Archive for May 7th, 2013
Here is the first trailer for Ender’s Game, based on the book by Orson Scott Card and starring Asa Butterfield (Hugo) as a boy who finds he is being trained to fight off an alien invasion. The movie also stars Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin and Viola Davis.
Can Warner Bros cast remove curse and break the spell that seems to dictate that a Dungeons & Dragons movie can’t be good? It appears they are ready to bet they can, as they acquired the movie rights to the venerable game franchise. And it appears they are moving forward quickly, looking to adapt a script already written by David Leslie Johnson (Wrath Of The Titans). Interestingly, that script was based not on D&D but it’s precursor, Chainmail, a miniatures game which Gary Gygax helped create first before teaming with Dave Arneson on D&D.
Roy Lee (The Woman In Black) will produce with Courtney Solomon, who produced the first two attempts at D&D movies, 2000’s Dungeons & Dragons and the 2005 direct-to-video sequel, Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God. The former was critically panned, while the latter took itself a bit more seriously, producing a moderate effort but nothing to appeal to non-D&D fans.
A third production, Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness, was released last year, appears unrelated to the first two, and I don’t know much about it.
Update 5/10: It appears there is already a snag…it seems Hasbro claims they own the rights, and are working with Universal. They do essentially own the game, as they own Wizards of the Coast, which bought TSR in 1997.
My prediction? Whether movie gets made by WB, Universal, or not at all…the lawyers will get richer.
This commercial for the 2013 Audi S7 is “fascinating”, and could have been the king of the Super Bowl ads – if it played during the Super Bowl…
Here we get the “old” Spock in Leonard Nimoy, competing against “new” Spock Zachary Quinto, with the younger trying to beat the older at something. So he challenges Nimoy – last person to the country club buys lunch.
Plenty of chuckles along the way…but listen for the infamous little ditty that Nimoy sings as he drives…
I just heard the sad news that visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, who made stop-motion an art form that was used in many fantasy movies, passed away today in London at the age of 92. He is perhaps best known for the work on 1963’s Jason and the Argonauts and 1981’s Clash of the Titans.
From the official Facebook page:
Raymond Frederick Harryhausen
Born: Los Angeles 29th June 1920
Died: London 7th May 2013.
The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator. He was a multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA. Ray’s influence on today’s film makers was enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations.
Harryhausen’s fascination with animated models began when he first saw Willis O’Brien’s creations in KING KONG with his boyhood friend, the author Ray Bradbury in 1933, and he made his first foray into filmmaking in 1935 with home-movies that featured his youthful attempts at model animation. Over the period of the next 46 years, he made some of the genres best known movies – MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949), IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955), 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957), MYSTERIUOUS ISLAND (1961), ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966), THER VALLEY OF GWANGI (1969), three films based on the adventures of SINBAD and CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981). He is perhaps best remembered for his extraordinary animation of seven skeletons in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963) which took him three months to film.
Harryhausen’s genius was in being able to bring his models alive. Whether they were prehistoric dinosaurs or mythological creatures, in Ray’s hands they were no longer puppets but became instead characters in their own right, just as important as the actors they played against and in most cases even more so.
Today The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a charitable Trust set up by Ray on the 10th April 1986, is devoted to the protection of Ray’s name and body of work as well as archiving, preserving and restoring Ray’s extensive Collection.
Tributes have been heaped upon Harryhausen for his work by his peers in recent years.
“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much.” “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no STAR WARS”
“THE LORD OF THE RINGS is my ‘Ray Harryhausen movie’. Without his life-long love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made – not by me at least”
“In my mind he will always be the king of stop-motion animation”
“His legacy of course is in good hands
Because it’s carried in the DNA of so many film fans.”
“You know I’m always saying to the guys that I work with now on computer graphics “do it like Ray Harryhausen”
“What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits.”
“His patience, his endurance have inspired so many of us.”
“Ray, your inspiration goes with us forever.”
“I think all of us who are practioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant.
If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.”
Got a couple preview videos for tonight’s new Grimm…in the first, an unnatural obsession sends Nick spiraling out of control, while in the second Nick is completely captivated by a woman with mysterious seductive powers. Tune in tonight to NBC at 10/9c!
[Videos no longer available]