‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’ Red Band Trailer

High concept movies can be difficult to market.  If the film itself, or the campaign to sell it to audiences doesn’t resonate, then no one is going to see it.

In fact, sometimes the higher the concept, the weaker the performance, and as of late, there’s virtually nothing higher concept than “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” which, ironically, earned almost double overseas than it did domestically, despite being a movie revolving around an American president…

Fighting vampires.

So now there’s “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” which on the surface shares some similarities with the aforementioned Abraham Lincoln film.

Despite that, I think that it’s going to do well.  One reason it will be successful is that it stars Jeremy Renner, which is still running on the success of “The Avengers” and “The Bourne Legacy.”

Another reason is that it is directed by Tommy Wirkola, who did 2009’s “Dead Snow,” which was essentially Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead,” with a dash of John Carpenter’s “The Fog,” which would have played like a rip-off of those films if it weren’t for the obvious love Wirkola held for his subject matter.

The trailer is nothing like last week’s “Evil Dead” reboot, in that, while there are gory moments, it’s played with comedic overtones, which makes it much less jarring.


Lucasfilm Become Part Of The Disney Family

In case you haven’t yet heard, Disney now owns Lucasfilm, as well as the rights to make future Star Wars and Indiana Jones films.  As I posted elsewhere, how Twentieth-Century Fox let this one go (could this have something to do with Tom Rothman leaving) is almost beyond comprehension, though their loss is Disney’s gain.

This makes me wonder…with Pixar, Marvel and now Lucasfilm under their aegis, is feels to me that Disney could potentially be less successful than their subsidiaries, that is, till you figure that Disney would be getting the profits from Star Wars toys, as well as Star Wars-themed attractions in their parks.

Here’s George Lucas himself, speaking about what motivated him to sell to Disney.

Thanks again, Deadline.

‘John Dies At The End’ Is (Finally) On The Way To Theaters!

I like quite a few of the films that John Coscarelli has done, particularly “Phantasm,” but that’s almost a given.  That being said, I really do want to see his version of James Wong’s novel.  In fact I have been wanting to see this movie for at least five or six months, every since I first heard about it.  I even went and purchased the book–which I found oddly conventional, despite ample helpings of soy sauce–which made me want to see what Coscarelli could do with the material.  Now knowing that it’s coming out December 28th makes it a little less like Nessie or Bigfoot, though not by much.

It also doesn’t strike me as movie that’s filled with the spirit of Christmas, but we’ll see.

‘Tron: Legacy’ Sequel Ready To Roll?

According to Deadline, Shonda Rimes is producing a scifi television series, a move that’s just a bit outside her comfort zone of relationship dramas, and interesting in and of itself.  That being said, what’s even more interesting is that David DiGilio is writing it.

DiGilio is the guy that was chosen by Disney to write the sequel to 2010’s “Tron: Legacy,” and since he’s got enough time to write a new television series, it seems likely that he’s finished with the ‘Tron’ project.

This is a good sign for “Tron: Legacy” fans because Joseph Kosinski has finished the heavy lifting to bring the Tom Cruise starrer “Oblivion” to fruition. Does this mean that the sequel to ‘Legacy’ is just around the corner?

Not necessarily, but it is a good sign nonetheless.

Joss Whedon Rocks

I like Joss Whedon (which is a little odd–and mildly creepy–since I have never met the man).  He not only can direct kick-arse action films (“Serenity,” “The Avengers”) but he also has this snarky way toward responding to events around him that’s refreshing, especially in these days of self-important commentators that are more about telling you what the news is, as opposed to giving you the information, and letting you decide yourself.

Here’s his commentary on the upcoming Presidential election, and why you should perhaps consider voting for Mitt Romney.

Personally, as much as I like the idea of zombies, I like it even better not facing them, so Obama is my man.

‘The Arrow’ Appears To Suffer From ‘Nolanitis’

“Nolanitis” is a disease I named after Christopher Nolan, the director of the Batman Saga.  A definite sign of the condition is when film makers feel the need to render the fantastic, the wonderful, on more human terms, sapping the aforementioned fantasticalness and wonder in the name of a realism no one asked for in the first place.

How do I know this?  I have yet even seen an episode of “Arrow” (which has received a full season order from the CW, by the way)?  No?  Then what the frak am I talking about?

To the left is an image of the Royal Flush Gang, from DC’s wiki.  Sure, it’s silly, literal and very visual.

That’s mainly because comics are a visual medium, besides oftentimes being directed at young people (and in my case, those young at heart;).

Then again, so are movies and television shows (being a visual medium, that is).

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‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 3 Trailer

Halloween’s just around the corner, which is why it’s the perfect time to discuss monsters and other things that go bump in the night.

A creature that is currently in vogue is the zombie, which is enjoying a surge in popularity, evidenced by “The Walking Dead,” a series about a small band of survivors who are, essentially, trying to remain uneaten.  It also happens to be one one of the most successful series on cable, with ratings comparable to, and in some cases better, than network television shows.  This is a remarkable when you consider that network television is available to anyone with a television able to pick up the signal, which channels like AMC–which airs “The Walking Dead”–are generally part to pay cable packages, and not as widely available.

By the way, zombies actually exist.  There are documented cases, in Haiti, of people being dead and buried, only to rise from their graves.  The process of zombification was the subject of Wes Craven’s 1988 film, “The Serpent And The Rainbow,” one of his better movies.

I think the idea of zombies is so interesting that a few months ago I signed for  “Run For Your Lives,” an obstacle race made all the more interesting because there are “zombies” there to avoid, as well as obstacles to overcome.