Dimension goes Extreme straight-to-DVD

Dimension Films, the specialty branch of The Weinstein Company (previously Miramax) has greenlit eighteen straight-to-DVD flicks for its Dimension Extreme label which are budgeted at 3 to 6 million dollars each.

TWC co-chairman Bob Weinstein said the films, mostly sequels, prequels, remakes or spinoffs of TWC/Dimension titles, could debut in a particular ancillary arena — DVD, VOD, TV or the Web — depending on a closer look as they near release.

Thus expect new movies in the worlds of Hell Ride, Children Of The Corn, Midnight Man, Piranha, Halloween, etc…

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Nick Fury’s role expanded in Iron Man 2

Popular actor Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace) has recently stated that, as expected, his Nick Fury role that was no more than a cameo in this summer’s early hit Iron Man, and which almost nobody saw because it was after the credits, will be much larger in the sequel, which is expected to hit screens in May 2010. According to Jackson, this comes straight from director Jon Favreau’s mouth, and really it’s to be expected since Iron Man 2 will be the last present-day-set Marvel film leading into The Avengers as The First Avenger: Captain America will be set during World War 2 and Thor, well, is about a god in Asgard. In related Thor news, Daniel Craig (the current James Bond actor) has recently turned down the chance to play the lead.

Run for your lives, Big Momma’s House 3 is coming

As if the first two times weren’t enough, a third Big Momma’s House has been confirmed to being on the fast-track. Now I haven’t seen either of the previous films, which tell of an FBI agent played by Martin Lawrence (College Road Trip) who goes undercover disguised as a fat black woman in order to capture criminals, but the first one is supposedly bad and the second one is widely viewed as one of the worst films of all time. So why make a third? Well, they do make money and that’s what counts. The real question though, is what is it with African American “funnymen” and dressing up as fat black women? Martin, Eddie Murphy, Tyler Perry,… they all do it!

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Paul W.S. Anderson is about to start work on Resident Evil 4

Filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson (Death Race), aka the “mastermind” behind the Resident Evil movie franchise  (he only directed the first one, but wrote and produced all three installments) has recently stated he will soon start tackling the unavoidable next sequel, saying thet he’s writing “an adaptation of the Long Good Friday right now, set in present-day Miami. Then I will probably write Resident Evil 4.”

Each film in the franchise ends with a tease to the sequel, so judging from Resident Evil: Extinction you can expect the film to take place at least partly in Tokyo, Japan. Aside from the rather poor writing (especially for the second movie’s ending), my main beef with these movies is how much they stray from their video game source, both in tone and storywise (much like most video game adaptations).

Heck the films feel more like video games than the games themselves. Then again, Extinction is the flick that has the least in common with the games, becoming some sort of Mad Max with zombies, and ended up arguably being the franchise’s best film and a great return to form for Highlander director Russell Mulcahy.  Yet one can argue that this is because the previous two entries had so little to do with the games that what they did have in common was more distracting than anything else.

So while Resident Evil 4 may prove to turn into an entertaining action movie, I’d still like to see a Resident Evil movie done right. Sure there’s that new CGI movie but that one simply expands on the games’ storyline, instead of retelling it. The Anderson series needs to be concluded in a final installment, enabling a more respectful filmmaker to reboot the franchise in my opinion.

 

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Movie Of The Day: Chasing Amy (1997)

Note: This marks the third in a series of “Movies Of The Day” that covers writer/director/actor Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse films. For the reviews of the first two films, Clerks. and Mallrats, click here and here respectively.

Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards are two comic book artists working on Bluntman And Chronic, a superhero series they created based on the dealing/mischief making duo Jay and Silent Bob. At a comic book convention, Holden meets female colleague Alyssa Jones and quickly develops an attraction, but there’s one problem, the fact that she’s lesbian. The two nevertheless strike a strong friendship and Holden falls harder and harder for Alyssa, much to the annoyance of Banky.

Chasing Amy stars Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland), Jason Lee (Alvin And The Chipmunks), Joey Lauren Adams (The Break-Up) and Dwight Ewell (The Guru). Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith reprise their roles from the previous films, Brian O’Halloran makes an appearance as another of his Clerks. character’s cousins and Ethan Suplee (Mr. Woodcock), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Matt Damon (the Bourne series) and comic book legend Joe Quesada all make appearances. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Back in Business with a Big Bunch of News

If you’re a regular visitor to the site, which you should be, you’ve obviously noticed it hasn’t been updated this past week. Fear not, this was only a temporary hiatus, brought upon me by circumstances I had absolutely no control over. Indeed don’t think it was all fun and no work for me here, no… Not one film was watched, I was just extremely busy elsewhere, but I am back now and The Movie Planet will normally resume its regular output later today. In the meantime, there’s obviously been a crapload of film news during my absence, and I’ve decided to get through all the major stuff quickly in a sort of mega-“Links Of The Week” edition, enabling me to have a clean slate upon my next post. Enjoy.

Movie Announcements

New hotshot comedy actor Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) will produce and have a supporting role in I’m With Cancer, based on the experiences of producer Will Reiser (Da Ali G Show), who wrote the script here.

Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) will make his English-language debut with an adaptation of David Moody’s novel Hater, written by Glen Mazzara (16 episodes of FX’s The Shield), here.

The 2004 French heist movie Cash Truck (original title Le Convoyeur) is getting a remake in English, titled Armored, adapted by David Ayer (Harsh Times) &  Andrew Kevin Walker (Sleepy Hollow), potentially directed by F. Gary Gray (Be Cool) and potentially starring Eric Bana (The Other Boleyn Girl) here.

Acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Body Of Lies) will return to sci-fi and direct an adaptation of the novel The Forever War, a project he’s been pursuing for 25 years here.

20th Century-Fox has hired screenwriter Allan Loeb (21) to pen a sequel to the 1987 classic Wall Street here.

A big budget Chinese movie based on the legend of Hua Mulan has been announced here. It will be the fifth Chinese film on the subject and the first since 1964.

Bull Durham director Ron Shelton has declared he’s thinking about a sequel here. Star Kevin Costner has however recently stated he’d never do one.

Writer/Director Nancy Meyers (The Holiday) is making a new romantic comedy, which will star Steve Martin (Baby Mama), Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia!), Alec Baldwin (My Best Friend’s Girl) here.

Gary Winick (Charlotte’s Web) will direct the revenge comedy Rat Bastard, written by duo Heather McGowan & Niels Mueller (Tadpolehere.

The French comic book series Du Plomb Dans La Tête (literally something like A Bullet In The Head), will be adapted into the American film Headshot here.

A new muppet movie, a detective comedy titled Happytime Murders will be made, directed by Brian Henson (Muppet Treasure Island) and written by Todd Berger (Chasing Christmas) here.

Steve Carell (Get Smart) will star in the Napoleonic comedy The Adventures Of Brigadier Gerard, based on short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) here.

Musical sensation Elton John (The Lion King) is writing a musical that will star Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder) here.

Amy Adams (Charlie Wilson’s War) will star in the romantic comedy Leap Year here.

The multitalented Kevin Smith (Clerks 1 & 2) is planning a space comedy here.

Liev Schreiber (Love In The Time Of Cholera), Helen Hunt (Bobby) and Carla Gugino (Righteous Kill) will star in the drama Every Day here.

Plot Announcements

Actor/Director Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) reveals the plot for his latest movie, Gran Torino, here.

The plot and songs for the untitled new romantic comedy by Cameron Crowe (Elizabethtown), starring Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder) and Reese Witherspoon (Rendition) has been revealed here.

The plot for Full Love, the promising second directorial effort for action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD), has been revealed here.

The plot for the new Star Trek movie has been revealed here.

Casting & Various Hiring News

Despite the next Superman movie being a franchise reboot, Brandon Routh will apparently return in the lead here.

Actor Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading) has stepped down from the Micky Ward boxing biopic The Fighter, to be directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain) and starring Mark Wahlberg (The Happening), leaving that film’s future in jeopardy here.

 The Fame remake has been cast here.

Talented actor Don Cheadle (Traitor) has replaced talented actor Terrence Howard (Iron Man) as the hero’s best buddy Jim Rhodes in Iron Man 2 here. Howard is confused and upset.

Relative newcomer Brad Ingelsby has been hired to adapt the comic book Sleeper here.

Third film co-writer George Nolfi will write the fourth Bourne film here.

It seems Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour films) will direct the new Conan movie here.

Movie Cancellations

Lethal Weapon 5 won’t be made, as co-lead Mel Gibson turned down the script here.

Acclaimed director David Fincher (Zodiac) believes his long-gestating adaptation of Rendezvous With Rama will never get made here.

It seems the long-gestating Goonies 2 won’t be happening after all here.

The eagerly anticipated new He-Man movie has been canceled here.

Other

One of the best teen movies of recent times, 10 Things I Hate About You, is getting adapted for television here.

There’s gonna be a roller coaster based on the Saw franchise here…What?

Movie Of The Day: The Butterfly Effect 2 (2006)

One of the many straight-to-DVD cash-in sequels that have been coming out at an increasing rate in recent years (though it did get a theatrical release in some countries), The Butterfly Effect 2 has virtually no connections to the 2004 original, except for a vague useless mention of that film’s events, and some common crew, mostly in the producing, casting and music departments.

Written by Michael D. Weiss (Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D), The Butterfly Effect 2 pretty much follows the first film’s formula of a guy who discovers he has the power to alter his past and uses it to save the woman he loves and to try and make his life perfect.

The film stars Eric Lively (Live!, also Gossip Girl star Blake Lively’s older brother), Erica Durance (The CW’s Smallville), Dustin Milligan (The Messengers) and Gina Holden (Final Destination 3) among others and was directed by John R. Leonetti (Mortal Kombat: Annihilation). Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Dracula to return, officially that is

Dracula is such an omnipresent figure of today’s culture it’s sometimes easy to forget that he isn’t a product of mythical lore but rather a relatively recent (1897) literary creation by author Bram Stoker (above), just like Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and no, not The Three Musketeers because those actually really existed.

Now Bram’s great gand-nephew Dacre Stoker has gathered discarded notes from his renowned ancestor’s archives and has set about writing an official sequel to the original book, set 25 years later and titled Dracula: The Un-Dead, with the help of genre specialist Ian Holt.

The book will only be released by this time next year but the movie rights have already been sold, and the adaptation will start shooting in June 2009! Dutch filmmaker Jan De Bont (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life) will produce and probably direct. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but if we’re getting the sequel to a story, shouldn’t we get a new adaptation of the original first?

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Sequelitis part 6: Get Smart, Lethal Weapon, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Batman

A sequel to the spy spoof hit Get Smart is pretty much confirmed with original lead Steve Carrell reprising his role. As for co-star Anne Hathaway, she previously indicated her desire for a sequel.

Lethal Weapon 5, which was written and should be directed by series creator Shane Black, has apparently been put on the fast track according to potential castmember Columbus Short (Stomp The Yard).

Rumor has it that actor Johnny Depp is being paid 56 million dollars to reprise his Jack Sparrow role in Pirates Of The Caribbean 4. If that’s true, it would make him the highest paid actor in upfront salary.

As expected, the last bit of Batman sequel news was complete B.S., as per screenwriter David S. Goyer.

Source: /Film

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?