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Thursday
Feb212008

Trailer - The Divisive Intelligent Design Theory Explored in 'Expelled'

Over the past half-decade, the term Intelligent Design has become one of the firebrands of American social and political discourse. The scientific community believes, in essence, that teaching Intelligent Design in schools is a backdoor route to teaching Creationism as hard, factual science.

Religious groups and in particular evangelical Christians have fought to have Intelligent Design taught at the very least alongside evolution in schools as another alternative to the dawn of life on Earth.

Now there's a new movie that explores ID and why it has been shoved out of the spotlight in the public schools. It's a fascinating debate and no matter which side of the fence you're on (and my worldview is right there with Richard Dawkins), I think it's a fascinating subject to explore. This could be a key social and religio-scientific debates of our century, so exposure to any ideas can only make your own belief stronger.

The film, Expelled: No Intelligent Allowed, is narrated by Ben Stein. Check out the trailer, which at seven minutes long, proves there should at least be more intelligent design in the editing room.


Expelled will arrive in theaters in April. And I have it on good authority that this movie took more than seven days to create.


Thursday
Feb212008

Leonardo DiCaprio Tackles 'Akira'

akira.jpgIf you blinked - like we did - you would have missed a killer one-two punch this morning: Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way production house will work with Warner Bros. to bring a live action version of the seminal graphic novel series, Akira, to the big screen as a two-film series.

And according to Ain't It Cool News, the haymaker in this two-punch sequence is that DiCaprio will star as the lead character, Kaneda, in the films. Joining Leo, according to the report, is the always solid Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who may finally leave the overacted TV series Third Rock from the Sun behind him. He'll play Tetsuo, which means nothing if you've never read Akira.

No doubt, they're great actors and no doubt, this adaptation is something that has been rumored and dreamed about (and in some circles, dreaded) for years. But will the combo work? Does having a star the magnitude of Leonardo DiCaprio make Akira too much of a slick Hollywood affair, in essence ripping the balls out of the story? Does casting American actors dillute the film?

They're all valid questions. I'm a little concerned about this one, personally. But we won't have to wait long to get the answers; the first film, directed by Ruairi Robinson, will be released in 2009.


Thursday
Feb212008

David Fincher Can't Escape a 'Black Hole'

blackhole.jpgVery few directors have ever handled paranoia and the psychology of fear like David Fincher. So putting him in charge of the upcoming graphic novel adaptation, Black Hole, makes a hell of a lot of sense.

In addition to being able to tap into the heart of the story, Fincher can be an extremely creative visual director, so much so that you don't even notice what he's done.

Black Hole is about an alien plague or virus that becomes transmitted from one teenager to another in Seattle in the mid-1970s. By transmitted, of course, we mean through sexual interaction. Charles Burns knocked out issues of what eventually became the graphic novel beginning in 1995 and concluded it a decade later.

Here's a passage from a character named Keith, the first one infected in the story. You tell me if this sounds like David Fincher territory:


"I was looking at a hole? a black hole and as I looked, the hole opened up? and I could feel myself falling forward, tumbling down into nothingness. For a while I was just floating? I was in this totally black place. It was kind of spacey but it felt nice?nice and safe."
There are a few other directors who, thematically, are good fits for the material; certainly Richard Kelly or Darren Aronofsky jump to mind. But Fincher has a better storyteller's knack, and when you've got source material this rich and detailed, you need a filmmaker who can guide the themes through the story rather than the other way around.

Variety reports that Fincher will replace Alexandre Aja as the project's director, and it will be the third straight Fincher film to find a home at Paramount, joining Zodiac and the upcoming The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


Wednesday
Feb202008

Movie Trailer - Another Look at '10,000 B.C.'

Am I the only one who thinks 10,000 B.C. might be a gigantic box office stiff? I can't put my finger on why, exactly, I just don't get it, I guess.

Anyway, it's clear that someone wants this loinclothed affair to replicate the big business of last spring's 300, but even if it breaks $200 million it will have cost so much to get it there that the profit margin will be pretty slim.

Perhaps in an effort to persuade me to think otherwise, here's a shiny new trailer for 10,000 B.C., which will be in theaters on March 7th.


Nope, still not biting.

Wednesday
Feb202008

Porn CEO Goes to Yale, Speaks Out...Against Porn

xrated.jpgSpeaking to MBA candidates at the Yale School of Management, Steve Hirsch, the co-chairman and co-founder of the world's most profitable smut peddler, Vivid Entertainment, said he has issued a challenge to web giants Yahoo! and Google to step up their efforts to improve technology that would keep his products out of the hands and hard drives of children.

Hirsch told the Ivy League students, "None of the search engines and portals, but particularly Yahoo and Google, has taken any significant steps in this direction. Vivid will work with any company that is ready to make it much more difficult for children to be exposed, even inadvertently, to material intended only for adults."

Added Hirsch in what may have been a deliberate swipe at potential critics, "This is not about First Amendment rights, it is about protecting children."

Hirsch went on to tell the Yalies that much of his job is dissuading impressionable young women from entering the pornography industry in the first place, and if that's true, then he doesn't get higher than a two out of five when it comes up in his employee performance review. Because the porn...not exactly hurting for young, stupid starlets at the moment. And really, that statement by Hirsch seems a little disingenuous. You'd expect more out of a guy who bankrolled Savanna's Been Blackmaled and Retaliasian.

Hirsch oversees a company that is a major cog in a $15 billion annual industry, making adult filmmaking as viable than mainstream film, if not more viable because of its low overhead.