VOTD: Every 3D Movie is the Same

Watch enough movies, and you’ll find that you occasionally walk out of the theater sometimes with the vaguely disappointing feeling that you’ve just shelled out $14 to see a movie you’re already seen before. Sometimes, it’s no surprise that a film looks derivative — did anyone really expect Underworld: Awakening to wow us with its originality, for example? — but even great movies fall prey to old habits sometimes. The Avengers was exhilarating, but Lord knows we’ve seen the dear old Big Apple demolished more than a few times before, and often in very similar ways at that.

The Funny or Die folks point out the most familiar repeating shots and motifs in a video titled “Every 3D Movie is the Same.” Unfortunately, it seems their theoretical fact-checkers were dozing on the job, since a handful of the movies they cite were not, in fact, released in 3D. But even so, their point stands. Perhaps they should’ve just retitled it “Every Studio Action Movie is the Same”? Watch it after the jump.

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Project X, released last Friday, got some people angry, but Warner Bros. isn’t among those irritated by the teen party movie. The low-budget film is considered a success with $21m earned so far, and the studio and producers Todd Phillips and Joel Silver are already putting together plans for a sequel.

Michael Bacall (story and co-writer on the first movie) is working on a sequel treatment with Matt Drake. They started that work before the film was released, and in the wake of its success are moving forward. Until that’s handed in we’re not likely to get any more info, including whether or not any of the main cast (Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Brown) will return, or if the sequel would focus on different kids. [THR]

After the break, The Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard talks about a Cloverfield sequel, Rose Byrne pitches Bridesmaids in Space, and Journey 3 director Brad Peyton hints at the film’s scope. Read More »

With all the fuss about this spring’s The Hunger Games, I’d almost forgotten all about Josh Hutcherson‘s other blockbuster franchise, which began in 2008 with Journey to the Center of the Earth. But Hutcherson hasn’t, of course, and he’ll be reprising his role next month in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Hutcherson plays lead Sean Anderson, who teams up with his stepfather (Dwayne Johnson) to explore the fantastical, heavily CGI-ed wonderland of the title. Also along for the ride are a wacky helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman) and his daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), as well as Sean’s adventurous grandfather (Michael Caine). Watch the new trailer after the jump.

I’m not indiscriminately against sequels, but for every X-Men: First Class, Kung Fu Panda 2, or Fast Five, there’s a The Hangover Part II, a Transformers: Dark of the Moon, or a Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. And while it’s admittedly unfair to jump to conclusions about movies before they’ve even entered production, the sequels we’re talking about today aren’t exactly at the top of my most-anticipated list. After the jump, read about:

  • Grown Ups 2, the follow-up to last year’s Happy Madison comedy
  • The Lincoln Lawyer 2 — and yes, that’s in addition to the upcoming TV series also based on the same source material
  • Journey 3, a sequel to next February’s Journey 2
  • and The Birdcage 2, fifteen years after the first Birdcage

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The first trailer for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was all about fun family adventure. The film is the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, the film that was ahead of the recent wave of 3D releases, and as such got away with some pretty shoddy effects. This sequel is loosely based on Jules Verne‘s novel The Mysterious Island, and the original trailer highlighted a little bit of danger and a lot of wide-eyed adventure all brought to life with effects that are still pretty shoddy-looking. At least there are a few likable people in the cast: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson tags in to replace Brendan Fraser; Josh Hutcherson is the lead kid Sean, and Michael Caine plays Sean’s long-lost explorer grandfather. Luis Guzman is the comic relief, and Vanessa Hudgens is a love interest for Sean.

This international trailer gets a lot more serious, but doesn’t really improve the level of the effects. Which might not be a problem if the entire film wasn’t predicated on the idea of selling viewers a lost, incredible fantasy world. Check it out below. Read More »

One of the movies that kicked off the current wave of 3D films was Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, which arrived more than a year before Avatar cemented 3D as the next big wave in theatrical technology. Now the sequel to that movie is finished, with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson stepping in for former lead Brendan Fraser. He plays the new stepfather to young adventurer Sean, once again played by Josh Hutcherson, and Michael Caine plays Sean’s long-lost explorer grandfather. Luis Guzman is the hapless, bungling comic relief, and Vanessa Hudgens plays his daughter, who naturally becomes the love interest for Sean.

Like the first film, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island looks like a pretty cheap affair. It is obviously made as easy family adventure, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But families and their kids now routinely watch stuff that looks a whole lot more well-crafted than this, so I wonder how people will respond. The best effect isn’t even a CGI dinosaur, but the Rock’s pecs.

Check the trailer below. Read More »

Warner Bros. is going for some Oscar gold this year, and not only with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which the studio is hoping might turn into a Return of the King-style contender. The studio also has a couple of possible prestige pictures in Clint Eastwood‘s J. Edgar and Stephen Daldry‘s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Info on those, plus the date for Alfonso Cuaron‘s new sci-fi thriller Gravity, is after the break. Read More »

After years of talk, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are finally making a film version of the ’60s supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows, and Warner Bros. has just given the film a plum date: it will open on May 11 2012. So one year from now, you’ll be able to join the argument over whether the film is the latest step for one of the most significant director/actor teams of the past two decades, or only another predictable product of Tim Burton’s well-documented idiosyncrasies. I have no idea what to expect out of the film, but the cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Moretz, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jackie Earle Haley, which should be a lineup strong enough to convince even the Burton-averse to take a look.

After the break, info on releases for The Rock’s next movie, and a Will Ferrell/Zack Galifianakis pairing. Read More »

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