Bullet Points: Hot Rounds Of Information Goodness

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We’re probably not going to get into too much comic book movie news here on Explosions Are Rad because they’re covered really well on other sites, but it’s pretty cool that an action-packed flick like The Wolverine took the box office and made $86 million worldwide according to Variety.

sharknado poster

We’re also not looking to delve too much into horror movie news for similar reasons, but Syfy’s Sharknado had enough (terrible) action scenes and explosions to qualify for a quick bullet point. TheWrap reported that the film will hit Regal, UA and Edwards Cinemas for a Friday, Aug. 2 midnight showing. It will be interesting to see if the so-bad-it’s-good phenomenon will transfer over to make actual money after being offered so often for free.

burka avenger

The Mary Sue recently posted an interesting story about a new Pakistani animated series called Burka Avenger that stars a female superhero who spends her days as a teacher. It definitely sounds like kid stuff, but the concept of a strong woman using her brains to fight crime is aces in our book.

gi joe retaliation blu-ray

Collider did an interview with Jon M. Chu about this week’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation DVD and Blu-ray release and also talked a bit about the third film which he’s signed up for. Briefly, he said that Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis are returning, they’re looking for a writer now and also to “double down on the adventure part of the movie” while also looking to possibly bring in more Joes.

dwayne johnson hercules soldier tweet

Speaking of Dwayne Johnson, the man known as The Rock, Tweeted out an image from the set of Brett Ratner’s Hercules with the message: “Let it be to death or victory” THANK U my ‘Thracian soldiers’. Intensity & energy.”

There’s a flick in the works called Black Friday that revolves around a man trying to get his wife back after she’s kidnapped inside a giant mall. He’s got to perform crazy tasks to get her back. Sounds silly, but I spent enough time in the Palisades Mall to give this a look on Netflix. John Sullivan wrote a script that Darin Beckstead’s attached to helm. (via Deadlline)

world war z poster

World War Z fans can look forward to checking out the big budget zombie flick starring Brad Pitt in IMAX 3D for a week kicking off on Aug. 2. (via Deadline)

It’s Matt Damon Versus Robots In The Latest Elysium Trailer

Neill Blomkamp blew us away with what he could do with a small budget and actors who aren’t super well known in District 9, . Now he’s got Elysium coming from Sony starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and William Fichtner. The film finds Damon’s character getting a cybernetic enhancement surgically grafted to his body in order to make his way to Elysium, the floating city where the rich live above the rank and file dregs of humanity. The recently revealed scene finds Damon in a firefight with one of Fichtner’s robots, which doesn’t end well for the ‘bot cop.  Just from this clip, it’s clear that Blomkamp hasn’t lost his touch for bringing the surreal to life on screen and making it look awesome.

Elysium opens Aug. 9.

Casting Internets

airborne vhs notebook

My pal Rickey Purdin did one of my all time favorite 90s movies Airborne over on his excellent VHS Notebook Tumblr.

My other pal Alex Kropinak did an amazing stop motion trailer for David Ezra Stein’s upcoming children’s book Dinosaur Kisses. The video’s above, see how he did it over on his blog.

league of extraordinary gentlemen volume 1

There’s going to be a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen show on Fox? Huh. (via TVLine)

Jon Negroni took a lot of time to come up with a timeline that supposedly sets every Pixar movie in the same universe. There’s some huge logical leaps many of which are based on the idea that Easter Eggs (visual or verbal nods to other films) mean something more. It’s fun and a little crazy, but also a lot crazy.

Hey have you seen the new action movie and video game news site called Explosions Are Rad? You should check it out.

There’s a Rambo video game in the works according to Topless Robot. I like the idea of this news, but I’m not sold on the quality based on this trailer. Still, if the mechanics aren’t terrible, I’ll probably dig the game.

J.W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew’s adaptation of George Lucas’ original Star Wars script, called The Star Wars, from Dark Horse is something I will aim to read in trade. (via CBR)

THR reports the Duplass Brothers’ Togetherness got ordered to series for HBO. This is good news for the world.

There’s a Calvin & Hobbes documentary called Dear Mr. Watterson. What else do you need to know? (via The Mary Sue)

Fearnet did a cool list of George R. Romero’s projects that never actually happened. That dude was involved in a LOT of dead or morphed projects!

Tony Shasteen Vincent Price

Tony Shasteen’s Vincent Price art over on Ashcan Allstars is fantastic.

My fellow Happy Endings fans will be interested in reading this TVLine interview with the show’s creators who talked a bit about the end and where they would have gone next season.

Like a lot of people I watch most of Sharknado. Before the movie even hit, GQ did an interesting article on The Asylum as they were filming Atlantic Rim. Interesting stuff.

I’m not done with Sharknado links. THR talked to the film’s VFX supervisor and also analyzed of the film’s success and what that might mean for quality shows on the network moving forward.

I Tweeted this out, but while looking through my wife’s old Martha Stewart magazines I came across this ingenious idea for a hidden office space made out of two book shelves hinged together. I don’t even have the space for something this small these days, but if I did, I’d be all over it.

Rolling Stone talked to Pete Wentz about Fall Out Boy’s recording session with Ryan Adams. I need to hear those tracks.

The Fwoosh ran down the first wave of M.A.S.K. figures, if you were a fan of this line like I was, this’ll be a nice walk down memory lane.

huckleberry_66batman

Tom Whalen‘s 66 Batman poster is fantastic.

My favorite news of the week comes from this ComicAlliance story explaining that Dark Horse is taking over the EC reprints. I adore the copy of Weird Science Volume 2 I have and want more!

Stacie Ponder analyzed the importance of landline phones over on her Final Girl blog. Entertaining as always.

Finally, I feel for Riley in this clip where she says that girls want to play with girl toys as well as boy toys. Can we finally cut this gender specific BS, please? Thanks to The Mary Sue for posting.

Vin Diesel Becomes World’s Most Wanted

vin diesel fast and furious 6

You know what happens when your last two movies make over a billion dollars worldwide? Everybody wants you to headline for them. That’s the rarified air Vin Diesel’s breathing these days thanks to the huge success of Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. He’s got a new movie in the Pitch Black franchise simply titled Riddick opening Sept. 6 as well as something in the works at Marvel that no one’s officially talking about just yet.  Plus, there’s always more Fast & Furious flicks in some stage of production these days.

According to Deadline, he’s also starring and producing a film called World’s Most Wanted for Universal. The original concept, which wasn’t specifically discussed was originally written by Will Staples (Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3) and Sean O’Keefe, but Dan Mazeau’s been brought on to re-write the project. Mazeau has story and screenplay credits for Wrath Of The Titans and is also working on The Flash for Warner Bros. To us, this sounds like some kind crime or break-out story, but who knows? We’ll let you know when more information finds its way onto the interwebs.

After The Pilot Failed To Land, Beverly Hills Cop Ready For Big Screen Takeoff

beverly hills cop

I don’t know about you guys, but I was pretty happy when CBS ordered a Beverly Hills Cop TV pilot that would feature Axel Foley’s kid — played by Brandon T. Jackson — trying to get out from under his dad’s shadows as he made his way as a police officer in the California community. The idea of Murphy returning as Foley was rad enough, but to have the show co-produced by Shawn Ryan (The Shield)? That sounded like a recipe for success. Unfortunately, the project didn’t go to series, so where does that leave Axel and company?

According to Deadline he’s returning to the big screen by way of Paramount. The studio tapped Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec to write the script which is being developed now. Applebaum and  Nemec have some pretty impressive credits to their name including Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and as writers and producers on Alias and the US version of Life On Mars. They also wrote the new Ninja Turtles movie which no one really knows what to make of at this point.

Anyway, I’m always on board for revisiting my favorite film franchises. If they’re great, you get another entry to watch over and over at your leisure and if it’s bad? Well, just ignore it. I don’t fall in that “one bad entry ruins a franchise” camp. What do you think. Is this a good move?

Friday Night Fights: Michael Vs. Gabriel In Legion (2010)

legion paul bettany kevin durant*Friday Night Fights does presents crazy fight and battle scenes from movies with little-to-no context. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll probably want to skip the clip. *

Today’s Friday Night Fight was inspired by Deadline‘s news that Syfy is making a show based on director Scott Stewart’s Legion from 2010.  I don’t remember much about the film, but this battle between Paul Bettany’s Michael and Kevin Durand’s Gabriel is pretty rad. The actual fight starts around the 2:30 mark.

Personal highlights include that crazy spinning mace weapon and the way they used the wings throughout. You’ll believe a man can fly…in a diner…with wings.

Steve Ho Teaches Conan O’Brien How To Fight Like A Ninja Turtle

conan o'brien steven ho tmntTalk show host Conan O’Brien probably isn’t the first person you think of when listing the best action stars of all time. But, that doesn’t stop him from trying. Last night’s episode of Conan on TBS brought recurring guest Steven Ho back to the show in an effort to teach O’Brien some sick fighting moves. Ho is a stunt coordinator whose credits include Blade, Crank: High Voltage and the last two Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. He even played Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, which brought about some ninja-esque challenges for Conan.

Follow this link to see him take on a gang of fruit-wielding thugs.

Rocky 7 To Focus on Apollo Creed’s Grandson

carl_weathers_rocky Sylvester Stallone’s got at least one more Rocky movie in the works. According to Deadline, Sylvester Stallone will return as the Italian Stallion in a film called Creed that follows the exploits of Apollo Creed’s grandson as Rocky comes out of retirement to train him. Since Carl Weathers’ character didn’t fare so well against Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, don’t expect him to come back. His grandson will be played by Michael B. Jordan (ChronicleFruitvale Station). Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler is helming the project and co-writing with Aaron Covington.
michael b jordan chronicle

Per Deadline:

Raised in an upper-crust home thanks to the ring riches earned by his grandfather, the young man doesn’t have to box and his family doesn’t want him to. Yet, he has the natural instinct and gifts and potential that made his grandfather the heavyweight champion until Rocky Balboa took his crown in 1979′s Rocky II. Creed’s grandson needs a mentor and turns to Balboa, who is out of boxing completely and not eager to return.

I’m not nearly as familiar with the Rocky films as I should be, but every time I see the first few, I enjoy the experience. Plus, even though I haven’t seen 2006’s Rocky Balboa, I love that movie for helping Stallone get back into the kinds of movies he should be making instead of goofy 90s junk.

Rad Review: Parker (2013)

Parker Poster

I’m a big fan of Jason Statham. Not only can this guy rumble with the best action stars in the business (as we’ve seen in the Expendables flicks), but he’s also got a versatility that allows him to work in all kinds of action sub-genres. There’s the high octane craziness of the Crank and Transporter movies, more low key outings like The Bank Job and even a brief foray into fantasy action with Uwe Boll’s In The Name Of The King (the only film of Statham’s I haven’t been able to finish).

Parker fits somewhere in the crime/revenge arena as Statham plays the title character, a thief who gets screwed out of his cut on a job by Melander (Michael Chiklis) and their crew. Left for dead, Statham does who he does best: gets better. After healing up from a gunshot wound, Parker goes on a crusade to get his money back and a little revenge along the way.

parker the hunter

If that character sounds familiar, it’s because Parker has had quite the life in fiction. He started out as a character in novels written by Richard Stark (actually Donald Westlake) back in 1962’s The Hunter. In addition to appearing in 24 novels as a hard nosed criminal who gets what he wants no matter what, Parker made the leap to film in 1966’s Made in USA. Other notable adaptations include Point Blank from 1967 starring Lee Marvin and Mel Gibson’s appearance as the character in 1999’s Payback. As it happens, 2013’s Parker is the first film to actually use the character’s name, the others changed it for various reasons. Darwyn Cooke has also adapted some of the books as graphic novels which have proven very popular and won several awards in the field.

payback

Even though he’s been around a long time, I’m not actually very familiar with the character of Parker. I’ve never read the books or the graphic novels, so my only exposure is the one time I saw Payback soon after it came out. This was before Mel Gibson went crazy and it was still okay to like him. I dug that movie because his character — Porter — was so single minded. He had been similarly betrayed and wanted a very specific amount of money back, no more and certainly no less.

That aspect of the character came through with Statham’s interpretation of Parker in this film directed by Taylor Hackford (Proof Of Life), though they made him a bit softer. He’s got a girlfriend  who he isn’t too bad too and he’s fairly nice to the down-on-her-luck real estate agent played by Jennifer Lopez. Even though he does still use her as a pawn in his game, he’s not a bastard about it. This isn’t a criticism, just something that might not sit well with Parker Purists.

My actual criticism of this movie is that it doesn’t add much to the crime-revenge drama. You get scenes of betrayal and revenge for sure and the opening heist set at the Ohio State Fair was fun, but this movie felt pretty been-there-done-that. There are fun highlights though. Statham throws down a few times, though this isn’t really a fighting movie. He also puts on a ridiculous Texan accent that’s supposed to fool Jennifer Lopez’s character.

Far from his best efforts, Statham still brings this boring and overly complicated script up from where it wold have been with a less dynamic actor. He does the best with what he’s got, but it’s not a whole lot.

Reality Rundown: Summer Camp, Below Deck & Catfish: The TV Show

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Well gang, it’s summer, so you know what that means: there’s not much to watch on TV if you don’t like reality shows. I was thinking about doing one of those “What We’re Watching” posts I do from time to time, but since it’s 95% “non-scripted” shows, I figured a Reality Rundown would make more sense. There were a few weeks in the beginning of the warm season there where nothing of interest was on, but thankfully a swath of shows we dig have premiered to help fill our evenings.

One such program is USA’s Summer Camp. I stumbled upon this one a few weeks back as it was debuting, which seemed like auspicious timing. Also, for a guy whose been fascinated by camp going back to the days of watching Salute Your Shorts and Camp Nowhere (there’s even a Camp Movie category over there on the right) this was a pretty easy sell. The idea here is that a large group of adults are taken to a camp and broken up into teams based on sex. Every episode each team choses a captain who will pick two of their own players to go up for elimination should they lose the daily game (like this week’s guess-whoe’s-kissing-you contest). Those two people then go to the other team, plead their case and either get to go or stay.

What I dig about this show is that it’s just plain goofy fun. The contestants aren’t overly scummy — something I’ve found with a lot of other reality shows of this nature — so you can enjoy most of them. It even seems like the producers were going for “likable” instead of “dramatic” when putting the group together, which is a nice change. Even though it’s not similar thematically, the show kind of reminds me of Beauty And The Geek which I remember enjoying for the first season. At the end of the day, Summer Camp‘s like your third light beer on a hot day, it serves its purpose, but you’re not going to remember the details by the next one.

Below Deck - Season 1

 

I don’t know about you guys, but Bravo seems to go in waves of putting out shows I actually enjoy. The beach was pretty dry there for a while and then they came rushing back hard with a group of shows we like Real Housewives Of New Jersey, Million Dollar Listings New York, Interior Therapy With Jeff Lewis and newcomer Below Deck.

Deck follows the adventures of a charter yacht crew as they take on new guests every week. Each employee has varying levels of experience in the field, so you get a mix of the basic job reality show tropes where some people are just doing their job really well and others are dealing with all kinds of new experiences. For the most part, this is a pretty interesting group of characters, many of whom have surprising back stories that keep getting revealed as the series progresses. I will say, though, that the last episode got on my nerves a bit with how much some of the employees complained about the guests. Granted, the clients were super douche-bags, but you’re working a luxury yacht, you should pretty much expect daily piles of BS from entitled weirdos who think the world revolves around them. Of course, this inability to cope has lead to tons of drama that might even lead to a crew member getting thrown overboard next episode.

catfish-the-tv-show-1

 

Two years ago I watched a documentary called Catfish about a guy named Nev discovering that the young lady he’d been chatting with online was actually a married woman with kids. In my review of that movie, I actually said, “To me, the movie felt more like a show that would be on the Learning Channel or Discovery about weirdos who lie on the internet. ” I must be psychic because now it’s exactly that, but on MTV.

Catfish: The TV Series finds Nev, his pal Max and their film crew traveling around the country helping people find out if the folks they’ve been talking to on the internet are who they say they are. We watched most of this show’s first season, but more casually than now. These days I get excited every time a new episode is on. I like how this show makes delusional people face reality. That’s not always easy for them, but I think it’s important to not live in a completely fictional world of your own creation. The craziest part to me is when the people asking for help are pretty sure they’re being lied to and still go on with their online significant other. Heck, the guy on this week’s episode was living with his girlfriend while talking to his longtime online girl! It’s just crazy.

I will say that Catfish is right on the edge of the kinds of reality shows I can watch. “Trying to make people see through their delusions” is a subgenre that also includes things like Hoarders and Intervention, which are just too real, sad and unnerving for me to watch. I know that love can be just as addicting as anything else and that betrayal is a very difficult feeling to deal with, but it seems a bit softened by the show itself, something I attribute to Max and Nev who seem to be getting more and more skeptical with each episode. Good for them because we’re getting close to the point where folks are going to be scamming them just to get on TV.