Thursday, May 22, 2008

BKV is Big Screen Bound, and He's Bringing His Runaways

Brian K. Vaughan's hot Marvel book is headed to the big screen.
by Danger

According to Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios is going ahead with a Runaways film. Even better news is that the screenplay is being penned by co-creator, and original writer, Brian K. Vaughan. No word on who'll direct but Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will produce.

The Runaways is a story of six teenagers who find out that there parents aren't exactly who they say they are. In fact, they are all part of a secret group called 'The Pride' who quietly run all of Los Angeles. After being bomb-shelled with the news the kids do what they think is best for them and run away from home, hence the name. The book's beautifully written by Brian K. Vaughan, who is also a co-producer and writer of ABC'S Lost, and with him at the screenplay helm there can be no wrong.

A possible movie comes as great news to all Runaways and BKV fans around the world. Runaways has been one of Marvel's greatest written books in the past few years, and it can only mean good things for the book to get the movie treatment. As a big fan of the series, I am stoked to hear this wonderful bit of info, even if the movie won't be out for a few years. Still, if the film is anywhere as good as Iron Man, then this will be an enjoyable movie for both the hardcore and new-school fan alike.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CONFIRMED: Gyllenhaal is the Prince of Persia

by Larry_Chimp_Man

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed last month's rumour that Jake Gyllenhaal has landed the lead role in a Bruckheimer-produced Prince of Persia film. Read our initial reactions to the rumour HERE.

Actress Gemma Arterton has also signed on to the film and will play Gyllenhaal's feisty princess accomplice. Arterton will be in the spotlight this fall as she plays Agent Fields in the upcoming Quantum of Solace.

Mike Newell, director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as Love in the Time of Cholera, will helm the film. Jerry Bruckheimer will once again work with Walt Disney Pictures to produce the flick based on the hit Ubisoft video game.

If you've read our previous article on the subject you know I'm not a very big fan of this casting or the idea of a Prince of Persia film adaptation. Gyllenhaal is a great actor and he'll make a decent Prince of Persia but I'd rather see him doing something else. Also, in all likelihood, this casting takes Gyllenhaal out of the running to replace Tobey MaGuire if he decides to drop out of Spider-Man 4.

What do you guys think about all of this? Will Gyllenhaal make a good Prince of Persia? Will the film be any good? Is this the start of a new Bruckheimer trilogy? Post a comment and let us know where your opinions stand.


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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Speed Racer Review

Speed Racer stalls and never really catches up.
by mr. b

I had gone into Speed Racer with a very open mind. Reviews and word of mouth were a mixed bag and I tried to not let them get in the way of my enjoying the movie. They didn't, and I still didn't enjoy it. There has been a lot of talk about the needless bashing of this film and how all the negative press is undeserved. Maybe so, but it still doesn't change the fact that this movie was unbearable to sit through.

Speed Racer, as played by the competent Emile Hirsch, is a rising race-star living in the shadow of his deceased brother. After turning down endorsements from a number of big name companies Speed manages to make an enemy in the biggest of them. What follows next is a formulaic story about shady corporate dealings and back stabbings which lead Speed to dangerous race after dangerous race. The story itself is standard blockbuster fluff, which I don't have a problem with, but it's execution was poor.

The much anticipated CGI sequences were, in actuality, the downfall of the film. Lost in the over-whelming, sensory numbing effects were an incoherent storyline and an all-star cast who phoned it in. All focus from the actors were lost in the neon glow of the sets and green screens. As hard as the main story was to follow, the stories within the racing scenes were even more difficult. Dizzying spins and blinding lights killed any kind of story that was trying to be told. I actually had to close my eyes for a scene were a number of cars went into a psychedelic cave.

Emile Hirsch, as mentioned before, played a conflicted Speed to the best of his abilities. His supporting cast was a disappointment. I've come to expect much better things from John Goodman and Susan Sarandon. Christina Ricci, however, manages to pull of a good performance and provides one of the movie's bright spots. They were few and far between though, considering everything else was so damn bright. Worst part of the movie? Spritle and Chim Chim. I cannot stress enough how much I wanted these characters to get run over. Annoying and needless is a pretty good way to describe these two.

The Wachowski's have a spotty track record, at best. I haven't been impressed with them since halfway through the second Matrix. I, for one, hope they can get their super secret Carnivore project rolling and get them back on the same track when they were making Assassins and Bound. Well, maybe just Bound.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Cast in Scott Pilgrim

Winstead will play Ramona Flowers in the adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's hit graphic novel series.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

This is movie is guaranteed to be awesome. Edgar Wright is pure genious, Michael Cera is the shit, and the source material is golden. Now Mary Elizabeth Winstead has entered the fray.

Winstead will play Ramona Flowers, the girlfriend of Cera's Scott Pilgrim character. Ramona has a history of seven evil exes, all of whom must be defeated by Scott in order for him to win her heart.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is perfect. She's on the cusp of being a household name with roles in Live Free or Die Hard, Bobby, and the lead role in the upcoming Make It Happen. She's also acquired a bit of a cult status with roles in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof as well as Final Destination 3. I can't wait to see how she treats the character and what she'll bring to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

What do you guys think about Mary Elizabeth Winstead playing Ramona Flowers? Think it's a perfect fit? Think someone else would be better? Post a comment and let me know what you think.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is still casting and in pre-production. Check back to MediaZEALOT for more info on the film leading up to its release.


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Sony Demands Two Helpings of Spidey!

Rumours state the studio wants to shoot the fourth and fifth Spider-Man films at the same time.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

It's no secret that James Vanderbilt, scribe of David Fincher's Zodiac, has been hired by Sony to pen Spider-Man 4. Vanderbilt signed on to the film during the Writer's Strike last fall and has been cooking up a working draft since then. A few weeks back Vanderbilt turned in his draft to Sony and, according to Cinematical, they got more than they bargained for.

See, Vanderbilt didn't stop with one script, instead creating an arc spanning two Spider-Man films. Details of the plot aren't clear but one thing is; Sony is frantically reworking their deal with Vanderbilt to make his two-movie arc a reality.

As mentioned above, having scripts for both Spider-Man 4 and 5 completed simultaneously would allow the studio to shoot both flicks at the same time. Nothing has been confirmed but one can assume Sony is drooling over the possibility of two rapid Spidey releases and wants to make this two-picture deal happen.

If this is true and Sony decides to shoot Spidey 4 and 5 in unison who will return from the first three? Does Sam Raimi still have enough love for the character to return? What about Tobey MaGuire? Maguire almost dropped out of Spider-Man 2 because of his bad back. He also had complaints during the shooting of the third film, it looks doubtful he'd be willing to do two back-to-back. If MaGuire doesn't return one can assume Kirsten Dunst will drop out of the picture as well. Will Jake Gyllenhaal finally be given the chance to play Spidey? Who knows, Gyllenhaal has a full plate with Jerry Bruckheimer's planned Prince of Persia trilogy and he may not have time to fit Spider-Man into the picture.

Sony may have to clean house and bring in some new talent for Spider-Man 4 and 5 but I think it's a great idea to shoot the two films simultaneously. Releasing two films back-t0-back is great for the studio's wallet but it's also a treat for fans who don't have to wait years in-between flicks. Imagine the Lord of the Rings trilogy with three years separating each film, it just wouldn't be the same experience.

What do you guys think? Should Sony shoot Spider-Man 4 and 5 at the same time or should they take things slow and approach each film separately? Who do you think would make a great Peter Parker? What about Mary Jane? Post a comment and we'll start up a discussion.


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Microsoft Unveils Xbox's 2008 Lineup

Microsoft has announced which first-party games will grace the Xbox 360 in 2008.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

It's never too late to make plans. Well, at least Microsoft thinks so. It may be May, five months into the new year, but MS has come forward and announced their lineup of first-party titles they plan to release in the remaining seven months of 2008. The following list may not share any surprises but it does give a good look at what you'll probably be playing on your 360 in the near future.

GEARS OF WAR 2 (Epic Games)

The sequel to 2006's groundbreaking shooter, Gears of War 2 promises a plethora of new features as well as improvements upon the successes of the original. Gamers will once again join up with Marcus Fenix and his crew to fight a Locust horde that's more brutal and aggressive than ever. Gears of War 2 will feature a deeper and more engaging story, bigger and more intense boss battles, new weapons and characters, and improvements on one of the best co-op experiences ever.
Release Date: November

FABLE 2 (Lionhead Studios)

Fans of the first Fable should already be drooling over the thought of Fable 2. Peter Molyneux and his team at Lionhead Studios have been hard at work implementing a more dynamic game world as well as an immersive and cinematic storytelling experience for the sequel to 2005's hit RPG. Also promised is a deep co-op mode allowing gamers to team up, and level up, with their friends. Although, it hasn't yet been confirmed whether or not co-op will be available online over Xbox Live.
Release Date: October


The sequel to 2004's incredibly difficult Ninja Gaiden will feature an all-new gameplay engine as well as weapons and enemies not previously seen in the original game. Follow Ryu Hayabusa as he sets out to avenge his clan and stop the destruction of the human race.
Release Date: June 3rd

TOO HUMAN (Silicon Knights)

Too Human may look like your typical hack-and-slash action game at first glance but Microsoft and Silicon Knights feel as if the game has some potential. Mixing action elements with an RPG level-up system Too Human promises battles of epic proportions along with a solid variety of both close-quarters and long-range combat. Too Human will also feature a co-op mode so you can explore the futuristic take on Norse mythology with a friend.
Release Date: August 19th


The third Banjo-Kazooie game is the first on a next-gen console and it's headed to the Xbox 360 in 2008. The game's premise is simple; collect items to build all sorts of vehicles and contraptions to beat the game however you choose. Gamers can address each situation according to their unique playstyle. Want to drive to your objective? Build a car. Want to fly? Find the parts you need to build a flying machine. Nuts & Bolts will also feature online multiplayer true to the style of the franchise.
Release Date: Winter 2008

That wraps up a pretty solid list of first-party titles Microsoft is releasing for the Xbox 360 in 2008. Which games are you most excited for? Post a comment and let us know what games you are awaiting in 2008, both for the Xbox 360 and other consoles.

And, as always, check back to MediaZEALOT for the latest video game news.


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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Welcome to a World Without Rules

The marketing campaign for The Dark Knight has hit it out of the park yet again.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

With less than three months until release the marketing for The Dark Knight is really starting to heat up. The unveiling of a new trailer is imminent, viral campaigns are going stronger than ever, and photos and press from the flick are being spread all over the net. Today Warner Bros upped the ante, revealing a new poster for the public to feast on. Check it out below.

The art of the one-sheet, or movie poster, is easily one of my favourite parts of the cinema experience. It's the perfect piece of film memorabilia, providing a window into the movie it portrays. This new poster for The Dark Knight is no exception. It's visual and symbolic but is able to stay open for interpretation. Christian Bale's Batman looks badass as always, especially in the new suit, as the blazing emblem above menacingly glares down at him. And, while there's no trace of The Joker in this poster just seeing the signal aflame is enough to bring him to mind.

The Dark Knight has really made its mark when it comes to quality posters. The marketing team has continued to one-up previous posters with each new release, something to be proud of considering the excellence of the initial teaser sheet. It's incredibly hard to pick a favourite out of the lot and I'll probably end up buying them all.

What do you guys think of the new poster for The Dark Knight? Which TDK poster have you named as your favourite? Post a comment and let us know what you think.

The Dark Knight hits theatres on July 18th. Are you ready for a world without rules?


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Friday, April 18, 2008

New Spirit Poster

A new poster for Frank Miller's film adaptation of Will Eisner's The Spirit has hit the net.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

I was initially excited for a Frank Miller-directed The Spirit. Miller is a visionary in the comic book world and I was interested to see how he would translate the iconic character of The Spirit to the silver screen. My anticipation began to rise as Gabriel Macht, Sam Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, and Paz Vega all signed on to do the film. It's all been downhill from there. First it was the announcement that Miller would shoot the flick in sheer green-screen environments. Then it was revealed that Miller had changed the traditional colour-scheme of The Spirit from blue and white to black and red. Then the Sin City-esque teaser posters came out. Then the piss-poor set photos.

Now we have an official one-sheet. It's gritty, it's dark, it screams Frank Miller. Check it out below.

I have no problem with changing details when adapting a book, comic, whatever. However, I do have a problem with changing the tone of the source material. Will Eisner's The Spirit may have been chock full of noir and crime drama, Miller's got that down pat, but it was also lighthearted and romantic. Eisner's stories were often comedic and rarely dipped too deep into dark themes or disturbing content. That's not to say Eisner steered clear of gritty stories, he didn't, but he grounded his Spirit in a world where slapstick violence and comedy were key.

Frank Miller's vision of The Spirit doesn't seem to match. It's as if the writer/director picked up the character and plopped him down in his Sin City universe. It's a disgrace to the source material and it's a sign of disrespect o the deceased Will Eisner.

What do you guys think? Am I being too harsh on Miller or do I have a case here? Post a comment and let me know what you think about the above poster and Miller's vision for The Spirit.


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Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Announced

Midway is pitting their Mortal Kombat lineup against all your favourite DC heroes.
by Larry_Chimp_Man

Midway is shaking things up with one of their flagship franchises. Mortal Kombat, the fighting game infamous for 0ver-the-top blood and gore, gruesome finishing moves, and a boat-load of attitude, is adding a lineup of guest fighters into the fray. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (previously known as Mortal Kombat 8) will allow all your favourites from both the MK and DC universes to smash heads. Midway hopes the inclusion of DC heroes will kick their once-unstoppable fighting franchise back into top gear. An announcement trailer was released today, check it out below.

I'm not that impressed. The fighting looks incredibly stiff and the character models just aren't doing it for me. I'm not a fan of the Batman model Midway is using as he looks bland and boring. I would have preferred something more stylized for the Dark Knight.

Also, I've heard that because DC is involved in this Mortal Kombat release Midway has toned down the blood and completely removed fatalities from the game. It makes sense, I couldn't imagine DC signing on to a project that would allow Scorpion rip Batman's head off. However, this is sure to piss off quite a few MK fans. The series is all about the over-the-top violence and bloody fatalities, throw all that out the window and you have just another typical fighting game.

It'll be interesting to see where this game goes. I'll most likely pick it up for the chance to fight with Batman, The Joker, and all my favourite DC heroes. Although, reading up on the lack of gore and watching the above trailer make me question if MK vs DCU will be any good. It'll be interesting to see if this sparks any word from the Capcom camp about the possibility of a future Marvel vs Capcom game.

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe hits shelves this fall and will be available for the Xbox 360 and PS3.


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amazing Spider-Man #555-557 Review

Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo deliver a three-issue Spidey treat.
by Danger

The current Amazing Spider-Man storyline helmed by both Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo is a continuation of the no-strings-attached, Brand New Day Spider-Man. Sometime in the later half of 2007 Marvel announced that their Amazing Spider-Man title would hit the shelves three times a month. Four different creative teams were brought in with a month each to tell their story. Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo make up the final team to deliver their take on a post-One More Day Spider-man.

Amazing Spider-Man #555 kicks off the three issue arc and sets the story off strong. New York has been overrun by a freak snow storm, but is it of natural occurrence or is something else working behind the scenes? Can Spidey find out the real reason behind the frostbite-inducing cold that has taken over his city? Will Spider-Man be enough to save the day?

Zeb Wells, known best for his Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways tie-in, is a writer who understands what Spidey is all about. Wells' Spidey is a loudmouth but easy to relate to, he makes mistakes and shows weakness but is heroic when need be. It appears as if Marvel is breeding Wells to be one of their top new writers and have decided to test his chops with his turn on an A-list character book. I for one, believe that he's done a great job on the book and look forward to seeing a lot more from him.

Canadian artist Chris Bachalo is no stranger to Marvel Comics. After getting his start on DC's The Sandman, followed by some other collaborations with Neil Gaiman, Chris was hired by Marvel. Chris co-created Generation X with Scott Lobdell, later moving on to do a plethora of X-Men books. It's hard to find artists that 'get' Spider-Man but Bachalo knows what he's doing with the character. His expressions are wild and his Spidey is very well defined.

Spider-Man has gone through some tough times over the year. Flip-flopping through two sides of a war, losing friends and allies, and losing the love of his life. Thanks to the controversial One More Day story arc he has a chance to start things fresh. But is this a good or a bad thing for Spider-Man? So far I'm enjoying most of what has come out of it, but I do hope that things do get better for both Peter and the readers.

One Sentence Review: Quite possibly my favourite storyline out of the first four creator groups. | 8.0/10

Larry_Chimp_Man's Second Opinion: The past three issues of Amazing Spider-Man deliver one of the best Spidey arcs within recent memory. Spider-Man should be, above all, about fun and over the past year we've seen all of that stripped out of the character during the Back in Black and One More Day storylines. Brand New Day was a chance to rectify the Wallcrawler and return him to his roots. The first three arcs were hit and miss, unable to bring back the Spidey we all know and love. This fourth arc, however, is right on the money. Zeb Wells writes a Spidey that is witty yet human. Wells shows Spider-Man's vulnerability but doesn't dwell on it, allowing the character to remain light in dark situations. Chris Bachalo is perfect for Spider-Man and his work feels like a taste of a more mature Humberto Ramos. He's characters are very well animated and his panels are extremely detailed yet beautifully composed. One can hope we see Wells and Bachalo back on a Spidey book in the near future as they have found a way out of the mess that is Brand New Day and delivered an excellent Spider-Man arc.

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