Sony Pictures Animation and WWE Studios announced today an animated sequel to “Surf’s Up,” the 2007 Academy Award-nominated action-comedy about surfing penguins. The companies are co-financing and producing the movie, which is expected to release in 2017, in time for the original film’s 10th anniversary. “Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania” will be distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment with WWE Studios providing marketing support by leveraging its extensive multi-platform reach.
Cody Maverick, hungry for a new challenge, convinces an infamous big-wave-riding crew known as The Hang 5, voiced by WWE Superstars John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H, WWE Diva Paige and Mr. McMahon, to let him join them on their journey to a mysterious surf spot known as The Trenches, where, legend has it, they’ll find the biggest waves in the world. Cody soon discovers that the life he left behind might be more heroic than what any death-defying wave has to offer. Genndy Tartakovsky’s protégé Henry Yu (story artist on “Sym-Bionic Titan” and both “Hotel Transylvania” feature films) makes his directorial debut with this project, which is produced by Michelle Wong (production manager on “Hotel Transylvania 2”) and features computer animation from Rainmaker Entertainment Inc. Abdul Williams (“Lottery Ticket”) is writing the screenplay.
More information after these character designs:
“We are thrilled to be working with Sony Pictures Animation to bring Cody Maverick back to audiences for more adventures, paired with our WWE Superstars in what promises to be a fun animated film for the entire family,” said Michael Luisi, WWE Studios President.
“WWE has a proven track record with family audiences, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them and dive back into the fun world of our surfing penguins,” adds Kristine Belson, President, Sony Pictures Animation.
My first reaction to seeing this was mostly confusion. “This is what an R-Rated cartoon looks like?” I thought as I cocked my head to the side, trying to figure out what was so raunchy with this. Then I realized what I was looking at.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s newest comedy from Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures will be a feature-length animated film all about deli meats, aptly named “Sausage Party”. Earlier today, we got our first peek at what to expect from this movie that will certainly have some NSFW images the closer we get to release time. The logline of the film is “one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence.” That alone should have put thoughts in your head about some of the things that we will see (and not be able to un-see).
The movie will be directed by Greg Tiernan (Thomas & Friends) and Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens), with a voice cast includes Rogen, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, and Michael Cera, among others. Nitrogen Studios in Vancouver, Canada produced the animation.
The last R-rated animated feature to hit massive distribution in the US was Adult Swim’s “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters”, which grossed a pathetic $5.5 million during its theatrical run. The most successful has most likely been “South Park: Bigger, longer, uncut”, which is pretty tame compared to what passes for an R rating today.
Sausage Party will be released in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
Whether you like it or not, the reboot for “Ghostbusters” is on its way later this summer, and Mattel and Matty Collector are gearing up for what they hope to be a big hit with their toys. During the Matty Collector event, press got their first look at the new action figures of the four busters, along with a six-inch version of the Staypuft marshmallow man, a winged ghost monster named Mayhem, and the key villain in the film, Rowan, who looks a heck of a lot like the “no ghost” logo minus the red circle. Looks like we got some more plot info at this event along with a glimpse of the ladies in their jumpsuits and packs.
The following day, we got a tour of the Mattel booth which had a few other items from the film, including the mini-ghosts and most importantly – the new proton pack accessory! Not only do we get to see what the back of the pack looks like on the figures, we also see what kids (and some adults) might be wearing when they start pretending to be GB’s again! No word on whether we will see a classic style pack, but we can only hope that if this line does well enough, perhaps Mattel will consider a line of accessories for the original movie that is not a high-priced adult collectible.
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Get ready for more Star Wars coming to a galaxy close to you, and there is much more Star Wars than one fan could ever handle on the way.
According to a report from Entertainment Weekly, the gears have already been turning on the production end for the sequel to “The Force Awakens”.
“There is no better way to propel this franchise into the future than producing quality products,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said. “Filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017. And production of Episode IX, a 2019 release, has also begun.” Iger continued about another Star Wars film joining the saga, “Filming of Rogue One is virtually completed and we absolutely love what we’ve seen so far.” The story of the “Rogue One” film reportedly centers around the Rebel plans to steal the blueprints for the original Death Star. “This is the first of a set of planned stand-alone stories and we’re already in pre-production on our next one, for release in May of 2018.” That ‘next one’ that is being teased is expected to be the “young Han Solo” movie.
Episode IX will be directed by “Jurassic World” and “Safety Not Guaranteed” filmmaker, Colin Trevorrow. “Rogue One” will be directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards, and will be released Dec. 16.
In supplemental Star Wars news, Iger confirmed that the company planned to break ground later this year on several new Star Wars attractions at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
UK brother and sister team, filmmaker Anthony Bueno and film presenter Claire Bueno are set to chronicle the enduring popularity of two of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II revealing how they came to fruition from inception through to the production. “Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters” is the resultant feature-length documentary of the first film is nearing completion with the sequel’s evolution discussed in a companion feature.
Based in London, Anthony and Claire’s eight year journey has taken them over the United States from Lily Dale to Jacksonville cross country to San Diego, LA and San Francisco, visiting many of the memorable locations. They have interviewed over 70 members of the cast and crew responsible for bringing these stories to life including actors Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver; director Ivan Reitman, producers Joe Medjuck and Michael C. Gross and editor Sheldon Kahn. Some of those names are due to appear in Paul Feig’s much-anticipated new Ghostbusters this summer.
Directed by Anthony Bueno and produced by Claire Bueno for Bueno Productions, “Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters” is intended to be the most complete account of how these classic films were made. It is the culmination of Anthony’s lifelong love of the film which he credits for launching both his love of films and the supernatural. He says, ‘Since I first saw Ghostbusters in the cinemas back in 84’ I was captivated, although I didn’t think 24 years later I would begin a documentary about it with my sister Claire!
‘Becoming more enamored with filmmaking as I’ve got older and learning how Ghostbuster 1 and 2 were made over the last 8 years’, Anthony continues, ‘ I truly hope we will deliver an in depth documentary of quality for both fans of the film and filmmakers alike. And with the team we have onboard with us now that is exactly what they will get’.
Released in 1984 in the pre-digital age when special effects were still evolving. Ghostbusters was an instant hit followed up five years later with Ghostbusters 2. As a result, the documentaries are a tribute the special effects industry at the pivotal point in its evolution from model craft to digital. The film contains interviews with the Visual Effects crew on both films including Richard Edlund, John Bruno, Dennis Muren and Ned Gorman.
Claire says, ‘Because of this documentary, cast and crew have reconnected not having seen each other for twenty years plus. To play a tiny part in this has been a real privilege’.
A Kickstarter campaign has recently been launched in order to raise the final funds. Running throughout February, it will enable them to complete post-production on both films and secure worldwide distribution. “Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters” will be released later in the year.
“United we stand. Divided we Stand. United we fall. Divided we fall.”
During Superbowl 50, the latest 30-second trailer dropped for the upcoming “Captain America: Civil War”. In case you missed it, here is the video:
Despite being short, there are still plenty of tidbits to pick up. Aside from some new costumes for the main cast, here are a few important things to note in the trailer:
Ant-Man has a new outfit! Makes perfect sense when you consider the suit was old to begin with, so it seems now he has been upgraded with a sleeker helmet and overall design, along with modern materials and fabrics.
Tony Stark has a new toy in this trailer to deal with unexpected threats. In this case, when Winter Soldier pulls a gun on him, Tony’s wristwatch goes into action, covering his hand in an iron man gauntlet to fend off the attack. Expect this to be on every kids holiday wish list this year, or at least us big kids.
In case you were keeping track, here is each team’s members:
Team Cap includes Falcon, Ant-Man, Hawkeye (in a dark purple or dark blue outfit that seems a more militaristic version of what we saw him wear in Avengers: Age of Ultron), Scarlet Witch and her shoulder pads, and Bucky.
Team Iron Man includes War Machine, Vision, a reluctant Black Widow, and The Black Panther. What will happen when these two teams collide? Other than the sound of millions of fans screaming in joy, I have no idea, but I look forward to find out.
“Captain America: Civil War” is expected to be released in theaters on May 6, 2016.
Banks is the most notable star of the film so far, with her credentials including playing Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games” series, along with her roles in “The Lego Movie”, “Pitch Perfect”, and “The Uninvited”. She joins the previously announced cast of rangers which includes – Dacre Montgomery, as the Red Ranger, Naomi Scott, who will play the Pink Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger, R.J. Cyler as the Blue Ranger, and Becky G, as the Yellow Ranger.
Dean Israelite, who made his directorial debut in 2015 with “Project Almanac”, will helm the film, which is currently scheduled to release in theaters on March 24, 2017.
CBS Consumer Products and ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events, are teaming up to launch an all-new original Star Trek fan experience in the birthplace of the Star Trek convention with Star Trek: Mission New York in 2016.
This three-day event will be the ultimate destination for Star Trek fans, filled with interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, screenings and much more. Its creation adds to a year filled with Star Trek events and experiences celebrating the franchise’s milestone 50th anniversary.
Star Trek: Mission New York will take place September 2-4 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Additional details about the event including ticket sales, hotel information, guests and exhibitors will be revealed in the coming weeks. For more information, please visit www.StarTrekMissions.com and the Star Trek: Mission New York social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
The arrival of Star Trek: Mission New York marks the return of the Star Trek fan fest to the Big Apple. The first Star Trek convention, which helped spark the fast-growing experiential fan event industry, took place January 21-23, 1972 at the Statler Hotel – now the Hotel Pennsylvania. Originally planned for 500 guests, the event became an instant blockbuster with more than 3,000 in attendance. ReedPOP, global experts at producing and curating the world’s best fan experiences, will develop a unique program that will entertain and engage thousands of Star Trek fans for a new and different stand-alone experience.
“Star Trek fans set the gold standard of what these type of experiential events are all about, truly establishing this industry that we’ve been so proud to be a part of,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP. “Star Trek: Mission New York will be a completely unique fan event unlike anything seen before, giving them the chance to go beyond panels and autograph signings, and immerse themselves in the Star Trek universe.”
Liz Kalodner, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Consumer Products, added, “There has never been a better time to be a Star Trek fan than right now with the 50th anniversary celebration on tap. Star Trek: Mission New York will celebrate everything going on in the Star Trek universe, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring it back to the birthplace of the original Star Trek convention and do so with a partner like ReedPOP.”
Paul Feig has been taking all kinds of flak for his Ghostbusters reboot, but on this site, we can’t wait to have more GB things!
The film stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as the all-female Ghostbusters team, and for quite some time, we have been left in the dusty about what this movie will be about. Finally, we have some answers.
Entertainment Weekly gave us the following piece of info, which says a lot while still remaining pretty darn vague:
Dead criminals from all eras of New York’s underbelly past have returned to roost among the living in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot. Pilgrims, old-timey sailors, Revolutionary War spirits, and even a couple of zoot-suited gangsters are ready to take on four formidable female busters looking to rid the city of its phantasmic filth.
While this is far from a detailed plot synopsis, we at least have a slightly better idea of what viewers will be getting themselves into. Sounds like the movie will feature more realistic ghosts as opposed to the types we saw in the originals.
We also have this brand new photo of the team in action, dealing with a flipped-over fire truck. Must be a nasty poltergeist on the prowl!
The film is due in theaters on July 15. Once again, they’re coming this summer to save the world.
Out of the four Star Wars movies that I have been alive for, I have now seen two of them on opening day. Episode II was my first, and today I saw Episode VII. If this movie can keep up the momentum, than I think I will be seeing VIII and IX on opening day as well.
If you have not seen the movie and want to read the spoiler-free review, head to this link here instead. I won’t be talking about too many plot points in this article since I want to keep this short (by my standards), just giving a verbose overview of my thoughts about the film, and guess what? They are all pretty darn positive.
Let’s get this out of the way immediately. Does Episode VII make up for the prequels? Absolutely. Everything that was wrong with them is gone, and in their place is something that feels much more like Star Wars. The lackluster elements of the prequels will be a discussion for another day, but the big thing that I can say about those movies versus the newest one is that it feels like it is in the same timeline as the original trilogy was. The prequels feel out of date when you watch them and did not age well for a number of reasons. Watching “The Force Awakens” is like you picked up right where you left off and is a much more natural fit.
If the prequels were a sign of the times of when they were made, Episode VII is a throwback in all of the right ways to make a timeless sci-fi epic. From the physical effects married perfectly with the CGI, to the dialogue and characters acting the way they should that makes sense to them, and the worlds feeling believable and real, this is the true return of the franchise that should not disappoint fans.
The story is a good mix of classic Star Wars with an Abrams twist. It was hard not to draw parallels to what he did with “Star Trek” while watching Episode VII, but I mean that in a positive way. Abrams understands a team dynamic and how to balance multiple actors and stories on screen at once, something that the original trilogy did very well. He gives segments time to breathe and live alongside each other, but they never lose their tension and only gain it in the interim when we visit a different part of the story. Everyone gets their screen time and an equal share of the drama, the heroism, or the sadness.
I loved that, much like the original trilogy, most of the actors were not too well known, but they will certainly be after this. John Boyega as Finn and Daisy Ridley as Rey are great together, and play off each other very well. On the same sentiment as the paragraph above, they each have their stories that we are able to understand in a few sentences, and are seeking things that they are able to get from each other. They are the Luke and Leia of the story, and not the Han and Leia as far as I am concerned (more on that later). Really, the characters are very independent from sci-fi tropes and even what many may have expected from a franchise that set up a lot of the clichés used in this genre, and that is a very positive thing to accomplish.
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a very complex character that I want to a call a villain but was humanized so well that it is difficult to label him a generic bad guy. For you “Avatar: The Last Airbender” fans, Kylo might be our Prince Zuko (#HONOR). Whereas Darth Maul or Count Dooku was absolutely evil, Kylo Ren is immediately given a backstory that no other villains in the series have had the pleasure of having that makes you invested in him, and the thoughts of a possible character arc or redemption story. While Vader was an enigma, we know within the first hour who Kylo is, even to the point of unmasking himself with the greatest of ease instead of drawing it out for another movie. He is a character with a heavy heart and a lot of anger, and in many ways is perhaps how Anakin should have been portrayed in episode 2 and 3 rather than the way he is. For the record, my theory of Kylo was that he was a clone of Anakin, and the big reveal in Episode IX would be when he takes off the mask to reveal Hayden Christenson underneath it. Tell me that would not have been awesome?
BB-8 is obnoxiously adorable to the point that I wanted to pick it up and put tiny cat ears and a tail on it and make it my pet. That’s what merchandise is for! The droid is the most expressive we have seen in a Star Wars film, and more emotive than R2-D2 was, which is impressive on its own.
I wish we had more of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and definitely more of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), but I suppose that is what the sequels are for. As of now, Phasma is presumed dead after being thrown into a trash compactor, but there is no way a character that awesome (and who is on all of the merchandise) could be tossed away like rubbish that easily. As for Poe, is anyone else shipping him and Finn together?
Seeing some of the originals again was great, and they were integrated not for the sake of nostalgia but as crucial parts of the story. This is certainly not the last time we will see them (except for Han, of course, but I bet he comes back as a spirit eventually), especially with Luke showing up at the conclusion. I am hoping that Lando Calrissian will make his triumphant comeback in the next one too, along with some more familiar alien species.
Episode VII is not without its flaws, and one of those is certainly the predictability of things. When Han confronted Kylo, everyone in the theater knew he was going to die except for the little kids (most of whom probably did not even know who Han was since no TV channels showed any of the SW films leading up to the release of this, shame on Disney). There are really not too many surprises here, the biggest one being the true identity of Kylo Ren. Everything else was foreshadowed very strongly, almost pandering to make sure that you did not miss the info that would be important later.
Abrams camerawork is always something that can be troublesome. The best comparison to draw from is once again Star Trek, which had a lot of fast pans and quick camera movements, along with an overdose of lens flare. While there is practically none of that, the signature camera shaking syndrome is still there, and it visually feels like an Abrams movie. I would have loved more steady shots and less reliance on a camera in constant motion. The blurs are too quick and I left the theatre with a vicious headache. It’s not nearly as shaky as most other action movies are these days, so don’t get me wrong, but I believe Star Wars is known for wide shots that suck you into the world. None of the locations were too awe-inspiring or made my imagination start running, and that may have been because of how self-contained everything felt and how small things were because of the constant motion. It was useful as a storytelling device, especially in the dogfights with the TIE fighters and X-Wings, but too much of it makes it hard to get invested and looks too much like a video game.
On that note, here is my nerdy complaint. Only X-Wings and TIE Fighters? What happened to the Y-Wing, A-Wing, B-Wing, TIE Bomber, TIE Interceptor, and damn near every other type of ship. Most importantly, my biggest qualm with the plot itself – WHY DID THEY NEED TO KILL THE NEW DEATH STAR ALREADY!!! Seriously, this thing was eight times bigger than the original and able to destroy multiple planets at once, and it gets taken out like a chump in the exact same way the original two Death Stars went down. Did the First Order not learn from the other two huge blunders? It would have been much cooler to save this big Death Star as a tease in this movie and make it into something really big and grand, rather than something that really did not get a lot of screen time or get hyped in a way that made it truly threatening (again, predictability of the movie).
Also, can we start a drinking game for whenever a character says “This map will tell us the location of Luke Skywalker”?
Like all of the Star Wars films, there are a few plot holes here and there, but they are nothing that stopped me in my tracks. That might be attributed to how fast-paced JJ Abrams works so that you don’t have time to nitpick at first glance, but with a few more viewings even the most unobservant person should pick up on them. Do they ruin the film? Not at all, just little minor annoyances that are quickly forgiven.
The big issue I have seen many people debate is how much of a rehash this film is to “Episode IV: A New Hope”. Once again, we have a desert planet, a death star, a reluctant hero with family issues and a reason to stay in their sandy home, another Death Star, and plenty of other similarities. Are they copying the original, or following a pattern? Too early to tell, but my belief is that while there were certainly elements that are undeniably familiar, the story is far enough removed and goes to vastly different places that it is its own movie.
Is Episode VII a complete story, meaning that it does not need a sequel and can stand on its own? Yes and no. Being a Star Wars film means that it will obviously have a sequel attached to, especially since this is the start of the trilogy. Does this movie have its own definitive end-point. Yes, with the destruction of the new super-duper Death Star. However, with all of the characters going their own way, and with the big reveal at the end, it is sequel fodder. We met everyone, we shot some stuff, blew some things up, and everyone is off adventuring until we see them again in the next film. What they are doing is not even hinted at with the exception of Rey, and that is a pretty big tease.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had too much on the line to be bad. It had to be good, and it was. It’s a step in the right direction, and is a movie filled with optimism, intrigue, and wonder. It lacks the whimsy of the original, but feels like a natural continuation and captures the essence of what the series is about. The series is in good hands, but I can see it being derailed by the dark side if they do not make some improvements from this one to make it more mysterious and give it the uniqueness that it deserves to have.
Welcome back, Star Wars. It’s good to have you again, and I look forward to seeing more.
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