From Up On Poppy Hill, co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Gor? Miyazaki, was Studio Ghibli’s big 2011 release. It tells the story of two high school students hoping to clean up their hometown who run up against the corporate mindset of a local businessman. When the film came out in Japan last summer, it was a success for the legendary company and soon after, producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy decided to bring it to North America via GKids. The film will be released in November for an Oscar qualifying run followed by a wider release in March 2013. Its impressive English language voice cast has now been revealed. Read the full list after the jump. Read More »

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The Muppets star Miss Piggy went on the red carpet to interview all the celebrities and award contenters at the 2012 British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. The resulting 8-minute video features off-the-cuff exchanges with Jon Hamm, Chris Dowd, Jessica Chastain, James Corden, Michael Fassbender, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Adam Deacon, Daniel Radcliffe, Tate Taylor, Octavia Spencer, Tom Hiddleston, Viola Davis, Jonah Hill, and more. Watch Miss Piggy’s red carpet coverage embedded after the jump.
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Titles can be everything, and The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet is possibly the most eye-catching film title I’ve seen this week. But is it the best title for a zombie movie, especially one that stars Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and Gillian Anderson? That I can’t say (even after seeing Judi Dench cameo as a sort of buxom almost-strumpet in Pirates of the Caribbean) but for a film that seems to be cut from the same cloth as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, one could probably do worse. Read More »

James Marsh is a director who covers a few different bases and does so quite well. He makes excellent documentaries (the Oscar-winning Man on Wire, and Project Nim) and also has facility with dramas and thrillers such as The King and his Red Riding episode. He’s got Project Nim going around festivals now, and for his next project is planning to make a thriller about an IRA terrorist who becomes an informer. Guy Pearce was once attached to a key role, but now Clive Owen will play that part instead. Read More »

johnny-english

Anyone clamoring for a sequel the 2003 comedy Johnny English is in luck. Not only is Johnny English Reborn now shooting in the United Kingdom, but it will now co-star Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Dominic West (The Wire), Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day) and Daniel Kaluuya alongside Rowan Atkinson as the title character. It’ll be directed by Oliver Parker (The Importance of Being Earnest).

Johnny English is character that sort of blends Mr. Bean and James Bond in a spoof of the spy genre. Read more about the project after the jump. Read More »

mobydick

It’s rare that I look at a TV project and wish that it were a $100m theatrical production instead of a much smaller television affair. I like seeing what creative teams can do with ingenuity rather than money, so almost never think something should be more expensive. But I do wish the $25m television version of Moby Dick, currently shooting, had more cash to work with. Oceangoing stories look amazing on the big screen, and we get so few of them. Still, with the cast assembled for this version of Herman Melville’s novel, I’ll take what I can get. Read More »

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A third X-Files film is currently being prepared for shooting to take place by 2012. That’s a long while so these preparations are no doubt tentative, even vague.

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Our friends at FilmSchoolRejects have three new photos from the still untitled X-Files sequel. The new photos reveal shocking plot spoilers (of course, all of the plot spoilers take place slightly off screen). For example we have a photo of Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and a team of bewildered FBI looking down at… something. And in the next photo we have Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) looking at a Werewolf… or it could be just a door or television, we don’t know because it’s off screen.

X-Files 2

The third photo features both Mulder and Scully looking off at something in the distance while snow falls from the sky. I imagine that something is probably Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk having an epic battle in a snow covered landscape. I mean, that’s the obvious answer.

X-Files 2

Discuss: What do you think Mulder and Scully could be reacting to? What’s going on?!

New Bootleg X Files 2 Trailer Appears Online

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Late last month, a teaser trailer appeared briefly online for July’s The X Files 2 and today another CAM bootleg has surfaced over at XFilesNews, this time for a full length trailer (embedded below). While I think the bootleg teaser trailer, which is now back up at YouTube here, is more intriguing, I’m left wondering about both in terms of smart marketing. The new trailer is said to be attached to May’s Iron Man. Keep in mind that an entire decade has passed since Agents Mulder and Scully were on the big screen, and David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, while both look great, haven’t had a major movie or TV hit since.

Neither of these trailers has a real money shot or a big scare to place the sequel in the realm of this summer’s diverse big guns like The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder or Pineapple Express. Furthermore, both trailers use a lot of military, ice and snow imagery that automatically brings to mind the Antarctica shots from the original film’s promotions. That film turned off general audiences and performed below expectations because it chose to focus on the TV show’s confusing, Lost-esque “mythology.”

The sequel will be a “stand alone” film, but that’s not clear at all underneath the characteristically ambiguous messages and played-up mystery in these trailers. The marketing department doesn’t have to outright state “This Time, No Alien Stuff…It’s Scarier” but, umm, it’s not a bad idea. Such a message can be easily communicated without spoiling the film, so why not go for it? There’s a lot at stake for Chris Carter‘s franchise, and in a summer lacking scares (Midnight Meat Train seems to have gotten the boot), that’s the way to go if he wants a hit. I’m all for a straight-up quality mystery thriller to escape the heat, but the season’s event film competition is typically brutal, and that was clear back in 1998.

Discuss: Which trailer is more effective? If you’re not interested in The X Files sequel, what would you need to see to change that? Is seeing Xzibit’s face in the new trailer scarier than any conspiracy or monster mash in the series?