Proving that there’s nothing Hollywood won’t reboot if given then chance, a new Scooby Doo movie is reportedly in the works at Warner Bros. According to Variety, the studio is looking to send Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang on another spooky adventure, which will be written by Randall Green. The news comes just a year after Warner Bros. also announced plans for an animated Scooby Doo movie, which is reportedly still on track. Though the last live-action Mystery Gang outings, 2002’s Scooby Doo and its sequel Monsters Unleashed, did well commercially, they weren’t received well by critics and fans of the series, which is why it’s surprising that Warner Bros. would be so intent at taking a third shot at big-screen adventure. After all, the live-action Scooby Doo’s were only slightly better than Yogi Bear. There are plenty of other great classic Hanna-Barbera properties that would make for great films, so why does Scooby get a third shot at big screen success? Think about all of the possibilities that are open…
Wacky Races Concept: Think The Lego Movie meets Speed Racer, with a touch of Mega Mind thrown in. Plot: Set at the Wacky Races Grand Prix, a sprawling, dangerous race that spans three days and covers a variety of terrains, the film charts the highs and lows of all your favorite racers, from Penelope Pitstop to the Ant Hill Mob to the Gruesome Twosome, and sees Dick Dastardly’s desperate attempts to finally experience the glory for himself. Starring: Charlie Day as Dick Dastardly, Isla Fisher as Penelope Pitstop, Bill Hader as Clyde the leader of the Ant Hill Mob, Amy Poheler as the Red Max, and Tom Hanks as the Narrator. Directed By: Edgar Wright.
Inch High, Private Eye Concept: The Maltese Falcon meets Osmosis Jones.Plot: The city is being terrorized by a robber who keeps stealing priceless works of art and jewels from museums and homes. The police are understaffed, and the detectives are at their wits’ ends, and the case has reached a dead end. Then, Mrs. Gotrocks hires Inch High, Private Eye, the most brilliant and tortured detective around to look into the case. But she might not like what he finds… Casting: Casey Affleck as Inch High, Kate Mara as Lori, Josh Brolin as Gator, Tommy Lee Jones as Mr. Finkerton and June Squibb as Mrs. Gotrocks. Directed By: The Coen Brothers.
Hong Kong Phooey Concept: Think 22 Jump Street, but sillier. Plot: Penry Pooch has always wanted to be a cop, but his enthusiasm for the job doesn’t quite balance out his complete incompetence. After failing out of the police academy, he takes a job working as a janitor under the watchful eye of the constantly frustrated Sergeant. One night, when he’s the only one at the precinct, he stops and apprehends a robber, which inspires him to take up crime fighting as Hong Kong Phooey. Luckily, he’s got Spot to help him out of whatever jams he finds himself in. Casting: Will Arnett as Penry, Keith David as Sarge, Anna Kendrick as Rosemary, the telephone operator, and Nick Frost as Spot. Directed By: Shane Black.
The Jetsons Concept: August: Osage County in space. Plot: George Jetson is an ordinary man, living an ordinary life. He loves his family, endures his job and spends his time relaxing with his dog, Astro. But when he catches his wife having an affair with his boss, his world comes crashing down around him, and he’s forced to re-evaluate everything he knew about his life, and decide whether to move forward or move on. Starring: Joaquin Phoenix as George, Sandra Bullock as Jane, Hailee Steinfeld as Judy, and Steve Buscemi as Mr. Spacely, with Art Parksinson as Elroy and Scarlett Johansson as Rosie. Directed By: Spike Jonze.
JabberJaw Concept: Almost Famous meets Jaws, with a dash of Star Trek .Plot: The Neptunes were on their way to becoming the hottest rock band under the seas, until their drummer abruptly left. Then, they discovered Jabberjaw, a 15-foot-tall shark with the skills of Keith Moon, and it seemed like they had it made. But the path to rock stardom is paved with dangers and it’s time for the Neptunes to face them. Starring: Chris Pratt as Jabberjaw, Adam Levine as Clamhead, Malin Ackerman as Bubbles, Zoe Kravitz as Shelly, and Oscar Isaac as Biff. Directed By: John Carney.
Quick Draw McGraw Concept: A better homage to Blazing Saddles than A Million Ways to Die in the West .Plot: The Wild West is a dangerous place, thanks to outlaws, frequent dueling and a lack of modern medicine, but one man is there to keep order in place, and uphold justice where ever he goes… Sherrif Quick Draw McGraw. Unfortunately, he might have finally met his match when the deadliest outlaw in the west rides into his town. Starring: Damon Wayans Jr. as Quick Draw McGraw and Fred Armisen as Baba Looey.Directed By: Mel Brooks, in an ideal world.
Space Ghost Concept: It’s basically Guardians of the Galaxy, but with a monkey instead of a raccoon. Plot: After Zorak, Space Ghosts’ nemesis, escapes from prison, he recruits Black Widow (no, not that Black Widow) and Brak and Sisto in order to form a league of villains that will take over the galaxy and allow chaos to reign, but in order to do so, they need a gauntlet of power, one that only Space Ghost’s sidekick Jace possesses. Can Space Ghost and Jan rescue him and save the universe before it’s too late? Starring: Channing Tatum as Space Ghost, Emma Stone as Jan, Miles Teller as Jace, Idris Elba as Zorak, Dwayne Johnson as Brak, Jason Statham as Sisto, and Nicole Beharie as Black Widow (see, told you she was different!).Directed By: Joss Whedon, of course.
Top Cat Concept: Dancing on the Edge meets GoodFellas.Plot: Set in the 1940s, a group of rag-tag musicians are groomed to become a proper jazz sensation. But in order to do so, they’ll have to overcome prejudice, corrupt managers, in-fighting, and substance abuse and stick by each other through everything. Starring: Anthony Mackie as TC, Lamorne Morris as Brain, Albert Tsai as Choo-Choo, Michael B. Jordan as Fancy-Fancy, Josh Gad as Benny the Ball, Ruth Negga as Trixie, and Sean Penn as Officer Dibble.Directed By: Martin Scorsese.
You're welcome, Hollywood.
In the cinematic desert that is the January-February movie-release schedule one gains a greater appreciation for mere competence. And that’s precisely what you’ll get with Man on a Ledge a mid-budget thriller with modest aspirations and genuine popcorn appeal. Sam Worthington (Avatar Clash of the Titans) stars as Nick Cassidy a former New York City cop wrongly convicted for the theft of a prized diamond. After exhausting all judicial avenues for exoneration he takes the unusual and seemingly desperate next step of planting himself on a ledge outside the penthouse of midtown’s Roosevelt Hotel and threatening to jump. An NYPD psychologist (Elizabeth Banks) is summoned to talk him down unaware that Nick harbors an ulterior motive. From his perch above midtown he is secretly orchestrating a scheme to take revenge against the corrupt corporate chieftain (Ed Harris) who engineered his demise and prove his innocence once and for all.
Director Asger Leth making his U.S. feature-film debut with Man on a Ledge keeps the pace brisk and never allows the tone to stray into self-seriousness which is crucial for a movie whose premise is so devoutly ridiculous. The script from Pablo F. Fenjves provides enough feints and twists to keep us engaged. Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez aren’t the most believable of couples but there’s a screwball charm to their comic routine as amateur thieves charged with aiding Nick’s scheme. (Leth can’t resist inserting an entirely superfluous – but nonetheless greatly appreciated – scene of the criminally gorgeous Rodriguez stripping down to a thong in the middle of a heist.) Worthington makes for a likable populist protagonist even if his Australian accent betrays him on copious occasions and Harris’ disturbingly emaciated frame lends an added menace to his devious plutocrat villain.
What there is of it goes like this: Elektra (Garner) is an assassin plagued by personal doubt --you know that breed of film characters with whom we can all readily identify. She's so good that in an intriguing opening sequence we see a powerful man literally sitting and waiting for her to come kill him. Then it's on to her next assignment--to take out a man and his teenage daughter staying at a house on a tranquil lake. Instead of dispatching them immediately Elektra finds herself drawn in by the warm-hearted Mark Miller (Goran Visnjic) and the spunky Abby (Kirsten Prout)--so much so that when it comes time to off them by bow and arrow some time later she can't bring herself to let loose the arrow. But turning down the job means others will take her place so she takes it upon herself to protect them. She shields them first from skilled ninja attackers and then from the heavier guns. They include Typhoid Mary (Natassia Malthe) who literally breathes death on to her victims; Stone (Bob Sapp) a big tough black guy who brushes buckshot off him like it's rubble; Tattoo (Chris Ackerman) who's eagle and snake tattoos spring to life; and Kiriji (Will Yun Lee) whose deadly martial arts skills rival Elektra's. They're all dispatched by The Hand a sinister agency that soon sets their sites on Elektra herself. Aware that they're outgunned she and her charges seek refuge with Stick (Terence Stamp) the master who trained her years ago.
The performances here are on par. Garner has a pouty focused gaze--sometimes looking like a little girl who's concentrating almost too hard when its her turn to swing at a pitch in P.E. class. Elektra hurries her charges through underground tunnels and through the woods in seriously vain attempts to elude their captors who despite the best magical help hired villains can buy struggle mightily to catch up. You could say that Terence Stamp is nearly wasted in the role of Stick especially when his performances in The Limey and Superman II come to mind. Of course he brings a requisite dignity and majesty to the role but he needs his big scene and doesn't get it. As the heavy Kirigi Lee doesn't provide the kind of match-up that is a staple of comic book movies say from Ian McKellen's Magento in X-Men. A welcome bit however comes in the form of the two "ordinary folks" in Elektra's care. Visnjic's (TV's ER) kindly father brings an earthy compassion to the part while Prout's spirited Abby isn't bad on her own but doesn't quite bring to the role the quirky young little adult presence that Thora Birch would have years ago or that Anna Paquin did in X-Men. Still there is a interesting surprise involving these two seemingly innocent bystanders and its one of the few original moments in the movie that really seems to stand out.
Director Rob Bowman (The X-Files Reign of Fire) seems like a good choice to helm Elektra but unfortunately he's turned in an uninspired actioner. What separates the Marvel Comics characters from the usual bunch is a genuine sense of pathos buoyed even further by very specific effective storylines from their actual comic book roots. Spider-Man isn't just another superhero he's a teen superhero just as worried about getting a date and getting his homework done as he is with fighting powerful villains and the X-Men are persecuted and despised by the very people they're trying to protect. The problem is Elektra is not among the most compelling of characters. She doesn't have enough humanity and the story not enough depth to sustain us between fight scenes. And the fighting itself--shot entirely too close and with so many quick cuts as to mask any skillful choreography--falls woefully short in the entertainment category. Just as The Matrix raised the bar in special effects recent movies such as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon have upped the ante in what audiences can expect from a good martial arts fight. Elektra's most glaring flaw? The resort to slow-motion to make a simple move such as running up a flight of stairs seem dynamic and powerful. OK so Elektra grabbed someone else by a magical rope at the time but still--aren't the days of The Six Million Dollar Man over?
The world was a very different place 20 000 years ago. Humans and animals survived off each other and the land in a fend-for-themselves world; the chances of two species coming together for any purpose other than the hunt was unlikely. Thus the camaraderie between Manfred the Mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano) Sid the Sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo) and Diego the Saber-Tooth Tiger (voiced by Denis Leary) sounds odd but it proves it's possible to stumble upon future lifelong friends in the most improbable ways. In this case it's the caretaking of a human baby. When the baby washes up on the shore of a riverbank the three strangers become begrudging partners as they try to return the babe to its human family for their own reasons: Manny because he lacks a family of his own Sid out of the kindness of his heart and Diego to avenge his pride. The trek isn't easy of course; there are ice caves to navigate lava pits to jump over and secrets to unearth about each of them.
It doesn't take long to recognize comedian Ray Romano's voice as Manny. Although the screenplay credits belong to Michael Berg Michael J. Wilson and Peter Ackerman Romano really adopts the subtle jokes as his own. Admittedly it took a while to forget about Romano and realize there was a woolly mammoth on the screen. John Leguizamo's Sid though is by far the star of the show. His lisp and "slothful" way of speaking captures the kind of goofy talk kids love. Denis Leary gives Diego a strong and soothing voice one caught between loyalty to tradition and newfound friendship. Director Chris Wedge puts his voice to work too through the no-so-dialogue-intensive squirrel Scrat (and a few other minor characters) the acorn-chasing entrée act. His voice perfectly matches the squirrel's quick and erratic behavior.
Director Chris Wedge equally distributes the time spent on character development and the setting-up of family unit boundaries within a pack. Manny's naturally monstrous proportions make him the ultimate father figure and protector while his slow yet constant demeanor also makes him the decision maker and mediator. Also a parental figure Diego's inborn reflexes and hunting senses help him to be the better tracker of the group navigating the threesome and their tiny charge along the humans' path. Sid's long hook-like claws help him adapt to the ice-laden landscape skating across frozen lakes with ease but his small size and lack of maturity make him more an older brother to the baby than a parent. The major drawback to this familial cycle of life however is that it's unusually male dominated. Only four females appear in the entire script and each very briefly: one is the baby's mother one is the last known female dodo bird and the other two are skanky sloths whom Sid tries to scam in a mud bath.
On Monday, the Director's Guild of America announced their nominees for best director for a TV movie: the honorees are Billy Crystal for 61*, Robert Allan Ackerman for Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, Jon Avnet for Uprising, Frank Pierson for Conspiracy and Mark Rydell for James Dean. The DGA Awards will be presented March 9.
Meg Ryan will soon begin filming Against the Ropes--a story based on Jackie Kallen, the first female boxing manager--with Omar Epps co-starring and Charles Dutton directing, Variety reports. Kallen led a total of four middleweights to championships.
Kevin Spacey's production company Trigger Street Prods. will see their first documentary, Uncle Frank, on the big screen soon. The Berlin Intl. Film Festival, which opens Wednesday, will present the film--along with several others--as a special screening, Variety reports. Uncle Frank takes a look at old people's homes in New York.
Catherine Zeta-Jones will soon be the new face of Elizabeth Arden and apparently both parties are happy about the contract, People reports. A spokesperson for Arden said the beautiful 32-year-old Welsh actress "is the epitome of personal style." Zeta-Jones gushed, "I am proud to be part of the company."
Looks like more than Patriot fans walked away happy from Sunday's Super Bowl. Neither advertisers nor Fox can complain about the 86.8 million TV viewer average, the Los Angeles Times reports. The toughest competition was NBC's halftime Playboy Playmate episode of Fear Factor, which only held a mere 11.4 million viewers captive. Approximately 83 million watched U2's half-time tribute to the Sept. 11 victims.
Michael Jordan and his wife Juanita Jordan have announced they will "attempt a reconciliation," Reuters reports. After 12 years of marriage, Juanita cited irreconcilable differences as reason for the couple's split, but has now withdrawn her divorce petition.
Just because he's no longer the acting President of the United States, Bill Clinton still has fun playing politics. Saturday, Clinton attended a birthday party for a former staffer where he hobnobbed with senators, and Sunday, he hosted a Super Bowl party for guests ranging from Chris Tucker to Alec Baldwin, PageSix.com reports. Just in time for a nightcap, Mr. Clinton picked up a 10:30 p.m. cocktail at the Waldorf to raise money for his William Jefferson Clinton Foundation.
HBO is moving up its movie version of The Laramie Project, starring Janeane Garofalo and Steve Buscemi, to March 9 from March 16 because the latter date happens to coincide with NBC's premiere of The Matthew Shepard Story, starring Stockard Channing and Sam Waterston, the LA Times reports. What's the big deal? The two movies recount the same incident--the 1998 murder of gay college student Sam Shepard--and the networks don't want to compete for viewers.
Tune in to MTV on Valentine's Day if your heart beats true blue--red, white and blue, that is. Secretary of State Colin Powell will sit down with youths across the globe to answer questions on politics and current events. Powell will take questions from people at MTV locations around the world, and the program will be translated into multiple languages.
The WB is getting ready for their fall line-up, complete with comedies and dramas aplenty. And though about the same number of pilot shows will be produced this year as last by the WB, the focus is very clearly on "family and teen appeal," Variety reports.
Pay-per-view (PPV) movies that have had a theatrical release seem to be the most popular items on PPV these days, as revenues for released movies jumped 54% to $1.354 billion, Variety reports. Live events, such as boxing and wrestling, have fallen on hard times, due to lack of headliners (boxing) and market consolidation (wrestling).