Earlier today, I was floored by the footage of Frank Darabont’s television adaptation of the Walking Dead. Unfortunately, I wish the same could be said of what I’ve seen of the Steven Spielberg-produced Falling Skies for TNT. The show — created by Robert Rodat (screenwriter for Saving Private Ryan, and The Patriot) — stars TNT-regular Noah Wyle (ER, The Librarian) and sci-fi regular Moon Bloodgood (Journeyman, Terminator Salvation) as everyday people whose lives are overturned when aliens invade and wipe out 80 percent of humanity. Oh yah, and they fried the electrical grid as well. Fuckers.

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Today we finally got our first glimpse at Frank Darabont’s small screen adaptation of The Walking Dead at San Diego’s Comic-Con, and it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect when you think Darabont-meets-zombies. Creator of the graphic novel Robert Kirkman hit the stage with Darabont, some key cast members — including leads Andrew Lincoln and Emma Bell — and producer Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator, Aliens) to chat about the six-episode series, and present the footage.

After the break, some thoughts on the footage, highlights on the panel, and news on how Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary will be involved with the series.

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Joss Whedon Officially Directing The Avengers

Joss Whedon announced today that he’s officially directing The Avengers, while on stage with J.J. Abrams at San Diego’s Comic-Con. He joked that Marvel didn’t have enough money for a real press release, so he took it up himself to confirm previous reports that he was in talks to direct the film. When pressed for further details, he said that it was way too early to reveal anything.

The news isn’t exactly surprising, but still it’s good to have final confirmation on the matter. As a Whedon fan, I’m excited to see what he can do with the material. Whedon mentioned that he was a huge fan of early Avenger’s comics while growing up, and he seemed understandably excited and humbled at having the opportunity to direct the film.

Video Blog: Comic-Con 2010 Preview

/Film has landed at Comic-Con, and we’re gearing up to take it on with some great coverage — even though it doesn’t seem like there’s as much cool movie-related events as last year. (At least there’s no Twilight event this time around.) In this video blog, Peter, Adam, Russ, and Devindra chat about what they’re looking forward to the most at the convention, and why.

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afraidstorytitle

Two new horror movie posters landed today, just in time for the Comic-Con’s preview night in San Diego. First up, we have the Comic-Con giveaway poster for newcomer Troy Nixey’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which is being produced by Guillermo Del Toro. The poster is an original work of art by Nixey, who is a former comic book artist.

As EW says, the film “centers on a young girl (Bailee Madison) who is set to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in an old mansion they are renovating. She unwittingly unleashes malevolent creatures that try to destroy her entire family.” Disney is releasing the R-rated  film under its now-defunct Miramax banner on January 21, 2011.

Check out the poster after the break, as well as Saw 3D’s official one sheet.

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The Last Airbender

With the release of The Last Airbender, M. Night Shyamalan’s gradual metamorphosis into George Lucas is complete. Just like the Star Wars director, Shyamalan burst onto the scene with a couple innovative films (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable), and displayed a talent for visuals early on. And just like Lucas, Shyamalan’s screenwriting deficiencies, and his inability to properly take criticism from others, have led to his downfall.  His previous film, The Happening, remained enjoyable on an MST3K-level, despite its issues. But with Airbender, Shyamalan delivers a film that’s so singularly misguided, so devoid of a pulse — or anything that made the original series great — it’s like watching a CGI-infused train wreck in slow motion and low-rent 3D.

After my interview with Shyamalan ended, in which he was incredibly enthused and proud about what he had made, I shook his hand and thought, “My god, you have no idea what’s about to hit you.”
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shyamalan-interview

M. Night Shyamalan is a nice guy, which makes the fact that he directed one of the worst films of the year all the more painful. I got a chance to sit down and chat with The Last Airbender director after viewing the film, and it’s clear that he’s passionate about the material, and that he’s very conscious of the racebending controversy. Our discussion touches on him getting used to making a CGI-filled epic film, some material that was cut out, and how he recovered from feeling lost during the production, among other topics.

You can view a video of the interview below (worth watching if only for the moment he realizes something may have been left out of the Blu-ray), download an audio version, or read a transcript of a majority of the discussion. My review of the film, with all the heartache you’d expect from a fan of the series, will be coming soon.

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The A-Team – What Did You Think?

The A-Team

It’s taken several years, but now we finally know what a mainstream action film from director Joe Carnahan looks like with the release of The A-Team, which hits theaters nationwide today. Carnahan proved himself capable of delivering a hard-boiled indie crime feature in 2002′s Narc, directed one of the best BMW Film entries (Ticker), and although I have issues with 2006′s Smokin’ Aces, I still admire that film for what it gets right.

Now with The A-Team, a big-budget remake of the classic 80′s TV series, Carnahan has a shot at becoming more than a beloved indie director.

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