Who expected "Kung Fu Panda" to be as charming as it was? Dreamworks had a shaky history of 3-D films that were big on star power and small on substance, but one barely noticed all the celebrity voices in between the tightly polished jokes and immaculate animation. Especially fun was how the movie paid righteous tribute to kung fu tradition, from the deftly choreographed fight scenes to the standard character types like the wise guru, the hot-headed proteges and of course, poor clueless Po.
Po whipped himself into fighting shape by film's end, and the upcoming sequel will see where he's gone since. But how would he stack up against characters from kung fu lore? Fighting films used to be huge in American pop culture, but faded out as guns and gratuitous violence went en vogue. Here's where we think he'd end up in a battle royale against some of history's greatest kung fu fighters, reality aside (because, um, talking panda bears don't exist).
What a long, strange trip it's been since the first "Hangover" film dropped in 2009. Who could predict that an original comedy starring three mid-level actors would gross hundreds of millions around the world, or that it would become the new standard of bromance comedy, or that you'd actually want to drink more after seeing where alcohol had led the wolf-pack?
But less surprising is how the careers of the actors involved have taken off. Almost all of the primary actors in "The Hangover" have found increased success in the biz, whether it's as action stars, comedic bit players, or reality TV stars.
How far have they come, and where are they going? Find out after the jump!
"Transformers" started as a toy line but that isn't stopping Michael Bay from delving into the mythology as deftly and boisterously as he can with "Dark of the Moon," the film's third installment. I mean, let's be honest: all he needs to put butts in seats is more of those robots in disguise, regardless of the particulars. You see this robot? He transforms into a boombox. And this one? He transforms into an iPhone. Rad!
But as the movie will explore darker and deeper territory, so the casting goes: an image of Shockwave, the film's reportedly primary antagonist, was released on Apple this morning. Shockwave is an O.G. Transformer -- he's been around since the original television show, but this will be his first full-fledged appearance in the movie world. What makes this dastardly robot tick, once you look past his totally awesome '80s name? We've got the answer after the jump!
It's been eight years since the last "Spy Kids" movie, and boy, things have changed. For one, the kids aren't really kids anymore -- Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara are 22 and 18 years old, respectively, and are probably just a few years too old to be in Robert Rodriguez's "Spy Kids" Rolodex these days.
But the wheels turn, and the "Spy Kids" franchise is being relaunched this year with original director Rodriguez at the helm. It'll star a newly-expecting Jessica Alba as a retired spy mom who gets thrown back into the biz when an evil Jeremy Piven shows up to do something or other.
Dimension tossed out the first image from the movie (via Bleeding Cool), showing a positively worried Alba holding her daughter, getting ready for spy stuff. And even if the image is just a smidge on the cheesy side, we actually think there's good cause to get excited over Alba's sexy spy mom -- and, as if you needed them, we've got the reasons why past the jump.
The apocalypse approaches. April 21 brings us the Judgment Day foretold for years and years by the "Terminator" franchise -- the day Skynet becomes self-aware and makes a mess of things. Earlier today, I mused on the best ways to survive Judgment Day, if you're into staying alive: networking, wearing sun screen, being a team player... I'm pretty sure I covered most of the basics.
But must judgment be so unfortunate? Is Skynet's looming takeover really such a terrible thing? Who knows -- our robot rulers might be more gracious than our human overlords.
After the jump, check out five reasons why the robot apocalypse might not be the end of the world -- even though it technically will be. Oh well!
Judgment Day approaches, and we're not talking about the Biblical kind: rather, yesterday was the day that Skynet became self-aware, and April 21, 2011 is the day that it launches its robot onslaught against mankind, according to the updated "Terminator" mythology laid out in the recent "Sarah Connor Chronicles" TV series. Threatened by what it perceives to be humanity infringing upon its God-given right to exist, Skynet goes bonkers, shutting down global systems, initiating nuclear holocaust and stopping production on "Jersey Shore." Is there no end to the machines' madness?
Fortunately, you are not alone. In dubious honor of the date, we've whipped up a list of five ways to survive when the machines come knocking at your door and it's not one of the friendly ones you can teach about crying and friendship. Society may be dead, but you are not. Go long, brave human.
It's a safe bet that J.J. Abrams is always working on something, whether it's a new movie, TV show, comic book, grilled cheese recipe, etc. Now word comes in of another top-secret project between Abrams and frequent collaborators Monica Breen and Alison Schapker on a new film involving "swashbuckling robots with swords" called "Zanbato." Sounds like the Thanksgiving hangover I never woke up from, but I digress.
Deadline has the news, though details are scarce beyond that bizarre but alluring premise. "Zanbato" marks the fourth collaboration between Abrams and the Breen/Schapker team, who previously wrote for "Alias," "Lost" and "Fringe." Deadline points out that female writing teams in sci-fi are rare, but you wouldn't believe it by checking their resume -- Breen and Schapker kicked out some of those shows' most compelling and shocking material.
We don't know what the new project will fully entail, but their past work on those shows -- which we're detailing past the jump -- gives us a whole lot of confidence.
It might be simplistic to say that the horror genre has fractured since the "Scream" franchise last appeared on screen in 2000, but not wholly inaccurate. In the eleven years since Wes Craven's original trilogy hit the screens, screamers of all kinds have filled our need for things that go bump in the night.
Today, the franchise returns in the form of "Scream 4," which brings much of the film's original cast back for a new adventure. Good filmmakers are always thinking of new things, as Craven explained to us last week, and "Scream 4" promises new commentary on the genre he helped to popularize. Here's a taste of how his genre of choice has changed since we last saw Ghostface, and how "Scream 4" fits into the new "mainstream" tradition.
It's been quite a long journey back to the planet of the apes. After Tim Burton and Mark Wahlberg's 2001 remake failed to set hearts ablaze, talk of new entries in the storied franchise quickly fizzled out. Maybe public interest in the movies had waned; maybe, gasp, people no longer found super intelligent apes to be that scary anymore. There were rumors of a new "Apes" project as far back as 2008, but of course, rumors have to be taken with a grain of salt.
But there'll be no more monkeying around: after months of buildup (and one heck of a tease), the first trailer for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" debuted this morning on Apple. Helmed by "The Escapist" director Rupert Wyatt and dropping this summer, the prequel will show how Earth went from civilization to Charlton Heston in chains. Apparently, it only takes two hours.
After the jump, see what we picked out from the trailer, what we liked and why we'll be in line in our Dr. Zaius costumes come August 5.