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The Lord of the Rings: The THEATRICAL Trilogy comes to blu-ray; Hobbit news!

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That’s right.  It was too good to be true 😦  These blu-ray releases of The Lord of the Rings trilogy do not include the extended cuts of the films; only the theatrical cuts.  So before you think of handing over Mr. Benjamin Franklin (MSRP $99.98) to your local Best Buy cashier, think again – unless you’re just a die-hard LOTR geek who has to own this, knowing surely that the Dark Lord Sauron will triumph over Middle Earth if you don’t.  Other than the lengths of the features, details are still sketchy, as no technical specifications or bonus materials have been released.  The theatrical trilogy comes to blu-ray later this year.

A more complete boxed set with the extended cuts is expected to follow after the theatrical releases of the new Hobbit movies; so come on, guys.  Chances are, you already own the trilogy on DVD, whether they’re theatrical or extended cuts.  Will it really kill us to wait a few more years for a much better set of these films?

Speaking of The Hobbit, this comes fresh from Empire Magazine – Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro have revised their plans for The Hobbit.  With the initial idea that two films would be made – the first, being the adaptation of the novel and the second, bridging the gap between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring – the latest update is that The Hobbit will actually take two full length films on its own.

Guillermo Del Toro had the following to say:

We’ve decided to have The Hobbit span the two movies, including the White Council and the comings and goings of Gandalf to Dol Guldur.

And Peter Jackson:

We decided it would be a mistake to try to cram everything into one movie. The essential brief was to do The Hobbit, and it allows us to make The Hobbit in a little more style, if you like, of the trilogy.



Ghostbusters III details revealed

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First off, let’s confirm that Ghostbusters 3 is indeed in development and has actually been making great progress these few weeks.

“Office” writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky are curently penning the screenplay for this third installment, bringing back most of the original cast members back as mentors to a rookie group of Ghostbusters.  While Harold Ramis aka Egon Spengler has insisted for all the main players from the original films to make a return, Sigourney Weaver is still hesitant.

Dan Aykroyd aka Ray Stanz has released a few details on the film:

There will be a whole new generation that has to be trained, and that whole new generation will be led by an individual who you’ll all love when you meet him but I’m not going to tell you anything yet.  They’ll be lots of cadets, boys and girls, who’ll be learning how to use the psychotron, the accelerators and all the new stuff, the neuron splitter, which is going to be the interplaner, interceptor and all these great tools that they’re going to have, to flip from dimension to dimension.

Could this new team of Ghostbusters be larger than what we initially expected?  A Ghostbuster university perhaps?  Whether this movie blows people away or just completely tanks, it’ll sure look damn good seeing the original team back together again.

Lauren Shuler Donner talks “X-Men: First Class”

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Producer Lauren Shuler Donner (who rejected my beautiful X4 script!) has revealed details on Fox’s plans for the next possible X-men spin-off, X-men: First Class.

It is the first class of Xavier’s school, way back when, so it’s young Scott, young Jean, young Beast and that’ll be really fun.  I think (the plan) is to follow some of the characters into their own stories, and weave them back into the X-Men world.

And hopefully ‘First Class’ will become its own franchise and we can follow them as they grow up.

Donner also stated that a Magneto movie remains in development.

“Green Lantern” movie to be shot in Sydney, Australia

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Warner Bros. Pictures has decided to begin shooting Green Lantern at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney this November.  The film’s budget is estimated to be around $150 million, which is approximately the amount Watchmen was made for.

The reason behind the choice of shooting location is because $150 million is actually worth a lot more in Sydney.  Not only has there been a large decline in value of the Australian dollar, but the Australian federal government is offering an additional 15% location rebate.

New South Wales premier Nathan Rees has stated that the “substantial investment in digital effects work will create hundreds of jobs.  Production is expected to employ 500 people at any given time, including 100 performers, 200 crew, and thousands of extras.”

Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, GoldenEye, The Legend of Zorro) is signed on to direct the film.

Green Lantern is currently aiming for a December 17, 2010 release date.

“X-Men Origins” leaked image

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“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” Review

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If there ever was a generic summer action, popcorn flick, this is it.

Everything about this movie screams generic. The mediocre storyline, stale dialogue, less than stellar special effects, and uneven casting. As the superhero genre has evolved, so have the expectations for these movies, especially with the lately fashionable “origin”-type stories dating back to “Batman Begins”. But where “Batman” and “Iron Man” had strong storylines to back the psychological depths of their characters, this movie doesn’t do Wolverine’s character justice enough. Instead it wades through his background from his war-fighting days alongside Sabretooth to a love interest to a chase sequence to the unfolding of events bigger than Logan is privy to.

Now this movie isn’t complete trash, but it’s far, far from good. There are few moments of levity with humor (even bordering on the “Austin Powers”-ish in a particular scene), a few interesting special effects (splitting of a bullet), as well as the casting that works at times (sorry Will.I.Am, it’s not you though), and the ending isn’t terrible. That the movie takes too long to get to its end is unfortunate though.

More importantly, there is nothing that significantly sticks about this movie. If the story was written by a 5 year-old it could perhaps be seen as impressive, but that’s not the case here. I was actually bored for certain moments in it. In many ways, I would have to compare it to the latest “Bond” film wherein action was given a huge precedence over substance (except even the “Bond” flick had more compelling action sequences in it), or some mediocre 90’s superhero offering. It’s absolutely the type of movie that you will forget about 30 minutes after you finish watching it. And that it looks amateurish in many ways is perplexing. How Hugh Jackman and a certain cameo guest signed on for this is equally confusing.

I was hoping that an exploration into the origins of the X-Men would give the series a needed fresh breath of life, instead I came away feeling that the movie is much more akin to a lackluster spin-off, much like “Joey” was to “Friends”. And for fans like me of one of the more interesting characters in the X-Men series, that is a shame. But don’t take my word for it, the movie will be out in theaters in about a month’s time.


Wolverine hits 7-11 stores in April

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Are you getting ready for the upcoming “X-Men Origins” movie? Well so are 7-11 convenient stores. Promotional images will be plastered on all over Slurpee cups nationwide in April as anxious geeks prepare for Wolverine’s story to hit big screens May 1st. Not only will you get to sip from a cup featuring your favorite character, but you can try a brand new flavor called Mutant Berry. Slurpee/Wolverine fans…permission to rejoice.