Ranked: All 17 of The Films of Robert Zemeckis

Robert Zemeckis films ranked

This weekend brings the true story of The Walk to theaters everywhere after an exclusive IMAX 3D engagement began last week. Director Robert Zemeckis has finally figured out a way to use 3D to his advantage, and without hollow, haunting motion capture characters , by crafting one of the most breathtaking, suspenseful sequences that film has seen in a long time.

So as the tale of wire walker Philipe Petit’s daring stunt between the Twin Towers gets a wide release this weekend, it’s the perfect time to look back at the films of Robert Zemeckis. Beginning with his first feature film in 1978 and running through this year’s The Walk, we have all of the Robert Zemeckis films ranked. Which one made #1? Read More »

‘Beowulf’ TV Series in Development at SyFy


Briefly: One of the next big fantasy projects to hit TV screens is rooted in a story that is hundreds of years old. SyFy is developing a new Beowulf show, based on the epic poem that tells of a hero, Beowulf, who helps out the Danish king with a little monster problem. The monster, of course, is Grendel, and after his initial battles with Grendel, the beast’s mother also becomes a problem. There’s also the minor matter of a dragon that Beowulf must face years later.

We know the story well, and have seen it on screen several times. (The pic above is from the mo-cap version by Robert Zemeckis.) SyFy describes the show only as “Adaptation of the classic epic poem that further examines the hero’s rise to power and his feud with the monster Grendel.”

Matt Greenberg (1408Reign of Fire) is scripting and will exec produce, says EW, with Brian Hamilton, Michael Chechik, Andrew Cosby and Paulo de Oliveira also exec producing.

A great American city lays in waste. The odor of sweat, tears and Cheetoes still lingers, as do the crushed hopes of those who hit snooze one too many times instead of getting their butt on line. It will take one full year to recover.

That’s right friends – Comic-Con International, as no one calls it anymore, has just ended and your friends from SlashFilm were in San Diego in full force. We’re there every year, watching successes launch (yay Avengers) and witnessing disasters stumble (not-so-yay Terminator Salvation.)

Then there are other movies. Movies that coulda been a contender but, for whatever reason, just didn’t connect. Here are films that had a presence in San Diego that, we feel, should have been bigger hits. This week will be a little less obscure than usual, but we think it’ll still be fun. Read More »

It’s happening. Across the Web, early reviews for next weekend’s Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D are moderately apologetic and yet thoroughly positive, with a fair number of comparisons to the  “Spielbergian wonder of old” popping up in support. Like seductive ooze, it seems that Hollywood’s first live-action tent-pole in the forthcoming theatrical 3D boom (boon?), will win over moviegoers with great 3D special effects, an epic wonderland scope and, to quote Variety, the “highest screams-per-capita ratio in the history of action-adventure pics.” Lalala. In other words, it’s only a movie-as-theme park ride, but they like it…well, save for the scene where star Brendan Fraser spits into a sink in 3D. And there’s also a requisite 3D yo-yo scene to rival the one in Friday the 13th Part 3(D). Where’s a hologram of Pauline Kael when we need it?

Based on the marketing, he expected to hate the film, but Cinematical‘s Christopher Campbell informs that it’s an “astonishing 3D experience” and admits twice in his review that he “reverted back to my 8-year-old self”…

“Basically, throughout the movie there are three kinds of effects shots, which I labeled as silly, neat or wow! As you might guess, most of the time the shots fall within the “neat” range. But those considered ‘wow!’ are really ‘wow!’ They more than make up for those I label ‘silly.’ …With Journey, I was immersed almost entirely, only conscious of my real surroundings when the audience jumped, gasped and/or laughed at (with) the pop-out 3-D effects.”

He compares the film sans “wow” but favorably to The Goonies and Raiders, but says that, in the end, Journey‘s flimsy storyline can’t compete. Surveying the early reactions online, perhaps the film’s TV spots should feature excited testimonials from kids outfitted in mysteriously over-sized and mundane clothing. Over at CinemaBlend, Katey Rich gives the film 4 1/2 stars, saying…

“Experiencing it all in glorious 3D ups the ante—it’ll be a brave 8-year-old who never finds his palms sweating. …Journey 3D is predictable, cheesy and not even a little edgy, but it’s also as much fun as you’re likely to have in a PG movie this summer.”

Palm sweat! Take that Speed Racer, Kung Fu Panda, Meet Dave and Midnight Meat Train. Spoiler alert: Rich says that a “T. rex, for whatever reason, lives happily in the earth’s molten core.” And with that, we’ll circle back around with a closing endorsement from Variety’s John Anderson, who feels that Journey‘s cocktail of humor, an ever-entertaining Fraser, and “thrills a minute” would be just as successful in 2D.

“…fortunately [the film has] thesp Brendan Fraser—whose mission in Hollywood seems to be to humanize the most f/x-besotted adventure. Boisterous action, 3-D visuals and equal doses of humor and chills should rocket the deep-dwelling tale into strong B.O. orbit.

For many months, Journey 3D was anticipated by skeptics (like ourselves, but less carefree) to be surefire evidence that Hollywood will utilize its new 3D tech to shovel empty spectacle into theaters for years to come. Similar to Paramount’s roll-out with Beowulf (which was awesome), New Line will release Journey in both 3D (approx. 1,000 screens) and 2D (lawd, the children). Several reports peg Journey‘s budget as far, far less than Beowulf‘s $150 million, but its box office performance will be a more definitive sign of whether 3D is the future of cinema—especially family-oriented stuff—or simply an increasingly alarming option for stoned college kids at midnight. Either way, Brendan Fraser has The Mummy 7.

Discuss: Will you check out Journey 3D and how do you think it will perform this summer? What do you think of the early reviews?

Interview: John Malkovich


Last week we got the chance to sit down and talk with Beowulf star John Malkovich. You can read the round table interview below.

Question: Is that one of your own outfits that you’re wearing today? You’ve got a clothing line don’t you?
John Malkovich: I did.  I don’t anymore.

Q: I could never find it.
John Malkovich: You and everyone else. 

Q: This was kind of amazing because we do recognize you in this movie even under the wig and the whatever.  What did you see about this character?  Is he the villain of the piece outside of the monster?

John Malkovich: No, I don’t think so.  He’s just the sort of council to King Hrothgar and he tries to do his job I think.  I think they all have-they’re all fairly flawed people in this and as far as the look goes they showed me sort of what it was going to be before and everything and that seemed good but I haven’t seen it yet.  I’ll see it Monday.

Read More »

Beowulf Screens Early


Paramount has decided to release Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf a little bit earlier than expected. You will now be able to see a screening of the big screen adaptation of the classic epic fantasy poem in select digital and IMAX theaters on  Thursday, November 15th starting at 9:00pm. Check for a screening near you on Moviefone, Fandango or MovieTickets.com.

Movie Marketing Similarities: Beowulf vs. 300

Beowulf vs. 300

FXRant has an interesting article about the many similarities between the Beowulf and 300 marketing campaigns.

Both trailers have the lead, bearded, warrior hero, in closeup, loudly proclaiming that “THIS! IS! SPARTA!”, or, “I! AM! BEOWULF!”

Each trailer has an anachronistic guitar-riff-filled montage of violence, wrapped up with our warrior hero proclaiming something about “TONIGHT…” · And, most obviously, each trailer’s graphics are rough, bold, blood red, and set against time-lapse clouds with lightning bursts.

Check out some cool video comparisons below.

Read More »

Overhyped Beowulf Buzz


AintItCool ran the first supposed fan review of Beowulf earlier tonight. The review calls the new Robert Zemeckis mo-cap film a “fucking MASTERPIECE” and claims that “if it were a live-action film, it would have been nominated for Best Picture.” I just saw the film tonight at the Universal Citywalk press screening on Friday night, and while I’m not allowed to post my thoughts or my review until November 16th, I will say that the above “fan” review is very suspect indeed. To me it almost sounds like a studio plant (although the extensive spoiler details would lead you to think otherwise).

And please don’t take this to mean that I didn’t like this film (which may or may not be true, unfortunately I can’t say either way), just know that I wouldn’t take this “fan review” as an accurate representation of reality.


Devin over at CHUD has seen the trailer for the upcoming JJ Abrams-produced monster movie code-named Cloverfield/1-18-08. The trailer which runs 2 minutes and 16 seconds will debut in front of Beowulf and will feature the final title for the movie (we reported this earlier in the week). So what is the title?


That’s right, the reel marked as Trailer #1, V.17, with “Newest FX Shots” features the titlecard “Cloverfield“. Keep in mind this could just be a placeholder until the real title is announced, so things could change. Alex and FirstShowing seems to believe that mainstream audiences know the film better under the date title 1-18-08, and that it would be stupid to call the film Cloverfield. And I think he has a point because Cloverfield has nothing to do with anything that happens in the movie (at least from what we know). So while the audience online knows the film as Cloverfield, the brand recognition doesn’t translate to mainstreat audiences. And that’s why I don’t believe this is the actual title of the movie.

CHUD also has a description of the trailer, which doesn’t feature much information (if I was you, I’d wait to see it on the big screen, as it seems like more like a trailer you want t experience) but it does confirm that the movie features a big monster (“We see the big monster briefly passing between two buildings. I couldn’t make it out at all, but it appeared to be HUGE.”) and smaller creatures, and that the video tape is eventually found in Central Park (as we reported during the last days of production).

The new Cloverfield movie trailer will premiere in front of Beowulf on November 16th 2007.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Beowulf Billboard

In the past, I have railed against the MPAA for their over-regulation of movie advertising, especially when it comes to red-band trailers (don’t get me started). I live in San Francisco, and am not conservative by any stretch of the imagination  But I really have to wonder how a billboard for the upcoming PG-13 rated Beowulf could feature Angelina Jolie’s side-boobage.

Sure, it’s not really Jolie, it is a computer animated performance capture version of her, but does that really matter? Many others have wondered how such a violent film could have earned a PG-13 rating in the first place. And everyone has seen the sequence where Angelina Jolie appears on screen virtually naked (sure, mud substance cover the nipples but for all purposes, she is nude).

But it is one thing to have a near-nude sequence in a PG-13 film, but is it okay to advertise it on a billboard?

Photo Courtesy of HotBlog