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 »

As the American Film Market goes on, we see a lot of synopsis and sales art releases for upcoming films. A lot of times these aren’t all that illuminating, because the synopsis info just rehashes what we already know, and the sales art is created before anything is ever shot, so at best it can only get across the most basic idea of the film. (Comepare, for example, the sales art for Drive to the final posters.)

But Louis Leterrier has a movie shooting early next year called Now You See Me that might be worth highlighting once more. I’m interested in the film because it represents a break from the movies Leterrier has done in the past (The Transporter, The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans) and in part because it has a pretty impressive cast led by Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Eisenberg. The sales art out of AFM positions the film, tonally, in Ocean’s Eleven territory, while the synopsis clarifies a few roles for some of the actors. Both are below. Read More »

Louis Leterrier‘s magician heist movie Now You See Me keeps getting better. The movie features a story about a group of illusionists who rob banks during their performances, and then give at least some of the proceeds out to the audience, even as the FBI is hot on their tail.

The cast already includes Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco, and now Michael Caine has signed on to play Arthur Tressler, the sponsor of the illusionists. The film will be released on January 18, 2013, and unless we see a trailer that looks simply horrible, Now You See Me will be high on our list of anticipated popcorn movies until that date arrives. [Moviehole]

After the break, Olivia Wilde and Steve Buscemi join the cast of another magician film, Burt Wonderstone, while Vin Diesel and David Twohy continue to try and perfect the magic trick of getting a third Riddick film made. Read More »

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Teaser Trailer

You might have seen the footage in front of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 this weekend, or perhaps you caught one of the many bootlegs that have been circulating for the past week. But here’s the real thing: the first official teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. Read More »

Want to see a photo of Christian Bale on the set of The Dark Knight Rises? What’s the rumored next phase of the viral campaign, how many people showed up at a recent casting call and what is Michael Caine saying now? Has someone seen 15 minutes of The Avengers? And what did Mark Millar think of Green Lantern? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Briefly: Given that Christopher Nolan is now shooting The Dark Knight Rises, we probably won’t see too many more notable names added to the cast. In fact, this might be the last: Josh Stewart from The Collector and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has taken an unknown role in the film. Like many of the other recent cast announcements, his part may not be significant, but he joins what is looking like an impressive ensemble cast.

So we’ve got returning actors Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman; Michael Caine as Alfred; Gary Oldman as James Gordon; and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, with newcomers Tom Hardy as Bane; Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle; Juno Temple as a “street-smart Gotham girl;” Josh Pence as young Ra’s al Ghul; Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, “a Gotham City beat cop;” Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate; and Matthew Modine, Tom Conti, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Daniel Sunjata, Diego Klattenhoff and Burn Gorman. Quite a lineup, and you know we’ll keep you posted (possibly in Superhero Bits) with any new pieces of info that come out. [Variety]

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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