If you liked the down on his luck superhero elements of the Will Smith film Hancock, but weren’t as much into the ‘gods and love’ story that dominated the second half, you should give some attention to Big Man Japan. That is Hitoshi Matsumoto‘s 2007 Japanese mock documentary about a guy who can grow to gigantic size and fight monsters, but has to deal with a sagging public image. (It was released in Japan as Dainipponjin.)

Big Man Japan is weird fun, full of goofy CGI, and has one of the most batshit crazy endings I’ve seen in some time. (The end really plays with the film’s intentional similarity to Ultraman, and given that the rest of the film has things like a giant monster with an eye-tipped penis tentacle, the fact that the end stands out as really crazy should tell you something.) So, naturally, an American studio is going to try to produce a remake. Read More »

Battle: Los Angeles

I had predicted that Jonathan Liebesman‘s Battle: Los Angeles might be the surprise hit of this year’s Comic-Con. I was wrong. I’ve talked with a bunch of people who have screened early cuts of the film, and the buzz I’ve been hearing from these people is overwhelmingly possitive. For those of you who haven’t been following the film’s production, the movie has been described as a Black Hawk Down-style military story set in an alien invasion.

While most Comic Con attendees seemed to like the footage screened in Hall H, it didn’t become a standout of the presentations at this year’s convention (you can read Adam’s coverage and watch our video blog here). Despite that fact, we have transcribed the panel from the Sony presentation in Hall H for those of you not in attendance to read. Participants include director Jonathan Liebesman, producer Neal Moritz, and stars Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez.

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Here’s the thing about Preacher: making it into a movie that makes any sense and retains the spirit of the original comic is going to be a hell of a task. (ahem.) Even if Kick-Ass is quite successful, the collision of sex, religion and violence that is Preacher won’t be an easy sell. Producers have tried and failed, and producer Neal Moritz is still plugging along with his take.

Last we heard, he had John August writing the script and Sam Mendes waiting to direct. But then James Bond entered Mendes’ life, and now Preacher needs a new director. Read More »

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You thought that Hollywood was scraping the bottom of the barrel when they began greenlighting movie adaptations based on popular toy brands and board games. Now the toy manufacturers are developing new toy brands with the goal of simultaneously turning the properties into a big screen features, brining new meaning to the phrase “Toy Movie”.

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Shane Black to Direct Doc Savage

Doc Savage

Sony has hired Shane Black to bring pulp hero Doc Savage back to the big screen.

I’ve been waiting for Black to step back into the director’s chair for five years now. His feature directorial debut, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, is one of my favorite films of the past decade, mostly due to Black’s incredible script and partly due to Robert Downey Jr’s awesome pre-Iron Man comedic performance. Black is considered one of the pioneer screenwriters of the action genre, and was the highest paid screenwriter in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. He broke onto the scene with Lethal Weapon, followed by The Monster Squad, The Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero (re-write), and The Long Kiss Goodnight.

While I’m excited to see Black behind the camera, I am skeptical of him helming a film which he didn’t personally write. The screenplay was written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry. Neal Moritz (Fast and Furious) is producing the project, which likely means that one of the cast members will be played by a rap artist (I’m only half joking).

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S.W.A.T.

Do you remember the 2003 action crime thriller S.W.A.T. directed by Clark Johnson, starring Colin Farrell, Samuel L Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Michelle Rodriguez? Yeah, me neither. Well the film made Sony over $200 million in worldwide box office receipts, which is apparently enough to warrant a sequel.

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Fast & Furious

Universal Pictures has given the greenlight to a fifth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise. And in an apparent attempt to one-up the ridiculousness of the previous titles, 2 Fast 2 Furious and Fast & Furious, they have come up with the brilliant (yes, sarcasm) title “Fast Five.” The studio has inked deals with all the key players, including stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, director Justin Lin, screenwriter Chris Morgan (Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Wanted), and producer Neal Moritz to return to the franchise. According to Variety, the fifth film will follow Dom (Diesel) and Brian (Walker) as “fugitives being pursued by legendary lawmen.”‘

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