

Judging from the trailer and clip shown at the panel, Haywire mostly appears to be an excuse for Soderbergh to make a hard-hitting action film. Carano’s fighting talents were on full display — especially in a drawn out fight scene with co-star Michael Fassbender — but she seems to be less adept at dialog or other scenes not involving elbows to the face.

Take a look at the trailer below and judge for yourself. Read More »

For his first trip to Comic-Con, Steven Spielberg showed off some brand new Tintin footage, finally answering some of our lingering questions about the film’s 3D motion-captured aesthetic.

The good news: Tintin looks fantastic. While there are still some signs of the uncanny valley, this is the first motion-captured film I’ve seen that does a realistic job of showing off facial nuances. The film fits perfectly into Herge’s aesthetic for Tintin, while also showcasing the rich environments and action set pieces that we’ve come to love from Spielberg. The footage we saw was based on early renderings from Weta, the finished product will look even better, Spielberg said. Read More »

Showtime premiered a new trailer for the upcoming Dexter season at Comic-Con last night, just like it has for the past few years. There’s lots of new footage in the trailer, but unfortunately it’s mostly a jumble of quick cuts that fails to set up what the series is aiming at in the next season. At this point I’m worried that the next season will be mostly more of the same for Dexter — a shame, because the show could be vastly improved with a well-placed injection of creativity. But hey, it features a Marilyn Manson cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” — so I suppose that’s something new.

I couldn’t make it to the Showtime panel at Comic-Con, but as EW reports, that trailer song choice wasn’t an accident. Dexter will apparently be exploring the notion of faith this season as he tries to find a suitable moral compass for his son Harrison, Michael C. Hall said at the panel. Read More »

What if Batman was a former CIA operative who had the ability to predict crimes before they happened, and had no qualms about kneecapping baddies? That’s the basic premise of Person of Interest, the new Jonathan Nolan and J.J. Abrams written/produced CBS series that will be hitting this fall.

After getting an early glimpse of the pilot last night at Comic-Con, I’m pleased to say that the show more than lives up to our lofty expectations.

Jim Caviezel stars as said former CIA operative, John Reese. At the beginning of the pilot, he’s wracked with guilt and is trying to drink himself to death after losing the woman he loves. After an encounter with thugs in the subway (while sporting what I like to call the “bum Jesus look”), Reese is eventually recruited by an eccentric billionaire, Dr. Finch (Lost’s Michael Emerson), who has developed computer software that can predict crimes before they happen. Taraji P. Henson is also in the fold as a police officer who seems keen on Reese’s background, and will likely serve as as the Commissioner Gordon role to Reese’s Batman. Read More »

Lost alum Damon Lindelof hit the stage at Comic-Con today to chat about Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s upcoming science fiction film (which is also co-written by Lindelof). Star Charlize Theron joined Lindelof on stage, and there was also a (not so) surprising appearance by Scott and co-star Noomi Rapace piped in from Iceland, where the film is being shot. Read More »

Welcome to another J.J. Abrams-produced mystery island show. Alcatraz was one of several new TV series premiered at San Diego Comic-Con Wednesday night, and it was by far the standout.

The series centers around a mysterious event in 1963 that made 302 Alcatraz prisoners and guards vanish without any explanation. For some reason we don’t yet know, a prisoner named Jack Sylvane (Jeffrey Pierce) appears in present day Alcatraz and makes his way to San Francisco to seek payback from those who’ve done him wrong. It’s up to a spunky young police officer (Sarah Jones), assisted by a geeky Alcatraz expert (Jorge Garcia), to stop Sylvane, all the while dealing with a mysterious federal agent (Sam Neill) who clearly knows more about the Alcatraz disappearances than he lets on. Read More »

The Best and Worst of Comic-Con 2010

Comic-Con 2010 is over, and I’m still reeling from the experience. Just like last year, the entire event was a whirlwind with insane crowds, a healthy dose of line waiting, and some unexpected bits of awesome. By the time it was over, I was more than ready to go home. But I know for a fact that in a week or two I’ll be screaming “We have to go back!” — while disheveled and inexplicably bearded.

At some point this week, the entire /Film crew will record their overall thoughts of the event on a special episode of the /Filmcast. But for now, here are my personal picks for the best and worst of Comic-Con 2010. (Fair warning: I didn’t include some major panels [see: Marvel stuff] that failed to get me excited. If you liked those panels, and others I didn’t mention let us know in the comments.)
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super8viral2

It’s hard to walk five feet in San Diego during Comic-Con without stumbling into some sort of viral marketing campaign. Half the time, it’s impossible to tell what some viral campaigns are even advertising at first glance. That was the case with the Rocket Poppeteers truck, which was handing out Super Speedflier Fleet popsicles.

Despite seeing the truck all over San Diego during the convention, it was some time before I learned it was actually a viral campaign for the upcoming Steven Spielberg-produced and JJ Abrams-directed Super 8. After the break, find some photos and other information about the viral.

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TV Trailer: Dexter Season 5

dexter_s_4

Unfortunately, I missed the Dexter Comic-Con panel this weekend, but thankfully Showtime has just put the season five trailer it revealed at the convention online for everyone to see. Now after seeing it, I wish I had carved out the time to make the panel, because it’s a helluva trailer.

After the break, find the trailer as well as my general impressions. And of course, spoilers for the end of Dexter season four abound.

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