Freaks Of The Heartland moving forward

David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) has been hired to direct Freaks Of The Heartland, which was adapted by newcomers Peter Sattler and Geoff Davey from the comic book written Steve Niles (30 Days Of Night).

Illustrated by Greg Ruth, Niles’ six-part 2004 series about the horrible secret of a rural Middle American town involves Trevor Owen’s attempts to protect his “monster” of a 6-year-old younger brother and Gristlewood Valley’s other “freaks” from their parents’ worst instincts.

No actors have been cast as of yet.

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Movie Of The Day: The Punisher (2004)

Blade, released in 1998, was the precursor of a movement X-Men confirmed in 2000: movies based on comic books are the next big thing. Sure, comic book movies have been continuously made for a long time, but never in such numbers and on such a high profile. The publishing company Marvel Comics can largely be credited for this, as while they’d been pretty careless with selling their movie rights in the past, they started to take more control in the mid-nineties, resulting in the first few films to come out of the trend, including the two previously mentioned. It’s been non-stop since then, with 2008 seeing at least seven films based on comic books released in the world. The Punisher is also based on a Marvel property, which had previously been brought to the screen in a fun 1989 B-movie starring Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier).

Frank Castle is an FBI agent undercover on an arms deal in Tampa, Florida. The deal is busted, and an unexpected participant is killed in the process: one of local mobster Howard Saint’s sons. Stricken by grief, Saint sends his men to kill Castle and his whole family in Puerto Rico, where they are having a reunion. Castle miraculously survives the massacre, if barely, and is nursed back to health by some witch doctor dude. Driven by rage, Frank Castle returns to Tampa, seeking to punish Howard Saint and his organization for the harm they have caused. He is now the Punisher.

The Punisher was the directing debut for action screenwriter extraordinaire Jonathan Hensleigh (Next), who co-wrote the flick with Michael France (Fantastic Four). It stars Thomas Jane (The Mist), John Travolta (Hairspray), Rebecca Romijn (the X-Men films), Ben Foster (30 Days Of Night), Roy Scheider (Jaws 1 & 2) in a small role, wrestler Kevin Nash (Dead Or Alive) and country singer Mark Collie (Fire Down Below) among others. Trailer and review after the jump.

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The Hollywood shuffle game continues

Release dates just won’t stop changing ever since Warner Bros moved Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince to next July. The latest “victim”? Australian war drama Australia (actually an American co-production), which was pushed back from November 14th to November 21st in the US.

The epic, which is set to be one of the big events of 2008’s last quarter, will mark the return of acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) and stars Nicole Kidman (The Golden Compass) and Hugh Jackman (Deception). The movie, which Luhrmann co-wrote with Stuart Beattie (30 Days Of Night), tells the story of an English aristocrat, played by Kidman, who inherits a ranch in northern Australia at the dawn of World War II, and hires Jackman’s character to protect it from a takeover. Then, the Japanese start bombing.

The American change shouldn’t affect other release dates, and as far as I know, Australia will still premiere in Australia on November 13th.

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