Friday, August 15, 2008

Heroes Season 3 Preview Goes Live

One of the main problems about the super-powered TV show, Heroes, thus far has been the lack of real bad guys. Sure, Sylar (Zachary Quinto) has been doing his nefarious thing since day one, but since losing his powers in season two and with the recent addition of the immortal - and annoying - Adam Monroe (David Anders), the series has been lacking in effective Big Bads.

That’s all set to change, however, with season three. Subtitled "Villains," we’re told to expect a whole new bunch of evildoers and unexpected character turnarounds.

Tom Cruise Is The Tourist

For a man whose career is apparently not what it once was, Tom Cruise is making plenty of headlines.

Be it for his wonderful cameo in Tropic Thunder, or his attachment to Working Title’s Food Fight, or the news that Valkyrie has changed release date again, or that his long-term producing partner Paula Wagner is stepping down as CEO of their studio, United Artists, or that Angelina Jolie is taking the role in Edwin A. Salt that he had been umming and aahing over, you can’t keep Little Tommy out of the news.

Oh, and by the way, this is not to be confused with that other thriller called The Tourist – the one that George Clooney is attached to. Nor is it to be confused with the Radiohead song from OK Computer. Glad we cleared that up.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

iPhone 3G's Sluggish 3G Could Be Caused By Lousy Chipset

GigaOm quotes Richard Windsor, an analyst with Nomura Securities, in saying that the sluggish 3G performance of the iPhone 3G seen globally (not just with AT&T) could be a result of a lousy chipset.

He says, "we believe that these issues are typical of an immature chipset and radio protocol stack where we are almost certain Infineon is the 3G supplier." Is this true?

AT&T has stated that problems are not on their end in the US, and European countries also stated that they've seen slowness with the iPhone on their network where every other phone was fine. Forums everywhere have been complaining about lousy reception compared to other phones in their network—even in Japan—which secures that it's a hardware issue.

Our guess is that Apple will somewhere down the line either run an update to the protocol stack via an upgrade, or quietly swap out the chipset for a more mature one that may or may not be made by Infineon.

iphone Apps Could Get Influx of VOIP Functionality

While AT&T terms of service don't allow customers to use their 3G internet to provide voice over IP, iPhone users could still save minutes utilizing VOIP over Wi-Fi. And a company named Global IP Solutions plans to release a VOIP software development kit for the iPhone that will not only allow developers to more easily create simple VOIP programs, but add VOIP functionality to the programs we already know and love. And the possibilities are really cool:

Imagine, for instance, playing Pac-Man where the ghosts are other players strategizing in realtime. Or picture Yelp or Urbanspoon packed with a GPS-triangulated chatroom, allowing you to ask others in the area where they like to eat—and if they'd like to meet up for a spontaneous date.

Global IP Solutions is certainly not the only company working on such ideas, but by offering a VOIP SDK to developers, it should make VOIP integration easier for the smaller developer who only has knowledge in one specific area.

The only problem is that even if these VOIP functions are within AT&T's Terms of Service, the resulting applications still need to be approved for the Apps Store. And if AT&T or Apple gets paranoid about VOIP competition, who knows what we'll actually see released.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Iron Man DVD & Blu-ray Details

Iron Man is hitting DVD and Blu-ray on September 30th, and The Hollywood Reporter now has more details:

Paramount is releasing "Iron Man" as a two-disc "Ultimate Edition" on DVD and Blu-ray. Each includes a seven-part making-of documentary and a six-part feature on the origins of the Marvel superhero.

Other extras include a documentary on the film's visual effects; Robert Downey Jr.'s original screen test; deleted and extended scenes; a photo gallery of concept art; and behind-the-scenes images on the set.

A single-disc "Iron Man" DVD also will be issued, with just the movie and the deleted and extended scenes.

Stiller, Black & Downey Jr. on Tropic Thunder!

Tropic Thunder is about a group of self-absorbed actors who set out to make the most expensive war film. After ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting, leading his cast into the jungles of Southeast Asia, where they encounter real bad guys.

Nick Nolte, Brandon Jackson, Steve Coogan, Danny R. McBride, Bill Hader, Jay Baruchel, Matt Levin, Andrea De Oliveira, Reggie Lee, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise co-star.

Brad Pitt Officially Joins Inglorious Bastards

Brad Pitt has closed his deal to star in Inglorious Bastards, the WWII drama that Quentin Tarantino will direct for the Weinstein Company and Universal, reports Variety.

Additionally, Nastassja Kinski is in early talks to play one of the sole female roles in the film. Kinski would play a German movie queen.

The trade says much of the dialogue is in French or German, and subtitles will be used, though Pitt will speak English in his role as a Tennessee hillbilly who assembles a team of eight Jewish-American soldiers to take on the Nazis.

Simon Pegg, David Krumholtz and B.J. Novak are also in talks to join the project. Pegg would play a British lieutenant, while Krumholtz and Novak would play Pitt's underlings.

The film begins production on October 13 in Germany. Tarantino, who wrote the script, is aiming to complete the film and have it ready for next year's Cannes Film Festival. Lawrence Bender is producing, with Erica Steinberg and Harvey and Bob Weinstein as executive producers.

Eli Roth will play Sgt. Donnie Donowitz, and Tarantino is locking in the other actors to play the soldiers who make up the Bastards team. Tarantino regular Tim Roth had been in contention to join the cast but couldn't work out the scheduling because of his upcoming TV series "Lie to Me."

Source: ComingSoon

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mimi Leder To Direct World War II Flick

Remember Mimi Leder, who had the privilege of directing DreamWorks’ first movie, The Peacemaker, then went on to make Deep Impact before dropping the ball with the awful Pay It Forward?

Well, perhaps to show that it’s harder for a woman director to make it in Hollywood following a flop, it’s taken Leder almost eight years to get back behind the camera again. But she finally did it and The Code – or Thick As Thieves, depending on what you read – a heist thriller starring Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas is currently awaiting release.

And clearly now that Leder has the bit between her teeth again, she doesn’t want to slow down. So she’s lined up Remember Their Names, a WWII movie featuring Woody Guthrie in more ways than one.

Not only will the film feature many of the folk singer and activist’s songs, but Guthrie himself will be a major character, as the film will focus on his time in the U.S. Merchant Marine, when he, Cisco Houston and Jim Longhi toured and sung their way across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, Sicily and Normandy.

The film will be based on Longhi’s memoir, Woody, Cisco & Me, which was adapted for the screen by Leder and her brother, Reuben. Leder hopes to make this her next project. We wish her well – she did a good job with Deep Impact, especially, and it’s been too damn long.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mark Ruffalo Has Sympathy For Delicious

Mark Ruffalo is joining the ranks of actors-turned-directors with a film boasting the intriguing, and not unappealing, title of Sympathy For Delicious. He'll also star, along with James Franco and Chris Thornton.

Thornton wrote the script and will play a wheelchair-bound DJ, 'Delicious' Dead O'Dwyer who, through dabbling with faith-healing, acquires the power to cure the sick, but not himself. Ruffalo will play a Jesuit priest who helps Delicious come to terms with the limits of his gift, while Franco will play a rock star whose band exploits the man.

Sympathy For Delicious begins filming in LA this autumn.

Helena Bonham Carter On Terminator 4

As movie news goes, this is but a crumb. But since news stories in the movie world today are rarer than glowing Mummy 3 reviews, we thought we'd bring you what we can.

Sci-Fi Wire recently spoke with Helena Bonham Carter and prodded her for news of who she'll be playing in the upcoming Terminator: Salvation. Her reply was, "I kind of play a baddie, definitely a baddie...I don't know how much I'm allowed to say, but I'm a very bad person."

And that's about it. We don't know what kind of baddie, but feel free to speculate away. In the meantime, we'll be off to give Hollywood a kick up the backside and see if they can come up with something more exciting tomorrow.

Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock to Start Production

Focus Features will begin production late this month on Taking Woodstock, written by James Schamus and to be directed by Ang Lee.

The film is an adaptation of the memoir of Elliot Tiber, who played a role in helping the historic 1969 music fest unfold on his neighbor's farm.

Demetri Martin ("The Daily Show with Jon Stewart") had already been set to play Tiber, an aspiring interior designer in Greenwich Village obliged to run the family business, a Catskills motel. In summer 1969, he found himself at the center of a generation-defining experience when he volunteered the motel to be the home base for Woodstock concert organizers after his neighbor, Max Yasgur, made his farm available for the event.

Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman will play Tiber's parents, and Jonathan Groff will play Woodstock organizer Michael Lang; Emile Hirsch will play a recently returned Vietnam vet, Eugene Levy will play Yasgur, and Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is in talks to play a transvestite named Vilma.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) is set as a closeted married man having an affair with Tiber, while Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan play a hippie couple attending the concert. Dan Fogler will play a local theater troupe head, and Mamie Gummer will play Lang's assistant.

Eagle Eye to Get Simultaneous IMAX Release

Scooper 'Streets' alerted us today that DreamWorks/Paramount have prepared an IMAX trailer for Eagle Eye that will be attached to Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight in IMAX theaters shortly. It is to announce that the D.J. Caruso-directed film will get a simultaneous IMAX DMR release along with its 35mm opening on September 26th.

In the fast-paced race-against-time-thriller, Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are two strangers who become the pawns of a mysterious woman they have never met, but who seems to know their every move. Realizing they are being used to further her diabolical plot, they must work together to outwit the woman before she has them killed.

The movie co-stars Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie and Billy Bob Thornton.

Don't miss the teaser, trailer and extended clip from the film here!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

John Carpenter Set To Team With Nic Cage

It’s been seven years – seven long years – since John Carpenter, one of the true greats of American cinema, last directed a movie. Well, it’s about bloody time that he got back behind the megaphone, and so it’s with delight that we can report that Carpenter is in final negotiations to direct Nicolas Cage in a thriller called Scared Straight.

Cage would star as a life prisoner who is forced into action when a riot breaks out in his prison, and a young inmate – sent to jail as part of the Scared Straight program which temporarily imprisons juvenile delinquents in order to put the willies right up ’em – is taken hostage.

Although there are no supernatural elements that we know of, this seems to be right up Carpenter’s street. The man has admitted that he’s been remaking Rio Bravo for years now (Assault On Precinct 13, The Fog, The Thing, Prince Of Darkness, and even the film which seemed like it may be his last, Ghosts Of Mars, all owe some debt to the Howard Hawks classic), and this seems like a nice little twist on your typical siege movie.

We’re also excited about the combo of Carpenter and Cage. Kurt Russell aside, Carpenter hasn’t worked with an A-list actor before, and it’ll be fascinating to see how he handles Cage and his penchant for quirks.

There’s no word yet on any other casting, but with an October start date planned for a project that has been knocking around for a couple of years now (Rob Cohen was once attached to direct; he’ll now merely executive produce), things will be moving pretty fast on a movie that we hope will see a return to form for Carpenter.

Prince Of Persia Pushed Back To 2010

Prince Of Persia, Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer’s big tentpole for the summer of 2009, has just become Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer’s big tentpole for the summer of 2010.

Yes, the Mike Newell-directed videogame adaptation, which started shooting last week in Morocco, has been pushed back by nearly a year, from June 19, 2009 to Memorial Day weekend in 2010. For those of you who don’t know when Memorial Day, don’t worry – it’s at the end of May.

The reason for the delay? To finish the thing and to get the special effects absolutely right, which is very commendable. Then again, it’s hard not to sympathise with the caution shown here by Bruckheimer and Disney, for whom the hope is that the Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer will be another Pirates Of The Caribbean-style cash cow.

The move into 2010 takes Prince Of Persia away from Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, which would have opened a week later. In its place, though, Disney has moved up its Ryan Reynolds-Sandra Bullock rom-com, The Proposal – or The Counterprogrammer, as it perhaps should now be known.

It will now open, in 2010, one week after Shrek Goes Fourth, with nothing currently scheduled to go up against it. We must say that it seems strange for movies to be staking out release dates two, sometimes three years in advance, but the stakes are higher than ever these days (God, we sound old), so you can’t blame studios for indulging in what Kurt Cobain would have referred to as territorial pissings (and that reference really makes us sound old).

What do you think, readers? Excited about this? Dismayed that you’ll have to wait another year to see Jakey boy fling himself off buildings and whatnot? Or are you slightly cynical about the reasons for the delay? Vent your spleens below.

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