Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past.
The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak.
Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands.
Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay.
The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe.
The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical.
The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget.
Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds.
One of the major complaints about Superman Returns, the attempted revival of the iconic superhero back in 2006, was that it was too heavy on the emotions and light on the thrills. When that didn't work out at the box office, it was back to the drawing board for Warner Bros. Their next stab at the Superman mythos flies into theaters next summer, and it's hard to believe, but the franchise may be getting even more emotional.
Arriving on the heels of his gritty (and highly successful) take on Batman, Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan brings his realistic, morally-challenging superhero sensibilities to Man of Steel. The influence can be clearly seen in the new trailer for the film, a brooding Superman struggling with his powers and fighting for his life against forces larger than anything we've seen before. Powerful, but under the eye of Watchmen and Sucker Punch director Zack Snyder, it also delvers on the epic nature of the character. Thanks to his piercing eyes and unkempt beard, actor Henry Cavill's Superman even makes superhuman moments of soaring into the sky or walking around covered in fire look human and dire. But will it be fun?
Riding the Nolan brand may not be enough for Man of Steel in post-Avengers world, one where audiences crave goofy, colorful adventure, but if Snyder delivers on the action as well as the introspective character plot, then he could have a winner on his hands. Watch the trailer — which also gives us our first glimpses of Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, and Michael Shannon as Superman's adversary Zod — and see if this is the Superman movie you need:
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
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After Disney and Marvel's The Avengers crossed the billion dollar mark in worldwide grosses, thanks to years of multi-picture world building, everyone in Hollywood is scrambling to put together their own interwoven franchises. From Paramount's Tom Clancy adaptations to WB's Justice League, the name of the game is expanded mythology, and now it appears Disney wants its next gargantuan undertaking to follow the same path.
Insiders have revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Disney has hired a team to write spin-off entries set in the Star Wars universe. Whereas Marvel shot solo films for their many heroes and collided them for the epic Avengers, the plan will be to take advantage of the sprawling universe far, far, away with new adventures not disconnected from the Skywalker saga of the previous trilogies.
Earlier this month, writers Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past) were hired to pen screenplays for two upcoming Star Wars films. Disney, who absorbed George Lucas' LucasFilm and the legendary sci-fi property in October, currently plan to continue the franchise with Episode VII, VIII, and IX beginning in 2015. The unnamed eighth entry is set to be written by Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Ardnt, and the logical conclusion upon the news was that Kasdan and Kinberg would script the later two entries. Not so, says the new report.
"Expanded Universe" is a familiar term for Star Wars enthusiasts, with many minor characters and corners of the ever-growing world explored in books, comics, video games, and even toys. But for the first time, the expansion will now occur on the big screen, all part of Disney's ambitious plan to release two or three Lucasfilm-produced movies a year (a roundabout way of saying "A whole lot of Star Wars!"). No details have been revealed on where Kasdan and Kinberg may take their scripts — we're still wondering who or what Episode VII is about — but with an endless ensemble to pick from, the sky is the limit.
Which character do you want to see get his or her own movie? Don't forget: Captain America director Joe Johnson really wants to make a Boba Fett movie. Now that dream is a real possibility.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Lucasfilm]
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It's time to sing out gleefully in a stimulant-induced rendition of "I'm So Excited" — Saved by the Bell's own Jessie Spano, one Elizabeth Berkley, has given birth to her first child! And no, for the record, it's not Slater's.
People reports that Berkley, 40, and her husband Greg Lauren, 42, welcomed their son Sky Cole Lauren into the family on Friday, July 20. Although it'll be quite a while before young Sky Cole is old enough to get in the swing of this crazy world, he's bound to take a few lessons about growing up from the very same place the rest of us did: Saved by the Bell. And what better role model than his own mother? After all, she was Bayside High's salutatorian, a Columbia University grad, and one of the founding members of Hot Sundae. But of course, there are also a few of young Jessie's antics that Sky would be wise to keep from imitating. Here are a few pointers for the young Spano for the adventures he's bound to take.
Never Spend Cut Day with David Kriegel
Especially if you're already in a relationship with A.C. Slater. It doesn't matter how many global female presidents he's familiar with, or how passionate he is about protesting Styrofoam. You can't have your cake and eat it too, young Spano.
Always Tell the Truth About Killing Your Friend's Lizard
He'll find out anyway. Slater did. People with lizards tend to be very perceptive.
Never Let Your Evil Stepbrother Associate with your Friends
Even if Jessie's stepbrother Eric only showed up at Bayside for a brief period of time, he caused irrevocable damage.
Always Graciously Defer Acceptance of an Honorary Valedictorian Title
After Jesse Spano found out that was secretly labeled valedictorian only by her good pal Screech, despite his true right to the title, she disregarded humiliation and admitted the truth in front of the entire student body. It was the noble thing to do.
Never Injure Your Knee Before Filming the Rockumentary Episode
In 2009, Dustin Diamond released a book titled Behind the Bell, which revealed that Berkley had suffered injuries to her knee prior to filming the legendary rock opera documentary episode, featuring Casey Kasem. Television history, and she missed out.
Always Leave Your Bedroom Window Open for Neighbors to Crawl In Through
This might seem like a risky idea, but without this easy means of entry for neighbor/best friend Zack Morris, Jessie might have had to endure some pretty hefty turmoils on her own. Which brings us to the most important tip...
Never Take Caffeine Pills to Help You Study
This is a good lesson for everyone. It doesn't matter how much more efficient it makes you at pencil sharpening or music video making. At first, you'll be so excited. But then, you'll be so scared... but seriously, this is an actual problem. Don't abuse drugs.
[Photo Credit: NBC]
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Hype is the name of the game at Comic-Con. For fans, it's an early taste of what they'll see in theaters in a few months, a year, or even more. For studios, it's a hopes of planting a seed that will keep people talking until a movie's release. Put a trailer online, someone convinces themselves whether they're "in" or not based on their crappy computer screen. Put them in a high-end projection room with 10,000 screaming fans and, suddenly, the latest trailer for such-and-such sci-fi movie is on par with the Super Bowl half time show. It's fun to be excited, and at Comic-Con, everyone wins.
Does the tidal wave of buzz translate to business? Not always. Studios spend big bucks to showcase their upcoming slates, but occasionally, the stunts don't pay off. Here are a few high profile films that left Hall H the talk of the town, only to underperform by the time they arrived in multiplexes. What went wrong?
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Production Budget: $70 million
Domestic Gross: $37.8 million
Bold statements broadcast from Hall H are not uncommon. Their taken with a grain of salt, but that kind of praise is exactly what fans, and the studios backing the movies, want to hear. When premiered footage at Comic-Con in 2004, it was met with passion normally reserved for Best Picture contenders. As a writer of Joblo elegantly put it: "[Director Kerry] Conran has created movie magic here; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is what we go to the movies for." Conran's unique sci-fi adventure took its cues from pulp magazines and films from the early days of the 20th century — an approach that hit all the right chords with genre buffs. But the throwback, that turned out to be more of an exercise in low budget special effects than a thrilling, Indiana Jones-style romp, wasn't easily swallowed by the masses.
Production Budget: $232 million
Domestic Gross: $200.1 million
An IGN writer sums up the reaction to the return of the Son of Krypton quite perfectly. "You will believe a man can fly…again. These words echoed in my head after attending the Superman Returns panel at the San Diego Comic-Con Saturday morning." Absence makes the heart grow fonder and twenty years had Superman fans young and old absolutely rabid for the debut of modern Supes courtesy of director Bryan Singer (X-Men). A nine-figure budget does wonders for a larger-than-life character, and all of Superman's flying heroics stunned the Hall H audience in 2005. The footage was beautiful — maybe too beautiful. Singer's version of Superman aimed for cinematic poetry rather than full-blown action mayhem, a take that might be up comic book purists, but not the audiences flooding multiplexes. Even with a $200 million take, Superman Returns flew under expectations (and really, profitable box office marks). Thankfully, that's not stopping Warner Bros. from attempting to recapture the magic and unleashing it at Comic-Con: the rebooted Man of Steel will premiere its first look on Saturday, July 14.
Production Budget: $130 million
Domestic Gross: $107.5 million
"If you thought the trailer was breathtaking, this was even MORE incredible than that," declared a writer from the blockbuster-friendly blog FirstShowing.net. Time named Watchmen one of the best books of all time, so it's understandable why a mere glimpse at more of the live-action translation of the 1987 graphic novel would have fans frothing at the mouth. This was the comic movie, and director Zack Snyder was sticking to the source material with precision. While Watchmen sent thousands of appreciative readers into a tizzy over the panels coming to life, Snyder's adaptation almost demanded a familiarity with the text. If you weren't a fan, Watchmen was too much to digest — critical acclaim or not. Think about it: would a Catcher in the Rye movie be a mega-hit blockbuster? Everyone has read it, but the demand isn't built in.
Production Budget: $200 million
Domestic Gross: $125.3 million
McG's fourth Terminator had all the makings of a Comic-Con friendly flick. A radical franchise shift that skewed to the ever-popular "dark, gritty" approach; a fanboy dream of a screenwriter, The Dark Knight's Jonah Nolan; a rising action star (Sam Worthington, Avatar) and a heralded keystone (Christian Bale); and most importantly, some kick-ass action footage. After the Charlie's Angels director screened his saturation-less robot mayhem for Hall H audiences, a Screenrant writer declared "I don’t think we need to worry about this one folks, it looks like it’s in good hands!" Everyone was on the same page: finally, a Terminator movie that pushes the envelope of its main conceit. All out war! But snippets proved more exciting than the final product, which underwhelmed summer audiences with its bleak palate. Maybe the only people who really care about Terminator mythology are Con-goers?
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Production Budget: $85 million
Domestic Gross: $31.6 million
For comic buffs or anyone that caught the first trailers to Edgar Wright's video game-inspired love story, Scott Pilgrim was already a highly-anticipated summer blockbuster. But Universal went all out to make Comic-Con their big publicity push for the film, bringing the entire cast to Hall H, showing off footage and holding a screening of the film for a lucky handful of fans. Positive reactions continued to grow as free screenings popped up between SDCC and the movie's August 2010 debut. But in comparison to the fervor of its Comic-Con premiere, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World came and went through theaters with little momentum. Many speculated that the movie was the perfect Comic-Con film, playing directly to that audience's sensibilities, and that by the time it hit theaters, everyone who had wanted to see it had.
Production Budget: $200 million
Domestic Gross: $172.1 million
Disney's Tron Legacy holds a unique record: the film appeared for Hall H presentations three times before being released. A short visual effects test played in 2008 to thunderous applause. The reaction spurred a greenlight for Disney and director Joseph Kosinski. In 2009, the footage returned updated and in glorious 3D, along with a fully constructed "Flynn's Arcade" built out in downtown San Diego. Finally in 2010, a full panel with footage and stars arrived to SDCC. The energy of the audience was consistent all three years — but in the end, the movie never captured the masses the same way it did with eager Con attendees. Overexposure is a possibility, but the world of Tron may have been better suited for effects-driven teases rather than a two hour narrative.
An enthusiastic reception at Comic-Con didn't translate to box office success for the above films, but that doesn't change the fact that many of the fans who did catch these movies in theaters were satisfied. The cries of fandom are tricky; they can pique the interests of general moviegoers when privy to the right material, but they can also be an echo chamber for a niche audience.
On the positive side, San Diego Comic-Con have played host to a number of hits that started their campaign for audience eyes in the excited chaos of Hall H. 300, Iron Man, Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Expendables, The Resident Evil franchise — all planted seeds at just the right moment, reaping the benefits of an early campaign when it finally came time for their theatrical run. Timing, mass appeal and showing off just the right amount/type of footage is all key.
Box office and budget statistics provided by Hollywood.com Box Office Analyst Paul Dergarabedian
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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In This Means War – a stylish action/rom-com hybrid from director McG – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) star as CIA operatives whose close friendship is strained by the fires of romantic rivalry. Best pals FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are equally accomplished at the spy game but their fortunes diverge dramatically in the dating realm: FDR (so nicknamed for his obvious resemblance to our 32nd president) is a smooth-talking player with an endless string of conquests while Tuck is a straight-laced introvert whose love life has stalled since his divorce. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a pretty plucky consumer-products evaluator who piques both their interests in separate unrelated encounters. Tuck meets her via an online-dating site FDR at a video-rental store. (That Lauren is tech-savvy enough to date online but still rents movies in video stores is either a testament to her fascinating mix of contradictions or more likely an example of lazy screenwriting.)
When Tuck and FDR realize they’re pursuing the same girl it sparks their respective competitive natures and they decide to make a friendly game of it. But what begins as a good-natured rivalry swiftly devolves into romantic bloodsport with both men using the vast array of espionage tools at their disposal – from digital surveillance to poison darts – to gain an edge in the battle for Lauren’s affections. If her constitutional rights happen to be violated repeatedly in the process then so be it.
Lauren for her part remains oblivious to the clandestine machinations of her dueling suitors and happily basks in the sudden attention from two gorgeous men. Herein we find the Reese Witherspoon Dilemma: While certainly desirable Lauren is far from the irresistible Helen of Troy type that would inspire the likes of Tuck and FDR to risk their friendship their careers and potential incarceration for. At several points in This Means War I found myself wondering if there were no other peppy blondes in Los Angeles (where the film is primarily set) for these men to pursue. Then again this is a film that wishes us to believe that Tom Hardy would have trouble finding a date so perhaps plausibility is not its strong point.
When Lauren needs advice she looks to her boozy foul-mouthed best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler). Essentially an extension of Handler’s talk-show persona – an acquired taste if there ever was one – Trish’s dialogue consists almost exclusively of filthy one-liners delivered in rapid-fire succession. Handler does have some choice lines – indeed they’re practically the centerpiece of This Means War’s ad campaign – but the film derives the bulk of its humor from the outrageous lengths Tuck and FDR go to sabotage each others’ efforts a raucous game of spy-versus-spy that carries the film long after Handler’s shtick has grown stale.
Business occasionally intrudes upon matters in the guise of Heinrich (Til Schweiger) a Teutonic arms dealer bent on revenge for the death of his brother. The subplot is largely an afterthought existing primarily as a means to provide third-act fireworks – and to allow McGenius an outlet for his ADD-inspired aesthetic proclivities. The film’s action scenes are edited in such a manic quick-cut fashion that they become almost laughably incoherent. In fairness to McG he does stage a rather marvelous sequence in the middle of the film in which Tuck and FDR surreptitiously skulk about Lauren's apartment unaware of each other's presence carefully avoiding detection by Lauren who grooves absentmindedly to Montel Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." The whole scene unfolds in one continuous take – or is at least craftily constructed to appear as such – captured by one very agile steadicam operator.
Whatever his flaws as a director McG is at least smart enough to know how much a witty script and appealing leads can compensate for a film’s structural and logical deficiencies. He proved as much with Charlie’s Angels a film that enjoys a permanent spot on many a critic’s Guilty Pleasures list and does so again with This Means War. The film coasts on the chemistry of its three co-stars and only runs into trouble when the time comes to resolve its romantic competition which by the end has driven its male protagonists to engage in all manner of underhanded and duplicitous activities. This Means War being a commercial film – and likely an expensive one at that – Witherspoon's heroine is mandated to make a choice and McG all but sidesteps the whole thorny matter of Tuck and FDR’s unwavering dishonesty not to mention their craven disregard for her privacy. (They regularly eavesdrop on her activities.) For all their obvious charms the truth is that neither deserves Lauren – or anything other than a lengthy jail sentence for that matter.
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I guess Warners is keeping Zack Snyder's Superman reboot separate from the classics -- or maybe they're just trying to piggyback on the buzz around Snyder's Superman, but whatever. They are releasing a colossal eight-disc edition on June 7 for those super Superman fans that includes Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, and Superman Returns. And if five movies wasn't enough, you've got extended versions and director's cuts of the first two films and enough special features to keep you busy for 20 hours. That's beyond the 906 minutes of feature films alone. If you're not already pumped on Superman, they've put together a nice little trailer to get you hot and bothered for the set which will retail for $129.95.
Here are the details on special features:
Superman: The Movie, Original TheatricalCommentary by Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler (Original Theatrical Version)The Making of Superman: The Movie [1978 TV special]Superman and the Mole-Men [1951 feature]Warner Bros. CartoonsSuper-Rabbit [1943 WB cartoon]Snafuperman [1944 WB cartoon]Stupor Duck [1956 WB cartoon]Trailers
Superman: The Movie, Expanded EditionCommentary by Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz (Extended Version)Taking Flight: The Development of SupermanMaking Superman: Filming the LegendThe Magic Behind the CapeScreen TestsSupermanLois Lane with Optional CommentaryUrsaA Selection of Restored ScenesAdditional Music CuesMain TitlesAlternate Main TitlesThe Council’s DecisionThe Krypton QuakeMore Mugger/Introducing OtisAir Force OneCan You Read My Mind (Pop Version)Music Only Track (Donner Cut)
Superman II, Original TheatricalCommentary by Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler (Original Theatrical Version)The Making of Superman II [1980 TV special]Deleted SceneFirst Flight: The Fleischer Superman SeriesFleischer Studios’ SupermanSupermanThe Mechanical MonstersBillion Dollar LimitedThe Arctic GiantThe BulleteersThe Magnetic TelescopeElectric EarthquakeVolcanoTerror on the MidwayTheatrical Trailer
Superman II - The Richard Donner CutCommentary by Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz (Donner Cut)Introduction by Richard DonnerSuperman II: Restoring the VisionDeleted ScenesFamous Studios’ SupermanJapoteursShowdownEleventh HourDestruction, IncThe Mummy StrikesJungle DrumsThe Underground WorldSecret Agent Disc #5
Superman III Theatrical VersionCommentary by Iilya Salkind and Pierre SpenglerThe Making of Superman III (1983 TV Special)Deleted ScenesTheatrical Trailer
Superman IV The Quest For Peace Theatrical VersionCommentary by Mark RosenthalSuperman 50th Anniversary Special (1988 TV Special)Deleted ScenesTheatrical TrailerDisc #7
Superman ReturnsRequiem for Krypton: Making Superman ReturnsPt. 1 Secret Origins and First Issues: Crystallizing SupermanPt. 2 The Crystal Method: Designing SupermanPt. 3 An Affinity for Beachfront Property: Shooting Superman- Superman on the FarmPt. 4 An Affinity for Beachfront Property: Shooting Superman- Superman in the CityPt. 5 An Affinity for Beachfront Property: Shooting Superman- Superman in PerilPt. 6 The Joy of Lex: Menacing SupermanPt. 7 He’s Always Around: Wrapping SupermanResurrecting Jor-ElDeleted Scenes including the never-before-seen original opening to Superman ReturnsBryan Singer’s Journals – Video production journalsTrailers
Disc #8 Additional Bonus Material
Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman [Hi-Def]You Will Believe: The Cinematic Saga of SupermanPt. 1- OriginPt. 2- VisionPt. 3- AscentPt. 4- CrisisPt. 5- RedemptionThe Science of Superman [Hi-Def]The Mythology of SupermanThe Heart of a Hero: A Tribute to Christopher ReeveThe Adventures of Superpup [1958 TV pilot]
As Zack Snyder's name becomes increasingly relevant everyday with the release of the new trailer for his 2011 fantasy actioner Sucker Punch and the further development of his 2012 take on Superman: The Man of Steel, we're happy to announce that his 3D family adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole will be getting its home entertainment release just in time for the holiday!
Warner Home Video today announced that the movie will hit shelves on December 17th in both 2D and 3D formats. Both will have a DVD and Digital Copy of the film, which features the vocal talents of Ryan Kwanten, Joel Edgerton, Abbie Cornish, Anthony LaPaglia, Helen Mirren and more, and the 2D Blu-ray will be included in the 3D package. The list of features that will enhance the wonderful film include:
Maximum Kid Mode: Soren guides you through the movie and reveals exciting real-life stories about the entire Owl Kingdom; also features two fun challenges, Armor Up with Soren and Eglantine and Match the Owl Treats.
Legend of the Guardians: Rise of the Guardians - The Owls'
legendary bedtime story that inspired Soren to seek out the Guardians
Music video: Owl City, "To the Sky" (BD-exclusive)
Artwork galleries (BD-exclusive)
Legend of the Guardians: The Guardians
The villains of St. Aegolius
Legend of the Guardians: Soren and friends
True Guardians of the Earth: Digger and Modern Family Rico Rodriguez host this fascinating look into the world of owls and why they are counting on you to protect them
Fur of Flying: new Looney Tunes cartoon, starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote (in 3D on the 3D Blu-ray)
Needless to say, there's hours of extra content to entertain the kiddies long after they've memorized every line from the film, so consider this release a solid stocking stuffer for the holiday season!
Source: Warner Home Video
This Week: Sasha Grey, Scott Pilgrim and Sucker Punch
1. Get On Board the Scott Pilgrim Bandwagon.
Having now seen Scott Pilgrim vs. The World I'm officially terrified that it's going to be missed by audiences, Serenity-style. The movie is an outstanding example of modern filmmaking, full of graphics and flash cuts, but it's also innovative and interesting. Edgar Wright has yet to make a bad film, with Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, and Scott Pilgrim as good an opening trio as anyone could hope for.
If you've ever 1) Played a video game 2) Enjoyed Michael Cera 3) Appreciated comedy or 4) Read a comic book you'll likely dig this film. I think they've started a little late on the marketing front, but we've all got to take the Pilgrim pledge at this point. See it with a friend!
2. Is Sasha Grey Stardom Still a Possibility?
There are two things our culture is completely obsessed with, and they aren't going away anytime soon. In alphabetical order it goes a little something like a) celebrity and then b) sex. It's the reason Paris Hilton is a household name. It's the reason anyone has ever heard of Kim Kardashian. And so it makes perfect sense that an actual adult film star would make the crossover to legitimate actress. So when the news came down today that:Adult film star Sasha Grey is eyeing a role alongside Jeremy Piven, Thomas Jane, and Rob Lowe in I Melt With You.
I found myself pondering a future where Grey was vying for Academy Awards. Steven Soderbergh had it right when he put her in The Girlfriend Experience. We want to know everything about the rich and famous (see: US Weekly, People) and we can all agree that a Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie sex tape would break the Internet for a few weeks.
So why not start with a actress who already has it all out there for the world to see? As the taboos surrounding sex slowly fade away it's insanely logical. Someone is going to put her in a role with teeth, and she’s going to have a chance to crush it. It's just a matter of time. Does she have the talent to do so? The prognosis isn’t so clear there, but her starting in the adult film industry is no longer a dealbreaker, something you couldn’t have said 30 years ago.
3. Live Bloggin' the Sucker Punch trailer.
Having seen the first trailer, I'm willing to admit I may have underrated Sucker Punch. To make it up to Zack Snyder I'm going to live blog the living heck out of this trailer. Hit play, and follow along!
:01 - :09: But I don't wanna go to the mental institution!
:10 - :12: Close my eyes? Sorry bub, no chance I'm closing my eyes just to have you suckerpunch me. I mean, for crying out loud, you named your film after this very trick!
:13 - :20: I sincerely hope that's a Hattori Hanzo sword.
:21 - :23: Oooooh, I get it, you're asking me to open my mind? So that's what the whole "close your eyes" thing was all about. Well, why didn't you just say so? Consider my mind fully opened.
:24 - :30: Given the weather conditions, that is an extremely short skirt. My mind is open to that, but still.
:31 - :39: Based on my experience, I don't think any of these women are currently seeking a relationship on Match.com.
:40 - :47: Action! Action! Action!
:48 - :49: My, you are very bendy.
:50 - 1:00: This looks like Kill Bill meets Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow meets various role playing clubs.
1:01 - 1:15: Well, okay, if you have dragons and people making out I'm probably interested.
1:16 - 1:20: I knew it! That guy just tried to suckerpunch me through the screen!
1:21 - 1:26: A March release date, just like 300? All right, I'm sold, where do I go to stand in line?
So yeah, Suckerpunch will do just fine for a generally sleepy March. Much obliged Mr. Snyder.
On that note, I hope you have a weekend without any punching at all. Unless you've recently joined a Fight Club.
Check out last week's Movie Musings here
Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He's also available on Twitter.