If you are a fan of dark, outrageous humor, you will Hamlet 2.
Hamlet 2 finally hits theaters today after first gaining industry buzz at the Sundance Film Festival last January. The Andrew Fleming-directed comedy stars British comic Steve Coogan as failed actor-turned-equally unsuccessful high school drama teacher Dana Marschz (the unpronounceable nature of his surname is a running gag). The greatest success Dana ever achieved as a thespian was a herpes medication commercial, an appearance on Xena, and a few infomercials.
But Dana’s not just a failure as an actor. He’s also lacking as a man. This impotent, talentless recovering alcoholic is about to lose his wife (Catherine Keener) just as the Tuscon high school that he works at is poised to cut funding for its drama department after his latest production — a stage version of Erin Brockovich, featuring his top students Rand and Epiphany (Skylar Astin and Phoebe Strole) — gets ripped to shreds by the school paper’s puny, pubescent critic.
With his job, marriage and perhaps even his sanity at stake, Dana needs to do something big and exceptionally creative to save himself. He needs a masterpiece, and his masterpiece is Hamlet 2: a stage musical sequel to the Shakespeare play. This Hamlet gets a time machine that allows him to travel through time to not only save characters killed off by the Bard in his downbeat original, but to also bring in historical figures ranging from Jesus to Hilary Clinton.
Even when the school board tries to shut the play down, and the ACLU (represented by Amy Poehler) come to the rescue, Dana vows that the show must go on. He finally stages his epic production, which culminates with the already classic “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus” number featuring Dana as Christ clad in a wife-beater and ripped jeans. Dana even gets support from his favorite actress, Cocktail’s Elisabeth Shue appearing as herself, who has quit acting to become a nurse.
Loosely based on the 1975 movie Death Race 2000, this not quite a remake-not quite a prequel-not quite a re-imagining of Death Race directed by Paul W. S. Anderson is set in a grimy near future where private prisons offer gladiatorial-like entertainment to bloodthirsty online audiences. Terminal Island warden Hennessy (Joan Allen) makes a killing through the lucrative webcasting of Death Race, a Nascar-to-the death competition featuring imprisoned drivers willing to kill themselves or others in a bid to win their freedom.
Hennessy’s cash cow is threatened, however, when her star driver, the masked Frankenstein, dies from injuries suffered in a crash. Enter Jensen Ames (Statham), a former race car champ and ex-con now falsely imprisoned for the murder of his wife. Hennessy offers Ames a chance to win his freedom (and reunite with his baby daughter) if he secretly assumes Frankenstein’s mantle. Without Frankenstein, the ratings and profits for Death Race would suffer.
Assisted by pit crew mechanic Coach (Ian McShane) and sexy navigator Case (newcomer Natalie Martinez) — scantily clad female convicts are bussed in to help boost ratings — Ames reluctantly assumes the identity of Frankenstein, risking life and limb on Hennessy’s speedway against other imprisoned drivers, including the scar-faced and remorseless Machine Gun Joe (Tyrese Gibson), 14K (Mortal Kombat’s Robin Shou), and Pachenko (LXG’s Max Ryan).
Armed with a tricked-out Mustang and nerves of steel, the desperate Ames must endure a three-day contest on Hennessy’s prison race track. The course is riddled with booby traps, the odds can be changed on a whim by Hennessy, and no one can truly be trusted, but none of this will keep Jensen Ames, a.k.a. Frankenstein, from doing what he must in order to escape this hellhole.
Release date: Friday September 19, 2008 (NY, LA, Toronto; wide: October 3) Genre: Drama Director: Ed Harris Studio: Alliance Films/New Line Cinema Producer(s): Ed Harris, Ginger Sledge, Robert Knott Screenplay: Robert Knott, Ed Harris Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, Lance Henriksen Official Site: Not Available Rating:R for some violence and language Available film art:Appaloosa movie posters
Synopsis Western drama reteams Harris and Mortensen, who worked together on New Line’s “A History of Violence.” The story is adapted from Robert B. Parker’s novel of the same name, centered on a pair of friends hired to protect a lawless town suffering at the hands of a renegade rancher. The arrival of an attractive widow disrupts their plans.
Release date: Friday October 17, 2008 Genre: Action/Adventure/Thriller Director: John Moore Studio: Asgaard Entertainment/20th Century Fox Producer(s): Julie Yorn, Scott Faye Screenplay: Beau Thorne Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Beau Bridges, Mila Kunis Official Site: maxpaynethemovie.com Rating:None Available film art:Max Payne movie posters
Synopsis Based on the legendary, hard-hitting interactive video game, “Max Payne” tells the story of a maverick cop determined to track down those responsible for the brutal murder of his family and partner. Hell-bent on revenge, his obsessive investigation takes him on a nightmare journey into a dark underworld. As the mystery deepens, Max (Wahlberg) is forced to battle enemies beyond the natural world and face an unthinkable betrayal.
Jon Favreau is already working on the Iron Man sequel due to open in theaters, 2010.
On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that Jon Favreau is already hard at work on Iron Man 2, the sequel to this summer’s first comic book blockbuster. Speaking to Times blogger Geoff Boucher, Favreau said “we’re working on it now, which hasn’t been officially announced. It will be released in 2010.”
The film’s 2010 release date was previously announced by Marvel Studios, who intends to include the sequel in their forthcoming slate of films. But even though the time crunch will challenge Favreau to finish the film on time and budget – a goal he has met with every previous film he shot – the limitation may mean an unexpected opportunity for sites like IGN, and ultimately, the fans themselves: Favreau will likely be shooting a lot of the film in California. Currently Favreau is partnering with California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to set up tax breaks and incentives for filmmakers who elect to shoot in the state, and that may mean that Iron Man 2 will make its home there as well – which might make it easier for journalists to attend set visits and see shooting as the production gets in full swing.
Peter Jackson et al are back to to pen The Hobbit.
The Oscar-winning team behind the Lord of the Rings screenplays will officially reunite for the Hobbit films.
Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who successfully completed the massive job of adapting Tolkien’s epic tome for the big screen and won an Oscar for their work on The Return of the King, are set to turn their talents to the author’s more modestly-sized prequel – and a sequel which will bridge the two projects.
Variety reports that production on the Guillermo Del Toro-directed efforts is set to begin in late 2009, with release dates of 2011 and 2012 set for the films.
With The Dark Knight proving such a critical and commercial success, IGN takes at the top 10 best sequels of all time.
10. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) takes over the USS Enterprise’s “little training cruise” from Capt. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) after Starfleet loses contact with the secretive science lab Regula One. Turns out the lab and its staff (including Kirk’s ex-flame Carol and estranged son David) have been taken hostage — along with the powerful Genesis device — by Kirk’s old foe, Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban). Khan and his crew have escaped from the dead planet they’ve been marooned on for decades and are seeking revenge on the man who consigned them there: James T. Kirk. Kirk also deals with getting older, a son he doesn’t know (and who hates him), and the ultimate sacrifice made by Spock to save the Enterprise from imminent destruction.
9. The Bourne Ultimatum Jason Bourne indeed comes home in The Bourne Ultimatum and, boy, what a homecoming. The Paul Greengrass-directed sequel is a slam-bang conclusion to one of the most unique and adult action franchises ever produced by a major studio. Ultimatum is the most relentlessly-paced entry in the frenetic series; the action scenes are breathtaking and they include some of the best foot and car chases ever filmed. Bourne’s prolonged bout with CIA asset Desh in Madrid is arguably the most brutal hand-to-hand fight yet in the series, while the car chase between Bourne and another asset, Paz, is like The French Connection on steroids.
8. Goldfinger The third James Bond film, 1964′s Goldfinger perfected the Bond movie formula: more action, more beautiful women, lots of gadgets and nicely mixed in humor. Starring Sean Connery as 007, Goldfinger has some of the most memorable moments in any Bond film — from Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) painted in gold, to Auric Goldfinger’s silent henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata) taking on Bond with his head-chopping derby hat, to Bond strapped to a table about to be eviscerated by a laser (“Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”). The action sequences are superb, including a long car chase with Bond using the gadgets on his tricked-out Aston Martin to make smoke screens and oil slicks, fire built-in guns, and ejecting the passenger seat.
2003′s superior sequel to X-Men starts out with a BAMF! as teleporting mutant Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) goes on a one-man ass-kicking rampage in the White House. The action doesn’t let up from there, as the X-Men must take on military leader William Stryker (Brian Cox), who plans to use Professor Xavier’s (Patrick Stewart) telepathic powers against all mutants. Loosely based on the 1982 X-Men graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, X2 does a great job of presenting the intolerance of non-mutants towards the X-Men and their fellow mutants, remaining realistic and entertaining.
7. (tie) Toy Story 2 1999′s Toy Story 2, originally planned as a direct-to-video release, reintroduced moviegoers to Buzz, Woody and the gang from Pixar’s first CG animated feature. And while the original is more significant for its groundbreaking achievements in the genre, the sequel surpasses it in many ways. The characters are just as funny and charming as ever, and the film has even more emotional resonance. Anyone wanna bet they can watch the Jessie flashback montage without shedding a tear? Sniff. Sniff. Toy Story 2 holds the rare distinction of having a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day James Cameron’s 1991 sequel to the 1984 movie that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, Terminator 2: Judgment Day packs in non-stop action, state-of-the-art special effects (that still manage to look impressive today), and a great villain (the seemingly unstoppable T-1000, played by Robert Patrick). From Arnold’s entrance to the breakout of Sarah O’Connor (Linda Hamilton) from the hospital to the shoot-out at the lab and the Terminators’ battle at the steel foundry, the action doesn’t let up and Schwarzenegger never looked cooler.
Click on the link below to find out who is number 1:
We have an update concerning the the future of the Superman franchise. It seem as if the folks at Warner Bos. is scratching their heads about where to go with sequel to the 2006 blockbuster.
Warner Bros. is mulling over their comic book movie future right now, from their long in-development Justice League of America movie to Batman 3. But one particular project that appears to be bedeviling the studio most is their sequel to Superman Returns, which was considered a box office underperformer given its hefty price tag.
The project, reportedly titled Superman: Man of Steel, has lingered in limbo ever since the Bryan Singer-directed Superman Returns opened in 2006. It was reported in March that Singer would reprise his directing duties for the sequel, which he previously said would feature more action and spectacle. (Returns writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris will not be back.)
But now, according to an item today from Variety columnist Anne Thompson, Singer’s involvement is not such a sure thing after all.
Thompson blogged, “Today I was told that it is a priority at the studio to find the right direction and if Bryan Singer is willing to do that, fine, but if he gets in the way, he may not stay on the project. There are no writers working on a Superman script now. The studio wants to figure it out. ‘It might be better to start from scratch,’ one exec admitted.”
So what do you think of the possibility that Singer might not be involved? Sound off in the comments section below!
Release date: Friday October 3, 2008 Genre: Drama Director: Neil Burger Studio: Maple Pictures/Roadside Attractions Screenplay: Neil Burger Producers: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Neil Burger, Rick Schwartz Cast: Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins, Michael Peña, Molly Hagan, Mark L. Young, Howard Platt, Arden Myrin, Coburn Goss Official Site:theluckyonesmovie.com Rating:None Available film art:The Lucky Ones movie posters
Synopsis A timely drama about life in America today, Lionsgate’s “The Lucky Ones” stars Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins and Michael Pena as three soldiers on leave trying to make sense of their lives during an unexpected road trip across the United States. A humorous, moving portrayal about the challenges of coming home, “The Lucky Ones” is directed by Neil Burger (“The Illusionist”) from a script by Burger and Dirk Wittenborn.
After suffering an injury during a routine patrol, hardened sergeant TK Poole (Michael Pena) is granted a one-month leave to visit his fiancé. But when an unexpected blackout cancels all flights out of New York, TK agrees to share a ride to Pittsburgh with two similarly stranded servicemen: Cheever (Tim Robbins), an older family man who longs to return to his wife in St. Louis, and Colee (Rachel McAdams), a naive private who’s pinned her hopes on connecting with a dead fellow soldier’s family. What begins as a short trip unexpectedly evolves into a longer journey. Forced to grapple with old relationships, broken hopes and a country divided over the war, TK, Cheever and Colee discover that home is not quite what they remembered, and that the unlikely companionship they’ve found might be what matters the most.