New Trailer: Madagascar – Escape 2 Africa

The third and presumably final trailer for Madagascar 2 has popped up and it gives a lot more insight than the previous two. I wasn’t a big fan of the first Madagascar (I actually thought it sucked), but this looks potentially better, and though it’ll undoubtedly be incredibly stupid, there may be a few decent laughs.

Co-directed by original helmers Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath and written by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder), the sequel, whose title can be read as Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa or Madagascar 2: Escape Africa, has the four New York Zoo animals from the first film attempting to return to their home on a plane piloted by penguins only to crash in continental Africa.

In typical DreamWorks Animation fashion, the film features the voice talents of many notable people including Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder), Chris Rock (I Think I Love My Wife), Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women), David Schwimmer (Friends), Sacha Baron Cohen (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street), Cedric The Entertainer (Street Kings), Bernie Mac (Transformers), Will.i.am (the band Black Eyed Peas) and Andy Richter (Semi-Pro), and will premiere on November 6th in Hungary and Russia (???). Will you go see it?

Exclusive New Trailer and Poster: Roadside Romeo (also Disney’s plans for India)

I apologize for the sometimes hard-to-read subtitles, but it’s from the official website! Roadside Romeo marks Walt Disney Pictures’ first venture into Indian cinema, in co-production with Yash Raj Films, one of the biggest local studios.

Disney must have confidence in the Indian market as, in addition to two more animated features with Yash Raj Films, they’ve begun planning four live-action films on their own, the first two of which are just about ready to begin production.

‘The 19th Step’ starring top South Indian actor Kamal Hassan, directed by Bharat Bala […] will feature Japanese star Asano Tadanabo and Indian actress Asin. Director Bala is one of India’s best-known music video directors. “Step” is said to revolve around the ancient Indian martial arts form Kalarippayattu and will be a multilingual Indian release.

‘Zokkomon,’ starring top child actor Darsheel Safari and directed by Satyajit Bhatkal, is a children’s tale.

As for Roadside Romeo, which opens October 24th, it is written and directed by newcomer Jugal Hansraj, stars the voice talents of Indian stars Saif Ali Khan (Dil Chahta Hai/Do Your Thing), Kareena Kapoor (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…/Happiness & Tears) and Javed Jaffrey (Fire). The film follows a pampered dog who is abandoned by his owner and learns to survive in the streets of Mumbai.

I’m all for American studios producing movies out of the US. Disney is already doing it in China and France, Columbia in India and China, and Warner Bros in France, India and Italy (and those are only the ones I know about). But why stop there? Why not release the movies you make in those movies internationally? Seems like it could only be a win situation wouldn’t it?

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues tonight, watch the trailer

Following directly from this summer’s eponymous underrated film, actually the pilot for the TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars will debut tonight at 9 PM in the US on Cartoon Network (and in two days in Canada on CTV, and on the 25th in the UK on Sky Movies Premiere). It is set between Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith, and more precisely between episodes 21 and 22 of the previous 2D Clone Wars series.

Judging from its movie pilot, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is actually a really high quality show if you don’t forget what it’s supposed to be, which is something aimed primarily towards kids. It should be compared to other spin-off cartoons such as the Godzilla and Mummy ones, which it easily surpasses, but it still focuses mostly on action and childish humor.

You musn’t forget that Lucasfilm wasn’t trying for a perfect likeness of live-action when making this and thus, that the look is very intentional, not a result of “making something on the cheap” as the quality of the animation is actually top-notch.

So once again, this is a worthwhile watch if you enjoy the Star Wars universe and understand what that this is a show for kids first and foremost. The first season will consist of 22 episodes, and more than a hundred are planned for the series’ full run. Official description follows after the jump. Continue reading

Short Ones: The Spider’s House, Angel Heart, Bourne spoof and more

Peter Webber (Hannibal Rising) will direct The Spider’s House, a romantic drama following two ex-lovers who meet again in 1950s Morocco, on a backdrop of growing tensions between freedom fighters and French colonials. It is adapted by newcomer Laurie Cooke from a novel by Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky).

The 1987 classic supernatural thriller Angel Heart is getting the remake treatment. The original film was written and directed by Alan Parker (The Life Of David Gale), based on a book by William Hjortsberg (Legend), and stars Mickey Rourke (Stormbreaker), Robert De Niro (Righteous Kill) and Charlotte Rampling (The Duchess) among others. Watch the original’s trailer below.

Jack Black (Tropic Thunder) will star in an untitled spoof of the Bourne films, from the screenwriters of Kung Fu Panda, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. Black will play an amnesiac who’s convinced he must be a spy…FYI, this movie was already made last year into the very unfunny Code Name: The Cleaner.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War) will voice Max in Mary And Max, a claymation film about two penpals, an 8 year old Australian girl and a 44 year old Jewish New Yorker dude. In the meantime you’ll be able to catch him in the incredible looking films Synecdoche, New York (see the trailer) and Doubt (see the trailer).

British actor Michael Sheen (Blood Diamond) just signed onto two films: the new Alice In Wonderland movie from director Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street) and the terrorism-themed thriller Unthinkable from Australian director Gregor Jordan (Ned Kelly), also starring Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Disturbia).

Director Martin Scorsese (The Departed) is set to reunite with regular star Robert De Niro more than 13 years after the mob flick Casino. The new film will be based on the non-fiction book I Heard You Paint Houses from author Charles Brandt, as adapted by multi-award winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (American Gangster).

Source: /Film

WTF? Japanese classic Rashomon goes American in 2010

Run for the hills! The 1950 samurai crime flick Rashōmon, one of writer/director Akira Kurosawa’s (Seven Samurai aka the inspiration for The Magnificent Seven) many masterpieces is being remade into a contemporary American trial film for the 100th anniversary of the man’s death. That’s your gift, making him roll over in his grave?

Held by many as one of the best films of all time, Rashōmon tells of a woman’s rape and her husband’s murder through the contradictory accounts of four witnesses through flashbacks. Its influence has been felt in such a wide variety of films as the 2005 animated laughfest Hoodwinked! and this year’s Vantage Point.

From the sounds of the remake’s “improvement”, it will be a hundred times more conventional and less interesting. In more positive Kurosawa news, the company producing the remake, Harbor Light, will also produce one of the master’s never-filmed scripts, The Masque Of Black Death, which Kurosawa had written for animation legend Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy) before his death in 1998.

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Truckload of Links of the Week

The /Filmcast and the /Filmcast: After Dark.

/Film‘s David Chen interviews Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso here and star Michelle Monaghan here.

Director M. Night Shyamalan is pondering an Unbreakable sequel here.

Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull) will star in the thriller Dark Fields here.

Keira Knightley (The Duchess), Eva Mendes (The Women), Guillaume Canet (The Beach) and Sam Worthington (Rogue) will star in “modern love story” Last Night here.

Anna Faris (The House Bunny) drops out of pornstar biopic here and lends her voice to a new animated flick here.

Another Fantastic Four cast member is doubtful a third film will happen here.

Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau (The Break-Up) will team up once again for Couples Retreat here.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore are game for a sequel to The Big Lebowski here.

Michael Douglas (King Of California) is a Solitary Man here.

Bruce Willis (the Die Hard films) will direct his first film here.

David Spade (The Benchwarmers) will star in Divorced Guys here.

ILM to fully animate new film Rango for Paramount

A new animated film reuniting versatile director Gore Verbinski with his Pirates Of The Caribbean star Johnny Depp has been announced. Written by John Logan (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street), Rango is based on an original idea by Verbinski which has Depp’s character being “a household pet that goes on an adventure to discover its true self”.

One of the most interesting aspects of the project however, is that George Lucas’ special effects company Industrial Light & Magic (responsible for the visuals of half the American blockbusters you see each year) is set to animate the film, making this the first time the company undertakes such a project. I fully trust their work will be nothing short of amazing, and have included ILM’s sole experience in full animation, the cinematics for the superb video game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter from 2002.

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