Obvious update: Well I obviosly spoke too soon concerning the return of the site. But we ARE back now.
Finally! After two weeks of inactivity, computer troubles are finally over and updates will resume (The problems apparently came from the motherboard). I will not cover the extensive back catalogue of film news that has accumulated since I went offline, but here are some of the most interesting tidbits (at least in my opinion):
Sylvester Stallone (Rambo), Jason Statham (Death Race) and Jet Li (The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor) will co-star in The Expendables, an action movie set in South America which will be written and directed by Stallone himself. Stallone has of course plenty of experience in the field having written or co-written most of his films and directed quite a few of them (including the last Rambo film and four of the Rocky movies).
Joe Johnston, director of such films as Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III and October Sky will direct The First Avenger: Captain America, another of the cross-over comic book films Marvel Studios is making in the lead up to The Avengers (others include Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Iron Man 2). You know what I’d love? That they manage to include a crossover with the X-Men franchise, seeing as both this and the forthcoming X-Men Origins: Magneto will be set during World War II.
Acclaimed British director Ridley Scott (Body Of Lies) will direct an adaptation of the popular board game Monopoly.
Will Smith’s son Jaden, already seen in The Pursuit Of Happyness with his father, will play the lead in a remake of The Karate Kid.
Speaking of Will Smith, he’ll star in a remake of the South Korean cult film Oldboy which will be directed by Steven Spielberg (you know, the Indiana Jones films)
Lethal Weapon 5 isn’t completely dead after all and may happen eventually, according to series producer Joel Silver.
And of course, there’s the very sad news that bestselling author Michael Crichton died of cancer at age 66 on November 4th. Crichton’s novels have inspired films such as Jurassic Park, The 13th Warrior, Sphere, Congo, The Andromeda Strain, Timeline and many others. In addition he created the long-running medical show ER, wrote a few original screenplays such as Twister and even did a bit of directing with films like Westworld, Coma, The First Great Train Robbery and a few others.
As for the site, I’m happy to report that the hiatus did nothing to slow viewership, in fact these past three days have been our busiest ever with slightly less than two thousand visits per day on average. However, The Movie Planet will have a slight change in focus. Seeing as how this is for now a one-man operation and that I do lead a rather busy life, I will only give proper news posts to items which particularly interest me and cover the rest of the daily film news in a round-up sort of way. Thus I hope I’ll be able to write more articles in the vein of the one I penned about Babylon A.D., and you can expect such writings on the subject of Quantum Of Solace, The Happening and the High School Musical franchise soon (I hope to have my Quantum Of Solace “review” later today, but you can already see my score of the film on the What We’ve Been Watching page).
Ashley Tisdale is in my opinion one of the best things to come out of High School Musical, a franchise I will write an in-depth article sometime soon when I have the time. Though she hasn’t done that much yet, the 23 year old is a joy to watch as Sharpay Evans in the Disney series of films and I’m convinced she’s capable of some great stuff in the future.
Suddenly is a single from her debut album Headstrong, and easily the best song I’ve heard from her, or any of the HSM crew’s solo efforts for that matter. A slow ballad about attaining her dreams aka making it as a performer, it’s not the greatest ever made, but I find it quite a pleasant listen. Similarly the music video isn’t amazing, but in tone with the song, and thus quite good. What do you think?
Since it was only a matter of time, a fifth entry in the cheerleading franchise Bring It On is currently filming, and like the previous three sequels is undoubtedly aimed at the straight-to-DVD market. Why you ask? Because they’re not expensive to make and bring in considerable profits, that’s why! As for the quality, I have no idea, as while I admit I own all four films, I’ve only seen the original theatrical one. From what I hear the sequels are actually rather decent though, except for entry n°2, Bring It On Again.
So the main question is, who will be the hot blonde cheerleader this time around? 1 had Kirsten Dunst (the Spider-Man films) and 3 had Hayden Panettiere (NBC’s Heroes) while 2 & 4 had virtual unknowns (their biggest names were One Tree Hill‘s Bethany Joy Galeotti in 2 and High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale’s older sister Jennifer in 4, both in supporting roles). So chime in, which young blonde star would you like to see in a cheerleading outfit, shaking her pom-poms at you?
About a month ago, we informed you that a Beverly Hills Ninja sequel was planned, titled Tokyo Jones: The Legend Of The Dancing Ninja and written and directed by one of the original’s scribes, Mitchell Klebanoff, who’ll thus make his directing debut.
Now the cast has been announced and it’s appropriately epic: cult favorite David Hasselhoff (Anaconda 3: Offspring), Lucas Grabeel (possibly the only High School Musical regular to have escaped fame) and Chiling Lin supposedly “the most well-known fashion model from Taiwan” according to IMDB.
Are you actually looking forward to Beverly Hills Ninja 2?
Paramount is renaming its straight-to-dvd division. The goods news? Prepare for Without A Paddle: Nature’s Calling, Road Trip 2: Still Trippin’, Mean Girls 2: Meaner Girls, Bad News Bears 2: More Bad News and Naked Gun 1/4: Can’t Get More Naked Than This and Grease 3. The bad news? They’re calling it “Paramount Famous Productions”. Seriously is that the stupidest name for a movie company or what? Nikki Finke reports:
The newly christened Paramount Famous Productions has been actively developing an inaugural production slate. Now PFP prez Louis Feola says that, starting in 2010, the division expects to release 5 to 6 films annually with titles to encompass a mix of sequels, prequels and remakes based on the libraries of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, DreamWorks Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PFP also wants to work closely with Viacom-owned cable networks such as BET, Comedy Central and Spike TV to develop filmed entertainment content.
Louis Feola used to have the same job over at Universal which means he’s the guy we should thank for all those American Pie and Bring It On sequels. I don’t have anything against straight-to-dvd sequels really, but this batch seems pretty uninteresting. Grease 3 will probably be a High School Musical ripoff, Mean Girls 2 will probably be watchable as long as they get some hot girls, and they better get Leslie Nielsen for Naked Gun 4, for obvious reasons. Mr Feola, if you’re reading this, how about The Haunting 2? Here’s a movie which can easily be better than the original!
So, what films from the Paramount family would be a good fit for straight-to-dvd sequel goodness? Discuss!