“We’re baaaack.”, also other site announcements

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).

Finally, you can now contact The Movie Planet at themovieplanetblog@gmail.com, how cool is that?

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Music Of The Day: Another Way To Die

By now you’ve probably all heard Another Way To Die, the theme song for Quantum Of Solace, the new James Bond movie (view the awesome trailer). Performed by Alicia Keys and Jack White (of The White Stripes), the song scores many Bond firsts, including the first time a duet serves as a theme song and by extension the first time two unrelated artists team up for it.

I previously expressed my disappointement with the song back when it made its instrumental debut during the Coke Zero advert, and sure enough now that it’s been released, the song is widely regarded as well, bad. I have nevertheless listened to the song numerous times now and have come to the conclusion that it actually isn’t that awful and actually contains some good stuff.

Yes, it still ranks among the weakest Bond songs, possibly the weakest one, and it is no way “Bondian” enough, but this is one song that definitely grows on you, give it a few listens yourself. And if you’re still not convinced, just remember to be glad that we didn’t get that waste of oxygen Amy Winehouse to sing the song, as was originally planned.

New Trailer: The International

The International is a forthcoming thriller helmed by German director Tom Tykwer (Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer) and written by newcomer Eric Singer. It stars Clive Owen (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Naomi Watts (Funny Games) and Ulrich Thomsen (Hitman).

The movie has a righteous Interpol agent going against a big banking corporation involved in arms dealing. It will premiere in Germany and the US early February 2009.

While I wasn’t blown away by it, and despite the fact it inexplicably uses footage from Ghost Rider, this is a pretty decent trailer. Also, Tom Tykwer is a very interesting director and frankly, Clive Owen is reason enough to watch. Finally, is it just me or are parts of this trailer extremely similar to Quantum Of Solace‘s?

Fun Stuff: James Bond Coke Zero commercial

A couple of days ago we reported that you’ll be able to hear an instrumental version of the Quantum Of Solace theme song Another Way To Die in Coke commercials. Well, the ad has hit the web and I’m not too impressed, but I will wait for the full version as sung by Alicia Keys before I make up my mind. What do you guys think?

More Fun Stuff

Alicia Keys has seen Quantum Of Solace, says it’s “off the chain”

While promoting her promising new film The Secret Life Of Bees (trailer here), singer/actress Alcia Keys (The Nanny Diaries), who is singing Quantum Of Solace‘s theme song Another Way To Die, has revealed she has seen the new Bond film and it’s obviously great:

“The movie starts with this crazy car chase scene and it’s bananas. [Then] it starts with the song and it’s just perfect. Perfect,” Keys exclaims. “So, it’s not as good as ‘The Secret Life of Bees,’ but I enjoyed it.”

So, wait the movie starts, and then it starts again? Anyway, you’ll be able to hear an instrumental version of Another Way To Die in Coca-Cola commercials, marking one of the strangest tie-ins I’ve ever seen. “Get me a coke, shaken but not stirred”.

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New Trailer: Quantum Of Solace

Incredible, simply incredible…The first, “teaser” trailer for Quantum Of Solace did just that, it teased, in a perfect way. Now, the full trailer delivers everything one could possibly want and more. 2006’s Casino Royale was arguably the best 007 movie ever, and Quantum Of Solace looks like it will be as good, if not better. One of the best movies of the year? You can count on it.

Quantum Of Solace directly follows the events of Casino Royale as James Bond tries to come to terms with Vesper Lynd’s loss, and the MI6 look deeper into the organization previous villain Le Chiffre was working for. Daniel Craig returns as James Bond, along with Casino Royale actors Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Jeffrey Wright, and Jesper Christensen. Newcomers to this outing include French actor Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly) as the main villain, as well as relative newcomers Olga Kurylenko (Hitman) and Gemma Arterton (RocknRolla) as Bond girls.

The movie was written by the Casino Royale team of Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis, and directed by the versatile and talented Marc Forster (The Kite Runner) who makes his first foray into action cinema with this film. Quantum Of Solace will premiere in France, Sweden and the UK on October 31st, and you can bet I’ll be first in line.

ABC unveils five new shows for midseason (also, Lost news)

American network ABC has picked up five shows to premiere mideason. According to Wikipedia:

In North American Television a midseason replacement is a television show that premieres in the second half of the traditional television season, usually between January and April. Midseason replacements usually take place after a show that was in the fall schedule was canceled, put on hiatus or had a shorter season than other shows and the timeslot needs to be filled. Some midseason replacements get canceled like the shows they replaced, but others have gone on to be very successful.

First up we have Castle, a drama created by Andrew W. Marlowe (Hollow Man) starring Nathan Fillion (Waitress), Monet Mazur (The House Bunny) and Stana Katic (Quantum Of Solace). Fillion stars as a writer of horror novels who helps the NYPD on some cases. Mmmh, sounds pretty standard but who knows? Castle‘s pilot was directed by Rob Bowman (Elektra).

Next is The Unusuals, also a drama, created by Noah Hawley (6 episodes of Bones) and relating the daily happenings of a police station. The Unusuals stars Harold Perrineau (Lost), Adam Goldberg (2 Days In Paris), Amber Tamblyn (The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 1 & 2) and Jeremy Renner (28 Weeks Later), and its pilot was directed by Stephen Hopkins (The Reaping).

Third is Cupid, a drama created by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars), who’ll be remaking his own, eponymous, failed show from 1998. Bobby Cannavale (Diminished Capacity) will play Trevor Hale, a man convinced he was sent to Earth by Zeus in order to make people love each other. Rounding up the cast are Camille Guaty (Las Vegas) and Sarah Paulson (Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip). It’s interesting that this project has been greenlighted as ABC is the network that cancelled the original show.

In fourth we have Better Off Ted, a comedy created by Victor Fresco (4 episodes of My Name Is Earl), about a morally upright man living in a morally corrupt world. The series stars Jay Harrington (Desperate Housewives) and Andrea Anders (The Class). The pilot was directed by creator’s relative Michael Fresco (12 episodes of Earl).

Last is Single With Parents, a comedy created by Kristin Newman (2 episodes of How I Met Your Mother) in which a thirty-something year old woman played by Alyssa Milano (Charmed) attempts to take control of her life by distancing herself from her family, friends and work. Beau Bridges (Stargate SG-1), Eric Winter (Days Of Our Lives), Amanda Detmer (What About Brian) and Stella Hudgens (Vanessa Hudgens’ sister) round up the cast. The pilot was directed by Michael Engler (6 episodes of 30 Rock).

I’ll give them all a try, but honestly, none of them seem that interesting to me, what do you think?

Michelle Rodriguez scuttling back to the island

In related ABC news, it has been reported that Michelle Rodriguez (Battle In Seattle) will be back in an episode of Lost‘s fifth season. Michelle’s character, Ana-Lucia Cortez, was introduced at the end of the popular show’s first season and played a prominent part in the second. It is unclear how Michelle’s appearance will play out, but knowing Lost, you can expect anything.

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