The Croods in theatres March 22

20th Century Fox releases this 3D computer-generated prehistoric comedy from DreamWorks Animation. The story follows a curious daughter who chaffs against the restrictions of her father, who warns them of the dire consequences of disobedience and especially the danger of leaving the safety of the cave – until unforeseen circumstances force a reappraisal. Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders wrote and directed. Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman provide voices.
U.S. Theatrical Release: March 22
The Croods 1-sheet

'Green Lantern's' Tomar-Re

The featured this shot of Tomar-Re from Warner Brothers’ upcoming GREEN LANTERN.
Sony Image Works via Daily
Sony Image Works via Daily

Tomar-Re, Green Lantern of  sector 2814 and eventual friend of Hal Jordan, is a fan favorite of the readers of the DC Comics. Bringing the beaked avian to life was a job for Sony IMage works.
See the linked article for a larger picture and more details.
Back in my childhood, my brother and I always called Tomar-Re “Chicken Head”. This verison looks a little less  joke-inspiring, a credit to the artisans.  
But where’s his mask? All his fellow scientists back on the planet Xudar will know his secret identity!
Tomar-Re first appeared in Green Lantern #6 (1961),  written by John Broome, and drawn by Gil Kane.  

'Skyline': FX Triumphs Over Plot – Review


My greatest regret about seeing SKYLINE is that I paid full price ($12.50), and I took a date. So it was $25 to see a 1950’s Saturday matinee movie on CGI steroids.
It was actually fun, in a mindless sort of way. If I was 14 years old, I probably would have thought it was cool. Some of the things that transpire are fairly interesting and somewhat surprising, even halfway clever—though none of it has any significant payoff, emotional or otherwise.
30-something characters with no discernable last names, Jarrod (HAVEN’s Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson, NCIS) have come from NYC to Los Angeles for Jarrod’s friend Terry’s (SCRUBS’ Donald Faison) birthday party. Terry has made good, apparently in the field of special effects, or as far as I can make out. This allows him to lead a lavish, somewhat libertine lifestyle in the penthouse of a fancy high-tech highrise.
 After a night of heavy partying, they’re woken early to discover that strange blue lights are attracting people who are then snatched away by invading alien spacecraft. Jarrod nearly becomes one of them—more than once, and this light causes purple spider web blotches to appear on one’s face and body. They fade if the victim is pulled away from the light, but the characters are left to wonder what the effects might be.
There’s not much time for introspection, however— because though stuck in the building, there are various attempts to escape, lots of bickering between not-all-that-likeable people, and plenty of action with wild alien devices, creatures, and giant monsters. And it’s only a hair over 90 minutes long.
target-earth-robotSKYLINE reminds me oddly of a cross between TARGET EARTH (1954) and INDEPENDENCE DAY, with little bit of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS mixed in. There are odd mechaniods that look like something from THE MATRIX, and monsters with a mix of tentacles and vaginal mouths that might resemble a nameless horror from H.P. Lovecraft’s nightmares. There are a lot of “borrowings” from various other productions, I suspect they even picked up a gimmick from THE OUTER LIMITS’ “The Architects of Fear”.
It really is very much like an old, low budget sci-fi B-movie—only instead of a modest handful of special effects, everything including the kitchen sink was tossed into the FX budget.
This shouldn’t be surprising, as SKYLINE is directed by FX artists The Brothers Strause (ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM). It apparently cost a half million to shoot, with around ten million spent on special effects. And on that budget, the FX are pretty damn good.


When was the last time a film with that low a budget played on so many screens? 28 DAYS LATER? LAND OF THE DEAD? Both of those are much more visceral and powerful films than this one, and they pretty much make sense. However, if you’re in the mood for action and spectacle while munching on popcorn, SKYLINE is reasonably entertaining.
Just try to avoid paying $12.50 to see it. I hear it’s going to Netflix right after it finishes its run. That could be soon.
Then again, I also hear they’re planning a sequel.

Cameron Cuts Deal for 'Avatar' 2 & 3

 avatar-cameronAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, James Cameron has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to make AVATAR 2 and 3. 
Production should start in 2011 for premeires in December 2014 and December 2015 in mind. Fox and James Cameron released a statement in which the director said: 

“It is a rare and remarkable opportunity when a filmmaker gets to build a fantasy world, and watch it grow, with the resources and partnership of a global media company. AVATAR was conceived as an epic work of fantasy—a world that audiences could visit, across all media platforms, and this moment marks the launch of the next phase of that world.
With two new films on the drawing boards, my company (Lightstorm Entertainment) and I are embarking on an epic journey with our partners at Twentieth Century Fox. Our goal is to meet and exceed the global audience’s expectations for the richness of AVATAR’s visual world and the power of the storytelling.
In the second and third films, which will be self contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of AVATAR’s visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world. I’m looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild.”

Rise Of The Apes Gets Release Date

Still from the original Planet of the Apes
Still from the original Planet of the Apes

According to Variety the PLANT OF THE APES prequel, RISE OF THE APES, is still happening and Twentieth Century Fox have settled on a June 24th, 2011 release date. The studio have also secured a director, Rupert Wyatt (THE ESCAPIST, BIRDSONG), and plan to work with WETA Digital to create for the first time CGI, instead of make-up assisted, apes.

RISE OF THE APES is apparently an origins story, aimed at rebooting the franchise for audiences unfamiliar with the older films and is set in present-day San Francisco. The film is a, “reality-based cautionary tale, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy”. Wyatt will be directing the film from a script by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa (THE RELIC, EYE FOR AN EYE), who also are producing with Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark.
Not much about this new entry in the series sounds promising. Using CGI to create the apes sounds like a terrible idea as computer generated apes will never look as real or convincing as actors dressed up in make-up. Wyatt’s directorial début, THE ESCAPIST, was a great film but will the script from the people that brought us THE RELIC be up to scratch? It’s unlikely to say the least. Few of the sequels to the original PLANET OF THE APES were any good and Burton’s remake made plenty of money but was a terrible film nonetheless.
You make your own mind up when RISE OF THE APES is released on the 24th of June next year.