Saturday, March 8, 2008

Righteous Kill Teaser

The pair you've been waiting for. De Niro and Pacino team up for Righteous Kill.

It's hard to believe that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have never acted alongside one another. Sure, the two were both in The Godfather: Part II and Heat but only shared one scene across both films. That stat will be thrown out the window this September as the two Oscar-winning actors are detective partners in Righteous Kill.

Today Overture Films released the first official teaser trailer for the film. Check it out below or visit Yahoo Movies to watch it in HD.

I quite enjoyed this teaser. The chemistry between De Niro and Pacino is evident from the get go and this film looks like it'll be a lot of fun. The two legendary actors have been mailing it in lately with simply average performances and I hope this film can be a return to what made them so special earlier in their careers. I'm not so sure about Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson though as he's quite annoying, hopefully he's offed fairly quickly. I had also completely forgotten that Carla Gugino was in this flick and seeing her in the teaser was a pleasant reminder.

However, I have heard quite a few bad things about the script and the way director Jon Avnet (88 Minutes) has handled the film. Many are saying Righteous Kill will be a failure and that it's a surprise both Pacino and De Niro signed on to such a bomb of a project. This is all currently speculation and rumours, we won't know until September whether or not Righteous Kill will be any good.

Check back to MediaZEALOT for information on Righteous Kill leading up to its September 12th release date.


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Jeff Smith's Bone Optioned by Warner

The Eisner Award Winning comic series has a date with the silver screen.

According to The Hollywood Reporter Jeff Smith's Bone is set for a film adaptation. Warner Bros has optioned the movie and brought in producer Dan Lin to supervise the project. Lin is one of the executives involved with the Thundercats movie and has also worked on The Doom Patrol and Masters of the Universe. A director has not yet been attached and there have been no details on what style of animation the film will employ.

I'm not too excited about a Bone adaptation. While I'm a big fan of the comic series I can't see the film sharing the same tone as the books. Bone is great because Smith blends light and dark and isn't afraid to take risks. The film would no doubt be geared towards a children's audience and would have to gear down and play it safe. There are some characters and situations in the comics that would have to be removed or changed in the adaptation to keep this film kid-friendly.

Warner has brought Smith on board as executive producer allowing him to overlook the project. Hopefully he can help maintain the integrity of his comic book creation.

I am skeptical of this project and will continue to be so until I hear more about it. Bone has the potential to be an amazing animated film. However, I'm not so sure it will happen.

Can Warner Bros put out a solid Bone adaptation? Who would be the best choice to direct? Who would you cast as the voice of Fone Bone? Post a comment and let me know what you think.


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Friday, March 7, 2008

Tropic Thunder Teaser Trailer

Shit blows up.

Two days ago we brought you details and the first picture from Tropic Thunder featuring Robert Downey Jr in blackface. Today a red band teaser trailer for the Ben Stiller directed war comedy hit the net. Click HERE to skip age verification and check it out (unfortunately it can currently only be seen on the official site).

The teaser isn't anything special but showcases what looks like some pretty funny footage. Who would have guessed Robert Downey Jr looks even funnier as a black dude while moving? It's also cool to see Danny McBride and Jay Baruchel get trailer credits.

I'm looking forward to seeing more footage from Tropic Thunder. While Ben Stiller has a track record of garbage this film looks like it has the potential to be pretty funny. Apparently Ben Stiller got the idea for this flick while on the set of Spielberg's Empire of the Sun back in the 80's.

What do you guys think of this teaser? Did you think enough footage was shown to get a buzz going for this flick? How do you feel about the influx of red band trailers hitting the net recently? Post a comment and let me know.

Tropic Thunder hits theatres August 15th.


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McFarlane's Halo Figures are Pure Gold

McFarlane Toys has raised the bar with their most recent video game action-figure line.

I am not the type of person to get excited by an action-figure. Toys are cool and I'm definitely a collector but I almost never obsess over what many consider small pieces of plastic. Sure, I'll occasionally buy what I consider to be a good looking figure or statue but rarely do I find myself infatuated with the hobby. McFarlane Toys has changed all that with their recent Halo action-figure release.

These figures are awesome. While they may be smaller than your usual action-figure at 5" scale the Halo figures are highly detailed and look amazing. They also feature a ton of practical articulation resulting in super-poseable action-figures. McFarlane Toys hasn't ventured into the land of articulated figures for years but they have with this series and it's a complete success.

I'm usually not a fan of articulation on figures. The ball-joints used for movement are usually far larger than they need be and completely take away from a figure's look. For example, I could never get into the Marvel Legends series simply because I couldn't look past the overly large joints on the shoulders and hips. This is where McFarlane's Halo series really shines. The articulation is excellent providing a huge range of movement but it's sleek and extremely well hidden. The joints are disguised on each figure and don't take away away from the look of the character.

The articulation also doesn't have very many limitations. Unlike other poseable action-figures the Halo toys are able to stand in a very wide range of poses and stances. My current set-up showcases Master Chief running and gunning after a Grunt who has turned to flee the scene. It looks great and doesn't feel static like many other action-figure lines.

Another thing that has gotten me hooked on these action-figures is the ability to accessorize. Almost every figure in the series comes with a gun from the Halo universe, some even ship packaged with a grenade. This isn't anything revolutionary. However, what does get me excited is the possibility of a full range of weaponry. As with most first person shooters guns in the Halo universe are interchangeable. If the Master Chief kills a grunt he can pick up the gun of his fallen victim and use it in combat. This is where things get cool. Each gun has a peg that allows the accessory to be pinned to Master Chief's back or hip similar to what's seen in Halo 3. I can therefore customize the action-figure with a ton of different weapon combinations. Hopefully McFarlane chooses to release a few Halo weapons packs in the near future.

I've really enjoyed what McFarlane Toys have done with this action-figure line. The first series of Halo toys has some great looking figures and I can't wait for series 2 and 3 to hit stores soon.

These figures are selling out all across North America at lightning speed. Click HERE to secure your McFarlane Halo action-figures over at Amazon before they disappear.

Did you pick up any of the new Halo figures? What do you think of them? Have you created any interesting dioramas or set-ups with them? Post a comment and tell us about it.


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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Final Two Iron Man One-Sheets Revealed

Paramount has released images of what is to be the final two posters in the film's campaign.

The final two Iron Man one-sheets have been revealed and it they look terrific. Paramount's marketing team has done an amazing job with the film's posters so far and these two continue that trend. Check it out below.

I'm really digging the first poster's dark image of Iron Man offset by the floating heads on the right. The poster has a great natural sense of balance and looks great. Robert Downey Jr and Terrence Howard have a very stoic look about them and Jeff Bridges is just too intense to ignore. This is one of the best one-sheets I've seen so far this year. Hopefully I can pick one up on eBay to add to my collection.

The second poster isn't as strong but is still quite effective, albeit very similar to the first. Why Paramount would release two almost-identical posters is beyond me. If I were the movie studio's marketing team I would have chosen to use only one of the above one-sheets, not both.

What do you think of the final two Iron Man movie posters? Post a comment and share your opinion.

The Jon Favreau directed Iron Man hits theatres on May 2nd.


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Top 5: Great Ongoing Non-Superhero Comic Series That You’re Probably Not Reading

Put down The Amazing Spider-Man and pick up something different. MediaZealot's new writer cuts the usual Top 10 list to 5 in the first of a series of comic book recommendations.
by dares

I really like talking about comics. I sometimes forget this, but when I start talking to a like-minded reader about a series that I’m digging, I can go on for hours. It’s been documented. I mean, I honestly think I could talk about Runaways forever. Or just all the time without even stopping.

So I decided to write about a few series that I like and, after compiling a list that was dominated by superhero titles, I thought that it would probably be wise to break them down into different lists. This is the first one.

I also wanted to debut on MediaZEALOT with the longest title ever.

These are not listed in any linear fashion (but if you want to read it in any particular order, go bananas).

Scott Pilgrim (Bryan Lee O’Malley)

If you like fun, you will love Scott Pilgrim. If you are not lame, you will love Scott Pilgrim. If you still have a soul, you will love Scott Pilgrim.

I wait eagerly--hands clasped in school-girlish anticipation--all year for a new volume of this book. I’m not the only one. Oh no. I know for a fact that perennial cool kids Michael Cera and Jonah Hill are also fans of Bryan O’Malley’s wickedly-keen graphic novel series.

And if that’s not enough of a reason for you to be checking it out, Edgar Wright, the man who brought you Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, is attached to direct the movie adaptation. So if you want to maintain your pretentious indie cred, so that, after watching the movie with a group of friends, you can reply, quite jerkily, that you read the graphic novels and while you thought the movie great, it left out a lot of your favorite and best parts of the comic, then you should be picking up the four volumes out right now.

If you want to do one awesome thing in your life before you die, read Scott Pilgrim. It will leave you feeling fulfilled.

Scalped (Jason Aaron & R. M. Guéra)

I love Scalped. I love it so much that I had a mild panic attack when I saw the Newsarama headline announcing that Jason Aaron had signed an exclusive deal to Marvel Comics. I read the article. I read that he was going to be writing an arc on Wolverine and would be the new ongoing writer of Ghost Rider. I would have been ecstatic, had I not been hyperventilating, worried about the fate of his vertigo series.

Then I started breathing easy. His Marvel exclusive would not affect his work on Scalped.

Scalped is that good. It’s good enough to throw me into complete disarray. I want ten volumes of this series. I want it to take up as much shelf space as Preacher and Y: The Last Man.
Jason Aaron is a writer that everyone should be keeping an eye on. If you need further convincing read his first series, a six-issue mini series called “The Other Side”. He’s even made me read a Ripclaw book. I swear to God. Ripclaw!

If you’re looking for one of the best crime comics out right now, or if you need a new Vertigo series to fill the void that Y: The Last Man has left, pick up the first two trades of Scalped.

Hawaiian Dick (B. Clay Moore, Steven Griffin & Scott Chanler)

Hawaiian Dick is akin to reading an old pulp novel. Or, it’s sort of like reading three pulp novels at once and having them all connect succinctly.

B. Clay Moore has created a comic book pastiche, the best parts of film noir and supernatural pulp fiction, setting it in 1950’s Hawaii. His original pitch (included in the second graphic novel collection) describes the series as “the X-Files meets the Rockford Files”, which sort of makes me giggle, but it’s pretty much on the nose.

Moore has formed a “virtual studio” called Atomic Revolver with the likes of Jason Aaron and Tony Moore (two other creators with series on this list).

I highly recommend picking up the first two graphic novels, which collect the first two miniseries of Hawaiian Dick.

Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse (Ben Templesmith)

You’ve probably seen Ben Templesmith’s work somewhere before. The illustrator and co-creator of Steve Nile’s “30 Days of Night” and Warren Ellis’ “Fell”, has his own series.
Well it’s technically his second series.

But. Ongoing. Right?

Wormwood is a very entertaining dark comedy that features some of the weirdest characters in comics. Templesmith mixes dry humor and sardonic wit with moments of slapstick and blends them perfectly together.

It also has some very, very pretty pictures. The colors are a bonus.

You can check out the first Wormwood series released by IDW and, if you’re into the single issues, start on the current miniseries, Calamari Rising.

The Walking Dead (Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore & Charlie Adlard)

Robert Kirkman is pure evil. He is evil for a variety of reasons, but the biggest reason, the big bold outstanding balance on his monthly bill of evil can be credited to The Walking Dead.

He does something with The Walking Dead. He does something so disgusting and perverse, that I still get physically upset thinking about it. Robert Kirkman makes you care about the characters in the book. He can control your emotions with a comic book. The worse part of it is that you don’t even realize it until they are put in danger. You become emotionally involved with fictional characters and there is nothing you’ll be able to do about it.

He has other books too. That’s the scary thing. I could cope with this series better if it was his only one. If this was his life’s work. But it isn’t. He has books like Invincible and The Astounding Wolf-Man, which are just as good as The Walking Dead.

He also has another zombie book, about superhero zombies, or something. It’s way less popular.

Pure evil.

The Walking Dead is a thoroughly entertaining book, but be warned: once you read the first volume, there is no turning back. It will be a part of your life forever. This comic book will become a necessity. You will go through withdrawals that can only be satisfied with more Walking Dead. Be prepared.

So that’s it for this list. Look out for one featuring a longer title and maybe, possibly superheroes soon.

Later days!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Robert Downey Jr To Play a Black Dude

The Iron Man actor will play a white man who's racially reconfigured in the upcoming Ben Stiller flick Tropic Thunder.

This is definitely classified as odd. I'm really jumping aboard the Robert Downey Jr bandwagon. I've been a fan of the New York-born actor for years but find myself appreciating him more with every new role he takes on. He has a presence on screen and has the ablility to steal every scene he's in. He's got the inevitably successful Iron Man movie on the horizon and, apparently, a Ben Stiller war flick where he plays a black dude.

Tropic Thunder is a film about big-ego actors who take roles in a Vietnam war epic. After unforeseen events unfold on set the actors find themselves thrust into a real war zone and must fight to survive. Downey Jr plays Kirk Lazarus, an oscar-winning actor who's cast in the war film. However, Lazarus' character was originally written for a black man. To compensate, Lazarus dyes his skin black for a more "authentic approach". See the picture above? That's Downey Jr in the middle.

Jack Black, Tobey Maguire, Nick Nolte, Bill Hader, Matthew McConaughey, and Justin Theroux are also part of the cast as is Tom Cruise, who'll be donning a fat suit for the film.

It's tough not to get a bit excited for Tropic Thunder. Ben Stiller has been horrible for the past five years but the film has such a terrific cast. All these actors wouldn't sign on unless the film had some potential.

Tropic Thunder hits theatres on August 15th.


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I Am Legend Alternate Ending

An alternate ending of the film has leaked its way onto YouTube.

One of the special features planned for the March 18 release date of I Am Legend on DVD and Blu-ray is an alternate ending. Originally director Francis Lawrence and Warner Bros had shot and planned to use a different ending but test audiences made them change their mind. A video of the alternate ending has leaked onto YouTube just two-weeks prior to the DVD release. The video file was pulled by YouTube's staff but has been uploaded elsewhere online, check it out below.

While this ending doesn't come close to saving what I thought was a poor film I like this finale a lot more than the one used theatrically. It leaves more open for interpretation and feels like better suited end to Robert Neville's character arc. However, I would have preferred the ending used in the book over both of the filmed conclusions. Also, how do Robert and Anna drive out of New York? I thought it was established that all the bridges had been shot down to quarantine the city?

I Am Legend hits DVD on March 18th. There will be a single-disc DVD, a special edition featuring a theatrical and alternate version of the film, and Blu-ray and HD DVD versions featuring everything found on the special edition. It is unclear whether or not the alternate version of the film is completely re-cut or whether it just uses the different ending.

Did you see I Am Legend? Which ending do you prefer?


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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Do You Think Y'All Can Handle This?

Danny R. McBride is king of the demo tape in the upcoming April release The Foot Fist Way.

Not many people have yet heard about The Foot Fist Way. The upcoming Paramount Vantage comedy has earned a rating of 9.7 on IMDB and has the entire Judd Apatow crew obsessed. Jonah Hill has labelled the film the "Funniest movie of all time" and comedian Patton Oswalt has been “declaring [The Foot Fist Way] a sui generis work on par with The Big Lebowski”. Check out the red band trailer below.

I've watched the above trailer a few times today and it looks pretty funny. Although, I'm not sure whether or not Danny R. McBride can carry a film on his back so early in his career. The Georgia-born actor has never had a starring role and is mostly unknown to most moviegoers. Hopefully this film is his big break. I enjoyed McBride in Hot Rod and look forward to seeing him in this summer's Judd Apatow-produced Pineapple Express.

It's also hard to buy into all the praise for this film generated from the Apatow camp. While they may genuinely love the film it's also in their best interests to promote an actor they are using in one of their future projects. We'll see come April when the film hits cinemas. The proof is in the pudding.

The Foot Fist Way hits theatres on April 11th. Check back to MediaZEALOT for updates on The Foot Fist Way and Pineapple Express leading up to their release dates.


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Monday, March 3, 2008

Making the Switch to Blu-ray

The time has come to dust off my DVD rack and start fresh.

It appears that Sony has won the high-definition war. Toshiba has dropped their format out of the running and it looks like Blu-ray will take over as the accepted step up from DVD. While Blu-ray discs aren't yet flying off the shelves at the same rate as DVDs they are no doubtably picking up steam. Consumers can now buy Blu-ray with confidence now that Sony controls the entire market. I too have jumped on the Blu-ray bandwagon and have decided that it's time to clean house and embrace the new format.

I've been an avid DVD collector for roughly eight or nine years. I make it a habit to pick up the DVDs of films I enjoyed in theatres and would rather buy a movie than rent one. My collection is a humble one peaking around 150 flicks but I'm proud of the titles I've accumulated over the years. However, I feel it's time to let the majority of my collection go in an attempt to kick start my library of Blu-ray discs.

As of now roughly half of my DVD collection has been listed on eBay. I'm mostly selling the titles that can be replaced on Blu-ray or one's that I'm not very inclined to keep. I'm holding on to all my box-sets and my favourite films but I'll probably end up selling those as soon as I pick them up in high-def. I understand these eBay auctions won't make me anywhere close to the amount of money I spent on these DVDs over the years but that's just the way things work. I figure I'll make more selling them now than I would if I waited; the sooner the better. Selling my collection looks like a good idea right now but could easily backfire.

For starters, who says Blu-ray is going to be the format of the future? Sure, Sony has beaten HD DVD but who's to say another format, say digital downloads, won't come in and steal the spoils? I would hate to sell all my DVDs and end up with a sizable collection of discs from a a format no longer supported. While I'm confident that Blu-ray can stick around for the long haul I still have my doubts.

Has anyone else sold off their entire DVD collection yet and embraced Blu-ray disc? Where did you sell them? How many titles did you sell? Am I making a poor decision by selling my DVD collection? Post a comment and let me know.

You can view and bid on my eBay listings HERE.


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All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder #9 Review

Frank Miller's controversial comic series continues to tell an unconventional Batman tale.

So often Batman is cast in a dark shadow of gloom and depression. He's always brooding and carries the guilt of his parents death as a burden. The character doesn't have a lighter side, at least not in modern comic history, and that's what makes him so iconic. The ninth issue of All Star Batman and Robin brings the character out of the dark. The comic series features a quick witted Batman that's ruthless yet darkly cartoonish. It's a different take on the Dark Knight and feels like something I've never read before.

The ninth issue with Batman and Robin talking with Hal Jordan in a safehouse in Crime Alley. Sounds normal? It's not. Batman, Robin, the room, and all of its contents are painted yellow. To top it all off Batman is serving lemonade. The Green Lantern is obviously not amused by this stunt and shit goes down.

The comic is hilarious and a total riot. I haven't had so much fun reading a Batman book since DC's The Spirit crossover last year. It's obvious that this comic series is not to be taken seriously and that Miller is merely having some fun with his characters.

What I love about Miller's most recent Batman run is how he paints the character as such an unlikable guy. Batman is usually quite the anti-hero, don't get me wrong, but in the All Star universe he's a total dick. Batman isn't the only one to appear different within the pages of All Star B&R, Miller has shaken the foundations of every character in this series.

All Star Batman and Robin is a must-read series. Not for the convoluted story that doesn't seem to be going anywhere but for Frank Miller's crazy antics. Once you accept this book as a character experiment you'll enjoy it much more. Batman is drinking lemonade for Christ's sake, let loose and have a laugh.

One Sentence Review: A riot of an issue featuring a fun and entertaining Batman. | 8.2/10

The tenth issue of All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder hits shelves on April 9th.


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