Superman Returns co-writer Michael Dougherty and Hostel director Eli Roth
will each write an episode of Heroes: Origins, the upcoming spinoff prequel
series to NBC's hit SF show.
Roth also will direct his episode of the series, which introduces new characters
as they discover their extraordinary powers.
Roth and Dougherty, both Heroes fans, join another big supporter of the
show, Kevin Smith, who also is set to write and direct an episode of the
Universal Media Studios-produced Heroes: Origins.
SPIDERWICK HELMER LEARNED FAST
Mark Waters, director of the upcoming fantasy film The Spiderwick Chronicles,
said that his extensive experience didn't quite prepare him for the challenges
of making the F/X-heavy movie.
Based on the books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, The Spiderwick Chronicles
follows the Grace children (Freddie Highmore as the twins Jared and Simon
and Sarah Bolger as Mallory), who embark on a great adventure involving
sprites, boggarts, goblins and an ogre named Mulgarath (Nick Nolte) after
they discover a book called Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical
World Around You.
"There's no question that just the sheer apparatus of having hundreds and
hundreds of animators working for you in post-production is something that
I've never even come close to doing before," said Waters (Freaky Friday,
Mean Girls and Just Like Heaven).
"I mean, I would say that the preparation that was good for working on
this movie was that I've kind of worked with children before," Waters added.
"I've worked with models before, which is like working with children, you
know? So the idea of having Freddie Highmore have to act opposite himself
... he's a young man, and it's an extremely difficult part. And I was able
to kind of like coax him through it. And all of these imaginary creatures
he was acting opposite, which basically were acted by me opposite him to
give him the proper feeling. That kind of work is not how you work with
David Strathairn [who plays Arthur Spiderwick], and working with more experienced
actors is a whole different mode."
Waters, whose experience in fantasy filmmaking is limited and whose familiarity
with the intricacies of visual effects was even more limited, credits his
Spiderwick Chronicles collaborators with helping him through the process.
"I have Caleb Deschanel [National Treasure, The Right Stuff] as my [cinematographer],"
he said. "Michael Kahn [most of Steven Spielberg's films, including Close
Encounters] was my editor. Jim Bissell  is my production designer.
James Horner [Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan] is doing the score. So I
have had this incredible A-team put around me who've done these movies
before, and I am not shy enough to [not] say, 'Hey, tell me how we can
make this better.' Everyone's input has been great."
JUSTICE LEAGUE GOES WITH MILLER
Brothers has announced that George Miller (Happy Feet, Mad Max) will direct
the live-action feature film based on DC Comics' Justice League of America.
The studio is eager to have the film, due in the summer of 2009, locked
down in advance of an anticipated writer's strike in Hollywood.
group includes all of DC's major superhero characters, including Superman,
Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Green Lantern. Some of those
characters currently have their own films in the works, complicating the
development of Justice League, but the studio is so keen on the script,
by Kieran and Michele Mulroney, it has put other projects—such as the next
Superman film—on the back burner.
It has even been said that Christian Bale and Brandon Routh, who played
Batman and Superman in recent solo films, will not appear in Justice League.
Christopher Nolan, who directed Batman Begins and the upcoming Dark Knight,
would prefer that Warners delay Justice League until after he finishes
Batman projects in development; Bale has also let his uneasiness about
Justice League be known.
The studio considered making Justice League as an animated film, but is
determined that it will be an effects-driven, live-action film despite
the potential difficulties in casting.
HIGHLANDER’S PAUL GOES TO SOURCE
Adrian Paul, star and executive producer of the upcoming SCI FI original
movie Highlander: The Source, said that film five in the long-running film
and television franchise examines the source of immortality. Paul reprises
his role as the long-lived Scottish swordsman Duncan MacLeod in Highlander:
The Source, which premieres Sept. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
"Everything has gone to pot, basically," Paul said in an interview. "The
world is sitting in another place and time, and he's kind of lost hope
as to ever being anybody or achieving anything. Everybody keeps saying,
'You're the one. You're the guy. But virtually everyone he knows has died,
and so he's kind of like, 'OK, I don't know what to do anymore with whom
I am or what I'm supposed to be here for.'"
Further complicating the situation, the love of MacLeod's life, Anna Teshemka
(Thekla Reuten), has inexplicably left him. "And now his only intent is
he just wants to find her," Paul said. "What ends up happening is that
he finds her, but he finds her while she's on the quest with these other
Immortals for the Source."
Paul said that The Source is different in structure from previous Highlander
projects. "This was a more linear story," Paul said. "It had no flashbacks,
which surprised me, actually, at first, because I always loved doing the
flashbacks, and I know the fans loved them. I think the idea was really
good, in the sense that ... it became a quest movie. All the others had
a different feel to them and were a little more convoluted. This one has
one storyline that goes all the way through."
HOLD ON ANDREW – TRANSFORMERS
Despite recent comments from producer Don Murphy and director Michael Bay,
it appears Paramount has set a release date for Transformers 2 -- June
29, 2009. It's still a long while off, which means anything can happen.
Who would have thought?
MEMBERS JUST LIKE US
– ICS Members answer ‘5 in a Row’
There will be a brief, one page 5 question interview
each month with and ICS member.
This month John Weber has stepped up to participate
and answer some questions.
1. Favorite rock band tee shirt?
The Beatles - the classic "Meet The Beatles" black-and-white
half-shaded faces on a black T-shirt. I just recently bought it from Amazon.com,
boy is it sweet!
2. Favorite movie animal?
Milo - Jim Carrey's dog in "The Mask". An obedient
and loving Jack Russell Terrier, who would do anything to help his master,
even while under the influence of the mysterious mask himself. (More info
about Milo and a small photo can be found at this Jack Russell Terrier
3. Favorite Tote bag?
My big black "Dark Shadows" tote bag with the extra-special
bonus of having a zipper, to keep out the elements on rainy days and to
protect my valuable collectibles on my show-and-tell nights at ICS meetings
(which is EVERY meeting, pretty much).
4. Most inspirational for you Movie poster in
your house? (and picture)
"Time After Time" - still my favorite movie poster
(original 30x40 on heavy cardstock - NEVER folded), and it's been framed
on my living room wall for over 10 years now (except for that one day last
month, when I had to temporarily take it out of its frame so that Malcolm
McDowall could sign it at Horrorfind.)
5. Favorite Dark Shadows episode - name just one
Original "Dark Shadows" episode #230 (first telecast
on 05/12/67). From the black-and-white "early Barnabas" period, when he
was still pretty nasty. Barnabas summons the recently-bitten Maggie to
Eagle Hill Cemetery, where he plans to make her his vampire bride. But
Willie has a crisis of conscience, and defies his master by calling Maggie's
friends (while cleverly disguising his voice) to tell them where to find
her before it's too late. Help arrives just in time, forcing Barnabas and
Willie to hide in the Collins Mausoleum. After Maggie and the others depart,
a furious Barnabas realizes that Willie must have betrayed him. Barnabas
then punishes Willie by beating him with his wolf's-head cane. Wow! Great
fun for the whole family!
(Here is a link to a short YouTube clip featuring all
the best parts from this particular episode! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex-HDeIib5w&mode=related&search)
(And more info about this particular episode and the
ones that immediately follow can be found at this link: http://www.collinwood.net/episodes/67-07.htm)
(Betsy is still pondering how Kong, the great Ape, lost to a Jack Russell
MOVIE MADNESS MEDUSA MOVIE MADNESS
Reviewed by our own ICS Medusa
What do you call a British slasher flick steeped in black
humor and gore with the tag line 'Another bloody office outing' -
besides brilliant? "Severance".
Released in 2006 it's directed and co-written by
Christopher Smith. This film is just the way I like them. It's inventive
and original in so many ways you won't be able to guess what's next, and
the title says it all.
Seven staff members for an arms dealer travel to a remote
lodge in Hungary for one of those irritating team-building weekends.
Everything starts to go wrong from the get-go. The cool thing is
you just don't how or who or when. Smith's directing keeps you on
the edge without the usual cheap teasers. The characters aren't stereotyped
and you get a small glimpse of their personalities through the dark humor.
But you don't get so invested that you end up rooting for them. And once
the carnage begins, it's executed relentlessly in unusual and different
In the end it didn't matter to me who came out on top
in this movie.- I was just along for the ride and what a wild one it was.
Lots of surprises and lots of dark fun!
For even more surprises don't read any reviews or even
the Netflix description beforehand. Go in blind and come out laughing.
I rate this movie a "full head of hissing snakes".
Till next time –
Hugs and hisses, MEDUSA
By Mike Schilling
Once every great while I run across
a movie that reminds me why I go to the movies to begin with. In my earlier
years, my Dad and I would look to spend some time together at the local
movie house. We would go to laugh, to be thrilled, to be dazzled by faraway
places that featured larger-than-life characters, but above all we would
go just to have a good time in general, not just between us two, but with
all the other folks sitting there together in that magical enclosure of
an auditorium where anything and everything could happen.
Watching STARDUST, both the movie
itself, and the experience of checking it out in the theatre, reminded
me of those days. I hate to tap into a huge keg of cliché’, but
it seems apropos to say that they don’t make ‘em like this much anymore.
The good guys are good, yet likable. The bad guys (or gals) are REALLY
bad, (and they like it that way), the settings are absolutely dazzling.
And, yes, the good guys can still win the day...but not without a world
of trouble coming their way first.
features a number of interlocking characters and storylines that would
make explaining the plot both time-consuming and a great disservice to
the potential viewer. The basic framework is that our young hero, in order
to prove his love for a lovely but venal local girl, must find and bring
back a fallen star that has plummeted to Earth outside his protective little
village called Wall, so called because of the large wall that surrounds
it and acts as a barrier between it and the magical and dangerous outside
However, not just the hero, Tristan,
seeks the star for their own ends. A trio of witches wants to capture her
as well and literally devour her heart so that they can re-attain their
youthful beauty, and they will stop at nothing to attain it. Meanwhile,
the special locket that is around our heroine’s neck can determine the
next king of the local monarchy called Stronghold, therefore a whole team
of opportunistic siblings are winding their way through the countryside
to claim their prize. With these pieces in place, what follows is a grand
and thrilling adventure that combines all of the best elements of fantasy,
sci/fi and fantastical love story that makes for a genuinely crowd-pleasing
experience of the first order.
is uniformly excellent. I cannot recall the names of all of the lead actors,
sadly. However, all fit their roles well and seem completely committed
to telling the story without any shortcuts. Claire Danes is wonderful as
our heroine. Initially, of course, you notice her beauty. But as the movie
progresses she seems to take on her own glow, and that’s not just because
of the great effects work in the picture. She uses a combination of innocence,
wit, and warmth to quickly work her way into the heart of our hero and
the audience itself.
As a secondary, but still very
central, character in the film, Robert DeNiro plays Captain Shakespeare,
who happens to command a magnificent airship that is instrumental to Tristan
and his unique charge during the unfolding of their story. DeNiro has been
such a superlative actor for so very long in so many “important” pictures
that I think we as an audience may have missed out on the idea of him actually
having fun with a role...and he is definitely getting into it for all he’s
worth as the gruff and grizzled captain who definitely is not all that
he appears to be. His captain is such a joy to watch that the audience
can’t help but follow along with anything that comes his way. Peter O’Toole
makes a cameo as the outgoing King of Stronghold, and his presence definitely
further legitimizes the entire cast, as does the dulcet tones of Ian McKellan
as the narrator.
Beyond all this is Michelle Pfeiffer
as the witch-sister who is chosen to seek the star and literally rip her
heart out. In all her various guises, weather she is a frightful hag with
wads of hair falling out, or as her delicious younger self, Ms. Pfeiffer
has never been more alluring or vicious. Regardless of whether she is playing
for laughs or straight scares, you find yourself completely commanded by
her screen presence. In my opinion, she’s never been better...a true movie
star, through and through.
the memorable actors and characters involved, the movie is also helped
a great deal by some dazzling effects work, which embellishes, yet doesn’t
detract, from the story. Also, the musical score is very exciting and well-matched
to the adventures on-screen.
short, what we have here is a movie that, quite simply, has a little something
for everybody. Great cast, wonderful characters, classic good vs. evil
storyline, good music, and solid effects. If you love fantastical movies,
you’ll have a hard time finding better than STARDUST this year…or most
any other year, for that matter.
Good bye farewellsfarewellsfarewells
William Tuttle, Makeup genius died at the age of 95 last
week. Having spent some 35 years working for MGM, Mr. Tuttle worked extensively
on the original Twilight Zone, and, amongst others, did the incredible
transformation of Tony Randall in THE 7 FACES OF DR. LAO, the Morlocks
for George Pal's THE TIME MACHINE and transformed Peter Boyle into the
lovable monster in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.
Joel Fein, Oscar-nominated sound mixer for The Buddy Holly
Story. He was also a recording sound mixer for Blade Runner and Fletch
Lives and the restorations of Bridge on the River Kwai and Spartacus. As
a sound re-recording mixer, he worked on Back to the Future II, Midnight
Run, The Hard Way, Ghost Dad and Gary Sinise's Of Mice and Men, and as
a score mixer, he worked on Bachelor Party. Later in his life he concentrated
on television work, for which he won an Emmy and was nominated twice more.
He died September 22 in Wichita.
Alice Ghostley, Character actress (pictured) best known
for her television roles on Bewitched and Designing Women. She is familiar
to Grease fans as the film's automotive shop teacher, Mrs. Murdock. She
also appears in The Graduate, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Flim-Flam Man,
The Odd Couple II and as herself in the documentary Broadway: Beyond the
Golden Age. She died of cancer September 21, in Studio City, California.
CALENDER OF EVENTS