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 »

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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 »

NO PHOTOS

We may not want to admit it, but the 2008 3D film Journey to the Center of the Earth was a $100 million hit. So, of course, production just started on the sequel. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island brings back star Josh Hutcherson as he sets out on another adventure. This time, however, Brendan Frasier is nowhere to be found. Instead, he’s been replaced by Dwayne Johnson (already back to family films after Faster and Fast Five) who stars along with Michael Caine, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman and Kristin Davis. Directed by Brad Peyton (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore), the 3D sequel is now shooting in Hawaii before moving to North Carolina. After the break, read the official plot description and check out some set photos. Read More »

Couples Retreat Movie Trailer

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Look at the cast for Universal’s upcoming Couples Retreat: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Malin Akerman, Faizon Love, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis, Jean Reno, Peter Serafinowicz and Ken Joeong (currently extorting money from the trio of drunks in The Hangover). Now look at the first trailer, after the jump. Read More »

There a bunch of stories that broke tonight in the Hollywood trade newspapers, and I just don’t have time to cover them at length, so I thought I’d do a quick trade news run-down.

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First Look: Couples Retreat

USA Today has a first look at the cast of Peter Billingsley‘s directorial debut, Couples Retreat. Based on an idea by Vince Vaughn, and scripted by Jon Favreau, the PG-13 (ick!) comedy stars Favs, Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Faizon Love, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis, Kali Hawk, and Malin Akerman. Jean Reno and John Michael Higgins co-star as the resort’s mastermind and the therapist.

The movie will tell the story a married couple, played by Bell and Bateman, who drag their three married friends to a couples herapy vacation in order to save on costs. The other couples quickly learn that participation in the resort’s couples therapy is not optional, and they become “forced to scrutinize the states of their own marriages.” Vaughn gives us a character rundown:

“Jason and Kristen are Type A’s struggling to have kids. Faizon and his wife have just separated, and he is dating a young girl from Foot Locker (Hawk). Me and my wife (Akerman) are swamped with the kids and work. Favreau and Kristin Davis are secretly not completely faithful to each other.”

Entertainment Tonight has a set visit video report, which you can watch here. Billingsley began has career as a child actor, best known as Ralphie in A Christmas Story, and later the producer of Favreau’s films: Made, Zathura, The Break-Up, Iron Man and Four Christmases. The Universal Pictures comedy doesn’t currently have a release date.

Thanks to /Film reader Jack Q for the tip.

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