WWE Refuses to Stop Making Crappy Movies

John CenaI’m not a pro wrestling bash-er. I use to be a fan back in that big boom. I actually believe there is untapped talent in the organization, and am shocked that World Wrestling Entertainment has been unable to produce one single watchable movie.

That said, I think Vince McMahon should give up on his movie dreams. The last three efforts (See No Evil, The Marine, and The Condemned) have an average IMDb user rating of a 5.1 (which is pretty poor by even genre movie standards). Made for an estimated $50 million, the three films have made less than $41 million domestically. Lionsgate dumped the wrestling entertainment company, but the WWE have found another sucker in the form of the Fox genre arm, Fox Atomic.

WWE is teaming with Fox Atomic to produce 12 Rounds, an action film about a New Orleans police detective whose girlfriend is kidnapped. Star wrestler John Cena will star alongside Steve Harris, Aidan Gillen and Brian White. Hack action director Renny Harlin has been tapped to direct. Harlin, best known for directing Die Hard 2, has been recently involved in some of the worst genre movies of recent years: Driven, Exorcist: The Beginning and The Covenant.

Production begins on February 25th in New Orleans. Good luck with that. Let’s hope that the 133th round is direct to dvd.

source: Variety

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Karen Kusama to direct Diablo Cody's Jennifer's Body

Karyn Kusama has signed on to direct Jennifer’s Body, Diablo Cody‘s follow-up to Juno. The story follows a demon-possessed Megan Fox who begins eating boys in her small Minnesota town. It’s one of those stories that could be pretty cool or really bad depending on how the material is handled.

Kusama broke onto the scene with GirlFight in 2000, which won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance. Kusama, who also took home the directing award, went on to helm the really horrible live-action adaptation of AEonFlux starring Charlize Theron. But I have faith in both Kusama and Diablo. And better yet, Jason Reitman is producing. But will Fox Atomic find someway to screw this one up like all their other releases?

Jennifer’s Body begins shooting in March 2008. No release date has been announced.

First Look: The Rocker

The Rocker PosterOur friends at FilmSchoolRejects has a first look at Rainn Wilson in the upcoming Fox Atomic film The Rocker. Too bad the movie is gonna suck. I recently came across two reader submitted test screening reviews of the film, and sadly, prospects don’t look good:

This review is from “Ralphie”:

“Not very good. Think of it this way, it was School of Rock with the story of Kickin’ it Old Skool’. The beginning of it seemed so promising and then turned into a horribly plot comeback movie. Rainn Wilson had the Dwight, from the office, comedy but it seemed to show up the wrong places. Christina Applegate is seen about 10 minutes in the whole movie, and of course she plays the love interest in the movie with Rain Wilson but the plot completely fails in showing any of the relationship growing in between them. Rainn Wilson has a few one liners and there were 1 or 2 funny scenes but that is all to be expected out of this movie. If you dont get to see this movie you are seriously not missing out on anything.”

This review is from “Old Blue”:

“It has a few funny moments, almost not enough to really call a comedy. This was basically a little kid movie. and the plot was like nearly straight out of school of rock, but minus the school. Will Arnett plays the singer of the 80s band and hes kick ass, but there arent too many high points about the film. through the movie there are like 2 love interest lines and none of them are developed, the movie almost lacks focus. while its definitely a come back story for rainn wilson there is little else that drives the plot and every bump in the road is a very minor one. Also the kid appears to be a metal fan but writes these lame post punk, pop/emo songs. I mean for that kind of stuff the music wasn’t really that bad. But the band opposes 80s hair metal and i dont know, seems very mis matched. A movie for like 13 year olds.”

Official Plot Synopsis: The Rocker tells the story of a failed drummer who is given a second chance at fame. Robert “Fish” Fishman is the extremely dedicated and astoundingly passionate drummer for the eighties hair band Vesuvius, who is living the rock n’ roll dream until he is unceremoniously kicked out of the band. Twenty years after his rock star fantasies are destroyed, just when Fish has finally given up all hope, he hears that his nephew’s high school rock band A.D.D. is looking for a new drummer. They reluctantly make him the newest member of the band, giving him a chance to reclaim the rock God throne he’s always thought he deserved, and taking the young band along for the ride of their lives. Also staring Christina Applegate, Emma Stone, Teddy Geiger and Josh Gad.

The Rocker will hit theaters in 2008.

Jason Reitman Reteams with Diablo Cody on Jennifer's BodyWe loved loved LOVED Juno, so we’ve anxiously been following blogger turned stripper turned author turned screenwriter Diablo Cody‘s bevy of upcoming projects. The one project that seemed more interesting than the rest is a horror movie titled Jennifer’s Body. Megan Fox is signed on to star as a “girl who eats boys.” Cody describes the movie as “Juno but with cannibalism and evisceration.” IMDB describes it as “A newly possessed cheerleader turns into a killer who specializes in offing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?”

While I always thought this idea showed the most promise, it also the easiest to screw up.Let’s face it, Megan Fox is just a pretty face (oh, and a great looking body), she’s no Ellen Page in the acting department. And the film is being produced by Fox Atomic which has yet to turn out a good film in my opinion. But I now have new found hope in this project because Juno and Thank You For Smoking helmer Jason Reitman has signed on produce the new film. With Reitman abroad making the decisions, you can be sure this won’t be complete shit.

photo: HE

Diablo Cody is Writing Every Movie in Hollywood

Diablo Cody and Megan Fox

It seems like Diablo Cody is writing every other movie in Hollywood these days, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. I find saw Cody’s Juno at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is the best movie of the year so far, and a shoe in for a Best Screenplay Oscar nom (and Ebert believes Ellen Page will also get a nod). You would think that since Juno doesn’t hit theaters until later this year, that I was ahead of the curve. But truth is, even I was late to the Diablo Cody party.

The advertising agency worker turned stripper, turned blogger, turned author, turned screenwriter had already caught the attention of Hollywood long ago. Cody set up a female-driven comedy Girly Style at Universal. Steven Spielberg (yes, that Steven) sought her out to pen a television series for him called The United States of Tara (due out next year). Last week we told you that Cody is now reworking Steven Antin’s Burlesque musical which is being referred to as “Moulin Rouge meets Cabaret“.

And today it was announced that Cody is writing a comedic supernatural thriller (that’s not one, not two, but three genres) titled Jennifer’s Body, with Transformers‘ hottie Megan Fox attached to star. The project is set-up at Fox Atomic, which worries me slightly since Atomic isn’t known for quality films. However, I’m sure with Cody behind the computer, it has to be good. Jennifer’s Body is said to have a similar tone to Heathers and Beetlejuice. The story follows a cheerleader with a perfect life who becomes the girl from hell when she gets possessed and begins killing boys in a small town. Her best friend must then find a way to stop her. And here is the best news: The film is being fast-tracked before the possible writers strike.

“This is going to be fun. I wrote this script last summer and have been fucking obsessed with getting it made ever since,” Cody wrote on her blog Pussy Ranch. “Incidentally, Megan Fox is hotter than the earth’s core. And now– Hollywood’s tiresome profusion of “girlfriend roles” be damned– she’s going to literally get out there AND DESTROY SOME FUCKING BOYS. Scripts are a nice way to exorcise personal demons, I’d say.”

I understand that most of you guys have yet to see Juno, but believe me, Diablo is a talent, and is one to watch in the upcoming year. I could be wrong, she could totally blow it. She could be a one hit wonder. But even Steven Spielberg doesn’t think so.

Death Sentence Movie Review

Death Sentence Poster

“Everyone thinks they’re right in a War, but everyone still dies in the end,” Detective Wallis tells Nick Hume in Death Sentence.

I’ve always found vigilante stories fascinating. To me, it’s one of the big appeals of Batman (and how Christopher Nolan is handling the character. However, I must admit, while I was excited to see Death Sentence, I was expecting very little. The trailers made the story look ridiculous (which, it very well may be, but while you’re watching to film, you don’t notice as much).

James Wan is also a very interesting case in terms of directors. He burst onto the scene with SAW at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. It was a horror film which gave birth to three sequels and a lot of imitators, much in the way both Scream and The Ring introduced a new era of horror films. But his follow-up, Dead Silence, was virtually unseen, and much less critically acclaimed. Death Sentence is a return to form. He takes the vigilante movie genre and adds a couple new twists, and delivers on the brutal violence you would expect from the guy who made SAW.
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Fox Atomic to Invade Comic Con

Fox AtomicFox Atomic wants everyone to know that just because their big brother (20th Century Fox) has pulled out, doesn’t mean that Fox’s genre division won’t have a presence at this week’s San Diego Comic Con. Check out the press release below.

Fox Atomic Announces Presence at San Diego Comic-Con 200
7

LOS ANGELES, July 23 — Fox Atomic announced today its
plans for the upcoming Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, CA
on July 26-29. The initiatives planned will include signings and giveaways
on behalf of the Fox Atomic graphic novels The Nightmare Factory (retails
9/07), 28 Days Later: The Aftermath, and The Hills Have Eyes: The
Beginning; an online sweepstakes to win the 1969 Ford Mustang from the film
Death Sentence (8/31), starring Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, and Kelly
Preston, and directed by James Wan (Saw); and a contest at the Fox Atomic
booth where fans enter to win a Fender Stratocaster guitar signed by the
cast of The Rocker, which stars Rainn Wilson and Christina Applegate.

Read More »

Danny BoyleThis weekend MTV broke the news that Sunshine director Danny Boyle had an idea to direct a 28 Weeks Later sequel. Today I was lucky to sit-down with Boyle to talk about his new film Sunshine and to hopefully extract some new details about 28 Months Later.

“I’ve got an idea for it. I didn’t think I would have, because I didn’t want to do the second one. I did do some second unit shooting for them one weekend, just to get myself out of the cutting room. It’s been so long doing this film [Sunshine],” said Boyle. “And I really enjoyed it, doing something trashy like Zombies killing people. That’s basically what I shot all weekend and I was like ‘WOW, this is great! You just come in and kill him! That’s what we’re going to shoot today’ [laughs]“

He wouldn’t give us any new details so we pushed slightly and were able to get this juicy tidbit: The movie will not take place in France!

“It’s to do with Russia actually. It’s to do with that part of the world. NOT FRANCE. The second film hints that it gets to France eventually, and wipes out the French. But this third idea is actually more to do with Russia, but that’s actually all I can say,” said Boyle. “I don’t know whether it will happen.”

Boyle scouted locations in Star City, Russia for the Sunshine interiors but found that the technology was too outdated.  Fox Atomic has supposedly dropped all horror films from the slate, which leads me to believe that a third 28 Days Later film would probably find a home at Fox Searchlight. Look for our full interview with Boyle later this week. And be sure to check out his new movie Sunshine which hits theaters on Friday July 20th 2007.

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