The Hush-Hush News Report: 05.23.12: Boobies and Stank
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I’m a night owl. I do things when other people are sleeping. Like watch movies. Or write this column. Even play games…like Diablo III.
Well, TRY to play Diablo III. Trust me, I was not expecting to start this week’s column off on a Diablo III rant. Since this is a movie column, I won’t take too long. Needless to say, this has been a disaster of a launch. I wasn’t going to say that…until last night at around 4am when I tried to log in to play Diablo III and learned the servers would be down…until noon EST. That’s 8 hours for the non-math wiz. You might be thinking, “well I don’t care, I was sleeping.” Yeah okay, but you know who wasn’t sleeping? Folks who live in Australia and New Zealand. Guess when the servers were down for them? 6pm-2am. That’s an entire night for folks who got off work thinking they were going home to relax and play some Diablo III…lost. Imagine the American reaction if that were to occur…again.
The launch was bad enough and I totally understood why most folks were pissed. I’d be pretty pissed…if I had tried to log in and play it last Tuesday at midnight. But I didn’t, because I thought maybe, just maybe, something like that might happen. So I waited…a full 36 hours. And honestly, I haven’t hardly had an gripes until now. A couple times server maintenance kicked everybody off, but it was usually for short durations. I didn’t like it, but I understood it. Then again, 8 hours isn’t short and now that’s it’s hit me, my Diablo III-inspired griping has bloomed later than others.
I’m a single-player kind of guy. I don’t do a ton of multiplayer and I’m certainly not an MMO guy. And I couldn’t give a hoot about the Auction House (that might change, but I doubt it). I REALLY don’t like having a studio/publisher dictate when, where and “if” I can play a game. If this “always online internet connection” is the start of a trend among gaming companies, then it’s one I – and obviously a lot of others – are not on-board with yet. I totally knew that having an internet connection at all times was a requirement of Diablo III. I get their rationale behind it, even if I don’t totally buy it. But if you’re going to do that to people, you can’t have the servers – the ability to play the game – be down constantly. You can’t make people feel powerless or like they don’t have control. This all has simply driven home the fact that we all have simply leased Diablo III; none of us actually own it.
I don’t generally like internet griping for the sake of it. It tends to snowball and get out of hand relatively quickly, simply growing out of a desire to tear into someone from the safety of your keyboard. But this whole debacle – and it really is starting to inch closer to that on a daily basis – borders on unacceptable. I doubt if the avalanche of negative reaction (try reading the Amazon customer reviews or Facebook wall posts) will make a difference. Perhaps somewhere down the line, years from now, Blizzard might actually release a patch to allow players to play the single-player campaign offline. Who knows. All I know is that all too often this week, Blizzard has dictated more of my Diablo III schedule than I’m comfortable with. Really like the game itself, just not the stuff Blizzard has put around it.
I am really loving the game and I think what I’ve seen and played of it is really quality stuff. That doesn’t change the fact that if we’ve all learned one thing from Diablo III so far, it’s that we are being given the “privilege” of playing Blizzard’s work and we’re dependent on them not only for the game itself, but the actual ability to play said game. It doesn’t help that communication from Blizzard has been close to non-existent. It’s really hard to like a game that won’t let you play it at your leisure. These are games after all. They fell into the “leisure activities” category last time I checked.
I’m glad Evil is back. I just didn’t think it’d have persnickety servers as some of its minions. Too bad…we can’t slay those.
Okay, enough of that. Let’s move on to the latest news from Movie-Land. I don’t want you sour heading into the crux of this week’s column, so to get you in the proper mood, here’s Bill Murray doing an on-set “tour” of Wes Anderson’s new film Moonrise Kingdom which comes out here in the States this week (it opened this year’s Cannes Film Festival). My favorite part? When listing all of Anderson’s works, when Murray gets to Bottle Rocket (which is the only one he isn’t in), he deadpans, “I still haven’t seen that one.” Or maybe it’s his description of Edward Norton. Or about the necessity of drinking rum while working with children. Or the fact that he’s enjoying being under the influence of rum while doing the featurette. Just watch it.
Wasn’t that awesome? Just goes to show…Bill Murray is so THE MAN. As Christian might say, Murray makes anything he’s in “instantly classic.” Moonrise Kingdom has been getting very high marks coming out of its Cannes showings. Along with Murray, the film stars Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand and Jason Schwartzman. Plus, if you’re into movie posters, Shortlist Magazine has commissioned some alternative posters for Anderson’s film, some of which are really awesome. The first couple, in particular, are ones I would own in a heartbeat.
Here’s the official synopsis for Moonrise Kingdom:
Moonrise Kingdom is the new movie directed by two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore).
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl.
Other current releases that have been reviewed here at 411 include: Battleship, The Dictator, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, The Raven, The Avengers, Safe, Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Lucky One, The Five-Year Engagement, Bully [Shawn Lealos], Bully [Tony Farinella], Chimpanzee, Titanic 3D, Lockout, Hit So Hard, and American Reunion.
We’d still write them if no one was reading, but to be honest it’s better and more worthwhile when people do. Something about a tree falling in a forest. Anyway, on with the news….
The first teaser trailers have arrived for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The first one arrived in theaters attached to The Dictator, while the second arrived on Funny or Die this week. Enjoy.
Personally, I think the second one is a lot funnier, but that’s the nature of improv isn’t it? I can imagine they did about 20-25 of these at least and we might even see a few more like it before the official trailer hits probably sometime at the end of this year (or early next year). Anchorman 2 will reportedly revolve around the advent of 24-hour cable news and the increased focus on diversity (that’ll go well for the guys) found in the culture of the time. The film will arrive sometime in 2013. Along with the teaser trailers, the first teaser poster can be seen above as well.
It really is “Poster Day” here at The Hush-Hush News Report. That above, boys and girls, is the new, presumably final, one sheet for The Dark Knight Rises. It’s fiery and powerful and a bit more colorful compared to what we’ve seen from the first couple TDKR one sheets. Fits nicely with the whole “A Fire Will Rise” tagline they’ve been using.
But we’re not done! Six other new character posters have also been released, 2 each for Batman, Catwoman and Bane. The first set return us to the prototypical Nolan world of doom and gloom, and are similar to previous TDKR posters in having a stark black/white look. The other set show each character in the snow, flakes replacing the rain and debris from the other set. What’s more gloomy than falling rain mixed with debris? Winter represents a lot of things, but mainly – and you know Nolan knows this – death and the absence of hope. Of course fire means light, and brings with it a spark of hope. Easy symbolism, but still really effective.
Ready for July 20th yet?
“Some men are coming to kill us. We’re going to kill them first.”
The first teaser trailer for the next – and 23rd overall – 007 film, Skyfall, has been released and it looks like Craig, Dench and company are picking up right where they left off. It’s a really effective teaser, not giving too much away, but whetting your appetite for its release. Heck, we don’t even see Javier Bardem in it and he’s the main bad guy.
Thanks to the folks over at Den of Geek, we have some unofficial (but still good-looking) stills from the trailer and possible clues we can decipher from the footage. Some of the things (spoiler-free) that we see from the trailer include:
~ Our first fleeting looks at Ralph Fiennes’ government official Gareth Mallory as well as newest Bond girls Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris.
~ During an interrogation and game of word association, Bond hesitates when asked about Skyfall, eventually saying “done.” Whether Skyfall is done or if he’s done with the questions remains up in the air, but Bond flinches at the memory and is shown getting up and walking out after that.
~ We see Bond in Macau for what seems another casino scene (a la Casino Royale) – locations outside of London for Skyfall reportedly include Macau, Scotland, Shanghai and Turkey.
~ The most interesting action set piece involves a London Underground train crashing through the ceiling of an underground chamber.
~ We also see a helicopter attack on a building in Scotland.
~ In the shot of the trailer, we see M looking at a line of coffins with British flags draped over them.
~ We only get a shadowed, silhouetted shot of what appears to be Silva (Bardem) as he walks away from a burning lodge. It fits in with shots of extensive damage done, particularly on MI6′s home turf.
Skyfall stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Bérénice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Helen McCroy, Albert Finney, and Ralph Fiennes. In Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. It hits theaters in the United States on November 9th.
Last week, Paul Thomas Anderson updated fans on his upcoming film The Master, which will be released on October 12. In a post on the Anderson fan site Cigarettes and Red Vines, the filmmaker showed a couple shots from behind -the-scenes, including a shot of the actual raw 65mm film. Now, the first sneak peak teaser has been released at this year’s Cannes and it’s…certainly a teaser. In it, we see Joaquin Phoenix’s drifter character, Freddie Quell, as he’s being questioned by a naval officer. Phoenix is especially creepy in the footage and there’s a real dark There Will Be Blood vibe to it all (accentuated by the score from Johnny Greenwood).
More footage was shown to those in attendance at Cannes, and two things were confirmed. It was impressive; and, it is clearly inspired by L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. It has also been reported that Anderson has shown the film to his good friend Tom Cruise (who was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting turn in Anderson’s Magnolia) and while the megastar is said to have “issues” with it, it seems like if it were an all-out direct attack on the “religion” that he’d have a stronger reaction. Which only confirms what everybody already knew about the film. The Playlist described the footage shown as the best of what The Weinstein Company showed. They went on to describe the footage:
“Wearing a pencil moustache and carrying an air of ambition and importance, not only does Hoffman look like L. Ron Hubbard, in the reel we saw, he describes himself as (among many other things) a writer, doctor and theoretical physicist. Those are all terms that have been used to describe Hubbard over the years. And there are more clues throughout, including some scenes from a very confident looking Amy Adams, who plays Hoffman’s wife Mary-Sue, saying that the the “only way to defend ourselves, is to attack.” Sound like any lawsuit-happy religious group you’ve heard of? And the final scene we were shown might as well be from an auditing session, with Hoffman’s leader peppering Freddie Quell with a serious of personality test style questions.
Visually, it looks fantastic with a graininess and color scheme that seems inspired by Technicolor/’50s film. And remember, this was shot on 65mm stock which is why we’re seeing the kind of texture we get less of in this increasingly digital world. The footage we saw also opens with a great, slow dolly shot down a hallway that was immediately reminiscent of something Stanley Kubrick might have done. The score throughout was the same as was heard in the teaser trailer, though with some added strings in the same atonal universe as “There Will Be Blood.” The cast overall looked universally strong with Phoenix, Hoffman and Adams highlighted. Freddie is portrayed as very much a wildman in what we saw, with Adams noting, “perhaps he’s past help…or insane.” With this line of dialogue followed by a shot of Freddie with his trunks pulled down, masturbating on the beach, it’s clear he’s a man looking for, or in need, of direction.”
I said it last week, but it bears repeating until October 12. Can’t. Wait.
This is good old-fashion speculation. Last week, one of The Rock’s (aka Dwayne Johnson) Twitter followers mentioned to The Great One that they’d like to see him as a DC superhero (specifically mentioned Gravedigger or John Stewart). Instead of saying “maybe some day” or “I’d love if that happened,” The Rock responded Funny U say that.. Well if THAT didn’t set internet guessing into overdrive. But guess what? There’s actually a pretty good guess going around and it makes a lot of sense.
Bleeding Cool soon after came out with a report that Johnson would in fact be playing Lobo in Brad Peyton’s upcoming film. However, the site did admit their source was “untested,” so as always with these types of rumors, take everything with a grain of salt for now. There are pieces to this story, however, that fit together. A new Lobo production was just recently announced with Brad Peyton at the helm. Why is Peyton’s involvement important? Well, he recently finished working with Johnson on their big, surprise hit Journey 2. The Avengers just smashed box office records and will undoubtedly unleash a string of superhero/comic book movies from other studios – including WB/DC. Johnson has previous experience working in action films. Plus…who else is a better fit – from a physical standpoint – than The Rock? Nothing is official or even confirmed at this point, but if we do actually see a Lobo film hitting theaters – which is still an “iffy” proposition at this point – I don’t think Hollywood could do much better than Johnson in the role. Whether it’ll be any good or if Hollywood can actually make the movie remains to be seen.
For those unfamiliar with Lobo, here’s some background information on the character (courtesy of Wikipedia):
An alien, Lobo works as an interstellar mercenary and bounty hunter. Introduced as a hardened, rarely used hardboiled villain in the 1980s, the character remained in limbo until his revival as an anti-hero biker in the early 1990s… “I have no idea why Lobo took off,” Giffen once said in an interview, referring to the 1990s incarnation of Lobo he created. “I came up with him as an indictment of the Punisher, Wolverine, hero prototype and somehow he caught on as the high violence poster boy. Go figure.” …
Lobo is a Czarnian with exceptional strength and fortitude. He enjoys nothing better than mindless violence and intoxication. Killing is an end in itself; his name roughly translates as “he who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it.” He is also arrogant and self-centered, focusing almost solely on his own pleasures, although he proudly lives up to the letter of his promises: no more or no less than what he promised. Lobo is the last of his kind, having committed complete genocide by killing all the other Czarnians for fun.
I’m sorry, but I have to do it. As in previous weeks, if you’ve had enough of having Prometheus spoiled for you in any way whatsoever, just go ahead and skip this. I think it’s a cool little featurette, and, at this point, you probably know most of what is included. There are a few shots/lines that are new, but they flow nicely with what we already know. The featurette is basically just about Charlize Theron and her character Meredith Vickers.
And yes, that is the newest and presumably last poster for Prometheus above. Lord, even the posters for this movie seem spoiler-ish. Honestly, I prefer the previous posters for the film. This one is okay, but that’s all it is. In no way, however, does it diminish my desire to see Scott’s latest film. June 8 will (hopefully) be epic.
Something tells me there isn’t going to be a lot of middle ground. Either you are going to absolutely love Baz Luhrmann’s 3D, pop-infused take on The Great Gatsby, or you are going to loathe it. Or both. Luhrmann remains a filmmaker I’m conflicted over. Moulin Rouge is a film I hated when I first saw it, but that has softened as the years have gone by. I just don’t think we’ve seen enough to really know if the guy is worth the reputation he’s been given by many (Australia anyone?).
Having said that, there’s no doubt that he’s assembled one hell of a cast for The Great Gatsby. The heavily stylized, vibrant, colorful trailer is one constant spectacle, prefectly in keeping with what we expect from Luhrmann. I have no idea if the 3D in the film will work or even be necessary, but The Great Gatsby will certainly be an event movie this holiday season. The movie hits theaters Christmas Day.
The Great Gatsby follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.
Will this be the week? Can Men in Black III end the three-week run at the top of the American box office for The Avengers? Over a billion dollars and counting, Marvel’s superhero mega-hit has steamrolled everything in its path both here and abroad. But this week brings the Marvel clan’s stiffest competition as Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return once again for the third installment of their hit sci-fi comedy franchise. Joining Men in Black III in theaters is the horror film Chernobyl Diaries and Wes Anderson’s newest film Moonrise Kingdom, which received a standing ovation after opening the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Also getting a limited release is The Intouchables, which was a smash hit in France in is the largest grossing non-English language movie ever. It also landed star Omar Sy the César Award (France’s equivalent to the Oscars) for Best Actor, beating out The Artist’s Jean Dujardin. He is the first actor of African descent to win the award.
What are you planning on seeing this weekend
From Guest#5996 (Guest):
In regards to the story about Superman, I totally believe it and am not surprised. I’m not saying Zack Snyder doesn’t have talent, but he has a…let’s call it “style”…in all of his movies that let’s you know its a Zack Snyder movie. Doesn’t necessarily mean its a bad thing, and it could work in Superman, but as of now, just like Superman Returns(and this was the smart decision), I won’t be paying in theaters to watch.
Well, I do pay and even though I can’t be called the biggest Zach Snyder fan, I will be seeing this. I’m with you – I believe it as well and aren’t all that surprised. I thought maybe he’d tone his usual stylistic flairs and affectations down a bit because it was Superman. Then again, this is a man who directed, wrote and produced an entire movie filled with them and the only reason he became a big-name director in Hollywood in the first place was because of that particular style – and the money it made for Warner Bros. I have no idea if Man of Steel will be a good movie or not and I’ll reserve judgment until after having seen it. But in my opinion Snyder is going to have to step up his game if it has any chance of working and adding (in a positive way) to the Superman franchise.
From Imadethefirstjump (Guest):
Nobody has to explain to me that this won’t happen unless, etc, etc. I’m fully aware of who owns what rights.
That being said, the universe will not fully align till we can see Hulk and Wolverine in a movie together. A live-action movie because I just thought of something.
Ok maybe someone does have to explain this to me. Why is it ok for Hulk and Wolverine to be in an animated movie together? Hulk vs. Wolverine.
From animated (Guest):
Marvel still owns the rights to the characters, and Animated movies do not fall within the rights of Fox’s movie rights. Hence why you won’t see it in live action, but can see it in animated form. Which Marvel needs to be like DC and put out more.
From Todd Vote (Guest):
It’s all in how the rights are distributed to other studios. Fox owns the live action film rights to Wolverine, and most of the X-Men for the big screen. Since the Hulk Vs. movies are animated and direct to DVD, I’d be willing to bet that there is a totally different licensing deal in place.
As a better example, let’s say I wrote a book, and Warner Brothers wanted to option it for a movie, they would pay for the rights to bring the story to the screen. If the book’s story lent itself well to a video game, then a separate licensing deal would have to be worked out since it is a different medium.
There are so many different factors that go into these types of deals, I’m probably not even chipping the iceberg with my descritpion.
Obviously, we don’t know the fine print on that, but that’s how I would summarize it. DC live-action/animated are all under one house since Warner Bros have owned them for some time. Marvel just got bought by Disney. I don’t know it to 100% be totally true, but I would imagine that animated doesn’t fall into the same licensing deals as live-action. Plus, not every studio used to (or actually does) have their own animation department. Hope that helps explain. Yay for readers coming to the aid of other readers in a non-insulting manner!
From The Great Capt. Smooth (Guest):
Jackman looks like a cross between Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen in that pic
See, I would have gone with Guy Pearce. With a touch different hair. But yeah, I got a real Guy Pearce vibe when I saw that pic. He was born in England, but he’s mostly Australian so maybe it’s a Down Under thing going on.
From Aprince66 (Guest):
I had no idea Idris Elba aka Heimdall, was Charles Miner from the Office. I love that IMDB app
I’ve loved IMDb for so many years I lost track. Invaluable resource. However, I don’t have an iPhone or tablet. So I have yet to check it out…hopefully, that soon changes.
From C’mon (Guest):
Can’t wait for Man of Steel!!!!
Finally a good Superman film!
As I stated above, I’m heavily cautious and trying to be optimistic. If you’re being sarcastic, I’m with you. If you’re being genuine (I can’t tell), in the face of your unbridled excitement, I will try harder.
(BTW, I hope you’re – at the very least – counting Superman 1 & 2 as “good” Superman movies. I’ll just go under the assumption you are and move on)
From Commie (Guest):
I have to admit that I haven’t seen either Finding Neverland or Sweeney Todd. Finding Neverland I just never stumbled upon, and Sweeney Tood I had zero interest in, as musicals really aren’t my thing (apart from Cannibal the Musical). Pirates on the other hand–I thought the first one was good until it overstayed its welcome by about an hour. Then it just became tediously repetitive. A shining example of Hollywood going “Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter were both 2 and a half hours long and they made tons of money–lets make a bunch of movies that long.” Potter and Rings had stories to justify the length, but movies like Pirates really had to stretch a thin story (though they made billions, so who am I to judge?).
Totally agree. At World’s End in particular was long and tedious. I love Depp as Cap’n Jack as much as anyone else, but it’s really a character that’s been in about 1 ½ good movies out of 4 if you think about it. And yes, they’ve made billions. Something tells me Depp likes the payday and parading around doing his best Keith Richards-as-a-pirate routine and that the studio likes the money even the last three mediocre (at best) movies have brought in. I’d be really shocked if there wasn’t a fifth entry announced rather soon.
And give Sweeney Todd and Finding Neverland a chance. I love the former and even if you’re not the biggest fan of musicals you might be drawn to the look, detail and more adult Shakespearean thrust of the whole thing. I also really liked Finding Neverland – it’s a nice, sweet movie. Admittedly, I haven’t seen it since it came out (about 8 years ago now), so while I don’t know if my opinion would change on a second viewing now, I still think it’s worth checking out.
Funny Video of the Week: “If Diablo III Were A Girl”
That’s all for this week. As always, let me know what you think in the comments section. For now, this is Jeremy Wilson, off the record, on the QT…
…and definitely, “Hush Hush!”