IRON MAN 3: CFQ Spotlight Podcast 4:18.1

Robert Downey Jr. casts an acidic glance on superheroics in IRON MAN 3.
Robert Downey Jr. casts an acidic glance on superheroics in IRON MAN 3.

It’s felled the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men. It’s a more daunting foe than Lex Luthor, Bane, and Magneto combined. It is, of course, the third installment of a superhero franchise, and now it’s time for comicdom’s snarkiest hero to face the figurative music in IRON MAN 3. With Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, and Gwyneth Paltrow returning to their roles as, respectively, Tony Stark/Iron Man, James Rhodes/War Machine (here redubbed Iron Patriot), and Pepper Potts/Pepper Potts (somebody’s gotta stay in civvies), plus Ben Kingsley donning a bin Laden beard and a Hugo Weaving/Agent Smith drawl as the politically-incorrect terrorist the Mandarin, and with direction by pop-ironist Shane Black, can this third go for the power-assisted crime fighter break film’s most notorious curse? Turns out Cinefanatastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons form a decidedly mixed jury on that front, differing on whether IM3 is one of the best comic book films to come around in a while, is just solid if undistinguished entertainment, or is an affront to all right-thinking fans of Marvel’s steeliest superhero. The conflict will be resolved with a massive, twenty minute fight scene, heavily enhanced with CG. (No it won’t.)
Plus: What’s coming to theaters next week.

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The Avengers: The Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast – 3:18

Left to right: Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr, and a mass of pixels that look kinda like Mark Ruffalo prepare to do some avenging, because they are THE AVENGERS.
Left to right: Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr, and a mass of pixels that look kinda like Mark Ruffalo prepare to do some avenging, because they are THE AVENGERS.

There are so many ways a grand conglomeration of super heroes could turn into a car wreck (case in point: THE FANTASTIC FOUR), that we should be grateful when a film manages just to clear that bar. Fortunately, and quite happily, THE AVENGERS not only manages that base-line feat, but goes far beyond it, becoming a rare example of a top-notch comic book movie. Granted, the team-up of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), aided and abetted by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), doesn’t boast much more than a bare-essentials plot — demigod Loki (Tom Hiddleston) wants to take over the Earth ‘cuz… well, just ‘cuz — but under the direction of Joss Whedon, the proceedings offer enough kick-ass action and delicious character moments that plot barely matters.
Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French and Dan Persons as they break down the first official blockbuster of summer 2012 to find out what makes it pop and where it fizzles. Also: What’s coming to theaters.

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Capsule: Corman's World): CFQ Spotlight Podcast 2:49.1

A Justified War: Robert Downey Jr. (right) faces down Jared Harris in SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS.
A Justified War: Robert Downey Jr. (right) faces down Jared Harris in SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS.

Abandon all propriety, ye who enter here. Once again, under the direction of Guy Ritchie and as embodied by Robert Downey Jr, the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes shakes off his tweedy cobwebs and gets down, dirty, and flat-out physical in SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS. Centered around the inevitable confrontation between Holmes and the formidable criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) — with world-wide stakes — the film takes the consulting detective and his steadfast friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law), plus Noomi Rapace as a self-reliant gypsy, on an epic tale of murder, conspiracy, and life-or-death chess games.
Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they weigh the merits and demerits of this further retooling of a literary classic. Also: Dan delivers his opinion on the new documentary, CORMAN’S WORLD: EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL. Plus: What’s coming in theaters.

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'Game of Shadows' Posters

Warner Brothers Pictures, via Yahoo Movies, released the following “banners” of the manin characters and info about their upcoming SHERLOCK HOLMES sequel.

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) has always been the smartest man in the room… until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris)—and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective.
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When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder—a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction—all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history.gameofshadowsbanner2

Directed again by Guy Ritchie, SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS, written by Kieran Mulroney & Michele Mulroney, is due in theaters on December 16th.
 
 
 
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What, no posters of Mycroft Holmes (Steven Fry) or Irene Adlder (Rachel McAdams)?
gameshadowsbanner_M2gameshadowsbanner_R2

'Doc Savage' Still in Works?

Comic Book Resources interviewed IRON MAN 3 director Shane Black (KISS KISS BANG BANG) about his collaboration with actor Robert Downey Jr. on the upcoming  Marvel movie. Docsavage_P1
Bringing up his other genre projects (such as DEATH NOTE), Black affirmed that he’s still interested in doing DOC SAVAGE, a film adaptation of the famous pulp magazine hero from the 1930’s and `40’s.

“I do want to do DOC SAVAGE. The script is still evolving and I’m kind of busy, but I want to get it right and I want to do it… if we do DOC SAVAGE,  the challenge is make it adult. I think that there are so few practitioners of action movies these days who are doing worthwhile stuff that it behooves me to try to weigh in and try to do the “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”-type stuff, to try to recapture the magic.”

Shane Black does have a track record in action movies, wrting LETHAL WEAPON while still in his 20’s, and later LETHAL WEAPON II, THE LAST BOY SCOUT and others.
docSBama2
Doc Savage was adapted for radio twice in the 30’s and 40’s, though no recordings are known to exist.  A number of scripts survive.
In the 1960’s and 70’s paperback reprints of the Doc Savage novels became a huge success, bring the character back from obscurity for a new generation of readers.
This led to an unfortunately campy 1975 Warner Brothers film starring former TV Tarzan Ron Ely, produced by George Pal and directed by Michael Anderson.
In the Street & Smith  pulps written by Lester Dent (as Kenneth Robeson). Doctor Clark Savage, Jr.  led a group of adventurers, The Amazing Five, experts in various fields of sciences and (mostly) rough and tumble fighters as well.
National Public Radio did an audio drama revival in the 1980’s which was generally well-received.
The Man of Bronze, with his arctic Fortress of Solitude, was one of the inspirations for the Man of Steel, Superman.

'The Avengers' Assemble for EW

Entertainment Weekly’s latest covery story is Marvel Studios’ THE AVENGERS .AVENGERS_EW Cover
The article mentions that although the cast got along famously, the assembled Avengers do NOT hit it off well at all. Well, no surprise there, if you’ve read the comics…
Director Joss Whedon notes that much of the dialog is being rewritten as they go, somestimes on-set. Iron Man Robert Downey Jr has been urging Whedon to push the boundries, it seems. Hopefully, it will give the film extra drama and humor, which has worked well in the past with the Marvel characters.
THE AVENGERS is due in theaters May 4th, 2012.

'The Avengers' Begins Production

From Marvel Studios’ Press Release:

 

Empty Chaires, meant for Heroes
Empty Chaires, meant for Heroes

Production has commenced today in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated movie “Marvel’s The Avengers,” directed by Joss Whedon (“Serenity”) from a screenplay by Whedon. The film will continue principal photography in Cleveland, Ohio and New York City.
Robert Downey, Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) as Thor, Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (“Thor,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are Alright”) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (“Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (“Iron Man,” “Thor”) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury.
Set for release in the US on May 4, 2012, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the first feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.
Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Marvel’s The Avengers” brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time.
The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (“Wallander”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Angels & Demons,” “Mamma Mia!”) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature “Thor.”
“Marvel’s The Avengers” is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patty Whitcher, and Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce.
The creative production team also includes Oscar nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”), production designer James Chinlund (“25th Hour”), Oscar winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs (“Iron Man 2,” “The Matrix”), visual effects producer Susan Pickett (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”), stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell (“Superman Returns”), and four-time Oscar nominated special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Iron Man,” “War of the Worlds”). The editors include Oscar nominated Paul Rubell (“Collateral”) and Jeffrey Ford (“Crazy Heart”).

Shane Black on 'Iron Man 3'

iron-man-2According to Ain’t It Cool News reader/contributor “Krullboy”, at the Omaha Film Festival  Shane Black confirmed he will be both writing and directing IRON MAN 3.
Reportedly, he said that he will be meeting this week with Robert Downey Jr, to confer on the storyline.  He and Downey worked together previously 0n the action-comedy KISS KISS BANG BANG, which Black wrote, based on a novel by Brent Halliday (Bodies Are Where You Find Them).
After the larger-than-life team outing with THE AVENGERS , the next IRON MAN film apparently will focus more on Tony Stark/Iron Man dealing with “real world” villains, without any extra guest heroes. It’s said that Shane Black compared his planned story to a  “Tom Clancy thriller”.
No other info supporting this item, but it sounds reasonable and interesting.

Holmes 2 is 'A Game Of Shadows'

E!Online revealed that the title to the Guy Ritchie SHERLOCK HOLMES sequel is SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS.
For some  reason, that site thought the title was “lame”— to me, A GAME OF SHADOWS sounds very Holmesian; something creator Arthur Conan Doyle might have chosen. 

Rapace, Downey Jr. and Law
Rapace, Downey Jr. and Law

 Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as Holmes and Watson, as does Rachel McAdams Irene Adler and Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan, as well as  
Eddie Marsan (Inspector Lestrade).
Joining the cast are Noomi Rapace as a character named Sim, Steven Fry as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes, and Jared Harris as the criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS arrives in theaters December 16th from Legendary Pictures, Village Roadshow Productions and Warner Brothers.

Shane Black for Iron Man 3?

 

Shane Black
Shane Black

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shane Black (LETHAL WEAPON) has met with Marvel Studios executives to discuss the possiblity of directing IRON MAN 3.
They’re assuming that if  Black is signed as director, he would also write a draft or new screenplay.
Thus far, Marvel/Disney has kept a tight lid on any possible storylines for the next film, which Jon Favreau decided to leave in favor of another Disney project.
Choosing Shane Black as director might be a good fit, as he and star Robert Downey Jr. have worked together before, on KISS KISS, BANG BANG.
The article stresses that there has been no decision as yet, and that other directors are under consideration.
Black is currently writing a live-action screen adaptation of the DEATH NOTE manga/anime for Warner Prothers, and has been developing a DOC SAVAGE project with Sony/Columbia.
IRON MAN 3 is currently slated to be released  May 3rd, 2013.