Watchmen Motion Comic Webisodes Coming to DVD and Blu-ray

The Watchmen merchandising craze has begun! The highly-anticipated movie will hit theatres on March 6th, but in the days leading up to its release and the days following it, Warner Brothers will issue some supplementary material to help catch audiences up to speed (and make a quick buck while they’re at it). We’ve already heard that the animated spin-off Tales of the Black Freighter will likely hit DVD on March 10th, but now we have confirmation of a DVD release for the Watchmen Motion Comic on March 3rd as well.

What is the Watchmen Motion Comic? This is the series of 12 webisodes that they have been releasing for free on iTunes that recap the entire graphic novel using the original artwork and minimal animation to enhance the presentation. (Watchmen Comic Movie has a complete list of the chapters that have been released so far, including iTunes links to download them.) I guess the idea is that this will give people who refuse to read a chance to familiarize themselves with the source material. Suggested retail price is $29.98 for the DVD and $35.99 for the Blu-ray, which seems a bit pricey, but I guess a good chunk of that is probably going to Fox now too. They also come with $7.50 in “movie cash” to see Watchmen in theatres, and the Blu-ray release will also include the “Prison Break” scene from the Watchmen movie.

Shawn Levy to Adapt 9-Year-Old Alec Greven’s How to Talk to Girls

Shawn Levy may have directed one of the biggest comedies in recent years with Night at the Museum, but he still doesn’t have much geek cred thanks to previous credits like Cheaper by the Dozen, The Pink Panther and Just Married. I can’t really defend the guy at this point, but I will say that I am intrigued by some of the projects he has in the works (like Hardy Men starring Ben Stiller and Tom Cruise), and now he’s got another interesting movie being handed to him by 20th Century Fox.

According to Variety, he has been hired to adapt a book called How to Talk to Girls, and although it might sound like the name of just another paint-by-numbers romantic comedy, there’s a somewhat unique twist here: the book was written by a 9-year-old kid! Third-grader Alex Greven decided to write a short advice guide to help his classmates better understand the opposite sex, but somehow his innocent and surprisingly accurate observations lead to four books being published by Harper-Collins. Levy will produce and possibly direct the flick, which he describes as “a warmhearted comedy, with a tone reminiscent of Big“. Hey, it could be kind of interesting… right? Check out this Time article for more info on the original book.

Cameron, Arnold and Arnold On Board for True Lies 2?

We’ve heard rumours over the past couple of years that Arnold Schwarzenegger is itching to return to the big screen, just as soon as he finishes his current term in office in January 2011. There’s been talk of him returning for the new Conan movie, making a cameo in Terminator 4, and also starring in James Cameron’s upcoming Battle Angel. Now we’ve got another possible project to add to the pile, although it doesn’t come from the most reliable of sources.

According to WENN, Schwarzenegger’s True Lies co-star Tom Arnold is convinced that the big man will return for True Lies 2. He also makes it sounds like James Cameron is the one spearheading the whole project:

“If all goes as planned, the day Arnold leaves office, we will again team with Jim Cameron and do a comedy. Jim says it might not be called True Lies II, but it will be fun… We’ve all stayed close, which I’ve realized, 50 films later, is very unusual. I love those guys.”

It’s certainly an intriguing possibility, even though Tom Arnold is the least important part of that puzzle. Any project that brings Schwarzenegger and James Cameron back together again will be a huge deal. What do you think, is there any truth to this, or is Tom Arnold desperately trying to find work?

New To Theatres This Weekend: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Inkheart, Outlander, The Dark Knight

Two major releases hit theatres this weekend, one of which is the prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, and the other being Inkheart, a family adventure movie starring Brendan Fraser (not in 3-D, unfortunately). The good news is that a lot of the Oscar nominees continue to expand this weekend, including Frost/Nixon, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler, so if you haven’t seen some of them, you really should. Also, if “vampires vs werewolves” don’t interest you, in limited release we have the “vikings vs aliens” flick Outlander, in addition to John Madden’s long-delayed Killshot starring Mickey Rourke, Thomas Jane, Diane Lane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rosario Dawson. Plus The Dark Knight is back in IMAX theatres. What are you checking out this weekend?

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Inkheart
Outlander (limited)
Killshot (limited)
Donkey Punch (limited)
Dog Eat Dog (limited)
The Dark Knight (re-release)
Frost/Nixon (expanding)
Revolutionary Road (expanding)
Slumdog Millionaire (expanding)
The Wrestler (expanding)

Killer Imports: Silver Hawk

Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

Silver Hawk is a superhero movie based on a comic book. I have never seen the comic book, so I don’t know if the filmmakers have adhered to it. The movie stars Michelle Yeoh who gained some renown for her stint as a Bond Girl in Tomorrow Never Dies. She probably caught the attention of the Bond producers from her role in the Jackie Chan film, Supercop. She was the older female lead in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. She also did some non-action acting in Memoirs of a Geisha. She had a small non-action acting role in Jet Li’s Fearless, but her part was cut in the North American version because she was in the framing story that dealt with a bid to include Wushu, a form of martial arts, in the Olympics.

Read more »

New Friday the 13th Remake Poster is Mind-Numbingly Dull

There are times when simplicity and minimalism in advertising can really catch the eye and/or make a bold statement. This is not one of those times. This poster for the new Friday the 13th movie is just uninspired, and even worse, it’s ambiguous. Is the number 13 really synonymous with the Friday the 13th series? At first glance, I thought this was a poster for the 13 Tzameti remake. LAME. (Regardless, I’m still looking forward to the movie.)

Weird Web Wednesdays: MC Joaquin

Yeah I know it’s Thursday, but I feel like it’s still Wednesday in spirit. This week’s collection of funny vids includes the always mysterious Joaquin Phoenix furthering his musical career with an intense rap performance, a slightly younger version of Marc Singer in a Beastmaster remake, and some girl who hasn’t seen Star Wars offering a surprisingly accurate plot synopsis. Also, Maury digs up another wacky phobia, a Wendy’s training video teaches life lessons, and the Watchmen viral marketing campaign is officially underway. If you don’t like it, deal with it… it’s still Weird Web Wednesday!

Joaquin Phoenix Rapping
The Curious Case of Forrest Gump
Bunny Hop Fail
Beastmaster Jr.
Songsmith Van Halen
Star Wars: Retold By Someone Who Hasn’t Seen It
Wendy’s Grill Skills
Grand Central Station Meets Evolution of Dance
Scared of Cotton Balls
Ten Years of Dr. Manhattan
Chair Spin Till You Puke
Mini-Bike Mishap
Young Van Damme
Cow Gives Birth to a Dude
West St. Paul Song
Cheers To You CD Commercial
Japanese 24 Commercial
Jay Leno vs Jimmy Fallon (Skip to the End)
Don’t Drink and Fix Toys

81st Annual Academy Award Nominees

The much anticipated nominees for the 81st Annual Academy Awards have just been announced this morning, live from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Before you go scanning the list of noms, I’ll just say it right up front… The Dark Knight got snubbed! But hey, Robert Downey Jr. got the nod for his role in Tropic Thunder, so I guess fanboys should be happy? The Oscars will air on Sunday. February 22nd, and Film Junk will likely be doing another live chat again this year. Stay tuned for details!

Best Picture

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director

  • David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
  • Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
  • Gus Van Sant (Milk)
  • Stephen Daldry (The Reader)
  • Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

Read more »

» Related Link: 81st Annual Academy Awards: Nominees

Tom and Jerry Live Action CG Movie in the Works

Great news… yet another classic cartoon is slated to become a terrible live-action/CG hybrid in the vein of Garfield and Alvin and the Chipmunks! Dan Lin, producer of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, Richard Kelly’s The Box, and Ricky Gervais’ The Side of the Truth, is developing Tom and Jerry as an “origin story” that tells how the cat and mouse meet, before they end up getting lost in Chicago and must work together to find their way home. Funny, that sounds like way more back story than I remember any Tom and Jerry episode ever having.

The beauty of the cartoon was in its simplicity… an angry cat chases a mouse in various settings and scenarios, always getting outsmarted, occasionally running into a bigger dog named Spike. The script for the movie is being written by a guy named Eric Gravning, who previously wrote a spec script called Mr. Burnout about “a small town English teacher who spirals from teacher of the year to a bitter, rude individual after a decade in the classroom”. Personally I think this is a moronic idea, but I’m sure it will do quite well regardless.

Sundance Video Podcast #4: Brooklyn’s Finest, Burma VJ, Big River Man and Paper Heart

Hey guys, here’s the final video podcast that Jay and I recorded from Sundance. I couldn’t post it right away because it was too long for YouTube, so I decided to re-edit it and add in a little bit of b-roll footage as well. It would have been up sooner except YouTube also objected to my use of copyrighted music, which seems like a joke considering all the other videos I’ve seen out there using unlicensed tunes. Whatever. I suppose the Spin Doctors have to get paid somehow.

Sundance: Tyson Review

Tyson
Directed by: James Toback
Starring: Mike Tyson

I’m not a huge boxing fan, so I guess the first thing I can say about director James Toback’s ‘Tyson’ is you don’t have to be a fan of the sport to appreciate the film. Having said that, I know I overheard a few self-proclaimed boxing fans expressing disappointment that they didn’t learn anything they didn’t already know. I can’t really argue with them there as someone who knows Mike best as the Nintendo “Punch Out” character that’s also a convicted rapist. Basically, I had a lot to learn and luckily, I had a great time doing it. Read more »

Danny Boyle Responds to Slumdog Millionaire Backlash

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire was a surprise winner at the Golden Globes earlier this month, where it took home awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score. It wasn’t surprising because the film lacks critical acclaim (it doesn’t), but rather because the movie was an independent production with no well-known actors and limited marketing behind it. The win at the Golden Globes has probably increased Slumdog Millionaire’s chances of getting nominated for Academy Awards (we’ll find out tomorrow), but on the flipside, it has also set off a rather unexpected backlash.

This kind of thing seems to happen with lesser-known indie films that gather steam and breakthrough to the mainstream like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine. By the time the movie starts winning awards, its original fans have turned their back on it because of all the hype and overwhelming praise, and casual moviegoers are scratching their heads trying to figure out what makes it so great in the first place. There’s also another added element of backlash to Slumdog Millionaire, which is that the movie still has not yet opened in India (where the film takes place). Now the movie is being accused of glamorizing poverty and painting the country in an unflattering light. Director Danny Boyle has responded thusly:

“The thing that I wanted people to take away from the film was … this breathtaking, breathtaking resilience of people and the joy of people despite their circumstances — that lust for life. What we tried to do in the film was include as much of the city as possible.”

What do you think, is Slumdog Millionaire’s uplifting story part of what makes it so special, or is it merely exploiting Indian culture without being true to reality?